Young Anakin Skywalker struggles with his destiny!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

Like a sun setting over the horizon, the transition from light to dark is gradual, slow. This process began for Anakin Skywalker when he was a young man, a slave on Tatooine—and would only conclude following his near-death on Mustafar. There were many steps along the way, key points in his life that could have led him to infinite other destinies. And in the five issue limited series, STAR WARS: OBI-WAN & ANAKIN by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto, readers witnessed a few of those crucial moments in the young Jedi’s life.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #1

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #1

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After years of war between the Closed and Open factions, the planet Carnelion IV had been rendered nearly uninhabitable. The humanoid groups made their homes up in mountains while more monstrous dwellers prowled through the remains of once beautiful cities.

In response to the unrest, Anakin and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi traveled to the planet before finding themselves confronted with a trio of survivors, Grecker of the Closed, and Mother Pran and Kolara of the Open. After the Jedi mentioned they’d been called there by a distress signal, the enemies quickly agreed to work together, though when the group came under attack, the Open followers knocked Anakin unconscious and kidnapped him, before blowing up the ship that held Obi-Wan and Grecker still inside.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #2

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #2

  • Published: February 03, 2016
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 01, 2016
  • Rating: Rated T
  • Writer: Charles Soule
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Mother Pran and Kolara took Skywalker back to their home and had him to fix their mech suits so that they could finally gain an upper hand against the Closed. Meanwhile, Kenobi and Grecker traveled through perilous places to finally arrive at the source of the beacon that called the Jedi to the planet in the first place. Soon after, Grecker found himself on the wrong end of a blaster when he tried to feed Kenobi to one of Carnelion IV’s monsters.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #3

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #3

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Obi-Wan then met the reclusive Sera, a woman whose life’s work was to save the art and technology of the imploding planet. She collected artifacts and connected them to kites, so that younger generations could see what they were missing by living in a world overrun by war. She sent out the distress call hoping that the Jedi would arrive to end the war and pave a way for the youth to thrive in peace.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #4

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #4

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When the Open and the Closed discovered that Sera was the source of the beacon, all members of each faction raced to kill her. When the soldiers departed, Anakin convinced the remaining young people to free him so that he could save the urban legend they knew as the Scavenger—Sera. And with some assistance from a late-arriving contingent of Republic soldiers and Jedi, Obi-Wan and Anakin succeeded in their mission.

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #5

Obi-Wan and Anakin (2016) #5

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From the Jedi Temple Archives

This limited series also contained a series of flashbacks wherein Anakin struggled with whether he wanted to continue training with the Jedi. Chancellor Palpatine, one of the greatest influences in Skywalker’s life, requested the young Jedi’s presence one evening before taking him to the streets of Coruscant, where he manipulated Skywalker into making a supposedly corrupt Senator lose money in a dice game. Palpatine sewed the seeds of dissent in his future protege by presenting the Senate as a system that could not keep its own members in line, let alone the planets it represented.

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Dive into some spectacularly strange Star Wars lore!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

In STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI – PRISONER OF BOGAN by John Ostrander and Jan Duuresema picked up two months after the first series in this epic tale of the early Je’Daii set roughly 36,000 years before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Originally published in 2012-2013, this Legends tale finds the one-time Force Hound Xesh trying to find balance on Tython’s moon Bogan.

Prior to this series, in STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI – FORCE STORM, Xesh originally worked for the Rakatan Infinite Empire, a group of conquerors who enslaved Force-sensitives and used them to fuel their ships and weapons. While tracking Tython, a Force-tuned planet and home to the Je’Daii, Xesh’s ship crashed, leaving him the sole survivor but lacking key memories of the incident. He also found himself in the presence of his first Je’Daii; at first he refused to help them, but once he saw how they fought for each other, he jumped into the fray. Having switched sides, the Je’Daii sent him to Bogan in an effort to reacquaint him with the Light Side after spending most of his life in the Dark. He also hoped to regain some of the memories he lost in the crash.

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #1

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #1

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Xesh partially enjoyed his peaceful respite on the moon, but everything changed when the mad Je’Daii Daegen Lok attacked him with a trick dubbed the Mind Twist. Lok then showed Xesh a secret ship they could use to get off the moon and then described the vision he saw in a huge trench called the Chasm on Tython. The place had been forbidden because it drove explorers mad with visions. Lok accepted the unoffered challenge and, once inside, started muttering, “A creature with a single red eye…leading an army…a sword of flame…destruction…fire…death!” He conveyed this journey to the Council and all it got him was a trip to Bogan.

