Sunday, November 22, 2015

A long time ago ...

... back in 1977, Marvel Comics published a monthly Star Wars comic book, beginning with a six-issue adaptation of the movie, that ran for 107 issues before ending in 1986. 
In 2002, Dark Horse Comics started reprinting the series in trade paperback format. Reading through my collection in anticipation of the new movie coming out next month, I found a few interesting artifacts from the adaptation of the original movie (before it was ever referred to as Episode IV).
For one thing, the comic that made it onto newsstands contains scenes that didn't make it into the theatrical release, such as Luke witnessing the opening space battle between the Rebel blockade runner and the Imperial cruiser from the surface of Tatooine.
There's also the hero's encounter with his friend Biggs before the latter departs the desert planet to be seen again in the attack on the Death Star. In addition, the comic contained a much different version of Jabba the Hutt--humanoid, not slugg-like--in an encounter with Han Solo.
There are other minor differences in dialogue and terminology between the print and screen versions, but no big changes in the plot. I did find it interesting that the Rebels referred to the X-wing pilots as Blue Squadron instead of the Red Squadron familiar to moviegoers.
The first six issues were a fun start to a series that had some great writers and artists over the years, back before there was an Expanded Universe or any continuity other than the blockbuster movie called Star Wars.


Gonsalvo said...

I remember being in college when a freind who lived 2 rooms down the hall gave me a book to read. "It's pretty good, and on the back cover it say's it's being made into a movie..."

Yep, read the book before the movie came out, and it also has a few things that the movie doesn't explain that make more sense in the book. Talk about a long time ago...

Maj. Guiscard said...

What a gem!
Those little scenes that didn't make it into the movie sure would have made later scenes make more sense.
Like when Luke talks to Biggs during the briefing and the battle.
I remember thinking "Who the heck is that guy?" and even when I see the movie today those little interactions seem jarring and out of place.

Nicholas Caldwell said...

I have those comics. :-) Sadly not in mint condition -- well, no, not sadly because my Dad read them to me over and over. The movie didn't make much sense to me at 5 but there were definitely scenes I remember -- but the story comprehension came from reading the comics afterward. Also, I thought Luke's planet was called "Ta-toon-e" (long e at the end) because that's how my Dad pronounced it.

Jason said...

I bought a calendar years ago that used the covers from the Marvel series. I think I saved it because I wanted to reuse the pictures as posters. The only odd thing is that issue #1 was not used for January. In fact, I think all the covers were out of order, like they were just chosen as random.

I did have a comic from that series, the one where Vader hires an actor who happens to look like Obi-Wan in order to Luke him into a trap. I think that might have been one of the more well known issues from the series.