Star Wars has added a tremendous amount of content to the canon in recent years. While the films receive the most attention from audiences, the comics are also telling fascinating stories, many of which enhance the films. The comics have been able to fill in the gaps between films, especially between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Comics have introduced new characters, explored essential backstories, and even answered long-standing questions fans have debated for years. So many intriguing stories and personalities have emerged through the comics, with this list focusing on some of the best developments.
Pilot your favorite ship from a galaxy far, far away as we explore Star Wars: 10 Things The Comics Added To The Canon.
10 Doctor Aphra
Rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra is arguably the most popular and compelling new character in the comics. Her story began when she was recruited by Darth Vader - in his own comic series - soon after the Battle of Yavin. She's since gone on to have her own comic series, featuring more of her own adventures with her "murderbot" sidekicks and ally Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan.
Aphra was conceived as the archaeological antithesis of Indiana Jones, a quirky, resourceful, and sometimes morally ambiguous character who's teamed up with both Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker at different points in the comics in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. She's a character fans are always eager to see more of, who will hopefully one day be featured in a Star Wars television show or film.
9 Darth Vader Learns Luke Is His Son
Darth Vader saying "No, I am your father" to Luke Skywalker is one of the greatest plot twists in cinematic history. When you actually think about it, though, it didn't make much sense that Vader knew Luke was his son given that he was led to believe Padmé died before giving birth. In the comics, when Vader hired Boba Fett to track down the Rebel pilot who blew up the first Death Star, the bounty hunter only managed to bring back his target's name: Skywalker.
Vader put the pieces together and realized this Force-sensitive boy was the son he never realized he had and vowed the boy would be his. This moment not only discovers how Vader learned the truth, but it also serves as the catalyst for much of Vader's arc in The Empire Strikes Back.
8 Poe Dameron's Parents Were Heroes In The Battle Of Endor
Poe Dameron is one of the main characters of the sequel trilogy, but those who only watch the films don't know much about his parents or how they influenced his commitment to the Resistance. Both of Poe's parents were in the Rebel Alliance and fought heroically in the Battle of Endor. His mother Shara Bey was an A-Wing Pilot who flew with Green Squadron in the attack against the second Death Star.
Poe's father Kes Dameron was among the special strike force led by Han Solo to destroy the second Death Star's deflector shield. Both survived the Battle of Endor and continued in their fight against the Empire, with both of them helping to combat Operation: Cinder. Shara even aided Luke Skywalker in a mission to save Force-sensitive tree fragments.
7 Palpatine Used Maul As Bait To Kill Mother Talzin
The Son of Dathomir comic told the story of what happened after Palpatine took Maul captive in season 5 of The Clone Wars, an arc that was meant for the show before it was canceled. With the help of Count Dooku and General Grievous, Palpatine created a series of events in which Maul escaped from captivity. It was all a ploy to use Maul as bait in order to get to Mother Talzin and kill her.
Clan Mother of Dathomir's Nightsisters, Talzin was a rare individual whose powers Palpatine actually feared. Using her son as bait, though, Palpatine was able to eliminate his rival, with General Grievous delivering the killing blow to Talzin. The arc explains why Palpatine let Maul live after confronting him in The Clone Wars and makes Maul's story even more tragic.
6 Captain Phasma Killed Agents Of The First Order
For those disappointed by Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, the Captain Phasma comic should be given a read as it actually does the character justice. The story takes place in the short period between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, with Phasma freeing herself from Starkiller Base's trash compactor, and framing a First Order lieutenant for bringing down the planetary shields. She escaped Starkiller Base before it exploded and pursued the lieutenant she framed.
Phasma killed the lieutenant and a First Order pilot who aided in her mission, eliminating anyone who could reveal that it was actually Phasma who lowered Starkiller Base's planetary shields. This tale not only explains how Phasma escaped the trash compactor and found herself still with a position of power in the First Order despite her betrayal, but it also helped cement that Phasma's loyalties are only to herself, and not to the First Order.
5 Obi-Wan Rescued A Young Luke From Jabba's Thugs
When Luke returned to Tatooine in the Skywalker Strikes Back comics set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, he discovered the Journal of Ben Kenobi. Luke learned about what Obi-Wan was up to in his many years spent on Tatooine. One of the most notable stories was when Obi-Wan saved a young Luke from thugs working for Jabba the Hutt.
First, Obi-Wan stopped Jabba's thugs from extorting the Lars family, but they'd still taken water from other moisture farmers. He sensed young Luke going to confront the thugs in order to get the water and return it to the farmers. Using the Force, Obi-Wan knocked out of all Jabba's henchmen and saved Luke before they could hurt him. It was done in a way that neither Luke nor the henchmen would know who intervened.
4 Leia Defended Her Mother's Homeworld
Fans who wanted a story that further connected Leia and her mother Padmé got their wish in the Shattered Empire comics. Leia went to Padmé's homeworld of Naboo as part of a diplomatic mission to restore the Senate and build the New Republic. While there, the planet was unexpectedly targeted by the Empire's brutal Operation: Cinder. Leia helped lead the defense of the planet.
Not only did she help form a plan to save Naboo, but Leia actually flew an N-1 Starfighter in order to destroy the Imperial satellites. Leia flew alongside Poe Dameron's mother Shara Bey and even saved her at one point during the battle. Padmé would've been proud to see her daughter using her leadership to defend Naboo.
3 Yoda's Lightsaber Was Publicly Destroyed
The mystery of what happened to Yoda's lightsaber after his duel with Palpatine was revealed at the beginning of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comics. Yoda's lightsaber was recovered after the duel and was publicly destroyed along with many other lightsabers. Citizens of Coruscant watched as Grand Vizier Mas Amedda decried the Jedi and their "oppressive" weapons.
Palpatine and Darth Vader watched the destruction of the lightsabers as well, with Palpatine telling Vader that he couldn't just give his apprentice the lightsaber of Yoda or another Jedi. Vader would need to build his own lightsaber and color the kyber crystal red with his rage.
2 Hera Syndulla Helped Save The Rebellion On Hoth
Audiences primarily know Hera Syndulla from her adventures on Star Wars Rebels, but she continued to be a key player in the Rebellion during the Galactic Civil War. Hera appeared on Hoth in the Forces of Destiny - Leia comic issue, participating in a mission alongside Leia and Han Solo to retrieve parts to repair the power generators.
Without Hera's help, the Rebellion wouldn't have been able to repair the generators that allowed them to survive on the inhospitable planet and live to fight another day. With Hera also playing a role in the Battle of Endor, it's fascinating to see how she continued to impact the galaxy beyond the story of Rebels.
1 Poe Dameron's Mission After The Last Jedi
The last issue of the Poe Dameron comic series gave audiences their first look at the galaxy after The Last Jedi. Picking up with the Resistance survivors aboard the Millennium Falcon, the story follows Poe on a mission to save Snap Wexley and the Resistance's Black Squadron. It explains where Snap Wexley and Black Squadron were during The Last Jedi, how Wexley will be able to return for The Rise of Skywalker, and - more importantly - it reveals Poe blending his heroics and newfound leadership in the right way.
Instead of being a hotshot pilot, it's about proving to the galaxy that no one in the Resistance gets left behind, showing that the Poe is living by what he learned about leadership in The Last Jedi, and setting the stage for him to be an even more important and qualified Resistance leader in The Rise of Skywalker.
What other awesome things have the Star Wars comics added to the canon? Let us know in the comments!