Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Star Wars: Issue 1

Last month Dark Horse began a new Star Wars comic series based on a very old Star Wars. "The Star Wars" is based on George Lucas's original script for Star Wars, a script that is very different from what we eventually saw on the screen. It is set in a galaxy that is at once familiar and completely new, as many of the names, and concepts were in an earlier form during this version of the script. 

Familiar names are on different characters, Luke Skywalker is an old Jedi General, Darth Vader has no mask, Annikin is the son of a Jedi named Starkiller. there is a Bail Antilles, and there is mention of a man named Darklighter. 

There are a lot of superficial similarities in the plot, the Empire plans to take over the last holdout Jedi planet. The Jedi used to be the guardians of the Empire, but it seems that they rebelled some time in the past and were put down by the Sith. Skywalker is the general of the remaining rebels. Leia is a young princess of the rebel planet and is heading off to college. There are even some scenes that are very familiar, an Imperial discussion about the dangers presented by the Jedi, oddly Vader is on the other side of the argument in this version. There is an early version of the pop-up Tusken Raider.

There are some call outs to the films like Annikin's brother saying "Yippee". One of the most interesting things is the artwork, which is very high quality for a comic book. There are many things that look familiar but are different like the Stardestroyers (one word in this version) which are a two man ship in this version. There is a stronger pulp feel to the visuals than in the movies.

In fact, the whole thing has a more pulp/serial feel than the final product. It really shows its planetary romance and Flash Gordon roots. Having read only one issue, it is more interesting as a "what if" exercise than as a story in its own right so far. I am looking forward to see how it develops.