After Xesh recognized a part of Lok’s vision—the Forcesaber—the one-time Force Hound agreed that he could build one. He then filled the ship’s batteries with Force energy and they flew off to get crystals from Krev Coeur and then forge it on Nox. The Infinite Empire had no intention of letting Xesh roam free, so Predor Skal’Nas sent Trill, his own Force Hound, to track Xesh through space.

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #2

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #2

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Meanwhile, Tem Madog, Master of the Forge on Tython, found himself befuddled by the Forcesaber they’d taken from Xesh. With a group of fellow Je’Daii, they soon sussed out that it could only be ignited by tapping into the Dark Side, something that not all of them could do at first.

As Xesh and Lok crashed on the crystal-covered planet Krev Coeur, the Je’Daii landed on Bogan and figured out that the two had teamed up. Lok’s friend Hawk further explained the vision of shadow warriors wielding light swords. Hawk knew this vision well because he had seen it too while accompanying Lok on his journey into the Chasm, though he spent his time on Bogan telling himself it never happened. Guessing at the fugitives’ mission, the Je’Daii split up, one group going to Krev Coeur the other headed for Nox.

Xesh and Lok obtained the materials they needed on the crystal world, then managed to create the hilt on Nox before moving on to find an army to lead. Daegon attempted to recruit those he fought against during the Despot War to no avail. While there, though, the Je’Daii managed to track them down. While escaping, Shae Koda got the drop on Xesh, but was attacked by a giant monster. He dove into the waters below to save her and then took her as his captive.

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #3

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #3

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Back on Tython, research into a recently discovered Holocron informed the Je’Daii of the looming threat known as the Rakatan Infinite Empire. An ancient race called the Kwa, who inhabited Tython many years prior, visited the Rakata homeworld via an Infinity Gate, giving them tech and information about the Force, which the Rakata then used to dominate every planet they came across. The Rakata wanted the Infinity Gates, but the Kwa destroyed most of the portals to keep the Rakata at bay. With this in mind, the Je’Daii decreed that Xesh and Lok be brought back to Tython to prepare for war.

By that point, Lok, Xesh, and a Mind Twisted Shae had traveled to Shikaawa in another effort to raise an army from those once loyal to Queen Hadiya. However, that seemed unlikely once it was revealed that Lok actually killed the queen. After, Xesh and Lok fought against the Je’Daii, though even the Bogan fugitives fell apart when Lok tried to say he controlled Xesh.

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #4

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #4

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With Lok downed and Shae talking Xesh out of killing him, the group made their way back to Tython where the Council needed to take Lok’s visions seriously. To that end, they began making Forcesabers in their own forge, placing themselves on a dangerous path towards the Dark Side.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Trill and Xesh were brood mates, which meant that they’d been taken in as slaves by the Rakatans at the same time. Thanks to a feeling in the Force, the young Trill stood up for Xesh, another child among grown ups who intended to harm them. The two would make a blood pact to watch out for each other as they grew up.

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #5

Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi - Prisoner Of Bogan (2012) #5

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Their master, Predor Tul’Kar, made them fight—and Xesh beat Trill. He was then ordered to kill her, but Xesh suggested gifting Trill to Tul’Kar’s superior Predor Skal’Nas, which Tul’Kar agreed to with relish. Trill saw this as a humiliating betrayal, even though Xesh clearly did it to save her life.

Trill managed to infiltrate the Je’Daii by saving Sek’Nos Rath on Krev Couer, and when she brought him to Shikaawa to help stop Xesh and Lok, she was welcomed with open arms. After she realized that Xesh didn’t recognize her, she sent word back to her master that his memory blocks on Xesh worked and gave them the coordinates for Tython. With that information, the Infinite Empire set course for the Je’Daii stronghold, which led straight into DAWN OF THE JEDI – FORCE WAR.

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Leia goes on a dangerous search for a new Rebel base!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

The Rebel Alliance faced plenty of challenges in the wake of “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.” Most pressingly, they needed to find another new base of operations and figure out how to recover Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt.

