Star Wars is one of those properties that is just in our blood at this point. It’s infected us. We’re exposed to it in every form of media. As a lifelong “Wars” fan I can assure you of one thing, the films will always leave you wanting more.
The Last Jedi will be no exception. You will have strong feelings about it one way or another, but you will want more Wars! Luckily there are enough comic books out there to fill a Star Destroyer, and these are some to get you started.
Quick note: So, the Star Wars canon is kind of dicey. Before Disney bought Lucasfilm, more or less everything produced that had the “Star Wars” name on it was considered canon. But after the Disney buyout, what was once called the Expanded Universe has been deemed non-canon and is now considered and branded as “Star Wars: Legends.” This however does not negate or diminish the quality and impact of these amazing stories.
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Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
Originally published by Dark Horse Comics, this was my introduction to Star Wars comics and it still holds up to this very day. Although now considered non-canon, this series picks up directly after the events of the Battle of Endor and Return of the Jedi.
The series follows Rogue Leader and Rebel hero Wedge Antilles and his wingmen Wes Janson and Tycho Celchu. With loads of space battles and dogfights, this series is action packed, but also character-driven at the same time. (Force Facts: Denis Lawson who plays Wedge Antilles in the Star Wars films is the uncle of Ewan McGregor who went on to play Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Prequel Trilogy)
Star Wars Tales
For those not interested in longform story arcs, this is the book for you. Tales was a quarterly anthology series originally published by Dark Horse. Instead of focusing on any particular character, Tales featured stories for all of them. From Darth Vader to the broken astromech droid that Luke and Uncle Owen almost bought from the Jawas in A New Hope, everyone has a tale to tell and it’s all told in Tales.
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy
Consisting of 6 issues for each chapter and successfully stealing my heart as a Wars fan, this 18-issue series was (and still is IMO) the gold standard for Star Wars stories taking place after Return of the Jedi. Though it’s no longer canon, for me and many other fans of the expanded universe this is the spiritual successor to the original Star Wars Trilogy.
Star Wars Legacy
Set around 100 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, this series follows the exploits of Cade Skywalker. Cade, a descendant of Luke’s, ignores his Jedi heritage and becomes a space pirate/bounty hunter. Legacy makes for a really cool story about a reluctant hero that can’t escape his destiny.
Darth Vader (2015-2016)
This is the only canon book on this list and oh how I really wanted to dislike it. What I love about Darth Vader is that he’s a mysterious and powerful presence. Then the Prequels came and answered all the questions nobody was asking, like “who was Vader before he was Vader?”… nobody cares.
Thinking this book would paint him to be a standard cartoon villain twirling his mustache as his plans were foiled by those meddling kids and their pet Wookie, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book lets the supporting cast do most of the talking and let’s Vader be Vader. Throughout the story he’s this unstoppable force of nature. A mysterious and powerful presence throughout this 25-issue run (more if you include the crossover Vader Down, which you should!) Kieron Gillen created an absolute masterpiece with this series.
So, these are some of my favorites. Some are canon while others aren’t, but they’re incredible stories and can transport you back into the Star Wars Universe at lightspeed.