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Get Started In STAR WARS

Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Nov 2019

STAR WARS is one of the largest media franchises ever created, all based on the 1977 epic space opera film of the same name from writer/director George Lucas. Star Wars has since become a world-wide pop culture phenomenon and needs little introduction. In the first chapter of the multi-film saga, seemingly simple farmboy, Luke Skywalker, is swept up in a galactic civil war when Princess Leia's fugitive droids cause him to encounter the last, old Jedi Knight, Obi-wan Kenobi. Kenobi teaches Luke the ways of the 'Force'--a universal power which certain sensitives can use to 'magically' manipulate their surroundings--before the mentor is killed by the sinister Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Lord Vader is a powerful and evil Force user who had previously wiped out the Jedi Order. In their most desperate hour, Luke is able use his fledgling Jedi abilities to exploit a weakness in the evil Empire's massive battlestation, the Death Star, and destroy it, winning a major victory for the underdog Alliance to Restore the Republic. Future films would reveal dramatic secrets as the Rebel Alliance seeks to finally overthrow the Empire. But the Force itself has two sides: the Light Side and the Dark Side, and they--like the galaxy--will be locked in perpetual conflict for a franchise which appears will live in perpetuity.

Related GSIs: BOBA FETTDARTH VADERDOCTOR APHRA

Related Tags: ADAM HUGHES (CA)ALEX ROSS (CA)AMERICAN GOTHIC (PAINTING) COVER HOMAGEART ADAMS (CA)ART BOOKSBOBA FETTBRIAN WOOD (W)CHARLES SOULE (W)DARK HORSE 1-FOR-1 REPRINTS [2010]DARK HORSE/HASBRO COMIC PACK REPRINTS (57)DARTH MAULDARTH VADERDAVE DORMAN (CA)DIAMOND RETAILER SUMMIT 2020 LIMITED VARIANT COVERS [2020] (5)DOCTOR APHRAFRANK CHO (CA)GREG LAND (CA)IDW STAR WARS ADVENTURESKIERON GILLEN (W)LAKESIDE TATTOOZ INSERT VARIANTSMARVEL FACSIMILE EDITIONSMARVEL STARMARVEL TRUE BELIEVERS REPRINTS [2015]NOVEL TIE-INSTAR WARSSTAR WARS (LEGENDS)STAR WARS (NEW CANON) [2014]STAR WARS 40TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERSSTAR WARS ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVERSSTAR WARS EMPIRE STRIKES BACK VARIANT COVERS [2020] (36)STAR WARS GALACTIC ICON VARIANT COVERS [2018]STAR WARS GREATEST MOMENTS COVER VARIANTS [2019] (36)STAR WARS MANGASTAR WARS MOVIE ADAPTATIONSTERRY/RACHEL DODSON (CA)VIZ SHONEN SUNDAYWIZARD NO. 1/2 ISSUES

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Star Wars comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Star Wars. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

There is a multitude of Star Wars material in print, as Marvel is producing compilations of the Dark Horse material as well as their own material from the New Canon and the classic (70's and 80's) eras.

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS VOL 01Quick ViewOct 2016STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS [2016-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  (classic Marvel Star Wars stuff)
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS VOL 02Quick ViewJul 2017STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS [2016-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS VOL 03Quick ViewJul 2018STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS [2016-TPB] VOL 03
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS VOL 04Quick ViewAug 2019STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS [2016-TPB] VOL 04
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS VOL 01: SKYWALKER STRIKESQuick ViewOct 2015STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 01: SKYWALKER STRIKES
CURRENT PRINTING
  (beginning of the New Canon era)
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 02: SHOWDOWN ON THE SMUGGLERS MOONQuick ViewJan 2016STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 02: SHOWDOWN ON THE SMUGGLERS MOON
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: VADER DOWN Quick ViewApr 2016STAR WARS: VADER DOWN [2016-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS VOL 03: REBEL JAILQuick ViewAug 2016STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 03: REBEL JAIL
1ST PRINT
  
