A Comprehensive Guide to ‘Star Wars’ Before the Release of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Now that Disney+ has arrived, almost all of the ‘Star Wars’ content is available at your fingertips. It’s the perfect time to prepare for the release of ‘Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ on December 20th. With so much content to catch up on or rewatch, where do you start? Well, that’s what this guide is for!

A common debate amongst ‘Star Wars’ fans is whether release order or chronological order is better, and the question gets even more complicated when taking into account the numerous shows that form an integral part of ‘Star Wars’ canon, as well as the books, comics, and video games (if you’re into that kind of stuff). People new to the franchise will have a very different experience than longtime fans, and both groups may have to take very different approaches to this month-long marathon leading up to ‘Episode IX,’ the grand finale (don’t feel any pressure to finish it all by then, ‘Star Wars’ is all about retroactive layers!).

Movies

The foundation of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, the ten live-action films (we’ll talk about the animated one later) are priority number one for anyone who hasn’t seen them all. All other ‘Star Wars’ content is built around the eight released Skywalker Saga films, while the two Anthology films are more additive and build off of the ‘Star Wars’ canon as a whole. Because the prequel and sequel trilogies are so heavily tied to the central original trilogy, viewing the Skywalker Saga for the first time in release order is preferable, largely because watching the original trilogy first is the best way to experience the magic of ‘Star Wars.’ I am personally partial to watching the films in chronological order because of how much the franchise has grown, and I will get into that later, but the prequels (especially the first two) may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you’re overly familiar with the story of the saga and have already decided to be in it for the long haul without having seen most or all of the movies, chronological order may be worth a shot! If you’re a longtime fan who’s already seen all the movies, I strongly suggest watching them all (yes, even the Anthology films) in chronological order. Lucasfilm views the story as a three-act saga and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ will wrap up the story threads that began in Episode I.

So let’s take a look at:

The Skywalker Saga

Episode I – The Phantom Menace

The first of the prequel trilogy, ‘The Phantom Menace’ centers around a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and his wise, yet radical master Qui-Gon Jinn while introducing two key characters: Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, and Padmé Amidala, Queen of Naboo. Set during a time when the Jedi Order was powerful and thriving, it features the return of the Sith Order after a millennium of hiding, as well as the introductions of Darth Maul and Darth Sidious, setting the galaxy upon a dark course.

Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Set a decade after ‘The Phantom Menace,’ ‘Attack of the Clones’ thrusts the story forward with the mystery of a clone army commissioned for the Republic amidst a brewing conflict between the Republic and the Separatists led by Count Dooku. It quickly develops the sinister plot of the Sith, as well as Anakin and Padmé’s romance, and ushers in the era of the oft-mentioned Clone Wars. The movie also features the bounty hunter Jango Fett, the genetic template for the clone army.

Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Widely considered to be the best of the prequels, ‘Revenge of the Sith’ features the climax of the Clone Wars and the Sith’s plan to destroy the Jedi, centering around the character arc of Anakin Skywalker. The movie culminates in a desperate battle between Jedi masters and Sith lords, resulting in the creation of the Empire and the beginning of the Galactic Civil War.

Episode IV – A New Hope

This is the very first Star Wars movie, released back in 1977 and originally titled simply ‘Star Wars.’ ‘A New Hope’ establishes the iconic mythology of ‘Star Wars’ with the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker. Called to action to save Princess Leia Organa with the help of Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi and smuggler Han Solo, Luke and his friends face off against the Empire, led here by Grand Moff Tarkin and Jedi-turned-Sith Darth Vader, and help the Rebellion take on the Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star.

Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Universally lauded as the best ‘Star Wars’ movie (though every ‘Star Wars’ fan has their own favorite!), ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ follows the Rebellion as the Empire hunts them down across the galaxy. Meanwhile, Luke continues his journey of growth as a Jedi when he meets the deceptively wise Master Yoda. The movie features the iconic confrontation between Luke and Vader, and introduces fan-favorites Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett.

Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Originally the finale of the ‘Star Wars’ story (before George Lucas changed his mind, once again, in 2012), ‘Return of the Jedi’ brings the evil Emperor himself into the conflict with his new superweapon, Death Star II. Before aiding the Rebellion in the climactic Battle of Endor, Luke and Leia embark on a mission to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt. The movie culminates in the final battle between Luke and Vader, whom Luke believes can be redeemed, in front of the Emperor, as they watch the Rebellion struggle against the Empire’s might.

Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Set thirty years after ‘Return of the Jedi’, ‘The Force Awakens’ is the first movie released after George Lucas’ sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the first movie in the long-awaited sequel trilogy. The incomplete defeat of the Empire and the softness of the New Republic has led to the rise of the First Order, led by the mysterious darksider Supreme Leader Snoke, and the disappearance of the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. The First Order, championed by Kylo Ren, heir to the legacy of Darth Vader and the master of the Knights of Ren, and Leia Organa’s Resistance, accompanied by former Stormtrooper Finn and ace pilot Poe Dameron, chase after a map to the first Jedi temple where Luke is believed to be in exile following the failure of his Jedi order. At the center of it all is the scavenger Rey, whose powers slowly awaken as she realizes her destiny, while Kylo Ren struggles to find his.

Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

The latest movie in the Skywalker Saga, ‘The Last Jedi’ is set immediately after ‘The Force Awakens’ as Rey begins her training with a disillusioned Luke, while Kylo Ren’s internal conflict deepens significantly. The First Order chases down what’s left of the Resistance in an effort to wipe them out completely, leading Finn and Poe on their own paths of growth with the help of Rose Tico and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. The core of the movie, however, is once again Rey and Kylo, whose connection has now manifested in a physical Force bond that allows them to see each other across the galaxy, and their complicated relationships with Luke, the titular last Jedi, who believes the Jedi Order is destined for failure.

Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.

Anthologies:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels

Set immediately before ‘A New Hope,’ the prequel ‘Rogue One’ deals with the Rebellion’s effort to obtain the plans to the Death Star, which Galen Erso, father of protagonist Jyn Erso, reveals has an intentional design flaw that would destroy the whole space station. Accompanied by Rebel spy Cassian Andor, Imperial defector and pilot Bodhi Rook, and Guardians of the Whills Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, Jyn leads a daring mission to infiltrate the Empire with the threat of Grand Moff Tarkin and Director Orson Krennic looming over them.

The movie features cameos of and references to characters from ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels.’ For fans familiar with the movies, I strongly recommend viewing ‘Rogue One’ and ‘A New Hope’ together as a part one and part two, as the story flows incredibly well.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

(Strongly) Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels

Set during the midpoint between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope,’ ‘Solo’ explores the early life of Han Solo and explains how he met Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and completed the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Also featured is the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, led by Dryden Vos. Han’s former lover Qi’ra is a part of Crimson Dawn, and their reunion puts Han in a precarious situation when he accompanies Tobias Beckett in a series of heists.

The movie features a surprise cameo from a major character whose storyline was first developed in ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’ and bridges their appearances in the two series. While the movie can be viewed anytime after ‘Revenge of the Sith’, it bolsters a chronological order viewing by showing the transition between the Galactic Republic and the Empire, so I strongly recommend viewing it between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Rogue One.’

Series

The ‘Star Wars’ television series are in my opinion the strongest ‘Star Wars’ content out there. They significantly expand on the lore and story of the movies, often elevating them. I’d consider them required viewing for any ‘Star Wars’ fan, but not everyone has the time or patience for long shows. For new fans, I’d advise on on watching all the Skywalker Saga films before diving into any series, but if you have the patience to watch them between movies, then go right on ahead. For veterans, watching the series at their chronological place between the movies can greatly enhance the experience of watching the movies knowing the galaxy is so much bigger than what you see on screen.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III

Suggested Viewing: Episodes IV-VI

‘The Clone Wars’ covers the period between ‘Attacks of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ featuring the titular conflict that was left off-screen. The series is unique in that it is an anthology, and episodes are sometimes out of order chronologically. ‘The Clone Wars’ tells the stories of the many characters, Jedi, Sith, Republic, etc., during the Clone Wars, and dives into unexplained threads of the prequel trilogy. Perhaps most important is the story of Ahsoka Tano, the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker after ‘Attack of the Clones.’ Among elements explored in the series are Mandalore and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s past, Dooku’s assassin Asajj Ventress and her homeworld Dathomir, the prophecy of the Chosen One, Boba Fett and the underworld, the mystery of Sifo-Dyas and Darth Tyrannus, and of course the Force itself.

