fter a decades-long run with Dark Horse, Marvel finally re-acquired the publishing license to Star Wars comics in 2015, and boy did they go all out during their big debut over the course of that first year. From the most iconic Star Wars Canon comics to the miniseries comics that you may not have heard of yet, the 2015-16 publishing era has so much to offer to us Star Wars comic lovers!
However, with all that publishing heat, it can be really difficult to figure out where to start, especially if you are new to Star Wars comics or even comics in general. Luckily, you’ve touched down on the correct landing pad, and we’ve got you covered in the 2015-16 Star Wars comics world!
These comics offer everything we love about Star Wars: adventure, romance, intricate planets, weird and wacky creatures, and camaraderie. Here, you’ll find some of the best writers and artists we’ve seen so far in Star Wars.
Star Wars (2015)
by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday
At the beginning of this 75-issue series, Luke, Leia, Han, and the Rebels have just destroyed the first Death Star and set the Empire on a tailspin toward revenge. Have you ever wondered what happened between the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Hoth? If so, then Star Wars (2015) is the comic for you because it fills in all the gaps between Episode IV and Episode V.
Is this a good place to start with Star Wars comics? Yes! Following along with our familiar gang of Rebels means that you already have a good idea of the main characters in this series, but don’t assume that it’s just the same old stories with the same old characters. Jason Aaron does a MARVELous job—see what I did there?—introducing new and original characters who you might end up liking just as much as the OT faces.
Darth Vader (2015)
by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca
This 25-issue series takes place immediately after Luke and the Rebels destroy the Empire’s Death Star in A New Hope, and Darth Vader is on a revenge-fueled mission to discover exactly who piloted the X-Wing that totally reversed all of the work he had put in during his reign as a Dark Lord of the Sith. Kieron Gillen is a major name in the Marvel Star Wars comics game, and he went all out for this first Canon Vader comic.
Just like Star Wars (2015), this comic helps to fill in the gaps between Episode IV and Episode V. It shows the true changes that occurred in Vader’s life after his suspicions start to grow that perhaps his child may still be out there somewhere—and that his child may indeed be one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance.
If you loved the raw power of Vader’s scene in Rogue One, then this comic is absolutely for you. And if you still can’t get enough of your favorite Jedi-turned-Sith, then definitely check out Charles Soule’s take on Vader with his 2017 run. Here’s a sneak peek at our next comic series in this guide: Doctor Aphra was originally introduced by Gillen in Darth Vader (2015)!
Doctor Aphra (2016)
by Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker
If a non-trilogy character gets their very own Star Wars comic series, then you know there’s something to them that you’ll like! And that’s exactly what happened with Doctor Aphra, who was first introduced in Darth Vader (2015). Her 40-issue series, which was also written by Kieron Gillen, has been a fan favorite since it first debuted in 2016, and for good reason!
It’s true that this series is set just about a year after the Rebels blew up the first Death Star, but Aphra couldn’t be further from the OT crew when it comes to her motivations and her team. And if you’re still not sold on this rare artifact hunter, then let me just tell you about Black Krrsantan: he’s a black-haired Wookiee who couldn’t be more opposite to Chewie if he tried, but just like Chewie, Black Krrsantan is a character that we just can’t get enough of. If that name sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve already met Krrsantan in The Book of Boba Fett!
If you haven’t read Darth Vader (2015) but want to get to know Aphra, it’s a good idea to at least start that series before starting Doctor Aphra (2016) to get an idea of where Aphra started and to get your first taste of Kieron Gillen’s style. But don’t let the prerequisite reading scare you—you’re sure to love both series!
by Charles Soule and Phil Noto
If you love the Sequel Trilogy, then this is absolutely the Star Wars comic for you. What would the Resistance be without its most talented—and most daring—X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron? And how did Poe and the rest of Black Squadron get to be the elite X-Wing squadron that we see in The Force Awakens? Poe Dameron by Charles Soule gives you all of those answers and more, and this comic introduces you to arguably the most prolific writer in Marvel Star Wars comics right now. If you enjoyed Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi, which opened up the era of The High Republic, then you should definitely try out his comics.
And what kind of Star Wars story doesn’t feature a fun sidekick and a new evil villain? Certainly not this one! This 31-issue series gives us all the BB-8 content that we’ve been dying for! And it introduces Poe’s arch nemesis, a high-ranking officer of the First Order, Agent Terex. Poe Dameron by Charles Soule is filled with fun, adrenaline-pumping X-Wing battles, and it gives us some insight into the months leading up to The Force Awakens.
Kanan: The Last Padawan
by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz
Kanan: The Last Padawan by Greg Weisman—a writer on the animated series Star Wars: Rebels—bridges the years between The Clone Wars and Rebels by focusing on the former Jedi Padawan, Caleb Dume who now goes by Kanan Jarrus. Kanan lost his master Depa Billaba during the execution of Order 66, which essentially obliterated the Jedi Order and turned the Republic into the malicious Empire.
But how did Caleb Dume become Kanan Jarrus? And how did Kanan join the Empire with the Ghost crew? This twelve-issue maxiseries unfolds the events that encapsulate all the answers to those questions, and it’s the perfect Star Wars comic for Rebels fans and for Star Wars fans who are extra interested in Order 66 and its fallout.
The rest of the Star Wars comics on this list are referred to as miniseries. In case you aren’t totally sure what that means, you can think of it like this: The Mandalorian is a series, because there are multiple seasons with a relatively high number of episodes. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a miniseries, because it is only one season—as far as we know, at least—with just six episodes. It tells a completely rounded-out story with a clear beginning, middle, and end that wraps up pretty well by the end of the last episode.
