And its story takes place just before the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Beginning with issue 68, which opens the “Rebels and Rogues!” arc, we’ll find out what happens prior to Vader launching his hunt for Luke Skywalker. The story finds Luke and his friends launching a desperate mission to keep the Empire from finding the new rebel base, and sees our heroes off on a three-pronged attack: Han and Leia go undercover in a noir world of romance and danger, Luke and Artoo face off against the Executor in a single X-wing, and Chewie and Threepio (as unlikely a Star Wars duo as can be) team up for their own adventure. “Dream come true,” Pak said at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. “I’m trying to write the Star Wars movie that I’d want to see.”
StarWars.com is excited to present a first look at pages from Star Wars #68 below!
One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers discuss which side is really more powerful, the Empire or the Rebel Alliance.
Without a doubt, the Empire is the most powerful side, says Justin.
It depends on your definition of strength, doesn’t it?
From my point view, strength in this case means the ability to protect the over 3.2 million habitable star systems found throughout the galaxy far, far away. It means having the ability to make hard decisions quickly that are in the best interests of the people living on the planets in those star systems. And it means providing a mechanism by which those people can contribute their individual talents to this noble and shared goal. Where they can step up to lend a helping hand to their galactic neighbors.
The Rebel Alliance is not that mechanism.
Do I believe they have the best interests of the people at heart? I do. But in a galaxy filled with fearsome creatures, crime syndicates, and religious fanatics constantly engaged in shadow wars with each other, the Rebel Alliance’s ideals come at a very high price. And its leaders don’t pay… the galaxy’s citizens do.
Take, for example the New Republic’s (the Rebel Alliance by any other name still stinks) demilitarization after the Galactic Civil War. The admirable goal of peace took precedence over the safety of the galaxy, allowing the hyper-militarized First Order to conquer the galaxy almost overnight in The Force Awakens. Easily broken? That’s the literal definition of weakness.
Or, let’s look at the mess the Rebel Alliance made of the decision to attack Scarif to steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One. Jedha City destroyed, confirmed by their own agents, and their fear and aversion to fighting paralyzed them. The Empire’s iron grip on the galaxy was nearly unbroken because the Rebel Alliance lacked the will to do make the hard, yet necessary decision. Ineffectualness… yet another literal definition of weakness.
The leaders of the Rebel Alliance consistently place their idealized version of a galaxy at peace above the real needs of its people. Their selfishness informs decisions that are repeatedly shown to weaken their organization and the galaxy they claim to care about.
While there are certainly moon-sized problems with the Galactic Empire, strength isn’t one of them. In fact, you could say that the Empire’s central issue is that it was too strong, and that its power was misappropriated by a small group of individuals acting on their own agenda. These individuals may have weakened the Empire, but the organization retained its inherent strength.
Unfortunately, sometimes strength isn’t enough.
“Even fools can get lucky.” -Darth Sidious, Star Wars Episode I Journal: Darth Maul
The Rebel Alliance is more powerful than you could possibly imagine, says Kristin.
What Justin’s describing is, frankly, dictatorship. Strength wielded to keep the masses in check while those in seats of power exploit resources for their own personal gain is corrupt power and I refuse to accept that any group or government who would wield such a thing is stronger than the will of its collective people.
The first duty of an equal society is justice, and the Empire flouts that at every turn.
They’re not protecting those 3.2 million habitable star systems when they’re wielding a planet-destroying weapon of mass destruction. And besides, brute strength is only one type of power.
The Rebel Alliance is quantitatively poor by comparison to the Empire, with fleets of clunky, second-hand ships patched together again and again, but it is rich in optimism. Those who join the Imperials ranks are drones or corrupt politicians, power hungry and eager to please like Palpatine and his cronies.
Being part of the Rebel Alliance requires an iron will, a steadfast belief in the goals of freedom not just for oneself but the entire galaxy, and an idealistic future where democracy will rule once more. It often requires those who enter its ranks to give up personal security and act in secret to divert resources to the cause and avoid detection.
What is more powerful than the underdog rising up out of sheer will not because they believe they will triumph but because failing, and even sacrificing their own lives, is preferable to living in fear in the Empire’s shadow?
And what is more powerful than the example each of those individuals and tiny rebel cells set before they band together to become even more powerful and battle ready?
The Rebel Alliance draws its power from hope, from the ability to inspire the forgotten average inhabitants, and from the strength of those people rising up and refusing to accept a galactic dictatorship. They are willing to wage war against an opponent who outguns them because they know they can, eventually, overthrow them and create a free and equal society to benefit everyone.