READ THIS
Colin Trevorrow’s ‘Jurassic World 3’ Adds DeWanda Wise to Cast in Lead Role

While watching the original trilogy prior to ‘The Clone Wars’ is advised, it is actually entirely watchable with just knowledge of the prequels in mind. For those who are familiar with all the movies, the series fits snugly between ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ adding much-needed context to the state of the galaxy and the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith in Episode III. Additionally, it is advised for both new and veteran viewers to watch the series in chronological order, which is available on StarWars.com. However, I have made my own viewing recommendation, based on Reddit user u/Sapitoelgato’s Ultimate Episode Order, with arcs I view as optional highlighted. Also included are the story reels for the four episodes of the “Crystal Crisis on Utapau” arc, which are canon.

Star Wars Rebels

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

(Lightly) Suggested Viewing: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

‘Rebels’ is a departure from the format of ‘The Clone Wars’ with a linear story following one group of characters. At the same time, however, it serves as a loose sequel to ‘The Clone Wars’ with a number of returning characters and continued plotlines, while having a major storyline of its own. ‘Rebels’ revolves around young Padawan Ezra Bridger and the Rebel crew of the Ghost: Jedi Kanan Jarrus, pilot Hera Syndulla, Mandalorian Sabine Wren, Lasat survivor Garazeb Orrelios, and mischievous droid Chopper. It develops the origins of the Rebel Alliance and slowly reveals the Empire’s suspicious interest in the planet Lothal. The series marks the introduction of the Inquisitorius, former Jedi who serve the Sith Order and hunt Jedi survivors of the Great Purge. The series also features the reintroduction of popular Legends character Grand Admiral Thrawn.

‘Rebels’ introduces a few elements, like Fulcrum and the construction of the Death Star around Geonosis, that play into ‘Rogue One,’ but the later seasons also reference elements of the anthology film, so it makes little difference which one you watch first, as both add to each other. For those who have seen the original trilogy, certain episodes of ‘Rebels’ significantly enhance the character arc of Darth Vader and flesh out the machinations of the Emperor, giving the original trilogy more layers than it has without that knowledge.

Star Wars Resistance

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

‘Resistance’ is the first series to not feature Jedi or Sith, instead focusing on the pilots of the Resistance. It is also much more detached from the events of the Skywalker Saga than ‘The Clone Wars’ or ‘Rebels,’ but it does feature characters from the sequel trilogy like Poe Dameron, Captain Phasma, and General Leia Organa. ‘Resistance’ is decidedly aimed towards a younger audience than any other series or film, but it is still an enjoyable series with beautiful animation, and the episodes that do tie in with the sequel trilogy are very much worth watching.

‘Resistance’ is also unique in that it directly crosses over with the movies and intertwines with them. Season one largely takes place prior to ‘The Force Awakens,’ but the last few episodes occur during it, so the first season should only be viewed after Episode VII. The second season immediately crosses over with ‘The Last Jedi’ and soon overtakes it, so it should only be viewed after Episode VIII.

The Mandalorian

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

(Strongly) Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels

As of writing, ‘The Mandalorian’ is the first and only live-action ‘Star Wars’ series and is currently only on its second episode. It features the titular character, a Mandalorian bounty hunter, getting caught up in shadowy events occurring in the greater galaxy following the supposed defeat of the Empire. Stated to explore the infancies of the New Republic and First Order, the series can technically be viewed after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ but with its potential direct connection to ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ viewing it after Episodes VII and VIII is advisable.

While so far having no direct reference to the events of ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels,’ I strongly advise familiarizing yourself with the storyline of Mandalore from both series. ‘The Mandalorian’ is a Favreau and Filoni series, and connections to the previous work they did on Mandalore, such as the legacy of the Darksaber, is almost guaranteed in the future.

Books & Comics

For the fans who like reading, there is a lot for you to dive into. Many books and comics are as worth reading as the series are worth watching, though there are a number that don’t add too much to the franchise. I’ll break down which ones are integral to the Skywalker saga and which ones are a little more peripheral, in chronological order. There will be a number of books and comics I won’t mention, particularly junior novels, since there are so many, but I encourage you to seek out the rest if you’re interested. The important titles are in larger heading sizes, while the optional titles are in smaller heading sizes.

Books

Dooku: Jedi Lost

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The first ‘Star Wars’ book to be released as an audiobook first (they’re all available as audiobooks, if you’d rather listen than read), Dooku: Jedi Lost’ explores the backstory of the largely unexplored Count Dooku, revolving around his time as a Jedi and his fall to the dark side. Featuring characters central to Dooku’s life, such as Asajj Ventress, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Sifo-Dyas, Jedi Lost adds much to the story of the Clone Wars.

