With the release of Disney-Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens only 167 days away, fans of the popular space-fantasy saga wonder about what happened in that galaxy far, far away in the three decades since the Rebels’ victory at the Battle of Endor.
They may not have to wait too long to find out what happened to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the rest of the Star Wars heroes after the destruction of the Empire’s second Death Star and the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.
According to a report in Previewsworld.com published Friday, Marvel Comics’ Star Wars Journey to The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire is a four-issue series that delves into some of the historic events that transpired between Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and the upcoming first installment of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
Per Previewsworld, Shattered Empire #1 is one of the first canonical stories that fills the gap between George Lucas’s Classic Trilogy and director J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens and will be published after the September 4 release of Chuck Wendig’s novel Star Wars: Aftermath. The novel will delve into the social and political turmoil that follows the fall of Palpatine’s New Order.
The official synopsis does not reveal Shattered Empire’s storyline or mentions any characters. However, it offers tantalizing hints of the state of the galaxy after the Sith Order was destroyed and the Jedi Knights returned at Endor:
Emperor Palpatine’s twenty-year reign of terror came to an abrupt and fiery end in the skies above the forest moon of Endor. A decisive victory for the Rebel Alliance, to be sure, but even with the loss of its leadership, the Empire’s Moffs and regional governors retained their hold on important systems from the Core to the Outer Rim, thanks to the might of the Imperial Starfleet. Now, with a power vacuum atop the Empire, those Moffs will jockey for position and control, and the heroes of the Rebel Alliance will soon discover that a wounded and fractious Empire may be more dangerous than any threat they faced before!
Marvel is keeping the story details under wraps, but the Disney-owned publisher announced last spring that writer Greg Rucka (The Punisher) created the script for Shattered Empire. Veteran artist Marco Checchetto (Avenger’s World, Spider-Man) provided the artwork, and Phil Notto did the cover art.
Jordan D. White, Marvel’s editor for the series, said, “The world has been wondering what happened after the fall of the Empire since the credits first rolled on Return of the Jedi in 1983. Now, on the dawn of the next chapter of the saga, we’re incredibly proud to be involved in revealing the events that happen immediately following the end of Return of the Jedi!”
As Entertainment Weekly’s Jonathan Dornbush reported this week, Shattered Empire and Lucas Books’ other Journey to The Force Awakens titles are not the only connections between the Classic and Sequel Trilogies. Electronic Arts’ new Star Wars Battlefronts game will allow players to take part in the Battle of Jakku via downloadable content.