Much of the big movie news from late last year came from the fact that in 2015 we’ll be returning to the Star Wars universe on the big screen with Episode VII. With that fact in play, it means we also have the high possibility of seeing classic characters return once again, like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewie and Princess Leia. But, what if we told you that you can find a new adventure with those characters today and pay only a few bucks to get it? Not only that, but you can also see it in the classic circumstances of the original Star Wars trilogy itself.
All you need to do is walk into your local comic book store and ask for it by name. Today, Dark Horse Comics has published a brand-new single issue simply called Star Wars #1, and for fans of the original trilogy it’s a great read.
The premise of this new, ongoing series is that it takes place in the space between the films A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, telling new adventures that manage to retain a highly familiar quality since they take place within the time frame of the series’ most revered films. Dark Horse’s summary definitely tries to feed off of the nostalgia that so many fans have for the original trilogy:
“This is Star Wars as you remember it... and as you have never seen it before! We're taking you back to those heady, adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Star—when the Empire ruled, the Rebels were on the run, and the galaxy was a dangerous place where anything might happen!”
As you might have guessed, the principal characters are the same as they were in the very first film: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, C-3PO and R2-D2. Like that first film, a dark shadow is cast over all of them by the malevolence of the Galactic Empire, and the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Vader goes through an interesting struggle in coming to terms with an enemy he thought he’d managed to conquer long ago: the name Skywalker.
Both Mon Mothma (de facto leader of the Rebel Alliance) and Emperor Palpatine also make appearances, as do a few new characters in the forms of Rebel allies of Luke’s as well as an acquisitive Imperial commander that Vader perceives as a threat to his standing in the chain of command. The issue is written by acclaimed creator Brian Wood (Ultimate Comics X-MenDMZ, Northlanders) with art chores by Carlos D’Anda (Batman: Arkham City), and is definitely worth any Star Wars fan’s time.
Since the book is coming out on an ongoing basis, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will eventually serve as a bridge to Episode VII. There are some established time frames that could potentially limit the degree to which this new series could play in the space between films, so is it possible it can serve as a slight look beyond the purview of Episode VI? Yes, but because the publishing rights to Star Wars comics could revert to Disney (and by extension, Marvel), it’s anyone’s guess if the series will go that far. But, if you think you’d simply enjoy another adventure in that old, familiar galaxy far, far away, then this just might be the comic for you.
You can find it starting today at your local comic shop (click here if you want to find out where that is, since comic shops can always use more support), or if you’re not into hard copies, you can pick it up electronically via Dark Horse Digital for $2.99.
Follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow and @Moviesdotcom.