Star Wars Canon: A Galaxy Far, Far Away Explored Outside of the Live-Action Films — A Guest Blog by Neil Harrington
The Star Wars universe surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together — Well beyond the big screen.
For Star Wars junkies such as myself, the 10 live-action blockbuster films don’t entirely quench my thirst for a galaxy far, far away. In the words of Veruca Salt, “I want more!”
Thanks to the fantastic story group peeps at Lucasfilm; we have our wish — and more. In 2014, Lucasfilm established what is known today as the Star Wars canon.
For the first time in Galactic history, all the stories created within a galaxy far, far away are now compiled within one cohesive and uncontradictory timeline.
The only problem is knowing where to start, with loads and loads of amazing Star Wars material to choose from — from a variety of sources.
Comics. The animated realm. Novels. Short-stories. Also waiting on the horizon is a live-action television show. The list goes on and on.
What a time to be alive and Star Wars fan!
For many of you, the thought of consuming the extended Star Wars material must feel like exploring the Unknown Regions without a reliable compass. Your midichlorians are undoubtedly overwhelmed — you need a teacher, to guide your way.
Lucky for you, we have you covered on where to begin this epic journey known as the Star Wars canon material.
The best place to start is within your favorite Star Wars era (Prequels, Original Trilogy, Sequel Trilogy) or with your most beloved character(s). That’s how I, myself, conquered the fear of delving deep into the massive Star Wars canon universe.
Here are a handful of stories that I seem always to find my way back to, consuming them over and over again — followed by a full (chronological) list of the Star Wars canon timeline.
Don’t worry; I’ll keep it spoiler free.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Animated Series 2008-2014, 2018)
What began as a low-budget animated film bashed by film critics, Dave Filoni and George Lucas proved the haters wrong, creating perhaps the greatest story ever told within a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars provides much-needed depth to Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side of the Force, primarily through his relationship with his beloved Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano. Yes, Anakin Skywalker took on a learner of his own!
We also learn more about the Clonetroopers and obscure Jedi, that the films did not have time to flush out thoroughly.
Also, a (former) Sith Lord returns with solely vengeance on his mind, raking havoc across the galaxy. His arc is some of the best storytelling not only in Star Wars but television history.
Unfortunately, Lucas and Filoni were not able to finish what they started, with The Clone Wars ending well before they intended — due to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2014.
A few of the story arcs from The Clone Wars concluded within comics (Son of Dathomir) and novels (Dark Disciple), but many of the stories ended up on the cutting room floor. Until now.
Thank the Maker that The Clone Wars now lives on, with Filoni and company now given the opportunity to finish the fan-favorite show, which revives in 2019!
For now, you can binge watch The Clone Wars on Netflix, just in time for its epic return.
Darth Vader Comic Runs (2015 and 2017)
Can’t get enough of the Dark Lord of the Sith? Yeah, me neither. Explore two different eras of Darth Vader, first with the current run, Darth Vader (2017) — which picks up immediately where Revenge of the Sith leaves off.
Vader’s transition from Anakin Skywalker into the menacing Sith Lord we see in the Original Trilogy is a slow transformation, leaving you on the edge of your seat page after page.
Author Charles Soule takes his game to a whole new level, bringing us inside the mind and within the conflicted emotions of a young Darth Vader — with fragments of his former Jedi-self remaining.
Vader’s new Master, Darth Sidious, will stop at nothing to sniff out the remnants of Anakin Skywalker within his apprentice — ruthlessly schooling Vader in the ways of the Dark Side of the Force. Trecheary is the way of the Sith.
We also discover how the Inquisitorius came to be, and Vader’s struggle of adapting to his new role as a teacher of these Dark Side acolytes.
The most breathtaking moment of the comic so far is Vader visiting the volcanic world of Mustafar, where his transformation from Light to Dark officially began — and now continues, as he begins construction of his retreat on the fiery world.
Darth Vader (2015)
The Darth Vader (2015) comic run jumps ahead to the events immediately following Star Wars: A New Hope.
Vader is no longer the conflicted Sith Lord we see in the 2017 comic run, but is now the Sith Lord he always dreamed he would be — or so he thinks.
Darth Vader is the lone survivor of the Empire’s most significant defeat at the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the ultimate power in the universe, the Death Star. Now, he’s the only one to face the wrath of the Emperor’s rage. Seeds of betrayal are then planted within Vader, with his desire to overthrow his Master fueled by his hatred.
Meanwhile, Sith Lord must also deal with the ghosts of his past, that he thought were buried within the lava of Mustafar decades ago.
If you need even more of a Vader fix, read the novels Tarkin and Lords of the Sith, which adequately complement these fantastic comics quite well.
Star Wars Rebels (Animated Series 2014-2018)
For those of you with young children, this is the ideal place to start your Star Wars canon journey. With a Youth-7 TV rating, Star Wars Rebels is a family friendly show — while providing adults with enough maturity to stay tuned in.
Throughout the four seasons of Rebels, the show matures as its intended audience mature, while maintaining a balance within the Force — by not overshadowing the new characters with the more familiar Star Wars faces.
Learning from the Maker himself during his time with The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni is given the opportunity to lead the charge in creating Rebels.
When he left Lucas, he was but the learner, but now Filoni is the Master — the master of pure and gut-wrenching storytelling.
Cameos from Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Emperor Palpatine, and some of your Clone Wars favorites provide a perfect blend of the old and new.
Don’t let the Y-7 designation prevent you from watching Rebels. It’s an incredible journey, leading up to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope.
From A Certain Point of View (Novel compilation)
Journey through A New Hope like never before, with 40 compelling (short) stories from 40 marvelous authors. You’ll rediscover why you fell in love with this fantastic galaxy in the first place.
Each story is derived from the (certain) point of view of a variety of characters — some familiar, others more obscure.
Listen to the audiobook of From A Certain Point View to receive the full experience of this underrated Star Wars experience.
Are you now ready to dive into the Star Wars canon lore for the first time? Or like me, are you inspired to consume these stories over and over, once again?
Thanks to WallarooMedia.com, who compiled a list of every Star Wars canon story to date in one place, you can decide for yourself where to begin: https://wallaroomedia.com/star-wars-canon-timeline/
You are now taking your first step into a larger world, with the Force as your guide.
Remember, do not be intimated by the vast amount of content available. Start with your favorites and work your way slowly through each story, with the patience of a Jedi Master!
— Neil Harrington, @airforceneil3
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Coffee With Kenobi, its hosts, respective writers, or its affiliates.Powered by Sidelines