“A longer time ago, in a galaxy even further away…”
That’s the tag line for the most recent Star Wars inspired mini-series From Dark Horse Comics, the publisher who’s been releasing Star Wars inspired comic books for…well, for a long time. Now that Disney has swallowed Lucasfilm, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with this hot property and who ends up publishing it in this form. Marvel Comics, another Disney entity, is a good bet.
But that’s the future. We’re talking about a story that was “a longer time ago”.
How long ago, you ask? Follow me after the jump and I’ll tell you, padawan learner.
Written by: J.W. Rinzler
Illustrated by: Mike Mayhew
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Sit down. Get comfortable. Clear your mind of all questions but one: how “longer ago” is this new The Star Wars comic book?
The answer to that question goes back years, possibly many more than your crude matter has breathed life on this planet. It goes back to before you curdled at the ridiculous diction heard in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith or the shame and disappointment you felt waiting hours in line for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. The answer goes back further still than that hollow feeling left behind after taking your wide-eyed child to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Yes. Before all that. Before the original trilogy, too. Ah, that original trilogy. A space opera for boys and girls and grown men. And some grown women. Perfect in every way…
The Star Wars is, in fact, the very beginning. It’s something that could have been; something that grew into something else entirely. Dark Horse Comics’ 8-issue mini-series publication, The Star Wars is the first authorized comic book adaptation of George Lucas’s rough-draft screenplay of what would eventually become a pop-culture religion for people around the world. But things are different here, in this story, than what you remember.
Pretty much everyone knows the tale that writer-director George Lucas wrote a sci-fi treatment for a potential film that was so enormous in scope that it just could not be made. So he took a piece of it and turned it into 1977’s Star Wars starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. The rest is history.
After spawning two sequels in the 1980’s and then a bunch of “prequel” stories early in this century, Dark Horse has gone back to the source material, presenting us with what could have been, the flames that gave rise to an unprecedented pop culture fire: that original first-raft treatment. Annikin Starkiller is our hero, General Luke Skywalker is a wizened Jedi Knight and Han Solo is a space alien! You might still recognize Darth Vader in this tale, but he looks a little different and he’s got a Knight of the Sith by his side. Oh! And Stormtroopers carry lazerswords instead of blasters!
It all sounds both fresh and known, doesn’t it? Come and discover what Star Wars might have been if the first draft of that unfilmable script got made. Come and discover The Star Wars again, for the first time! Make the run to your local comic book shop and pick up The Star Wars #1.
“A longer time ago” is here today!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!