As even most casual Star Wars fans probably know, writer/director George Lucas’ initial screenplay drafts for what would become known as Star Wars (and then later Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) were vastly different from what audiences finally saw starting in 1977. And if you have had the occassion to read any of the three complete drafts and one short treatment that Lucas wrote (they’re just a Google away), you’ll see elements of what finally made it to the screen but in unfamiliar configurations.
Dark Horse Comics will be taking that early script and adapting it into an eight-issue miniseries starting this September. In their nearly two decade run as the publisher of Star Wars comics, Dark Horse has put out numerous series exploring the width of the Star Wars galaxy and the depth of its history. It has even published a few looks at how the classic trilogy of films may have played out if one little thing happened differently. But this is some real out-of-the-box thinking from the publisher and I am excited to see what they will deliver.
Here is the bulk of Dark Horse’s announcement as well as the first page of art from the first issue.
It’s no April Fools’ prank! Dark Horse is honored to announce a dream project: working with J.W. Rinzler, executive editor at LucasBooks, and artist Mike Mayhew (Avengers) to adapt the rough-draft original screenplay which spawned the biggest franchise in film history!
Three years before his 1977 film, George Lucas put down on paper his first story set in a galaxy far, far away—a tale of fantastic adventures, daring escapes, “lazer swords,” romance, and monsters. A story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo, and evil Sith Knights. The screenplay was titled The Star Wars!
“I’m not sure where I first read about The Star Wars—it was years and years ago—but the idea of Luke Skywalker being an older Jedi General, and Han Solo being a six-foot-tall lizard, turned my Star Wars fan brain on its side,” said longtime Star Wars editor Randy Stradley. “I always assumed this would be one of those stories that would be ‘lost to history,’ so getting to work on bringing it to life is kinda like a dream come true.”
“While researching in the Lucasfilm Archives I’ve found many treasures—but one which truly astounded me was George’s rough draft forThe Star Wars. His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read—mind blowing,” said writer J.W. Rinzler. “While working with George on another book project, I once asked if we could adapt his rough draft. He was hesitant. Years later, with Dark Horse’s invaluable help, we showed him a few drawn and colored pages of what it might look like. He gave us the okay.”
Originally conceived in 1974, The Star Wars has been the subject of rumor and legend in the fan community throughout the history of the galaxy far, far away. Now, Lucas has seen fit to grant Dark Horse the right to adapt this fabled story into an eight-issue comic series launching in September!