The Star Wars comics have become reliable sources of canon and semi-canon material, with more recent series filling in many of the gaps left by the franchise to date. From 2015, Marvel’s Star Wars line covered stories taking place after Episode IV, providing fans with details and general world-building to the events of that movie. Marvel are now relaunching the title in January with a series focusing on the aftermath of The Empire Strikes Back, including in its first issue what happened to Luke Skywalker after losing his hand in a duel with Darth Vader.
An official description for the first issue of the series details the dark place the heroes of the saga find themselves in at the end of Episode V, including Han’s capture and Luke learning the truth about his father’s fate from Darth Vader. The series then picks up on a new threat in Imperial Commander Zahra and their ship the Tarkin’s Will, which will set up a range of plots eventually linking in to Return of the Jedi.
In panels from Star Wars #1, available below, we see a title crawl that recaps the final moments of The Empire Strikes Back, including Luke’s hand being severed, his rejection of Darth Vader’s offer to join together, and his escape and rescue by the Millennium Falcon. The comic picks up with Luke beginning his recovery, apparently without his new hand yet, while the rest of the crew argue over what to do next.
This scene features Lando Calrissian initially rejecting the idea of trying to rescue Han Solo from Boba Fett, and being questioned on his loyalty after betraying the rebels to Darth Vader. We also get Lando learning why Luke was so important to risk rescue, and some nice comments about what else they lost on Cloud City, and how Han will most likely end up with Jabba the Hutt. While not adding much more to the end of the Empire Strikes Back, the scene fills the gap between Luke’s rescue and the sombre final shot of the rebels rejoining their fleet and watching Lando and Chewbacca depart.
It’ll be intriguing to see what the new Star Wars series can cover in terms of storylines between Episodes IV and V, which may include more details of Luke’s progress with the Force and what the rebels had to deal with before joining together to save Han. We’ll find out soon enough, too, as the first issue of the series is available on January 1st, 2020, with Charles Soule, Jesus Saiz, and RB Silva forming its creative team.