See all reviews of The Star Wars (1)

“Use the Force, Annikin.”

Wait… what?! Why are we spelling Anakin’s name like a bunch of dumbasses? And why would we butcher such an iconic Star Wars quote like that in the first place?

Wrong Star Wars you got there, pals. This is The Star Wars we’re talking about. Big difference. You’re telling me you’ve never heard of Kane Starkiller, the Jedi-Bendu, or King Kayos before?

Fret not. Dark Horse is here to show us what could have been: Writer J.W. Rinzler took George Lucas’ rough drafts from way back in 1974 before the original Star Wars film was released, shined ‘em up real nice, and then forged them into this brand new eight-part series. There hasn’t been this much hype surrounding a Star Wars entity since Disney bought the franchise, so let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is it good?


The Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse Comics)


the_star_wars-cover

The Star Wars #1 introduces us to a slew of new characters and even though we’ve technically never met them before — whether it be through the character’s traits, their purpose in the narrative, or even their appearance — some are going to seem pretty damn familiar nonetheless.

We have Kane Starkiller, the battle-scarred Jedi veteran with a robust beard and his two sons Annikin and Deak:

the_star_wars-1-luke
“Yippee! BRB though Dad, gotta return these clothes to Mark Hamill first.

There’s a reticent Sith warrior becowled in black. A princess named Leia. An Emperor with visions of grandeur. (And Brainiac’s forehead, apparently.) A young Darth Vader with a crew cut and a glaring lack of body spanning fourth degree burns. And even… George Lucas on the Keto diet?!

the_star_wars-1_skywalker
General Luke Skywalker you ol’ so and so. Wait a minute… haven’t we seen you before somewhere? This isn’t some fourth-wall meta shit is it?

A lot of these prototypical, alternate takes on the characters from the established Star Wars trilogies and the predictions we’ll have for their courses of action will be the crux of enjoyment for many of us coming fresh into this series. Which characters are conflations of the more established ones we already know and love and which the cool somebodies kicking around in Lucas’ brain that we didn’t even know about? Will this version’s Han Solo have the testicular fortitude to shoot first? Will Darth Vader still be Luke’s biological? So many questions. And plenty of time.

The Force is strong with artist Mike Mayhew

The Force is strong with artist Mike Mayhew. His painted style is beautiful and conjures fond memories of the Brothers Hildebrandt, who did their fair share of Star Wars illustrations as well. On top of that his use of complex facial expressions is nothing short of spectacular. This could be one of those silent issues with nary a snippet of dialogue and the characters’ emotions would still be evinced without a hitch. To put it more bluntly: The man could draw Malakili the Rancor trainer flatulating in a crowded reactor shaft for twenty pages straight and I’d still scrutinize the damn thing with gusto. (Although who among us can say they wouldn’t?)

8.0

  • Fresh cast of characters that we already feel close with.
  • General Luke Skywalker looks just like George Lucas.
  • Breathtaking art by Mike Mayhew.
  • General Luke Skywalker looks just like George Lucas.
  • Dialogue gets a little muddled at times.

Is It Good?

Yes. Even with all the omnipresent hype, the debut issue of The Star Wars has set up a strong narrative and cast of characters that’s nowhere near as contrived as the premise might have seemed upon announcement.

Those of you who have sworn off the Star Wars “extended universe” as silly and extraneous for all these years should still give this a look as it’s not too far removed from the overarching feel and theme of the original trilogy — yet still has a surprisingly fresh feel.

Who knows: it might just reignite those feelings of space-operatic bliss you felt the first time around as well as warm you up for what’s to come.