Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens takes place approximately 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi. Because of this, Lucasfilm has launched an overarching series of books and comics that will fill in that massive gap in time. Star Wars: Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig, will play a part in it, as will a new Marvel comic series coming next month titled "Shattered Empire". Written by award winning writer Greg Rucka and illustrated by Marco Chechetto, the 4-part series picks up the story immediately following the Battle Of Endor and follows Shara Bey, and her husband Kes, both members of the Rebel Alliance, as they experience the fallout of the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the Emperor.
Today, Greg Rucka spoke extensively about his work on Shattered Empire with Dan Brooks on StarWars.com. The two drive home the idea that even though Endor was a major victory for the Rebels, the reality is the war was far from over. Rucka explains that when depicting the state of the Galaxy at this point, he looked to real world history, such as the Soviet Bloc, the Arab Spring and North Korea, for inspiration. Below we collected some highlights from the interview for your reading pleasure. I also strongly recommend heading over to StarWars.com to read the full discussion, which is fascinating.
On the main characters, Rucka had this to say:
“Shara flies, Kes is a ground-pounder, and a very experienced one, So, they have spent more time apart than together, and they’re in the Outer Rim world where the Imperial presence is felt, and they’re hoping that they can bring an end to this. But they’re both very tired veterans, and they come out of [the Battle of] Endor with the elation that we see in [Return of the Jedi]. ‘We’ve won. It’s over.’ — only to discover that, no it’s not. The Empire was huge.”
On the involvement of the the big three and others:
“This could never be, as much as I wish I could’ve written, and would’ve loved to have written, the story of, ‘We’re gonna follow Luke for four issues after Return of the Jedi.’ That was never what my mandate here was. But, with that in mind, we see Luke, we see Leia, we see Lando, we see Han, we see Chewie. We see what they are doing, and while the stories are not about them — they’re about Shara Bey — the stories link. Issue 1 sort of stands alone. Issues 2 and 3 follow the same story path; they’re like a two-parter, and they lead into the fourth. As it stands, we meet Shara in [issue] 1 during the Battle of Endor, and we come out of the Battle of Endor, and then we cover about three to six months total in the series following the Battle of Endor. In that time, Shara and her husband find themselves in some situations only incidentally in the path of the principles, and in other situations, working quite closely with them.”
On the state of the Empire post-Return Of The Jedi:
“The Empire still has resources. The Empire still has an enormous fleet,” Rucka says. “They may be in disarray post the Battle of Endor, but to think that in that vacuum people aren’t stepping up [is shortsighted]... All these people are not about to go, ‘Oh, well, I guess we were on the wrong side. It’s over, then.’ [Laughs] There’s a Moff out there who’s like, ‘Right. I’m emptying the bank accounts, I’m changing my name, and I’m going to Aruba.’ You know there is. But for every Moff who does that, there are five who say, ‘Like hell am I leaving this post. We’ve got stormtroopers for a reason. You get out there and you shoot every last one of these upstart insurgents, these terrorists, and you make clear to them that the rule of law still stands.’ So it does get ugly.”
Rucka also explains that, in addition to the six films, he is taking inspiration from Star Wars Rebels:
“I’ve been watching Rebels with my family. Rebels shows a canon tonality to the beginning of the beginning of the Rebellion. And if we look at Endor as the end of the beginning of the Rebellion, which, I think, is probably the smarter way to look at it, then that is a natural progression. But one of the other things that Rebels provides is a view, that has frankly [only] been speculated on, as to what it looked like once the Empire really came to full power. We never saw a macro view of the galaxy under Imperial control.”
In addition, StarWars.com revealed some stunning, and yet unfinished, artwork by Marco Chechetto from Shattered Empire which you can see below:
Also, Yakface.com and Jedi-Bibliothek got their hands on several variant covers and some fully colored pages pages from the first issue, which you can view here:
Be sure to pick up Shattered Empire #1 at your local comic book store when it's published on September 2nd!
Sources: StarWars.com, Jedi-Bibliothek, Yakface.com
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