A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Darth Vader was green. About a month before the original Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, Marvel had published its first comic adaptation of the space saga based on George Lucas’s rough cut of the film and script notes.
Several scenes that were eventually excised from the theatrical release, including an early introduction to Luke and his BFF Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine, were included in the 30-cent comic book (the first of six installments covering the events in the film).
The cover infamously featured a green-hued Darth Vader and gave Luke a red lightsaber. The tagline: “Enter Luke Skywalker! Will he save the galaxy — or destroy it?
Now, after losing the Star Wars license to Dark Horse Comics for two-plus decades, Marvel is all in with the franchise (having Marvel and Lucasfilm both part of the Disney empire helps). This year has already seen the rollout of three highly regarded, big-selling titles set in the original Star Wars universe — Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia. On Friday, Marvel announced that a retooled version of its six-issue Star Wars adaptation, featuring the original text but with brand-new (color-correct!) art, will be released in single-edition graphic novel.
Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope comes out next month, with updated versions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to follow later this year.
Here’s a sneak peek at the new version, including Marvel’s do-over of that original cover.
Star Wars art courtesy of Marvel