In 1981’s STAR WARS #55, writer David Michelinie and artist Walt Simonson dealt with the first problem head-on as Leia Organa lead an expedition to a planet called Arbra, which seemed like a perfect spot. As Leia explored, Luke and the Rebel fleet carried on in orbit around the system to minimize the Empire’s ability to find and attack them. The hero, uncomfortable with the plan that required the fleet to leave Leia and her crew if they didn’t hear from them within three days, struggled to keep calm.

Star Wars (1977) #55

Star Wars (1977) #55

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On Arbra, while the Rebels slept in their encampment, a group of local furry animals called Hoojibs started wreaking havoc on their equipment. But when the creatures attacked C-3PO, the droid sounded an alarm, alerting the group to the threat. In the middle of all that chaos, Leia discovered that the Hoojibs actually consumed energy—then got a much bigger surprise when one of the Hoojibs telepathically introduced himself as Plif!

Plif explained that his people fed off of the geothermal energy collected by crystals in their cave. And, in addition to dealing with the Rebel visitors, the Hoojibs also knew of a threat in the form of a space-faring monster called the Slivilith. Plif relayed that the Slivilith attacked their cave in search of warmth, forcing the Hoojibs to run away from their home. Knowing that they needed to stop the Slivilith so they could regain energy to fuel the radios and call the fleet, Leia agreed to help their furry new friends fight the beast.

Star Wars (1977) #56

Star Wars (1977) #56

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As a few Rebel soldiers fought the monster with primitive weapons, Leia and Chewbacca lured it into the cavern where they distracted the menace before Chewie grabbed the tentacles dangling from it’s body and slammed the Slivilith into a wall of crystals, ending its rampage.

Though that threat was neutralized, tensions remained when members of the Rebel party said they could easily take over Arbra to use as their base of operations. The Hoojibs did not agree, so the battle nearly continued—until Leia stepped in to say that taking over this planet would make the Rebels no better than the Empire. As they turned to leave, Plif, moved by Leia’s virtue, said that the Rebellion could stay on Arbra as their guests for as long as they needed.

Star Wars (1977) #57

Star Wars (1977) #57

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From the Jedi Temple Archives

During this story, readers witnessed Lando Calrissian tell Luke that he had decided to take the Millennium Falcon and return to Cloud City because he couldn’t shake the difficult memory of the Empire taking over the place he was responsible for. At the end of the tale, Lando flew the Falcon through the Bespin skies, aware that something drastic had occurred…he landed to find that Cloud City had been completely deserted. Read up on how he responded to that discovery in STAR WARS #56 and #57!

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A peacekeeping mission goes astray for the Jedi!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

Between the events of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” the Jedi contended with the rising power of their ancient foes as well as unknown forces attempting to manipulate their affairs from afar. Of course, the two would turn out to be directly related, but power struggles and the tumult of war muddled the Council’s ability to decipher the threats.

“Emissaries to Malastare,” published in issues #13-#16 of 1998’s STAR WARS, by Tim Truman and Tom Lyle, takes place just after “The Phantom Menace” in Legends continuity and focuses on a mission by the Council to bring peace to the planet Lannik. During a meeting of the Jedi, Adi Gallia brought up the troubles between the planet, which was the home of fellow Jedi Council member Even Piell, and local a terrorist group called Red Iaro. The aggressors agreed to a truce, which would be expanded upon by six Jedi representatives during a meeting on a neutral planet called Malastare. Chancellor Palpatine requested that only Council Members go, so Ki-Adi-Mundi, Even Piell, Adi Gallia, Plo Koon, Yaddle, and Mace Windu volunteered for the mission.

Star Wars (1998) #13

Star Wars (1998) #13

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Malastare concealed plenty of dangers for the assembled Jedi, as planet Senator Aks Moe worked behind the scenes with Myk’Chur Finux Zug—leader of the Red Iaro and old enemy of Master Piell—to manipulate the peace proceedings. The talks between Zug and the mostly reprehensible Lannik leader Prince R’Cardo Sooflie IX were strained to begin with and weren’t improved by the presence of the Jedi, who were not respected by either side.

With the talks crashing to a halt, the Jedi traveled to their quarters. Instead of a peaceful ride near the local podrace track, they instead found themselves betrayed by Red Iaro spies who intended to blow them up. Though surprised, the Jedi proved adept enough to survive the attack. Once safe, the Jedi discussed the situation, positing that the Red Iaro intended to make it look as though the Lannik prince betrayed his own people, which would shift the power dynamic into the Red Iaro’s favor.

Star Wars (1998) #14

Star Wars (1998) #14

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With the larger plan scuttled, Zug led the Red Iaro into the Prince’s chambers to put a murderous end to the negotiations when the Jedi burst through a window to stop the plot. Seeing his plan falling apart, Zug used a jetpack to escape, but wound up flying straight into a podracer turbine. With that, the peace talks came to a close and the Jedi Council members returned to Coruscant—except for one.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Zug, leader of the Red Iaro, utilized a pack of creatures called akk dogs to generate fear within his foes. The abuse of these animals disturbed Mace Windu, who explained that the creatures came from his home planet of Haruun Kal and were capable of good, depending on the training they received. This connection led Mace into his next adventure on the smuggler’s moon of Nar Shaddaa in STAR WARS #17#18, by Truman and John Nadeau.

Star Wars (1998) #17

Star Wars (1998) #17

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A moon of the Hutt capital world Nal Hutta, Nar Shaddaa proved dangerous, even for Windu, so he welcomed the assistance of fellow Jedi Council member (and his one-time Padawan) Depa Billaba. The duo received unexpected assistance from a third Jedi, Quinlan Vos, who guided them to the lower depths of the moon where they found mutated and brainwashed akk dogs forced to fight for entertainment.

After unsuccessfully attempting to commune with the creatures, Windu and Billaba were forced to confront the dogfight’s sponsor, Gargonn the Hutt. He passed the blame, of course, but with his enterprise in shambles and the audience rioting over unpaid bets, Mace and Depa hoped that the akk dog issue would be solved for good.

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See how the feud between the Sith and the Republic started 5000 years before Luke Skywalker's birth!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

Some battles go on so long that no one really knows how they start. That statement could easily be said about the wars between the Sith and the Republic, however, with STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI – GOLDEN AGE OF THE SITH, readers got a look at how a pair of hyperspace jockeys accidentally lead the Republic into direct conflict with the supposedly lost Sith Lords.

Written by Kevin J. Anderson with art by Chris Gossett and Dario Carrasco, Jr. this story took place 5,000 years before the events of “A New Hope” in the Legends continuity. The story began in a zero issue that mixed Sith history in with the adventure of Jedi Odan-Urr, whose teacher Master Ooroo tasked him with assisting Empress Teta in her mission to unify the seven planets of the Horos System. Though admittedly more of a scholar than a warrior, Teta’s Jedi adviser Memit Nadill welcomed Odan-Urr and his different point of view.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996)

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996)

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The unification plan found six of the seven planets coming together, but not Kirrek and its rebel forces, mostly pirates. Odan-Urr’s historical knowledge came into play almost immediately as he used Jedi Battle Meditation to increase his side’s hope as well as the other side’s fear to win the battle with less bloodshed.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #1

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #1

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The majority of the story took place after The Unification Wars and focused on brother and sister hyperspace explorers Gav and Jori Daragon who stole their own ship from repair impresario Aarrba the Hutt and took off on a random course in hopes of discovering a hyperspace lane that could earn them some money if it proved usable.

That hasty and somewhat foolhardy decision from the Force-sensitive siblings lead them to one of the most dangerous places in all the galaxy, Korriban, a rocky planet with canyons and catacombs used by the Sith to bury their dead. The timing could not have been worse for the siblings as they arrived near the planet during the burial of Sith Lord Marka Ragnos. The event played stage for the growing drama between the more traditional Ludo Kressh and the more progressive Naga Sadow who had very different thoughts on how the Sith Empire should proceed into the future.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #2

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #2

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Their battle came to an end when Marka appeared as a Force Ghost and recounted the history of the Sith to them (see below). Ragnos added that the modern day Sith now found themselves living in a Golden Age, but that they teetered on the edge of great change.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #3

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #3

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Back on Koros, Jedi Odan-Urr saw all this in a dream which lead him to tell Empress Teta and fellow Jedi Memit Nadill. Back on Korriban, the Sith lords captured Gav and Jori immediately after they landed, taking them back to the central planet in the Sith Empire, Ziost. There, Sadow manipulated those around him to see the Daragons as potential spies and put events into motion for his brethren to see the growing Republic as a dangerous enemy. To that end, he himself lead a group of loyal soldiers to break the twins out and pin the whole thing on the Republic.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #4

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #4

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Sadow’s plan worked beautifully. He even managed to get the other members of the Sith council to elect him the new Dark Lord, though the appointment lead to Ludo Kressh leaving the group altogether. Meanwhile, Empress Teta and her Jedi companions traveled to Coruscant where the Empress conveyed Odan-Urr’s vision about the returning Lords of the Sith to the council members who did not take the information seriously.

