Matthew Rosenberg on Reviving the Original 'Star Wars' Comic Series
Get the roguish writer's perspective ahead of today's 'Star Wars' #108!
Cantina Comlink is your weekly smuggler’s run to spotlight Star Wars comics as only Marvel can make ‘em!
Everything old’s new again! Today, a mighty modern Marvel mastermind joins up with a crew of amazing artists to return to the classic comics of yesteryear with STAR WARS #108!
Writer Matthew Rosenberg’s the lucky guy who drew the plum assignment, and...what’s that you say? The current STAR WARS series hasn’t gotten that far yet? Well, nerf herders, that's because this ish picks up where the original Marvel series ended in 1986 to revisit that totally unique take on everyone’s favorite Galaxy Far, Far Away!
All your favorites from the past will be there, and we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with Rosenberg to tell you what to expect.
Matt, here’s the Most Important Question first: Favorite of the ten Star Wars feature films, and why?
Oh wow. You're putting me on the spot right from go!
Is there any other way to do it?
Well, I love them all, but my heart will always be with Episode IV. It's the first one I saw and it started it all. It's where my love for Star Wars began.
How did you become involved in STAR WARS #108? How did you feel when you knew you had it?
I had been writing X-Men for a bit when then X-Men editor Mark Paniccia moved to take over the Star Wars line. Mark is a great editor and even better person, and we kept saying how we should catch up at some point now that we weren't working together. We finally got together for lunch and after a bit I started really bombarding him with Star Wars questions. It maybe wasn't the best form on my part, but it sort of worked.
After a couple days he shot me a note asking if I liked the classic Marvel Star Wars books and I told him that I loved them and even had a complete run of the series in single issues. A couple days later he asked if I wanted to do this story that continued the original run and I could not have said "yes" faster. After I sent that email that I needed to sit quietly for a bit. It's not every day that you get asked to continue telling one of your favorite stories of all-time.
Now, how would you characterize that classic era of Marvel's 1970s-'80s Star Wars comics?
They're really wild in a very unique way. They are very much Star Wars, but somehow different. At their core they are great pulp, sci-fi adventure stories. I think they owe a lot to the old adventure comics in the same way that the movies owe a lot to the film serials. But as the Star Wars universe progressed with more films, the comics were clearly forging their own path often. It makes for a very fun sort of "alternate history of Star Wars" feel. Plus the talent on these books, both in terms of art and writing, is unquestionable. There are so many legends working on those issues that they can't help but be great comics.
You know it! You’ll be revisiting the famous "Crimson Forever" storyline—what about it still stands out as a landmark Star Wars tale today?
It does a great job of creating this epic story that feels at once both very much part of the larger Star Wars universe while also feeling completely stand alone. It brings a great creepy horror vibe to the Star Wars universe too. Of all those issues in the first half of the run, “Crimson Forever” feels the most like a "lost Star Wars film" to me.
The original series had so many fan-favorite characters that weren’t in the films, like Jaxxon, Amaiza, Domina, Valance…which one did you most look forward to writing, and why?
Jaxxon. Because he's Jaxxon.
Smart answer! Okay, final trench run: What other aspects of the classic Marvel Star Wars characters, stories, and concepts would you most like to explore, given the opportunity?
I loved the direction they were taking the series post-Return of the Jedi. They were building something new with The Alliance of Free Planets, and the rise of the Tof and the Nagai. For so long they'd told these amazing adventure stories set in around the framework of the Galactic Civil War. But as the war ended we were on the verge of seeing something new, stories of a rebuilding. It's not a story we see a lot in Star Wars, or fiction at all, but I was always fascinated by it. What does the galaxy look like as it strives for peace?
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