Happy May the Fourth folks! Otherwise known as Star Wars Day. Which means it’s time to bust out the blue milk and top up those book piles with the latest offerings from that galaxy far, far away.
Here’s what we’re reading, and what you should be picking up.
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 5 by Tom Veitch & Cam Kennedy
(Marvel Comics, 9781302926984, p/b, £33.50)
Back before Marvel’s recent stint at Star Wars comics, Dark Horse brought us epic adventures from a slew of top comics talent. Perhaps one of the greatest among them being Dark Empire, and it’s finally getting a reprint in this latest Legends Epic Collection. Originally published in the 90s’ when Star Wars was all but “dead”, Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy brought us an exciting new vision where the Emperor had come back from the dead to wreak havoc on a fledgeling New Republic (and yes, well before Rise of Skywalker was a thing). Done in a surreal and stunning palette of deep blues, purples and greens, this classic graphic novel is a must-read for every Star Wars fan.
Star Wars The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (Disney-Lucasfilm Press, 9781368057288, h/b, £14.99)
There may be no new Star Wars movies out this year but there is The High Republic. By now you’ve probably heard of Lucasfilm’s new storytelling initiative that has been delving deep into the Republic golden age, 200 years before the events of the Skywalker Saga. Well if you haven’t dived in yet Into the Dark is the perfect jumping-on point. Written by Claudia Gray of Bloodline excellence, this all-ages adventure takes on a mystery tour into a dangerous sounding space station where a group of Jedi are stranded. Give it a read, you know that Art Deco cover will look great on your shelf.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1: Fortune and Fate by Alyssa Wong & Marika Cresta
(Marvel Comics, 9781302923044, p/b, £13.50)
One of the best things to come out of the new Disney Canon has got to be wise-cracking anti-Indiana Jones, Doctor Aphra. And now she’s back with a brand new #1! Set after the events of the Battle of Hoth, Aphra’s got a new crew and a new mission, to find the cursed Rings of Vaale, an ancient set of artefacts dating back to the High Republic era. This is the closest thing you’re going to get to a Star Wars-themed Indiana Jones film (until they make Doctor Aphra into a Disney+ series, yes please), so be sure to pick it up.
Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1: Dark Heart of the Sith by Greg Pak & Raffaele Ienco
(Marvel Comics, 9781302920814, p/b, £13.50)
Speaking of new #1s, who’s ready for another slice of Darth Vader? Proving to be Marvel’s most popular Star Wars series, the tragic Sith Lord returns with Greg Pak at the helm. Covering the interlude between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, we get to find out what Vader got up to after that infamous reveal at the end of Empire. Promising readers to explore Vader’s past in ways that will cause “heads to explode”, Greg Pak delves into the aftermath of his rejection at the hands of Luke and the bloody mission of rage-filled revenge that follows.
Star Wars Vol. 1: The Destiny Path by Charles Soule & Jesus Saiz (Marvel Comics, 9781302920784, p/b, £13.50)
Returning alongside Vader is Marvel Comics’ other flagship series, where our iconic heroes Luke, Leia and Han take centre stage. At the beginning of Jedi our heroes are resurgent and ready to fight. But at the end of Empire things are looking pretty dire. The rebels are scattered, Han is frozen in carbonite, and Luke has lost a hand after learning the terrible truth about his father. So what the Hell happened next? Here to fill the gaps is the uber-talented Charles Soule (Light of the Jedi, the Rise of Kylo Ren), who introduces a brand-new villain, and protégé of the late Grand Moff Tarkin, Ellian Zahra. Already caught up on the latest issues? Then check out Vol. 2: Operation Starlight.
Star Wars: From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Jason Aaron, Dash Aaron & Simone Bianchi
(Marvel Comics, 9781302925284, p/b, £16.99)
What do you mean the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series just started production? I want Ewan McGregor on my screen now. But while we wait for what is likely to be the crowning jewel of Disney’s new slate of Star Wars series, we’ve got the From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi to tide us over. Written by the Eisner-award winning Jason Aaron, these lost Jedi tales see Kenobi go toe-to-toe with Jabba the Hutt, Black Krrsantan, Tusken Raiders and more as he adjusts to life in exile on Tatooine.
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