Why so many fans are turning to Star Wars publishing for comfort

Star Wars The High Republic: Quest for the Hidden City by George Mann. Image courtesy Chelsea Tatham Zukowski
Star Wars The High Republic: Quest for the Hidden City by George Mann. Image courtesy Chelsea Tatham Zukowski /

Star Wars began as a film franchise. It has since further expanded into TV shows, television shorts, and more. While books and comics have been around for decades, more and more fans are gravitating toward them for comfort — and for good reasons.

The biggest and possibly the most obvious catalyst for more fans leaning into books and comics is that on-screen Star Wars storytelling is once again slowing down. While we’re not seeing any decades-long gaps in movies or TV anytime soon, the future of movies is uncertain. And streaming seems to be struggling at the moment in terms of reliability — after Ahsoka, for example, there’s no telling when the next Star Wars show is expected to drop on Disney+. There is no roadmap for 2024 or beyond, with significant gaps more probable than ever.

For those who prefer consistency, Star Wars publishing is possibly the most reliable form of Star Wars at the moment. New comics are released almost weekly with more than one series ongoing simultaneously. Novels are being released nearly every month, and then there are other reference books, manga, activity books, and even cookbooks always on the horizon.

These stories, while they may attract a more niche audience, offer a wider variety of media to choose from due to their volume alone. Fans can explore The High Republic, or revisit that wild stretch of time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. There are stories about Inquisitors, about Nightsisters — if you like a specific character, era, or theme in Star Wars, there is something in the publishing medium that caters specifically to you.

Star Wars publishing has also become known for being the most diverse storytelling medium across the franchise. Its representation of marginalized characters — created and written by the underrepresented voices fans hunger for in a galaxy far, far away — far surpasses the movies and shows that often leave minorities out of the equation completely.

Star Wars books especially have also largely begun moving away from the “heroes must die at the end” trope that has been heavily present in the franchise over the past decade. Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars (Sam Maggs, 2023) and Path of Vengeance (Cavan Scott, 2023) could have easily sacrificed some of their major players to pack a more forceful punch. But not doing so hit even harder, reminding fans that Ben Solo’s demise at the end of The Rise of Skywalker may have served as a turning point in Star Wars storytelling; just because someone does something bad does not mean their redemption has to result from a fatal sacrifice.

Not everyone wants to consume books (in physical, digital, or audio form) or comics as their main Star Wars fix. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is a multimedia franchise where there is a form of storytelling for anyone who wants to enjoy it. Books and comics are popular among Star Wars fans — that does not mean they’re the best or only way to experience a galaxy far, far away.

But there is comfort in being able to see stories evolve. It’s much easier to see in books and comics. These stories just keep coming with no signs of stopping, and more people cans ee themselves on the page than on the small or big screens at this point.

There’s no pressure to read if you don’t want to. But there are valuable reasons many fans have started their reading journeys in recent years. It’s a special medium of Star Wars storytelling, and it’s only going to get better from here.

Next. Ahsoka may have answered the mystery about Yoda’s species. dark

Follow Dork Side of the Force for all your Star Wars news, reviews, and more!