You can think of miniseries comics in the same way, because they basically have the same effect! A succinct story that usually takes up about 4-6 issues and that wraps things up quite nicely with little to no remaining questions for the reader. These bite-sized comics are a great place to start, especially if you feel that the vast sea of currently available comics is just a little too difficult to navigate (although, that navigation is what we’re all about here at Youtini, so feel free to check out the guides that are linked at the bottom of this page to get a few more hyperspace lanes cleared and ready for the jump in your nav computer).
by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto
This 4-issue miniseries by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto is momentous and important for two reasons. The first is that Shattered Empire introduces us to Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, the parents of our favorite Resistance X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron. The second reason is that it is the first piece of Canon literature that takes place immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi. Greg Rucka gives us our first look at the landscape that Disney and Marvel were painting of a post-Vader galaxy, and boy does he come through with an awesome story!
The series follows Shara Bey as she navigates her world as an A-Wing pilot for the Rebel Alliance who wants nothing more than to help dethrone the power-hungry Grand Moffs of the Empire and topple their regime once and for all. And if all of that doesn’t sell you on picking up Shattered Empire at your local comic shop or library, then how about this? Shara goes on a mission with none other than Luke Skywalker to find—you guessed it!—a force-sensitive tree. This one is a must-read, folks.
Obi-Wan & Anakin
by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto
This 5-issue miniseries is perfect for the Vader lovers and the Obi-Wan sympathizers because it illustrates the intricacies behind Anakin’s betrayal of the Jedi Order at the hands of Chancellor Palpatine. Three years after Anakin becomes a Padawan in The Phantom Menace, he and Obi-Wan get stuck in the middle of a civil war with roots that reach far back in the galaxy’s history. We get to read on helplessly as Anakin struggles with leaving his mother in slavery and as he begins to witness the seedy underbelly of the Republic Senate.
If you’re wondering how exactly that courageous kid on Tatooine became a Dark Lord of the Sith, then Obi-Wan & Anakin is the miniseries for you. It’s got action, Sith and Jedi lore, character development that we haven’t yet seen, and did we mention—it’s written by Charles Soule! This comic will scratch your itch for Prequel Era content and teach you more about Anakin’s path toward becoming Darth Vader along the way.
by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson
What’s not to love about Princess Leia kicking Imperial butt and taking Imperial names? That’s exactly why we at Youtini love this miniseries by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson! This comic is set between Episode IV and Episode V, and it holds so much emotional weight for Leia Organa, Princess of Alderaan: princess of a culture that no longer exists and leader of the Rebel Alliance that represents the only hope that the galaxy has of escaping the Empire’s reign of terror.
It’s honestly so remarkable that in just five issues, Mark Waid was able to tell us so much about Leia’s resolve, deep sadness, and sense of responsibility for her people while also pushing the story forward to the Battle of Hoth. But somehow that goal was accomplished, and we received an awesome Star Wars comic about Leia’s life, her future, and that of the Rebellion.
by Marjorie Liu and Mark Brooks
This 5-issue miniseries is set between Episode IV and Episode V and features a Han Solo that we don’t really get to see in the trilogy movies: a space racer. But this Star Wars comic doesn’t just focus on the speed of the Millennium Falcon and the talent of its loveable crew—Han Solo by Marjorie Liu tells the story of a smuggler trying to find where he fits in the constantly-growing Rebel Alliance. We get to see Han struggle with his past and contemplate his future while also getting our fill of some classic anti-Empire escape stunts!
If you loved Solo and just can’t get enough Han in your life, then this is the comic for you! We won’t lie—a lot of people sleep on this miniseries, but it is absolutely worth reading, and you’ll be glad you did.
by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto
All right. Now, if we’re being honest, we don’t even have to give you a description of this one in order to get you interested, right? Everybody loves Chewie! And just look at that cover! WHHRRAAAAARGH!!!
But, seriously, even if you can’t read Shyriiwook, we all really do love Chewie. And this miniseries by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto puts Chewie exactly where he deserves to be throughout all five issues: center stage! Between the events of Episode IV and Episode V, Chewie crash-lands on an Imperial planet and finds a small sidekick of his own, an escaped slave girl named Zarro.
Chewie takes Zarro under his wing (under his paw?), and the story takes off from there. This comic really proves that Chewie is just as much a hero as Han, Luke, or Leia, and it’s exactly what us Star Wars fans love to see from a good comic.
by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev
This 5-issue comic is quite possibly the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a heist story set in a galaxy far, far away. Lando by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev follows our favorite cape-donning scoundrel in a time before the events on Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back. Before Lando ever even considered joining the Rebel Alliance in the fight against the Empire, he was planning the biggest win that he had ever pulled off—that is, if he can actually pull it off.
This miniseries has all the classic talking points of a good story: romance, betrayal, conflict, and a little bit of lore. It sheds light on a character who doesn’t get too much screen time in the trilogy movies but one that has always captured our hearts.
Do you feel a little more equipped to handle the Star Wars comic world now? Or at least the 2015-16 era? There’s so much great content out there, and while that is awesome news for those of us who can’t get enough, it’s also quite daunting. Hopefully, this article has made it seem a little less like climbing the cliffs of Ahch-To and a little more like a party in the Ewok village!
If you’d like to further explore what Star Wars comics have to offer check out our Five Foundational Comics Guide and our Canon Comics Timeline.