Master & Apprentice

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

Qui-Gon Jinn is one of the most important Jedi in ‘Star Wars,’ despite only appearing in one movie. Master & Apprentice explores his relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi several years prior to ‘The Phantom Menace,’ as well as his relationship with the Force and the prophecies he believes in so strongly which shape the Skywalker Saga.

Queen’s Shadow

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Padmé Amidala had little justice done to her character in the movies, and the politics are often derided in ‘Star Wars,’ but if you’re a fan of both, Queen’s Shadow is worth a read. Taking place four years after ‘The Phantom Menace,’ the novel explores Padmé’s transition from queen to senator.

Dark Disciple

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Adapting the final two, unmade arcs of Asajj Ventress’ storyline in ‘The Clone Wars,’ Dark Disciple concludes Ventress’ story with a mission given to her and Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos by the Jedi Council to assassinate Count Dooku. Between Ventress’ relationship with Vos, the conflict between light and dark, and the threat of Count Dooku, Dark Disciple is basically required reading for any fan of ‘The Clone Wars.’

Ahsoka

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels

Ahsoka Tano’s storyline was never continued before ‘The Clone Wars’ ended (though that will be rectified with the upcoming final season), until ‘Rebels’ picked it up years later in canon. Ahsoka bridges the two series by detailing the events of her life a year after ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ making reference to then-unmade arcs of ‘The Clone Wars.’

Lords of the Sith

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

If you want to read a novel about the fraught relationship between Darth Sidious and Darth Vader as they kill rebels on Ryloth five years after ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ Lords of the Sith is the novel for you.

Tarkin

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Also set five years after ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ Tarkin is an excellent in-depth exploration of Grand Moff Tarkin, and it gives telling insight into the Emperor’s interests and Tarkin’s relationship with Darth Vader.

Lost Stars

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Considered one of the best novels of the new canon, Lost Stars is Star Wars’ Romeo & Juliet, telling the story of a romance between an Imperial-turned-Rebel pilot and an Imperial pilot over the course of sixteen years, ending shortly after the Battle of Jakku.

The Thrawn Trilogy

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI, Rogue One, and Star Wars Rebels

Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Legends author Timothy Zahn returns to reintroduce Grand Admiral Thrawn into the ‘Star Wars’ canon after his canon debut in ‘Rebels.’ The first novel, Thrawn, explores Thrawn’s first encounter with the Empire and his rise to the unique rank of Grand Admiral, as well as his relationship with Darth Vader and the Emperor. The second novel, Thrawn: Alliances, switches between the Clone Wars and the events following the finale of season three of ‘Rebels.’ Alliances further develops Thrawn’s relationship with Vader, as well as his past encounter with Anakin Skywalker, as they journey to Batuu on a mission for the Emperor. The final novel, Thrawn: Treason, takes place during season four of ‘Rebels,’ exploring the conflict between Thrawn’s loyalty to the Emperor and his loyalty to the Chiss Ascendancy as the new threat of the Grysk comes into play, leading right into the series finale of ‘Rebels.’

Leia, Princess of Alderaan

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

A novel set three years prior to ‘A New Hope,’ detailing Leia Organa’s life as a princess and her duties to Alderaan, as well as her interest in the Rebellion. The novel also introduces Amilyn Holdo as Leia’s childhood friend and develops their relationship further prior to ‘The Last Jedi.’

Heir to the Jedi

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Set soon after ‘A New Hope,’ Heir to the Jedi is told from Luke Skywalker’s perspective as he goes on a mission for the Rebellion without the help of a mentor like Obi-Wan Kenobi, forcing him to rely only on what Obi-Wan taught him and his own instincts.

Alphabet Squadron

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII and Star Wars Rebels

Concurrent Reading: Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Taking place after the Empire’s defeat in the Battle of Endor, Hera Syndulla tasks five New Republic pilots with defeating an Imperial group known as Shadow Wing, who are carrying out Operation: Cinder, the Emperor’s failsafe in the case of his death. Alphabet Squadron is the first novel in a trilogy, with the second novel, Shadow Fall, coming up next year. The novel crosses over with the comic miniseries Star Wars: TIE Fighter.

