If you've been reading Marvel Comics canonical Star Wars series, you know it begins just moments after the end of A New Hope as the Rebellion is still celebrating their victory over the Empire. Now, 38 issues later, Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca are beginning a new arc that will steer the storyline towards The Empire Strikes Back. The series will soon explain how and why the Rebellion settles on Hoth for their new base. What's more, upcoming storylines will borrow from elements of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, offering some interesting development opportunities for the central heroes. Gillen explains:
This is just as much about the rise of Luke, Han, and to a slightly different degree Leia. By the time we meet up with Han in Empire you've got Leia saying that he's a born leader of men. That means he's been leading men! He's called Han Solo, Solo being the key word, but he's been in a position of authority at some point.
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca are no strangers to Star Wars comics. They previously teamed for the critically-acclaimed Darth Vader series that initially ran parallel to the main Star Wars title's first 25 issues. With their first arc on Star Wars proper, Gillen and Larroca will bring Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie to the remains of Jedha, the holy world of the Jedi Order that was obliterated by the Death Star in Rogue One. Gillen tells CBR that the journey is one that will be particularly resonant for Leia. After all, the Princess' homeworld of Alderaan was itself destroyed by the Empire's ultimate weapon. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker will learn of the specific sacrifice of Jyn Erso and the others that gave their lives to ensure that the Death Star plans made it into the hands of the Rebellion.
Following the Jedah arc, Kieron Gillen teases a follow-up Star Wars adventure that will look into the Rebellion's military strategies, promising a glimpse at the movement's high command. The writer reminds us that this is a particularly good time for the Rebellion. Morale following the destruction of the Death Star is at an all-time high, and the Empire is grappling with the loss of a weapon into which they had invested 20 years of development.
Also teased for the future of Marvel's Star Wars is the return of Queen Trios of Shu-Toran, introduced during Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's Darth Vader run. Made a vassal by the Empire in the earlier book, Trios will be seen serving as a civilian expert for the Imperial forces. Don't expect any direct crossovers with Gillen's other current Star Wars book, Doctor Aphra, however. The author says that his Darth Vader spinoff book will be charting a very different upcoming course through a galaxy far, far away.
As far as expanded continuity goes, Marvel has been doing an incredible job with their Star Wars line and these upcoming storylines sound like they're going to be no different. The biggest concern Marvel should be having right now is in not moving too quickly through the mythology. With the new canon firmly establishing some timeline specifics, it's going to get harder and harder to find ways to squeeze new stories into the gaps.
It's not just on the printed page that the Star Wars universe is expanding. Stay up to date with the latest big screen developments from a galaxy far, far away with our guide to upcoming Star Wars movies.