Generally, I'm a big proponent of preserving comics/books/films/etc. as they were originally presented, warts at all. As a capsule of the time in which they were created/consumed, as a record of how the material looked when first distributed, etc. I don't get as riled up about the Star Wars Special Editions (and Lucas' subsequent tweaks in later releases of the films) as many (if nothing else, they afforded me an opportunity to see the Original Trilogy on the big screen while being old enough to know what was I watching), but I do wish the Original Trilogy, in unaltered form, as the films appeared when originally released, did exist on Blu ray or some other form that would enable it to live on, just for the sake of film history, if nothing else.
|New colors vs. old colors|
As for the actual coloring itself, it's...fine. I've said plenty of times before that I lack a lot of the necessary vocabulary to properly critique comic book art, and that holds true for coloring as well. Certainly, there's some charm in seeing some of the series' odd coloring choices "corrected", like the various lightsaber colors or having the green Imperial uniforms changed to a more film-accurate gray (a change originally inspired, perhaps, by the difficulty of consistently rendering grays on the page and the issue of bleed through, even in the late 70s). And the colors throughout the book definitely feel richer and deeper (for lack of better terms), and even the inks, in places, seem thicker and more defined, giving the art overall a much crisper look than more loose, sketchier originals - though that could all just come from the glossy pages as much as the reworked colors.
Certainly, none of the extras make this volume a must buy if you already own the issues elsewhere and don't care about the new coloring, but for anyone that does pickup the book on its own merits, it's always nice to have a little something extra, and Marvel's efforts in that regard are appreciated.
Ultimately, it's hard to recommend this book to anyone who isn't a diehard and/or obsessive Star Wars fan (which, granted, I pretty much am most of the time) or someone who has, for whatever reason, never encountered these issues before. Even then, I'd be tempted to recommend such neophytes check out the original issues, just to bask in the unique charms of 70s sci-fi comics. That then, is perhaps the catch-22 of this book, and Marvel's plans to apply the same treatment to their Empire and Jedi adaptations: the recoloring efforts work best when compared in conjunction with the earlier versions, but for anyone already familiar with those original issues, the recoloring doesn't really justify the expense of the book. For anyone who has read this before, it ultimately boils down to how much its worthy paying to satisfy your curiosity (or write a review of it...).
Nonetheless, I'm sure (and presumably Marvel agrees) there's enough of an audience out there (probably a younger one at this point) that's never read these issues before, and will be perfectly happy to pick up this version of the story. While the original issues will thankfully continue to live on in the omnibus and Marvel Unlimited (and probably some other places as well, eventually), I imagine this will be the iteration Marvel keeps in print for book store (and gift shop) sales, and that's just fine.