The Rebel Alliance sounds a battle cry heard across the stars asking ordinary citizens of the galaxy far, far away to rise up and join them to fight their oppressors. That’s real power.
“For too long I have watched the heavy hand of the Empire strangle our liberties, stifling our freedoms in the name of ensuring our safety. No longer!” – Mon Mothma, Star Wars Rebels
What do you think? Do you agree with Kristin or Justin? Let us know in the comments below!
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.
Justin Bolger is ILMxLAB’s brand marketing manager and he doesn’t like the Empire…he loves it. Talk Star Wars with him on Twitter @TheApexFan.
Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the galaxy. It’s physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing; there’s no training in the world that can prepare you for it, and your duties change by the day. You spend so much time looking at this little human, who in so many ways is a mirror reflection of you, and because of that, you understand what they’re going through. And yet — you can somehow never convey your experiences and knowledge to them in a way that enables them to learn what you already know. It’s a maddening position to be in.
It’s also why I love the dynamic between Kanan and Ezra in Star Wars Rebels so very much.
Kanan’s relationship to Ezra is identical to any parent and their child: The fundamental job is to protect your children and teach them what you know. Which seems easy enough, only it’s not. It never is. On paper, Kanan seems like the ideal person to take Ezra under his wing. He’s a Jedi; Ezra has the potential to be a Jedi as well. All Kanan needs to do is teach Ezra what he knows — but he can’t. Not at first, at least. Kanan struggles time and time again to reach Ezra, he struggles to get him to learn — and master — what he needs to know. He struggles to get Ezra to become him. And that’s where he — and many parents, myself included — fail. And it’s in this failure where real parenting begins.
Our children are us, but they’re not us. The easiest way to get them to learn is by getting them to do what we do, exactly the way we do it. There would be nothing easier than to mold them to be copies of ourselves. Our children, though, are their own people, thoroughly, and it’s hard to meet them on their terms. But, it’s essential, and I’ve learned this from both my experience as a parent and through Star Wars. Kanan is only able to reach Ezra we he finally learns to surrender to what Ezra needs. Even though Ezra and Kanan share a deep bond through their connection to the Force, the path that led Kanan doesn’t work for Ezra; Ezra needs guidance that’s specific to who he is as a person. When Kanan recognizes this, Ezra’s able to learn and grow — and a funny thing happens along the way: Kanan learns and grows, too.
My kids have changed me in more ways than I can ever imagine. I’ve learned patience and selflessness, humility, and flexibility. Like so many parents, I want to pass along everything I know to my two sons, and I want them to have all that knowledge but not the mistakes and hardships that led to its acquisition. But, like Yoda himself said, “the greatest teacher, failure is.” Kanan had to fail Ezra in order to learn how to become the mentor — and father figure — that Ezra needed. I’ve failed my own children, and I’m certain I’ll fail them again. But, like Kanan, there’s lessons to be learned in every failure — lessons and opportunities to grow and to change. And we do so right alongside our children; they touch as us much as we teach them until, one day, “we are what they grow beyond.”
And I’m perfectly okay with that.
Michael Moreci is a comics writer and novelist best known for his sci-fi trilogy Roche Limit. His debut novel, Black Star Renegades, was released in January 2018. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelMoreci.
StarWars.com is excited to announce that Star Wars Celebration will return to Anaheim, California, on August 27-30, 2020, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The world’s biggest gathering of Star Wars fans, Celebration is an official production from Lucasfilm and ReedPOP, honoring the past of a galaxy far, far away while looking ahead at what’s to come — from new movies to upcoming shows, games, and comics. Tickets go on sale June 21 at 9 a.m. PT.
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020 will be four fun-filled days of major announcements, immersive exhibits, an interactive show floor, screenings, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, autograph sessions, fan-inspired activities, costumes, and other surprises. From young fans of Star Wars animated shows to die-hards fueled by the nostalgia for the original Star Wars trilogy to families that enjoy Star Wars together, there’s something for everyone at Star Wars Celebration. For Star Wars fans, there’s nothing else like it.
Stay tuned to StarWars.com and StarWarsCelebration.com for news on Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020, including panels, guests, and more.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.
On Coruscant, C-3PO is abducted by the bounty hunter Cad Bane, who is working for Jabba the Hutt and searching for information about the Senate building. Finding C-3PO devoid of useful information, Bane and his accomplices kidnap R2-D2 and extract the vital data, before memory-wiping the droids and sending them on their way.
It would seem that C-3PO has been made to suffer. It’s just his lot in life.
Artoo and Threepio may bicker like an old married couple, but this mismatched pair of counterparts clearly have real affection for each other.
Artoo seems to feel some sympathy in his circuits when he overhears the kidnappers plans to dismantle his golden friend, and he gives himself up to save C-3PO.
It’s the kind of selfless act of bravery we’ve come to expect from the hearty astromech, surrendering himself at great personal cost to save his friend. Unfortunately it’s an act that has greater consequences, which will endanger the safety of the Senate building and the politicians inside.
In the end, neither one of them have any memory of the altercation after an effective bit of memory wiping. All that’s left is a seemingly innocuous task — a trip to the market to buy some jogan fruit — that has incredibly important political implications to ensure Padmé’s dinner party with the Roonans is a success.
It’s a clever bit of storytelling to highlight how sometimes something that seems unimportant — the purchase of some fruit, a map saved in a memory bank — can have wide-reaching ramifications.
A remark that C-3PO previously worked for the chief negotiator in the Manakron system supports George Lucas’s original notes that the golden droid was over 100 years old in A New Hope. That means Anakin did not build the droid from scratch, but rebuilt an older droid that had previous protocol assignments.
J0-N0, the torture droid, is based on 8D8, the smelting droid spotted in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi.
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!
Next up: Come back next Thursday when bounty hunters seize control of the Senate building in “Hostage Crisis.”
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.
Step 1: Place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl and microwave at 15-20 second intervals until melted. Spoon evenly into the silicone mold, tapping to release excess air bubbles. Place in the freezer to set.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Step 3: In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Step 4: In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
Step 5: Add the egg, and vanilla.
Step 6: Add the dry ingredients until the dough just comes together.
Step 7: Shape the dough into 2-inch balls, then roll in sugar and place on the prepped baking sheets.
Step 8: Bake for 10 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the chocolate from the molds and press into the center of each cookie.
Step 10: Transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
Now you’re ready to celebrate Dad and the power of the dark side.
In a story set prior to the events of the upcoming video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, two Jedi will find themselves in a battle for their lives.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple, a five-issue Marvel miniseries that will lead into the highly-anticipated game from Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm, was revealed today. Written by Matthew Rosenberg (Uncanny X-Men and The Punisher) and illustrated by Paolo Villanelli (Vader: Dark Visions), the tale follows Jedi Master Eno Cordova and his impulsive Padawan Cere Junda — on a seemingly simple mission that becomes much more dangerous. The Jedi Council sends the pair to the remote planet Ontotho to oversee the excavation of a mysterious temple; on Ontotho, dueling forces of local resistance and ruthless security troops clash in a war for the fate of the planet, with the Jedi caught in the middle. Get a first look at the cover below!
“Working on the Jedi: Fallen Order comic has been a great experience,” Rosenberg tells StarWars.com. “Respawn and Lucasfilm are not only creating one of the most exciting video games in a long, long time, but they’re also telling a truly epic Star Wars story. So having the chance to introduce audiences to some of the game’s cast, and explore a bit of who they are and how they got where they are is really fun. Cere Junda and Eno Cordova are a pair of Jedi that fans are definitely going to want to know more about, and this comic will tell you part of their story you won’t get anywhere else.”
“What’s more fun than working on a new Star Wars book?” says Villanelli. “Well, the answer is working on a new Star Wars book exploring a completely new part of the franchise. As a video game lover I was super excited to be part of the new Fallen Order game, and as an artist I was thrilled to explore and create a part of it for the comics. Besides our titular heroes Cere and Eno, we’ll get a chance to show new planets, villains, and some good old lightsaber action.”
Dark Temple, developed in collaboration with Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm, kicks off with issue #1 in September. Featuring Cere, a major figure from the game along with more elements from the forthcoming action-adventure, the series promises to enrich the experience of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order arrives November 15 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and is available for pre-order.
Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on all things Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
The members of Alphabet Squadron are reporting for duty. The first novel of a trilogy that brings us back to the galaxy mere days after the destruction of the second Death Star, in its pages we meet some unique and not-entirely-trustworthy pilots who just might hold the fate of the New Republic in their hands.