At that same time, Sadow still had the twins captive, but separated them. He encouraged Gav to practice some Sith magic. Naga also instructed some of his loyal warriors to sneak back into Ziosk and steal the Daragon’s ship, once again framing the Republic. However, this time one of Sadow’s emblems remained behind, leading Ludo Kressh to doubt about the true perpetrators.

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #5

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Golden Age Of The Sith (1996) #5

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Just as Sadow presented Jori with their ship, Kressh moved his own forces against his longtime enemy’s. Undr siege, Naga Sadow told Jori to make her escape in their ship without Gav and head back to the Republic. At that point, Naga revealed the true might of not just his own ships, but also his spies in Kressh’s various ships. With the tables firmly turned, Kressh retreated and Naga Sadow began preparations to use the secretly hidden homing device on Jori’s ship to guide the Sith Empire directly into confrontation with the Republic!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

After a split in the Jedi Order between the Light and Dark sides, the latter group took off in search of a new home and landed on a planet populated by the Sith, a group that treated these newly arrived Jedi as deities. When the Dark Jedi first encountered them, the race seemed to split into three clear-cut groups – servile slaves, learned engineers and the Massassi warriors. Over the years, some Dark Jedi interbred with the Sith leading to “watered down” bloodlines, like the one Ludo Kressh came from. The Dark Lords used the Sith to build forces that would go on to give the Republic trouble for thousands of years.

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Duane Swierczynski and Fernando Blanco prime 'Rogue One' with a one-shot!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

When “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hit theaters in 2016, audience members found themselves in the company of a group of brave, but flawed, Rebel fighters with the weight of a galactic war on their shoulders. The harrowing story not only introduced us to the likes of Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, but also the lovably honest droid K-2SO.

While we probably won’t be getting any more stories about these characters after the events of the film, that doesn’t mean we can’t look back at their histories! And that’s what writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Fernando Blanco did with the one-shot STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE – CASSIAN & K-2SO SPECIAL!

This particular story actually illustrated how Andor first met his droid pal. They met on a planet called Wecacoe, which was the setting for a Rebel mission lead by Cassius, assisted by twin Rebel spies Kertas and Rismor. The trio stole into an Imperial hangar facility and, using Kertas and Rismor’s abilities to look into the guts of a decommissioned Imperial Cruiser, retrieved information to report back to the Rebellion. Things then got a little bit complicated when a group of Stormtroopers arrived alongside an Imperial Security Droid named K-2SO.

Star Wars: Rogue One - Cassian & K-2SO Special (2017) #1

Star Wars: Rogue One - Cassian & K-2SO Special (2017) #1

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Cassian broke off from his partners to cause a distraction in an effort to get the twins on board their ship, but ran right into Kay-Tuesso. He attempted to find the kill switch, failed, but was saved when Kertas and Rismor managed to turn the droid off. Andor hacked Kaytoo’s system, but couldn’t flush out all of his Imperial programming. As they formulated their escape, Kay tried arresting Cassian again, forcing the Rebel commander to build a digital wall around his dark processes.

The siblings made their own play to distract the Troopers, but Kertas reminded Andor that Kaytoo actually already held all of the information they needed. With the droid now fully on his side, Andor gave Kaytoo a simple command to find a ship, steal it, and get them off of Wecacoe. The droid obeyed, setting up what has emerged as one of the great relationships in Star Wars history!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Of course, you could watch “Rogue One” again after reading this lead-in one-shot, but you could also ready the film adaptation on Marvel Unlimited! Jody Houser, Emilio Laiso, Oscar Bazaldua, and Paolo Villanelli crafted a six issue series rooted in the 2016 film. Read up on the adventures of Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, K-2SO, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, and the rest as they race through the cosmos in their mission to expose a major flaw in the the Death Star!

