Friday, July 08, 2016

Booknote: The Star Wars

J.W. Rinzler,, The Star Wars. New York: Dark Horse Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781616553807.

Genre: graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: science fiction, space opera, Star Wars, films, adaptations
Format: Hardback
Source: My local public library

This is a graphic novel adaptation done by Dark Horse of George Lucas' rough draft screenplay for what would become Star Wars as we know it now. Notice the article "The" as part of the title; that little detail does make a difference. As I read it, I saw some familiar characters and concepts, but it is a very different story than the end product we got at the movies.

If you read this, don't go looking for parallels to the end product. Sure, some elements made it, and others were radically modified in the editing and revision process. For instance, this version is heavy on detail and a lot of minutiae that clearly got cut on the way to make a more (commercially) viable product. Now, you can read as a different story on its own. It's pretty good, though the story's pace can be a bit slow and dense at times. You will find some filler here, so remember this was a rough draft. The rough elements do show.

In the end, it is a decent tale, and yes, it is very different from what we know today. As an adventure tale, it's entertaining and an overall good read. The book is also interesting as a way to see Lucas' creative process in the early stages, and I think some fans will enjoy that. The volume also features a supplement on the making of the comics, a variant cover art gallery, and some draft pages Dark Horse commissioned to show Lucas for approval.

I think libraries with graphic novel collections will want to acquire this one. If they already collect a good amount of Star Wars comics, this can be a nice addition to that collection. Older fans will likely appreciate it not just for the story but as a trivia piece. 

Overall, I really liked this one.

 4 out of 5 stars.

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