Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #2
The destruction of Alderaan showed the power of the Death Star, but now the Star Wars comics show how Leia Organa eventually got revenge for her home planet in the new film trilogy.
Even if Star Wars fans don't know the name "Alderaan," they certainly know the planet. The first world to be totally obliterated in the Star Wars films, the act was meant to demonstrate the true evil and brutality of the Empire (and Grand Moff Tarkin's Death Star) to keep other worlds in line. Princess Leia channeled the horror of witnessing her homeworld's obliteration into the Rebellion against the Empire… but that wasn't the entire story.
A part of Alderaan managed to survived the destruction - and Leia used every bit of it to support the Resistance’s war against the First Order, descendants of the Empire.
The new wrinkle to Alderaan’s place in the canon comes in Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #2, when the pilot and his Black Squadron are sent to recover a priceless relic for Leia (prior to the start of The Force Awakens in the movie timeline). A relic that turns out to be one of the only pieces of Alderaan that survived the first full Death Star firing: the knowledge of its people.
When Leia opens up the package set to be sold to the First Order for a small fortune, even she can hardly believe that her suspicions proved accurate. The box contains what remains of "The Archives of The Great Library of Alderaan," the place where the very best literature and knowledge the people of Alderaan ever produced was kept safe. The accompanying flashback gives a brief glimpse of the Library itself, but focuses on Leia's time spent there with her adopted father, Bail Organa (played by Jimmy Smits in the prequel trilogy). One can only assume that Bail's devotion to these higher texts is what made him such an important founding member of the first Alliance to Restore The Galactic Republic.
Bail Organa's ability to sense when the Empire was preparing to strike may have been shared by the rest of his people, as Leia reveals that the priceless knowledge contained in the library began to be smuggled off-world, away from any potential Imperial occupation. When the planet was erased, their history went with it - until it landed squarely in Leia's lap.
And Leia knows exactly how to use it to best honor the dead.
Leia explains her plan to have all of the data copied, so that it may live on. She also intends to make good on the promise of sending Poe after something incredibly valuable: the physical archives, along with the box containing them will be priceless to any collector, as the last evidence of the Alderaanian people. With the credits, Leia will fund the Resistance as it seeks to defeat the First Order, inheritors of the Galactic Empire that killed her planet in the first place.
It's a poetic tale from Jody Houser and Andrea Broccardo, and this connection made between the old Star Wars story and the new isn't the only one the comic has to offer. When Poe Dameron and Han Solo secretly team up to get the item into Resistance hands, they also assume the “ancient” information contained within it is weapon-related, not The Archive of The Great Library of Alderaan. But when Han learns the truth, he knows Leia is the only person in the galaxy who would know what to do with it.
Now fans watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi can know that every laser cannon blast, and every bomb hurled by the Resistance exists because of Alderaan, keeping up the fight on behalf of its lost people. Leave it to General Leia Organa Solo to show how dangerous information can really be.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.