20 Comments

  1. Non-Star-Wars-fan here – but I think that’s his mouth (and the black-with-a-ring around it is his eye). Probably about as accurate to the movie image as Hans is – that is, recognizable despite “that’s not the way it looks!”.

  2. I expect the main “humor” is about “Han shot first”.

    As for the follow-up questions, I think you need to rewatch that scene. That’s a reasonable depiction of a couple of the aliens’ faces, including the one playing a reed instrument.

  3. The one on the left, I think that is a poor drawing of Ponda Baba…His chin looks like, well, a scrotum…not a butt. Talk about timing, I was at a thrift store today and saw a Ponda Baba collectable with detachable arm. As far as the main question, that is the way it happened in the movie, except Han Solo didn’t do the bragging shtick. Not sure what the joke is other than a this is how it could have been if Solo was more of a punk. Reminds me of a Robot Chicken treatment.

  4. I’ve always said, if you want to stay topical go with a humorless reference to a film old enough to be hitting menopause.

  5. I was going to say that there is some Star Wars nerd who will know the name of A$$face Man and alien bandmember. It appears John Kowalkowski has disappointed me for the last time.

    Nothing more than a “Han shot first” joke. I guess that joke MIGHT be that if it were like that in the movie, George Lucas would have had a hard time retconning it. However, given how laughably bad “Greedo shoots first” was, I’m sure he still would have released it, just dubbed the dialogue.

  6. The joke is that Han is a massive dork, despite all his attempts to brand himself as a suave operator.

  7. I thought the gag might have been Solo pointing out that he fired a quippy response to Greedo before firing his blaster.

    Ponda Baba’s arm had been sliced off by the time this occurred and he had likely left Chalmun’s Cantina. Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes do stop playing for a beat and look over after Kenobi slices off Baba’s arm, but they keep on playing (offscreen) when Han shoots Greedo. According to Wookieepedia, the Modal Nodes member depicted is most likely fanfar player Tedn Dahai.

  8. Heh. By the Hounds of Synchronicity, I just read a piece in today’s Times (the London one) about John Williams, composer of much including this. He didn’t think Star Wars was going to be all that big a deal, and here we are 42 years later nerding on (or not) about it 42 years later.

    ‘Spielberg introduced Williams to Lucas, who hired him for Star Wars. Williams remembers seeing rough cuts of the film at the stage where black and white dogfight sequences from old Second World War movies were standing in for the climactic raid on the Death Star. “We all thought it was a children’s movie that would be great for three weekends and then we’d move on to something else,” Williams says. Hardly anyone predicted it would be a hit, and in any case, “George never gave us any inclination there might be a second film”.’

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/john-williams-the-best-film-composer-in-the-galaxy-l7jx0f8gq though it is behind a £wall.

  9. Yeah, I’m sure Williams would not have quite as blatantly ripped off Erich Korngold’s theme from King’s Row had he thought this was going to be his most famous composition… To be fair, Lucas told him he wanted something that sounded like King’s Row, and by golly, he got it….

  10. As always, the explanation of Pop Culture Shock Therapy is “Doug Bratton is unaware that we expect that a single-panel webcomic in a cartoonish style that references pop culture would typically involve humor, so are confused when it doesn’t.”
    If you imagine PCST things done in a New Yorker cartoon style, or a Roy Lichtenstein style, or a noir style, and hanging in a gallery in Brooklyn somewhere, then they sort of seem like the kind of pretentious pop-art that hipsters pretend to enjoy.

  11. I actually liked this panel, but less so for the (minimal) humor than for a nice, if indeterminate(*) bit of sarcastic criticism. As billytheskink pointed out above, Han Solo delivered that quip in the original version of the movie, immediately before he toasted Greedo. By interpolating a “provoking” shot from Greedo in between, Lucas was attempting to turn Solo into an “honorable” character who would not kill without justification. Unfortunately, this retroactive reshaping of the original script completely defused the humorous effect of Solo’s comment. Even worse, Lucas later added a totally superfluous scene between Solo and Jabba the Hutt in front of the Millennium Falcon, in which the cantina scene is mentioned again, further undermining the original nature (and humor) of the one-sided gunfight.
    P.S. (*) – This is not the first PCST panel that suffers from the lack of a date. With no way to tell just when it was (first) published, it seemed charitable to assume that it is older than it looks, and therefore not quite as anachronistic a gripe as it might otherwise seem.

  12. I thought it was funny. It’s a play on the whole Han/Greedo shot first non-issue. This makes it utterly clear, Han not only shot first but *expected* it to be seen as something really cool.

    If Han had done this there wouldn’t be any room for doubt.

  13. John Kowalkowski: “The one on the left, I think that is a poor drawing of Ponda Baba…His chin looks like, well, a scrotum…not a butt.”

    Oh, you mean like him . . . ?

  14. The “Flying” song from Superman (“Can you read my mind”) uses the theme of Richard Strauss’ “Tod und Verklarung” or “Death and Transfiguration”. John Williams wrote an orchestral piece, “To Seiji”, for Seiji Ozawa. When Ozawa performed it with the Boston Symphony, he included “Death and Transfiguration” on the same program. Just a coincidence? We’ll never know.

  15. A few months back, I got an e-book from the library that was an old collection of short stories called Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina. Most of the characters that you see in the cantina scene have an individual story..

  16. OK , so I got the wrong guy….I said it looked like a poor drawing of…that should have gave me some leeway. No need to freeze me in carbonite and send me to CDIU Bill’s for display!

  17. @ John – As Yoda was fond of saying: “Comics Don’t I Understand my favorite website is!”

  18. Bill considered calling the site “Comics I Can’t Even Try Not to Understand,” but Yoda replied “Don’t not understand or don’t not understand not; there is no ‘try.’ “

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