Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Comics show alternative Star Wars

A comic book cover image provided by Dark Horse Comics shows characters in The Star Wars (AP/Dark Horse Comics)

George Lucas has given his blessing for the original script of Star Wars to be brought to life as an eight-issue mini-series in comic form.

The comics will give fans a different take on characters Darth Vader (no helmet), Luke Skywalker (he is older and a general), Princess Leia, Han Solo (he is green), C-3PO and R2-D2 along with new ones like Anikinn Starkiller and his father, Kane.

Series writer JW Rinzler, an executive editor at LucasBooks, called the series a "once in a lifetime project" and the chance to tell the first story in the Star Wars pantheon.

"This is not something you could film," Mr Rinzler said of the original script and his adaptation of it. "Here's a giant city and then here's a giant vista filled with huge spacecraft. (Lucas) was doing his blue sky version of what he wanted to do. He knew this was not going to be filmable."

The story has its similarities to Star Wars, but the differences throughout The Star Wars are plentiful and noticeable, Mr Rinzler said, and readers will notice many of them as they explore each page, some big, some small.

"It's just great when the Jedi break out their laserswords. Guess what? The stormtroopers break out their laserswords," he said, noting that in this draft, there are no lightsabers and the Jedi are more akin to Errol Flynn-types than warrior monks.

Artist Mike Mayhew likened the book to a cinematic-inspired vision of The Magnificent Seven because it's a team story with "each character having a big stake and they're all connected".

He also said his artwork, which goes into great detail in showing the characters, the ships, the worlds, gives a nod to conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie, who created the original concept art for the initial film trilogy.

Mayhew said there's "so much more action, set creatures, such visual candy" in the mini-series.

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