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For other uses, see Star Wars (disambiguation).

"Long ago in a galaxy far, far away... there exists a state of cosmic civil war. A brave alliance of underground freedom fighters has challenged the tyranny and oppression of the awesome Galactic Empire. This is their story!"
―Introduction to many issues of Marvel's Star Wars[src]

The Marvel Star Wars series of comic books was the first ever comic series created for the saga. It spanned 107 issues, with three special Annual issues. The series was relatively long-running, lasting from 1977 to 1986. It was published by Marvel Comics. The series was such a smash hit for Marvel in an otherwise dismal sales year that many who worked at Marvel in 1977 consider it to have singlehandedly saved them from financial ruin.[2]

Issues 1–6 adapted the events of A New Hope and Issues 39–44 adapted The Empire Strikes Back; however, the Return of the Jedi adaptation was published as a separate four-issue mini-series outside of the regular series.

Marvel Illustrated Books' Star Wars, Star Wars 2: World of Fire, and Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 1 and 2 included additional stories published as part of the Marvel UK Star Wars series, which, due to running weekly, included additional stories. The only story that hadn't been reprinted in the US is Death Masque until its ultimate appearance inside the 2013 Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1.

Many issues of the regular series included a letter column titled Star-Words.

On May 29, 2019, Marvel released a special 108th issue of the series that continues the storyline that began in Star Wars (1977) 50.[1]

Continuity[]

"We have what we call Canon, which is the screenplays, novelizations, and other core works that are directly tied into the continuity, and then there are a lot of marginal things, like the old Marvel Comics series, that we don't really try to work into the continuity when we're planning new projects."
Allan Kausch[src]

A reviewing process was in place between Marvel and Lucasfilm since the earliest issues, with Archie Goodwin sending drafts to Carol Titelman, and later to another editor from Lucasfilm licensing department.[3]

As time passed, Marvel stories became less relevant, as noted by Allan Kausch in The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire in 1996.[4] According to Leland Chee, all of the Marvel Comics are considered S-Canon unless referenced by a C-Canon source, in which case that particular comic becomes C-Canon.[5]

Media[]

Issues[]

Color code key:
Collected (TPB) issue Released issue Future issue
Issue Title Publication date Trade paperback Star Wars Omnibus Marvel Omnibus Epic Collection
1 Star Wars (1977) 1 April 12, 1977 MARVEL STAR WARS ILLUSTRATED.jpg
The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of Star Wars
November 1977
Classic doomworld.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 1: Doomworld

June 3, 2002
SWOmnibusALongTimeAgo....Vol1.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 1

June 2, 2010
TheOriginalMarvelYearsOmnibusVol1.jpg
The Original Marvel Years
Omnibus Vol. 1

January 27, 2015
LEC Original Marvel Years front cover.jpg
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 1
October 26, 2016
2 Star Wars (1977) 2 May 10, 1977
3 Star Wars (1977) 3 June 7, 1977
4 Star Wars (1977) 4 July 12, 1977
5 Star Wars (1977) 5 August 10, 1977
6 Star Wars (1977) 6 September 13, 1977
7 Star Wars (1977) 7 October 11, 1977 Classic doomworld.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 1: Doomworld

June 3, 2002
8 Star Wars (1977) 8 November 8, 1977
9 Star Wars (1977) 9 December 13, 1977
10 Star Wars (1977) 10 January 10, 1978
11 Star Wars (1977) 11 February 7, 1978
12 Star Wars (1977) 12 March 14, 1978
13 Star Wars (1977) 13 April 11, 1978
14 Star Wars (1977) 14 May 9, 1978
15 Star Wars (1977) 15 June 27, 1978
16 Star Wars (1977) 16 July 25, 1978
17 Star Wars (1977) 17 August 22, 1978
18 Star Wars (1977) 18 September 26, 1978
19 Star Wars (1977) 19 October 24, 1978
20 Star Wars (1977) 20 November 21, 1978
21 Star Wars (1977) 21 December 19, 1978 Classic encounters.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 2: Dark Encounters

