Star Wars Special Edition moves from movies to Marvel Comics

Star Wars Artists Edition cover

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope and long before we had any guess about what might happen in the prequel trilogy, George Lucas, for good or bad, retooled all three episodes of the Star Wars trilogy into the Star Wars Special Edition theatrical release.  Between January and March 1997 the world got to “see the movies again for the first time” and was reminded where the word blockbuster actually came from.  Now Marvel Comics is following suit with its own look back to original Star Wars source material.

Marvel Comics is releasing two new versions of Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin’s original six-issue adaptation of the original Star Wars.  This is the classic adaptation that saw its first chapter, Issue #1, released before the movie hit theaters.

The first volume is being released today: Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.  The OGN is for “oversized graphic novel” but the value in this book is the restoration, George Lucas style, of Howard Chaykin’s original artwork via a replacement of Marie Severin’s original 1970s colors with Chris Sotomayor’s update of the six-issue movie adaptation into a more modern color scheme.  Adi Granov supplies the new cover art for this edition.  Marvel said it will soon release similar editions of its adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  Check out a preview of the new look at a classic movie adaptation below.

Star Wars OGN cover

IDW Publishing and Marvel Comics announced this week a second treatment of the same Star Wars comic book adaptation.  The Star Wars Artist’s Edition will be consistent with past IDW “artist’s edition” offerings, showcasing the original comic book pencil and ink art behind the series in high quality color reprints of the original, giant-sized page format that the artists sketched the artwork.

Details of what pages will be included in the IDW Star Wars Artist’s Edition have not yet been released, but it will include Marvel Star Wars pages with work by comic book icons Carmine Infantino, Howard Chaykin, Walt Simonson, Al Williamson, and Tom Palmer.

The Star Wars Artist’s Edition will be released later this year.

Here’s a preview of Star Wars OGN: A New Hope Hardcover, available today here at and at comic book stores everywhere:

Star Wars preview A

Star Wars preview B

Star Wars preview C

Star Wars preview D

Star Wars preview E

Thomas and Chaykin’s adaptation was fascinating in part because Chaykin had the first view of the images of Star Wars.  Much of his work matches the ships and scenery in the film, but other components, like his incarnation of Jabba the Hutt, is the stuff of Star Wars lore.

C.J. Bunce


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