Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Star Wars: Previewing Dark Horse Comics New Mini-Series

The Star Wars is a new 8-issue comic mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics.  It is an adaptation of George Lucas' 1974 rough draft of what would eventually become Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.

Character names, settings and themes may be familiar but this is definitely it's own story and I for one am very excited to get a chance to see this series.  It is written by Lucasfilm executive editor and author J.W. Rinzler with artwork by Mike Mayhew.

Looks a bit like George doesn't he?

Starkiller is a pretty cool name. 

Darth Vader, 95% less melted.

I don't think Leia would kiss that.

Is that Maisie Williams?

Gather around and let Grandpa tell you a little story about the early days of the Internet.  When dial-up modems ruled the day and AOL was just beginning to hit it's stride the Internet was very much a textual creature.  When one picture took 5 minutes to download this makes a lot of sense and forget about instant HD video streaming.  One of the first things I remember "finding" on the Internet was a seemingly legitimate early draft of Star Wars.  At this point I can't remember what version it was, but I clearly remember carefully printing it  out and putting it in it's own special binder.  Star Wars was such compelling story that even as a child I was voracious for any bit of information that would give me greater insight into the story and the mythology that George Lucas had crafted.

In Dark Horse's announcement of the project, J.W. Rinzler the series' writer talks about stumbling upon the script,

“While researching in the Lucasfilm Archives I’ve found many treasures—but one which truly astounded me was George’s rough draft for The Star Wars. His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read—mind blowing,” said writer J.W. Rinzler. “While working with George on another book project, I once asked if we could adapt his rough draft. He was hesitant. Years later, with Dark Horse’s invaluable help, we showed him a few drawn and colored pages of what it might look like. He gave us the okay.”

Series editor Randy Stradley seems to have been as captivated as I was by the script.
“I’m not sure where I first read about The Star Wars—it was years and years ago—but the idea of Luke Skywalker being an older Jedi General, and Han Solo being a six-foot-tall lizard, turned my Star Wars fan brain on its side. I always assumed this would be one of those stories that would be ‘lost to history,’ so getting to work on bringing it to life is kinda like a dream come true.”
Though I think series artist Mike Mayhew may sum it up best in his comments to USA Today when he simply says, ''this is the greatest 'what if?' story ever in comics."

From what we have seen of the series so far by way of panel artwork there is a very captivating visual style being employed by Mayhew that I think is going to look absolutely gorgeous in print as well as on digital devices.  Feast your eyes on a few more images.

Fighter-sized Star Destroyers


Is that Emperor Palpatine or Ming?

Not Darth Vader, but still pretty scary.

The Space Fortress
The USA Today also has a trailer up for the series which you can see below.

The Star Wars #1 will be released on September 4, 2013 with cover art by Nick Runge, with a variant cover by Jan Duursema, and an Ultravariant cover by Doug Wheatley. The Star Wars #2 will be released on October 2, 2013 and both are available for pre-order now.
The Star Wars #1

The Star Wars #2

Below is what would have been the opening crawl to The Star Wars, click on it to read a text file of the script.

A sea of stars is broken by the vast blue surface of the planet, Utapau. Five small moons slowly drift into view from the far side of the planet. The main titles are followed by a roll-up:
Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu
were the most feared warriors in the universe.
For one hundred thousand years, generations of
Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards
of the emperor. They were the chief architects of
the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded
the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial
equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift.
Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct.
One by one they have been hunted down and
destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a
ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the
Knights of Sith.
A small silver spacecraft emerges from behind one of the Utapau moons. The deadly little fightercraft speeds past several of the moons, until it finally goes into orbit around the fourth moon...
SOURCES: USA TODAY and Darkhorse.com

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