There’s Yrica Quell, an Imperial defector who can’t completely escape her past; Chass na Chadic, a B-wing pilot has seen her entire squadron destroyed twice; Wyl Lark, a veteran inside an A-wing cockpit who just wants to go home; the roguish Nath Tensent, who also outlasted his squadron; and Kairos, a silent U-wing pilot clad all in black with a mask that hides her every expression. Together the ragtag group of pilots must take on one of the New Republic’s biggest threats, the Imperial TIE squadron Shadow Wing — an elite group of pilots that Quell belonged to before she switched sides.
To celebrate the release of the book today, StarWars.com climbed into the cockpit with author Alexander Freed to get some readings on the members of Alphabet Squadron, details on how the novel ties in to other Star Wars stories, and more.
Note: This interview does not contain detailed spoilers regarding the plot of Alphabet Squadron, but it does shed light on its characters. Fly carefully!
StarWars.com: When we first meet Yrica Quell, it’s difficult for the New Republic to determine which side she’s on. Why do you feel that the story of a former Imperial, someone who’s very late to the Rebellion, is a meaningful one to tell?
Alexander Freed: No one doubts that Emperor Palpatine was an evil man who needed to be deposed. But he was willingly served by millions of Imperial citizens — some true believers and some not — who were, in their way, complicit in the Empire’s crimes.
One of the first questions the New Republic has to face is what to do with all those ex-Imperials. Do you imprison them all? Put them on trial? Give them a second chance? It’s a hard question without an easy answer, and Quell is right in the thick of it. She is, as you say, very late to the Rebellion. But is she too late to absolve herself? Too late to become a hero? And if she is too late to set things right…what does she do next?
I’ve got plenty of thoughts about how these questions relate to life in the modern world, but I’ll let readers debate that themselves. Fundamentally, though, I think Star Wars works best when it’s full of both characters we can aspire to be like…and characters who may be flawed, and whose failures we can empathize with.
StarWars.com: Chass loves to blast music in the cockpit of her B-wing. How did you arrive at this particular character trait?
Alexander Freed: We see (and hear) lots of music in the Star Wars films — cantina bands, Ewok celebrations, Coruscant opera companies — but we rarely see characters talking about it! I try to make sure my characters have interests beyond what’s immediately plot relevant, and it seemed a nice way to give her texture.
I don’t recommend listening to music at full volume while flying a starfighter, by the way. But Chass has never been the most disciplined pilot.
StarWars.com: We’ve seen a few dark figures wearing a mask in Star Wars, but none on the Rebellion’s side, until we meet Kairos. How challenging is it to make a character with no expressions and almost no voice feel like part of the story?
Alexander Freed: The funny thing is, it’s not hard at all. Because Kairos tends to lurk quietly in the background, it means every time she steps into the spotlight it’s immediately clear that she’s up to something important.
And, of course, unlike in a film, we can also dip into her head on occasion and get an entirely different perspective on the action.
StarWars.com: Alphabet Squadron has a major tie-in to the story of Star Wars Battlefront II with Operation: Cinder and its red-robed messengers. Why did you want to bridge these stories?
Alexander Freed: I first encountered Operation: Cinder in Greg Rucka’s Shattered Empire comic books, and thought it was a fantastic concept — the notion that the Emperor would order acts of terror and devastation after his death felt utterly appropriate for a wicked narcissist like Palpatine. But neither Shattered Empire nor Battlefront II really had space to dig into what significance Cinder had for the galaxy at large, and I wanted to take advantage of the space a novel provides to explore the subject in more depth.
StarWars.com: Speaking of connections to other stories, there’s also a shared character with Jody Houser’s TIE Fighter comic series, Commander Nuress. How did you collaborate together on the two books?
Alexander Freed: Carefully! We wanted TIE Fighter and Alphabet Squadron to be complementary works, so a reader could pick up either and feel satisfied but also feel like reading both rewarded them with a broader view of our corner of the galaxy.
Jody and I wrote lengthy emails to one another looking for places to intertwine the comic and novel while also working very hard to give one another enough space to not be creatively “boxed in.”
StarWars.com: Were there any particular space battles from the films that inspired you when writing your own?
Alexander Freed: All of them in their way, of course, but the battle over Scarif at the end of Rogue One is beautiful in how many elements it puts into play and adeptly juggles. Starfighters! Rebel capital ships! Imperial capital ships! Bombing runs! Ramming attacks! Space stations! Energy shields! It encapsulates so much of what’s viscerally thrilling about Star Wars space combat.
StarWars.com: Although this isn’t your first Star Wars novel, you’ll be making a huge impact on the universe with three books to tell this story. What does it feel like to be a part of the growing story of Star Wars?
