Ever since Marvel relaunched the line of Star Wars comics three years ago, fans have been treated to plenty of new and exciting ongoing and limited series, and a handful of fun one-shots — enough to keep any Star Wars fan busy!
There’s been something for everyone, whether you want to read about a young Maul testing his skills against a Jedi Padawan or join Poe Dameron and his Black Squadron as they go up against the First Order. These are stories that have made us gasp with surprise, laugh hysterically, shriek with glee, and even shed a few tears… sometimes all within the same issue.
With so many fantastic and varied stories to choose from, we’re highlighting some of our favorite moments in Marvel’s Star Wars comics so far.
1. Chewbacca among the flowers. – Chewbacca #1
Compared to the rest of the moments on this list, Chewbacca kicking back and lying in a field of pink flowers might seem an odd choice, but there is beauty in its simplicity. Phil Noto is one of the best artists in the business and it shows here. Everyone’s favorite Wookiee may have hit a slight stumbling block on his mission, but for this brief moment, he’s at peace.
2. Caleb Dume leaves the Padawan behind. – Kanan: The Last Padawan #3
Everything about the Kanan: The Last Padawan limited series was so perfect, from the way writer Greg Weisman understood the character to Pepe Larraz’s style in drawing young Caleb. By the time Janus Kasmir decides to help Caleb out, the poor kid has already been on the run from the Empire for a while. Caleb destroys his Jedi comlink, cuts off his padawan braid, and hides away anything that might link him to his former life. In just two pages we see how young he is and how much he’s had to endure.
3. Luminous beings are we. – Poe Dameron #14
News of Carrie Fisher’s passing came not long before Charles Soule sat down to write Poe Dameron #14, which coincidentally included a funeral and a subtle yet definite tribute to our princess. Poe’s eulogy for his fallen pilot, L’ulo, is eloquent and moving but it’s really Leia’s line later on that hits home: “The Rebellion went on for decades, and, I’m sorry to say, probably sooner than we’d like, I’ll be luminous.” The line lands perfectly as a double-edged sword — making readers reflect on both L’ulo’s death within the text and Fisher’s death in our world.
4. “All I am surrounded by is fear. And dead men.” – Vader Down #1
In the comic book equivalent to Vader’s final scene in Rogue One, Vader has already taken down approximately two squadrons worth of ships when the rebels think they’re going to stop him simply because they outnumber him. Please. Vader’s response to their order to surrender is bone-chillingly perfect because you know it’s not bluster. It can only end poorly for the rebels and, spoiler alert for Darth Vader #13: it definitely does.
5. Vader’s meditations. – Darth Vader (2017) #8
The new Darth Vader series has been phenomenal, but the moment that truly stands out comes mostly courtesy of artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. An intense rendition of Vader’s meditations spotlights what makes comics such a unique story-telling medium. An abrupt shift away from Camuncoli’s style for the rest of the series, it shows the Sith’s inner turmoil and, perhaps most jarringly, how he perceives his mechanical limbs. The phrase “more machine now than man” takes on a whole new meaning.
6. Lobot’s sacrifice. – Lando #5
In writer Charles Soule’s first visit to the galaxy, Lando and Lobot accept a job that turns out to be stealing Emperor Palpatine’s personal ship. As the job gets progressively worse, the only way they can escape the soon-to-explode ship is if Lobot uses his implants to interface with the yacht… and simultaneously loses a battle to stop the implants from taking over. Lobot leaves behind a heart-wrenching message for Lando to discover later, using his last words as ones of encouragement for his friend and to remind Lando that he could do so much more if he could only find something to believe in. “Lando, old buddy. You’re better than this.” What a way to end a series — with a punch to the gut.
7. Leia senses Maul’s residual presence on Naboo. – Shattered Empire #3
Greg Rucka and Angel Unzueta don’t need much to make an impact; just two panels. When the Empire brings Operation: Cinder to Naboo, Princess Leia and Shara Bey are sent on a diplomatic mission. The Empire had demilitarized the planet years before but Queen Soruna suggests seeing if any of the old starfighters from decades prior are still functional. When Leia hits the precise spot where Darth Maul once stood for his dramatic entrance, she pauses, sensing something through the Force. Unzueta superimposes Maul’s eyes over the panel of Leia, cuing up “Duel of the Fates” in our minds. It’s a perfect nod to The Phantom Menace, Leia’s Force powers, and her connection to her birth mother’s homeworld.
8. Vader learns he has a son. – Star Wars #6/Darth Vader (2015) #6
Released on the same day, Star Wars #6 and Darth Vader #6 show us the moment when Boba Fett informs Darth Vader that the pilot who blew up the Death Star is named Skywalker. Both issues illustrate the event through a slightly different lens, a display of the close collaboration between the creative teams that also sets the stage for both stories going forward as they inch closer to Vader’s revelation to Luke on Bespin. It’s also the kind of moment that makes readers yell while reading because it’s just that good.
9. Aphra lives! – Darth Vader (2015) #25
Darth Vader #25, the final issue, was a whirlwind of emotions culminating with Vader tossing Aphra out an airlock in a swift response to her betrayal. Thanks to some quick thinking and some help from her friends, Aphra manages to survive certain death without the Dark Lord knowing. It was a brilliant move, both in and outside of the universe. For ages, it seemed like Aphra’s death was going to be inevitable. Early on, she said she knew her “clock was ticking” and given that Kieron Gillen was the writer, heartbreak seemed inevitable. Instead, Doctor Aphra not only managed to live, but she got her very own on-going comic that launched soon after. Talk about the best possible outcome!
10. Aphra and Tolvan kiss. – Doctor Aphra #16
Speaking of Aphra, no better time for a first kiss than when you’re convinced that you’re about to die, right? And really: did we expect anything else? Ever since Aphra and Tolvan first encountered each other back on Yavin 4, their flirting has escalated at a rapid rate. A relationship between them can’t possibly end well and yet they’re drawn to each other and readers are rooting for them. Thankfully, it’s not their day to die, but it is extremely satisfying to see them finally act upon their feelings for each other.
Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.