Series writer J.W. Rinzler spoke with Comic Book Resources about the process of adapting Lucas' original screenplay into comic form and bringing a new cast of characters and story to life...
Here's the whole interview:
"It's true that whenever you adapt one media to another alterations have to be made for obvious reasons. Also George was writing a rough draft -- he wasn't polishing it afterward -- so there are teeny plot holes once in a while or character inconsistencies. He was more interested in developing his big picture, the general flow, to his new worlds and drama. And that's what makes it so much fun: the grand sweep of the saga, the Empire vs. a -- sort of -- rebel planet; a Padawan being mentored by a wise Jedi; a primitive culture overcoming a technological one; the mixture of genres -- fantasy and samurai cum Western film -- and so on."
"The biggest single influence is Kurosawa's 'Hidden Fortress. The main ingredients in this cocktail are a tale of samurai gun fighters, a princess and peasants shaken up in a fantasy Flash Gordon world -- and spiced up with George's ideas on the Vietnam War and his anthropology and history studies. It's a potent combo!"
"Jedi General Luke Skywalker is the mastermind, the only one who always sees the big picture -- and who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and light up his lazersword. Annikin Starkiller is the brash youth, whose heart is in the right place, but who's a little rough around the edges and not above flirting with the general's female aides -- until he meets Princess Leia. The droids are a little bit more like the peasants in Kurosawa's 'Hidden Fortress,' in that both of them speak and squabble, so we have a more literal idea of what's going on in [R2D2]'s mind. Together, by about the mid-point in the series, they constitute a kind of dirty dozen team: Jedi, princess (and princes), droids, rebels...as they rise up to fight the Empire's bloody invasion of their planet -- and a dark Sith Knight."
"Leia and Annikin are teenagers, so they are in awe of [Luke] sometimes. Luke has more of a relationship of equals with fellow Jedi Kane Starkiller and Han Solo. He's also a general and at times running the defense of an entire planet. But Luke has a sense of humor, too. … [Annikin and Leia's] relationship is like a lot of film romances: it starts with sparks and conflict, and develops from there. But you know -- she's a princess in line to the throne of Aquilae, and he's a mere Padawan."
"Again, George [Lucas] is a master of raising the stakes and keeping things exciting. At first, a lone Sith Knight hunts a lone Jedi family. Next we have a brief appearance by the Emperor -- whose 'lieutenant,' Governor Hoedaack, becomes the main villain -- but in this he's aided by a ruthless general named Darth Vader. A little further along, another more deadly Sith Knight enters the fray -- and of course the ominous Space Fortress looms over all the good guys, bombing their planet into submission. Then of course you've got stormtroopers with lazerswords, ill-tempered aliens, ruthless trappers, and so on."
"Artist Mike Mayhew (who is rendering "The Star Wars," bringing the script to life on the page) is making it 'real,' bringing the characters, places, vehicles -- everything -- to vivid life. I'm writing the panels pretty open in terms of how the action takes place, as I think Mike needs freedom to make it flow together. And it's flowing! Mike is also giving the characters their inner life, through great portrayals of their changing expressions, their complex emotions, and their interactions. It's so much fun to see each panel, page, and issue come to life. He's now working on the layout of issue #3; the first issue is done and I love it. The second one is being colored now by Rain Beredo, whose work is also awe-inspiring. Once his work is done, the pages are mini masterpieces.
And like I've said, we're all referring back to the art of [Ralph] McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, and Nilo Rodis-Jamero at times for inspiration, not to mention the films themselves, as so many now iconic moments first sprang from George's mind while he was writing his rough draft back in 1974. Here, they often have a different form or place in the timeline. It'll be interesting to see if readers can spot them all. Some are obvious; some are subtle."
Previous articles on the subject:
The Unused Stories And Characters From George Lucas’ Star Wars That Could End Up In A New Comic Book.
Discussing "The Star Wars" - an Upcoming 8 Issue Comic Book About George Lucas' First SW Script From 1974!