Long ago, in a galaxy even further away circa 1974, George Lucas completed a rough screen play of what would become Star Wars Episode IV. Before the all the hype and hoopla it was just called The Star Wars. This original screen play still has all the goodness we all know and love. We still have an evil empire, a young hero, a Jedi mentor, a princess in need of rescue, and a father who is more machine than man. This story is put together very differently than we saw it on the silver screen. The art work by Mike Mayhew compliments the story and pulls you in as you look at every panel.
The book starts off in familiar territory with the effect of a scrolling word bar. The Jedi in this adaptation are called Jedi-Bendu and are told to be fierce warriors and personal body guards to the Emperor. The Jedi are all being hunted down one by one by the New Empire’s guards, The Knights of the Sith. You are then tossed into battle where we see Lightsaber’s (all red blades) and heroes fighting villains. There are tons of familiar name drops, Bail Organa, Wedge Antilles, Biggs, Princess Leia, the Emperor, and General Luke Skywalker. The most surprising was Darth Vader, who looks nothing like his form in the movies or the concept art, he is tall dressed in black has a cape but no mask and helmet. There was also a huge surprise with the addition of the Starkillers (if you do not remember Luke’s original name was supposed to be Starkiller), Kane the father, Annikin the older brother, and Deak the younger brother who does not make it out of the first battle.
We see a similar set up like we saw in Episode III when the Emperor executes Order 66 to destroy the Jedi except this order takes place during a Senate meeting. We also see the last of the Jedi-Bendu (Starkiller and Skywalker) discuss the training of Annikin to fulfill his training. When Kane asks Luke to train his son because he is dying we see that Kade Starkiller is all machine again (a nod to Episode III when Obi-Wan sliced off all Annikin’s limbs in the final battle on Mustafar).
The Star Wars may not be for everyone but it is a win for fans who like to see other aspects of the story and mythos, the art does not disappoint, the writing is very easy to follow. It is easy to see how when he cut and edited the script for Episode IV that he wanted to expand. There were tons of nods to what we know, have seen, and even some new seeds to spark interest in this story. You just need to think outside the box and say hmmm this may have worked. This was George Lucas’s original vision and we can only imagine what could have been if this made it to the screen. Pick up The Star Wars at your local Comic shop in September.
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