The Aftermath Trilogy

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Detailing the events between the Battle of Endor and the Battle of Jakku from both the perspectives of the New Republic and the Empire, the Aftermath trilogy tells of the Empire’s final defeat and the births of both the New Republic and the First Order. The novels also delve into the Emperor’s Contingency plan put in place in the event of his death, involving the destruction of what remained of the Empire and ensuring that the future return of a better and stronger regime. Among the many novels in ‘Star Wars’ canon, I’d argue that these are some of the few that are required reading for ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ as it plants the seeds of Darth Sidious’ master plan, which seems like it will finally pay off in Episode IX.

READ THIS
Oscar Isaac Set to Produce & Star in Legendary's ‘The Great Machine’ Film

Bloodline

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Rian Johnson, director and writer of ‘The Last Jedi’ personally contributed a significant portion to the story of this novel, making it, in my opinion, required reading for the sequel trilogy. Set six years prior to ‘The Force Awakens,’ Bloodline is the origin story of Leia Organa’s Resistance. The New Republic is crippled by gridlock and inaction, prompting Leia to seek election as the First Senator when the threat of the First Order begins to show itself more boldly. Faced with the truth of her parentage, Bloodline explores how the secret of Leia being the daughter of Darth Vader completely changes the galaxy.

Phasma

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Despite her disappointingly small role in the sequels and ‘Resistance,’ Phasma gives Captain Phasma a much-needed exploration of her character. The novel revolves around a rival Stormtrooper, Cardinal, seeking information about Phasma’s past in an effort to gain an upper hand over her, and Phasma’s ruthless mission to take him down. Phasma also explores Phasma’s relationship with Armitage Hux and his father, Brendol Hux.

Resistance Reborn

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

(Strongly) Suggested Reading: Bloodline and Allegiance

Suggested Playing: Battlefront II

Set after ‘The Last Jedi’ and serving as a prequel to ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ Resistance Reborn is by far the most important novel in the ‘Star Wars’ canon. Telling the stories of the main characters of the sequel trilogy following the harrowing events of Episode VIII, the novel details the Resistance’s final effort to rebuild in time for a final showdown with the First Order. I strongly recommend reading or listening to this novel in preparation for ‘Episode IX’ next month.

Comics

For those who like a bit of visuals with their readings, ‘Star Wars’ comics, published by Marvel Comics, offers you a vast repertoire of content to choose from. The comics are largely intended to fill the gaps, but a couple of series are absolutely worth checking out. There are also comic adaptations of every movie, as well as some books, such as Thrawn. Since comics are released over a period of time and several are currently ongoing, it is recommended to catch up with everything else first. The important titles are in larger heading sizes, while the optional titles are in smaller heading sizes.

Darth Maul

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III

(Strongly) Suggested Viewing: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels

Taking place before ‘The Phantom Menace,’ Darth Maul explores Maul’s time as Sidious’ assassin and develops his characterization to better fit with ‘The Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels.’

Obi-Wan and Anakin

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III

Set three years after ‘The Phantom Menace,’ Obi-Wan and Anakin explores the relationship between the titular characters and Anakin’s early training as a Jedi Padawan.

Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III

Set after ‘Attack of the Clones,’ Mace Windu dives into the psychology of the titular character as the Jedi go from peacekeepers to warriors.

Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Adapting the next arc following Maul’s final appearance in ‘The Clone Wars,’ Son of Dathomir provides pivotal information into Maul’s backstory and explains how he escapes Sidious before the Siege of Mandalore. This is definitely required reading before the final season of ‘The Clone Wars’ streams on Disney+ this coming February.

Kanan

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels

Kanan explores the life of the titular character’s time as a Jedi Padawan during the Clone Wars, Order 66, and following ‘Revenge of the Sith.’ This comic is Kanan’s backstory before he met Hera and became a Rebel, and dives into his experience of the Great Purge.

Age of Republic

Required Viewing: Episodes I-III and Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Age of Republic is an anthology of one-shots featuring the prequel trilogy characters Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, Darth Maul, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, and General Grievous, as well as a special issue featuring other characters.

Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI, Rogue One, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels

Dark Lord of the Sith is one of the best canon ‘Star Wars’ comics, and provides much-needed exploration of Anakin’s psychology as Darth Vader and his struggle with the dark side. Taking place right after ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and all the way up to the construction of Fortress Vader on Mustafar, this comic forms an integral part of Vader’s character.

