Monday, December 21, 2009

Star Wars: The manga

I've decided to get back into some reading. My back has been bothering me more lately and sometimes it's just relaxing to sit in my chair and read. Also very peaceful compared to the noise I'm used to (anime, WoW, video games). So today I decided to pick up an old classic Star Wars book called Heir to the Empire. It's the first in a trilogy and it introduces new characters that become HUGE in the Star Wars expanded universe like Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn. The sad thing though is that even though I've never even picked up one of these books I already know about all these characters because as a Star Wars geek it's just common knowledge. Still excited to read the books though.

So while I was looking through my bookshelf to see what other books I might have that I haven't read yet I stumbled upon my Star Wars manga. Yes, it does exist. They started coming out in 1997 right before the re-release of the movies. Now at this stage in my life I was not the anime/manga freak that I am today. The only anime I had watched at this point were Ninja Scroll, Akira, Street Fighter 2 the movie, and a few others here and there that my cousin got me into. I also referred to it as "Japanimation. As for manga I was just getting into it at the time when a friend at school let me borrow a few Ranma books. It was a lot harder to come by at this time. So when I went to the comic book store near my dad's house and found a Star Wars manga I thought it was probably the coolest thing ever! After seeing things like Akira and Ninja Scroll I could tell the Japanese knew how to do action so I couldn't wait to see how they would interpret Star Wars.

And boy was I impressed...

Fact: Han Solo is a fucking PIMP

Not only was the artwork amazing, it also felt totally natural. Mixing manga and Star Wars can seem a bit strange at first but once you get into it something just felt right. I loved it when I first read it 12 years ago, and I just read it again and love it on a completely different level now that I am obsessed with anime/manga. Even the death of Obi-Wan kinda got to me. They handle it so well in this book...

Vader looks so bad ass in the manga..

Another cool thing was that they added scenes that we're deleted from the movie into this story. So it was kind of like reading a Special Edition before they actually existed. This was a big deal for me cuz back then Star Wars was only on VHS. There were no DVD's, deleted scenes, or bonus features. Crazy huh? I had only read transcripts of deleted scenes in my Star Wars Insider magazine. So to actually see it drawn out was pretty damn rad. Sadly though, the comic book store stopped carrying it. I had got all 4 books of A New Hope and the first Empire Strikes Back book. That was it. When I asked the store clerk when the next ones were coming in he said they weren't. Like I said earlier, back then manga was not that big and for a small hole in the wall comic book store to keep carrying something that doesn't sell much, well, you get the idea.

But that has all now changed. After finding these books again today and very bitter that I never got to see the rest of them I turned to my friend the computer. Sure enough, there they are on Amazon! God bless the Internets. Most of them are going for $4 or less used, thank god. A NEW copy of book 2 of A New Hope is going for $75!! Sweet Jesus.

I just love knowing that you can almost find anything you want on the internet these days. I had given up years ago that I was never going to get the rest of these books and then it just slipped from my mind. So glad I checked that bookshelf today. lulz...

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