Marvel’s Star Wars Comics – The Expansion Region of Canon

January 2015 heralded the new age of Star Wars comics from Marvel. The first issue was a bestseller and had a number of printings, but as is always the way with Star Wars there were fans who didn’t get along with some of the content.

With Issue 1 we got a great, fun story set between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ that had Luke and Vader meet for the first time and have a quick lightsaber battle.

I for one did not care for that, I didn’t hate it but I was beholden to what had come before. That duel on Bespin, for me, was the perfect first meeting of the hero and villain and anything else was akin to blasphemy.

Then, after I re-read the whole first arc of the comics I came to actually like the fact that this had happened, and not because my disdain had transferred to the Luke vs. Boba Fett fight in Obi-Wan’s hut, but because I came to understand that I was getting something I wanted, new stories about the characters I loved set in a time where we had no stories and obviously in those three years between the films something would have happened.

Once I was able to let go of my hang-ups regarding those sacred films I really began to enjoy the comics that bit more, the stories they were giving us helped expand on the characters of Han, Luke and Leia. We got to see the developing relationship between Leia and Han. We see how Like goes from knowing nothing about the Force to being able to wield it in a rudimentary fashion and how did they go from Yavin IV to Hoth? What led them to Hoth. It’s also the middle of a war so something was going to go down.

And that was just the main title.

Vader’s story was expanded on brilliantly, it gave us one of the best Star Wars Moments ever, when he found out he has a son. How he goes from Tarkin’s lackey to commanding a whole fleet.

Now I know that I am significantly behind on my comics. I am about to start Volume 5 of the main title, ‘Yoda’s Secret War’ which I have read before and remember feeling that some of it was rather far fetched (a living mountain?) but think of the medium.

Comics gives the creators a chance to tell some of the more far-fetched stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. Look at the first volume of the Poe Dameron comic, there’s a giant egg that hatched to reveal a giant winged monster. But they couldn’t get away with that in a film or a TV show, even the animated shows. But the comics medium really allows the writers and artists to try new and different things and it’s all Story Group Approved, so it’s fine with me.

And just look at all the co tent we have had from Marvel in four and a half years, over 65 issues of the main run. Two Darth Vader series of 25 issues each. Over 30 issues of a Poe Dameron series. Numerous five issue mini-series focusing on different characters such as Lando (twice), Phasma, Obi-Wan and Anakin, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and many more. Not only did we get stories about existing characters, but over 30 issues (and counting) of a series based on an original character from one of the two Vader series and just announced is a four part mini-series that will cover the story of Ben Solo becoming Kylo Ren by the Star Wars comics master himself, Charles Soule. And that’s not including the ongoing series from IDW.

One other good thing about the comics is that they don’t have to be read for consumers to understand and enjoy the other material. The stories are incidental and not required reading for the average cinema-goer to really enjoy the story of the films. But the more the Star Wars Universe expands, the more stories that can be told and through a great array of mediums.

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