Beard: Comic features draft ‘Star Wars’ screenplayWritten by Jim Beard | | email@example.com
When you open the first issue of Dark Horse’s newest Star Wars comic, you may feel a bit confused. A Jedi Knight battles a masked Sith lord and a Galactic Empire threatens to crush a rebellion, but the Jedi is named Kane Starkiller and Luke Skywalker is a white-haired general on the beleaguered planet of Aquilae. This is The Star Wars, and it’s a Galaxy Far, Far Away like you’ve never seen it before.
Scripted by Lucasfilm editor J.W. Rinzler, The Star Wars is based on George Lucas’ original 1974 screenplay, a work that lead to the blockbuster 1977 film, sans “The” of course. A quick perusal of the outline for the screenplay in Rinzler’s book, “The Making of Star Wars,” illustrates how closely he has hewn to former work, breaking it up into a multipart comic book series. The comic marks one of the rare times when Lucas himself is purported to be involved in one of the myriad Star Wars publications — Dark Horse claims that every page of script and art has been put before him for approval.
The fun in The Star Wars is seeing all the familiar film elements utilized in sometimes drastically different ways. The peaceful planet of Alderaan is now the capital of New Galactic Empire, lorded over by a fairly normal-looking Emperor, not the scarred and troll-like Palpatine from the films. Annikin Starkiller is the now the young man who wants to learn the ways of the “Force of Others,” the mystical practice of the “Jedi-Bendu.” Han Solo is mentioned as an “Ureallian” and an old friend of Kane Starkiller. In the two issues published to date, there is no Ben Kenobi, Yoda or Chewbacca. There is, though, a young Princess Leia, daughter of the Aquilaean king.
Rinzler is aided by artist Mike Mayhew on The Star Wars, and he brings a rich, detailed look at this off-kilter universe by incorporating many of Ralph McQuarrie’s early designs for the film series, as well as motifs that made it into the films. No “Star Wars” admirer should do without this treat, especially jaded fans who believe they’ve done it all and seen it all.