Star Wars Comics: Before Disney Plus, Marvel expanded the story

C3PO (Anthony Daniels), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.
C3PO (Anthony Daniels), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX. /

Star Wars adventures were raging in the pages of Marvel Comics for years. Could Disney’s recent announcements of more film and TV properties be inspired by the comic book stories?

Disney’s announcement of more films and TV shows on Disney Plus has benefitted Star Wars in a big way. Fans got more details on a few already announced projects on Disney Investor Day as well as several new ones. While Disney is about to lean into some serious Star Wars world-building, people shouldn’t forget that’s been going on for years in Star Wars comics.

A long history of Star Wars comics

As long as there have been Star Wars movies, there have been comics, and for almost the same amount of time. Marvel started publishing comics in 1977, the same year A New Hope debuted in movie theatres. They remained the publisher until 1987.

In 1991, Dark Horse picked up the comic book rights to Star Wars, and continued making them through 2014. This 23 year run created an incredible array of stories and characters, forming the base of an Expanded Universe which is now referred to as the Legends.

Andor, Star Wars
Andor, a Star Wars prequel /

After Disney took over LucasFilm, the comic rights to Star Wars soon transferred to another one of their companies, Marvel. This huge change saw the Expanded Universe built by Dark Horse become non-canonical. All that remained were the six feature films that existed at that time and The Clone Wars.

Since 2015, Marvel has been responsible for the comic book aspects of Star Wars, and has produced incredible stories. Some expand on existing plot points while others gave fans something entirely new to work with.

Characters from a galaxy far away

One of the great things about Star Wars comics of any era has been growing the story beyond what fans got in the feature films. Marvel has continued doing that during the modern era of movies, TV series and comic books.

Naturally, a lot of those stories focused on the classic characters. Darth Vader got a lot of attention in the current comics, as did Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the motley crew of the Millennium Falcon. But they weren’t the only ones.

Marvel produced a comic series focusing on the early days of Kanan Jarrus, one of the main cast members of Star Wars: Rebels. As a Jedi Padawan, he narrowly escaped Order 66 and went on to be a building block of the Rebellion. This series gave fans a look into the events that made him.

A similar series was published for Poe Dameron. It was set before the events of The Force Awakens, the movie that introduced the character to Star Wars audiences around the world. The crux of the story was Leia sending him to track down Luke, which was what he was doing at the beginning of The Force Awakens.

The Mandalorian: Is Boba Fett’s return good or bad for the Star Wars franchise?. light. Related Story

But where the modern era of Star Wars comics has excelled is in creating new characters and building stories around them. There are even some that have never made the transition to other mediums, even though they should.

Doctor Aphra is always on call

Of all the new characters in the current wave of Star Wars comics, Doctor Aphra is by far the most interesting. She is a nefarious but lovable archaeologist whose main goal is to make a quick, but rarely easy, buck. Aphra exists somewhere between bounty hunter and academic.

On top of that, Aphra has one of the best group of side characters around. Her crew has included a pair of homicidal, sociopathic droids named Triple Zero and Bee Tee. No organic lifeform should be left alone with them for too long, or the droids might harvest their skin and blood.

Aphra’s other core partner in crime has often been Black Krrsantan. He is unlike any Wookie most Star Wars fans are used to. Brutal and unforgiving, the gladiator turned bounty hunter has no problems slaughtering anyone in his path, including other Wookies.

Ahsoka, Star Wars
Ahsoka, a new Star Wars spin-off /

In addition to being a prominent part of Darth Vader’s solo comics, Aphra has had her own series. All of the stories involving her have been consistently great, due in no small part to the fact that they take readers into the secret history of the galaxy.

As good as her Star Wars comics are, it’s a shame that her unique cast of miscreants and stories of her exploits have yet to transition to the movies or TV series. While the comics have their fans, they don’t get as many eyes on them. But all the announced series provide a unique opportunity.

Star Wars comics on Star Wars TV

In the impressive array of Disney Plus series recently announced, there’s a real opportunity to use aspects of the Star Wars comics in the Star Wars shows. While not everything needs to be translated to live-action, there is a lot to work with.

The comics have been laying the groundwork for years when it comes to characters and stories. Doctor Aphra, Triple Zero, Bee Tee and Black Krrsantan are all characters that could easily be used in many of the upcoming series.

Disney could do something similar with them as was done with The Bad Batch. Season 7 of The Clone Wars served as a backdoor pilot, introducing the characters before their own series debuts in 2021. Aphra could easily make appearances in other shows as a means of gauging interest in a Disney Plus series focusing on her.

That being said, characters like Aphra don’t necessarily need to have their own series to be a bigger part of the story. Having her and her pals start popping up in existing shows would flesh out the world greater and build a meaningful connection back to the comics. That’s the kind of storytelling that has always made Star Wars great.

Next. Star Wars round-up: All the new properties to be excited about. dark

Would you like to see Star Wars comic book characters make their debut in live-action properties on Disney Plus? Let us know in the comments below!