Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition
Dark Horse (January, 1997)
collects all four issuesADAPTATION: Bruce Jones PENCILER: Eduardo Barreto INKERS: Eduardo Barreto, Al Williamson, & Carlos Garzón COLORISTS: James Sinclair & Cary Porter COVER ART: Greg & Tim Hildebrandt LETTERER: Steve Dutro COLLECTION DESIGNER: Scott Tice COLLECTION DESIGN MANAGER: Brian Gogolin ASSISTANT EDITOR: David Land EDITOR: Bob Cooper COLLECTION EDITOR: Lynn Adair
When George Lucas unleashed his Special Edition reedits of Star Wars Dark Horse published adaptations of all three movies. For some reason this is the only one that wasn’t a reprint of the Marvel stories. Maybe because they already did that. Maybe because there were changes between the movie and the adaptation. Or maybe it was the things Lucas added. Whatever the case, you know the story so let’s get right to the review.
The artwork is beautiful and for the most part the story matches up. For the most part. A lot of my problems are with “part one” (mostly likely the first issue of the series collected here). I don’t recall the scene with Biggs added to the movie. (Which is odd because there’s evidence they filmed it.) So that’s not there, fine. But there is a lot of compression in this issue, which means when you read the dialog the only way you know parts of the conversation is because of the movie. Otherwise you’re kind of confused when lines come out of nowhere.
The Special Editions added mostly show up in this first issue. We get the scene with the Jawas on the Bantha that was added in. We also get the long-deleted scene where Jabba talks to Han in the hangar now that the technology is there, the only thing I liked about the Special Editions. I didn’t hate it, it just otherwise felt unnecessary. But this wasn’t my vision. However we lose the scene where Ben/Obi-Wan puts a whammy on the Stormtroopers so they can move along. It’s mentioned but the scene itself is part of pop culture. (“These are not the droids your looking for” most notably but the whole scene has been homaged on many occasions.) And yet in the last issue the final battle is written with as much detail as possible. It’s like Barreto wanted to get past all the Force “nonsense” and get to the space battle. Or maybe he needed a fifth issue or something.
I know I’m harping on the errors after saying how beautiful the art is (and it is) but there’s one more complaint from that first issue. Both C-3PO and Darth Vader take poses that they can’t or wouldn’t. Had I reviewed these individually I would have been harsh to issue #1.
I guess it’s not something you need. The movies are readily available and I have yet to hear a fan praise Greedo shooting first (possibly out of fear for his or her life). It’s written well enough (except for the first issue’s gaps) and the art is really good. But without the curiosity factor of the previous draft adaptations Marvel did it’s just not something that needs to be hunted down.