May the Fourth be with you-What could the fourth trilogy be about?

Recently, Disney confirmed that Rian Johnson-Co-writer and director of The Last Jedi-will be supervising a fourth Star Wars trilogy. However, it’s a bit unclear if this will be a continuation of the current “Skywalker saga” of films, or something self contained. Much like my “third spin-off” speculation (A third spin-off that has yet to materialize, despite Kathleen Kennedy teasing a Summer announcement; perhaps it’s been delayed due to the Han Solo problems), this is mainly just me thinking about what it could be.




Sequel to the sequels?


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It’s pretty obvious that the current sequel trilogy is pretty much the last hurrah for our original trilogy heroes. Han died in “The Force Awakens”. Carrie Fisher’s passing will probably mean no more Leia after “The Last Jedi” although the character’s fate remains unknown. Mark Hammil could continue as Luke but he’s somewhat far older now, and also his fate post-TLJ remains unknown. Plus he’s also fairly old at this point-it seems like a wise move by Disney to mostly sideline the OT characters in the sequel trilogy due to their age (and makes me a bit concerned about Ford headlining a new Indiana Jones-as “Force Awakens” and “Blade Runner 2049” proved, at this age he’s perhaps best as a mentor to a new lead-although I suppose Indiana Jones 5 could do this, but hopefully with somebody other than Shia Lebouf’s Mutt). The only real OT characters that could go on are probably Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2, all who are of course not human, and simply-with the exception of Anthony Daniel’s voice as Threepio-wearing an outfit/CG/remote control etc.

The current actors are of course still young, and it’s conceivable that-bar their characters dying-they could continue in Star Wars movies past “Episode 9” for years to come, and perhaps even down the line pass *their* torches to another new generation of heroes.





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Totally new saga? 

This is of course what the spin-offs are primarily for; but perhaps they can tell a story that goes through more than one film. Certainly, there’s been a few “micro-sagas” in the the now non-canon “Legends” Expanded Universes, such as the adventures of Stormtrooper-turned-mercenary-turned-Jedi Kyle Katarn (Dark Forces/Jedi Knight), or the former Royal Guard Kir Kanos (Crimson Empire), each of whom saved the galaxy in their own way, with the regular Star Wars heroes (and some villains) only making the occasional cameo. And both were multi-part sagas.

Dark Horse also did their own take on a saga mostly divorced from the era of the film’s; the “Legacy” comics. In a way, it anticipated some of the developments of the sequel trilogy, with the good guys facing off against a resurgant Empire/Sith-with the Jedi once again mostly extinct, and Luke is a mentor (although he’s now a force ghost that retains a youthful appearance like his post-2004 father) ; However, unlike those films, set pretty much in our ‘real time’ from the time of ROTJ (A few decades) this one goes a full century into the future. It’s of course not totally distant from the films; the main character, Cade, is a descendant of Luke’s (presumably through Luke’s son Ben from the novels) and there’s even a Leia stand-in although she’s Cade’s cousin (through the Jaina/Jagged Fel line).

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Still, if they want to go in semi-fresh, perhaps a ‘far future’ saga is the way to go. Kind of worked for another franchise with “Star” in the title…


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Old Republic?

I discussed something similar in my spin-off thread.  Part of the Star Wars backstory-fleshed out somewhat in the prequels-is that there was once a massive war between the Jedi and the Sith lords, with the Sith thought to be extinct-although one of their order-Darth Bane (This is still canon; Bane is mentioned in “Clone Wars” series) survived and continued the order in secret with the rule of two-with one Sith as the Master and the other the apprentice. This eventually culminated in the conflict of the first six episodes, with Palpatine ascending to power and wiping out (most of) the Jedi, bringing back Sith rule under the Empire and taking Vader as his apprentice. (It’s kind of unclear where Snoke/Kylo Ren/Knights of Ren fit into the dark side hierarchy, but I’m sure some answer is coming)

While the story of this war-as well as prior wars-is told in the “Darth Bane” novel series (as well as it’s comic counterpart, Jedi vs. Sith) and Bioware’s “Old Republic” franchise, that series (apart from the Bane element) is now non-canon, so Disney could be free to tell this story their own way….and it’d probably take quite a few movies to do so.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Full Trailer thoughts


The latest trailer-and poster-for The Last Jedi just debuted. Here’s some thoughts and speculation.


