Earlier this week, Disney announced a new publishing initiative that aims to bridge the thirty year gap between Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The initiative is called, appropriately enough, Journey to The Force Awakens, and is set to feature books and comics that will all be connected and overseen by the larger “Star Wars story group”, and all will be considered in continuity and official canon by Lucasfilm. Now Marvel Comics has announced their part in all this, with an all-new comic book event mini-series, beginning in September with Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #1. The new series will join the already mega-popular ongoing Star Wars and Darth Vader series, and the Princess Leia mini-series from Marvel
Lucasfilm’s Michael Siglain said of the upcoming initiative “The filmmakers have a lot of surprises in store, and the hints and puzzle pieces in the publishing program will keep fans guessing until the film opens. Until then, let the anticipation — and the speculation — begin.”
So speculate we shall! Although no story details have been given, the preview image from artist Phil Noto shows the principal cast from the original trilogy just as they appeared at the end of Return of the Jedi, and the name suggests that the series will deal with the fallout of the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader on board the second Death Star, and just what ultimately became of the Galactic Empire. The old Expanded Universe continuity (which is now non-canonical) showed that the true end of the Empire took many, many years, and it wasn’t an easy task for the fledgling New Republic. While all that may no longer be in canon, the new continuity looks to be coverering similar ground, as the teaser trailer for The Force Awakens shows Imperial Stormtroopers in action, so we know there is still some kind of Empire out there, some thirty years later.
Check out the full teaser image from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ghost artist Phil Noto below: