This article is about the original Marvel Star Wars comic series that ran from 1977 to 1986. You may be looking for Marvel's Star Wars comic series that ran from 2015 to 2019 or the new Star Wars comic series of the same name that began in 2020.

"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 50: The Crimson Forever.[1]

Continuity[edit | edit source]

"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]

Issues[edit | edit source]

Annual Issues[edit | edit source]

Return of the Jedi movie adaptation mini-series[edit | edit source]

Special Editions based on Marvel issues[edit | edit source]

The Empire Strikes Back[edit | edit source]

Return of the Jedi[edit | edit source]

Collections[edit | edit source]

A New Hope[edit | edit source]

The Empire Strikes Back[edit | edit source]

Return of the Jedi[edit | edit source]

Marvel Illustrated Books[edit | edit source]

Classic Star Wars[edit | edit source]

A Long Time Ago...[edit | edit source]

Devilworlds[edit | edit source]

Omnibus[edit | edit source]

A Long Time Ago....[edit | edit source]

Wild Space[edit | edit source]

Publication dates[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

In 1978, Mondadori and Marvel Italy, Italian branch of Marvel Comics, published a series of thirteen issues titled Guerre Stellari ("Stellar Wars"), but it had many differences from all the other nations' Star Wars.

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

Denmark[edit | edit source]

Stijerne 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[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Cavanaugh, Patrick (2019-02-13). 'Star Wars' One-Shot From Marvel Comics Brings Back Legends Characters. Comic Book. comicbook.com. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019.
  2. Shooter, Jim (2011-07-05). Roy Thomas Saved Marvel. jimshooter.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011.
  3. Morrow. Archie Goodwin Interview. echostation.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  4. The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, p29
  5. StarWars.com Holocron continuity database questions on StarWars.com Message Boards. Posted by Tasty Taste on October 12, 2006 at 06:13 PM. (content now obsolete; backup link)
  6. Information from Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle, Marvel Age, Amazing Heroes, The Comic Reader and The Comics Journal
  7. Svenka STAR WARS-seriesajten (Swedish). hem.bredband.net. Archived from the original on August 15, 2019.

External links[edit | edit source]


Star Wars comics published by Marvel Comics (US)
Star Wars series
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20
21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40
41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50 · 51 · 52 · 53 · 54 · 55 · 56 · 57 · 58 · 59 · 60
61 · 62 · 63 · 64 · 65 · 66 · 67 · 68 · 69 · 70 · 71 · 72 · 73 · 74 · 75 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79 · 80
81 · 82 · 83 · 84 · 85 · 86 · 87 · 88 · 89 · 90 · 91 · 92 · 93 · 94 · 95 · 96 · 97 · 98 · 99 · 100
101 · 102 · 103 · 104 · 105 · 106 · 107 · 108
Star Wars series annual issues
1 · 2 · 3
Return of the Jedi mini-series
1 · 2 · 3 · 4
Marvel Illustrated Books
1 · 2 · Ep.IV · Ep.V · Ep.VI
Related series
Marvel UK Star Wars series
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