A look at the first issue of eight telling George Lucas’ original vision for The Star Wars….
It’s not the Star Wars universe you know and love….
That’s probably the easiest way to describe the first issue of The Star Wars, which was released in comic book stores and online everyone on September 4.
Dark Horse Comics has released the first issue of an eight-issue run that will chronicle George Lucas’ original vision for Star Wars that he wrote back in 1974 before several revisions were made for the eventual film made and released in 1977.
Teasers for the book were released weeks ago with the basic story about Star Wars being the same, but many of the characters and their histories changing quite dramatically. Luke Skywalker is now a grizzled old war veteran. Darth Vader is still a bad guy but not nearly the mechanical overlord we came to know him as in the films, and Han Solo is a giant lizard.
The first issue of the series released this week starts to tell part of the backstory about the Jedi Knights and their rebellion against the Galactic Empire.
Without giving away certain plot points, it’s easy to see that while Lucas abandoned this original story for Star Wars, he managed to pick up some of the central themes in this early script with his work in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Now don’t let that scare you into thinking The Star Wars will evolve into a poorly written, misguided mess like the film did, but the elements of the storyline are similar and it’s now easy to tell where Lucas picked up his stories for the Star Wars prequels.
The first issue really just sets the groundwork for what’s to come next.
The Jedi have by all intents and purposes been wiped out after attempting to overthrow the Emperor and his new Galactic Empire. General Luke Skywalker leads a small band of rebels on the planet Aquilae, which is the last system still holding on the Empire’s takeover of the entire universe.
By issue’s end we’ve met Kane Starkiller, whose son Annikin is proclaimed to be the future of the Jedi’s and needs to be trained by Skywalker to truly reach his potential and help extend the Jedi bloodline to a new generation of warriors. There’s one big reveal at the end of the issue that will make you understand a little bit more where the concept of Darth Vader came from, although in the issue the revelation has nothing to do with Vader himself.
Vader’s storyline in the issue is small, but he’s there as a normal, walking and talking man and no mechanical encumbrances like he had in the film series. Vader is hell bent on finding and eliminating the last of the Jedi warriors, and that’s going to lead him and the Emperor to Aquilae to snuff out Skywalker and his band of rebels.
The first issue is really just a skeleton for what’s likely coming in the next few issues. Writer J.W. Rinzler takes Lucas’ script and at least for the first issue just starts to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series. Issue one, at the heart of it all, is really just an introduction to some of the characters that will be featured in the story, but there are some interesting back stories worth reading to see how they will be framed throughout the series as well as archetypes that eventually became the Star Wars characters in the movies.
The really remarkable part is what was referenced earlier about how Lucas obviously kept this script around and revived pieces of it for his prequel trilogy. The story isn’t necessarily the same, but as you read through issue one there are definitely plot points and character elements that should quickly pop off the page and remind you of The Phantom Menace. Thankfully, however, Jar-Jar Binks is nowhere to be found (and hopefully never is found).
The Star Wars should be a great history lesson for fans clamoring to know where Lucas came up with the ideas he created that ended up being a cultural phenomenon. With director J.J. Abrams being as tight lipped as anybody in Hollywood right now about the production and casting surrounding Star Wars: Episode VII, The Star Wars comic book is a great way to stay enveloped in this universe for now.
For The Star Wars issue one we’d rate it 3 out 5 on the Louis Skolnick scale. A good issue to set the stage for what’s coming next but definitely an integral piece of the puzzle if you want to know what to expect in the next 7 issues:
The Star Wars issue one from Dark Horse Comics is available in stores now.