Review - Star Wars #1

"It's a myth that any Jedi still exist."

A long time ago, in a writer's room far, far away, George Lucas conceived the Star Wars universe. That universe continues to serve as the core of a mammoth chunk of sci-fi, with countless movies, books, series and other incarnations of the property being presented to fans. Before the original trilogy though, Lucas had a rough outline of how the universe looked in his mind and Star Wars #1 from Dark Horse is a look at a rough draft of the first trilogy.

The first issue is written by J.W. Rinzler, illustrated by Mike Mayhew, colored by Rain Beredo and lettered by Michael Heisler.

The Jedi-Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe, perfecting their craft as personal bodyguards of the Emperor. They've been hunted for their ability and slowly but surely eliminated as the Emperor seeks them out. Now, Kane Starkiller seeks to protect his son Annikin by entrusting his safety and training to the hands of General Luke Skywalker. Of course, it's not that Luke Skywalker, but he's still got enough of sway to be trusted with such a grand role. One thing leads to another and--next thing you know--things are about to get even tougher for the Jedi.

It's hard to evaluate Rinzler's approach here, primarily because in a sense he's merely adapting source material. Having said that, the first issue is chock full of action; almost a little too much. There are a ton of characters thrown at the reader and each setting is given only a few pages. It really helps having seen the original trilogy, mainly because it provides some context and helps fill in some gaps that may be missing upon first read. The dialogue definitely moves the issue along very briskly, almost as if there's a desire to get things in a place where everyone feels comfortable.

Mayhew's art is very strong and helps ground the script. Characters are illustrated with a fine detail, with certain panels actually presenting almost like miniature works of art. There are tons of panels overlaid on one another, helping to break up the usual monotony of standard panel layouts, keeping things mixed up. Many of the big players are presented with flair, with Mayhew almost singling them out on their debut pages in order to make sure the reader knows who they're looking at.

Star Wars #1 is an interesting book. It's not exactly an original story, but it is fascinating to read because it gives something of unique insight into the creative process behind the original trilogy. There's a lot to take in with the first issue and it may require multiple readings, but fans of the Star Wars universe will definitely want to check the book (and possibly series) out. There's something akin to pulling back the curtain in a sense in seeing some of your favorite characters before they became your favorite characters.

Star Wars #1 is in stores now with interiors below.