Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review: THE STAR WARS #1

DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

SCRIPT: J.W. Rinzler
ART: Mike Mayhew
COLORS: Rain Beredo
LETTERS: Michael Heisler
COVER: Nick Runge
VARIANT COVERS:  Jan Duursema, Douglas Wheatley
EDITOR: Randy Stradley
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2013)

Apparently, filmmaker George Lucas had ideas for what would become his film, Star Wars, years before he completed the 1977 Oscar-winning, box office record-setting movie.  In May 1974, Lucas completed the first-draft full screenplay, entitled The Star Wars, the first of four drafts.

Dark Horse Comics has initiated a comic book adaptation of that 1974 screenplay, and the result is The Star Wars, a new eight-issue Star Wars comic book miniseries.  The creative team on The Star Wars is J.W. Rinzler (writer and script adaptation), Mike Mayhew (artist), Rain Beredo (colors), and Michael Heisler (letters).

The Star Wars #1 opens after the recent “Great Rebellion,” in which the Empire has given way to the “New Galactic Empire.”  On the fourth moon of Utapau live Kane Starkiller and his two sons, Annikin and Deak.  Events force great change, which present to Annikin Starkiller the chance to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Meanwhile, the Emperor sets his sights on the Aquilaean System, the last of the independent systems.

Of all the Star Wars comic books that I’ve ever read, The Star Wars is the one that I think will have the least appeal to readers who are either not interested in Star Wars or are only casually interested.  Still, it is good to get this visual and graphical interpretation of early Star Wars, which makes The Star Wars the comic book equivalent of a curio-piece.

If anything The Star Wars makes it obvious how much influence Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom” book series had on George Lucas.  In fact, Mike Mayhew’s art, with Rain Beredo’s colors, recall the magazine illustration and pulp art from the first half of the twentieth-century that Lucas says influenced his storytelling.  As of now, Mayhew and Beredo are good reasons to keep reading.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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