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Luke Skywalker surrounded by Imperial droids

Part of what’s so cool about the Star Wars canon is the ways in which the ancillary materials beyond the films serve to further flesh out and expand the story, drawing interesting connections that like the Force itself, bind everything together. A new issue of Marvel’s mainline Star Wars comic series connects Luke Skywalker to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Chirrut Îmwe.

The Marvel Star Wars comic serves to fill in gaps in the story of the films by showing us what the characters were up to between the movies. Star Wars #71, from Greg Pak, Phil Noto and Clayton Cowles, covers some of the events that took place in the time after Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and before Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

This issue is part of the current “Rebels and Rogues” story arc that leads up to The Empire Strikes Back and it finds the heroes on the run from the Empire and trying to find a new location for a Rebel base. Luke Skywalker is trying to divert the imperials away from the rebels and this leads him to the inner rim world of Sergia. While trying to find information on the imperial scouts hunting the rebels, Luke meets a character named Warba (via CBR).

Warba is something of a junker and although she is not a Jedi, she is Force sensitive and has knowledge of the Force and shows some ability to harness it. Luke, not yet a Jedi at this point, believes he may be able to learn something from her. Warba teaches Luke about what priests with no Force abilities could accomplish on faith alone, highlighting what he can do with his abilities if he believes. She teaches Luke the mantra of the Guardians of the Whills: “I am one with the Force. And the Force is with me.”

If you’ll recall, this is the mantra Donnie Yen’s blind warrior Chirrut Îmwe recited in Rogue One as he marched untouched through a line of imperial fire. Upon his death, his friend, Wen Jiang’s Baze Malbus, who had lost his spirituality and belief in the Force, responded in kind. You can check that scene out in the video below:

In the comic, Luke Skywalker is filled with belief and purpose upon learning this mantra from Warba. He believes in his destiny to become a Jedi Knight and he single-handedly takes out the garrison of imperials they were there to rob. Warba totally tries to betray Luke later but the fact that she knew the mantra of the Guardians of the Whills is significant.

This Star Wars comic takes place after Rogue One but it shows that despite the deaths of Chirrut and Baze, this wacky religion still lives on in a way in the galaxy. Although Warba was not a Guardian of the Whills herself, she clearly learned it somewhere. Luke may be the last proper Jedi by the time Return of the Jedi rolls around, but the Force never went away and there are still those that believe in it during this time in the Saga.

It’ll be interesting to see if any of the upcoming movies or shows (perhaps the Cassian Andor Disney+ series?) will give us any more insight into the Guardians of the Whills and the people in the galaxy who are Force sensitive, but not formal Jedi.

We’ll next see Jedi on the big screen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the big movies coming this fall.

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