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Manga A New Hope - Manga Volume 2
Art: Hisao Tamaki
Covers: Adam Warren
Editor: David Land

Summary

Translates and reprints a Japanese adaptation of the classic film, Star Wars: Episode 4 - A New Hope. Farmboy Luke Skywalker meets Ben Kenobi and disaster searching for his new droids.


EnsViews Comic Review
Reviewed 08/19/98

Story
I've never read an adaptation of a Star Wars movie (or any movie, on second thought) in any medium that captures the spirit of the original as well as this one does. I truly believe that someone could read this without ever having seen the movie, and enjoy the true Star Wars experience.

This adaptation takes same time to explore the depth of this universe as Lucas did in ground-breaking fashion in the first film. The best example is the cantina scene. In last year's Special Edition adaptation, the time from Ben and Luke entering the bar to when Ponda Baba gets his arm hacked off takes five panels (less than one page). In Manga #2 it spans over seven pages, taking the time to explore this exotic and alien locale.

To the best of my knowledge, Tamaki did not have the Special Editions when he created this adaptation, but one way or another his Jabba scene is very close to how I imagine Lucas wanted it to go originally. The scene starts very dark and eventually Jabba's form is revealed... much more like the original Jabba unveiling in 1983's ROTJ. The Fett cameo is so much like the one in the SE that I'm really left wondering which came first. (If the SE came first, why is this the only change used?)

The Alderaan explosion scene is SEVENTEEN pages long. This is really the pivotal scene in the film to show why the Empire needs overthrowing, and the manga version is actually better than the film. If there's ever another update made to ANH, I hope this scene is choreographed just like this comic (including the very effective new shots). It adds more emotion to the film than the Anchorhead Biggs scenes ever would.

The other interesting change is the moving of the scene reporting the capture of the Falcon to Vader and Tarkin. I'm still undecided on whether this is an improvement or not, but it's an interesting placement.

Art
It's sufficient to say that the art alone justifies the existence of this book. It captures the mythology and spirit of Star Wars in a way no other comic ever has. The pure essence of the characters come across so well that it doesn't matter that they don't look like the actors who played them. (I think that's the same quality I loved in the HTTE adaptation.)

A few of the artistic highlights for me were... a surprisingly menacing Greedo (no one objects to this seedy character being shot without provocation), Han and Luke getting into each other's faces a few times (totally redefining the relationship), and the much bumpier Mos Eisley take off.

Conclusions
Despite the increasing cost to me (due to a diving Canadian dollar), I think I got what I paid for. This is a fantastic book and I hope that this was mandatory study material for the Episode I adaptation team. (It's probably too much to ask that the four Ep I issues will be 90 pages each, isn't it?)

9/10. (If it were cheaper, it'd be a 10.)

Cover Image

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. With the exception of Dark Horse Comics Inc, they may not be reprinted without permission.

Titles, Cover images, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics Inc. and its respective Licensors.

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