Marvel wants to take comics fans to a galaxy far, far away. On Saturday, writers Greg Pak, Ethan Sacks, Lucasfilm Story Group's Matt Martin and Assistant Editor Tom Groneman arrived at Star Wars Celebration Chicago to offer a sneak peek at what's to come from the publisher's line of Star Wars comics.
Martin revealed that the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge miniseres will explore a shop from the park that contains rare items. "There is a criminal gang that is out to plot a heist for a specific object there. We'd tell you, but we'd have to lock the door for five months," Sacks joked.
Sacks shared some interior pages from the series. "That is Greedo! That is a bucket list thing for me.... There are some ties to some famous Star Wars characters, so it was fun to play with hose."
Pak also weighed in on his Age of Rebellion series. "This is one of eight one-shots that I'm doing," Pak shared. The stories are in-continuity and explore little moments that have never been seen before in an effort to capture "what makes the characters so fun."
"I have a special affection for the Boba Fett one," Pak shared. "The art is by Mark Laming... and we did it as a straight western. It's like a badass bounty hunter western story. Boba Fett, I think he says three words during the whole thing... Everybody's got a different idea of... his motivations."
As to the Han installment of the one-shot series, Pak said, "This takes place shortly after A New Hope. Han and Chewie are on the Millennium Falcon... and they're ready to take off... and they look at this star field, like, 'We can go anywhere!' But he doesn't know where to go," he explained. "And then Luke is like, 'I've got a little favor'... and of course Han has to do it." He praised interior artist Chris Sprouse and colorist Tamara Bonvillain.
The four Age of Resistance villain books will be Tarkin, Boba Fett, Jabba and Vader, which leads up to the Luke and Darth Vader pieces. "They bookend each other in a very cool way," Pak said.
"All the scripts that Greg wrote encapsulates what makes these iconic characters powerful," Groneman said. "It had me in tears."
Pak will soon take over the main Star Wars series. "It's a dream come true," he said. "It's the same process, though. When you're working with an established storyline, you're trying to find a niche that doesn't contradict anything... but does something new and fun... and then to get to the core of the characters in some fun way... We get to play with a lot more characters, all together."
Another series of one-shots called Age of Resistance will be released starting in July 2019, starting with Finn #1 by Tom Taylor and Roman Rosanas with covers by Phil Noto. "The Finn story takes place in his earlier days when he was a stormtrooper on Starkiller Base," Groneman explained. It will show the glimmer of morality that later enables the character to break free of the First Order.
"We also get to see Janitor Finn," Martin added. "That's the main selling point."
Taylor and Rosanas will also helm the Age of Resistance one-shot Rey #1. "Maybe there was a pitstop for Rey and Chewbacca on the way to seeing Luke," Groneman teased.
Partnering with artist Leonard Kirk, Taylor will write the Captain Phasma #1 Age of Resistance one -shot. "This takes place earlier in Phasma's career," Groneman explained. It will show the First Order at full strength. "We'll see a little bit more of what makes Phasma tick."
G. Willow Wilson, Tom Taylor, Chris Eliopoulos and Elsa Charretier will work together for Star Wars: Age of Resistance Special - Holdo. "This is our Age of Resistance special," Groneman explained. "So we've got our main story following Holdo, Maz and BB-8... Willow knew exactly where to take Holdo in this story... This explores her earlier days a bit, and you're going to get to see that inciting incident for what makes her so unbelievably effective as a leader... It all starts here in this book."
"You get to learn how hair is dyed in a galaxy far, far away," Martin added. He revealed it's the only Holdo-focused story so far between Leia: Princess of Alderaan and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
"Tom [Taylor] is writing the Maz story, again taking a look at the character's extensive past... She's going to be hanging around with her favorite two scoundrels in that story," Groneman said, while Eliopoulous will pen the BB-8 story.
As for the Poe #1 one-shot, Groneman said, "Let's say he's got an unexpected mentor from his past... that we're going to meet in this issue." A Hux one-shot is also in the works.
A new miniseries called by Target Vader #1 by Robbie Thompson and Marc Laming with a cover by Nic Klein is also in the works.
"Target Vader, six issues starring that a character that we've recently reintroduced... named Valance. He originally appeared in Marvel Star Wars #16 as a cyborg bounty hunter with a vendetta against Vader," Groneman announced. "It's all about Valance and his crew pulling an impossible mission hunting down Dark Lords of the Sith."
Groneman described the character as "a match for Darth Vader in a way we haven't seen before."
Jody Houser and Roge Antonio's Star Wars: Tie Fighter #1 will arrive in April 2019, while Simon Spurrier and Wilton Stanos' Doctor Aphra #32 hits shelves in May 2019. In this next arc, Aphra will have to face her past and her family. It will show what it was like for her growing up and some of the lessons she learned as a kid "as she takes on a parental role with a young character."
Pak will take over the main Star Wars series with Phil Noto starting with issue #68. "There are a lot of other probes across the galaxy. What are they doing?" Pak mused. "They launch three desperate missions to try and thwart these droids... There are certain pairings we don't see that often... We do have Chewie and 3PO teaming up, for example."
"Han gets tricked into [the mission] because they need 'the best pilot,'" he continued. "So everybody has to pair up, and yes, Han and Leia get paired up together. Luke and R2 end up stranded on a planet."
When Luke and R2 are stranded, they meet a new character named Warba. The story has a western vibe, while Han and Leia's story is more like a gangster film.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives December 20.