Marvel | Remix by Max Fleishman

6 ‘Star Wars’ comics to read while you’re waiting for ‘The Force Awakens’

Journey to the galaxy far, far away before the new movie with the help of these captivating comics.


Lisa Granshaw

Internet Culture

Published Nov 19, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:17 pm CDT

With The Force Awakens only a month away, fans have more ways than ever to get their fill of Star Wars storiesand that includes a delicious slate of comics.

Comic books have always been essential to telling amazing stories in the Star Wars universe. Their beautiful pages—whether physical or digital—transport us to the distant past and far future, introduce us to new characters and settings, and continue the adventures of beloved characters we first met on the big screen. 

You can explore the current canon with Marvel’s latest releases or travel back through hyperspace to the old Expanded Universe with these six Star Wars comic book series every fan should read.

1) Shattered Empire

Without a doubt, Shattered Empire will get you in the mood for The Force Awakens. The four-part miniseries follows rebel pilot Shara Bey from the events of Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor through what happened in the months that followed. Bey is an interesting protagonist who readers follow as she continues the fight against the remains of the Empire, meeting some familiar faces from the original trilogy along the way. You’ll even find some fun prequel trilogy references mixed in too! It’s a great series for anyone who wants to learn more about what the rebels and Empire were doing immediately following the Death Star’s destruction. As a bonus, it offers some welcome hints about the backstory of Poe Dameron, one of the resistance fighters you’ll meet in The Force Awakens.

2) Knights Of The Old Republic

If you loved the Old Republic setting of the classic Knights of the Old Republic video games, then these 50 issues are right up your alley. The story follows a brand new bunch of characters in a time set before the games, but features locations and eventually characters that will be familiar to the games’ fans. For anyone who hasn’t played the games or read the books set in this era, the series is still worth a read. Whether you want an entry point into this fascinating time in Star Wars history—even if these comics aren’t canon anymore—or are just looking for a fun story and compelling characters, this comic delivers.

3) Darth Vader

Take a trip to the dark side and immerse yourself in the world of the evil Darth Vader with this current ongoing series. Here readers see what the Sith Lord is up to after the events of A New Hope. As Vader gathers resources of his own to look for Luke, he also works to maintain his position in the Empire after disappointing the emperor. The series adds a new layer to the villain that fans will not want to miss.

4) Dark Empire

Along with author Timothy Zahn’s fantastic Thrawn trilogy, Dark Empire helped make the former Expanded Universe into the vast world that fans came to know and love. Set after Zahn’s trilogy, this comic has it all. The series saw the return of two original trilogy characters believed to be dead. The Emperor is back as a clone, threatening everything the rebels fought for; meanwhile, Boba Fett, having survived the Sarlacc, turns up to cause trouble for our heroes. Add to that Luke briefly giving in to the dark side, Leia saving the day, a hunt for ancient Jedi artifacts, and the growing Solo family. It’s one action-packed story!

5) Kanan

What did Kanan from Star Wars Rebels do after Order 66? And what was his experience like before that during the Clone Wars? Marvel’s ongoing Kanan series offers some answers to these questions and more for curious fans. The series begins with the young padawan as Order 66 commences and gives us a look at how he tries to survive on his own once he loses his master and realizes what happened. It then goes back to an earlier point in time to show readers what it was like for the padawan to fight with his master in the Clone Wars. Kanan provides terrific backstory for a new character that manages to become more interesting even as we learn more about him in the comics and on TV. 

6) Legacy

Sure, everyone’s excited to see what happened in the Star Wars universe 30 years after Return of the Jedi, but why jump ahead only a few decades? Legacy explores the galaxy more than a hundred years in the future by following one of Luke’s descendants, Cade Skywalker. The era provides a new and exciting backdrop to a story that’s still classic Star Wars. Once again, the Sith need to be stopped, and once again, a Skywalker has a vital role to play in deciding the fate of galactic events. Luckily, he has a band of companions to come to his aid—including a certain blue-and-white droid you might recognize.

Photo via Marvel/LucasFilm | Remix by Max Fleishman 

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*First Published: Nov 19, 2015, 11:30 am CST