By now you probably know that Star Wars is coming back to its original home in comics over at Marvel with three new series (one of which has something like fifty different covers). But it’s not just new Star Wars adventures that are coming to Marvel. The original comic book adaptations of the classic trilogy of films are being remastered and re-released as oversized graphic novels, with completely new coloring to bring it up to modern standards by colorist Chris Sotomayor. The re-release will also have an all-new cover by artist Adi Granov, featuring the “big six” of the saga-Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Artoo and Threepio, with Lord Vader looming large above them.
The original Marvel Comics adaptation of Star Wars, which was written by legendary writer Roy Thomas and then up-and-coming artist Howard Chaykin, was actually released several weeks before the original movie came out in 1977, so for many fans it was their very first glimpse into the galaxy far, far away. It was also based on the original script, so there are several instances where characters say things somewhat differently than they do in the final movie, making the Marvel Star Wars adaptation something of a unique curiosity for hardcore Star Wars fans. The original cover for Star Wars #1 also had several weird inconsistencies with the final movie, like Darth Vader wearing a green helmet, Princess Leia wearing black, Han Solo holding a purple blaster, and Luke wielding a red lightsaber (hey Marvel, there’s an idea for a variant cover!). The original Star Wars comic was such a huge hit it helped save Marvel Comics during rough financial times, so it seems fitting that Marvel and Star Wars are now under the same umbrella.
The remastered graphic novel of A New Hope will debut in May, 2015, with adaptations of both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to follow throughout the rest of the year. Below is a before and after comparison of the old coloring and the new, from the opening pages of A New Hope.