NYCC 2019: The Force is Strong with These Comics

On Friday afternoon of NYCC, Lucasfilm Publishing held a panel detailing the next wave of Star Wars related books to come out within the next year or so. And let me tell you—the force is strong with these books.

I’m just going to focus on the comics, because I don’t have the mid-chlorian count to talk about every single thing announced. That would be a challenge even for someone of Anakin’s Skywalker’s caliber.

To start, they showed us a bit more about the Kylo Ren comic book coming out in December written by Charles Soule: The Rise of Kylo Ren.

They promised us that it’ll have strong connections to Episode IX. It’s so tied to the movie apparently, that it comes out just days before The Rise of Skywalker premiers. If you wanna be as informed as possible when The Rise of Skywalker hits screens, look no further than this comic. I’m really excited to dive deeper into the life of the galaxy’s saddest boi.

They also talked a bit about Greg Pak writing the main Star Wars title. His run finishes off the story arc that leads up to The Empire Strikes Back. If you didn’t know, since Disney acquired Lucasfilm from George Lucas, Marvel snatched up the publishing rights for Star Wars from Dark Horse. Gotta keep it all in house, ya know? They’ve published a lot of limited runs with Mace Windu, Darth Maul, Han Solo, and more, but what they’ve done that’s really cool is that their main Star Wars and Darth Vader titles have told stories with the main group and daddy dark side in the time between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll know that that’s about a three-year timeframe. It’s essentially where our ragtag group of heroes build the most of their chemistry outside of the dire conflict of the Death Star exploding.

Well, that time is winding down, and they’re getting pretty close to the beginning of Empire when the Rebels are on Hoth. So, the series is ending—kind of. It’s going to lead right up to the moment that Episode V starts, like the seamless transition that Rogue One has to A New Hope. In theory, you’ll be able to watch Episode IV, read all of the comics that Marvel has published, and watch Episode V, and get one long story. What a time to be alive.

This is the same for Vader. His title is intertwined with the Star Wars one, as it takes place during the same time period—the gap between IV & V. His book is also leading up to that fateful fight on Hoth, showing what it’s like on the other side of the coin, so to speak.

Those books aren’t gonna retread Empire, though. Instead, they’re going to be renumbered back down to #1 and pick up right after V ends and explore the year gap between Empire and Return of the Jedi. And the formula will be the same. You’ll see what the main group is getting into on the Star Wars title, and you’ll see how Vader is dealing with the ramifications of being rejected by the son he just found out he has. This is gonna be some good stuff. Once the renumbering takes effect, Charles Soule is taking the helm from Greg Pak as the writer of the Star Wars series.

I used to think that the Star Wars books under Marvel were a confusing continuity that would be a daunting task to undertake. But now after going to this panel, and seeing how straightforward it actually is, I’m excited to dive deep into these books. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but it’s worth it. New adventures with these iconic characters that fit snuggly into the main story without compromising or contradicting anything? I’m mad at myself for not keeping up.

With Star Wars having one connected canon across multiple mediums, there’s so much potential to uplift those other mediums when you’ve got a franchise as big as this one dropping important plot points and moments in comics and novels. The Star Wars Franchise is doing this wonderfully. You love to see it.

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  • Morgan Hampton

    Staff Writer

    Morgan Hampton is a writer--OH MY GOD I CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT NOW. *ahem* Excuse me, sorry for that outburst. As I was saying, Morgan Hampton is a writer currently living in San Francisco with an obsession for all things nerd (except Medieval stuff. Get outta here with that mess), and a passion to represent the underrepresented. He's an aspiring comic book writer so catch him in the funny pages some time before the apocalypse. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from SFSU so he's broke.

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