Comics Review: "The Star Wars" #1
- by Señor Editor, 13 September 2013
"The Star Wars" is a brand new 8-issue mini series from Dark Horse, set in everybody's favorite galaxy far, far away. Only it's not REALLY the Star Wars universe we all know. The concept for this series, scripted by J.W. Rinzler, and with art by Mike Mayhew, is that it's based on "George Lucas's original rough-draft screenplay." Well... 'rough' is right.
Some of those designs are created specifically for this comic (and approved by Lucas) and incorporate design elements of the Star Wars we know, using them to create this "prototype" Star Wars universe. Others seem to be based on Ralph McQuarries designs (like the googly-eyed Chewbacca and the droids we see on the cover, for instance).
We soon meet Annikin Starkiller, his younger brother, and their beardy dad (Kane), who wears a headdress similar to what the X-Men's Gambit wears. They are a family of Jedi-Bendu, a sect of warriors that used to be personal bodyguards to the emperor, but now are outlaws, nearly all killed by the Knights of Sith. They are attacked by a Sith, and then flee to meet with General Skywalker, Kane's old friend and a rebel against the New Empire.
This all seems like a very standard sci-fi/fantasy story, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's the many boring details that seem to slow the story down, take away from what could have been a more interesting first issue. What did you like the most about the Star Wars prequels? Was it all the talk about trade federations and various alliances between fractions that nobody really cared about? Well then you're in luck, since it seems trade federations have been on George Lucas' mind since at least 1974. These fictional politics are quite prominent in this issue and they stand in the way of the story sucking us in immediately, like it did in the final version of the script.
It doesn't help that we don't really have a good protagonist here yet, or that the villains (outside of the one, sorta cool-looking Sith at the beginning of this issue) seem really boring. There is a Darth Vader in this book, but he's a Darth Vader by name only (and as you probably already figured out, he doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Skywalkers-erm, the Starkillers). Also: this version of Star Wars seems MUCH more inspired by Flash Gordon than the "finished" story did. Just check the all Ming-ed up version of the Emperor, for starters.
So what's the verdict on "The Star Wars" #1? I would say it's something that only people who REALLY love Star Wars would be interested in checking out, but then I consider myself one of those people and I am just barely interested in what comes next. If it wasn't for the art and the designs, and the vague joy of seeing what script elements, character names and plot threads ended up being rearranged and used in the movie, I would probably skip on picking up #2.
It seemed like "The Star Wars" miniseries would be an interesting experiment, but so far it's really brought down by the very apparent "rough-draftness" of the first script it's based on. It's a weird read, I'll give it that, and it gets some points for that, but it's also a pretty clunky story.
Give the first issue a go if you're a Star Wars fan. The art and designs are worth it, and if your curiousity wins, then maybe you'll stick with the series as it goes on. But if you're just a casual fan, I don't recommend getting this book. Watch the original movies instead, or pick up Brian Wood's ongoing "Star Wars" series, if you need something good set during the original trilogy.
Have you read "The Star Wars" #1? Agree with our review? Disagree? Let us know in the comments! And browse our COMICS section for more articles on Star Wars comics!