Ren smashing his helmet into the Imperial-style lights what appears to be a First Order elevator….explaining this shot….and why the helmet is smoldering.

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Speaking of Kylo-who gets a lot of focus in this trailer-we also get this shot of him looking out at what appears to be a First Order hanger.

Vader looking out a window at something was of course used quite a few times in the trilogy and ROTS…



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And the prequels even had a few nods to it:


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Although this is far from Kylo’s first rodeo with this thing.

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The new model walkers, the MT-A6. Curiously you can see what appears to be smaller walkers-which resemble more closely the AT-ATs (Although with some small changes in the middle and the head it seems). As well as Kylo’s shuttle floating above. One of the big worries about the film is that it might mirror EMPIRE in a similar fashion that TFA does with ANH. This is pretty much the biggest evidence that it might.

Rey doing some Jedi moves.

Luke looking amazed as Rey seems to be cracking the rocks under her….

….and her raw power scares him, something that didn’t happen before…. (and what’s that emblem on the floor?)

….when presumably his own Jedi training facility was destroyed. Also, we kind of know what happened to the flesh on his robot hand now.

Resistance capital ships, which resemble the Rebellion’s old ships-The Mon Calamari cruiser, an escort frigate and possibly a transport-the ship dying on the left there.

Ren’s personal fighter, the TIE silencer. Seems to spin a bit, a “neat trick” he seems to inherited from both his grandfather and his father.

Kylo about to fire on Leia’s ship, but hesitates. Also wearing what appears to be the Star Wars version of a band aid.


Leia appears to be using the force to attempt to reach out to her son.

Leia’s expression here definitely reminds me of when we first see her using the force in ESB (although a bit more focused). Looks like telepathy is the main force trait she seems to have. Due to Carrie’s death I don’t think we’ll see Leia with a lightsaber and levitating stuff though.

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Finn’s X-wing now seems to be equipped with a speed booster. Hopefully he’ll get more to do this time.

Finn fighting with Phasma using a riot weapon similar to the “Traitor!” Stormtrooper that used it against him in ESB. Phasma has some sort of spear, and it’s nice to know she’s getting her own action scene.

More of the space battles from the other trailer, although here we get a clearer look at the new First Order “Star dreadnought”.

Luke angirly telling Rey (“This isn’t going to happen the way you want it to!)

Some weird kind of crystalline wolf beings heading toward some kind of hanger on Crait, which seems to be one of the key locations of the film-it’s sand seems to kick up some red dust, which seems to have informed the look of the poster. Presumabely, some comic will reveal that it’s an old rebel base or something like that.

Leia looking a bit worried-perhaps about some upcoming battle?

Falcon evading some TIES, possibly on Crait judging by the crystalline/red stuff the planet seems to have.


Finn presumabely on his First Order infiltration mission. There doesn’t appear to be any sign of Rose, or his other mission on the “Casino planet” of Casio Bight in this trailer.

The first Order assembly, similar to their last assembly in TFA but also highly remiscent of the ROTJ scene of the Empire gathering for Palpatine’s arrival. Also, looks like the first Order’s version of the AT-ST in a few places, prominently on the right.



Snoke, in the flesh this time, lifting and using the force on Rey. Looks pretty painful for Rey.




And the trailer’s currently most talked about scene. Rey wondering what her part to play in all this is….and Kylo holding out his hand.




A light side redemption for Kylo, perhaps brought about by his hesitation to kill Leia? Or is it the other way around….a dark side fall for Rey? Or two shots just edited to give that impression somehow?


We’ll see, I suppose.

Curiously, the new poster seems to be somewhat similar to “Return of the Jedi”-with Luke in Vader’s spot, Rey and Ren sort of being similar to Luke and Han (Although Rey’s lightsaber is angled downward) Leia in pretty much the same spot (although more covered up!) and fighters on the ground on Crait instead of fighters in space. The poster also seems to put the good guys on the left (Rey, Chewie, Finn BB8, R2, 3PO and the bad ones on the right…(Ren, Hux, Snoke’s guards, the first order BB unit, and Phasma,with curiously, Poe on the right. Could another hero be heading down a dark path?

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Star Wars Comics History-Age of the Empire

While it was currently running the prequel-era “Republic” comics, Dark Horse also began a second monthly, featuring events during the Original trilogy era.


The series started with the Betrayal arc, in which a series of Grand Moffs-who don’t like being ruled by two Sith Lords-try to organize a coup against the Emperor and Vader. Of course, it doesn’t quite go well.

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The arc also introduced-and quickly got rid of-Grand Moff Tractha, who like Vader has Cybernetic replacements; however, he later showed up in the “early Empire” story Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, and even got a Hasbro figure.


After a brief interlude with Princess Leia (“Princess, Warrior”) taking place slightly before “A New Hope”, and a Boba Fett issue by the team who wrote his one-shots “trilogy”, we’re given the second major arc with “Darklighter”.

The comics largely detailed the backstory of Biggs Darklighter, an old friend of Luke’s, who dies on the Death Star trench run.

A lot of Bigg’s role and backstory in the movie was deleted (although one scene was restored for the special edition). In older cuts, Luke actually appears far earlier in the movie, spotting the space battle overhead and running to tell his friends, including Biggs who is on leave from the Imperial academy. The two get to have a talk, in which Biggs confides in him that he’s joining the Rebellion.

The comic builds heavily on not only this, but also Bigg’s short career as a TIE fighter pilot, with the artistic choice to make the helmet translucent to better show the emotions of the characters. The issues with the Darklighter aren’t actually sequential (perhaps due to the time needed to finish the detailed art) and were broken up between standalones.

After two more standalones-one featuring a Stormtrooper on the Death Star, and another revealing what happened to Vader after his TIE went out of control at the end of the film, we get another new arc after the Darklighter issues finally finish.


The next arc deals with an Imperial batallion dealing with a large group of hostile, flatworm-like “Anamamen”

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Represented in the films by this kin of creepy guy.

They’re led by Janek Sunber, whose story also ties into Luke and Biggs…

After this arc ends we get a short interlude with Vader targeted by the Faleen, an alien species who’s homeworld was messed up by Vader (This also ties into the Shadows of the Empire storyline).

What follows are a few adventures with Han, Leia, and Chewbacca, one in particular introducing the character Deena Shan, who plays a significant role in the final arc of the series.


The next major arc-after a Boba Fett standalone and a two issue-story where Luke recruits a former Clone trooper into the alliance-we get “In the Shadows of their Fathers”. This is a sequel to the “Battle of Jaabim” arc, with the Jaabim rebels not being too pleased with how things went down during the Clone Wars, where another man by the name of Skywalker abandoned them. It’s got some pretty cool covers…


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It ends with Luke leaving the planet, but somewhat unsettled by what he’s learned, that his father might not have been the great hero he thought he was, and  that Obi-Wan was ‘killed’ on the planet. He wonders what Ben was keeping from him…

The final arc is “Wrong Side of the War”, where Luke, Deena, and other rebels go undercover in Imperial outfits as part of a rebel infiltration and strike force. However, things don’t go quite smoothly. Deena falls in love with an Imperial officer during the mission, and Janek Sunber shows up, and recognizes Luke. We learn that Janek is in fact, Luke’s old buddy “Tank”-mentioned in Star Wars as having left like Biggs did to join the Empire, but unlike Biggs, he didn’t join the rebels….he recognizes Luke, but only as his old friend, who he’s convinced also joined the Empire, not knowing that Luke is a rebel hero. Of course, Luke’s true allegiance is finally figured out-but Sunber is reluctant to join the alliance, as he believes in the Order of the Empire.


The storyline continues in the sequel series “Star Wars  Rebellion”, which I will cover in the next article.



Star Wars Comic History-Wars On Infinite Galaxies Part Two-There is Another


In this second alternate take on the trilogy, Luke actually succumbs to his wounds from the Wampa attack. Before he passes, the delirious Luke relays Obi-Wan’s message…and suddenly Han believes he’s the chosen one!


Luke’s funeral distracts the characters from finding out about the probe droid, and so the Empire’s able to do a sneak attack. Like in the film, the “Falcon” escapes but makes it to Bespin without entering the asteroid field. Things on Bespin play a lot differently, with Boba-unmasked (This came out at the same time “Attack of the Clones” was released, and pretty much “unmasked” Fett and revealed his backstory, so naturally the artists probably wanted to use that)

Fett arrives at Bespin but, without the backup of the Empire, he’s outsmarted by Lando and co, and becomes the carbonite victim instead of Han.


Unfortunately, when Vader does arrive after Han and co. leave he’s not too pleased and destroys the city-Lando and frozen Fett included.

Han and co. make it to Dagobah, where Yoda pretty much spills the beans about Vader being Leia’s father, and Han definitely not being a Jedi.

While Leia gets trained by Yoda instead of Luke…..


Han and Chewie head to Tatooine to pay off Jabba the Hutt, minus the whole ROTJ plan, although things don’t go quite well. In yet another crossover with “Attack of the Clones”, instead of a rancor we get two Nexu (The cat-like arena monster):

Meanwhile-Vader-dissecting his old friend C3PO after Han and Chewie escape from Jabba’s clutches-leaving the poor droid behind-and shows up to battle Leia and Yoda. Yoda first battles him on the astral plane, causing a strange effect to Vader’s armor that makes it look a lot like the old Mcquarrie design, and he even removes his helmet to reveal Padawan Anakin Skywalker (With Hayden’s AOTC likeness-AOTC connection #3), but he’s able to overcome the illusions and defeat Yoda. Then father and daughter have a duel…


….but it’s Han that delivers the deathblow with his blaster when he returns. Works better here than it does in the actual film, it seems….

Although that’s not nearly as bad as what happened in “Empire’s End” with cloned Palpatine.

“Han shot first” indeed.

Vader is then burned ROTJ-style by Leia, but there’s still the rest of the Empire to worry about-although Dark Horses’s infinities twist on ROTJ wouldn’t follow this one, but also be self-contained.

Star Wars Comics History: Wars on Infinite Galaxies Part One: A New Hope?

“If you will not turn to the Dark side, then perhaps she will!”-Darth Vader, ROTJ.


For years, Marvel and DC ran several comics that asked “What if?” certain things happened to their characters-funny thing is, some of the stuff later happened…as Spider-Man fans know well.



However, in the early 21st century, Dark Horse threw their hat into the ring, with Star Wars: Infinities.


The storyline began with Luke’s torpedo’s at the end of “A new Hope” malfunctioning, damaging, but not destroying, the Death Star, allowing the rebels at least some time to escape-however, while Han and Luke are able to flee in time, Leia and the Alliance command are re-captured. Vader begins to sense some force stuff with Leia, so he sends her to Coruscant, and trains her in the dark side along with the Emperor. Meanwhile, Luke, Han and Chewie manage to evade capture, and Luke begins his training with Yoda a bit earlier…


Half a decade passes, the Empire is more powerful than ever and Leia is now a Dark Jedi and an Imperial true believer. The Death Star is now called “The Justice Star” as well.

I’m reminded somewhat of this “Simpsons” quote.

Luke-who by now has completed his training (Which I guess took far longer in this reality) learns the truth about his father and sister from Yoda, and the group-including Yoda-decide to pay the Emperor a visit on Coruscant, which now has a Death Star around it and what looks like a ton of Super Star Destroyers.


What follows is Return of the Jedi to the power of eleven, with Luke battling Leia-and eventually redeeming her-which in turn redeems Vader when the Emperor tries to kill them both with force lightning, and with Yoda Jedi mind-tricking Tarkin into giving him control of the Death…”Justice” Star, which he then crashes on top of the Emperor on Coruscant, killing him and R2-D2 in the process (Although R2’s memories are saved and put into a new body, and Yoda still becomes a ghost).


“Infinities”, while a bit goofy, is still an entertaining experiment. The same treatment would later be applied to ESB (With Luke dying on Hoth) and ROTJ (With the Jabba rescue being badly botched), and for a while “Infinities” would be considered a catch-all for explicity-non canon Star Wars (Before “Legends”), which at the time included many elements of  the “Star Wars tales” anthology series. I’ll cover those in a later article.

The weirdness wouldn’t end here, either….as “Vader the White” here demonstrates.



Star Wars comics history: Farewell, Chewie (Wait, what?)

Spoilers for the New Jedi Order and Vector Prime.


After decades of peace, a new conflict arises in the galaxy, giving rise to new heroes and new villains. During the first major battle, one of our heroes-a co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon-makes the ultimate sacrifice,during an attempt to save the son of Han Solo.

No, it’s not Force Awakens, but “Vector Prime”, the first chapter in the “New Jedi Order” novel series, which had the New Republic and Luke’s fledgling Jedi Order face off against the Yuzzhan Vong, a formidable foe which relied on biotechnology instead of mechanical stuff (Plus they really, really hated mechanics-they viewed Droids, in particular, as abominations) and pretty much upended the Star Wars universe, conquering-and even terraforming-the safe havens of Coruscant and Yavin IV. Ironically, the concept behind the NJO started life as a Dark Horse comic pitch, being teased in work such as “Crimson Empire”.


…and there were many casualties…the first major one being Chewbacca, who dies while trying to save Han’s son, Anakin, from a crashing moon (He succeeds, although Anakin dies during a mission several books later).


A comic miniseries, “Chewbacca” followed, which functioned as a sort of Eulogy for the fallen hero, as well as an anthology, somewhat similar to DH’s own “Star Wars tales” but with a narrative framework. Here, C-3PO and R2-D2 go around the galaxy interviewing various people about their friendship with the walking carpet.


The first issue deals mainly with young Chewbacca’s adventures on Kashyyk, including the courtship of his wife. The second deals with some of Chewie’s adventures on the wrong side of the law, including his first meeting with a young TIE fighter pilot (In the “Legends” continuity, Han started out as an Imperial pilot for a brief time before resigning his commission due to Chewie’s treatment. It remains to be seen if anything similar will be done in the upcoming Han Solo movie).


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The third issue deals with Chewie’s adventures with the Rebellion, including a misadventure with Wedge Antilles, and Lando. Leia also is a bit mad that he died, because it’s made Han (naturally) despondent. She’s a little selfish here, although at least she has an excuse for why she couldn’t hug the Wookie (For those familiar with the “Force Awakens” mini-controversy). Finally, we have Luke and Han, with Han recounting how Chewie’s saved his kids in the past.





Han eventually gets over his grief in the later novels, although he unfortunately loses both his sons, although his daughter, Jaina, lives on and becomes a skilled pilot, Jedi and possibly a Queen. She even got some merchandise…

Heck, she’s *still* getting figures, despite not being canon anymore.




However, all of this is no longer in continuity since the Disney buyout/canon restructering….Chewie’s alive and well (at least for now)

But Han definetly isn’t….

And while there’s a new bright hope for the Jedi in Rey, replacing Jaina sort of, Han’s only known offspring isn’t exactly making good (Then again, same thing happen to Jacen Solo in the comics)

but hey, you never know….


Star Wars comics history-Phantom Menaces

In 1999, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace arrived, and of course Dark Horse got on board with their own adaptation. Written by Henry Gilroy-who would later work on the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon series. It was also inked by Al Williamson, giving it a sort of similar look to the ESB and ROTJ adaptations Williamson penciled in the 80’s



In additon to the adaptation, Dark Horse also published a series of one-shots focusing on four characters from the film: Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme/Queen Amidalia. Obi-Wan’s story is mainly a ‘debriefing’ to Yoda, and is largely just a retelling of the film. The other one-shots mainly take place on Tatooine.


By far the largest spin-off for the film came out a year later with the Darth Maul miniseries. The popularity of the character would of course inspire future comic and novel series, and a ressurection in the Clone Wars comic series, as well as Rebels.

The Darth Maul series-one of many Star Wars comics illustrated by Jan Duuresama-has the Sith lord commanded to take down the criminal organization Black Sun. It also ties in with the Shadow Hunter novel as well.

It also notably has Maul face off with a “Nightsister”, a dark-side force witch (Although the Witches debuted in a 1994 novel, “The Courtship of Princess Leia”, many depictions of them post-1999 were based on concept art for Maul). In a funny twist, Maul was revealed to be from Dathomir himself in the Clone Wars series.


Darth Maul’s mother in particular was revealed to be one, based on the same concept art no less! Awkward…. (This following panel is from a later comic series, Son of Dathomir).

Although Mighella is of course, no longer canon, and Tamzin still is….