How things change and in comics change is a mainstay or in other words ‘in-canon’.
Yesterday saw the release of Star Wars #6. If anything, Jason Aaron has made quite a name for himself with comic book controversy. Starting with his take on Thor with a female wielding Mjölnir to his drastic changes to canon with the new Star Wars series from Marvel Comics.
Star Wars started on an interesting note by not only taking place a bit after ‘A New Hope’ but also having Luke Skywalker confronting Darth Vader for the first time. This raised a lot of heads as we all know Luke confronts Vader on Cloud City in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’; however what Aaron is doing is answering plot holes between movies. The main Star Wars series is much like Darth Vader’s own solo series; it is Vader’s quest to where he is in Empire. By Empire he is well aware of Luke Skywalker but how does he come to be aware of such a person? Where does he get the name from? How did the Dark Lord of the Sith learn his son he has believed to be dead is still alive? These are the plot holes Arron is filling in.
Hasn’t this been done before? That is a good question. Why yes, in a manner of speaking it has. For ten years Dark Horse Comics has published Star Wars comics across the spectrum. From 1000 years before A New Hope up to a 1000 years after Return of the Jedi. It had become all Star Wars fans knew of what was dubbed ‘The Expanded Universe’ which found it’s way into the prequels, into the cartoons, novels and video games. It fueled us, it gave us new action figures and even gave Luke Skywalker a wife. Then it all just went away.
On October 30th, 2012, Walt Disney bought Star Wars from George Lucas and everything Dark Horse did was on a short leash as their comic licence was coming up for renewal and Disney who already owned Marvel Comics was planning on doing the comics in house. When Star Wars #1 from Marvel (who is no stranger to Star Wars comics as they were the first to publish comics in the late 1970s for over 100 issues of the series) six months ago, the slate for the expanded universe had been wiped clean. This was anyone’s game and as usual rabid fanboys fear change.
Yesterday saw probably the most drastic change to Star Wars canon, Sana Solo, Han Solo’s wife. Now… relax, it’s a page meant to be a part of a cliffhanger for this issue. For all we know they could be on their way to being divorced or perhaps Corellian Marriage permits a mistress or multiple wives; at this point we don’t know anything except what we have seen in six movies on screen and a handful of cartoons on TV.
Nothing says Han couldn’t be married at some point. As a matter of fact, what some people are forgetting is that Han Solo did indeed have some mystery woman in ‘A New Hope’. In a dropped scene from the infamous Cantina scene, Han Solo is seen with ‘Jenny’, a humanoid female who he is a bit ‘close’ with. Of course the footage wasn’t used so Jenny doesn’t get much mileage but in the New Hope novelization she is described as Han Solo’s ‘Companion’, thusly implying more than a casual harmless flirtation. Of course no one saw fit to ever use Jenny in any expanded material or maybe it was because not many were privy to Jenny’s existence until the Special Edition DVD.
Perhaps this is where Jason Arron gets his inspiration? Are we to assume that Han Solo, smuggler and scoundrel extraordinaire has been chaste all these years till he meets Princess Leia? Are we to assume our favorite space couple actually end up together with a happy ending after Return of the Jedi? We’ll have to wait and see what The Force Awakens says about their relationship this December. However in the meantime, we need to relax and sit back and enjoy Jason Aaron’s ride in the all-new Star Wars expanded universe. I understand that is easier said than done, trying to push aside 10+ years of established comic history.