In 1977 George Lucas changed everything with a boy, a girl and a galaxy. But what if that boy was named Annikin Starkiller and was was a Jedi-Bendu in training under the instruction of the war weary general Luke Skywalker of Aquilae? What if the New Empire, under the leadership of Emperor, ruled from the capital world of Alderaan and had the Knights of the Sith in their service? What if they were constructing a the terrible Space Fortress able to attack planets with massive bombardments of lasers?
That is the world of The Star Wars, a new 8-issue comic book series from Dark Horse comics. The series is based on the 1974 rough draft of what would become Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope. Translated by writer J.W. Rinzler and featuring the art of Mike Mayhew, The Star Wars offers comic book fans a galaxy both familiar and alien. The New Empire rules the galaxy with an iron fist, having driven the Jedi-Bendu to extinction, with only one planet remaining in rebellion – the idyllic world of Aquilae, lead by King Kayos and his general Luke Skywalker. When Deak Starkiller, rogue Jedi, brings his son Annikin to learn from the jedi general, he draws the tyrrany of the New Empire down on them all.
Currently, The Star Wars is in the second issue of its eight issue run. It presents a galaxy far, far away that’s a bit closer to the pulp roots of the famous sci-fi series. The twists presented are not only surprising, but the story itself is familiar and alien at the same time as the reader sees elements we’ve come to know and love over the past 35 years presented in new and fantastic ways. Nick Runge’s cover art is absolutely fantastic and Mike Mayhew’s interior art gives the reader detailed and dynamic images that tell a simple, engaging story.
In the second issue we meet a C-3P0 clearly inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis and a silver-domed R2-D2 who speaks in smart alec quips to his more conservative counterpart who are fleeing their post on the Imperial Space Fortress and get hints of the alien Urealian smuggler known as Han Solo.
In addition to a turning the world of Star Wars on its ear, The Star Wars presents a romp through a galaxy of pulp heroes where all the lightsabers (so far) are red, the story feels familiar in tone and alien in setting. To my surprise, at its core The Star Wars still feels like the setting we all know and love. I’d highly recommend this comic book for more than just its engaging story. The art, both cover and interior, is fantastic and the story is brisk and engaging.
The Star Wars is published by Dark Horse Comics and the first two issues are available at the Dark Horse Comics website, or better yet, check your local comic shop for the adventures of a galaxy far, far away that we never saw before and might never see again!