The Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Somewhere, deep inside of me, a piece of an eight-year-old boy died a horrible death. This is a graphic novelization of George Lucas' original rough-draft screenplay for what would eventually become Star Wars. Now, the eight-year-old me that originally saw the movie might actually have liked this version, given the intense action sequences and . . . and . . . *SOB!* - this book is a hot mess!
Do not read this graphic novel if you are looking for:
1) Good dialogue.
2) Clear differentiation between characters.
3) Familiar names associated with familiar faces - "Biggs," for example, is one of a pair of twin brothers of Princes Leia. "Darth Vader" is not a lord of the Sith and, in fact, the Sith knight presented in this story (view spoiler)[ends up allied with Jedi Anikin Starkiller fighting against Vader (who, incidentally, doesn't wear a mask and is only a tiny bit cyborg, as opposed to Anikin's father who is a human head and right arm grafted to a cyborg body and who opposes the Empire of which Vader is a part) (hide spoiler)]. Confused yet?
4) Love stories that make sense, with real motives and reasons behind their unquenchable love.
6) Reasons not to cry because of the Lucas sellout (of which this might be the most damning piece of evidence).
Do read this graphic novel if you are looking for:
2) A shattering of your childhood memories.
3) Clear indicators that Lucas had a lot of editorial help with the original movie.
4) A way to regurgitate that cleaning agent you accidentally swallowed.
That said, there was some pretty cool art. And it was interesting to try (not too hard, now) to figure out how this turd was polished into the final movie. For the academic interest, I'm pushing this up to two stars being held onto by a fraying fingernail clipping while dangling over the edge of the abyss.
This book provides clear evidence that you should never, NEVER publish a rough draft, even if a later version of the work was something special. Oh, that I wish Lucas would have followed Kafka's lead in manuscript preservation. I hope that there is a place, an alternate universe, perhaps, where Lucas and Kafka switched roles, with Lucas destroying all of his old manuscripts and Kafka preserving his, maybe some place that really exists:
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .
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