With hundreds of collections – and multiple time periods and casts – to choose from, it can seem a little overwhelming to know where to start with Star Wars comics. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here’re our choices for 10 Star Wars Comics You Should Read… and in (roughly) chronological order, too!
Star Wars: Vector Vols. 1 & 2
Okay, this one is kind of out of chronological order – It’s a story that spans four different Star Wars series and eras (Knights of The Old Republic‘s ancient Jedi Order, between-movie-trilogy series Empire, between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back series Rebellion and far-future Legacy), giving you a taster of what each has to offer, as well as a chance to see what kind of thing scares Darth Vader enough to run away, and a female lead strong enough to forgive Princess Leia’s tendency to drop the snark and the blaster when there’s a hero’s arms to swoon into.
Star Wars Omnibus: Tales Of The Jedi Vol. 1
If you’re looking to learn more about the ancient history behind the Jedi Order, you could do worse than this 440 page anthology of lightsaber-wielding badasses who’ve never heard of anyone with the last name of Skywalker, but know all about the trouble that the Sith can bring. Videogamers, please note: This has the Knights Of The Old Republic tie-in story.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Vol. 1: Commencement
Videogamers, please note: This has nothing besides a timeframe in common with the game. Everyone else, please note: Knights of The Old Republic is awesome, combining your hive of scum and villainy, space battle and Jedi needs with a story about Jedis doing very much the wrong things for what they believe are the right reasons, paranoia and a padawan framed for the murder of his fellow students. If only the prologue movies had been this strong.
Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol. 9: Endgame
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Volume 9? What about all the other volumes?” To which I say, this isn’t your everyday Clone Wars collection. This is the one that includes Purge, which shows a newly created Darth Vader begin his quest to completely obliterate the few remaining Jedi post-Revenge of The Sith. Suitably thrilling, depressing and a reminder of just how scary Darth Vader can be, when he wants.
Star Wars: A New Hope Manga Vols. 1-4
You might be familiar with the first Star Wars movie, but until you’ve seen the Japanese comic, you’re missing out. Hisao Tamaki’s adaptation manages to be faithful to both the original version and the ramped-up kinetic energy of the best frenetic manga at the same time, and kind of makes the story cooler, in some strange way.
Star Wars: Tag & Bink Were Here
It’s Rosencrantz and Gildernstern Are Dead, except with Rebel soldiers on the run and Star Wars instead of Shakespearean spies and Hamlet. I’m not sure what else you really need to know besides that, beyond the fact that it’s written by Kevin Rubio, who came up with stormtrooper Cops parody Troops way back when, so you know it brings the funny.
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago… Vol. 3: Resurrection of Evil
The “Classic” tag means that it’s a reprint of the original Marvel Comics series from the ’70s and ’80s, and this collection – from the post-Empire, pre-Return of The Jedi era – contains what may be the best storyline from that series: “To Take The Tarkin.” What if the Empire decided to build a superweapon more deadly than the Death Star, and the rebels could stop them? Sure, there’s no Han Solo and the plot was swiped for Return of The Jedi, but this storyline is pretty much all a fan of the original movies could hope for.
Star Wars: Dark Empire
…Well, aside from this, of course. The first Dark Horse Star Wars comic (Originally announced as a Marvel project, way back when), and maybe the first comic that legitimately feels on par with the movies, Dark Empire begins the “What Happened Next” after Jedi with a story about cloned Emperors, Luke turning to the Dark Side, and some of the best art a Star Wars comic has ever seen, courtesy of Cam Kennedy. Completely essential.
Star Wars Omnibus: Boba Fett
For a character barely in Empire or Jedi, Boba really made an impact, and if the prologue movies kind of lessened that by showing him as a whiny little kid, the stories in this almost-500 page collection aim to make the most out of the way you imagined him to be when you played with that Kenner action figure way back when. Or last Thursday, depending on how honest you are.
Star Wars: Legacy Vol. 1: Broken
Forget that “Long time ago” stuff; Legacy takes place more than 100 years after Return of The Jedi and features Luke Skywalker’s descendant Cade, who’s clearly taken after his Uncle Han a little bit too much, turning his back on the Force and becoming a bounty hunter. But don’t worry, there are still Sith and an Empire to contend with. Called the most successful comic of the Star Wars family, Legacy works as well for anyone who’s never seen the movies as those who know every single line.
If you still need more help in getting started, stick around: We’re going to be giving away some Star Wars comics from Dark Horse later this week.
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