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Top 20 Star Wars Graphic Novels, Part 1 of 4

Ever since the news broke out on October 30th about Walt Disney’s acquisition of George Lucas’ Lucasfilm company Star Wars, there’s also begun speculation about the future of Star Wars license at Dark Horse Comics, where it’s been a staple of their line of comic books since 1991. Will Star Wars be published now by Disney’s own comic book publisher, Marvel Comics (who originally had the license from 1977-1986), or will it remain at Dark Horse Comics? Only time will tell. In the meantime, in this four-part series, we’re going to take a look at my 20 personal favorite Star Wars graphic novels/series published by Dark Horse Comics.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

20) Star Wars: Vector.
Celeste Morne is a Jedi Knight of the Old Republic who is in possession of, and possibly possessed by, the powerful Muur Talisman created by the Sith. The first ever Star Wars crossover that spans for generations, it crossed over in the pages of the then-ongoing series Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Times, Rebellion, and Legacy as Celeste encounters Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Cade Skywalker as Celeste tries to undo the curse of the Sith amulet before the galaxy is destroyed. It’s a crossover – something that has never happened before in Star Wars comic books that bridged the characters across thousands of years.
     Vol. 1. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-226-0.
     Vol. 2. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-227-7.

19) Star Wars: The Crimson Empire Saga. 2012. 504 pp. 978-1-59582-947-4.Crimson Empire
Emperor Palpatine’s Royal Guard were known as one of the most formidable soldiers to serve the Empire and Kir Kanos was one of the most loyal to him. When Carnor Jax – a fallen guard – betrays the brotherhood of the guard and the order is disolved, Kir Kanos is the last loyal Imperial Royal Guard and all that stands in the way of a madman who has betrayed the Empire.

18) The Clone Wars Adventures / Star Wars Adventures /The Clone Wars

The Clone Wars Adventures books are based on the animated style of the original Clone Wars animated micro-series that aired between 2003-2005. Though Star Wars comic books can be accessible for younger readers from the get-go, the series was designed specifically towards younger readers. The stories are short, dynamic, and great for Star Wars fans young and old.

The Clone Wars Adventures:
Clone Wars Adventures

     Vol. 1. 2004. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-243-8.
     Vol. 2. 2004. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-271-1.
     Vol. 3. 2005. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-307-7.
     Vol. 4. 2005. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-402-9.
     Vol. 5. 2006. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-483-8.
     Vol. 6. 2006. 96 pp. 978-1-59307-567-5.
     Vol. 7. 2007. 80 pp. 978-1-59307-678-8.
     Vol. 8. 2007. 80 pp. 978-1-59307-680-1.
     Vol. 9. 2007. 80 pp. 978-1-59307-832-4.
     Vol. 10. 2007. 80pp. 978-1-59307-878-2

The series continued with Star Wars Adventures to feature stories featuring the Original Trilogy characters including Han, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett. 

Star Wars Adventures
     Star Wars Adventures
     Vol. 1: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya
. 2009. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-198-0.
     Vol. 2: Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom. 2009. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-147-8.
     Vol. 3: Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes. 2010. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-347-2.
     Vol. 4: The Will of Darth Vader. 2010. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-435-6.
     Vol. 5: Boba Fett and the Ship of Fear. 2011. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-436-3.
     Vol. 6: Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands. 2012. 72 pp. 978-1-59582-764-7.

The Clone Wars

Simultaneously Dark Horse Comics has released a Clone Wars series as well that ties into the current animated series that is currently in its fifth season on the Cartoon Network. The stories feature the same cast from the animated series, including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ashoka Tano, Captain Rex, and even the returned Darth Maul.
Clone Wars
     The Wind Raiders of Taloraan. 2009. 96 pp. 978-1-59582-231-4.
     Slaves of the Republic. 2009. 144 pp. 978-1-59582-349-6.
     The Colossus of Destiny. 2009. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-416-5.
     In the Service of the Republic. 2010. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-487-5.
     Hero of the Confederacy. 2010. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-552-0.
     Deadly Hands of Shon-Ju. 2010. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-545-2.
     The Star Crusher. 2011. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-714-2.
     Strange Allies. 2011. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-766-1.
     The Enemy Within. 2012. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-845-3.
     The Sith Hunters. 2012. 80 pp. 978-1-59582-949-8.
     Defenders of the Lost Temple. 2013. 978-1-61655-058-5.

17) Star Wars Omnibus: Quinlan Vos – Jedi in Darkness. 2010. 504 pp. 978-1-59582-555-1.
Quinlan Vos
Set during the period of the prequel trilogy, Quinlan Vos has always skirted into the grey areas of the Jedi ways. Plagued by amnesia and tempted by the Dark Side of the Force, the Jedi must try to find his role in a galaxy that is deadly, dark, and evil. I’ll cut to the chase here: Any Star Wars comic book written by John Ostrander and co-written and illustrated by Jan Duursema is fantastic. Filled with a colorful cast of well-rounded characters and tied in directly with the events from the prequel trilogy, it’s a wonderful treat for Star Wars fans with plenty of action and intrigue and one of the best Jedi characters ever created in the comic books.

16) Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Endgame. 2006. 144 pp. 978-1-59307-553-8.
Though the entire Clone Wars series published by Dark Horse Comics released prior to the new animated series is very well done, my personal favorite is the final volume – Endgame. The series takes place during and after the Order 66 purge of the Jedi and features the final fate of Jedi Master Quinlan Vos. The highlight of the book, though, is the concluding story, called Purge. Many Star Wars fans wanted to see at the end of Revenge of the Sith a Darth Vader in full armor taking on the last of the Jedi in his prime. We never saw that. This book gives us exactly what we wanted, and it’s good to be so bad. Other Purge comic books have been published by Dark Horse, so I’m confident a new collection of this series will eventually be printed in a graphic novel format.

We’ll continue the next five titles in our next edition. In the meantime, May the Force Be With You!

Mike Pawuk About Mike Pawuk

Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006 and is working on a followup to his book.

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