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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Jody Houser reintroduces us to one of the universe’s most notorious villains!

There can be a fine line between hatred and respect. And while the notorious Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the Empire’s most ruthless commanders, he’s also one of the most brilliant.

Star Wars fans know the character from Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn” novels as well as his emergence as a major player on the “Star Wars: Rebels” TV show; now, witness the Grand Admiral’s rise to power in comic book form! This week, on February 14, writer Jody Houser and artist Luke Ross begin their adaptation of the Zahn novels with the first of a six issue limited series: STAR WARS: THRAWN #1!

We caught up with Jody to talk about telling Thrawn’s story in comics.

Marvel.com: How did this limited series come about?

Jody Houser: [Editor] Heather Antos got in touch with me about adapting Thrawn into a comic after I’d wrapped up adapting “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” for Marvel. She was my editor on that project, so she knew about my love of Star Wars and Thrawn, more specifically. As a fan of the original Timothy Zahn trilogy that really kicked off the Star Wars Expanded Universe, I was very excited.

Marvel.com: After adapting a hugely popular Star Wars film into comic book form, what was the process like for doing the same for Timothy Zahn’s novel? Is it a different challenge to tackle a character that’s been so beloved for so long?

Jody Houser: The main difference is really the medium that I’m pulling from. Film tends to hew a little closer to comics than prose, as the two are very visual-focused. I also have more experience adapting from the screen (I did work on MAX RIDE, also for Marvel, but that was a much looser adaptation). Working from prose is a unique challenge.

Marvel.com: How much room do you have to deviate from and build upon the source material?

Jody Houser: Considering the depth of the novel and limited number of pages in a six issue limited series, it’s really more about figuring out how best to streamline the story to fit the new medium.

Marvel.com: Is it more thrilling to write a villain as your protagonist after working with the rebel heroes of “Rogue One”?

Jody Houser: The interesting thing is that Thrawn is much less of a villain in this novel than in any of his previous appearances. He’s a brilliant and collected tactician who is faced with bigotry and ego that makes little logical sense to him. Probably the most thrilling part is getting to work with a character I’ve been a fan of since I was a kid.

Marvel.com: What’s it been like collaborating with artist Luke Ross?

Jody Houser: I’ve actually worked with both Luke Ross and [colorist] Nolan Woodard (separately), earlier on in my comic career, so it’s wonderful to be reunited with them. In particular, there’s a lot of design work on Luke’s end, as many of the characters haven’t appeared outside of prose. It’s really fun seeing this slice of Star Wars take shape. Togorians are back! Luke and Nolan are a fantastic team, and the book really looks amazing.

Marvel.com: What is it about Thrawn that you think appeals to fans so much?

Jody Houser: Thrawn stands apart from the other Star Wars villains (and most other villains in general) because he doesn’t act for his own benefit. He’s smart, and his plans are always fascinating and satisfying to follow. I’ve described him as what happens when a Ravenclaw goes bad. And it’s refreshing to read about an incredibly competent character, even when they’re on the wrong side.

Catch the beginning of this thrilling adaptation in STAR WARS: THRAWN #1, by writer Jody Houser and artist Luke Ross, on February 14!

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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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Ben Acker and Ben Blacker discuss the breakout character’s one-shot!

“It’s all a machine, partner. Live free, don’t join.”

The credo of DJ, the mysterious “slicer” portrayed by Benicio Del Toro in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” defined the character, but audiences were left with a range of questions about this opportunist. Who is he, exactly? Where did he come from? Well, on January 31, in STAR WARS: DJ – MOST WANTED #1, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and Kev Walker take a stab at answering those queries.

We caught up with Acker and Blacker to find out what it was like to play in the newest corner of the Star Wars sandbox.

Marvel.com: DJ is one of the breakout characters from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” but he remains a mysterious figure within the film’s narrative. What was the process like for filling in his backstory?

Ben Acker: We got to take a look at some of the script of “The Last Jedi” to read about DJ in advance of the movie. The script was full of spoilers! It gave us a good jumping off place as far as ideas of what kind of guy DJ is and what kind of story we might like to tell about him. From there it was a collaboration with Jordan D. White and Heather Antos, our amazing editor and assistant editor at Marvel, as well as the fine folks at Lucasfilm.

