With the Star Wars: Rebels trade paperback collection, Dark Horse Comics has made a triumphant return to publishing Star Wars stories.
Star Wars: Rebels collects dozens of comic shorts previously published in Star Wars: Rebels Magazine and Star Wars: Rebels Animation magazine back when the series was airing on Disney XD. Specifically, the 504-page book collections #1-#35, #37, and #39 from Rebels Magazine and #1-#4 from Rebels Animation Magazine.
While these comics aren’t new, the stories haven’t really been collected or easily accessible before now, which makes this book particularly special. And it arrives at the perfect time in the ongoing Star Wars renaissance.
With the arrival of several live-action Star Wars TV shows focusing on the era of the Empire and the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance, fans are becoming hyperfocused on Rebels – the characters and the hit animated series from Dave Filoni.
Rebels, which aired four seasons in four years from 2014 to 2018, follows the crew of the Ghost on missions and adventures as they fight back against the oppressive Empire. Teen Ezra Bridger is a key protagonist who loses his parents and pursues Jedi training as the apprentice of Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi who survived Order 66.
The others in the Ghost crew include Hera Syndulla, an incredible pilot and future Rebel Alliance leader and hero, Mandalorian Sabine Wren, the brawny Zeb, and the sassiest, most chaotic droid there ever was, Chopper.
Each comic collected in the trade paperback from Dark Horse is short but perfectly paced, making breezing through the 504-page book pretty easy.
Some of the stories are adventurous jaunts set between events of series episodes, giving even more “screen time” to specific characters. There are comics showing Ezra continuing his Jedi training in patience and perspective as he and the crew foil Imperial plans and narrowly escape the clutches of Agent Kallus time and time again.
There are also stories filled with space pirates, creatures, and wannabe Jedi. Many of the comics are fun and somewhat lighthearted even as they show the crew’s fight against a fascist regime.
Other comics take on a more serious note and show the lengths the Rebellion and the Empire go to achieve their respective ends. Some are daring missions to rescue senators who are steadfast Imperials and barely register a “thank you” to the Rebels. One involves a shapeshifting alien who wreaks havoc aboard the Ghost, but in the end, is an important lesson for Ezra in showing compassion even to enemies.
Many of the comics are smaller-scale stories that pack the emotional punch Rebels is best known for. In “Sabotaged Supplies,” the Rebels serve food (that Zeb stole from the Empire) to hungry and needy citizens of Tarkintown on Lothal. It turns out that the Empire poisoned the stolen food, which made a lot of people very sick.
But even as Zeb embarks on a mission alone to steal the antidote, the crew proves once again that the Rebels are never alone.
Besides the Ghost crew, the collection is packed with new stories with fan-favorite characters like Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and a few glimpses of Darth Vader. There’s even a comic showing Saw Gerrera and his Partisans crew attacking an Imperial metal facility on Dooma 4. That story is the perfect action-packed ending to the entire Rebels comic collection.
Star Wars: Rebels is full of unique, captivating, and downright run storytelling. And many of these stories have never before been published in the U.S.
This collection of Ghost crew antics and adventures is perfect for all Rebels fans and adds a surprising amount of depth to the already expansive and out-of-this-world storytelling of the hit animated Star Wars series.
Star Wars: Rebels trade paperback collection from Dark Horse is available now through various retailers, including DarkHorse.com. Note that some retailers have the release date as Aug. 16, 2022, instead of Aug. 10.