The Star Wars characters have had an ongoing life in the comics for almost as long as the films, dating back to Marvel's original storylines with the characters from 1977 and on. The official license may have moved around over the years with companies like Dark Horse releasing amazing Star Wars Legends stories, but it would return to Marvel after Lucasfilm was bought by Disney.
To celebrate this year's Force Friday and the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker we have assembled a few graphic novels so fans can immerse themselves in the comic versions of these stories before the movie hits theaters, while also exploring the huge expanded universe of Star Wars!
10 THE FORCE AWAKENS
The film that kicked off the Age of Resistance and ushered in a new era of Star Wars was 2015's Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Force Awakens introduced viewers to new characters like Rey, Finn, BB-8, and Kylo Ren while also bringing back fan-favorite Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia.
The Force Awakens received an official comic adaptation from Chuck Wendig and Luke Ross that brings the epic big-screen adventure to the comics, allowing fans to experience the story in a brand new way while we wait in anticipation for The Rise of Skywalker.
9 THE LAST JEDI
While Rian Johnson's Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi may have been divisive among fans, it was also applauded for its beautiful cinematography and world-building that earned Johnson his own Star Wars trilogy after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga.
The Last Jedi's comic adaptation by Gary Whitta and Michael Walsh not only explore the events of the film in comic form but also features new scenes with the characters set in the movie that further develop the themes of the film! The Last Jedi comic adaptation is the best place to start to prepare for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
8 THE STAR WARS
When George Lucas first put pencil to paper to bring his world of Star Wars to life, the first draft was quite a bit different than the finished product we would see on the big screen. This isn't anything new as scripts will often go through a few rewrites before filming, but some of the differences were very interesting.
So interesting, in fact, that a comic book adaptation of the original screenplay was created by Dark Horse from J. W. Rinzler, Rainier Beredo, Michael Heisler, Mike Mayhew, and Nick Runge. See how the story started before we see how it ends in The Rise of Skywalker.
While The Rise of Skywalker and the rest of the Age of Resistance trilogy has focused on introducing a new cast of core characters, fans are still waiting on the edges of their seats to see the return of the original trilogy cast, with this film heralding the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.
Lando has played a part in many Star Wars stories over the years, and Marvel released a mini-series chronicling one of Lando's early adventures in the Star Wars universe, set before his days at Cloud City and well before he joined the Rebellion. Get to know classic Lando before we see his return in the upcoming finale to the Skywalker Saga!
Han Solo's faithful Wookie co-pilot may have lost his best friend in The Force Awakens, but he remains a faithful member of the Resistance as he works alongside the new pilot of the Millenium Falcon, Rey. We're still getting used to a solo Chewbacca in the new trilogy, but thankfully the comics can help us with that.
Chewbacca takes readers on a solo mission with everyone's favorite Wookie and is set after the events of the Battle of Yavin (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). Chewie is stranded on an Imperial planet helping out a young girl while he struggles to get back to the Rebellion, which definitely has no relevance to the current film trilogy.
5 THE BOUNTY HUNTERS
As the new trilogy has been focused on introducing new characters into the larger Star Wars mythology, The Rise of Skywalker has followed suit with the introduction of Zorri Bliss, played by Keri Russell. While we don't know a lot about Bliss, there have been rumors that she may play a bounty hunter, which we do know a bit about.
Bounty Hunters have played a role in Star Wars since the very first film, and we've gotten to know a few of them quite well, including popular characters like Boba Fett. The Bounty Hunters collects a number of stories about a few more bounty Hunters to get a feel for the underworld of the Star Wars galaxy before Zorri Bliss makes her highly-anticipated appearance.
4 THE THRAWN TRILOGY
While we were excited to see the release of a new trilogy of movies featuring new stories in the Skywalker Saga, there was some trepidation over the resultant loss of already great stories told using the Skywalker characters in the Expanded Universe, which is now known as Star Wars Legends.
However, we've seen some of the character models and ideas used in the expanded universe adapted in some way into the new trilogy, so we are still holding out hope that we might see Grand Admiral Thrawn make his long-awaited debut on the big screen. This graphic novel collection adapts Timothy Zahn's novelized trilogy of trilogies that featured the best villain in the Star Wars universe since Darth Vader.
3 POE DAMERON
One of the breakout stars from the Age of Resistance trilogy is without a doubt Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac. The role was so popular that while Poe was only supposed to cameo in The Force Awakens, his role was expanded to become one of the central members of the Resistance, and fans couldn't be happier.
But who is Poe Dameron? How did he come to fly with the Resistance? What is his relationship with General Leia Organa? These questions and more were explored in the long-running Poe Dameron series from Marvel, which features a number of volumes in this collection to keep fans of Dameron's busy until he appears again in The Rise of Skywalker.
2 AGE OF RESISTANCE: HEROES
The cinematic tales of Star Wars have now been grouped in three distinct eras; Age of Republic, Age of Rebellion, and the Age of Resistance, which cover the three different trilogies that have been released in theaters. The current trilogy that will end with The Rise of Skywalker is a part of the Age of Resistance.
This collection of tales from the Age of Resistance focuses on heroes like Poe Dameron, Rey, Finn and even explore the backstories of newer characters like Rose Tico and Admiral Holdo to see how they got where they were in The Last Jedi.
1 AGE OF RESISTANCE: VILLAINS
Of course, the Age of Resistance's heroes are only as good as their villains, who are often best represented by the First Order and the Sith. And while much of the film's storyline follows the heroes of the Resistance, this collection explores the stories of some of the more villainous characters.
One of the biggest complaints about The Last Jedi was the loss of new mysterious characters like Captain Phasma and Supreme Leader Snoke without learning much about them. Age of Resistance: Villains dives into the history of these characters and others like General Hux and Kylo Ren as they follow their paths to The Rise of Skywalker.
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