George Lucas told the story of Luke Skywalker and his journey from lowly farmer on a backwoods planet to Jedi Knight saving the cosmos from an evil empire. But that's not how it started out originally.
The very first Star Wars film is one of the great cinematic classics now, so it's hard to imagine it any other way than it is now. Yes, we've seen many cosmetic changes over the years, but the earliest drafts aren't just a slight variation on a theme -- they're totally different.
So it's incredibly exciting to announce that Dark Horse Comics will be releasing a new series telling that original story, dubbed The Star Wars. In it, we will meet a General Darth Vader, a young hero named Annikin Starkiller and an old general named Luke Skywalker. And don't forget the 6-foot-tall alien lizard -- Han Solo! Yes, really.
There are many different versions of that script lurking around, so it's hard to be sure which one Dark Horse will be working from. The fact that Luke is an old general, though, points to one of the earliest drafts. We doubt there will ever be a more polished version of A New Hope, but we're still very interested in seeing Lucas' earlier vision.
Here's the official press release from Dark Horse:
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 for The 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!
Check out the gallery below for low-res images of art for the forthcoming eight-issue series.
(via Bleeding Cool)