Books + Comics // JUNE 29, 2016
StarWars.com looks at the best moments from last week’s comics, previews Darth Vader #22, and discusses the art of the adaptation!
Comic Book Galaxy explores Marvel‘s Star Wars comic book releases and provides a discussion point on the culture and climate of the Star Wars comic book universe.
For comic book fans, Wednesday is one thing and one thing only: New Comic Book Day! And StarWars.com is set to mark the hallowed occasion with Comic Book Galaxy, a weekly column celebrating all the going ons in Marvel’s Star Wars comics. In Comic Book Galaxy, StarWars.com will look at “The Week That Was” in Star Wars comics, feature a preview of this week’s releases in “Top of the Stack,” and provide some food for thought on the Star Wars comic book universe in “Word Balloon.” In this first installment, StarWars.com checks out the first comic book adaptation of a Star Wars film since 1983, previews Darth Vader #22, and asks what makes a comic book adaptation so meaningful. Let’s dive in!
The Week That Was
Highlights from Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1:
- In a similar vein to Star Wars #1, the book features an immediate splash page with the familiar “A long time ago …”, on page one, and then explodes into a two-page spread with the classic Star Wars font and logo! It’s an epic start to the long awaited adaption of The Force Awakens.
- The tone of the first issue really captures the frenetic pacing of the first 20 minutes of the movie, and the character likeness of the new big three of Rey, Finn, and Poe is very cool. Rey, in particular, stands out, especially in the panel when she states to Finn, “Luke Skywalker? I thought he was just a myth …”. It’s an uncanny resemblance with Daisy Ridley.
- Toward the end of the first issue, we see a bit of a shift in the sequence where Finn keeps insisting he needs to hold Rey’s hand, and she ends up helping him up as they race towards the Falcon; the view is from Rey’s perspective, and shows the poise, compassion, and vulnerability that make Rey such an instant fan favorite.
Top of the Stack: What’s Out This Week
Darth Vader #22
This week features Darth Vader #22; prepare to witness Vader’s showdown with an enhanced rancor as he hunts down Dr. Cylo aboard Cylo’s flagship. Meanwhile, Triple Zero and BT-1 have found Dr. Aprha, and are bringing her back to Vader. Aprha has not encountered Darth Vader since the events of Vader Down, and has been on the run from the merciless Sith Lord ever since; it’s not a good time to be Dr. Aphra.
Word Balloon: Brining The Force Awakens to Comics
With the comic book adaption of The Force Awakens, the thrill of experiencing a Star Wars film through the lens of a comic returns; it’s the first such adaptation since Return of the Jedi, and is well worth the wait. Besides the witty banter featured in the dialogue, the art provides the jaw dropping special effects and subtle character moments that are staples of the Star Wars saga. This wonderful combination takes our imagination to places far, far away, and in the hands of Chuck Wendig and Luke Ross, those thrills continue.
For many fans, the original adaptations of Star Wars by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin remind us of our first foray into the world of comics. Each issue brought the same excitement and action we had come to expect from this brand new space opera, but in a whole new way. Before the advent of cellphones and tablets, this was a way to bring the visuals and energy of Star Wars everywhere you went.
This spirit is captured beautifully in the new adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The essence and splendor of the story is intact, and creates a new dynamic. However, when crafting the script, what dialogue do you include, and what do you omit? That is perhaps the biggest challenge for a writer. Audiences are intelligent and discerning, with very specific opinions of varying degrees.
The Force Awakens adaptation did not have some of the exposition from the beginning of the film, which allowed for the reader to be inserted immediately into the plight of Poe Dameron, but omitted the fate of Lor San Tekka. Chuck Wendig’s choice makes sense here, as the exposition provided in the text boxes certainly gives the reader what he or she needs to know. It’s told in a classic pulp style, which adds a unique element to the storytelling.
Comic book adaptations also include extra gems that may have not been included in the feature film. For instance, Sarco Plank does get a closeup, and we delve a little deeper into the mystery of his character. This is a prime example of why a comic book adaptation of The Force Awakens is a cause for enthusiasm amongst Star Wars fans; we get to debate and discuss what could be fleshed out, what could be expanded upon or included, and experience it an entirely different way — sequential storytelling.
What does a comic book adaptation of a Star Wars film mean to you? What are some of your favorite moments or issues of Star Wars comic book film adaptations? What would you have added or omitted? Let us know in the comments section below!
Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and runs Coffee With Kenobi (with co-host Cory Clubb), a Star Wars podcast that analyzes the saga through critical thinking, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is an avid comic book consumer and longtime reader of the medium.