June 5, 2002
22 Star Wars (1977) 22 January 23, 1979
23 Star Wars (1977) 23 February 20, 1979
24 Star Wars (1977) 24 March 27, 1979 EpicCollection-OriginalMarvelYears-Vol2.jpg
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 2
July 12, 2017
25 Star Wars (1977) 25 April 24, 1979
26 Star Wars (1977) 26 May 22, 1979
27 Star Wars (1977) 27 June 26, 1979
28 Star Wars (1977) 28 July 24, 1979 SWOmnibusALongTimeAgoVolTwo.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 2

September 29, 2010
29 Star Wars (1977) 29 August 28, 1979
30 Star Wars (1977) 30 September 25, 1979
31 Star Wars (1977) 31 October 23, 1979
32 Star Wars (1977) 32 November 27, 1979
33 Star Wars (1977) 33 December 25, 1979
34 Star Wars (1977) 34 January 22, 1980
A1 Star Wars Annual (1977) 1 December 4, 1979
35 Star Wars (1977) 35 February 26, 1980
36 Star Wars (1977) 36 March 25, 1980
37 Star Wars (1977) 37 April 22, 1980
38 Star Wars (1977) 38 May 27, 1980
39 Star Wars (1977) 39 June 24, 1980 MCIVOTESB.jpg
The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

May 1, 1980
Resurrection Of Evil.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 3: Resurrection of Evil

November 27, 2002
LegendsEpicCollection-TheOriginalMarvelYearsVol3.jpg
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 3
July 18, 2018
40 Star Wars (1977) 40 July 22, 1980
41 Star Wars (1977) 41 September 2, 1980
42 Star Wars (1977) 42 September 23, 1980
43 Star Wars (1977) 43 October 28, 1980
44 Star Wars (1977) 44 November 25, 1980
45 Star Wars (1977) 45 December 23, 1980 Resurrection Of Evil.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 3: Resurrection of Evil

November 27, 2002
TheOriginalMarvelYearsOmnibusVol2.png
The Original Marvel Years
Omnibus Vol. 2

June 23, 2015
46 Star Wars (1977) 46 January 20, 1981
47 Star Wars (1977) 47 February 24, 1981
48 Star Wars (1977) 48 March 24, 1981
49 Star Wars (1977) 49 April 21, 1981
50 Star Wars (1977) 50 May 19, 1981 SWOmnibusALongTimeAgoVol3.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 3

January 19, 2011
51 Star Wars (1977) 51 June 16, 1981
52 Star Wars (1977) 52 July 21, 1981
53 Star Wars (1977) 53 August 18, 1981
54 Star Wars (1977) 54 September 22, 1981 Classic screams.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 4: Screams in the Void

January 22, 2003
55 Star Wars (1977) 55 October 20, 1981
56 Star Wars (1977) 56 November 24, 1981 TheOriginalMarvelYearsVol4 FinalCover.jpg
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 4
August 7, 2019
57 Star Wars (1977) 57 December 15, 1981
58 Star Wars (1977) 58 January 19, 1982
59 Star Wars (1977) 59 February 16, 1982
60 Star Wars (1977) 60 March 16, 1982
61 Star Wars (1977) 61 April 13, 1982
62 Star Wars (1977) 62 May 18, 1982
63 Star Wars (1977) 63 June 15, 1982
64 Star Wars (1977) 64 July 13, 1982
65 Star Wars (1977) 65 August 17, 1982
66 Star Wars (1977) 66 September 14, 1982
A2 Star Wars Annual (1977) 2 August 17, 1982
67 Star Wars (1977) 67 October 19, 1982
68 Star Wars (1977) 68 November 16, 1982 Classic bounty.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 5: Fool's Bounty

March 26, 2003
SWOmnibusALongTimeAgoVol4.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 4

August 3, 2011
69 Star Wars (1977) 69 December 14, 1982
70 Star Wars (1977) 70 January 18, 1983
71 Star Wars (1977) 71 February 15, 1983
72 Star Wars (1977) 72 March 15, 1983
73 Star Wars (1977) 73 April 12, 1983
74 Star Wars (1977) 74 May 17, 1983 The Original Marvel Years Vol 5 front cover.png
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 5
August 17, 2021
75 Star Wars (1977) 75 June 14, 1983
76 Star Wars 76 July 19, 1983
77 Star Wars 77 August 16, 1983
78 Star Wars 78 September 13, 1983
A3 Star Wars Annual (1977) 3 August 30, 1983 TheOriginalMarvelYearsOmnibusVol3.jpg
The Original Marvel Years
Omnibus Vol. 3

