The first issue of Star Wars Tales featured one of the strangest inhabitants of the Star Wars universe, a Jedi droid named Skippy.
In the 90s, Star Wars comics had a major revival with the new publisher Dark Horse Comics. A big part of its success was the departure of big-name characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa, to explore the diverse universe of the franchise. Star Wars tales # 1, an anthology published in 1999, was a great example of all the different types of stories that would emerge from this exploration.
One of the wildest and strangest stories in Star Wars tales # 1 is “Skippy the Jedi Droid”. Skippy was originally written by Peter David as a short story that was published in his “But I digress” column for Comic Book Buyer’s Guide in March 1997. David would adapt the story into a mini-comic with pencils by Martin Egeland, inks by Howard S. Shum, colors by Harold MacKinnon, and letters by Vickie Williams.
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On Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi senses the presence of two possible force users. One is Luke Skywalker, but the other potential Jedi is difficult to locate. The force user in question turns out to be Skippy, the R5-D4 droid that appeared in Star Wars: A New Hope. While working in Jabba the Hutt’s palace, Skippy became self-aware and learns that he can use force. The droid, knowing he was destined for greater things, would continue to practice and develop his strength powers until he could escape using a Jedi mind trick against the Gamorrean guards. He managed to convince them that he was not the droid they were looking for.
Skippy roamed the deserts of Tatooine for days. On the verge of shutting down, he let Jawas take him away knowing he could escape at any moment. With the Jawas, Skippy met C-3PO and R2-D2 and began to see glimpses of his destiny through his precognition of force. Soon after, Skippy and the others offer themselves up for sale to the moisture farmer, Owen Lars, and his nephew Luke Skywalker. Skippy, recognizing another force user and the destiny they would share, uses his force powers to be chosen by Uncle Owen.
At that moment, Skippy has a grim vision of the future. The entire galaxy will fall into the hands of the Empire if R2-D2 is not by Luke’s side. Skippy, make a difficult decision for the good of the galaxy and exploit his own motivator. As Skippy falls into a coma, he influences C-3PO to recommend R2-D2 over himself. Eventually, the Jedi droid is destroyed by a laser beam lost in the attack on the Jawas by stormtroopers on the trail of C-3PO and R2-D2. Skippy becomes one with the force after his death, living as part of the universe in the vein of other great Jedi warriors.
The status of the Star Wars canon has fluctuated over the years, especially after Disney acquired the franchise in 2012. Few stories had been declared non-canon before. Star Wars tales became part of the Star Wars Infinities banner, home to all the works that are not part of the main Legends timeline, which used to be the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Unlike most of the other stories in Tales, “Skippy the Jedi Droid” was never really canon. In the original Dark Horse series Star Wars tales, A character named Peeja Mobet, owner of the Peeja Mobet Holo Emporium, stated that all the stories contained within were holo-rentals of different historical precision. Peeja Mobet certainly described Skippy as one of the least accurate titles, and therefore not true Star Wars canon.
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