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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In the Legends continuity, Luke Skywalker's attempt to rebuild the Jedi went very differently.

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.

Restarting the Jedi Order is no small feat. We saw the problems that Luke Skywalker ran into on the big screen recently in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” However, in the Legends continuity he faced a very different set of challenges, while ultimately succeeding in bringing the Knights back.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #1

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #1

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Writer Kevin J. Anderson chronicled many of these exploits in a trilogy of novels called “Jedi Search,” “Dark Apprentice” and “Champions of the Force.” Set on Yavin 4, Luke brought together and trained Kyp Durron, the beast master Kirana Ti, weather-controller Streen and historian Tionne. Set after the events of the book series, STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY – LEVIATHAN explored the next step in their training: a solo mission to the mining planet of Corbos.

The four issue limited series, originally published in 1998 and 1999, came from the minds of Anderson and artist Dario Carrasco, Jr.. After the Corbos miners uncovered something dangerous, they sent out a distress call that Leia forwarded along to her brother in hopes that the Jedi could investigate.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #2

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #2

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Around that same time, Dorsk 82 – the clone of deceased Jedi Academy member Dorsk 81 – arrived on Yavin to see if he exhibited similar abilities as his predecessor. When Skywalker sent Kyp to Corbos, Dorsk 82 tagged along as well.

Once on-planet, our heroes soon discovered that the mining colony had been absolutely ravaged by a monstrous creature of some sort. Back on Yavin, Tionne did some research, discovering Corbos’ history of losing entire colonies. At the same time, Dorsk 82 decided to call Kyp’s comrades for help after the Knight ran off to tackle the problem on his own!

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #3

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #3

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The monster turned out to be a Leviathan, a creature that absorbed its victims’ memories so that it could more efficently destroy the colony. Kyp soon discovered, after coming face to face with the creature, that it kept the victims’ souls inside orb-like holding cells on its back.

While Kyp battled with one Leviathan, Dorsk 82 met up with the recently-arrived Kirana Ti and Streen and ran into their own batch of trouble. Reunited after Durron felled his foe, the group soon realized they had a much larger Leviathan to deal with!

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #4

Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Leviathan (1998) #4

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The group then worked together, even integrating Dorsk 82’s information and talents, to ultimately defeat the creature. Along the way, they freed the souls, proved their worth as Jedi and even showed Dorsk that he need not lead a life fueled by fear.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Star Wars fans with younger readers might know the title “Star Wars: Jedi Academy” as something else altogether. Cartoonist Jeffrey Brown created a three book series with that same title exploring the trials and tribulations of school through the lens of a galaxy far, far away. Before that Brown also worked on the “Darth Vader and Son” book which kicked off a four-part series that also included “Vader’s Little Princess,” “Goodnight, Darth Vader” and “Darth Vader and Friends.” All of these books make for great entry points for young Star Wars fans!

Next week we check back in on X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON with the Phantom Affair story from #5-8.

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The master and padawan took center stage in this 2002 limited series.

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.

We only got a relatively small glimpse of Qui-Gon Jinn’s relationship with his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi on the big screen in 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” However, in the world of the Legends continuity, more adventures came to light featuring the important pair of interplanetary protectors, like the one chronicled in STAR WARS: QUI-GON & OBI-WAN – THE AURORIENT EXPRESS.

This 2002 two-issue limited series by Mike Kennedy and Lucas Marangon began with a conversation between master and padawan about the moral relationship between the intent of an action and the positive or negative results before they both jumped out of a ship.

Star Wars: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan - The Aurorient Express (2002) #1

Star Wars: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan - The Aurorient Express (2002) #1

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They soon landed nicely on the luxury cruise liner, The Aurorient Express, sailing through the atmosphere the gas planet Yorn Skot. The vessel no longer responded to communication attempts and sank further and further into the intense pressure of the atmosphere below. With no real protective force set up on the planet, our Jedi heroes literally leaped into action to save the day, but the mission would prove far more complicated than originally anticipated!

Immediately upon landing on the ship, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan found themselves attacked by unexpected commercial-grade security droids. Our heroes avoided death, but made quite a scene as they finally entered the ship. Jumping right into their duties, our heroes met with the captain to try and discover the cause of the ship’s descent, not to mention the unexpected presence of those droids and a core bomb or two planted somewhere onboard!

The further they dug into the mystery, the more dirt they turned up in regards to both passengers on the ship and the people working on it. More surprisingly, they came to realize that more than one group worked to sabotage the ship for very different reasons.

Star Wars: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan - The Aurorient Express (2002) #2

Star Wars: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan - The Aurorient Express (2002) #2

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By the end of the story, we get a very clear view of who did what and for which reasons, offering a very concrete example of the opening conversation about the moral difference between, as Obi-Wan said in the first issue, “a noble act committed for despicable purposes…or a despicable act committed for noble purposes?”

As we know, Obi-Wan would go on to work his way through that particular moral quandary along with many others both on screen and in the comics, but it’s interesting to see a younger version of the character getting his first taste of it out in the field.

FROM THE JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES

If the art seen in THE AURORIENT EXPRESS seems familiar, that because Lucas Marangon also drew the hilarious TAG & BINK Star Wars comics that have been previously covered here in Star Wars Spotlight. In addition to working on short stories in books like STAR WARS TALES, he’s also used his talents to color a variety of different books over the years and even draw covers and variants for titles like STAR WARS: GENERAL GRIEVOUS.

Next time we’ll witness a group of newly minted Jedi on their first real mission in STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY – LEVIATHAN by Kevin J. Anderson and Dario Carrasco.

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Charles Soule and Phil Noto hand Black Squadron a dangerous mission!

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.

Prior to the silver screen events of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” General Leia Organa gave the Resistance pilots known as Black Squadron a specific and important mission in the pages of POE DAMERON: find Lor San Tekka. And while readers may know what happens at the end of this specific operation, the journey there has proven to be engrossing.

After a blazing start, the second arc of the series, which ran from issues #47, began with a celebration on D’Qar after Poe Dameron and Black Squadron made it back alive from a dangerous raid across the galaxy. The team, however, realized that they had trouble in their ranks, as the enemy seemed to know their destinations almost immediately after their arrival. Nonetheless, following Leia’s orders, they proceeded to Megalox, a prison that housed Grakkus the Hutt—a contact of San Tekka.

Poe Dameron (2016) #4

Poe Dameron (2016) #4

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Thanks to a prison warden’s flexible ethics, the Resistance group bribed their way into the jail, though upon arriving at the cell, found the First Order’s Agent Terex—Poe Dameron’s nemesis—had arrived before they did. In response to the situation, the wily Hutt told each side that he would provide Lor San Tekka’s location to whomever broke him out of Megalox.

Poe Dameron (2016) #5

Poe Dameron (2016) #5

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Poe and his crew dispatched their droids to work on the prison controls while Terex began his own scheme to harness the other prisoners’ hatred of the Hutt as a means to start a riot. As the resulting mob began to overtake the prison, BB-8 and a team of astromech droids hacked into the jail’s network before disabling the prison’s Grav-Field Dome. As the Dome shut down, chaos ensued, allowing Black Squadron to abduct Grakkus and leave the planet. Terex, however, managed to summon his own ship and followed.

Poe Dameron (2016) #6

Poe Dameron (2016) #6

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Furious at his rivals’ success, Terex decided to fly his ship directly through the prison’s control satellite. Instead of leaving the people of the prison to suffer the consequences, Poe led Black Squadron into a counterattack on the evil agent’s ship. Damaged from the ensuing fight, the First Order craft retreated and jumped to lightspeed.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

If Grakkus the Hutt seemed familiar to readers of the current era of Star Wars comics, that’s because he first appeared in the pages of STAR WARS during the “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon” story. Not long after the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker made his way to Grakkus’ domain and found himself in awe of the Hutt’s collection of Jedi artifacts. Grakkus, however, had something else in his midst: an Imperial spy. That fact led to the Hutt’s imprisonment, where readers would later find him.

