When Star Wars came out in 1977, it didn’t come out alone. A slew of toys, and collectables came out, as well as a novelization and (more importantly to me) a Marvel Comics adaptation. Consisting of the first 6 issues of what would become a very successful ongoing series, this retold the events of the first film. Episode IV, A New Hope.
The story remains the same, Luke Skywalker teams up with Han Solo to rescue Princess Leia and get the Death Star plans to the Rebellion and destroy it. Each issue covers a portion of the film as follows.
Issue 1: Leia capture by Vader – Luke meeting Obi Wan. This issue provides a little bit of extra back story to Biggs, Luke’s friend from Tatooine. The two moons scene is not recreated here. It’s one of the most powerful scenes in the film, but I don’t think it would have translated quite the same anyhow.
Issue 2: Obi Wan and Luke meet Han and Chewbacca and they escape from the Storm Troopers and Tatooine. We meet a very different looking Jabba. When the comic was written and drawn they did not know yet what Jabba would look like. Instead we get a skinny yellow dude. In this issue Han shoots first. Greedo doesn’t shoot at all.
Issue 3: Our heroes find princess Leia. The scenes are exactly the same as the movie, and in their entrance into the detention cells, it is written that Chewbacca escapes and that Han and Luke pretend to have bad aim when they are shooting at him. So, in other words, they were perfect Stormtroopers. I noted this in the book but never in the movie. In fact I had to rewatch the scene after reading this to catch it. A lot of the humour is lost in translation.
Issue 4: The escape from the garbage compactor and Obi Wan’s battle with Darth Vader. I felt this issue was the best. It really captured the emotion and tension of Obi Wan’s fight with Darth. This was one scene that helped having the comic style captions added. Chaykin also drew a great image of Obi Wan as Vader is slicing throw him, making it slightly different from the film. They also added a kiss between Leia and Luke. The first of 2 in just these issues alone.
Issue 5: This takes us through the prep scenes after they escape the Death Star and form a plan to fight it as Darth and Tarkin track them to Yavin 4.
Issue 6: These scenes are all straight from the film, although a little more of Lukes personal thoughts are inputed, where the emotional connection doesn’t translate to the page the same. Before the fight Luke and Leia share their second added kiss. I’m not one to count kisses, but we all know why I do here.
I actually enjoyed reading this. It brought more attention to some scenes that I hadn’t focused on before. Although at the same time a few scenes were cut, and other scenes could have been cut, especially when they are for comedic effect in the film. I felt like it could have been paced better for a comic. I actually owned these issues for at least a year, and am only reading them now. I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin do a good job bringing George Lucas’ vision to the page. I actually liked the art and I usually hate Howard Chaikin art. I can usually put up a filter, but not with this guy. His art style here is very different from what it turned into.
Again, the piece I commissioned James Zintels to do for this week.
Thanks for reading. May the force be with you!
Images from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/09/JabbaHut.jpg, https://ewpopwatch.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/star-wars.jpg,