The GeeksverseREVIEW | The Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse)

REVIEW | The Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse)
Published on Thursday, September 5, 2013 by
Much longer ago, in a galaxy even further away….George Lucas’ original screenplay for Star Wars finally sees the light of day.

The Star Wars #1 of 8 (Dark Horse, $3.99)

  • swt1p0Writer: J. W. Rinzler
  • Artist: Mike Mayhew
  • Colorists: Rain Beredo, Brad Anderson
  • Cover: Nick Runge; variant covers by Jan Duursema and Doug Wheatley
  • Publisher’s summary: Before Star Wars, there was The Star Wars! This is the authorized adaptation of George Lucas’s rough-draft screenplay of what would eventually become a motion picture that would change the world. Annikin Starkiller is the hero… Luke Skywalker is a wizened Jedi general… Han Solo is a big green alien… and the Sith… Well, the Sith are still the bad guys. High adventure and derring-do from longer ago, in a galaxy even further away!
  • NOTE: The reviewed comic was provided by the publisher.

Very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

I’m a big Star Wars fan, but more so a fan of the Expanded Universe than of the things George Lucas added to the original trilogy via the prequels and TV’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Still, my interest was piqued when this project was announced several months back. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the conceit of the project, The Star Wars is based on the Lucas-penned original 1974 rough draft screenplay that eventually became the basis for 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. For fans, it’s a unique opportunity to see what might have been had the screenplay not gone through numerous (and rather drastic) rewrites in the lead up to the film’s production.

Would it have been better? Maybe, maybe not. One thing’s for sure, however—it would have been quite different.

It’s tough to talk about this without giving away spoilers, but I’ll try.

You can see so many things that made their way into Star Wars: A New Hope, and even stuff that didn’t see the light of day until just recently with The Clone Wars. Even things that have always been something of a mystery, or considered a mistake, like “Bail Antilles” (for some reason a name that popped up that is a combination of two characters: Bail Organa and Wedge Antilles), now take on new meaning and we can see where they originated from.

In some ways, I can see why the original screenplay was rewritten. It doesn’t have the same epic adventure feel that Star Wars: A New Hope has. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, because it’s not. Star Wars: A New Hope will be a tough movie to beat, no matter how good the original rough draft might be. There are few movies that come close to the space opera blockbuster perfection of Star Wars: A New Hope, and I have a hard time imagining The Star Wars achieving the same kind of critical and commercial reception.

There’s a lot to like here and I would like to see this version of the far, far away galaxy get explored more. Maybe by a different creative team?

I’ve never been a huge fan of Mike Mayhew’s work. Technically, his stuff is solid, but there always seems to be some little thing in his linework that keeps me from enjoying it to the degree that I should. In The Star Wars #1, this is readily apparent in the rendering Annikin Starkiller’s hair. The outline of everyone else’s hair is rendered with a black line, but not so with Annikin. It’s just a tiny little thing, but I find it oddly distracting, and this is something that always seems to be in Mayhew’s work.

As for Rinzler’s script, well it’s hard to tell what is his dialogue, what is his pacing, and what was lifted directly from the 1974 screenplay. [Those of you who want to do a scene-by-scene comparison of the screenplay and the comic can read the screenplay here—ed.] I will say that there was a little too much cross-cutting from one scene to another for my taste.

Writing and artwise, The Star Wars might not be the best thing out there, but because of what it is and its legacy, it’s definitely worth checking out for Star Wars fans.

Oh, and we have yet to see the green alien Han Solo appear in the miniseries…

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