IN STOCK$16.99
STAR WARS VOL 04: LAST FLIGHT OF THE HARBINGERQuick ViewJan 2017STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 04: LAST FLIGHT OF THE HARBINGER
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 05: YODA'S SECRET WARQuick ViewJul 2017STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 05: YODA'S SECRET WAR
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL Quick ViewOct 2017STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL [2017-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
STAR WARS VOL 06: OUT AMONG THE STARSQuick ViewDec 2017STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 06: OUT AMONG THE STARS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 07: THE ASHES OF JEDHAQuick ViewApr 2018STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 07: THE ASHES OF JEDHA
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 08: MUTINY AT MON CALAQuick ViewAug 2018STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 08: MUTINY AT MON CALA
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 09: HOPE BURNSQuick ViewDec 2018STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 09: HOPE BURNS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 10: THE ESCAPEQuick ViewApr 2019STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 10: THE ESCAPE
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 11: THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUNQuick ViewAug 2019STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 11: THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 12: REBELS AND ROGUESQuick ViewNov 2019STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 12: REBELS AND ROGUES
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS VOL 13: ROGUES AND REBLESQuick ViewFeb 2020STAR WARS [2015-TPB] VOL 13: ROGUES AND REBLES
  
UNAVAILABLE$11.69
      
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 01: HEROES OF THE GALAXYQuick ViewOct 2017STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 01: HEROES OF THE GALAXY
CURRENT PRINTING
  (IDW's all-ages stuff)
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 02: UNEXPECTED DETOURQuick ViewFeb 2018STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 02: UNEXPECTED DETOUR
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 03: ENDANGEREDQuick ViewJun 2018STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 03: ENDANGERED
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 04: SMUGGLER'S BLUESQuick ViewNov 2018STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 04: SMUGGLER'S BLUES
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 05: MECHANICAL MAYHEMQuick ViewMar 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 05: MECHANICAL MAYHEM
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 06: FLIGHT OF FALCONQuick ViewJul 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 06: FLIGHT OF FALCON
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 07: POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCEQuick ViewNov 2019STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 07: POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 08: DEFEND THE REPUBLIC!Quick ViewFeb 2020STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 08: DEFEND THE REPUBLIC!
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
STAR WARS ADVENTURES VOL 09: FIGHT THE EMPIREQuick ViewApr 2020STAR WARS ADVENTURES [2017-TPB] VOL 09: FIGHT THE EMPIRE
  
UNAVAILABLE$8.49
      
STAR WARS VOL 01: THE DESTINY PATHQuick ViewJun 2020STAR WARS [2020-TPB] VOL 01: THE DESTINY PATH
  
UNAVAILABLE$11.69

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Star Wars, if it's within your budget. Of only trivial interest perhaps, the first issue of STAR WARS [1977] was published on 12 Apr 1977, over a month prior to the 25 May 1977 movie debut.

  • STAR WARS [1977] #1  (1st appearance of Star Wars; 1st appearance of Darth Vader)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. But, there is no origin story, per se, for the Star Wars saga proper as the story spans generations. The first movie to be released, STAR WARS: EPISODE IV--A NEW HOPE, introduced the saga and was adapted in the first six issues of the 1977 series and has been reprinted several times in different formats. A brand new adaptation was published in 1997.

  • STAR WARS [1977] #1-6   
  • MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION FEATURING STAR WARS [1977-TREA] #1-2   (treasury-sized reprint of STAR WARS [1977] #1-6 in 2 issues)
  • MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION FEATURING STAR WARS [1977-TREA] #3   (treasury-sized reprint of STAR WARS [1977] #1-6 in 1 issue)
  • MARVEL MOVIE SHOWCASE FEATURING STAR WARS [1982] #1-2   (reprints STAR WARS [1977] #1-6 in 2 issues)
  • DROIDS [1986] #6-8   (retells Episode IV from the viewpoint of the droids)
  • CLASSIC STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE [1994] #1-2   (reprints STAR WARS [1977] #1-6 in 2 issues)
  • STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE--THE SPECIAL EDITION [1997] #1-4   (all-new adaptation in 4 issues)

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Star Wars comic books. Star Wars has had over 100 different series since 1977. While most of these have been mini-series from Dark Horse, exploring a multitude of eras and characters, there have been several flagship ongoing series from both Marvel and Dark Horse.

  • STAR WARS [1977] #1-107   (classic Marvel series; ANH and ESB are adapted within the run as #1-6 and #39-44 respectively)
  • STAR WARS [1998] #1-45   (Dark Horse's 1st ongoing series takes place around TPM and beyond; numbering continues in STAR WARS: REBUBLIC [2002])
  • STAR WARS: REPUBLIC [2002] #46-83   (numbering and time period continued from STAR WARS [1998])
  • STAR WARS: EMPIRE [2002] #1-40   (ongoing series takes place right around ANH; continued in STAR WARS: REBELLION [2006])
  • STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC [2006] #0-50   (set thousands of years before the original trilogy)
  • STAR WARS: REBELLION [2006] #1-16   (time period and numbering (in indicia) continued from STAR WARS: EMPIRE [2002])
  • STAR WARS: LEGACY [2006] #0-50   (set ~137 years after the Battle of Yavin focused on a Skywalker descendant; continued in STAR WARS: LEGACY [2013])
  • STAR WARS [2013] #1-20   (Dark Horse's 2nd ongoing series takes place between ANH and ESB)
  • STAR WARS: LEGACY [2013] #1-18   (continued from STAR WARS: LEGACY [2006])
  • STAR WARS [2015] #1-75   (flagship title New Canon relaunch; set between ANH and ESB)
  • STAR WARS [2019] #108   (one-shot continuation of the original 1977 series)
  • STAR WARS: EMPIRE ASCENDANT [2020] #1   (one-shot wraps up multiple series storylines before a major relaunch in early 2020)
  • STAR WARS SAGA [2020] #1   (recap of the 2015 75-issue series)
  • STAR WARS [2020] #1-   (flagship title relaunch; set between ESB and ROTJ)

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Star Wars, any one of which can be a good place to get started.

Key Storyline cover 1 for STAR WARSKey Storyline cover 2 for STAR WARSKey Storyline cover 3 for STAR WARSKey Storyline cover 4 for STAR WARS
1977STAR WARS [1977] #1-6   (official ANH movie adaptation)
1980STAR WARS [1977] #39-44   (official ESB movie adaptation)
1983STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [1983] #1-4   (official ROTJ movie adaption)
1991STAR WARS: DARK EMPIRE [1991] #1-6   (first Dark Horse Star Wars comics; continued saga after ROTJ; now Legends)
1993STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI [1993] #1-5   (Dark Horse begins exploring multiple ages in the SW universe; started a series of TOTJ mini-series; now Legends)
1995STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE EMPIRE [1995] #1-6   (begins Timothy Zahn novels adaptations; Dark Horse comics become integral part of the Expanded Universe, now Legends)
1999STAR WARS: EPISODE I--THE PHANTOM MENACE [1999] #1-4   (official TPM movie adaptation)
2002STAR WARS: EPISODE II--ATTACK OF THE CLONES [2002] #1-4   (official AOTC movie adaptation)
2005STAR WARS: EPISODE III--REVENGE OF THE SITH [2005] #1-4   (official ROTS movie adaptation)
2014STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL--SON OF DATHOMIR [2014] #1-4   (adapted from unproduced screenplays for Season 6 of THE CLONE WARS tv show, a canon chapter of Darth Maul's saga)
2016STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ADAPTATION [2016] #1-6   (official TFA movie adaptation)
2017STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE ADAPTATION [2017] #1-6   (official RO movie adaptation)
2018STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI ADAPTATION [2018] #1-6   (official TLJ movie adaptation)
2018SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY ADAPTATION [2018] #1-5   (official SOLO movie adaption)
2020STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER ADAPTATION [2020] #1-5   (official ROS movie adaption)

Media Source Material

Media source material cover for STAR WARS

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Star Wars, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. But, with Star Wars, movies and other media are typically not produced from comic source material. Comic book adaptations and comic book spin-offs are produced from movies and other media. See the Selected Key Storylines section for movie adaptations.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Star Wars, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for STAR WARSKey Issue cover 2 for STAR WARSKey Issue cover 3 for STAR WARSKey Issue cover 4 for STAR WARS

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  • STAR WARS [1977] #1   (1st appearance of Star Wars; 1st appearance of Darth Vader)
  • STAR WARS [1977] #1   VAR NEWSSTAND ED (35 CENT) (the 'holy grail' of Star Wars comic book collecting, the 35 cent price variation of the newsstand edition; ~1500 copies)
  • MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #16   (ESB adaptation)
  • STAR WARS [1977] #42   (1st appearance of Boba Fett in comics (in ESB adaptation))
  • STAR WARS [1977] #68   (appearance of Boba Fett (in flashback))
  • MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #27   (ROTJ adaptation)
  • MARVEL AGE [1983] #10   (Star Wars cover)
  • STAR WARS [1977] #81   (appearance of Boba Fett, 1st since the events in ROTJ)
  • STAR WARS [1977] #107   (final issue in series, low distribution)
  • STAR WARS GALAXY MAGAZINE [1994-MAG] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • CLASSIC STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [1994] #1   (popular cover)