By Ken Porter
Star Wars #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassaday
Between a Hope and the Empire
Star Wars is a film series I’ve watched so many times that it’s a part of my DNA. Everyone has their favorite film (mine’s The Empire Strikes Back), but even bigger than the movies are the expanded universe. These stories span video games, novels, and comics that have captured our imagination for decades. While Dark Horse Comics has held the license for Star Wars for years, Marvel now has the property again and are doing their own narrative between Episode IV and Episode V.
So how is it?
It’s like discovering an old classic you never knew existed.
Not just blaster fodder
One of the challenges that Aaron and Cassaday had when going into this series was to tread new ground that the movies or the Dark Horse comics hadn’t done before. While Dark Horse did have it’s own series set in the same time frame written by Brian Wood and drawn by Chris D’Anda, this series by Marvel goes in a completely different direction in terms of setting and tone. Both series are equally good for different reasons, but we’ll focus on the Marvel series for now.
Aaron writes Luke, Leia, Han, and the Imperials as if their dialogue was taken from audio transcripts of the movies. Everyone feels the way they should, and each character gets a cool moment to shine.
One moment in particular is with Luke and his lightsaber, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read the issue yet.
Why it’s a great alternative
Star Wars is a franchise that can be explored in just about any medium. The comics are a place where you can go and spend time with some of your favorite characters who don’t wear spandex, capes, or domino masks. It’s a great alternative for someone who wants to read about characters they love but don’t have anything to do with the DC or Marvel Universe.
Who would like Marvel’s Star Wars?
I’m hesitant to say everyone, just because of the reach that Star Wars has with fans, but I will say people who enjoy the original trilogy will like this the most. If you enjoyed the Dark Horse run on Star Wars then it’s worth giving Marvel’s new take a try. Although someone very famous once said “do or do not, there is no try.”
Ken Porter also writes comic books including "Ink Ribbon" from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year's Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in "Artifacts" #33.