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Star Wars Comics: Beginners Guide

Updated on March 1, 2016

Marvel and Star Wars

With both Marvel and Star Wars under the Disney banner these days, it only makes sense that Marvel has taken up publishing the official Star Wars comics. The best part of this arrangement is that each comic put out by Marvel from now on is considered canon!

That's right: definitive "this actually happens" Star Wars content!

With the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, it's no one these are some of the hottest selling comics on the market.

Index

  • Ongoing Titles

    • Star Wars [between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back]

    • Darth Vader [between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back]

    • Kanan [During the Clone Wars] (Prequel to Star Wars: Rebels)

  • Crossovers

    • Vader Down [Star Wars & Darth Vader]

  • Mini Series

    • Princess Leia [between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back]

    • Lando [between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back]

    • Chewbacca [between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back]

    • Star Wars: Shattered Empire [between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens]

  • Coming Soon

    • C-3PO (One Shot) [between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens]

    • Obi-Wan & Anakin (Miniseries) [Between The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars]

Star Wars (Ongoing)

Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
12 issues as of November 18, 2015
1 Trade: Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes (#1-6)
2nd Trade: January 2016

Fellow fans of the original trilogy will be pleased as punch with this series. Jason Aaron and John Cassaday must really understand what made the original trilogy so special.

We follow the iconic cast and Aaron keeps everyone true to themselves: Han is somewhere between swashbuckling smuggler and luckless hero with Chewy by his side. Luke struggles with his newfound Jedi abilities in absence of his mentor yet is still a passionate believer in the Force. And Leia remains the ever determined freedom fighter. We also see Darth Vader and fan favorite Boba Fett play important roles and the end of the first trade (issue 6) hints at a major plot for Han.

Cassaday brilliantly captures the likeness of each character keeping in touch with the original films not only in tone but in the visuals. Together Aaron and Cassaday really evoke that classic Star Wars feel that will touch any fan.

Star Wars: Darth Vader (Ongoing)

Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
12 issues as of November 18, 2015
1 Trade: Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes (#1-6)
2nd Trade: January 2016

So first let me say that Darth Vader is BAD ASS! This series follows our favorite Sith Lord concurrently with the Star Wars title. If you're a fan of the big bad, this book has everything. Vader does what he wants, kills who he wants, and finds what he wants. Well mostly, darn you rebel Jedi!

With the destruction of the death star, Vader has lost some of his coveted power. Thus, he endeavors to assemble his own...private forces, meaning he even comes with bad ass sidekicks!

  • Boba Fett and scary black Wookie? Check.
  • Evil murder-bot versions of C-3PO and R2D2? Check.
  • Passionate rogue archaeologist with a penchant for hacking weapons? Check.

Hmmm, this line up starting to look a little familiar...... Something about apples and falling from trees?

Seriously though, Vader is majorly impressive in his role and getting to see things from his point of view is a pretty sweet perspective switch from normal. We get eyes on the Empire in a way we never have before and if you the plot upsets are only for the main title? Think again!

SERIOUSLY READ THIS COMIC

Source

Star Wars: Kanan (Ongoing)

Prequel to Star Wars: Rebels (During the Clone Wars)
12 issues as of November 18, 2015
1 Trade: Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes (#1-6)
2nd Trade: January 2016

Kanan: The Last Padawan, or just "Kanan" as it's later titled, follows the origins of the eponymous character from the TV series Star Wars: Rebels. It's a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for Kanan and for the reader. The series starts out with Kanan, or Caleb as he's then known, with his master fighting in the Clone Wars. Then we see Order 66 play out first hand, leaving our hero alone in the world. On the run, no one by his side, Kanan has to do what it takes to survive; A lesson he learns quickly.

I'm sure fans of the show might pull more from this series than I did, but it's emotional center really hit me. With a tone and feel carried out beautifully by the artist you can really feel Kanan's fear, his desperation, and the betrayal. Issue 1 didn't pull me in like the other Star Wars titles, but by 2 and 3 I was hooked.

Star Wars: Vader Down (Crossover)

November-December 2015
Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
6 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Vader Down April 19, 2016.

It's our first star wars crossover! Starting with a one shot, Star Wars: Vader Down #1, the story will then bounce back and forth between Darth Vader and Star Wars until it's epic conclusion. As of 11/25/2015, only two parts of the six issue story have been released. But here's what I can tell you.

Vader Down is the big bad Sith Lord himself standing alone against the entire Rebel Alliance! Vader is the reigning king of badassery, but even he can't handle an entire armada alone. So the hunter becomes the hunted as Darth Vader fights to survive!

  1. Star Wars: Vader Down, Part 1
  2. Star Wars: Darth Vader #13
  3. Star Wars #13
  4. Star Wars: Darth Vader #14
  5. Star Wars #14
  6. Star Wars: Darth Vader #15

Source

Star Wars: Princess Leia (Miniseries)

March–June 2015
Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
5 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Princess Leia, Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Shattered Empire


Beginning with the award ceremony following the destruction of the death star in A New Hope, we see Leia focused on serving the rebellion's cause. Through not publicly grieving the loss of her homeworld, we see several rebels refer to her as the "Ice Princess" including an Alderaanean named Evaan. Frustrated with the higher-ups of the rebellion curtailing her from aiding in a meaningful way, for her protection, she takes Evaan and R2D2 with her on a patriotic mission: To save all remaining Alderaaneans from an Empirical witch hunt.