October 20, 2015
79 Star Wars 79 October 18, 1983
80 Star Wars 80 November 15, 1983
81 Star Wars 81 December 13, 1983
82 Star Wars 82 January 17, 1984 Classic wookiee.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 6: Wookiee World

May 7, 2003
83 Star Wars 83 February 14, 1984
84 Star Wars 84 March 20, 1984
85 Star Wars 85 April 17, 1984
86 Star Wars 86 May 15, 1984 SWOmnibusALongTimeAgoVol5.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 5

February 8, 2012
87 Star Wars 87 June 12, 1984
88 Star Wars 88 July 17, 1984
89 Star Wars 89 August 14, 1984
90 Star Wars 90 September 18, 1984
91 Star Wars 91 October 16, 1984
92 Star Wars 92 November 13, 1984
93 Star Wars 93 December 18, 1984
94 Star Wars 94 January 15, 1985
95 Star Wars 95 February 12, 1985
96 Star Wars 96 March 19, 1985 Classic faraway.jpg
A Long Time Ago...
Volume 7: Far, Far Away

July 16, 2003
97 Star Wars 97 April 16, 1985
98 Star Wars 98 May 14, 1985
99 Star Wars 99 June 18, 1985
100 Star Wars 100 July 16, 1985
101 Star Wars (1977) 101 August 13, 1985
102 Star Wars 102 September 17, 1985
103 Star Wars 103 October 15, 1985
104 Star Wars 104 December 17, 1985
105 Star Wars 105 February 18, 1986
106 Star Wars 106 April 15, 1986
107 Star Wars 107 June 17, 1986
108 Star Wars 108[1] May 29, 2019

Return of the Jedi movie adaptation mini-series[]

Issue Title Publication date Trade paperback Star Wars Omnibus Marvel Omnibus Epic Collection
1 Return of the Jedi 1 July 5, 1983 Marvel rotjTPB.jpg
Return of the Jedi
1983
SWOmnibusALongTimeAgoVol4.jpg
A Long Time Ago....
Volume 4

August 3, 2011
TheOriginalMarvelYearsOmnibusVol3.jpg
The Original Marvel Years
Omnibus Vol. 3

October 20, 2015
The Original Marvel Years Vol 5 front cover.png
The Original Marvel Years Vol. 5
August 17, 2021
2 Return of the Jedi 2 August 2, 1983
3 Return of the Jedi 3 August 23, 1983
4 Return of the Jedi 4 September 27, 1983

Additional collections[]

A New Hope[]

Issues 1–3 Issues 4–6 Issues 1–6
MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION 1.jpg
Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 1
August 1977
MARVEL MOVIE SHOWCASE 1.jpg
Marvel Movie Showcase 1
November 1982
Classic a new hope1.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A New Hope 1
June 28, 1994
MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION 2.jpg
Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 2
December 1977
MARVEL MOVIE SHOWCASE 2.jpg
Marvel Movie Showcase 2
December 1982
Classic a new hope2.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A New Hope 2
July 1, 1994
MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION 3.jpg
Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 3
1978
Classic a new hopeTPB.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A New Hope (TPB)
November 21, 1995

The Empire Strikes Back[]

Issues 39–41 Issues 42–44 Issues 39–44
Classic esb1.jpg
Classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 1
August 30, 1994
Classic esb2.jpg
Classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 2
September 1, 1994
MSS16.jpg
Marvel Super Special 16: The Empire Strikes Back
Spring 1980
MARVEL SPECIAL EDITION ESB.jpg
Marvel Special Edition 2: The Empire Strikes Back
Spring 1980
Classic esbTPB.jpg
Classic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (TPB)
November 21, 1995
TESB SE.jpg
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - The Special Edition
February 2, 1997

Return of the Jedi[]

Issues 1–2 Issues 3–4 Issues 1–4
Classic rotj1.jpg
Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 1
October 1, 1994
Classic rotj2.jpg
Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 2
November 1, 1994
MARVEL STAR WARS ILLUSTRATED ROTJ.jpg
The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of Return of the Jedi
MARVELSUPERSPECIALROTJ.jpg
Marvel Super Special 27: Return of the Jedi
May 3, 1983
Classic rotjTPB.jpg
Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (TPB)
November 21, 1995
Rotj SE.jpg
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - The Special Edition
February 3, 1997

