August 4, 2017

Star Wars: The Epic Continues

Sometimes you just need to take a break and draw your favorite hero from a toy line that never existed in 1985.  Instead of doing anything comic related today I took some time to doodle my version of Luke Skywalker from the lost 1986 toy line "The Epic Continues". 

Star Wars toys ended in 1985 and Kenner was desperate to keep the line going with what would have been one of the first Expanded Universe "storylines".  However Lucasfilm (george) was not interested in keeping it going (george was sick of Star Wars and wanted it to end already, that's why Leia is Luke's sister). 

The basic idea is that a new villian ("old" villian) from the Clone Wars, named "Atha Prime", appears after the Empire is defeated along with Grand Moff Tarkin (who somehow survived the first Death Star) and launches a Clone Army against the Rebellion. 

Numerous kit bashed figures and vehicles were planned but as mentioned before, at that point Lucas hated Star Wars.  I've drawn pictures of Luke Skywalker before based on some of my favorite action figures and the notion hit me like lightning today that in a way I could "play" with this lost toy line by drawing it using the old concept art. So it started with Luke in "Jedi Armor" then eventually moved to Han with his "Heroic Attire" (a metal chest plate and big honkin' Medal), to a "Mongo Beefhead Tribesman" (a squidhead figure with his head cut off, turned upwards and with Hammerhead arms). After awhile it started looking like a mini poster.  The mess at the top was an attempt to doodle Atha Prime's head before I started to lose interest.  It's rough and a little sloppy but it was fun.

I adore this lost toyline and every now and then I plot ways to convince Hasbro to go through with it even partially.  As a kid who had to wait ten to fifteen years for new Star Wars toys to appear in the world (first as Bendems) I would have loved it.  

I can sometimes pretend that it exists already as over the years Hasbro & Kenner have released versions of some of the figures. Atha Prime was based on concept art for the Imperial Guards which was used in the Dark Empire comic series for the Imperial Sentinel and released in the Expanded Universe series of figures.  Grand Moff Tarkin was released for the first time in the 90s and because of Lucas' prequels there are plenty of clones to choose from. The more flashy skirted ones I often use to "fake" the line on my shelf.  

Recently I've been considering buying extra Power of the Force 2 figures of Squidhead (Tessek), Mowma Nadon (Hammerhead) and Zuckuss to make a custom Mongo Beefhead Tribesman.  If you want to know more about vehicles and other figures (and an awesome playset) that were planned you can find articles out there. Including where I originally read about it in the 90s in an issue of Star Wars Galaxy Magazine #2.