Like my selfie? It’s my first…maybe it makes me look fat? Must be something wrong with the iPhone.
Anyway, I just had the opportunity to read Gorge Lucas’ original draft of “The Star War” in comic book form thanks to my son. It seems Dark Horse recently took a crack at putting that rough manuscript in the best possible light. With artwork inspired by Star Wars original concept art, Dark Horse produced a beautiful looking comic…with a so-so story.
Not Dark Horses’ fault! The bare truth of the matter is, young Gorge had a long way to go in his writing career. O”h really,” you might think to yourself, “tell us more oh wise one of the one published SF novel fame.”
Okay, I will.
First off the pacing is terrible. We have Imperial X-wings flying against the Death Star in Act One and Wookies piloting Y-wings against the same station in Act Three. And holey plot holes, Batman, the Wookies have a lot better luck despite only having learned to fly a few hours ago., the story has no clear protagonist. Is this the tale of General Skywalker, the aged Bantu Jedi? Or perhaps young Aitkin Starkiller, who is in all the scenes Skywalker is not, is our hero?
So why am I referring to a Star Wars comic in terms of Act One, Two or Three. Simple; the “three act play” is one of the most common structures of any story you happen to read or see on the screen. Not an accident, the format is so common because it works very well.
I often describe the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) as the perfect three act play. It opens Act One with threat (big fracken star destroyer), introduces the characters and wraps the act up nicely when the Millennium Falcon blasts it’s way out of Moss Eisley Spaceport. Act Two smacks us right off with the first catastrophe (Alderan destroyed) and sends us chasing through he Death Star to rescue the princess. Act Three gives us the second catastrophe right up front (Empire finds Rebel base) and proceeds to give us a great climax as the Death Star goes boom–the end, roll credits.
We have no real plot holes in this movie. Luke establishes he’s “not such a bad pilot himself” when we first meet Han in the cantina. Therefore when the finial battle commences, it’s reasonable to assume Luke can fly a space fighter.
Guiding us through the three acts is our clear protagonist; Luke. Luke is quite the dynamic character. He begins in Act One as the ignorant farm boy who dreams of adventure, and ends as the heroic combat veteran who’s learned to trust The Force.
In a way, it’s comforting to know old Gorge started out like the rest of us. He had lots of good ideas and he was brave enough to take the risk of throwing those ideas on the page and show his writing to others. Happily, he had the humility to take advice from others as well. Form a disorganized mess, came a clear narrative of one of Hollywood’s most iconic achievements. Too bad he didn’t have that same humility when it came time to pen the prequel trilogy.
Personally. I blame Jar-Jar.