Just in time for its 20th anniversary, the manga adaptation of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace has resurfaced! The movie, originally released on May 19th, 1999, began the story of showing audiences the younger years of Anakin Skywalker, who would eventually become the series' villain, Darth Vader. While the film has not withstood the test of time, this didn't stop fans from discovering the manga adaptation for it from the depths of Jabba the Hutt's fortress.
Published in December of 1999, the manga adaptation was released in two volumes, covering the events of the first prequel film. Drawn by critically acclaimed artist Kia Asamiya, Phantom Menace's manga did a great job of taking the events of the film and transitioning it into a manga style that took the energy of the West and brought it to this franchise of the east.
While this initial manga was brought to us by Dark Horse Comics, we would eventually see the Star Wars property move proper to Marvel Comics, thanks to the comic company being bought by Disney as part of the purchase of Marvel Studios. Marvel has not only created a slew of new Star Wars comics under the pens of some of their most popular current writers and artists, but has also taken the time to re-release a lot of the older Star Wars comics that may have otherwise been lost to the passage of time.
The movie itself was written and directed by Star Wars creator, George Lucas, following the exploits of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, as the pair of Jedi attempted to navigate the world of Naboo. A deeper, more evil plot was then discovered as young Anakin was found along with Queen Padme and the much maligned Jar Jar Binks.
Obviously, mileage may vary on the content of the story itself, but this manga may be well worth your time simply in seeing how this world of Jedi are translated into a manga style. Specifically, the "Duel of Fates" would certainly make for a kinetic, eye popping fight with Darth Maul being portrayed frighteningly in this style. '
There is a ton of upcoming Star Wars material for fans to consume in the coming months and years, with the next film in the franchise being Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker dropping in theaters on December 20th. Disney Plus, Disney's new streaming service, will also be releasing their first Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian, on November 12th.
Interested in picking up this manga adaptation in celebration of the Phantom Menace's 20th anniversary? Wondering what a manga interpretation of Jar Jar Binks looks like? Let us know in the comments or feel free to hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics and anime.