With all the new Star Wars projects coming in the next few years—titles like J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII, the animated Star Wars Rebels , and the possible TV series—it isn’t always easy to remember where this franchise began: in the mind of one George Lucas. Now that some of his original ideas are coming to fans in the form of a new comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, we’ll get to see what young Lucas had in mind before honing his vision into the film original trilogy. And thanks to USA Today, we now have a short trailer that gives us a good look at all of the characters we thought we were so familiar with. I don’t think anyone should tell Han Solo that he looks like Swamp Thing’s little brother, he might get really pissed off.
The eight-issue limited series, written by J.W. Rinzler and illustrated by Mike Mayhew, hits shelves and digital comic vendors September 4, and adapts the first draft that Lucas wrote back in May of 1974. The overall arc of the story is similar: the Jedi lead a rebel uprising, and the Gallactic Sith lords want to crush them. Only this time, Luke Skywalker takes on the Obi-Wan Kenobi role, while Anakin Starkiller replaces Luke’s farmboy. Darth Vader is a guy without a mask or a breathing problem. R2D2 can talk. Lightsabers are “laser swords.” The reptilian Solo is a mysterious rebel pirate.
“You can teach a college course on how he got from that story to his first Star Wars film,” Rinzler says. “I’m sure he knew quite well in 1974 that there was no way you could film this script. He changes locales sometimes twice on a page. Any studio head reading this would have just had a heart attack.” Although one famous filmmaker thought it was so good it shouldn’t be touched. “Francis Ford Coppola read the rough draft and thought it was pretty good,” Rinzler shared. “He wasn’t really sure why George was changing it.”
Artist Mayhew’s enthusiasm for the project is infectious, and he says that if this were a modern film project, it “would hold its own against The Avengers and Avatar.” He add that more action happens “in the first 15 minutes of The Star Wars than happens in the entire Star Wars movie.” That’s a pretty ballsy thing to say, but I’m starting to foam at the mouth a little bit just thinking about reading this series.
Read the first 7 pages over at the Dark Horse website, and we’ve got a few of them below for your perusal. But first, take a look at what that loveable band of misfits could have looked like.