Leia really shines in this mini showcasing her resolve and strong moral core. She does whatever it takes to save and serve her people. To her every single Alderaanean is important, an idea she proves over and over again. Evaan seemed to me as almost serving as a reader avatar as she gets to know Leia. I feel the reader, like Evaan, really gets a good look at the real Leia and even those who aren't necessarily her biggest fans, both characters and readers, will find newfound respect for the her.

Source

Star Wars: Lando (Miniseries)

July-October 2015
Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
5 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Lando January 16, 2016

Lando Calrissian, the swag master himself. This mini tells a tale of cunning and guile that gives us a good look at Lando before cloud city; when he was nothing but a silver tongue and a deft hand. Trying to pay off a debt to a gangster, Lando takes on a job stealing a yacht filled with treasures from an Imperial shipyard. Lando might just be the luckiest scoundrel there ever was, save for a certain "scruffy-looking nerf herder", but this job lands him in likely the toughest spot he's ever been.

I really enjoyed seeing Lando in his natural element, trouble, as he plays his way out of tight spots. He really uses his mind as his preferred weapon as opposed to a blaster. Though this shows that no matter what side of the game you're playing, no one is untouchable. That said, Lando's aforementioned cunning and guile are impressive and his charm is hard to resist for other characters as well as the reader. Taking place before we see him in the movies in cloud city this offers a rare look at Lando considering how little he actually shows up in canon.

Source

Star Wars: Chewbacca (Miniseries)

October-December 2015
Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
5 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Cewbacca March 8, 2016


Set immediately after the Battle of Yavin (destruction of the death star) before the ongoing titles.

Chewie is a man of few words but strong convictions. So after being begged for help by a young girl whose people are being enslaved, what's a Wookie to do? Knowing what it's like to be captured for slave labor Chewie decides, after some convincing, to liberate her people from the dangerous mining operation they've been forced into.

I wondered what it would be like to read a story about a character who literally only speaks in grunts and roars, but it's actually pretty great. Without Han to translate Chewie has a hard time communicating, but manages to get stuff done in classic Chewie fashion. I love how he interacts with people and the sheer intimidation he gets from being a Wookie. In the main stories with everyone else doing their thing you almost forget just how bad ass a single Wookie can be. Also, the flashbacks in Chewie's mind to Kashyyyk pull at the heart strings and really get you behind the character and his mission here.

I'm a little hazy on the time placement. I think he's crash landed after the destruction of the death star and attempting to fix his ship to return before the events of the first issues of the ongoing titles.


Star Wars: Shattered Empire (Miniseries)

September–October 2015
Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens
4 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire

Huzzah for post-ROTJ, pre-TFA, content! This mini starts up at the end of the battle of Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi and continues from there following Shara Bey; a pilot for the Rebellion. Even though the story is told from her perspective, the legends of Star Wars pretty much all play defining roles in this series as we begin to see the galaxy after the sequel trilogy.

The pacing is fast, and the action is beautiful, but the exposition feels a little lacking. We don't really learn too terribly much from this wild ride, but it does it's job of setting up Episode VII. It's a brilliant teaser if there ever was one, but there's a big emphasis on the "teaser" part.

The choice of protagonist raises many questions, however. We learn who Shara Bey is, about her husband and child, and her role beside our beloved Star Wars characters, but just WHO is she to the Star Wars story at large? After this, I'm begging to find out and counting down to the movie release!

Coming Soon

Source

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin (Miniseries)

Starting in January 2016
Set between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones
5 Issues
Collected in: Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin July 19, 2016

Official Plot Synopsis:

"Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star... they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It's been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young "chosen one," but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, Master and Padawan may be pushed to the breaking point. Writer Charles Soule (Lando, She-Hulk, Daredevil) and artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Avengers World, Punisher) bring us a tale of the Jedi at the height of their power..."

Source

Star Wars Special: C-3PO 1 (one shot)

Available 12/23/2015

The Official Solicit:

Follow everyone’s favorite protocol droid as he Journeys to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in this special one-shot leading up to his appearance in the film! Just how did Threepio get a red arm, anyway? Find out here as the blockbuster creative team of James Robinson and Tony Harris of DC’s Starman reunite for the first time in nearly two decades!
• You may be fluent in over six million forms of communication...but this book is a must have in any language!

Source

Poe Dameron (Ongoing)

Starting in April 2016
Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens

Issue 1 Solicit:

AN ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES SPINNING OUT OF STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS! Poe Dameron, former Republic flyer turned Resistance fighter, is the best pilot in the galaxy. Hand-picked for the resistance by General Leia Organa to lead a squadron on a top secret and vital mission...Poe sets off investigating sites of historical importance to the Force. Revealing backstory leading directly into the holidays’ greatest adventure, follow Poe and his X-Wing squadron on covert missions against the First Order brought to you by writer Charles Soule (Star Wars: Lando, Daredevil) and artist Phil Noto (Star Wars: Chewbacca, Black Widow)!

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