Until [Star Wars: Episode VIII](tag:711868) finally continues the saga in 2017, there are tons of Star Wars comics to fill in the gap. Whether you want to know what happened between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, or if you're just itching to find out what missions Poe Dameron ran before The Force Awakens, Marvel comics has got you covered.
So with Han Solo getting his own comic too, here are the 7 best Star Wars comics you should really check out, both upcoming and ongoing!
Han's Solo Mission - June 2016
Although Princess Leia has tasked Han Solo with sheltering Rebel spies who have vital intel, Han is torn between this mission of protection and a space race he finally has a shot at winning. Author Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men, Black Widow: Name Of The Rose) explained her view of Han Solo to Entertainment Weekly...
"He’s this working-class dude who lives paycheck to paycheck who has a business to run. He’s the Han we know and love. He’s a con artist, he’s a smuggler, he’s this wisecracking, streetwise dude, but he’s got this internal conflict where there wasn’t one before. He’s really trying to figure out who he is."
But it's not all existential crises; Liu promises that this comic will be in keeping with the "irreverent" spirit of Han himself. And of course, there's his relationship with Leia to deal with...
"This is sort of at the start of their relationship. Not that their relationship has ever been very peaceful, but I think we will see at this stage, in this comic, that it is still very contentious as they try to navigate each other and presumably any feelings that are beginning to arise."
The situation between Han and Leia is very interesting in Empire, as they have clearly been dancing around their feelings for a long time. Put this together with cool new aliens and an exciting space race, and this comic promises to be an excellent read!
Poe Dameron's Backstory - April 2016
Who doesn't want to know all about Poe Dameron's daring missions for the Resistance? No one, that's who. Due to be published on April 6th, this comic is slated to be a genre-defying adventure as Poe proves himself to be the best frickin' pilot in the galaxy. Author Charles Soule explained the situation to CBR...
"The New Republic and the First Order are in a position of detente, and while there have been a few small skirmishes between the Resistance and the First Order, it’s very much a sort of cold war. That said, the Star Wars galaxy is a dangerous place, and the First Order isn’t the only opponent Poe will face."
This comic will introduce Poe Dameron's arch nemesis, a First Order general, and will provide plenty of hints for Star Wars 8.
Vader Down - April 2016
Last year, Marvel comics continued the main Star Wars story through the ongoing Star Wars comic, and Darth Vader. The plots of these two comic series run in parallel to each other, as Vader pursues the young heroes throughout the galaxy. And in April, the two comics will collide in Vader Down, an awesome crossover event. Here's Marvel's summary...
When Darth Vader accidentally finds himself facing off against the Rebel Fleet on his own, he is sent crashing onto a nearby planet. Will the Rebels seize this opportunity to put an end to one of their greatest enemies - or will they be made to feel the full power of the Dark Side?
This promises to be a really exciting crossover, and if you haven't already, it's well worth checking out both Star Wars and Darth Vader.
Star Wars is very well written, portraying the characters perfectly as they continue their story. Luke faces Darth Vader, Han and Leia deal with their fledgling feelings for each other, and the overarching plot is very intriguing. In his comic, Darth Vader's character is developed very well, and there are just enough callbacks to prequels-era Anakin for poignancy, as well as plenty of foreshadowing for how his story will end. The titles are both ongoing.
Kanan: The Last Padawan - Ongoing
Kanan Jarus is a character from the popular animated show Star Wars Rebels. A survivor of Order 66, Kanan has an interesting but enigmatic history. This ongoing comic series explains how he escaped death in the Clone Wars, giving an insight into his mindset in Rebels, as author Greg Weisman told CBR:
"It's incredibly exciting to be able to actually tell this story, because it's a huge story in Kanan's life -- it's a significant event in his development. It's not just, 'Oh yeah, we're going to tell another story. Here's another adventure.' It's not just another adventure. It's a huge event in his life."
The comic also explores the aftermath of Order 66 and the beginnings of the Empire's oppressive rule in a time jump to a year after Revenge Of The Sith, which makes this comic essential for world-building.
Chewbacca - Ongoing
This ongoing comic follows Chewbacca after he crash lands on a strange planet. Alone, he has to find his way home with the help of a feisty young girl. Chewbacca is not only a fun story, it's also very interesting because Chewbacca still only talks in his native Wookiee language. Author Gerry Duggan explained the plot to MTV...
"This planet is at a crossroads. There are forces there that want — like the Empire — to strip it of its resources. And obviously [there] would be some people that would be very opposed to that, and Chewie throws in with, with the good guys. He’s gonna set aside his mission for the greater good of this planet, and this new friend."
Although it doesn't feed into the wider story, this standalone comic develops Chewie's character really well and is definitely worth a read!
Shattered Empire - Complete
Shattered Empire was released mid-2015, and it follows Poe Dameron's mother, Shara Bey, as the Rebellion continue to fight the Empire after Return Of The Jedi. Shara Bey teams up with Leia Organa, Han Solo, and finally Luke Skywalker in her missions. Luke chooses her personally to assist him in retrieving some Jedi relics that the Empire stole.
"These are all that remain of the tree that grew at the heart of the Jedi temple on Coruscant. The Force is with them."
As well as introducing us to Poe Dameron's parents, and giving some insight into the situation in the galaxy after the war, Shattered Empire also drops plenty of hints about Luke Skywalker's secret Jedi mission, which feeds into The Force Awakens and Episode 8.
Princess Leia - Complete
This comic follows Leia Organa as she tries to protect all the remaining Alderaanians from the Empire. It explores the impact of Alderaan's destruction both on the galaxy and Leia herself, and provides some depth and poignancy to the Star Wars saga. Author Mark Waid explains it best...
"She knows that if she lets her culture die… then they're gone forever."
Despite being a standalone miniseries, this comic really gives an insight into Leia's grief and her determination not to let Alderaan be beaten by the Empire.
Of course there are plenty more Star Wars comics, but these are some of the highlights of Marvel's new collection. Are there any you're really excited about? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!