Marvel Comics Editor Jordan D. White is keeping busy this fall, and its not just his work on Deadpool causing that to happen.
When you’re tasked with shepherding three separate Star Wars comics and ensuring the license’s return to Marvel Entertainment nearly 30 years since Star Wars No. 107 was published, ending the original series’ 10-year run that started with the release of A New Hope in cinemas, it’s only natural to have a lot to do.
The work White is doing as editor on the new books — Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: Princess Leia — is remarkably similar to the publisher’s other titles, yet he and the creative teams are not just crafting new tales set between Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, they are engaging in and becoming part of something far more vast in scope, taking the first steps of creating canon for a saga whose reach is global and evergreen.
“All the same duties I do as the editor of my other books I do also on the Star Wars books, it’s just a matter of then having to do more. So, just like on Deadpool, I will talk with Jason, Kieron and Mark about what their story ideas are, and work with them on drafts of those stories to get them as good as they can be,” he told Coffee With Kenobi in an email recently.
“Then, when on Deadpool I would simply give the book to an artist, on Star Wars I submit it to Lucasfilm. Naturally, Star Wars is their baby, and they get the final say on what we can do, and how we do it. It makes the process a longer one than a typical comic would be, but it’s not hugely different in the actual work.”
White said the work on the titles is progressing steadily and there is a learning process as they head toward their debut starting in January with Star Wars (written by Jason Aaron and drawn by John Cassaday), followed by Star Wars: Darth Vader (written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Salvador Larroca with covers by Adi Granov) in February, then the five-issue mini-series Star Wars: Princess Leia (written by Mark Waid and drawn by Terry Dodson) in March.
“Ideally, over time, I will get a better sense of what they want us to be doing, and they will get a better sense of what we’re looking to do. The more books we do, the more I am sure those will synch up and the easier the entire collaboration will be.”
The complete details of the three titles are still being kept under wraps, though all three will be set in about the same time. White said Marvel chose to focus on the time after the Battle of Yavin and before the invasion of Hoth because it’s the so-called “sweet spot” for the saga.
“It’s all the iconic characters at their peaks. Luke is a new hero still finding his way. Han has just turned from scoundreldom to the rebellion. Leia has just lost her planet and is coming into her own. Vader is the biggest bad guy out there and on their trail,” he said.
The timing was also a nod to Marvel’s own history, too, he said, noting that “… there is something that seemed right to kick things off where it all began, just after the original Star Wars film. That’s where Marvel started with Star Wars back in the 70s, and as we’re helping kick off a new era of Star Wars continuity — with the change from ‘extended universe’ to a new official canon — it seemed like the best place to launch.”
Whether the other eras of the story will be explored, that remains to be seen, though it goes without saying there is a rich timeline to be mined, should the situation warrant.
“As for other eras, yeah, that is one of the great parts about Star Wars, there are so many terrific points in their history we can explore,” White said.
“With these first series, we wanted to stick all in the same era in order to create the sort of inter-connected universe feel we get between Marvel books,” he said. “But I am certain we’re going to be turning to those other eras in future series. “Heck — I know for a fact we’re working on at least one of those … but we’re not ready to announce it just yet.”
Marvel is mum, for now, but with New York Comic scheduled for Oct. 9-12, there is always the possibility of new details and reveals. It’s vast universe that Star Wars calls home and the Empire is spread out across many systems and there’s so much more story to be developed, embraced and implemented, too.
Matt Moore has been perpetrating journalism since 1985, reveling in Star Wars since 1977 and reading comics since 1974.
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