About five months ago, Dark Horse announced that they would be releasing a comic book adaptation of George Lucas’ original screenplay for ‘Star Wars’ from 1974. However, back then, it was known as ‘The Star Wars’ and it featured some very different elements from the film that generations have come to know and love. But now we get to see just how different it is from the version that hit theaters since we’ll be getting the whole story in this eight-issue limited series.
In this first issue, the stage is set by the comic book equivalent of the opening crawl. From there we meet Kane Starkiller, an older Jedi master who is training his sons to carry on the Jedi legacy. We also meet the Empire and their key players, including Darth Vader, who are determined to wipe the world of Jedi. So, to preserve their ancient way, Starkiller seeks out General Luke Skywalker to train his son, Annikin. But before the three of them can dwell on the reason behind this request, a fight is rapidly approaching their front door.
So far, things are pretty interesting with this book. I mean, it’s a lot of talking heads, but it sets the scene quite nicely for what’s to come next. We’re introduced to, like the recap page says, “an evil Empire, a young, would-be Jedi, an older Jedi Knight who mentors the boy, a Princess in need of rescue, and a father who is more machine than man”. Basically, we have the same building blocks for the story that we’re used to, but someone has just assembled them in a different way. Not bad. Just different. That’s why I would suggest doing your best to not approach this comic as a ‘Star Wars’ book so that you’re not so hung up on the details that you know already.
After taking that approach to ‘The Star Wars’, I’d say that one of the next hurdles to overcome is the names of the characters. I mean, they’re not all bad like Governor Hoedaack, but Annikin and Kane Starkiller is a little on the nose. That’s probably why those names were eliminated from the final draft.
But after getting past those small details, ‘The Star Wars’ is a pretty fun sci-fi comic. If I had no prior knowledge about how the story actually turned out, I think I’d just as interested and invested in how this story ends as I am now. But seeing as I am a big fan of the ‘Star Wars’ movies, I’m definitely into riding this thing out because it’s essentially the highest profile ‘What If?’ story ever and I want to see how it might have ended if Lucas stuck with this version of the story.
THE STAR WARS #1
Written by J.W. Rinzler
Art by Mike Mayhew & Rain Beredo
Cover by Nick Runge