Of course, shame on me for knowing absolutely nothing about the property, but thank goodness in this day and age we knuckleheads have a little something called Wikipedia.org. (And, yes, thank you very much, I donate to them annually given how much I make use of the site.) Apparently, Valerian and Laureline is a popular French ongoing comic book series involving two young(ish) space/time travelers dating back to 1967. Wikipedia even cites that the graphic franchise shows its obvious influences on Star Wars, Avatar, and The Fifth Element. Of course, the last one isn't a surprise, given the fact that it was written and directed by Besson himself.
I ordered myself a used copy of the first collected volume of the ongoing Valerian story so as to become familiar with it. Once I have, I'll try to post something up here for those who might be interested. Also, I did tweet back to Besson that for my sake I hope Valerian doesn't end up like The Fifth Element. Honestly, I wasn't all that impressed with the flick. Sure, it had great visuals, but the story was penny-ante, at best.