Star Wars may have had a memorable run with Dark Horse, but starting next year, they’re returning to Marvel after decades away. It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Marvel would kick off its new Star Wars canon in January with three series featuring our favorite Original Trilogy characters. The first book is simply called Star Wars (much like the soon-to-be-deceased Dark Horse title), and it will follow Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo fighting the Empire and a resurgent Darth Vader after the destruction of the first Death Star. This ongoing will be written by Jason Aaron and drawn by John Cassaday
The second ongoing series, titled Star Wars: Darth Vader, will focus on the infamous Sith Lord on the other side of the conflict. As the only survivor of the Death Star attack, Vader has lost the faith of the Emperor, and must not only earn back his good standing, but remind the galaxy why the Empire is to be feared. The series, due for release in February, will be written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Salvador Larocca.
Finally, we have a five-issue miniseries slated for March titled Star Wars: Princess Leia. Written by the legendary Mark Waid and drawn by Terry Dodson, this series will (once again) take place after A New Hope and follow Leia as she deals with the pain of losing her home planet of Alderaan.
I would have been perfectly content with Disney working out a deal with Dark Horse to keep Star Wars there, but that isn’t the House of Mouse’s style. That being said, it looks like they’ve gathered some good talent for these book (especially Waid), and the artwork looks great. My only complaint is that the plots aren’t very original. They all take place post-A New Hope, pre-Empire Strikes Back, and all revolve around the main characters. Yeah, these characters are like family to many of us (I have Chewbacca on a Christmas card list), but they’re not everything Star Wars has to offer.
There is supposedly a mandate that forbids writing about anything post-Return of the Jedi before Episode VII comes out, but even so, there’s plenty of other time periods and characters to explore. There’s the Rise of an Empire era, or the years leading up to A Phantom Menace. What about a bounty hunter monthly, or a book following lower level soldiers in the Rebellion or Empire? There’s so many other areas of the Star Wars universe that could be explored.
Okay, so they’re probably drawing in their audience by throwing the big names at us first. From a business standpoint, that makes sense. Still, I expect you to diversify in the coming years, Marvel. Give us the broad selection of Star Wars books that we want.