I’m excited to take a (very brief) detour from updating my core of X-Men guides to bring you a comprehensive update to my guide page that might contain the most individual series in the most exact reading order out of all of Crushing Krisis! It’s not May the 4th, but it’s time to journey to a universe far, far away with this update to my Star Wars Legends Guide – which covers the entirety of the old Star Wars Expanded Universe comics that ran from 1977 to 2015!
Guide to Star Wars Legends Comics (Expanded Universe Comics, 1977 – 2015)
As I’ve been sprinting through updating all of my Marvel Comics guides, I hadn’t given too much thought to collections of the Star Wars Legends old Expanded Universe. Of course, Marvel is pumping out new Expanded Universe comics non-stop, which have now expanded to post Empire Strikes Back and into the High Republic era.
But… how much action could there be on recollecting Star Wars Legends in a handful of years?
Apparently, a lot of action. I was surprised when I showed up to my live co-hosting gig with Near Mint Condition last week to discover how many Star Wars Legends omnibuses have been released over the past two years. When our co-host Kurtis from Epic Marvel Podcast mentioned that the Star Wars Legends Epic Collection line was only a handful of books from being completed, I knew it was time to take a closer look at updating my Star Wars Legends Guide.
(Kurtis also sent me some personalized recommendations of Star Wars Legends comics after the stream, which sent me even further down the rabbit hole. So, if you’re happy for this guide update, you have him to thank.)
What I discovered is that Marvel has transformed the landscape of Star Wars Legends over the past few years.
There are seven distinct periods of Star Wars Legends continuity, some containing multiple collections lines.
First, there’s “The Original Marvel Years” of Marvel’s Star Wars comics that launched in 1977 and ran through 1986. They stretch across (and sometimes directly adapt) the original trilogy of films. This period is now completely covered in omnibus, with the final of six Epic Collections out in May 2023 (plus another two for newspaper strips already released).
Taking a step back into the ancient history of the Star Wars universe, the classic Old Republic period of galactic history covered tales that complete predated prequel film continuity by 1,000 years or more. By the end of 2023 this period will be covered in five Epic Collections plus three prefacing “Tales of the Jedi” Epics. The final books in each line will be released in July and March, respectively.
Next is The Prequels era. This begins with the decades leading to the trade conflict in The Phantom Menace, extends through the Clone Wars, and ends with the fall of Anakin Skywalker and the ascendancy of the Emperor in the year 19 BBY (“Before the Battle of Yavin”). This is now just one volume away from being completely covered in two “Rise of the Sith” Epics, three “The Menace Revealed” Epics (including the final volume out this month!), and four “The Clone Wars” Epics. It looks like there is still a final Clone Wars Epic yet to come.
(There is some question as to Marvel will recollect The Clone Wars cartoon tie-ins comics in Epic Collection, since they might be treated with a different (/higher?) level of canonicity than the rest of Legends.)
After the Prequels comes the 19-year in-between era from the Prequels to Original Trilogy. This period covering the rise of The Empire and it is covered completely in seven “The Empire” Epics, with the final volume out last year. Plus, the mapping of second omnibus out late in 2023 means it may be wrapped up with a third omnibus volume.
Then we arrive at the beloved Rebellion era covering the original trilogy. This line of five Epic Collections completed last year, and it has a first omnibus out next month!
The next era is an interesting one, because it is the place where the new Expanded Universe necessarily diverges the most from the old Legends continuity. This era is called The New Republic, and it stretches over twenty years past the end of Return of the Jedi. While the Old Republic era is being referenced (and sometimes homaged) in the new multi-media approach to “The High Republic,” most of the influences of this era have been erased due to the sequel trilogy blazing its own distinct story. A seventh Epic Collection covering this period is due out later in 2023, with just one more volume left to collect. Plus, the first two hefty omnibuses of The New Republic are both out in 2023.
Finally, there’s the far-future Legends and speculative Legacies comics, both of which are completely covered in Epic Collection as of 2022.
That means that based on current Marvel solicits we are at most just two Epic Collections away from the entirety of Star Wars Legends comics being collected! After that, we can focus solely on omnibus coverage, which Marvel is already aggressively pursuing in 2023.
Y’all, this is the comic collectors dream: near-complete coverage in multiple formats.
Not only that, but every single one of these comics is available on Marvel Unlimited! You don’t even have to buy all these books, just look up the titles on the Marvel Unlimited series search and read away. Honestly, even though this is a dead galaxy of continuity, the temptation is strong to dive into a complete universe of hundreds of readily available comics.
Of course, this Star Wars Legends Guide is just one of my many guides to Stars Wars comics and canon, which celebrate their six-year anniversary on May 4th! These guides will always hold a special place in my heart not only because of my love of Star Wars, but because these were the final new guides I launched in America before we began the whirlwind process of moving to New Zealand.
As you might imagine, I have many more updates to come – not only to Marvel’s canon comics, but to all the established film eras, plus the inclusion of new material supporting Disney Plus shows The Mandalorian, Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano, and the spectacular Andor!
(Seriously, Mandalorian and Boba Fett were already my new favorite pieces of Star Wars media, but Andor absolutely blew me away. Highly, highly recommended.)
Many thanks to the amazing Patrons of Crushing Krisis, who helped to fund the initial development of these guides and who have made it possible for Crushing Krisis and Crushing Comics to continue to grow – including the addition of another 74 guides since my Star Wars launch. That’s more than one guide per month, and I have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
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