Next time, we look back at a story set before the prequel films in STAR WARS: QUI-GON & OBI-WAN – THE AURORIENT EXPRESS.

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The Rebels took on the might of the Imperial weapon The Tarkin in the aftermath of Episode V.

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 original Marvel STAR WARS series blazed more than a few new trails as it continued to wrack up higher and higher issue numbers. Between “A New Hope” and “Empire Strikes Back,” the series filled in plenty of gaps while also presenting many new adventures. After “Empire,” the various creators continued those efforts, but without the swagger of Han Solo.

With 1981’s STAR WARS #51 and #52, David Michelinie and Walt Simonson brought Leia, C-3PO, Luke, R2-D2 and Chewbacca all back together for one of the Rebellion’s most important missions: destroying The Tarkin.

A brave freedom fighter by the name of Captain Maraba Tev stole plans for the new planet-destroying weapon and paid for delivering them to his superiors with his very life. General Rieekan then recalled the familiar heroes who had been scattered to various corners of the cosmos in search of a new home base for the Rebels, having lost Hoth.

Star Wars (1977) #51

Star Wars (1977) #51

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With the heroes of the rebellion reunited, they learned about this new weapon. The Empire had decided to take what they learned from the Death Star and make it unkillable. So, they took the ion cannon and surrounded it with engines and shields that would keep it safe from attack. Terrified at what this device – called The Tarkin – could do not just to the Rebellion, but all life in existence, they needed Leia, Luke, Chewie and the droids to infiltrate the Empire and make sure they never finished building this atrocity.

They then flew the Millennium Falcon to a planet called Hockaleg in the Patriim system where they quickly grabbed some uniforms from a group of workers and began their infiltration of the crews building The Tarkin. Thanks to Luke’s further master of Jedi tricks, he got them all aboard a ship that took them directly up to the in-construction destroyer.

Our heroes had no idea that Darth Vader oversaw construction and immediately sensed Luke’s presence as they unloaded along with a legion of other workers onto The Tarkin. Vader even made moves to trap the young man by removing the security detail from the main power reactors. However, another force moved against Vader in the form of a group of Imperial officers who wanted the masked man eliminated for leading so many of their comrades to their deaths!

As you might expect, everything came to a head in the second issue of this two-parter. The Rebels made their way through the facility as Vader awaited his confrontation with Luke and the Imperials planned their own trap. As Skywalker approached, the traitors opened an airlock to kick Vader out into space which also wrenched the grenade Luke carried from his hand.

Star Wars (1977) #52

Star Wars (1977) #52

What is Marvel Unlimited?

With their plan in peril, our heroes did a fair amount of scrambling and improvising, but they also had an unknown ace up their sleeves in the form of Lando Calrissian who had stowed away on the Falcon, which remained parked back down on Hockaleg. He took off in the Falcon just as the infiltrating group reunited and hopped on a transport of their own. With Lando keeping the TIE Fighters off their backs, they managed to escape.

After some fancy flying and even the presence of Lord Vader in his personal TIE Fighter, our heroes managed to fully escape after the Tarkin attempted to fire on them but instead self-destructed. Leia then explained that, after their initial plan went south, she reprogrammed the giant cannon to blow itself up upon first use!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

As mentioned above, the Marvel series covered plenty of ground as it ran for over a hundred issues. The Tarkin marks an interesting foray into the thinking of the Empire. At this point only “New Hope” and “Empire” had been released, so no one knew that 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” would feature a second attempt at the Death Star. Once a weapon makes an impact, though, it tends to keep getting used and upgraded as we saw just a few years ago when “The Force Awakens” introduced us all to the First Order’s Starkiller Base! Maybe a more portable version like the Tarkin will show up before long on the big screen…

Next week we swing our X-Wings around to check back in with POE DAMERON!

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Mace Windu leads the Jedi against a marauding alien race!

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.

In 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” fans got their first look at the Jedi Council—a select group of Jedi Masters that strategized and gave directives to the Jedi Order at large. In the film, this committee featured the familiar Master Yoda as well as a group of new faces, including Masters Mace Windu, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi-Mundi.

