Up until a couple of years ago, Star Wars fans knew exactly what happened after the credits rolled on Return of the Jedi – the massive Expanded Universe, comprised primarily of novels, explored the continuing adventures of Luke, Leia and Han, as well as literally every character who ever had one second of screentime. However, with Disney’s acquisition of the franchise and the jettisoning of that canon, the events following the Empire’s defeat in Jedi – and what happens in the decades-long timegap between that movie and this December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens – have been something of a mystery. But there’s no need to lose sleep over that anymore – Marvel Comics has you covered.
This fall, Marvel will launch Star Wars: Shattered Empire, a comic series which will depict the aftermath of the collapse of the Empire and set the stage for The Force Awakens. The announcement, posted on StarWars.com, doesn’t make it clear whether Shattered Empire will be a mini-series or an ongoing book, but safe money is on a mini-series of four or five issues. The book will be written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Marco Checchetto. The book will launch in September, under the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens banner, which we’ve written about before. You can take a peek at a variant cover of the first issue below.
Assuming you’re not one of the fans still upset over the decanonization of the Expanded Universe, this should come as good news. Marvel launched its series of Star Wars comics to much fanfare last year, with most books to date taking place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. So far, those books have been pretty great across the board, exploring facets of the characters that the movies didn’t have time to dive into (see: Mark Waid’s Princess Leia mini-series, which is primarily about Leia coping with the destruction of her planet in the first movie). On top of that, Rucka is a phenomenal writer with a storied career at Marvel, DC and Image Comics, and he’s written just about every major character under the sun. Checcetto isn’t quite as well-known, but he’s a strong artist who’s also done a lot of good work for the big publishers, most recently a run on Avengers World that lead into Secret Wars, Marvel’s current big event. All of that is to say: Keep an eye on this book – it’s got all the ingredients needed to be pretty incredible.
(NOTE: Don’t get too excited by that header image – it’s from the cover of February’s Darth Vader #1, by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, which is also pretty great. Whether Vader might pop up in Shattered Empire or The Force Awakens remains to be seen.)