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George Lucas surprises customers and staff at Midtown Comics in Times Square when he stopped by Monday to catch up on a little reading.
“He was only in for about 15 minutes, his driver was waiting outside,” an unidentified store employee told Page Six. “Fans were pretty excited to see him and he signed a comic book. He was saying he hadn’t read any of the new Star Wars comics.”
Publishing | Although there’s been no official announcement beyond an Amazon listing, Fantagraphics is set to publish a Don Rosa Library line, beginning next summer with the 248-page hardcover Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: “The Son of the Sun.” That was the title of the cartoonist’s first Scrooge McDuck comic, released in 1987. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Writer and editor J.W. Rinzler talks about adapting George Lucas’ initial draft of the Star Wars screenplay into the Dark Horse comic The Star Wars: “This is not something you could film. Here’s a giant city and then here’s a giant vista filled with huge spacecraft. (Lucas) was doing his blue sky version of what he wanted to do. He knew this was not going to be filmable.” [The Associated Press]
USA Today has premiered the trailer for The Star Wars, the upcoming Dark Horse miniseries based on George Lucas’ rough draft for his 1977 blockbuster. Announced in April at WonderCon, the project is written by LucasBooks Executive Editor J.W. Rinzler and drawn by Mike Mayhew.
Lucas’ original 1974 version, called The Star Wars, featured elements that found their way, in substantially altered form, into ground-breaking movie franchise: “lazer swords,” Jedi Annikin Starkiller, General Luke Skywalker, an alien Han Solo, and evil Sith Knights.
“You can teach a college course on how he got from that story to his first Star Wars film,” Rinzler tells the newspaper. “Francis Ford Coppola read the rough draft and thought it was pretty good. He wasn’t really sure why George was changing it.”
The eight-issue miniseries debuts Sept. 4.
In what Lucasfilm and Dark Horse call “the biggest event in the history of Star Wars comics,” the publisher revealed over the weekend at WonderCon it will adapt George Lucas’ rough-draft original screenplay for the 1977 blockbuster.
Debuting in September, the eight-issue miniseries will be written by LucasBooks Executive Editor J.W. Rinzler and drawn by Mike Mayhew.
Lucas’ original version, called The Star Wars, featured elements that found their way, in substantially altered form, into ground-breaking movie franchise: “lazer swords,” Jedi Annikin Starkiller, General Luke Skywalker, an alien Han Solo, and evil Sith Knights.
“I’m not sure where I first read about The Star Wars—it was years and years ago — but the idea of Luke Skywalker being an older Jedi General, and Han Solo being a six-foot-tall lizard, turned my Star Wars fan brain on its side,” longtime Star Wars editor Randy Stradley said in a statement. “I always assumed this would be one of those stories that would be ‘lost to history,’ so getting to work on bringing it to life is kinda like a dream come true.”
So anything interesting happen yesterday? Oh, yes, that’s right. Even the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy wasn’t enough to delay the big announcement any longer: Star Wars is now the newest crown jewel of the House of Mouse. The announcement was made a day after plans were revealed to merge two of the world’s biggest book publishers, Random House and Penguin. The two events, while occurring independent of each other, have all sorts of implications both specific and more broad.
Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm started a lot of people talking, and considering the legacy of Star Wars, it’s only natural. With George Lucas out as director and Star Wars transitioning into something akin to the James Bond franchise, don’t get your hopes up for a return to the sensibilities of the original Star Wars movie. The word “family” was used six times to describe the space opera in the press release and subsequent statements, sending a strong signal that what we’ve gotten most recently is what we’ll get for the foreseeable future. Kathleen Kennedy was hand-picked by Lucas to succeed him as head of Lucasfilm and brand manager of Star Wars. Between her and Lucas’ role as creative consultant, they’ll ensure Star Wars retains something for the kids, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, except for when it manifests itself in the form of Jar Jar Binks and other cartoon aliens with vaguely racist accents. In addition to the two- to three-year cycle of Star Wars films, there are plans for a TV presence and an expanded presence at Disney theme parks.
George Lucas is partnering with Nerdist Industries for “Course of the Force,” a 136-mile lightsaber relay beginning July 7 in Santa Monica and ending July 11 at Comic-Con International in San Diego to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It will be officially announced tonight on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
The brainchild of Nerdist’s Peter Levin and Chris Hardwick, Variety reports the Star Wars-themed event will feature 500 participants walking or running quarter-mile legs, passing a Lucasfilm-produced “Course of the Force” lightsaber rather than the traditional torch or baton. Octagon and Machinima are co-producing the relay.
Participants are encouraged to come dressed in their best Star Wars or pop culture-themed running gear — Drew Carey and Jim Gaffigan have already committed to wearing costumes — for a chance to win prizes along the route. The conclusion of the relay in San Diego in the hours before Comic-Con’s Preview Night will be marked by a party and live podcast at the Balboa Theater.
All proceeds, generated through sponsorships, will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For more information, or to register for the relay, visit the “Course of the Force” website.
Legal | The trial resumed today, if only briefly, in Tunis for the president of a Tunisian television network accused of “insulting sacred values” when he aired the adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Tensions were so high in the courtroom that proceedings were postponed until April. The Oct. 7 broadcast resulted in an attempted arson attack on the network’s offices and the arrest of some 50 protesters. Nessma TV President Nebil Karoui, who apologized in October, is charged with “insulting sacred values, offending decent morals and causing public unrest” because of the outrage triggered by a scene in Persepolis showing God, which is prohibited by Islam. [AFP]
Organizations | Stumptown Comics, the organization that puts on the Stumptown Comics Fest every year in Portland, Oregon, has added three new members to its board: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Charles Brownstein, Boilerplate co-author Anina Bennett and editor Shawna Gore. [Stumptown Comics]