Next week, travel back to an even longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away with STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI – THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE SITH!

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Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca close out their Darth Vader run!

Every week, we comb through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase a classic story from a galaxy far, far away. So kick back, pour a tall glass of blue milk, and remember tales of the Light Side, the Dark, and all the scoundrels in between….

Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca built something incredible with the first volume of DARTH VADER. Not only did they unearth new facets of one of the most notable characters in pop culture, they also expanded the universe with a variety of new and interesting characters. Finishing up their run with a final arc in DARTH VADER #20#25, Gillen and Larroca answered some lingering questions, and settled a few scores.

Accompanying the Emperor on a ship, Darth Vader set out to track down a man called Cylo, who was a scientist with an army of highly technological soldiers. Palpatine wanted him dead and Vader fully agreed. On his way, Vader managed to uncover his nemesis Doctor Aphra’s location. With this information in mind, he ordered Triple-Zero and Bee Tee to travel to the Cosmatanic Steppes to bring her back dead or alive.

Darth Vader (2015) #20

Darth Vader (2015) #20

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The droids found Aphra and used their muscle—the Wookiee named Black Krrsantan and a troupe of commando droids—to seize the archaeologist and take her back to Vader’s ship. Upon arriving, though, Triple-Zero and Bee Tee had fulfilled the primary command from Vader, which meant that Aphra could give them another command: get her out of there.

After the Dark Lord of the Sith journeyed to the Outer Rim to deal with Cylo, he faced off against Tulon Voidgazer, her Rancor, and her various machines before emerging victorious. Then, following an attack, Cylo attempted to take control of Vader’s ship as Aphra rushed in to defend the Emperor from Cylo’s soldiers. Vader pursued his foe, but Cylo managed to freeze the Sith Lord by shutting down his mechanical parts. After an incredible look inside the mind of the struggling Anakin Skywalker, Vader reasserted control of his body and destroyed his enemy.

Darth Vader (2015) #21

Darth Vader (2015) #21

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Once back on his ship, Vader disagreed with some of the information that Aphra had managed to share with the Emperor, and forced her out of an airlock. The Emperor then gave Darth Vader authority over the confrontational General Tagge once again (whom Vader would eventually find to have a disturbing lack of faith). With this episode behind him, Vader could once again focus on tracking down the young Rebel Luke Skywalker.

But that’s not all! The storyline concluded with Triple-Zero, Bee Tee, and Black Krrsantan rescuing Aphra from space, allowing her adventures to continue.

Darth Vader (2015) #22

Darth Vader (2015) #22

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From the Jedi Temple Archives

During a conversation between Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, the Master explained an interesting thought to change the longstanding tradition of the Sith. After explaining the origins of the single master, single apprentice relationship, Palpatine said that he saw himself as a seminal figure in Sith history who would restore the group to “their rightful place in the galaxy.”

In next week’s Star Wars Spotlight, we’ll read through the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” lead-in one-shot STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE – CASSIAN & K-2SO by Duane Swierczynski and Fernando Blanco!

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Chris Claremont, Carmine Infantino and Walt Simonson tell an epic Princess Leia story.

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Back in 1981, three undisputed comic book legends came together to tell another story showcasing Princess Leia Organa’s absolute awesomeness. Published in the the original STAR WARS series from Marvel, this Legends story from STAR WARS #53 and #54 features the immense talents of Chris Claremont, Walt Simonson and Carmine Infantino.

The story began with Leia thinking of all she lost when the Empire ordered the destruction of her beloved home Alderaan, but that trip down memory lane came to an end when duty called. The Blockade Runner she traveled in reached a planet called Shiva that had garnered Imperial interest. She and Captain Chedaki planned to take a shuttle to figure out why, but when the Runner hit space mines, the plan got scuttled.

The shuttle itself caught on fire, so to save everyone else – Chedaki perished in the initial explosion – she flew the craft out of the larger Rebel vessel and crash landed on Shiva itself. There she survived on her own for a few days before running into Aron Preacebringer and his band of warriors including Keran and Delois. This group found themselves locked in a war with the Outcasts in a battle mostly fought with swords and blasters.

