In 1977 Star Wars arrived in theaters and quickly fired the imaginations of millions of young people. In a world without cable TV, DVD's, and home computers, Star Wars fans looking to satisfy their hunger, turned to the Marvel Comics adaption. The Star Wars comics of the late 70's and early 80's were much more than "just" comics to my generation.
In the 1970's Marvel put in a great effort to bring many popular science ficton films to the comic book format. Examples include; Planet of the apes, 2001: a space odyssey, and an incredible adaption of Logan's Run (which was abruptly cancelled after Star Wars arrived). All excellent Sci-Fi films to be sure, however, there had not been a film in over a decade that was better suited to become a COMIC BOOK than Star Wars.
Marvels' adaption was destined to become a classic, but issue number one was something of a false start. The first issue featured a somewhat rough or "experimental" style of artwork. They quickly changed direction with issue number two and it was MUCH smoother sailing from that point forward. When it came time to go BEYOND the movie adapton, it was a big step for Marvel, who were not known for quality "non-superhero" content.
Some younger Star Wars fans may judge these stories to be corny, bizarre, poorly written and even poorly illustrated. But, I can tell you that these comics contain the true spirit of the TIME and of what Star Wars meant to my generation. There is a certain magic within the pages of these comics that can never be fully appreciated by anyone who has come to know Star Wars via Six films and nearly 30 years worth of other media and literature. I'm not claiming that younger Star Wars fans will not enjoy this collection, only that it might take an extra effort to understand where this stuff came from.
The comic books represented in this compilation were created during a time of great imagination and wonder, a time filled with "a new hope". This series is a great way for current fans to take a journey back in time, to a Star Wars universe that was still fresh and unexplored. If you're an original fan, you may feel (as I do) that George Lucas has since destroyed much of his own wonderful creation. Perhaps these stories will stand as a reminder of a much more innocent Star Wars universe, that once existed, "a long time ago...".
This is a great effort by Dark Horse to pay tribute to the original marvel comic books. The coloring has been revamped and looks bright and quite amazing. It's certainly nice to have all of the original issues contained within seven "easy access" volumes. Well worth the price!
The only cool feature missing from these volumes (that can be found in the original issues), is the "Star Words" page. A page that featured "letters" sent in from fans and readers. Today, it's certainly a real treat to read some of those letters which help to demonstrate what fans were thinking about Star Wars and this adaption... all those years ago. The missing "Star Words" pages certainly do not detract from the enjoyment of the comic book, but would have been a nice addition!
Also, while Dark Horse claims that all of the coloring is 100% faithful to the original artwork, this isn't entirely true. Cover art from each issue is reproduced within each volume. The cover of Issue #14 has been drastically altered. It originally had an AMAZING colored background behind the drawn warriors and was one of the best covers of the Marvel comics run. I'm only guessing that Dark Horse was not able to faithfully reproduce the incredible effect from the original cover and instead simply made it a "white" background. It's still worth tracking down the original comic just for the great cover design for that issue!