‘The Star Wars’: George Lucas’ Early Screenplay Becomes a Comic Book Series

Movie TalkApril 1, 2013

You know the story of a farm boy who became the hero of a Rebellion against an evil Galactic Empire. But do you know the story of Annikin Starkiller, General Luke Skywalker and a lizard-like alien named Han Solo?

Before there was "Star Wars" (or, more completely, "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope"), there was "The Star Wars," a rough draft screenplay by an up-and-coming filmmaker named George Lucas. Bearing only a passing resemblance to what would become the biggest pop culture phenomenon of all time (don't argue), the 1974 script made for Lucas' very early vision of a galaxy far, far away with its tale of fantastic adventures, daring escapes, "lazer swords," romance and monsters.

The screenplay has been the subject of rumor and speculation amongst "Star Wars" fans for decades, and now we'll be able to see this strange yarn come to life via a comic book adaptation from Dark Horse Comics.

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"I'm not sure where I first read about 'The Star Wars' -- it was years and years ago -- but the idea of Luke Skywalker being an older Jedi General, and Han Solo being a six-foot-tall lizard, turned my 'Star Wars' fan brain on its side," said "Star Wars" editor Randy Stradley in an official press release. "I always assumed this would be one of those stories that would be 'lost to history,' so getting to work on bringing it to life is kinda like a dream come true."

The comic book series will be spearheaded by Stradley, artist Mike Mayhew ("The Avengers") and writer J.W. Rinzler, the executive editor at LucasBooks who was key in convincing Lucas to allow the adaptation.

"While researching in the Lucasfilm Archives I've found many treasures, but one which truly astounded me was George's rough draft for 'The Star Wars,'" said Rinzler. "His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read -- mind blowing. While working with George on another book project, I once asked if we could adapt his rough draft. He was hesitant. Years later, with Dark Horse's invaluable help, we showed him a few drawn and colored pages of what it might look like. He gave us the okay."

"The Star Wars" will be an eight-issue limited series, the first of which will hit store shelves in September. We expect it will sell out in a matter of seconds ... and inspire at least one big-screen adaptation rumor.