Star Wars (1977) #53

Star Wars (1977) #53

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At first, Leia and Aron did not understand one another because of the language barrier and the Translatacomp did not recognize the speech at all. After fending off the Outcasts, the group returned to Aron’s throne city where he reunited with his wife Alisande. While there, Aron tried to figure out who had bombed one of the nearby cities and Leia acclimated to life on Shiva as best she could, though the growing feelings between Peacebringer and herself threatened to complicate her stay.

Conflicted about being rescued by the Rebels – part of her liked the sound of living a far more simple life on this out-of-the-way planet – Leia soon found herself in the middle of a much bigger problem as Imperial Blackguards came out of nowhere and subdued both her and Aron before taking them to their boss, Imperial Strike Force General Sk’Ar.

Once in the villain’s clutches, Aron learned that his compatriot Delois had betrayed them. He sold them out to the Empire and would become the planet’s leader after the Imperials took over. After learning how Sk’Ar intended to take Shiva over, Aron and Leia broke free of their captors and escaped into a ship that they used to catch up with a bomber. They dismantled the bomb aboard the craft, but received some unexpected help from Luke Skyalker who seemingly appeared out of nowhere to stop Delios from getting the drop on Leia.

Star Wars (1977) #54

Star Wars (1977) #54

  • Published: September 22, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Chris Claremont
  • Cover Artist: Walt Simonson
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With most of the villains wrapped up by the combined might of Aron’s men and the Millennium Falcon’s usual crew, Sk’Ar attempted to make an escape that Chewbacca stopped by throwing a solid steel gun mount so hard at the craft that it exploded!

The elaborate celebration afterwards came to an abrupt end for the Falcon-fliers when word of a Star Destroyer in orbit called them to action. Luke took the controls from Lando and worked some fancy flying as he took the ship close enough to a black hole, but darted away after the Destroyer got stuck in its pull.

After all of this death and destruction, Leia showed why she was a formidable Rebel leader. She not only mourned the loss of her homeworld, but also all of the sentient lives who came to an end on that Star Destroyer and in the war in general. Luke even offered to drop her back off on Shiva and say that the rescue mission came up empty handed. Leia persevered, though, saying “I am Princess of Alderaan, Luke. Fate has cast me as a leader of the Rebellion. For better or worse, whatever the outcome…I’ll play that role to the finish.”

From the Jedi Temple Archives

If some of the characters in this story, like Aron Peacebringer seem somewhat familiar, that’s because they began life as pages for the JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS series that Marvel produced between 1977 and 1979. Carmine Infantino drew several pages that wound up not getting published because the series came to an end. Chris Claremont and Walt Simonson then came in to take the existing material, tweak it a bit and come up with a Star Wars story turned out to be a fantastic spotlight on Princess Leia!

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Witness the origins of Darth Vader's secret apprentice in this video game inspired graphic novel!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Have you ever wondered how the various factions of the Rebel Alliance came together? Well, before “Rogue One” and “Star Wars Rebels” began to delve into that idea, the story was told in the Legacy continuity by  Haden Blackman, Brian Ching and David Ross in a video game-inspired graphic novel called STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED.

Set between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” this book focuses on Starkiller, a Force-adept young man trained in secret by Darth Vader. The Sith Lord supposedly kept the apprentice’s existence a secret from Emperor Palpatine because he wanted to use the young man to actually kill Darth Sidious.

To do that, Vader trained Starkiller and then sent him out on a ship called The Rogue Shadow piloted by Captain Juno Eclipse and a droid called Proxy who could look like just about anyone in the galaxy.

Darth Vader sent Starkiller out to test himself against various surviving Jedi. First he traveled to Nar Shaadda to kill Jedi Master Rahm Kota. After Rahm relayed a vision that he would become the apprentice’s master in the future, Starkiller blinded him, stole his lightsaber and kicked him out into the void where he landed on a nearby cruiser.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) #1

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) #1

  • Published: August 18, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 17, 2015
  • Writer: Haden Blackman
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Upon returning to the man once known as Anakin, Starkiller lied and said he’d succeeded in killing Kora. Before moving on to their ultimate target, Palpatine, Vader sent Starkiller to Felucia to kill Jedi Council Member Shaak Ti. Of course, they had no idea that Ti had been training her own Padawan, Maris Brood. That confrontation ended with more Jedi prophecies, but Shaak falling into a nearby Sarlaac pit.

