The Star Wars – The First New Hope


Image Source: USA Today

Some of you in the Star Wars or wider sci-fi community may have heard about Dark Horse’s eight issue limited series The Star Wars, a comic book adaption of the original rough draft for Star Wars.

Please note: I am not a fanboy of the extended universe, care little for the Clone Wars continuity, and barely tolerate the prequel trilogy when compared to the perfection that is the original trilogy.

That being said…

These books are kind of awesome.

So far there’ve only been two issues, and I plowed through them both in half an hour or so. Suffice it to say this is NOTHING like the movie you know and love. Here are just a few examples:

  • “May the force be with you” is “May the force of others be with you all”
  • Luke Skywalker is this old dude


Image Source: Wired

  • R2D2 can talk (he kind of winges on actually)!
  • And he and C3Po start on the Death Star
  • Alderann is not Princess Leia’s home, but the center of the galactic empire
  • Jedi are Jedi-Bendu
  • Annikan is not Darth Vader
  • The Death Star (which has yet to actually be called that), is pointier and more susceptible to X-Wing fire. Actual hull breaches with storm troopers being sucked into space.
  • And apparently Han Solo is a green alien but we haven’t seen him yet.

The point is very different story. I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons:

1) As a writer, it’s interesting to see Lucas’ starting point, knowing where he would end the story. It’s surprising the level of character and location changes, but it just shows that good writers are willing to make those kinds of changes if it makes the story better. I’m working on a significant location change with Surreality, but nothing on the level of this story.

2) I like different takes on the same universe, and the same story. It’s why I can love Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness for different reasons (yes he did just talk about Star Trek and Star Wars in the same post, get over it!). I’m also a big fan of manga and anime, and especially love if a series I like drastically diverges from the manga. That way I get two complete stories, instead of one story told two different ways. And this doesn’t feel like an “episode” in the Star Wars universe, which I’m not really looking for, but an actual complete reinterpretation. Maybe this a bit biased, but I expect more epic arc from Star Wars than I do from Star Trek, and so I’m disappointed by media that is essentially Luke, Han and Chewie go on an adventure. There’s a reason this is a saga.

3) And it should be noted the artwork is fantastic. Comic art can wildly vary, even in the same series, but Dark Horse really brought their game on this one:


Image Source: Following The Nerd

Incidentally, that’s Leia in the top right. The character’s especially are very detailed. And the comic is printed on great paper, thick glossy stock.

So even if you’re not a comics nerd, this one might be worth the read. So stop by your local comic’s shop (mine’s The Laughing Ogre), and pick up these issues while you can. If you’re not the month to month type, these probably will be collected in a trade sometime next year, but I don’t feel like waiting on this one.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Star Wars – The First New Hope

  1. Adam Borsay

    One of my favorite things about the development of story into “movie” is how significant portions of the story need to be adapted to be compatible with the story telling limitations of filming/budget. Often, these constraints lead to tighter plot development and more linear progression. Not that “movie” automatically is better than story, but, sometimes these forced constraints lead to moments of pure genius.

    For instance, the epic nature and experience of the original trilogies Death Star is much more powerful than a more limited fire power susceptible “pointy” death star. I am betting that due to lack of technology and budget scenes like exploding portions of Death Star and storm troopers being sucked into space needed to be reimagined.

    There are so many iconic film scenes that had to be created on the fly due to these types of restraints. Often artists and writers tend to think that having no limits allows them to be more creative and create better “art”, but sometimes having to discipline yourself to tighter story telling creates the higher quality in final production.

    Anyone who has ever tried their hand at some real writing knows the dreaded process of peer/professional editing. Everytime you are told “this doesn’t work” it feels like someone has asked you to disown a part of you. But it is often then objective outside voices that help you see where what you think is happening inside your mind doesn’t really translate itself well to your intended audience.

    Thanks for an insightful commentary on one of my favorite genres and specific universes!

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