Star Wars, as we know it, is not exactly what George Lucas had in mind when he wrote the original rough draft screenplay for the first film. In fact, it was a darker, more intense galaxy far, far away. Now, decades later, Dark Horse Comics, along with J.W. Rinzler, Mike Mayhew, Rain Beredo and their creative team, have brought to life, The Star Wars. This limited, 10 issue series, is the comic book adaptation of George Lucas’ original vision and it’s really exciting so far! What’s important to remember is that The Star Wars is not the Star Wars we’ve all known and loved for decades. It is based on the original rough draft screenplay George Lucas wrote. The characters are different. The ships are different. Even the galaxy’s political state is different. Do not go into this series expecting to see Luke, Han and Chewie chasing Stormtroopers because you will be disappointed. With that said, this is a bold, exciting series. So keep reading to see what I think of the first issue! As the tagline for the issue states, “Longer ago, in a galaxy even further away….”
The first issue begins with the Skywalker family. They are on the run because the Empire is still hunting down the last of the Jedi-Bendu. Meanwhile, the emperor (who looks suspiciously like Green Lantern’s Sinestro) is planning a final attack and invasion on the last remaining free sector of space, the Aquilae system. The story is exciting, intense, creative and darker than the Star Wars we’ve come to know and love. Some of the iconic characters are present but they are twisted, different. The ships look familiar but again, don’t quite match my Star Wars galaxy. The Star Wars #1 sets up the story. We learn about the state of the galaxy, what happened to the Jedi-Bendu, who the emperor is and what type of Rebellion still exists at the edge of space. There is a bit of action but the intensity comes from the overall plot that is being developed. This issue spends a lot of time introducing characters and since they are different from the movies, we need this to happen.
The illustrations are spectacular and rival the Star Wars comic book series that takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. The detail is truly great. The character’s facial features are tightly detailed and sharp. I also find it pretty funny that Skywalker looks very much like a leaner, meaner, George Lucas but hey, I guess the guy can give his primary character a similar likeness. The comic book itself has thicker, glossier pages than most series I read. This gives it a very professional look that assists in the shine of the illustrations.
Overall, The Star Wars #1 is an interesting and compelling first issue. It paves the way for the remaining nine issues that in all, will tell George Lucas’ original story. While yes, this issue focused primarily on set up and meet and greets, this was necessary in order to ensure that we do not assume who the characters are. Just because a character has a name we are familiar with, we shouldn’t assume this character is anything like the one on the big screen. I’m excited for the next issue and hope that somewhere down the line, Dark Horse expands on this universe.
May the force of others be with you all.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR: please add J.W. Rinzler as the author for this series.