Starkiller returned victorious, but had been followed by the Emperor’s spies. With Palpatine in the know about the supposedly secret apprentice, he demanded that Vader kill the young man. After being impaled by a lightsaber and tossed out into space, though, a probe droid grabbed Starkiller after Vader commanded it to do so.

Six months later, Starkiller woke up on Vader’s ship, but Proxy set the whole vessel to blow in order to cover the young man’s continued existence on Vader’s orders. While making a break for it, Starkiller freed Eclipse and they all hopped aboard The Rogue Shadow to recruit some of the Emperor’s greatest enemies to take him out.

Starkiller then brought Rahm Kota into the fold before getting Princess Leia Organa off of Kashyyyk and then saving her father, Bail Organa, from the Sith-influenced Maris Brood on Felucia. Starkiller help Bail bring together the likes of Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis who would become the the very heart of the Rebel Alliance.

And then Darth Vader showed up! It turned out that Vader had no intentions of killing the Emperor, but instead wanted Starkiller to round up all of his enemies in one place so they could be publicly killed, destroying hopes of a rebellion across the cosmos.

That would have worked if Vader had made sure he actually murdered Starkiller, though. Instead, The Rogue Shadow flew off to the in-contruction Death Star where he not only freed the nascent Alliance, but nearly killed Palpatine, seemingly dying in the process so that the very idea of freedom from tyranny could live on in the Rebel Alliance!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

If you’re wondering how Master Rahm Kota survived Order 66, which made any and all Clone Troopers murder nearby Jedi, we’ve got an answer for you. As it happened, Kota didn’t believe that Clones were worthy to serve alongside him, so he established his own militia. Since he didn’t actually have and Clones nearby when Order 66 went out, there wasn’t anyone on hand to blast him in the back unceremoniously.

Next week, we return to the original Marvel STAR WARS series with #53 and 54, a pair of stories from legends Chris Claremont, Walt Simonson and Carmine Infantino.

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Wedge Antilles and his Rogue Squadron face the Empire!

Each week, Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels, and droids.

The mid-1990s series STAR WARS: X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON featured a litany of high-flying pilots from across the galaxy far, far away. Led by Rebellion hero Wedge Antilles, the group included fellow starfarers Tycho Celchu, Wes Janson, Hobbie Klivian, Dllr Nep, Plourr Illo, Elscol Loro, and her Wookiee companion Groznik.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #5

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #5

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Issues #58, by Michael A. Stackpole, Darko Macan, Edvin Biukovic, and Gary Erskine, saw Wedge and his crew land on the planet Mrlsst to communicate with the local populace about obtaining a special transport called the Phantom Ship. The vessel—which was also sought after by the evil Galactic Empire—featured a unique cloaking device as well as gravity well resistant technology.

After Wedge ran into an old friend named Mirax, Tycho got into a fight with a subversive group called the Ante-Endor Association, whose goal was to convince people that the Rebellion was merely a propaganda organization. When the group attacked Tycho in a back alley, the pilot managed to hold his own, but was relieved to see the mysterious Ghost Jedi appear at his side and scare off the assailants.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #6

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #6

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Wedge then ran into an enemy from his past—a notorious pirate-turned-Imperial officer called Loka Hask. Hask, also on the planet to negotiate for the Phantom Ship, was as surprised as Antilles, however, when a gang of masked raiders broke into a locked laboratory and stole the ship’s vital datacards. Tycho was falsely implicated in the crime and Wedge got thrown in jail for his association.

Soon, the Rogue group learned the truth that Wedge knew all along: the Phantom Ship was a hoax. His mission all along was not to buy the Phantom, but to drive the price up for the Empire in an effort to deplete their resources. Meanwhile, the Ghost Jedi—which turned out to be a hologram—freed Wedge from jail, allowing the pilot to meet back up with the rest of the Squadron and take down Hask’s Dreadnaught ship.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #7

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #7

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From the Jedi Temple Archives

Featured in a flashback during this story arc, Wedge Antilles witnessed the deaths of his parents thanks to the carelessness of Loka Hask. In retaliation, the young pilot borrowed an X-Wing and took down Hask’s ship. The villain managed to survive, but became the host of a space parasite, which would mark his grotesque face for the rest of his life.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #8

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #8

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Next week, read about Starkiller, the son of two Jedi secretly trained by Darth Vader, in STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED!

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