With the recent Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser release, my love for the series has been reignited. Its flame never really goes out; I just normally tend to put the movies in the back of my mind for two important reasons. The first is to give me patience, and the second is to dilute the hype for myself. As we all know, hype can be the deciding factor on whether or not you come out of the theater satisfied or not.
The teaser trailer brought back memories of my childhood. Once in grade 6, my school had a talent show where we had to play a bunch of motion picture themes on xylophones. Star Wars was one of the themes we learned. I don’t remember the talent show itself because instead of participating, my mom came and picked me up so we could go see Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. I’ll always remember that day.
For each movie after that, I have a special memory or routine associated. With every Star Wars starting with 7, I’ve taken up the habit of reading Star Wars by Hong Jacqa on Webtoons. It’s a great manhwa that can be read and enjoyed by long-time fans or newbies alike.
The story follows Luke Skywalker as he goes through the motions of the hero’s journey. He starts off as a nobody in the middle of nowhere who suddenly has the fate of the galaxy thrust upon him. He has to fight and find himself as he faces against the most dangerous evil.
Sounds familiar right? It should because that’s the basic plot of Star Wars: Episode 4 to 6.
Star Wars is a retelling in comic form from Luke’s point of view. We don’t spend much time on other characters which could be a good or bad thing depending on who you are.
While it does follow the plot of the movies, it never feels like a 1:1 recreation. The writing and artwork hand in hand to give the story its own personal flair.
In theaters or on DVD we experience the story as outsiders. This webtoon feels more like a diary of sorts as we get to read Luke’s inner thoughts. It makes him seem much more human than those other forms of media ever could.
Another thing this has over the movies is the way extra information is given to us. In the movies, there was no time to get to know Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, so when they die, it doesn’t do much emotionally to us as viewers. In the comic however, we get to see that they care for Luke as a son while he cares for them like parents. This has the effect of imparting the feelings Luke feels to the reader.
Think of a character from the movies, and chances are they are more fleshed out in this.
The original trilogy has a diverse cast of characters that we know and love. Obviously, they all carry over to this version. The way they are introduced differs a little bit though. Ben is first introduced when Luke is 13 years old. Unlike his original appearance in the movie, he shows up with his lightsaber to save Luke. We get to see more of the warrior side of Kenobi while retaining the essence of his character.
Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of the main cast are pretty much the same way they were in the movies so if you liked them then, you’ll like them now. We simply get a better description of how Luke feels and who he is as a person. Seeing things from his point of view also shows us what he initially thinks of people, like Han.
The best part of the comic in regards to characters lies in its depiction of secondary roles, like Boba Fett. In the flicks, he always looked cool but never did much in terms of actions. He’s much more dynamic and we truly get the feeling that he is the best bounty hunter around in this. In one panel we see him spotting Luke before anyone else and shooting at him, barely missing his head. Nothing in the movie makes him look as cool. His last scene is also more exciting.
The art style is where this comic truly shines. Everything ranging from characters to backgrounds looks good. You really feel like you’re part of the world when looking at the art. The flow of motion translates extremely well to this type of style when compared to the blockier and robot like movements of live action.
The fight scenes are beautiful and breathtaking. I often find myself trying to see if some of the movements are physically possible. The answer is yes.
Every character is shown to be better fighters than in the movies. Let’s take for example the fight between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. In the movie, it was quite short, while the comic blends the over the top fighting from the prequels with the more serene style of the original trilogy. It might sound terrible but you just have to look at it to understand what you’ve been missing out on.
The lightsabers look solid but behave like light when they are being swung around. I know that they’re supposed to be more plasma than light, but it makes more sense to have it behave like liquid water when swung fast. This version nails it.
Standout scenes are those showing Darth Vader. The evil and sinister nature of his armor goes out of the pages to grab your happy emotions hostage. I have to admit that Vader’s armor never looked scary to me in real life, but this changes everything.
Hong Jacqa masterfully integrates flashbacks without dialogue. He recreates iconic scenes from the prequels and sprinkles them at such opportune moments that you can’t help but feel in awe. You can tell what each character is feeling based off how they are drawn.
To make a long story short, whether you love the Star Wars universe or have never seen anything related to it, you should definitely give this a try. It offers something new for all parties involved. Truth be told, I actually prefer this more to the flicks as their age truly shows. Don’t be mistaken, however, the only reason I can say that is because the original material was solid enough it can withstand the test of time.
The entire comic can be legally read for free here.