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Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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Top Customer Reviews
May of 1999 saw filmmaker George Lucas make his long awaited cinematic return to his immortal movie mythology with the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace;" followed by "Star Wars: Episode Two: Attack of the Clones" in 2002, and "Star Wars: Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith" in May 2005. These films came to be called "The Prequel Trilogy" and told the epic story of Anakin Skywalker, a young man gifted with the power of the Force, during a tumultuous time in a galaxy that bore witness to conflict and calamity on a cosmic scale. This grand space fantasy saga has been retold in the special hardcover volume, "Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy: A Graphic Novel" published by the Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm Press.
This trio of films relates an ultimate tale of good versus evil, a drama born of love and hate but most significantly, the responsibilities and consequences of choice. These are primal story concepts, first imagined on theatrical terms by Mr. Lucas, re-imagined in humanity's oldest storytelling form: drawing. Like its predecessor, the Star Wars: Original Trilogy Graphic Novel, released in 2016, this book takes inspiration from the movies its story is adapted from but in visual presentation, also pays homage to the fabled film studio that is the steward of this cherished chronicle, a studio named after its founder, Walt Disney. In fact, the central charm of this 208 paged tome is its distinctive artistic vision, different from its cinematic inspirations, films created with the most contemporary movie making magic. The magic this book creates is based on no less a primal concept: vision realized by the act of illustration.
But enough with the pontificating! On with this comic review!
"The Prequel Trilogy" is an ambitious epic and this graphic novel version of the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker offers ts own successes and shortcomings in bringing this immense tale to its audience. At its core, the book provides a truly entertaining alternative showcase of the story imagined by Mr. Lucas, rendered in an artistic style appealingly similar to classic Disney animation. The cartoon-like character designs are notable: for example, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn has a face dominated by his strong nose, while the precious Padme Amidala has large, expressive eyes, reminiscent of many past Disney heroines. Anakin is featured, as in the films, from childhood in "The Phantom Menace," filled with innocence and exuberance, to young adulthood in "Attack of the Clones," a man with eyes touched by subtle lines of shadow beneath them. By the time of "Revenge of the Sith," Anakin the Jedi Knight is a grim-faced hero, burdened by war, secrets and personal demons. Another rewarding aspect of the art is its combination of old school comic storytelling technique with computer imaging technology used to enhance such things as backgrounds, architecture, space ships and visual effects.
The flaws the reader will find in this adaptation are the same from the previous book of "The Original Trilogy," an abridgment of scenes and events from "The Prequel Trilogy" due to the page length of this graphic novel. While the retelling of "Episode One" seems to suffer the least when it comes to its translation from film to comic, the tales of "Episode Two" and "Episode Three" falter from a very rapid pace because of plot editing. Cases in point: Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi's intense encounters with bounty hunter Jango Fett in "Attack of the Clones" are lessened in their impact, while the emotional nightmares that so frighten Anakin in "Revenge of the Sith" are only fleetingly touched on, despite the great turmoil they create in the troubled Jedi. Still, the creative team of this graphic novel, which includes Alessandro Ferrari, Matteo Piana, and Ingo Romling, also responsible for "The Original Trilogy" adaptation, do succeed overall in making their sequential art version of this sweeping saga an engaging reading experience.
When the companion volume to this hardcover tome was released in 2016, it came as a pleasant surprise to this reviewer. Unlike the 2015 premiere of Marvel Comics' "Star Wars" monthly comic series with its multitude of "variant" covers to its first issue, this two book set of "Star Wars" comics was published with little if any advance promotion. But what this "Star Wars" fan happily discovered was a pair of graphic novels I am glad to add to my collection.
This book comes very recommended!
Enjoy and May the Force be with you, always!