Dark Horse’s “The Star Wars”

Any of you out there who are familiar with the way writing works (and since I assume almost all of us have lived through middle school) know that sometimes, a work can take multiple scripts to perfect. Whether it be something a simple as a note to a roommate or something as involved as a movie franchise that takes on a life of its own and becomes a decades-spanning cultural phenomenon, sometimes the writer needs to make a change here and a tweak there.

Hell, even I do it for articles here, and let me be the first to tell you that my reviews are definitely not long, elaborate works of art. This will be a twenty minute ordeal, tops. Trust me.

Regardless, even the greatest works of art went through multiple revisions before becoming the vision you know today, and the crown jewel of the nerd, Star Wars, is no different.

Lucas began writing the first draft of what he was then calling The Star Wars WAY before it was even feasible for him to make it, and in the time that past until 1977, George made some pretty huge changes in to the screenplay. Not that that’s a bad thing, just the natural progression of such a product. For quite some time, the first draft of Lucas’s Star Wars was not widely available to the public.

This week, that all changed.

Star Wars cover

The newest title in Dark House’s corner of the market, The Star Wars is comic adaptation of George Lucas’s first draft of the movie of the same name. Complete with Annikin Starkiller, an older Luke Skywalker, and a somewhat-lizard Han Solo, The Star Wars is the Star Wars that never was.

This is not the Luke Skywalker you are looking for...

This is not the Luke Skywalker you are looking for…

I knew that this draft was supposedly radically different from what I first saw in the early summer of 1996, but I had no clue exactly how different. I’ve been racking my brain for the best way to describe it. It’s not enough like the movies to be considered a bad fanfic, and it’s not so far removed to be considered some strange Expanded Universe stuff that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what we are used to seeing. It actually walks a very fine line between the two.

The Starkiller family: Annikin in the background, his father, and his younger Deak who... well, don't worry about him. He's not around long.

The Starkiller family: Annikin in the background, his father, and his younger Deak who… well, don’t worry about him. He’s not around long.

The best way to describe The Star Wars is this: imagine you have a friend who hasn’t seen Star Wars. I’m aware that might be impossible to conceive, but stick with me. Imagine that you got really drunk and tried to explain the original movie to your fake friend that had never seen Star Wars. You’re doing a terrible job, even though you’ve seen it so many times in your life. You keep mixing up details and getting names almost right. Now imagine that your friend was required to recreate the movies as best they could based on your account. This friend is a really good writer, so what they put down is really solid and definitely enjoyable, but it’s almost nothing like the movie you know and love.

That’s The Star Wars. That’s exactly what it is.

Going into that knowing this may help the experience. I know what I was expecting, and it was nothing like what I had in mind. The writing is solid, and the art is definitely some of the better I have seen from Dark Horse. The title does has its downfalls, mainly steaming from this stodgy notion of the time before the war that did nothing but bog down the prequels. Still, The Star Wars is not to be missed by any fan of the movies.

Regardless, this one isn’t to be missed. It’s actually one of the first Star Wars I have really enjoyed, and I’m excited to see where it will go next and exactly how it will fit in with the original film.

 

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2 thoughts on “Dark Horse’s “The Star Wars”

  1. I think that the influence of Japanese cinema of the ’50s and ’60s that so inspired Lucas is much more prevalent in this version. Oh, and the Flash Gordon vibe is kicked up to damn near eleven. Thanks for this. I had no idea it existed.

    • No problem. I was just excited to final catch a glimpse of the ORIGINAL original that’s been hanging around for all these years. And you’re right, those influences weigh much more heavily on this draft than in the film we know. It’s very interesting to see the evolution of the film as a whole from what we finally see here.

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