Marvel Comics returned to the Star Wars universe one year ago. Since Star Wars #1 arrived, they’ve taken us on adventures with the big three — Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo — as well as Kanan Jarrus, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, and many more. The stories that have unfolded have enriched the galaxy and expanded the stories explored in the Star Wars films and animated series. They’re packed with new details that make you reconsider what you know. (For example, the ongoing Star Wars comics revealed that Luke encountered Darth Vader before the events in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back!) Here are five more marvelous moments from the Marvel Star Wars comics:
1. Wookiee recognition.
I’ve always believed one of the tragedies of the Star Wars saga is that Chewbacca didn’t receive a medal after the Battle of Yavin. Yes, I’m standing by the word tragedy. He co-piloted the Millennium Falcon alongside Han and deserved the commemorative award as much as his friend. Well, as it turns out, Chewbacca did receive a medal. It was shown in Chewbacca #5 by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Phil Noto. Chewie gave his Medal of Bravery to his friend Zarro in recognition of her heroic deeds. Aww, Chewbacca!
2. Wielding a lightsaber.
The original trilogy established Leia’s Force sensitivity, but as we saw in The Force Awakens, she apparently didn’t chose to train as a Jedi. Still, she had the chance to wield a lightsaber. Star Wars #12 from writer Jason Aaron and artist Stuart Immonen found her, Han, and Chewbacca in a tight spot on Nar Shaddaa. They were give lightsabers by R2-D2, because of course R2-D2 had collected some, and the resulting splash page with her brandishing the weapon was nothing short of glorious.
3. A chilling callback.
Clone trooper CT-5385, also known as Tup, suffered from a malfunction of sorts in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “The Unknown.” The chip implanted in all clones per Palpatine’s sneaky orders went haywire, and Tup killed Jedi Master Tiplar. When he was questioned about his actions all he said was, “Good soldiers follow orders.” That line was echoed in Kanan: The Last Padawan #2 by writer Greg Weisman and artist Pepe Larraz when the clone troopers with Kanan/Caleb and Depa Billaba received the kill order.
4. Stirring memories.
Leia didn’t have the opportunity to meet her mother. She saw Padmé briefly before being taken into the care of Bail and Breha Organa, but she was a newborn. One of the most moving moments in the Star Wars comics so far happened in Princess Leia #2 by writer Mark Waid and artist Terry Dodson when Leia visited Naboo. Leia passed by an arch featuring Queen Amidala, and for a split second, she thought the image looked at her and the face belonged to Padmé. Leia dismissed it as an illusion, but maybe the Force was at work.
5. A family connection.
As mentioned, the Marvel comics revealed Luke crossed Darth Vader’s path in an up-close and personal way before The Empire Strikes Back. After they ran into each other, Vader took it upon himself to investigate the identity of the young man. The scene where he learned Luke’s last name in Star Wars #6 by writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday was powerful and emotional. None other than Boba Fett delivered the news, and the bounty hunter smartly left the room in a hurry. He couldn’t have anticipated Vader’s strong reaction. Vader remembered Padmé telling Anakin she was pregnant, and the memory caused him to crack a window on his ship.
Which panels in Marvel’s Star Wars comics have blown you away? Let me know in the comments.
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.