Thursday, May 28, 2015

Retro Foreign: Chinese Star Wars Lianhuanhua (The Empire Strikes Back Adaptations - Part 4)

These Chinese Star Wars comics are three different adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back.  All of them take liberties with the depictions of characters, sets, or space craft from the movie.  In all these adaptations the artwork is extremely competent.

The first Chinese adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back looks like it was done by the same artist that drew the Chinese Star Wars comic posted by Maggie Greene.  It is a nicely drawn comic, if not flawed by the quirks of the artist having not seen any of the Star Wars movies.

帝国反击战 - China (1982)
The Empire Strikes Back adaptation
The cover is the familiar romance-oriented movie poster which hides the odd interpretation found inside.  Inside, pilots are drawn either wearing NASA inspired space suits or wearing fighter pilot uniforms.  Some of the spacecraft looks like modern Air Force jets with double wings.  Chewbacca looks more like a monkey than a Wookiee.  Perhaps the weirdest scenes in the comic are when Yoda is riding on Luke Skywalker's back during Luke's training sessions on Dagobah.  Yoda is drawn like Radagast from The Hobbit movies and seeing this man on Luke's back is pretty funny stuff.

This next Chinese adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back is a beautifully drawn comic.

太空帝国 - China (1982)
faithful The Empire Strikes Back adaptation
This is the most faithful of The Empire Strike Back adaptations although there are some quirks.  It is possible the artist used the Al Williamson's Marvel Comics artwork for The Empire Strikes Back as inspiration, because Yoda looks very much like the Ralph McQuarrie pre-production Yoda shown in the Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of the Empire Strikes Back paperback.  Boba Fett is absent from the story and on Bespin, Chewbacca looks more like a burly Frankenstein than a Wookiee even though he looks like our Wookiee earlier in the story.

The final Chinese adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1989.

帝国反击战 - China (1989)
loose The Empire Strikes Back adaptation
The art in this comic was done by someone who had access to photos from the first Star Wars movie.  Both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are drawn in the clothing they wore in the first movie throughout the comic.  The story follows the movie mostly, but Han Solo is eliminated completely with the role filled by Luke.  Luke escapes from the Wampa and returns to the base without Han's assistance.  After the escape from Hoth, Luke is piloting the Millennium Falcon with Leia and together evade the space slug and Imperials.  Dagobah is never visited and Boba Fett never appears.  Luke is the one who greets Lando on Bespin.  The scene were Han Solo is frozen is skipped and at the end Luke battles Darth Vader mostly like the movie shows.  At points in the story, Han Solo photos are referenced, but they are slightly changed to make them appear like Luke Skywalker.  Additionally, Peter Cushing's likeness is used on an Imperial office half way through the adaptation.

No comments:

Post a Comment