Review: The first issue of ‘The Star Wars’ comic delights, fascinates, and intrigues

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thestarwars_Doug_WheatleyStar Wars is perhaps one of the most iconic modern titles. Even if you’ve never seen any of the movies, you probably know a great deal about the plot, characters, and music. So when Dark Horse announced that they were going to publish George Lucas’ original vision for the story, I think many people both in and out of the fandom were intrigued. But there seemed to be two huge problems for it to overcome. Either it wouldn’t different enough or it would be so different we wouldn’t recognize our beloved Universe at all.  Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail about this first issue without giving away a ton of wonderful reveals as old, new, and mixed up characters make their entrances. So for now, here’s just some big picture thoughts.

The first thing that really delighted me about this original Star Wars story idea is the way it represents a blend of both trilogies. I think we as fans often think of the first three as an organic whole with the newer movies tacked on. However, clearly many of the ideas for the prequels were present when Lucas wrote the original script. We see names and even characterizations that never made it into the final script but would reappear later in the other movies, the Clone Wars, and even the books and comics.

1375820735000-COVER-NO-2-THE-STAR-WARS-COMICS-jy-1297-1308061628_3_4Speaking of comics, when I first heard about this project, I was a bit skeptical. Sure getting to know “what might have been” sounded like fun, but why not just publish the script? There are many Star Wars fans who don’t read the comics…why would you deliberately exclude them? Having read this first issue though, it was a brilliant idea. Despite the hundreds of EU novel, when you think Star Wars, you generally think of a visual medium. The books work because they piggyback off the movies. We all know what Luke Skywalker looks like. However, these comics are the first time we’re meeting the original General Skywalker. And frankly, without pictures to tell the story, I think we’d all just be imagining an older Mark Hamill. This is a real case of the medium complimenting the project perfectly. When these are bound together as a single volume, that’s going to be a book all Star Wars fans want on their shelf regardless of whether or not they’re a comics person.

starwars3As for the originality…spoilers, Sweetie! Let’s just say that everyone you know and love is there after a fashion. The Star Wars flare we all cherish flows through this variation nearly as much as it did the final product; it’s just radically different. And I really, really hope that we start to see Darth Vader costumes based on this.

Will the rest of the series be as good? That, and few very major characters, have yet to be seen. But I have very high hopes for the rest of the run. Dark Horse really struck on something amazing here that I think will go beyond just the big fans. When this series is finished, I’m sure many literary scholars are going to spend hours comparing the differences, discussing why they were made, and if they made it better. Starting next week, I’ll be doing a little of that as well once I feel we’re moving out of the spoiler territory.

So did any of you pick up your copy today? Is this too different for comfort or do you enjoy this glimpse into an alternate Star Wars reality?

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