The Star Wars Universe is a beautiful place, and one that has seen expansion not only in the film world with the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but since its release in the 70s, there have been both novels and comic books about the continuing tales of our heroes. It is sad to say that once Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars in a purchase from LucasFilm for a whopping $4 billion that they have decided to point out that none of these comics or subsequent novels are ‘canonical’, meaning that technically, these are now considered ‘fan fiction’.
Wanting more than the original three films offered (and before the production of the less than stellar prequel films), fans eagerly scooped up all kinds of novels and comic books that helped them create a larger picture of the Star Wars Universe. Here are some of our favorite best Star Wars comics in no particular order.
Writers: Randy Stradley, Mike Richardson
Artist: Paul Gulacy
For a long time, many fans wondered what the story was behind the Emperor’s imperial guards, and this 1997-1998 comic run from Dark Horse set to tell just that. This story follows Kir Kanos, one of the most loyal of the imperial guards, and one of two survivors following Return of the Jedi. The story covers everything fans could have wanted to know about the men who were seen in only a handful of scenes, from their training to weapons and even where they are from.
Writer: Tom Veitch
Artist: Cam Kennedy
When Dark Horse acquired the rights to Star Wars, they created Dark Empire, which is hailed as a fan favorite, and one of the best Star Wars comics. It covers the tales of the main characters post-trilogy and begins six years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Despite their defeat, the Empire begins its slow return as Han and Leia struggle to hold the New Republic together. Both the artwork and the story work in sync with one another to paint a picture that not all is well in the universe.
Star Wars Dark Times
Writer: Mike Harrison
Artists: Doug Wheatley, Dave Ross, Lui Antonio, Gabriel Guzman
The incredible artwork of penciller Doug Wheatley was very much admired in this series that replaced Dark Horse’s previous Star Wars: Republic. The comic is placed on the Star Wars timeline between Revenge of the Sith and about 20 years before A New Hope, encompassing the days following the events in Purge. This comic series also intertwines with the Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, making it an integral part of several storylines being one of the best Star Wars comics.
Tag & Bink Are Dead
Writer: Kevin Rubio
Artist: Lucas Marangon
These comics spoof Star Wars and inject a little bit of humor into the world, showing how the pair of them cause all pivotal events in the universe. Called the ‘Rosencratz and Guildenstern’ of the universe, their haphazard influences seem to explain away some inconsistent events in the series and makes for a great read.
Star Wars: Purge
Writers: Haden Blackman, Alexander Freed, John Ostrander
Artist: Marco Castiello
Darth Vader wants to purge the universe of all Jedi, and won’t stop until his task has been completed. To do this though, Vader realizes that he too must purge the remainder of Anakin Skywalker. Though Palpatine tries to dissuade his young apprentice, Vader will not be swayed. The always fantastic work of John Ostrander shines throughout the Purge series and isn’t to be missed.
Knights of the Old Republic
Writer: John Jackson Miller
Artists: Dustin Weaver, Brian Ching, Travel Foreman, Harvey Tolibao, Scott Hepburn, Dean Zachary,Alan Robinson, Ron Chan, Bong Dazo
This comic series takes place 8 years before the video game, within the same timeline. Readers follow Zayne Carrick, a young Padawan at the Jedi Academy and the struggles he faces after witnessing Jedi Masters standing over dead Padawan. He narrowly escapes and now must learn to live as an outlaw while trying to solve the murders and avoid capture.
Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: John Nadeau
This one shot originally appeared in Star Wars Magazine, with Boba Fett hunting down a quite inferior doppelganger in order to show him why he’s the most feared bounty hunter in the entire galaxy. The inferior Fett has become a highly requested mercenary, something that doesn’t sit right with the real bounty hunter, and he aims to set the record straight.
Star Wars: Infinities
Writers: Chris Warner (A New Hope), Dave Land (Empire Strikes Back), Adam Gallardo (Return of the Jedi)
Artists: Drew Johnson (A New Hope), Davide Fabbri (Empire Strikes Back), Ryan Benjamin (Return of the Jedi)
This run of comics tells a non-canon alternate version of each of the films, using a point of divergence from the story we all know and love to plunge it into an alternate world. What would happen if Luke did not blow up the Death Star? What if he froze to death on Hoth? What if C-3PO breaks and can’t help Leia during Chewbacca’s bounty to Jabba? These are what Star Wars: Infinities tackles and they do it incredibly well, making it among the best Star Wars comics.
Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison
Writer: Haden Blackman
Artist: Agustin Alessio
Palpatine is dying and because of a traitor in their midst, the Empire seems to be as well. It is up to Vader to uncover the secrets of the Jedi Council and locate Ghost Prison in this five-issue miniseries. Considered to be a cornerstone of the Expanded Universe and some of the best Star Wars comics, Blackman’s writing will have you hanging on with every word while Alessio astounds with his artwork and his take on Vader.
Star Wars Legacy Volume 1
Writers: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema
Artist: Jan Duursema
Set one hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi, readers were taken to a familiar galaxy with unfamiliar characters and ships in a time where turmoil begins to brew. The story follows Cade Skywalker who has given up his Jedi heritage in order to follow something a little different: being a bounty hunter. While negativity surrounded it upon its announcement, Legacy is one of the most well received comics in regards to the Star Wars Expanded Universe.