Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 Preview


On September 2nd, the most anticipated Star Wars comic series of the year debuts with its first issue! Star Wars: Shattered Empire promises new characters, new worlds, and, more importantly, a new era as the first canon story to explore the years following the events of Return of the Jedi.

Yesterday, we got a look at the first three, still unfinished pages of Shattered Empire #1. Today, we have the pages, fully drawn and colored, with stunning artwork by the series’s artist, Marco Checchetto. Check them out below.

From Marvel’s press release, here is the synopsis for the series, which will introduce us to a new main female character.

"High above the forest moon of Endor, the Rebel Alliance makes their desperate last stand against the might of the Empire. Though they are successful in the destruction of the second Death Star, the Empire is far from beaten. Now, follow Shara Bey, an A-Wing pilot in the Rebel Fleet in the days following the Battle of Endor. Though their super weapon has been destroyed, Shara will discover that just how dangerous and unpredictable a shattered Empire can be!"

From’s interview with the writer on Shattered Empire, Greg Rucka, we learned that Shara Bey serves in the Rebel Alliance with her husband, Kes, who is a ground trooper. Both were described as veterans of the Rebellion, but it doesn’t appear that they’ll be getting a break from the action anytime soon. As the synopsis hints, the Empire far from being destroyed. Though they are wounded, that may only make them more dangerous.

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I love Checchetto’s work in these first pages. It’s sweeping and colorful, and beautifully stylized. I also notice that, while it shows Luke Skywalker’s battle with Vader, it does not show anything about how Anakin Skywalker killed the Emperor, or how Luke saved his father’s body from the crumbling Second Death Star. I’m wondering if that was on purpose, to sort of symbolize how people like Shara Bey, who is the main protagonist in this Shattered Empire, don’t know about Vader’s sacrifice, or how he became a good man again before he died. It would make for a sort of sad symbolism, including the only scene of Luke on the Death Star that most people would hear about and assume happened. Vader is someone many would rather forget than be forced to hail as a hero.

It was also revealed during the interview with Rucka that Luke, Leia, Han, and other classic characters, though key to the era and the events surrounding them, will not be major players in this series. It was also revealed that the series would only last four issues, in which Rucka is hopeful he captured the emotional experience inherent in Star Wars in Shara Bey.

Marco Checchetto’s variant cover for Shattered Empire #1

"“When Luke screams at the end of Empire, ‘No!’, that is a primal agony. You have to be an exceptional cynic to laugh at Hamill’s performance there…That’s a heart ripping open. That’s an emotion that is so honest and so true. When Star Wars is at its best, it carries that… I don’t know if I can ever touch that level of resonance and truth, but again, I want to honor that it exists. Shara Bey may be a pilot you never met before, but her emotions, her concerns, what she does, what she believes, are real. If I can convey that successfully then we’ll have a good story.”"

I’m really looking forward to what Rucka has to offer to the Star Wars universe, mainly because of the quote above. He clearly understands how Star Wars works inherently, how it can express raw emotions and make the result come out gracefully. I’m excited to see what he does with Shara Bey and Kes, and how he conveys the state of the galaxy following the Emperor’s death. It’s going to be an exciting ride.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 debuts in comic book stores on September 2nd.

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