Since Star Wars: Episode VII was announced a few months ago, their has been a number of new Star Wars projects announced, such as the Star Wars: Rebels animated TV series. None of these have been quite as left field as the announcement back in April that Dark Horse will be releasing an 8-issue comic series titled ‘The Star Wars‘, based on George Lucas’ original draft scripts written back in 1974.
The original screenplay had many differences from the final draft that eventually became Star Wars. ‘The Star Wars‘ tells the story of Jedi General Luke Skywalker, who seems to be the only person concerned that The Empire is poised for an attack on the peaceful world of Aquilae. When King Kayos is killed, Jedi in training Annikin Starkiller is ordered to find Princess Leia, while Skywalker sends his only squadron against the Empire’s powerful new battle station! O,h and Han Solo is a massive green alien who artist Mike Mayhew described to the USA Today as a “worldly” and exotic gunslinger who is already a rebel agent and “a very mysterious pirate that lurks in the shadows”. Also, gone are the legendary Lightsabers, instead the Jedi wield lazer-swords which are not too different to the swords that we are used to.
You may be forgiven for thinking that Dark Horse is cashing in on the renewed interest in the series, however this project really excites me. Marvel and DC have been producing parallel world storylines for years with their ‘What if…?‘ and ‘Elseworlds‘ comics respectively, and for the most part they give us a great alternative vision of classic characters. I don’t see this as being any different. At the very least it will give Star Wars fans an insight into what George Lucas originally intended. Dark Horse also doesn’t tend to churn out any old stuff just for the sake of cashing in. For the most part their continuation of the Buffy, Firefly, and Angel series’ have been nothing less than superb.
The comics creators are also of high pedigree. The 8 issue series will be written by J. W. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucas books with Lucas’ full blessing on the project.
Writer J.W.Rinzler says on the Dark Horse website:
[box_dark]“While researching in the Lucasfilm Archives I’ve found many treasures—but one which truly astounded me was George’s rough draft for The Star Wars. His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read—mind blowing,” “While working with George on another book project, I once asked if we could adapt his rough draft. He was hesitant. Years later, with Dark Horse’s invaluable help, we showed him a few drawn and colored pages of what it might look like. He gave us the okay.”[/box_dark]
Artwork will be provided by Mike Mayhew, who has drawn for plenty of well known properties such as Green Arrow, Bionic Man, The Avengers and X-Men.
The first issue will be published on the 4th of September. Dark Horse will have a number of variant covers including one by legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie.