So Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back took the honours in the recent Channel 4 100 Best Movies poll. Fair enough. There was no way the fickle British public was going to give me the Wicker Man at the top of the tree, but do two great movies substantially justify the cash cow? While Return Of The Jedi was nothing but a muppet movie and opinion on the new breed is split 50/50, I think they do.
So a long time ago, before we all got so cynical, Star Wars was a very cool idea, and the re-releasing of the entire set of comics from the end of the seventies in graphic novel form is one of the things that's nice to have around. It's certainly a better option than creating more out of less. The artwork is typically pulp, but the stories are brilliant; managing to catch the spirit of the moment and also throwing us off course in myriad new directions.
Resurrection Of Evil - the third book in the series - begins with a great retelling of the basis of the Empire movie and then shoots off, taking us to new places and directions with Chewbacca, Lando and Han coming across as far deeper characters than we really get to see in the movies. There are also characters not seen before, some of which would have really worked on screen a lot better than ol' floppy ears did. Mr Lucas - go back and mine your past!
Dark Horse Comics have not only mined the past, but they've digitally re-coloured it too. Get this: One hundred and ten comic books! That's a lot of work, and the series is all the better for it, as those works of old tended to look a little washed out sometimes.
Of all the stories, The Last Jedi stands out as being the most readable, but the whole thing is a great collection. We like this. Points only lost from a full five for just being old really, because the medium has moved on so much in the meantime. Perhaps it's a testament to what George Lucas used to be capable of that nothing else from that generation will be remembered with such clarity.
:: Sion Smith