Saturday, November 19, 2016

Speculation Spotlight: 3 Comics to Watch When Rogue One Flies

Rogue One is set to open in theaters across the world in less than a month and like The Force Awakens last year, there are some tentative comic book connections to be found.  Unlike when The Force Awakens was released, we have not seen any movement on any Star Wars comics due to rumors of links to the Rogue One movie.  A word of caution, while I have not seen the movie nor do I have any inside information concerning the movie, much of this can be construed as spoiler material.  If you don't want to be spoiled, please do not proceed with reading this.

Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #1

Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 1994)
1st appearance of Shadow Stormtroopers
Not so much a rumor as fact, black clad Stormtroopers first appeared in a Russ Manning Star Wars newspaper strip.  The Russ Manning strips were adapted to comic books by Dark Horse in the Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures title.  The first issue features the story where Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia face off against the shadowy Agent Blackhole who employs the all-black Imperials known as Black Hole Stormtroopers.  Later on, these troopers became known as Shadow Stormtroopers.  In Rogue One, the black clad Imperials are Death Troopers under the command of Director Orson Krennic.  They differ slightly from Shadow Stormtroopers, mostly in the helmet.

Star Wars: Tag & Bink - Episode I: Revenge of the Clone Menace #2

Star Wars: Tag & Bink - Episode I: Revenge of the Clone Menace #2a (April 2006)
1st comic appearance of Darth Plageuis
This early rumor deals with a scene from the teaser trailer.  During the trailer, a robed, hooded character kneels before a brightly lit cylinder flanked by the Emperor's Royal Guards.  One rumor is Supreme Leader Snoke, aka Darth Plagueis, is in the bacta tank and the robed character is Emperor Palpatine.  Darth Plagueis has been rumored to be Snoke since before The Force Awakens was released.  Darth Plagueis is mentioned by Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith:

Chancellor Palpatine: Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
Anakin Skywalker: No.
Chancellor Palpatine: I thought not.  It's not a story the Jedi would tell you.  It's a Sith legend.  Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise.  He could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create... life.  He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side that he could even keep the ones he cared about... from dying.
Anakin Skywalker: He could actually... save people from death?
Chancellor Palpatine: The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
Anakin Skywalker: What happened to him?
Chancellor Palpatine: He became so powerful, the only thing he was afraid of was... losing his power which, eventually of course, he did.  Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew.  And then his apprentice killed him in his sleep.  Ironic.  He could save others from death... but not himself.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1a (March 2015)
1st appearance of Evaan Verlaine
The Princess Leia mini-series picks up right after the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope.  In the story, Princess Leia is assisted by a female Alderaan pilot in the Rebel Alliance named Evaan Verlaine.  Topps released several digital trading cards which show character from Rogue One and one is an unnamed X-Wing pilot that looks like Evaan.

Evaan Verlaine is shown on the cover to Princess Leia #2.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #2 (March 2015)
There are additional comics with connections to Rogue One.  Poe Dameron #8 shows the helmet of a Death and a Shore Trooper in the story.  Gigorans, the tall, hairy creatures seen in the trailer, are set to appear in Doctor Aphra #1.  Interestingly, the Gigorans are a product of the Expanded Universe.

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