Star Wars comics have had a significant impact on the industry as a whole over the years... Star Wars #1 was written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Howard Chaykin, and sold out so quickly more printings were ordered -- an almost unheard of decision at the time (In 1977 the comics industry was in a slump... super heroes were fading out (this is pre-Claremont X-Men), romance and funny animal comics were allready dead). Before it was all over, Star Wars #1 would become the first comic book since an issue of Batman in 1966 (the height of Batmania, thanks to the popular TV show) to sell more than a million copies.

But that was just the begining of what has become a multi- million dollar franchise... today Dark Horse Comics the publisher has held the SW license since the early 90s (no comics other than a 3 issue 3-D series were published for nearly a decade beteween 84 and 92/93? while Lucas let the franchise rest)


___ DARK HORSE___


Dark Horse has now held the license for nearly a decade and has published many many mini-series spanning more than 5,000 years in the SW universe... from the early Tales of the Jedi stories to Chewbacca, a recounting of his life and times by Han Solo, Leia Organna and his other friends and even Mala his wife. This takes place after he was killed off in one of the New Jedi Order novels.

They break down the SWU into the following epochs:

Old Republic Era: 25,000 - 1000 years before Star Wars: A New Hope
Rise of The Empire Era: 1000-0 years before Star Wars: A New Hope
Rebellion Era: 0-5 years after Star Wars: A New Hope
New Republic Era: 5-25 years after Star Wars: A New Hope
New Jedi Order Era: 25+ years after Star Wars: A New Hope
Infinities Does not apply to timeline (What If stories)

Below you will find the complete DH SW timeline:
key
B4 = years before
ANH = A New Hope (episode 4)
A = years after


The Golden Age of the Sith 5,000 B4-ANH
The Fall of the Sith Empire 5,000 B4-ANH
Knights of the Old Republic 4,000 B4-ANH
The Freedon Nadd Uprising 3,998 B4-ANH
Dark Lords of the Sith 3,997 B4-ANH
Sith War 3,996 B4-ANH
Redemption 3,986 B4-ANH
Jedi vs. Sith 1,000 B4-ANH
Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan 37 B4-ANH
Jedi Council 33.5 B4-ANH
Darth Maul 33 B4-ANH
Star Wars Ongoing Series 32-0 B4-ANH
Episode I The Phantom Menace 32 B4-ANH
The Bounty Hunters-Aurra Sing 32 B4-ANH
Jedi Quest 28 B4-ANH
Jango Fett 27 B4-ANH
Zam Wesell 27 B4-ANH
Starfighter 24 B4-ANH
Droids 10-5 B4-ANH
Jabba the Hutt: Art of the Deal 5 B4-ANH
Underworld 1 B4-ANH
Han Solo at Stars' End 10-0 B4-ANH
Boba Fett: Enemy of the Empire 3-0 B4-ANH
Episode IV A New Hope
Vader's Quest 0+ A-ANH
The Early Adventures 0+ A-ANH
River of Chaos 0+ A-ANH
Classic Star Wars 0-3 A-ANH
Shadow Stalker 0-3 A-ANH
Splinter of the Mind's Eye 2 A-ANH
Episode V Empire Strikes Back 3 A-ANH
Tales From Mos Eisley 3 A-ANH
Shadows of the Empire 3+ A-ANH
Scoundrel's Wages 3+ A-ANH
Episode VI Return of the Jedi 4 A-ANH
Jabba the Hutt: The Jabba Tape 4 A-ANH
Mara Jade 4 A-ANH
Shadows of the Empire - Evolution4 A-ANH
The Vandelhelm Mission 4+ A-ANH
X-Wing Rogue Squadron 4+ A-ANH
Boba Fett:
Twin Engines of Destruction 5 A-ANH
Heir to the Empire 9 A-ANH
Dark Force Rising 9 A-ANH
The Last Command 9 A-ANH
Dark Empire 10+ A-ANH
Boba Fett:
Death, Lies, and Treachery 10+ A-ANH
Boba Fett: Agent of Doom 10+ A-ANH
Empire's End 11 A-ANH
Crimson Empire 11+ A-ANH
Kenix Kil 11+ A-ANH
Jedi Academy: Leviathan 13 A-ANH
Union 20 A-ANH
Chewbacca 25 A-ANH

Outside the timeline (comics beyound semi-official continuity):

Devilworlds
Sergio Aragones Stomps Star Wars
Star Wars Tales
Infinities: A New Hope
Tag and Bink Are Dead
Star Wars Handbook
Dark Forces


___ MARVEL___


So where does this place the Marvel Star Wars series???
Well Marvel published 107 issues of Star Wars plus 3 annuals + a 4 issue ROTJ mini series. The area covered by these issues runs from ANH to a short time after the Battle of Endor with a few flashback issues (one deals with an Obi-Wan Kenobi adventure some time before the rise of the Empire (but before he was Anakin's Master and after he was a Padawan - this is a good place to note that there are many inconsistencies in the Star Wars comics continuity- no suprizes there). Another shows Luke Skywalker dealing with a Tusken Raider uprising on Tattoine a short time before ANH.

The Vandelhelm Mission, which was origionally published by Marvel towards the end of the 107 issue run is considered by DH to be 4+ years after ANH... so I would say that Marvels stories run from ANH to 4+ years afterwards.

Marvel also published a 14 issue Ewoks series that was printed under the Star Comics imprint - it's very childish (based on the Ewoks cartoon series) and has nothing to do with the films.

The Marvel Comics Star Wars series (issues 8-38, 45-57, and a few others) has been scanned and can be read here: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Trailer/7053/marvel.html
Props to that guy!!!


___ BLACKTHORN___


There was also a 3 issue 3-D Star Wars comic published a few years after the Marvel series which detailed events beteween ANH and ESB (such as finding the Hoth base and Han Solo's encounter with the bounty hunters on Ord Mandell refered to in ESB. Blackthorn published this series but it was printed in low numbers and is extremely hard to find.

It too can be read here: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Trailer/7053/marvel.html


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