Vader – Dark Visions

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Dark Visions shows a bit more of Vader’s dark and violent side, so if you want to see Vader being a badass, this is the comic for you.

Princess Leia

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Princess Leia deals with Leia coping with the loss of Alderaan and her efforts to preserve her culture after ‘A New Hope.’

Chewbacca

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Set after ‘A New Hope,’ Chewbacca is about the titular character going on a mission to help a girl in the Outer Rim protect her planet from gangsters and the Empire.

Han Solo

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Han Solo deals with Han’s internal conflict after ‘A New Hope,’ going from smuggler to rebel.

Star Wars

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Star Wars is the massive ongoing comic that details the three year gap between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ akin to ‘The Clone Wars.’

Darth Vader

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Darth Vader tells the story of Vader following ‘A New Hope’ as he learns he has a son and suffers for his failure at the Battle of Yavin, leading up to ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ This comic does much to bridge the character of Vader in both movies.

Doctor Aphra

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Required ReadingDarth Vader

Doctor Aphra continues the story of Aphra after the end of Darth Vader, so fans of her character will want to read this series.

Lando

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Taking place prior to ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ Lando explores Lando’s time as a smuggler and swindler before he came to run Cloud City.

Age of Rebellion

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI

Age of Rebellion is an anthology of one-shots featuring the original trilogy characters Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, Grand Moff Tarkin, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, and Darth Vader, as well as a special issue featuring other characters.

TIE Fighter

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Concurrent Reading: Alphabet Squadron

TIE Fighter tells the story of the elite Shadow Wing squadron from their perspective, developing them before the events of Alphabet Squadron.

Shattered Empire

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Set after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ Shattered Empire dives into the power vacuum following the Emperor’s defeat, as well as Operation: Cinder, featuring the perspectives of the heroes of the original trilogy, as well as Poe Dameron’s parents.

The Rise of Kylo Ren

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

Suggested Reading: Bloodline

An upcoming comic with the first issue set to release right before ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ The Rise of Kylo Ren explores Ben Solo’s past as a Jedi Padawan and his fall to the dark side. The comic won’t be done for a few months after ‘Episode IX’ is out, but it’s looking to be the most important ‘Star Wars’ comic ever written.

Poe Dameron

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

Starting before ‘The Force Awakens’ and ending after ‘The Last Jedi,’ Poe Dameron features the perspective of the titular character and his Black Squadron during his mission to find Lor San Tekka and the confrontation between the Resistance and the First Order.

Captain Phasma

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

Suggested Reading: Phasma

Captain Phasma bridges the appearances of the titular character in ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi.’

Age of Resistance

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VIII

Age of Resistance is an anthology of one-shots featuring the sequel trilogy characters Finn, Poe Dameron, Rose Tico, Rey, Captain Phasma, General Hux, Supreme Leader Snoke, and Kylo Ren, as well as a special issue featuring other characters.

Allegiance

Required Reading: Episodes I-VIII

Suggested Reading: Resistance Reborn

Allegiance takes place after ‘The Last Jedi’ and tells the story of Leia reaching out to the Mon Calamari for their help in the conflict. With Aftab Ackbar, the son of Admiral Gial Ackbar, appearing in ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ this comic is definitely worth reading.

Video Games

And lastly, for those who like to play their ‘Star Wars,’ there are a couple of video games out there to get some canon content.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels

Suggested Reading: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

Taking place five years after ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ Fallen Order tells the story of Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis, a survivor of the Great Purge who seeks to rebuild the Jedi Order while being hunted by the Empire and the Inquisitorius.

The story is relatively standalone, but references many elements and stories from the movies and the first two animated series, especially the Inquisitorius.

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VI and Rogue One

Vader Immortal is a VR game that explores the backstory of Mustafar as Vader seeks the power to bring Padmé back from death, told through the perspective of you, the player.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Required Viewing: Episodes I-VII

(Strongly) Suggested Reading: The Aftermath Trilogy and Shattered Empire

The first Battlefront didn’t have a story campaign, but Battlefront II has a story that takes place during and after ‘Return of the Jedi,’ culminating in the Battle of Jakku. A DLC expansion also continues the stories of the Rebels Iden Versio and Shriv before, during, and after ‘The Force Awakens’ as they work for Leia Organa in the Resistance.

Bookmark this page as it will be updated as more content gets released.

Join today for discounts on comics, video games, and collectibles

0 Comments