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.