Ben Blacker: I think the important thing to take from this is that we got to read Rian’s “The Last Jedi” script in advance. But in all seriousness, the biggest thing we got from both the script and from Lucasfilm’s Story Group was nailing down DJ’s basic worldview. That was a guiding principle through several iterations of the comic script.

Marvel.com: Where do we find DJ in this one-shot?

Ben Acker: DJ is causing trouble on Canto Bight. Part of the fun of a story like this one is that we get to explore not just a character but a world as well. Who wouldn’t want to spend more time on Canto Bight?

Ben Blacker: Look, he doesn’t think he’s causing trouble. He’s just doing what he does.

Marvel.com: How does DJ differ from the other Star Wars characters you’ve written before? What makes him unique?

Ben Acker: He’s a twisty-turny guy, looking out for number one, and he’s either a couple of steps ahead or behind at any given time. He’s our first true scoundrel!

Ben Blacker: I think DJ is different to most characters anyone has met in the “Star Wars” universe. DJ truly doesn’t believe in “light” or “dark.” He’s a shade of moral gray that goes further than even Lando in “The Empire Strikes Back” because he’s even more of a mercenary. Everyone is a means to an end. I can’t imagine him having friends, as Lando and Han and some of the other lovable “rogue” characters have.

Marvel.com: Since DJ inhabits a seedier side of the universe, how did you work with artist Kev Walker on realizing that world?

Ben Acker: How killer is Kev Walker? He’s just mind-bogglingly creative and his art is beautiful. I can’t wait for you to see it. We either left a lot of room in the script for invention or we leaned hard on Kev, depending on how you look at it. We made up a casino card game by naming it and having characters reference hands and winning and losing, but Kev created the deck of cards! They’re fantastic. They just look true. I am desperate to get my hands on a deck. That’s pretty much how it went throughout. We did our best to suggest the details of this world and then Kev went in and made them actual, concrete, and lived in.

Marvel.com: If given the opportunity to tell further stories with him, would you guys take DJ out for another spin?

Ben Acker: Definitely. There’s something so compelling about a character in a war story who hasn’t picked a side. Playing with the shades of grey in the Star Wars universe is one of the great things about “The Last Jedi.” I’d love to write more stories about one of the saga’s greyest characters.

Ben Blacker:  I’m going to have to read the script for the next movie, which I am announcing here and now is called “Star Wars: Hang the DJ,” and then I’ll decide…know what? Nevermind. I’m in.

Explore Canto Bight in STAR WARS: DJ – MOST WANTED #1, from Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and artist Kev Walker, on January 31!

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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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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

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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

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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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Luke, Leia, and Han continue making the galaxy safe five years later!

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.

As we all know, the Rebel Alliance didn’t blow up the second Death Star and walk off into the sunset with the galaxy instantly eschewing the Empire and its ideas. Eventually, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo helped bring about a new era of peace across the cosmos, but not instantly. In 1991, author Timothy Zahn published the first entry in the Thrawn trilogy of novels that picked up five years after the end of “Return of the Jedi.” STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE EMPIRE came out as a six-issue comic adaptation by Mike Baron, Olivier Vatine, and Fred Blanchard in 1995.

As the story began, Luke looked to rekindle the Jedi Order while the now-married Han and Leia expected twins. Still, the Alliance now had other problems, like trying to find people who would run their shipping lines. Even Han Solo had trouble finding smugglers who would go straight! At the same time, the Empire lived on through a man named Grand Admiral Thrawn. He studied a culture’s artwork to help understand its people in order to both manipulate them and predict their movements. He also teamed up with an old Jedi by the name of Jorrus C’baoth who wanted to meet Luke and Leia, regardless of their own feelings on the subject.

Meanwhile, a smuggler by the name of Captain Karrde also played into the action heavily as he worked with Luke Skywalker’s future wife Mara Jade, found himself sought by Solo to establish shipping lanes, and also sold Force-blocking creatures called Ysalamiri to Thrawn and his people. As it happened, most of the major players in the story wound up on Myrkr, Karrde’s home base planet, meaning he had to deal with a visiting Thrawn, a captive Skywalker, and an intrusive Han along with Lando Calrissian.

Star Wars: Heir To The Empire (1995) #1

Star Wars: Heir To The Empire (1995) #1

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As these things go, Luke escaped, but wound up having to work with Jade while Han and Lando eventually discovered that Karrde had held their friends captive, which did not sit well with them. While all this transpired, Leia hid out on Kashyyyk with Chewbacca because a race of aliens called the Noghri continued to hunt her down across the vastness of space at the behest of Thrawn. Originally, they served The Emperor, but with his passing sought other employment.

At the end of the day, Luke and Han reunited. They soon made their way off planet along with Lando and stumbled into a battle that Thrawn had orchestrated. Thanks to their friendship with Lando, though, they all figured out a way to stop the assault and flew off in victory, preparing for the next battle with this dangerous new enemy in the process.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Though this particular story now finds itself categorized in the Legends universe, that doesn’t mean Grand Admiral Thrawn’s been left out in the cold. Instead, he’s been re-integrated into the current, official canon, first in episodes of “Star Wars Rebels” and then in a book published earlier this year called “Thrawn” written by none other than Timothy Zahn! A sequel called “Thrawn: Alliances” will debut next year!

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Kieron Gillen stirs up conflict in a galaxy far, far away!

Though the Empire has already razed the sacred moon of Jedha, they’ve come back for more. In their attempts to raid the Kyber mines for the powerful crystals that fuel the Death Star’s weapons system, Imperial forces will encounter some familiar foes…but will Luke Skywalker be among them?

On January 3, Luke wavers between his allegiance to the Rebellion and his quest to become a Jedi in STAR WARS #41! Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca present a few unexpected challenges in the fight against the Empire as the story continues.

Gillen stopped by Marvel HQ to speak about where Luke—and the Rebellion at large—find themselves in issue #41.

Marvel.com: With Luke preoccupied with his Jedi training, who might step up to lead the fight against the Empire?

Kieron Gillen: “What’s the right thing to do?” is just one of the questions that haunt this story. Hell, it haunts all fiction—or at least my own. I think you can chase that through the cast in the arc. Some of the characters go the other way—chasing the martyr journey that Jyn Erso ended up taking. Okay, that might be a bit philosophical for an answer, but to be more specific, Han would be the person I’d keep an eye on for the rest of the arc.

Each of the main three characters have their own arc in “The Ashes of Jedha,” and they rise and fall at different times. Luke’s started earliest and peaks with the training. Han starts lower and builds bigger later.

Marvel.com: How do Han and Leia react to Luke now that he’s gone off to do his own thing?

Kieron Gillen: I’d say the head-to-head between Leia and Luke says it all. It’s a fair question. What is practical in a situation? Either way, someone will have to make amends.

Marvel.com: Since the Death Star attack, what strategic value does Jedha hold for the Empire and the Rebellion respectively?

Kieron Gillen: For the Empire, it’s what it always was—a place rich in the resources they want. They’re a gauntlet squeezing the last bit of juice from the orange. The Empire needs all the orange juice it can get. Conversely, for the Rebellion, they don’t think the Empire should be allowed anything with Vitamin C in at all. They want the Empire to get scurvy. Any time the Empire try to buy some fruit juice, they’re arrive, swatting away the grasping gauntlet-y fingers.

Err…I’m not talking about actual orange juice, by the way.

Marvel.com: Right there with ya! Will we see any familiar faces in this struggle for Jedha?

Kieron Gillen: Well, Chewie has been conspicuously absent. I need to get some Bowcasting action in, surely?

Marvel.com: Oh yeah. Last question: how does it feel to have the chance to tell these stories between the action fans already know so well?

Kieron Gillen: It’s pretty magical. I’m working on the second arc at the moment, and I feel that I’ve really got the characters under my fingers. It feels like such a wonderful period of growth for the three core members and the Alliance, and getting to delineate the adventures they have along the way is so much fun.

What I’m doing is basically what I did with DARTH VADER—look at the gap in time, work out what’s been implicitly changed in that space, and then try to cook up a compelling reason for all those changes. Well, all the changes that [previous series writer] Jason Aaron hasn’t already touched on. That the book leans more towards the military side of the Rebels really brings Leia forward and Han’s conflicted response to it all. The trick ends up being about balance, so all the cast have their parts to play. For me, it’s an ensemble cast and I want to give everyone something.

Also, it never gets boring working out cool things you can do with a lightsaber.

Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca’s STAR WARS #41 hits on January 3!

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