New 'Star Wars' Comic Arc Gives Luke Skywalker A Significant Connection To 'Rogue One'

Even though Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was Lucasfilm's first attempt at telling a standalone story set in the Star Wars universe, the narrative within is quite integral to what happens in the rest of the saga. Without the actions of the Rebels who sacrificed their lives to obtain the plans to the original Death Star, the Empire might never have suffered such a critical blow. Now we'll get to see that Jyn Erso and her Rebel friends had even more influence than we realized.

Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm, Marvel has taken over the comic book side of Star Wars stories, everything has been tied into the official canon. Whether it's the series focusing on Poe Dameron or the series focusing on Lando Calrissian, they're all officially part of the larger Star Wars universe, and an upcoming story arc in the Star Wars comics will help connect the events of Rogue One with the heroes from the original Star Wars trilogy a little more directly.

The previous run of Star Wars comics take place between Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, with writer Jason Aaron and his various artists filling in some of the time gap. But much of that series focused on the aftermath of the events of A New Hope, evading the Empire, and Luke Skywalker discovering more about his Jedi abilities. However, there hasn't been much focus on Luke's relationship with the Rebellion, as writer Kieron Gillen (who is working with artist Salvador Larroca for a new run beginning with Issue #38) points out in an interview with Comic Book Resources:

"With Jason, we've seen a lot about the Jedi. The primary narrative of that run was about Luke trying to develop his powers and become a Jedi. Luke has become about as good as he can be — we saw how good he was in Empire, so we can't make much more progress there. What we can explore is Luke's relationship with the Rebellion. We can show him within the ranks and doing things like assembling squadrons."

In this exploration of Luke's relationship with the Rebellion, we'll see the Jedi find out about what happened to one of the holiest places for the ancient order, and Leia has to come to terms with some devastation that hits her on a personal level too. Gillen explains:

"Because the run has more of a military tone than Jason's run I thought the best way to start that was by coming off the back of Rogue One which was more of a war movie take on the Star Wars universe. So we're kind of starting with a smaller story explicitly integrating with and exposing the New Hope characters to everything that happened in Rogue One. We're going to the post apocalyptic wasteland that was left after the Empire blew a hole in Jedha and removed one of the holiest sites there. That's great for all of our characters.

We're taking Leia to a planet that was shot by the Death Star. For a survivor of Alderaan that's everything. Then Luke is searching for the spirituality of the Jedi and he's taken to a big hole where their holiest site used to be. That's an enormous visual that expresses the problem that Luke is facing. [Laughs] What he's looking for isn't there anymore."

However, just because Jedha City has been destroyed doesn't mean there isn't plenty for Luke to learn there. Kieron Gillen explains that there are still people nearby, even if the city has been destroyed:

"The Rogue One crew survived it, so there's a good chance others did as well. Also, Jedha City wasn't the only settlement on the planet. Those other settlements though are in shall we say . . . a pretty poor state right now.

There are reasons why the Empire thinks it needs to go back to Jedha. They took all the Khyber Crystals from the planet and now they're coming back for something else. That's prompted what would be best described as a neo-partisan movement. Some people are trying to carry on in the spirit of Saw Gerrera."

That will be the beginning of Luke discovering the story of Jyn Erso and all that we saw unfold in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gillen continues:

"Through that we get people like Luke discovering everything that allowed him to get into a position to destroy the Death Star. He finds out about Jyn Erso and all the people who sacrificed their lives to give him the chance to be a hero. As you can imagine, that's going to hit Luke hard.

When I saw Rogue One I immediately thought, "I wonder what Luke makes of all this? I wonder what Leia makes of it?" Now I'm in a position where I get to write that."

The Star Wars comics have done a fine job of telling new stories with familiar heroes that fill the gaps between the movies. It will be very interesting to see how the events of Rogue One have an impact on our heroes. It might even change how we view these characters when we rewatch the original Star Wars trilogy.