|Drawn in Manga Studio and Photoshop! Open in another window for a HUUUUGE image.|
In 1977, when I was a tyke, I saw the first movie and I can confirm it was the best thing ever. Star Wars -- not the repackaged 'episode 4' nonsense, but just plain 'Star Wars' -- was the big-bang of nerd pop-culture and you have no idea how bleak life was before Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 appeared; all you had was William Shatner Star Trek reruns, Super-Friends cartoons and mid-70s Marvel comics. That stuff was cool to me, but mainstream America didn't think so. When Star Wars hit the theaters, everybody was willing to stand in line for hours to watch a movie I wanted to watch. Suddenly it was a great time to be a 10 year-old boy.
A few years down the road, I thought the Empire Strikes Back was excellent. In retrospect I probably embraced it because, while it still appealed as a boys adventure story, the darker tone matched my outlook during the moody teenage-nerd years. I have no doubt it was an incomplete, incomprehensible, Muppet-infected entertainment experience if you weren’t heavily invested in the first film, but it hit the right spot for me.
Return of the Jedi – aside from the stunning leap in special effects – was a disappointment, but I accepted it as good enough for a conclusion to a decade of waiting to see how it would all turn out. I considered it over. Boy, was I wrong.
Thirty-six, thirty-seven years later, here I am drawing Star Wars characters for a story riding the wave of hype for the next Star Wars movie. It's kind of weird that something so closely tied to an artistic and cultural milestone of my childhood has such strong appeal today.
Update! Here's the print version, designed and arranged by Daymond Gascon.