If you’re a huge Star Wars fan you’ve probably read the current and classic Marvel comics, as well as numerous that were originally published by Dark Horse Comics, but did you know that there’s an official Korean Star Wars webcomic?
It’s true. Created by Hong Jacga, this webcomic is a retelling of the original Star Wars trilogy from the perspective of Luke Skywalker. The reader sees the events through Luke’s eyes and goes a little deeper into his thoughts and fears in a way that we don’t see in the movies. This is all presented in the Line Webtoon platform which caters well for the desktop and mobile.
While this is a retelling of the original Star Wars trilogy it’s not a strict retelling with some events not retreaded, while other events are added in to help develop the characters or added in hindsight of events later in the trilogy. As I mentioned, this is not a blow-for-blow retelling with many scenes not retold but inferred through dialogue. Some of these scenes included the droids adventure in the Tatooine desert and the Death Star trash compactor. Considering that the vast majority of people who will be reading this have seen the movie before, probably many times means that they aren’t really missing anything and their minds will most likely fill in the blanks. I suspect that this is mostly done because Hong Jacga preferred to keep the focus on Luke as much as possible. To compensate there’s also a handful of scenes added. This is most prevalent at the beginning with the artist exploring Luke’s youth to help build the character and dive more into his motivations and the relationship between Luke and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. There’s also a conversation between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt that’s not in the movie which is not in the movie but works nicely as a bit of hindsight for later down the track.
Die-hard Star Wars fans might find the subtractions and additions creates some weird pacing issues. Some events, such as the Battle of Yavin, are fleshed out and feel like enough time has been spent to build suspense and tension while other events, like the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, feel rushed. For people who feel like a blow-for-blow retelling is the only way, this is going to feel a little frustrating. For me, it wasn’t too bad even if it feels a little odd at times.
Visually, this Korean Star Wars webcomic is very nice to look at. Being a Korean artist, Hong Jacga’s artwork is influenced by the general manhwa (Korean comics) style with it all being digitally painted. You can see every brushstroke of what I’m assuming is a graphics tablet and the colours chosen fit the tone of the scenes and are well lit, something that can be taken for granted by some artists. As a result, it looks more Western at first glance than other work’s form the same part of the world.
This webcomic takes full advantage of the Line Webtoon platform with panels laid out with mobile in mind first. Panels are not squished and allow plenty of room for the dialogue. There are also long vertical panels which are used cleverly with top-down shots of vehicles moving which forces you to scroll down, giving the illusion of movement. It’s easy to see that this webcomic was made with the intention of the platform instead of being a comic which has had to accommodate for the platform.
The one thing that brings this webcomic down is the dialogue, which some times is either a bit awkward or uninspiring. There are a few sentences which are awkwardly phrased and as a result, I had to read that passage multiple times. Some of the dialogue is also a bit bland, mostly when characters exchanged more casual conversation. It was just a bit boring and could’ve used a rewrite to be given a more personality. Due to the nature of this project, it’s hard to tell if this an issue with the original Korean script or the English translation. Either way, it’s something to look out for.
Overall, this Korean Star Wars webcomic is a nice curiosity which explores the original trilogy in a way that’s different to everything else. By telling the story through the perspective of Luke Hong Jacga has been allowed to go into unexplored territory and give this webcomic something different than a simple retelling. In combination with the digitally painted style and the made for the platform layouts these comics look great even if the dialogue is awkward and uninspiring. If you’ve never seen the original Star Wars trilogy I wouldn’t recommend this as it does require the reader to fill in some blanks. For those who have seen the movies before this webcomic will be a nice curiosity, even if it isn’t officially canonical.
The Korean Star Wars webcomic is updated every Thursday and Sunday on Line Webtoon.