Fans are generally split over Disney’s handling of the Star Wars franchise since the House of Mouse acquired it six years ago. One thing for which I do give the company credit is its multi-platform story building in Star Wars. A chief component of that has been the collaboration with Marvel Comics and its flagship Star Wars comic series. That disappointingly comes to an end soon with issue #75. Fans will get one final sendoff, however, with the one-shot epilogue, Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1.

Empire Ascendant
Image: Riccardo Federici/Marvel Comics

The epic, 56-page comic won’t just bring the comic series to a close. It will tie directly into the opening moments of The Empire Strikes Back. According to

Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1 finds the Rebel Alliance — Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo among them — building up Echo Base on the ice planet of Hoth while Darth Vader tries to locate the headquarters in vain.”  

Star Wars: Empire Ascendant ends comic series… or does it?

Star Wars Comic; Empire Ascendant
Image: Marvel Comics

There have been many bright spots in the series, notably ties to the films. In one issue we see how the Millennium Falcon got so beat up before the events of ESB. In another we learn how Rogue Squadron got its name. Perhaps one of the biggest and brightest additions to Star Wars, however, has been the character of Doctor Aphra. The new, fan-favorite scientist/archeologist and her murder-bots Triple Zero and BT-1 will see their fates revealed in Empire Ascendant.

The Star Wars series epilogue comes to us from writers Charles Soule, Greg Pak, Simon Spurrier, and Ethan Sacks. It will also feature art from series stalwarts Roland Boschi, Luke Ross, and others. Riccardo Federici is responsible for the stunning Empire Ascendant covert art seen above.

Doctor Aphra; Star Wars
What will become of Doctor Aphra? (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marvel is calling the issue a “special one-shot finale.” Notwithstanding, it is labeled Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1. Why bother labeling it as the first issue if there won’t be more stories to come? Something tells us Marvel has more up its sleeve than it’s revealing.

Star Wars: Empire Ascendant arrives this December.