The Star Wars universe has been through numerous changes since Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012. Many of the changes were positive, but fans were disappointed to learn that with the new Star Wars films incoming, Disney was planning to wipe most of the universe's slate clean. The long-standing Star Wars Expanded Universe was no longer to be considered canon, instead relegated to Star Wars Legends. Disney has since taken on the task of rebuilding their Star Wars universe, focusing largely on the time period between A New Hope and The Force Awakens.
A large part of the universe building has taken place at Marvel Comics with the introduction of their new line of Star Wars comics. The books have proven extremely popular, topping the sales charts month after month, but they're also applauded for giving new insights into the lives of old characters. Books like Chewbacca gave the iconic co-pilot some much-appreciated spotlight, where Star Wars: Shattered Empire allowed a brief glimpse into the birth of the Republic.
USA Today revealed that Marvel Comics will be expanding their line of Star Wars comics, introducing a new ongoing series centered around Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. The series is going to launch in April 2016, written by Charles Soule with art by Phil Noto. The book will explore Dameron's time as an X-Wing pilot and why he came to be known as the best in the Resistance. Leading a secret mission given to him by General Leia Organa, Dameron will face off against a brand new villain from the First Order.
Soule and Noto are both veterans of Marvel's Star Wars comics, with Soule scripting both the completed Lando Calrissian miniseries and the recently released Obi-Wan and Anakin miniseries. Noto previously provided the artwork on the Chewbacca limited series.
Soule describes the upcoming series as Mission: Impossible starring Poe Dameron. He also went on to elaborate a bit on how he is treading new ground in the series.
"Sometimes it can feel like the 'Star Wars' universe is so well trodden and so many stories have already been told. But the way the 'Episode VII' galaxy is set up, there are opportunities for new archetypes almost, and the bad guy we're working with is going to feel fresh and cool."
Poe Dameron proved to be a favorite character in The Force Awakens, but there was little time in the film to explore the ace pilot's history. The previously released Shattered Empire provided a little insight into the Dameron family and the character's home world, but little about the character himself. Soule plans to change that, but it won't be done through flashbacks. Instead, he aims to explore the backstory through the character's relationships with others and his knowledge of the galaxy's history.
"It's silly not to explore the idea of a guy who grew up steeped in the Rebellion and the older Republic and all of those myths and legends. If you think about it, he grew up the way we did, hearing all of these stories."
Marvel's Star Wars comics have thus far avoided the majority of the time period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, largely to keep the film's plot and characters shrouded in mystery. Now that Episode VII is out in the world (and dominating the box office) Marvel is now free to expand their reach and help further establish the new continuity.
The introduction of new comics into the line can only benefit Star Wars fans. The most recent film introduced a lot of new characters into the universe, but there wasn't enough time to give them all the attention they deserved. Luckily, because the film's part of a growing universe, that can be remedied through these additional stories presented by Marvel. As they've done with the iconic characters of the Star Wars universe, the comics can provide new insight to the characters' histories and allow readers a greater appreciation of the characters when they return to the screen. Here is to hoping characters like Captain Phasma and FN-2199 get a similar treatment in the future.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron launches in April 2016.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will arrive in theaters on December 16th, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: USA Today