Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Star Wars Manga

Hello, Space Monkies.

A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was a simple children's space opera film series. It was known as "Star Wars". You may have heard of it. It was an epic adventure through the stars, as we followed young Luke Skywalker fight the evil Galactic Empire and grow up into a wise and powerful Jedi Knight. A deceptively simple-looking tale of Good versus Evil, coming of age, and a very weird and unwelcome incest subplot that was completely unnecessary to the narrative and only was thrown in to resolve a hanging romantic rivalry issue. It was a story that saw the destruction of whole worlds, along with droids, and wookies, and X-wings, and lightsabers, and the single most badass character in the history of putting the words "bad" and "ass" together to represent ultra-cool.

Of course, it could never stay just three movies. No, this series was much too big for that. We got rereleases, board games, video games (awesome ones at that - especially the N64 ones), toys, LEGO sets, candy, trading cards, and every other object that's ever been marketed towards kids. More movies would come as well. The prequels weren't quite so good: okay, two of them absolutely sucked, but let's not dwell on that. There was an absolutely horrendous "Clone Wars" movie. Despite that, there's even rumors of another three movies, just out of the sheer quest for more money. Star Wars has enough published novels to warrant its own bookcase at Barnes & Noble. The extended universe is so complex and deep that no single man could ever possibly read it all.

There's a hidden magic behind these movies that just drives us all insane. Its the kind of magic that can lead a person to declare eternal vengeance against characters they don't like. The kind of magic that results in arguments over Mitichlorians, and makes some people dress up like Jedis for Halloween. The kind of magic that warrants a blog writer to waste three paragraphs on a really pointless introduction that is basically leading nowhere.

[And somehow a transition is made to the topic at hand.]

Manga is pretty much the last place I'd ever expect a Star Wars character to ever show up. But I suppose it was inevitable: the Japanese art style has been so pervasive that you can find manga of Shakespeare now. Shakespeare!! What's even more amazing is that this comic predates that Shakespeare work by almost a decade; this came out in 1998 in Japan. What we have here is a twelve volume set, four for each movie, of comic books that retell the events of the original Star Wars movies in anime form. (And yes, I know there has been a lot of Japanese stuff lately, it certainly isn't by design. This is probably going to be a standard for this blog.) Once you get beyond the shock of seeing Luke Skywalker with big ol' Ash Ketchum eyes, you'll notice that is easily the most faithful adaptation of the original series you'll ever see.

Its basically a shot-for-shot remake of the movies, with every bit of dialog taken directly from the script. The text is so faithful, in fact, that I wonder if the translator even bothered with the original Japanese and just skipped right to replacing it line for line. Considering how many times I've seen these movies (over 100, easy) I personally don't even need a translation. I would know exactly what was happening just from the drawings. Hell, I could fill in laugh the dialog myself: "Going into Hyperspace aint like dusting crops, boy!! Without precise calculations you could fly right through a star or jump into a supernova, and that would end your trip real fast, wouldn't it?"

Yeah... that's pretty sad. I should go outside after I finish writing this.

Other than that, its the same old Star Wars you've grown up with. I'm assuming you did grow up with Star Wars, I really can't imagine a life without it. For some reason the artist changed between each movie, so the characters look wildly different from Episode to Episode. At the moment I've only finished "A New Hope", but I'm planning on hitting "The Empire Strikes Back" later. The anime tropes annoy me sometimes, like when Luke has a dramatic anime outburst during what should be a somewhat more serious performance. And the character designs look NOTHING like the actors they're supposed to represent. Check out Obi-Wan, give me a call if you see a hint of Alec Guinness in there. It really is very good. Not as good as the movies, but it is interesting to see the story through a new medium and art form.

Here's a link to the entire thing which has been uploaded online: . Its definitely worth a view.


  1. Lololololol. Thanks for the link Blue. I've never been TOO much of a SW freak myself, but(well, okay that's a lie, I fucking love it) but seriously, a manga? They're taking this thing way too far, yet nevertheless I'll probably end up reading it anyway.

  2. Wow, a Star Wars manga!?

    hmm, now if that isn't the most interesting idea I've ever heard...

  3. A Star Wars Manga.......

    (Xepscern can no longer respond, since his brain exploded from the awesomeness).

  4. I actually have never watched Star Wars. Any of the movies.

    *waits to be killed*

    Blue, if you're going to post more art, why not make a deviantART account? It would be nice to see more. :)

  5. (Excuses Incoming) I probably should, but 90% of all the drawings I make are in my notebook, with actual college notes on the backside. This creates two problems: 1) I need those notes, 2) I can't scan them. Basically in order to show something, I have to steal some plain white paper, then use my roommate's scanner. And everything is stuck in black and white since I have nothing to color with but some crayons I got from The Olive Garden restaurant on route 1.

    And even after all that, I'm never satisfied with anything I do anyway. At least they look good when they're just heads...

  6. Oh wait a second... I do have a deviant ART account. I don't remember making it, but apparently its mine. It can't be an imposture since I knew the password, somehow. Linky: