Saturday, March 12, 2016

Modern Disney-Lucasfilm Press: Star Wars: The Original Trilogy - A Graphic Novel

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy - A Graphic Novel hardcover collects the three original trilogy movie adaptations that were released individually overseas.  Featuring new art that is cartoony in comparison to Marvel's adaptations, this book is published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press, which specializes in publishing Star Wars books for younger readers.

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy - A Graphic Novel a - Disney-Lucasfilm Press, U.S. (March 2016)
The pacing of the movie adaptations are not rushed, but this is made possible by judicious cutting of scenes from the movies.  For example, when Owen Lars is buying the droids from the Jawas, R5-D4 is not even considered as Owen selects C-3PO and R2-D2 outright.  Later, when Luke Skywalker is attacked by Tusken Raiders, the attack is quickly glossed over to make the story more child friendly.  While the movie covers this attack quickly itself, in this book, we see a Tusken Raider with a raised gaffi stick in one panel, in the next Luke is shown gasping, and the next panel has the Raiders dragging Luke's body toward the Landspeeder.  C-3PO is not involved in the attack, so the story skips the scene of Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi gathering C-3PO and his arm after Obi-Wan chases the Tusken Raiders away.  This sequence in the book captures the main elements from the movie, without getting bogged down in the details.  Another example of the toning down of the story for children is the cutting of the scene with Obi-Wan coming to Luke's rescue in the Mos Eisley Cantina.  It is hard to completely avoid the dark tone of the movies; it is still implied Darth Vader tortures Leia on the Death Star and Vader does choke Admiral Motti.  The story uses elements from the Special Edition releases as well.  For example, Greedo shoots first and we see celebration in a city when the Rebellion destroys the Death Star II, but Han Solo is not confronted by Jabba the Hutt in the hangar where the Millennium Falcon is parked in Mos Eisley.

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy - A Graphic Novel - Disney - Lucasfilm Press, U.S. (March 2016)
back cover
Overall, considering the audience these stories are aimed at, I found this new take on the saga refreshing and the art whimsical.  The story does not devolve into the humor used in a Lego Star Wars production, but it adapts the movies faithfully without all the details.  I like the simplicity of the sound effects.  Explosions go BOOM and laser pistol PEW PEW.  The character designs de-age the heroes slightly but they are all easily recognizable.  The only character design I didn't like was Chewbacca's; his legs are a little too skinny for my tastes.  A nice touch is each movie adaptation is proceeded by the famous opening crawls verbatim.  If my kids were younger, I could see this being the book that I would use to introduce them to that galaxy far, far away.

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