April 1st is always a hard day for news sites. Sure, we can have some fun by putting out news like this or this, but it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between real news and jokes. Because this news came out on April Fools’ Day, I was hesitant to run with this story, but after receiving official confirmation that it is indeed the real deal, I feel better about going with it now.

Everyone knows the story of ‘Star Wars’, even people who have never seen the movies, but did you know that George Lucas’ original idea for the first film was much different than what audiences saw in 1977? The press release from Dark Horse Comics sent out yesterday explains the whole thing best:

Three years before his 1977 film, George Lucas put down on paper his first story set in a galaxy far, far away—a tale of fantastic adventures, daring escapes, “lazer swords,” romance, and monsters. A story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo, and evil Sith Knights. The screenplay was titled ‘The Star Wars’!

There are very few fans out there in the world who have looked upon this version of the story, but author J.W. Rinzler has done extensive research on this version of the story and has written about it in his book, ‘The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film’. Now, he’s teaming up with Dark Horse to produce an eight-issue comic book mini-series that adapts the rough-draft original screenplay to show where the galaxy far, far away first began. Rinzler will pen the script and Mike Mayhew of ‘Avengers’ will provide the art.

‘Star Wars’ editor Randy Stradley commented on the upcoming series by calling it “a dream come true” while revealing some details about the story:

“I’m not sure where I first read about ‘The Star Wars’—it was years and years ago—but the idea of Luke Skywalker being an older Jedi General, and Han Solo being a six-foot-tall lizard, turned my ‘Star Wars’ fan brain on its side. I always assumed this would be one of those stories that would be ‘lost to history,’ so getting to work on bringing it to life is kinda like a dream come true.”

Maybe I’m a bad ‘Star Wars’ fan, but I’ve never heard of this before and it’s pretty wild. It’ll be interesting to see on paper just how this all plays out and it’ll definitely be fun to compare to the version that ended up being released for generations to enjoy. It’s also interesting to note that this series is being published by Dark Horse and not by Marvel, the in-house comic book company at Lucasfilms’ new home at Disney. When the sale went through late last year, it was assumed that all things ‘Star Wars’ would be moved over to Disney-owned companies, but it appears that Dark Horse’s time with the ‘Star Wars’ universe isn’t up just yet. One has to wonder how much further they’ll be allowed to go before things get moved over to the House of Mouse like ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ seems to be doing.

If you’re interested in checking out ‘The Star Wars’, the first issue of the series hits shelves in September. Until then, here’s a preview of the artwork that we’ll be seeing thanks to Bleeding Cool and the first page of issue one from the press release: