Though there are a lot of Star Wars comics out there already, the lot of them were recently swept under the rug when Disney declared everything previous to their reign to be non-canon. In 2015, Marvel took the mantle and started creating new, officially sanctioned storylines that mostly take place just after the destruction of the first Death Star in A New Hope. So far, the new comics have been pretty rad. Here are some highlights:
Though most of the characters in Marvel's new Star Wars comics are beloved characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Salacious Crumb, there are a handful of new players. One of the best is Doctor Aphra, a plucky tinkerer/adventurer who plays a supporting role in Darth Vader's solo comic. Though Aphra is rougish and even a little scruffy, she's a few pegs closer to the dark side than say, Han Solo. Think Boba Fett plus Lando Calrissian before he unbetrayed his friends. And yeah, there's definitely some Indiana Jones in there.
Indiana Jones and Star Wars have crossed paths in comics before, but this is a neat way to reference a classic scene while also finding a use for those dopey battle droids before the Empire retires them.
But the Indy nods don't stop there. Doc has some choice words for those who seek to waste perfectly good trinkets on a worthless pursuit like "historical preservation."
To be fair, this bit is more than just fanservice; introducing Doctor Aphra as the dark mirror to Doctor Jones gives us a general baseline for the character so we can get a general handle on the character and move the storyline along. Most importantly, this kind of smart storytelling gets us to giant explosions that much faster. Speaking of...
For such a ruthless killing machine, we don't get to see Vader in action a whole lot in the original trilogy. Most of the time he's just haunting various battleships and giving life-threatening lectures to Imperial officers. Besides like one lightsaber battle per movie, all we get are little hints of his power; a choke-out here, a laser-block there. Nothing that even glances at the boundaries of his abilities. Nothing like watching him square off with a hijacked AT-AT.
But that's the magic of comics like Jason Aaron and John Cassaday's mainline Star Wars book. You can do anything, up to and including watching Darth Vader hack away at the leg of a 50-foot tall juggernaut.
Does it matter that this issue also includes Luke and Vader's first meeting since Obi-Wan was killed? Does it matter that Han and Leia are piloting that AT-AT, and that slicing the leg of that walker puts them in mortal danger? No. You just wanna see that thing crash face-first into the ground, kicking up mountains of smoke and dust while Darth Vader stands in defiance, his tattered cape whipping in the breeze. And that's exactly what you get.
This is why Star Wars comics exist. Hell, this makes a strong case for comic books in general. And there's more where that came from.