Alexander Freed: Between video games, comics, and novels, I’ve been dipping in and out of the Star Wars galaxy for well over a decade now. I feel pretty comfortable here! But Alphabet Squadron is my first time working post-Return of the Jedi, and that’s exciting for me — there’s so much to say about a society where the underdogs have finally won and need to figure out how to rebuild.
On top of that, having three books to work with is an enormous privilege — I haven’t been part of a Star Wars story of this scope since Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I’m doing my best to use all that room as effectively as possible.
StarWars.com: Finally, if Chass listened to the music of our galaxy, which songs or artists do you think would be on her cockpit playlist?
Alexander Freed: A lot of Chass’s music collection is inspired by songs from the real world, but I dare not give specifics! It’s safe to say that her tastes are eclectic and that she’s (let’s be honest) not overly choosy. I imagine she would scoop up lots of obscure reggae and punk, some mainstream pop hits in a variety of languages, a smattering of rap albums, techno club remixes of all the above, the occasional novelty tune, and whatever else she could get her hands on.
My real hope is that some enterprising fans compile a Chass playlist or two. I’d much rather see other folks’ interpretations than inflict mine on the world!
This past weekend, we got our first look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay, the new video game debuting on consoles and PC later this year. But much to learn we still have.
Set in the dark times, soon after the execution of Order 66, the game’s story takes place at a time in the galaxy when the Jedi Order has been destroyed and remaining survivors have been scattered across the galaxy and are being hunted down by the Empire’s nefarious Inquisitors. Now you can learn all about some of the main characters and other new details in the official StarWars.com Databank entries for the game.
Our hero, Cal Kestis, a former Jedi Padawan, has gone into hiding. Living as a member of the Scrapper Guild, Cal conceals his abilities with the Force until a work accident forces him out of hiding.
The Guild operates on the planet of Bracca, an inhospitable world in the Mid Rim where decommissioned ships are brought to be dismantled and sold off for parts.
The game includes new droids, a never-before-seen stormtrooper design, and other new characters.
There’s BD-1, a companion droid programmed as the ideal assistant for researchers and adventurous explorers, serving as Cal’s lifeline and guide.
And among the young Jedi’s opponents, players will battle the Second Sister Inquisitor, an expert lightsaber duelist assisted by the purge troopers, an elite class of Imperial soldier specially trained to help the Inquisitors hunt down and snuff out Force-sensitive beings across the galaxy.
Plus, explore other entries for hints at what else you’ll discover in-game, from Saw Gerrera to the planet of Kashyyyk.
You can learn more about the gameplay through our coverage of the recent panel at EA Play and our breakdown of the newly-released trailer.
Calling all Jedi strong with the brick side of the Force.
Today at the Microsoft Xbox E3 Briefing, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group, and Lucasfilm announced LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, a brand-new video game spanning all nine Skywalker saga films, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Set for release in 2020 for the Xbox One family of devices, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will feature hundreds of playable characters — the most ever for a LEGO Star Wars game — and ships, LEGO’s signature sense of humor and fun, and new innovations, options, and gameplay features.
For the first time in the series’ history, players can start the game at any point in the Star Wars timeline; fans can jump in with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, begin the original trilogy with Star Wars: A New Hope, or launch right into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
“LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga marks our return to the franchise that kicked off the LEGO video game series. The game will give fans an all-new LEGO Star Wars experience with complete freedom to explore the LEGO Star Wars galaxy,” said Tom Stone, managing director of TT Games. “It was an absolute pleasure to be part of the launch of the original LEGO Star Wars game and it’s equally exciting to now move the series forward and help create a new era of LEGO Star Wars games.”
“With the Skywalker saga coming to an end, we wanted to give fans the ultimate Star Wars video game experience with all the humor and charm that is uniquely LEGO,” said Douglas Reilly, vice president, Lucasfilm Games. “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will bring to life all those Star Wars adventures remembered and undiscovered in an epic culmination of all nine saga films as fans celebrate the closing of this chapter in Star Wars.”
“We are thrilled to continue LEGO Star Wars’ 20 years legacy with this impressive new game where kids and families can join forces to explore the galaxy together,” said Sean McEvoy, vice president, Digital Games, The LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga contains a massive amount of content and is an accessible entry point to the Star Wars galaxy, featuring all of the fun and unforgettable gameplay that makes LEGO games appealing to audiences of all ages.”
The LEGO Star Wars video game series launched with 2005’s LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, and the line has since sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. The last entry was 2016’s LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and a followup has been highly anticipated by fans.
Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.