Published June 22, 2017

Celebrating Star Wars #17

A key player from the original trilogy gets his own comic spotlight!

Image for Celebrating Star Wars #17

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #1

Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron (1995) #1

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If you ask someone to name every character who appeared in all of the first three Star Wars films, you’ll probably be answered with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, the droids, and Darth Vader—maybe Obi-Wan, if Force ghosts count. You know you’re talking to real fans if they also reference Wedge Antilles, who emerged as a fan favorite for his understated but key roles in the Battle of Hoth and his attacks on both Death Stars.

In fact, as Wedge himself states in STAR WARS: X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON #1—the 1995 comic that dared to feature a rather unfamiliar face as the sole character on its cover—“General Calrissian usually gets the credit, but I dropped a [proton] torpedo on the coaxial when I split, and I think that was the straw that broke the Death Star’s back.” He actually said “photon torpedo”—writer Michael A. Stackpole must have been in a Star Trek state of mind when he wrote this.

After “Return of the Jedi,” Luke bequeathed leadership of Rogue Squadron to Wedge, and beginning in the months following that film, the X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON series follows the team’s adventures. In addition to seeing Wedge as a leading man, it also shines light on characters fans really only knew as names in battles beforehand, if at all; we learn much more about these guys than “good shot, Janson!”…like the fact that Janson’s first name is Wes. Meanwhile, characters like Tycho Celchu didn’t even regist names in the films, but we get their back stories and a better sense of the camaraderie that exists in Star Wars’ most iconic military unit.