Tag Archive: The Star Wars review


The Star Wars hardcover version Rinzler Mayhew Beredo Dark Horse bestseller

Review by C.J. Bunce

Last week Dark Horse Comics released the trade paperback and hardcover of The Star Wars—the eight-issue comic book series adapting George Lucas’s original screenplay for Star Wars from 1973, including its original three-word title.  Writer J.W. Rinzler, artist Mike Mayhew, and colorist Rain Beredo created a parallel universe for Star Wars that stands by itself as the single best Star Wars universe graphic novel ever produced.  It’s now hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List for Paperback Graphic Books and #3 for Hardcover Graphic Books.  If you dodge Times bestsellers because they are usually trite, banal and over-hyped, The Star Wars is certainly commercial, but it’s the exception to the rule.  You will not have read a Star Wars comic book this much fun and so brilliantly and vividly illustrated since the classic Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back

Lucas’s giant story, fleshed out over six movies via his Episodes I-VI, was concise in its infancy, and greatly right-sized and polished by Rinzler for this adaptation.  Its genius is in its essential Kurosawa-inspired story elements: last of their breed wizard-warriors versus a suffocating empire led by heartless dictators, a broken royal family saved by a band of rogues, a mix of disparate races and conflicts, and an unlikely pair of androids.

The planets and systems are not the same, yet they are entirely familiar: the desert planet Aquilae for Tatooine, a wookie battle on Yavin for Ewoks on Endor.  Some of the occupants of the story are familiar, like Han Solo and Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.  Yet here they are very different.  Annikin (not Anakin) Starkiller and brother Deak would later become the impetuous Luke Skywalker.  Obi-Wan Kenobi was far more energetic and a hands-on warrior when he was the bearded and military garbed Jedi-Bendu General Luke Skywalker.  Han Solo by every appearance was a cousin of Swamp Thing.  Princess Leia would become more dynamic and tough in the movies, but was originally more like Padme Amidala in her infatuation with her young love, Annikin Starkiller.

Deluxe The Star Wars Rinzler Mayhew Beredo Dark Horse Bestseller

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The-Star-Wars-comic-logo

Review by C.J. Bunce

It might not be the best thing since sliced bread, but it is the best thing since the original Star Wars trilogy for fans of the original classic, maybe even the best thing since The Empire Strikes Back.  It is Dark Horse Comics’ new Star Wars eight-issue limited series titled The Star Wars.  Regular borg.com readers today get a chance to see what all of our whooping and hollering has been about as Issue #1 hits comic book stores across North America.

What’s the big deal?  As much as Dark Horse Comics is the rightful home of all Star Wars expanded universe comic book series and every month proves why the Star Wars licensing should stay with the Oregon-based publisher, this new series raises the bar even higher.  First off, it for the first time adapts the equivalent of “The Lost Ark of the Covenant” of original movie scripts–the original 1974 George Lucas fully fleshed-out screenplay for Star Wars, then titled “The Star Wars.”  This makes it a once in a lifetime opportunity for both script writer J.W. Rinzler and superstar comic book artist Mike Mayhew to really show-off their best work of their careers so far.  And it gives us not only what Star Wars fans already want: more Star Wars, but it’s giving us more of the kind of Star Wars that caught us all up in this crazy Star Wars Universe in the first place, where half of the population of the United States has hocked their life savings to own complete sets of every Star Wars trading card, comic, action figure, bust, poster, coin, stamp, glassware, stuffed figure, game, book, sticker, costume, mask, prop weapon, toy, shoes, shirt, cereal, fruit roll-up…  And it’s something altogether new.  It’s retro-Star Wars.

The Star Wars Issue 1 cover

Dark Horse Comics already presented us with an interesting comic book series this year, bridging the period between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in a new monthly series.  It was a good way to give us some of that nostalgia.  The Star Wars is even better.  The Star Wars Issue #1 begins with a series opener that will instantly convince you this is something unique.  It’s own sci-fi event.  Raw, gritty story elements that never would have made it to a Hollywood movie in the 1970s.  Would this story have made Star Wars as beloved as what we saw in the original trilogy of films?  Who’s to say, but after all that happens in Issue #1 you will be left thinking it very well could have.

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