Contributor: Rick McGimpsey
The original Marvel Star Wars movie adaptation is not so much an adaptation of the film as it is an adaptation of the Alan Dean Foster novelisation. The same differences from the movie that are in the book are present in the comics. The X-Wings are Blue Squadron instead of Red Squadron, the deleted scenes are adapted, the word Sith is used once again, and so on.
Like last time the original opening crawl is missing, but instead of the Prologue we got in the book we have a new opening crawl which is drastically reworded from the crawl in the film.
In addition to the dialogue again being jarringly different from the film much of the designs and imagery are strangely altered from the movie as well. Both of C3PO’s legs are gold, the interrogation/mindprobe is a humanoid droid instead of a floating sphere, and weirdest of all is the unusual depiction of Jabba the Hutt. If you remember from my review of the novelisation Jabba was described as jumping which indicated a non-canonical physique to Jabba. This is confirmed by the comic adaptation where Jabba is a bipedal humanoid wearing an orange uniform whose head looks like a yellow furry seal. This is a far cry from the slug we see in Return of the Jedi and the A New Hope Special Edition and no amount of imagination can come up with an explanation or jusification for this blatant contradiction of Star Wars lore.
Another thing that is different will please the “Han Shot First” protestors. In this adaptation, not only does Han shoot first, but he also shoots Greedo in mid-sentence with no warning whatsoever. I wonder how George Lucas would have felt about that!
One final comment I wish to make is on the original covers of the issues which are hilariously misleading. Issue #1 has a tagline on the cover saying, “Enter: Luke Skywalker! Will he SAVE the Galaxy – or DESTROY it?” Since when were any of us worried about Luke doing anything of the kind? Issue #2’s cover shows Obi-Wan and Luke having a standoff in the Cantina. I don’t remember that from the movie! Issue #4 depicts Luke attacking Lord Vader despite Obi-Wan’s protests. I am not sure what Luke was so pissed off about since Obi-Wan wasn’t even dead yet. Issue #5 Shows Yavin 4 getting blasted by the Death Star! Holy crap! And Issue #6 has a cover with Luke and Vader dueling each other both using red lightsabers! For some reason that I do not understand the comics had an aversion to showing Luke using a blue lightsaber as we shall see later.
I have no clue why these covers were used, but they give inaccurate expectations for what happens in the issues and I just have to laugh every time I see them.
Overall I think this adaptation is not necessary. It’s no different than the novelisation and the only reason to read it would be preparation for issues #7 onward in the Marvel Star Wars line. If you want to read graphic novelisations of the Star Wars saga there is an updated version of A New Hope using Special Edition imagery that is more tonally consistent with the other adaptations leaving this one skippable. If you wanna good laugh or just want to be a completist in reading Star Wars EU material then this adaptation is a must. Otherwise it is nothing special. Unless of course you are one of those people who gets a kick out of Biggs saying “So long, Piggy.” after Porkins gets shot down. Yes, that actually happens.
Check in next time for my review of issues #7-10 of the Marvel Star Wars line and may the Force be with you.