I’m sure you’ve heard a pretty big movie is coming out called Star Wars: The Last Jedi so I thought I’d take this time to give some fans of Star Wars and casual comic book readers somewhere to start if they want to get into the current canon. Some of you may remember that Dark Horse Comics used to produce all the Star Wars Comics, some good and some bad. I’d say more good than bad but when Disney bought Star Wars they said all the stuff before was no longer canon which of course made some people angry but I feel it’s a good move because there’s a lot of bad stuff in the previous canon when it came to comics, video games and books. It got really convoluted.
A few years ago Marvel produced the first Star Wars comic by Jason Aaron. Here are some of my personal favorites and ones I think you should pick up.
Star Wars: Vol 1 & 2 (by Jason Aaron)
This is the best place to start. Takes place between New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. The story is appropriate for Star Wars: relatively straightforward, but very interestingly staged. The comic takes place immediately after Episode 4, i.e. the Death Star has been destroyed, the Empire is trying to reorganize, Obi Wan Kenobi is dead, but neither Vader nor Luke know about their relationship. Luke struggles with himself and sees himself as a “farm boy”, but Vader senses the power in him.
Darth Vader Vol. 1 & 2 (by Kieron Gillen)
Darth Vader – the ruthless enforcer of the Emperor – has fallen out of favor with his master and must prove himself anew. From this interesting and quite unusual starting situation, an exciting comic adventure develops around the Sith Lord. The first section of this anthology is excellently drawn up and shines with Vader’s successful dialogs with two well-known Star Wars villains. It also builds a coherent bridge to the “Skywalker Strikes” comic. In the middle section, Doctor Aphra is introduced as Vader’s new sidekick, a character that pays homage to Lara Croft and yet fits well into the story.
Vader Down (by Jason Aaron)
Then it’s the first Star Wars crossover event. This exciting comic takes place a few weeks after “Episode IV – A New Hope” and immediately after its predecessor volume “Darth Vader – Shadows and Secrets”. Darth Vader goes to the planet Vrogas Vas to look for Luke Skywalker, because he knows from the archaeologist Dr. Aphra that Luke wants to visit an old Jedi temple there. Dr. Aphra not only works with Darth Vader, but also with the Mon-Calamari cyborg Karbin, who has been tasked by the Emperor to find the pilot who destroyed the first Death Star.
The group above is really the best place to start but here are some of my personal favorites.
Lando (by Charles Soule)
This exciting comic is about the player Lando Calrissian and his friend Lobot. The plot takes place between “Episode IV – A New Hope” and “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”, before the two live in Cloud City on Bespin.
Shattered Empire (by Greg Rucka)
Takes place right after Return of the Jedi. Shara Bey, Poe Dameron’s mother, stars in Shattered Empire as she and her husband Kes Dameron fight against the Empire alongside Star Wars icons like Luke, Han and Leia. Meanwhile, Shara worries about Kes and constantly wonders if he will survive, since she rarely sees him. The first issue focuses on the Battle of Endor and the victory celebration from her point of view as she fights the second Death Star with the Rebel fleet. Kes is down below fighting alongside Han Solo and Chewbacca to destroy the shield generator.
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 1: Imperial Machine (by Charles Soule)
I like to call it “Vader: Year One.” Takes place right after Revenge of the Sith. This new Darth Vader origin saga is worth reading as it fills a gap in history never told before. They did a very good job as it shows how Anakin becomes Darth Vader. It’s not like it was instantaneous but even inside the suit and after what happened in Episode III he continues with an inner battle falling to the dark side.
So if you’re a Star Wars fan like me and you just want more great stories past the movies this is a great place to start. I hope you guys enjoyed this list and now when your friends ask where do I start just send them here.