Marvel Illustrated Books[]

A Long Time Ago...[]

Issues 91, Annual 1 & Annual 3 Issues 28, 38 & 49–50 Issues 51–52, 60 & 66 Issues 68–69, 79 & 81 Issues 58–59 & Annual 2 Issues 80, 83, 86 & 103
Cswlta1.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 1
March 31, 1999
Cswlta2.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 2
April 28, 1999
ClassicStarWars-ALongTimeAgo-3.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 3
May 26, 1999
Cswlta4.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 4
June 30, 1999
Cswlta5.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 5
July 28, 1999
Cswlta6.jpg
Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 6
August 25, 1999

Devilworlds[]

Wild Space[]

Other[]

Issues 17, 38, 60–63 & 95–97 Issues 16, 27, 29, 50 & 108
LukeSkywalkerLastHopefortheGalaxy.jpg
Star Wars: Luke Skywalker, Last Hope for the Galaxy
September 17, 2008
StarWarsLegendsForeverCrimson.jpg
Star Wars Legends: Forever Crimson
January 21, 2020

Publication dates[]

When the series started in 1977, the direct market for comic books was still in its infancy and comic book specialty shops were rare. Because of this, Marvel kept dual records for publication dates: shipping dates and on-sale dates.

Shipping dates described when comics left the printer to go out to newsstands, groceries, and drug stores, which would generally put them on sale upon arrival. On-sale dates were provided by Marvel as a uniform Tuesday intended for all outlets—but particularly comic book shops—to place a comic on sale. For the length of the Star Wars series, the on-sale date is usually three weeks after the shipping date. Depending on a reader's region of North America, some may have received a comic shortly before the on-sale date, but all readers should have had access to the issue by that date.

Like with most magazines, the date on the cover is intended to tell retailers when to remove the book from store shelves, not relate when the item went on sale. For Star Wars, the cover date was normally three months after the shipping date, and two months after the on-sale date.[6]

Worldwide variations[]

United Kingdom[]

Marvel UK published the British edition, Star Wars Weekly from February 1978. Thomas and Chaykin's adaptation of A New Hope was published over 12 issues, rather than the six-issue version printed in the US. From issue 118 in May 1980, it became The Empire Strikes Back Weekly, changing to The Empire Strikes Back Monthly in November that year. After a short run as Star Wars Monthly, the last issue was published in July 1983. The magazine then reverted to a weekly format with issue 1 of Return of the Jedi Weekly.

Sweden[]

Translated to Stjärnornas krig ("War of the stars"); Marvel's Star Wars comics were published by Semic Press AB between 1977 and 1987. The first years only as annual king-sized albums, that collected issues 1-6, 11-15, 18-23, 25-26, 31-34 and 39-44.

The first regular issue of the Swedish Star Wars comic book is listed as #1 1983/84. It was released bimonthly, but with comics from two American issues in every Swedish issue. 1985, the Star Wars title merged with the Indiana Jones title under the new title Månadens äventyr ("Adventure of the month") where every other issue "starred" Indiana Jones instead of Star Wars

Every American issue from 45 to 107 except 94 and 100 was published in the Swedish comic books, although the order of the issues was a bit more complex: 51-52, 55, 49, 56-63, 65, 68-91, 93, 92, 45-48, 50, 53-54, 64-67, 95-99, 101-107. Issue 65 was released twice.[7]

Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Brazil[]

In these countries the comics had been published on the same collection, Comics Star Wars, by Planeta DeAgostini, each with their own translation. Twelve issues, containing from eight to eleven stories, were published in total, all hardcovers.

Italy[]

In 1978, Mondadori imprint Editoriale Corno published a series of thirteen double issues titled Guerre Stellari ("Stellar Wars"). Some issues contained Star Wars posters inside.

A fourteenth issue was a special edition: the adaptation of Return of the Jedi, titled Il ritorno dello Jedi.

The stories have been republished various times, but usually using more recent translations rather than the original one.

Denmark[]

Stjerne Krigen was the title of the six-issued Danish edition of Marvel's series. The series includes comic books with covers different from the covers of other nations, except for the first issue, where you can see a modified version of the movie poster.

Bibliography[]

Notes and references[]

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External links[]

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