In Review: The Star Wars #0

The cover: A very cool cover by Nick Runge showcasing Kane Starkiller, with son Annakin and Princess Leia below. Two Stardestroyers fly on their left. I like that only Kane is partially colored making him really stand out. I’ve always enjoyed looking at “sketch” artwork like this, so this was a good cover for me. Overall grade: A

The story: There is no story in this book, nor is there any credit given to the individual who provided the text. What this zero issue does is show the design process that The Star Wars went through before it was published. Consider this as a primer for the series and an example of design work. Focus is given to The Starkillers, Luke Skywalker, Allies, Bring On the Bad Guys, The Sith, Other Forces of the Empire, Aquilaen Fighters, Imperial Stardestroyers, Pilots, Baltarian Freighter, The Imperial Capital, Imperial Air Tanks, And So Much More… Each section is a page or two long with explanations given as to why certain designs were used, negated, or tweaked. Creating a universe obviously couldn’t have been done on the wing and this shows how it was done. Additionally, the final ten pages of the book are what was shown to George Lucas to get his blessing on the series. To quote from the text, “These were produced from a plot-style script by J.W. Rinzler, highlighting key scenes from the original screenplay. Most of these scenes have already occurred in the series, but a few are still “new.” There’s no text on these pages but they are interesting to see what was pitched. I wish Dark Horse had given credit to the writer of this issue. Overall grade: A

The art: There are several artists and designers credited for the illustrations, but, sadly, each piece illustration is not credited to the artist. Credit is given on the inside cover to Mike Mayhew, Scott Kolins, Sean Cooke, Kilian Plunkett, Stephane Roux, and Ryan Kinnaird. I am old enough to have purchased The Art of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook which featured design work by Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis-Jamero. I looked at these drawings forever, wondering what would have happened if some of the pictures in these books had come to life on the big screen. This comic had the same impact on me. There are several sketches to completed pictures that are in the series. I’m sure super fans would have been happier with bigger pictures, but I was happy just to get this taste of what went on behind the scenes. The character sketches were awesome and the ships…I could get lost for days in looking at these. Additionally, there are three sketches for covers by Nick Runge and three of the Variant covers from the first issue, illustrated by Jan Duursema, Douglas Wheatley, and John Cassaday. The final ten pages are the pitch to Lucas, illustrated by Scott Kolins, current penciller of DC’s Larfleeze. Great artwork that communicates emotion without text. This was a visual treat. Overalll grade: A+

The colors: Two credits are given: Rain Beredo and Dan Jackson, but it’s not specified who did what. All I know is that the colored work looks great. The Variant covers are credited to Brad Anderson on the Duursema cover and Dave Stewart on the Cassaday cover. Overall grade: A

The final line: A nice peek behind the curtain that all Star Wars fans will want to own. Overall grade: A

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years. He’s since moved to a high school where he’s taught 9th grade and currently teaches 10th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.

 

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