**Don’t panic!! The comics aren’t being cancelled but with the glacial pace of the stories, they may as well be.**
I think it’s safe to say that 40 years is a long time to be a fan of anything, and Star Wars for me is that hallmark. With those 40 years comes many of the games, toys and especially the comics. Sure, I grew up reading The Amazing Spider-man, Batman, Black Panther and everything else but Star Wars was my mainstay comic. I remember the early books when the stories took a bit of a Flash Gordon twist. I remember our heroes going up against the Tagges. As the times and writers changed, I remember my favorite stories were those involving Shira Brie and her rise to becoming Lumiya, Leia meeting the Mandalorians and more.
I missed most of Dark Horse’s run with the title as I wasn’t reading comics at the time, but when I did start reading again one of the books I enjoyed was Brian Wood’s run on the series. What I loved most about it was that I felt like he really captured the spirit of the original movie with the settings and the characters. Wood was doing a lot of world-building to fill in the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but then Marvel repurchased the license.
To be honest, while I like what Marvel has done with the main book as well as Darth Vader, I kind of feel like the comic has been ‘stuck’ in the same place since Wood’s run. Sure, his stories may not be canon, but I feel like we are trodding old ground by staying in the era after A New Hope and have been doing so since 2013. I have had some questions regarding some of the plot points such as Luke’s confrontation with Vader in issues 2 and 3, which are now somehow canon. Mind you I ‘get’ it but Luke confronting Vader in The Empire Strikes Back is still etched in my mind as their first ever meeting.
Now, I am not 100% sure what Marvel has planned for these books for the next two years but I really would love to see stories move beyond the Episode IV storyline. The Poe Dameron books are a good start but, more is needed. One of the issues with Star Wars on a whole is that sometimes, regardless of where stories pick up, we always know how they end in Return of the Jedi. But I think part of what needs to happen in everyone’s attempt at world-building and filling in the blanks is to not linger too long in one part.
Even if Marvel’s plan is to give us a slow drip of stories, I would really like to see the Star Wars books fill in the gaps between Empire and Jedi. I would be interested in new stories about how Leia and company picked up the trail of Boba Fett as he took Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt. I really would be interested in seeing some stories of how Luke coped with the revelation that Vader was his father and him contemplating how he would complete his training. Of course I would really want to read about Vader’s plans from bringing his son to the Dark side as well as the progression of the second Death Star. And while I’m reaching for the stars, I would love to read some canon stories about what happened in that 30 year span between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. After all, Disney did us the disservice of wiping out the Expanded Universe (for better or for worse), so it’s time to get some comics (and novels) out taking place in that period. I would like to see more stories of the Republic that came about after the fall of Emperor Palpatine, Luke’s decision to reform the Jedi order, the THEFT of the Millennium Falcon, Finn’s early days, more hints about Snoke and Phasma and more.
Marvel can still play the role like they did in the old days, by creating comics that stay within the lines and give us some Episode VII era stories without revealing what will come in the next movie. It’s a shame that it took so long for us to find out what happened after Return of the Jedi cinematically speaking. Even when Marvel had the comic license originally, they made it a habit to progress the story beyond the movie. Granted, Marvel has had the license back for nearly a year and a half but for the stories they have been telling us, it’s time to wrap it up and move on.
It’s time for Star Wars storytelling to perform more like a spice freighter making the Kessel run (heh!) than plodding like a Bantha.