The Star Wars… do we need to say anything else? With every group review the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the book a score from one of the following: Buy, Borrow or Pass. After wards they’ll give a reason for their score and their thoughts in general. Here’s a blurb about the issue in case you just found out what the internet is. 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!
I probably don’t even have to put a buy on this review. Every Star Wars fan will mostly pick up this issue. Based off of George Lucas’ first script for the movie people will be going crazy over this new series. Let me go over why I love it though.
It has the same elements and vibe as the Star Wars we know. I thought maybe it would be way different. Not because of the script, but because the writers and artists could have put a whole new take on everything. I give credit to Dark Horse for making this fresh while keeping its roots. I also love the new story. Having Luke be old gives a very different view point. It keeps me interested and I feel like I don’t know the ending to this story.
I have never looked into Lucas’ first draft, so seeing these new elements and new main characters such as Annikin play out is a fun way for me to be born again into the Star Wars cult while also learning about the original script.
I think Star Wars is just one of those things either you love or hate. I hate it. The only thing I’ve ever enjoyed Star Wars-related was the Star Wars: Episode I Racer game on my Nintendo 64. I got it at Walmart for $5 when I was 4 or 5. Fast forward 14 years, and I don’t really feel any different about the series. I tried to get into the movies, both original and the newer ones, but I just don’t see the appeal. This comic, The Star Wars, is about the second closest I’m ever going to get to enjoying anything Star Wars-related. The concept of telling a rough draft for what would eventually become one of the biggest franchises known to man is an interesting one. To turn it into a comic is also a pretty great idea, and I think it was executed very well. The art is great, the story is complicated (to me at least since I barely know anything about Star Wars) but is explained well, and it ends on a notable cliffhanger. I’m going to give this a buy rating; not for me, but any fans of Star Wars should definitely pick this up.
Two conflicting feelings battled inside of me when I prepared to read The Star Wars: 1) Isn’t there enough diluted material out there to appease the fan base? And 2) I enjoy the original Ralph McQuarrie concept sketches so much that I would like to see the story illustrated. Dark Horse delivered with this comic by showing me that a little more source material wasn’t a bad thing, and that the comic book interpretation can be done—quite beautifully.
Yes, the artwork does drive the book way better than the story. Mike Mayhew captures the details of the McQuarrie concepts with a dutiful dedication to the original art. This is a well-illustrated comic.
The unfortunate issue that arises with The Star Wars is that it’s based on Lucas’ original rough draft idea. The most adept writer to the inexperienced student understands that the rough draft is a flaw-infused work in flux; editing and restructuring are inevitable. So the story has problems ranging from slow pacing to foreign concepts that aren’t fully flushed out. Fans familiar with these story elements will be giddy with excitement to see them in their rudimentary states; outsiders curious to the concepts will scratch their heads. I give this book, especially the artwork, the strongest possible recommendation to borrow it. I can’t say it’s a definitive ‘buy’, but it does need a reading.
Kevin R: BUY
In their final days with the Star Wars license, Dark Horse is beginning to branch out. Their first new title, Star Wars, is the first book to feature the classic trilogy’s characters in a good long time. Now, as a complement to this, we’ve got The Star Wars, a comic book that is based on George Lucas’ original Journal of the Whills: The Star Wars pitch from 1975 and is played quite straight.
And, y’know what? It works. This is so strange to admit, but The Star Wars is one of the few books I’ve read this year that lives up to its promise on every level. Presented here is the first of five chunks of Lucas’ pitch, in a nice breezy narrative that doesn’t wink, doesn’t poke fun. There’s absolutely no jokes, and that’s honestly the best I could ask for. Super pumped to grab the rest of the mini, and have this thing on my shelf.
Alongside “Star Wars: Rebels”, the upcoming Disney XD animated series that allegedly takes its primary influence from Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art for 'A New Hope', there seems to be a swell of nostalgia for proto-'Star Wars' sweeping the media. While Disney has a vested interest in distancing their newly acquired property from the looming frogman-shaped shadow of the prequels, the emergence of 'The Star Wars' from Dark Horse may mean that the publisher has literally done every other possible Star Wars book and needs some water to pad the franchise beer. I kid, it's a nice idea even though the execution is more or less what I anticipated.
The story is more than a little bit of a mess, this is of course based on a script that George Lucas of all people thought was unfinished, with lots of ghosts of 'The Phantom Menace' floating around in the long conversations about space politics or the confusingly large and faceless cast. The art, predictably for a book this high profile, is lovely, both unavoidably influenced by the original trilogy and imaginatively different, with a decidedly retro feel. Even down to the composition you can feel the influence of the French comics that inspired the look of 'Star Wars' and is respectfully restrained. Despite the plot, there is a little thrill to read teenaged Leia going to academy or to see words like Antilles and Alderaan in this different context, lent meaning by the weight of the universe later drafts would birth. So for the casual reader I would suggest a 'pass' but a 'buy' for the 'Star Wars' enthusiast who might find a magical charm to this experiment.
Many readers will see this title and think, “Well, this is pointless,” and to an extent, they’re right. Do we need a “Tangent Universe” take on Star Wars that’s based on a rough draft of the original story, which was most likely shelved for good reason? No, of course not. However, is this book a fun, weird little glimpse into what might have been? Oh, absolutely; and in that, I think The Star Wars deserves a buy. As comic fans, I think we’re naturally predisposed to enjoy parallel universes, and this one, which sees a reshuffling and repackaging of our favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away, is essentially just that ... and it’s kind of a blast, disorienting though it can be, given our familiarity with many of the names. The art is fucking magnificent with a sharp, grand quality and almost painted detail, and it’s just kind of cool to see what this universe could have looked like. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but this is one of the very few Star Wars books that has me intrigued, simply because I have no idea what will happen next. If you don’t take this too seriously, and withhold thinking it has uninvitedly barebacked fandom’s collected memories of the final cinematic Star Wars product, I think you’ll have some fun with this book.
Morbid curiosity alone is enough to buy this book. It doesn’t hurt that the story is interesting and yet familiar. Really the star of the show is Mike Mayhew’s fantastic interior art. I remember when Mayhew was mostly drawing covers and now he’s an incredible interior artist that provides more than just photorealistic images. His visuals bring this story to life and give it a feeling all its own. It’s not Star Wars Lite, this is like Cherry Star Wars. I’m looking forward to seeing where the differences lie and what waits for this stunning new chapter of the franchise.
Score: Buy It For The Most Part
Story: George Lucas
Script: J.W. Rinzler
Artist: Mike Mayhew
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 9/4/13