These characters, from their earliest appearances, captured fans’ imaginations—including those of writer Randy Stradley and artist Davidé Fabbri, who created the four issue limited series STAR WARS: JEDI COUNCIL – ACTS OF WAR.

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #1

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #1

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This story, set before the events of “The Phantom Menace,” opened with a distress call about a ravaging alien race called the Yinchorri. Mace Windu explained that the Yinchorri lived by the credo that might makes right, meaning they thought they should be able to keep anything they could wrest control of—and that included a mining base that a two Jedi had been assigned to guard. The attack left both dead and Windu bearing the guilt. In response, the Jedi Master gathered a group of Jedi to go put things right.

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #2

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #2

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As Windu crafted a battle plan against the Yinchorri, the action shifted to Darth Sidious’ chambers, where he discussed his own schemes with Darth Maul. The Sith not only helped the Yinchorri with their raids, but also sought to establish a plan to attack the Jedi Temple alongside a warlord named Vilmarh Grahrk.

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #3

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #3

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At first, Mace Windu’s team struggled to locate the alien race across the galaxy, though Jedi Council member Yaddle soon realized something important about the system they searched: it contained a planet that appeared uninhabitable, but actually featured an underground city. The Jedi met up with the Senate Navy to run an attack on this planet, putting an end to the Yinchorri problem, though the more sinister schemes against the Jedi remained obscure.

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #4

Star Wars: Jedi Council - Acts Of War (2000) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?
 

From the Jedi Temple Archives

The Yinchorri proved such a problem for the Jedi because they were equipped with Cortosis shields. As Windu explained in issue #1, this rare ore disrupted a lightsaber’s power—the sword would shut down and need to restart, leaving its wielder in great danger.

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Zayne Carrick faces a unique challenge in this classic Star Wars tale!

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.

After the mind-boggling adventures in the first two volumes of STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, things did not slow down for young Padawan Zayne Carrick. The young Jedi-in-training found himself in a sticky situation as the series launched when his supposed protectors, a group of Jedi Masters, killed the rest of his class and framed him for the murders. On the run, he joined forces with the always-hustling Gryph as well as genius, but not-all-there scientist Camper and his protector Jarael. As “Days of Fear”—from KNIGHTS #1315 by John Jackson Miller and Brian Ching— began, Jarael and Camper decided to go one way while our hero and his less-than-upstanding partner continued on their own mission.

After seeing his companions off, Zayne met up with Gryph who had arranged for a ship to meet them, one flown—actually stolen—by the Trandoshan Slyssk. Thanks to some trickery orchestrated by Gryph, Slyssk shifted from weaseling out of their deal to pledging his life to his new “Ghrakhowsk” or lifedebt holder.

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (2006) #13

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (2006) #13

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As it turned out, the stolen ship—called Little Bivoli—worked as a military provisioning vessel, so after takeoff the crew became swept up in a convoy that took them to Serroco and an opportunity that Gryph just couldn’t pass up. Putting aside his desire for ill-gotten gains, he actually opened a restaurant that fed the camped-out army, bringing in a pretty penny in the process. None of this sat well with Zayne who didn’t want to get spotted by all of these military folks who might turn him over to the Jedi. However, after having a vision of the Mandalorians destroying much of the planet, he did everything he could to get word to Admiral Karath. Unfortunately for him, the Admiral figured Carrick as a spy and didn’t listen to him, leading to the near destruction of Serroco.

Luckily, the Padawan’s new friend and pilot Lieutenant Carth Onasi did pay attention and sent word down to the surface that they might want to go underground. He didn’t know if it worked or not, but the effort made Zayne feel a bit better as he awaited the next stage in his adventure-filled existence.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Though not a main part of this story, Jarael and Camper did play a bit into these issues after splitting from Zayne and Gryph. With the duo in hyper space, a murderous droid called HK-24 awoke and nearly cleared the ship of all life until another droid, TI-LB, came online. He bought enough time for the Mandalorian stowaway Rohlan to finish the job.

Next week Randy Stradley, Davide Fabbri and Christian Della Vecchia send the masters on an adventure in STAR WARS: JEDI COUNCIL!

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