Translates and reprints a Japanese adaptation of the classic film, Star Wars: Episode 4 -
A New Hope. Luke and the rebel pilots attempt to destroy the Death Star.
Considering the difficulties I've seen in many other comics trying to translate
a Star Wars-style dog-fight onto paper, this issue did an admirable job since
the Death Star trench run is pretty much the whole story here. The pacing was
well done, but didn't quite match the movie pacing as well as the previous three
issues. I noticed more missing snippets of dialog than in previous issues as well.
The pacing of the award ceremony felt quite rushed, and not quite true to the
film. I'm not sure is Tamaki ran out of pages, or if the drawn out feel of the
film turned out to be boring in translating it to paper. While still the best comic
adaptation of this scene to date, it was a slightly disappointing end to an
otherwise near-flawless series.
A brief version of the Biggs-Luke reunion in the hanger (as seen in the Special
Edition film) was the only added scene not from the original film. The dialog was
likely taken from an early script draft or from the radio drama. As in the Special
Edition, the lines about Red Leader knowing Luke's father are left out.
Of course, the primary marketing point for this title was the terrific manga
renderings of our favorite heroes and villains. This art form lends itself
particularly well to a space-opera epic like this. As in previous issues, the
black and white artwork is filled with great new camera angles and facial
expressions that breathe new life into the familiar plot and dialog. Particularly
effective this time around is the coloring and texturing of Vader as he slips
into the power of the dark side of the Force.
However, while concentrating and praising the book for its fresh take on the
characters, it is easy to overlook the stunning clarity, detail and accuracy with
which the Star Wars technology is drawn. The ships, droids, Death Star and other
technology is quite simply the best I've seen in any comic title. Yes, it rivals
even the best work in the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron series.
Still the best comic adaptation of a Star Wars film ever put to print. While
prohibitively priced, the quality shines through. I look forward to the upcoming
ESB Manga and trust that ANH Manga was required reading for the Episode 1