Guten Tagge

Star Wars Bubblegum cards were a big deal back in the late 70s. It was one of the only ways you could get any info on the movie (not to mention really disgusting flavoured gum). There were the original blue cards, and, if you were really lucky you could find the super rare red cards as well. Researching them now, I was surprised to learn that there were a further three sets, yellow, orange and green. I don’t know whether those were actually available in the UK. Those later sets appear to have some photos I’ve never seen before, which is pretty remarkable as I’ve been obsessing over this movie for the past 35 years.

The cards always seem to have weird airbrushing on C-3PO, and the occasional bright coloured backgrounds that didn’t appear in the movie. Ultimately, the they made Star Wars seem much bigger, particularly for a kid who wouldn’t see the movie for another couple of years. Back in those days, the licensees didn’t hook up the way they do now, so we didn’t get cards featuring Expanded Universe characters, so these pics are my little gift to my five year old self. As a nerd in training, a padawan, if you will, I liked things matching up and relating to eachother.

I guess knowing that Marvel (and Alan Dean Foster’s novelization, which they drew on heavily) got Admiral Motti and General Tagge mixed up won’t get me anywhere in life. They created The House Of Tagge – the Imperial officer’s family were a bunch of aristocratic fuckers including Silas (mad scientist, “food paste” enthusiast), Domina (space nun, secret bad girl) and the head of the clan, Orman.

Wisely avoiding overusing Vader, Marvel nominated Baron Orman Tagge as the principal villain of the early years of the series. He was determined to replace Vader as The Emperor’s right hand man – presumably he didn’t know that Palpatine was a Sith (to be fair none of us did – he may haveĀ even not been at that point) – partly for his (yawn) lust for power, but partly because he held a long standing grudge against Vader. The Dark Lord had blinded Tagge for some reason – probably for talking smack about The Force – so The Baron look up the lightsaber and made it his mission to depose, then kill Vader. No prizes for guessing how that one turned out. But at least it gave Marvel a strong villain to do with as they wished, and brought a bit of Glam Rock style to a galaxy far far away.

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