The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire variant cover from Mike Deodato for Comic*Pop Collectibles

The Galaxy Doesn’t Know

A huge part of the galaxy hasn’t even heard that Emperor Palaptine is dead. Illustrator Marco Chechetto says:

“Who controls the airwaves? The Empire does. So, the Rebellion can be jumping up and down, and screaming at the top their lungs, ‘Palpatine is dead!’ But I guarantee you, that message didn’t reach 70 percent of the galaxy. It’s a rumor. It’s a whisper.”

The word seemed to spread pretty quickly to Naboo, Corsucant, Bespin and Tatooine in the victory montage in Return of the Jedi, but there’s a whole galaxy out there, so this is an interesting piece of information in how the Empire continues to incite fear and thrive in other parts of the galaxy.

Star Wars Shattered Empire

We Visit New Worlds

As much as the Empire may be reinvigorated to fight until the last man, there’s also an increase in support for the Rebels too. Rucka explains:

We see, at the beginning of issue 2, the Alliance aiding in the liberation of a capitol city on a new world. Not a world we’ve visited in the films. We see there, a hint that the Empire has no intention of going quietly into that dark night. One assumes that there’s an uptick in support for the Alliance: people who are now willing to take up arms with the news that they [blew up the Death Star], the Emperor’s gone. ‘This is our chance.’ But by the same token, the Empire now has to double down. They cannot risk not defending what they hold with all their power, because they’ve got to know how tenuous their position is in these first couple of weeks after Endor.

Shattered Empire is the beginning of the end of the Rebellion, almost like an inverse of Star Wars Rebels in some way, “Rebels shows a canon tonality to the beginning of the beginning of the Rebellion. And if we look at Endor as the end of the beginning of the Rebellion, which, I think, is probably the smarter way to look at it, then that is a natural progression.”

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Luke Skywalker’s Power

The extent of Luke Skywalker‘s power after Return of the Jedi has been discussed, and we might see him show some new strength in Shattered Empire. Again, it was Star Wars Rebels that brought the Story Group to ask and answer some questions:

“We were having a discussion about what’s Luke’s power level post-Jedi, and is it comparable to Vader kicking the snot out of Kanan and Ezra? You drop these proto-chicken walkers on him, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s not gonna work, either.’ [Laughs] Can Luke do that? Is Luke at that power level? The Story Group is incredible. They are really smart, passionate people, and have clearly put thought into it. So, we’re talking about it, and [they said] ‘Well, maybe this, but not that. We’ve never seen this — maybe you can do this with Luke.’”

Star Wars Shattered Empire

Familiar Faces and Old Friends

The series will focus on Shara and Kes, but we’ll see familiar faces popping up, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. But they won’t be in starring roles. Rucka says:

“This could never be, as much as I wish I could’ve written, and would’ve loved to have written, the story of, ‘We’re gonna follow Luke for four issues after Return of the Jedi.’ That was never what my mandate here was. But, with that in mind, we see Luke, we see Leia, we see Lando, we see Han, we see Chewie. We see what they are doing, and while the stories are not about them — they’re about Shara Bey — the stories link.”

Sometimes we’ll follow Shara and Kes as they’re “only incidentally in the path of the principals” but then other times they’ll work closely with some of the characters we love.

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Leia’s Mommy and Daddy Issues

Some things have happened between characters that we may not necessarily know about, but the writers have assumed have already happened in the Star Wars universe. For example, Leia has some knowledge of who her mother, Padme Amidala, was in the past, by way of Mon Mothma. As Leia begins to come to terms with the fact that Darth Vader is her father, she starts questioning people who have been around since the beginning of the Empire. Rucka explains:

“That leads, inevitably, and it doesn’t have to be a big moment, to her going, ‘Wait a second,’ and that scene where she’s got to turn [to Mon Mothma] and say, ‘You were there. She was your friend. Who was she? I want to know.’ That’s a hidden scene. Someday, somebody will write that scene. That scene is not in Shattered Empire. There is an insinuation that that scene has occurred. I tried very hard to respect the canon and the logical extrapolations of it.”

And More

There’s some pretty good details here on what we can expect from this new series, and how it will begin to fill the 30-year gap that exists between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. It’s just the beginning of the stories that can be told in this time period, but we’re going to get plenty more as the Star Wars universe begins to expand exponentially and quickly.

For more information on other events in the Star Wars universe following Return of the Jedi, head over here to find out what we know about another Journey to The Force Awakens installment, the novel Star Wars Aftermath. Stay tuned for more soon.

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