Since its release, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has left fans clamoring for answers. While the JJ Abrams helmed film was billed as the “final word in the story of Skywalker,” questions still remain.
With the Skywalker Saga complete, fans have taken to the plethora of ancillary Star Wars media available in order to piece together the secret history behind the film and the many comic books available are a prime source of information. Answers to the audience’s most burning questions can be gleaned from a variety of comics across both the current official Canon and the previous Expanded Universe material, now known as Legends.
With the history of the Jedi and Sith forming the backbone of not only the Skywalker Saga but Rise of Skywalker in particular, vital details about the true nature of the Force lay scattered across tales spanning the many thousands of years before the galaxy ever heard the name Skywalker.
Tales of the Jedi: Golden Age of the Sith
A 6-issue miniseries from Kevin J. Anderson and Dario Carrasco Jr., Star Wars: Golden Age of The Sith is set 5000 years before the Star Wars fans know and love. The story centers on a power struggle between Nagga Sadow and Marka Ragnos, two of the most powerful Dark Lords of the Sith at the time. The series highlights the duplicitous nature of the Sith, as well as their longstanding obsession with power and absolute rule. Spurred on by the banishment of Jedi who fell to the dark side centuries beforehand, The Sith Empire is resurgent and ready to take the galaxy by force thanks to Nagga’s expansionist views.
Blitzing the Republic, the Sith Invasion quickly sent the galaxy spiraling into war. The Great Hyperspace War raged between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic and ultimately saw the Sith scattered to the ends of the galaxy, where they lay in wait, quietly growing in strength until the day comes for them to once again rise and claim the galaxy as their own.
Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising
Like the Golden Age of The Sith before it, this tale is set thousands of years before the time of the Galactic Civil War. The Freedon Nadd Uprising was one of the opening battles in the Great Sith War and centers Jedi Master Arca Jeth and his apprentices attempting to put down a rebellion lead by Sith Acolytes under the sway of the long-dead Sith Lord Freedon Nadd. Like Rise of Skywalker, this tale hints at how one strong in the dark side of the Force can possess vast power and even return from beyond the grave to exact their will upon an unsuspecting galaxy.
The 2 issue tale by Tom Veitch, Tony Adkins & Denis Rodier is a short but vital entry in the history of the Sith, offering key details about Sith Alchemy, the all-consuming lust for power that drives those who practice the ways of the Sith and the mysterious abilities granted by mastery of the Dark Side of the Force, proving that the Dark Side truly is a path to abilities some consider to be unnatural.
Star Wars: Age of Resistance
Stepping away from the Legends continuity, Age of Resistance is a 9 issue anthology series focusing on characters and adventures set during the sequel trilogy. With issues dedicated to heroes such as Finn, Poe, Rose, Admiral Holdo and Rey, as well as insidious members of the First Order; Kylo Ren, Snoke, Captain Phasma and General Hux. While these one-shots offer fun glimpses into the lives of this new generation of heroes and villains, as far as Rise of Skywalker is concerned, the Kylo Ren, Snoke and Rey issues are of particular note.
Age of Resistance: Rey, by Tom Taylor and Ramon Rosanas, focuses on the would-be Jedi’s first interactions with General Leia Organa after the Resistance’s daring assault on Starkiller Base, as well as a side quest with Chewbacca and R2 aboard the Millennium Falcon. With Rey’s ascension to Jedi Knight largely facilitated by Leia’s guidance in the ramp-up to Rise of Skywalker, experiencing their earliest interactions amid the loss of Han Solo and destruction of the Republic helps cement the bond that grows from battle-weary compatriots, to Master and Apprentice in the minds of the reader and makes their scenes in the film that much more poignant.
Age of Resistance: Kylo Ren returns to the familiar grounds of Ben Solo’s attempts to emulate his grandfather’s villainous incarnation, Darth Vader. While this obsession has played as downright meme-worthy in the films, this story by creative team: Tom Taylor and Leonard Kirk manages to flip that view on its head and cleverly uses secondary characters to showcase how Kylo Ren’s power makes him a competent threat on the battlefield and, like his grandfather before him, earns the respect and loyalty of his stormtrooper corps by placing himself directly in the line of fire.
In Age of Resistance: Snoke, Tom Taylor and Leonard Kirk return and offer a glimpse into Kylo Ren’s training at the hands of Supreme Leader Snoke. Where Age of Resistance: Kylo Ren showed Kylo earning his place as the heir apparent to Vader’s legacy, this entry reinforces Snoke’s disdain for the ridiculous helmet Ben dons while playing at being Vader. Returning to Dagobah, where his uncle Luke took his first real steps on the path to becoming a Jedi, Kylo Ren is forced to kill the last links to his past as Ben Solo in order to become worthy of Snoke’s continued teachings.
The Rise of Kylo Ren
A 4 issue miniseries from Charles Soule and Will Sliney, Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren focuses on the final days before Ben Solo’s descent into the dark side of the Force. As of the time of this publication, only 2 of the series 4 issues have been released so information is limited. To date, the story has offered fans a glimpse at the true nature of the Knights of Ren, and their enigmatic leader is known only as you guessed it, Ren. Primed to finally reveal the meaning behind Ben Solo’s chosen moniker and featuring moments that give meaning to Palpatine’s claim of being “every voice inside your head.” This series is a much-needed glimpse into not only Kylo Ren’s rise but the final days of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy.
Star Wars: Allegiance
As Shattered Empire filled in some of the gaps after Return of the Jedi as part of the ramp-up to The Force Awakens, and one-shots like DJ: Most Wanted and Storms of Crait laid the groundwork for The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Allegiance sets up the state of the Resistance after the battle on Crait. The 4-issue miniseries by Ethan Sacks and Luke Ross focuses on the First Order’s relentless pursuit of the tattered remains of the Resistance, and Leia’s continued search for allies.
While Poe and Finn are elsewhere, attempting to secure much-needed resources for the Resistance. Leia, Rey, and Rose travel to Mon Cala, the homeworld of fallen Rebel hero, Admiral Gial Ackbar, hoping to persuade the onetime allies to take up arms against the First Order. Unfortunately for Leia, not everyone on Mon Cala holds her high esteem and those in power hold her responsible for the death the Empire brought to their shores. Against all odds, Leia fights to overcome the isolationist views of General Nossor Ri and convince the people of Mon Cala to join the fight.
The Dark Empire Trilogy
With Rise of Skywalker’s climax dedicated to the last-ditch battle to stop a revived Emperor Palpatine and his fleet of planet-killing starships, where else is there to go for answers but the story that first features a last-ditch battle against Palpatine and his fleet of planet-killing starships? Tom Veitch, Cam Kennedy, and Jim Baikie deliver an epic adventure that sees Emperor Palpatine not only returned to life in a younger, stronger cloned body but also delves into the dark powers that allowed him to survive the destruction of the second Death Star in the first place.
Rise of Skywalker’s third act borrows heavily from all three installments of the Dark Empire Trilogy, namely Palpatine’s fixation on the Skywalker lineage, attempts to possess a body capable of withstanding his immense power and the aforementioned fleet of world killing superweapons. While the film ultimately focused on Palpatine’s lineage, the Dark Empire Trilogy focuses on the importance of the Skywalker Legacy to the galaxy at large and introduces the third child of Han Solo and Leia Organa, a son named Anakin. Unable to turn Luke or Leia from the light, Palpatine fixates on young Anakin and seeks to make him the vessel of ultimate Sith power in the universe, an act that leads to his final demise and the restoration of peace throughout the New Republic.
Originally Posted on Screen Rant