The Ultimate Guide To Reading Star Wars Comics: Where To Start, Reading Order, And Formats

Where should you start if you want to read star wars comics?

Want to start reading Star Wars comics but don’t know where to start? Did you try to start reading but got confused with the different Star Wars comic formats? This guide to reading Star Wars comic reading guide from DrunkWooky is here to help. The most common question I see on online forums, subreddits, and groups is how to get get started reading Star Wars comics.

The question is typically a variation of the following:

  • What is the best way to read Star Wars comics?
  • Where should I start reading Star Wars comics?
  • What is the best Star Wars reading order?
  • Where should I begin with Star Wars Canon comics?

If you are having the same questions and you are wanting to get started reading and collecting Star Wars comics then know that your question is one that pretty much everyone who reads comics has asked.

It’s not always clear the best places to start.

Star Wars Comic Formats: Know What Your Want Before You Buy

One of the things that confuses most new Star Wars comic readers is the different formats that the comics come in. Most online retailers just assume you know the difference between an omnibus and a trade paperback. But considering many of these different formats are labeled very similar and use the same art on the cover as others it can be easy to get confused.

Let’s break the different formats for reading Star Wars Comics.

Star Wars Single Issue Comics

Single comic issues are pretty self-explanatory. Each individual comic from a series is released in 18-30 page comics every month (usually). Single-issue comics are the best way to stay up to date with current comic series as the larger formats can take months or years to come out. That being said past series can be very hard to come by at a reasonable cost because of their collectability. So if you are going to take my advice on this page and start at one of what I believe are the best starting points for Star Wars comics I suggest you start with one of the formats below.

If you want updates on single-issue Star Wars comics as they come out check be sure to follow the @drunkwooky Instagram page.

Star Wars Trade Paperbacks

A trade paperback (TPB for short) is a collection of stories and comics republished together in a paperback book format. They are usually organized by Volumes. So if you see Star Wars The High Republic Volume 1 it typically means this book collects the first 4-6 comics in that series. This term can be used for books of all sizes but it’s usually the smallest of the collected editions with 4-6 comics included in the book. Your standard Trade Paperbacks typically retail around $12.99-$19.99 depending on how sought-after they are.

You can see a full list of Star Wars Omnibuses, Trade Paperbacks, and Epic Collections coming out this year on our mega-post here.

Star Wars Legends Epic Collections

Star Wars Epic Collections are trade paperbacks that hold more stories and include more comic issues than your typical trade paperbacks. Consider them to be the middle child between a Trade Paperback and Omnibus. Size can vary but typically hold between 12-20 individual comics inside. Epic Collections typically retail in the $33-$44 range but out-of-print editions can get expensive fast.

You can see a full list of Star Wars Omnibuses, Trade Paperbacks, and Epic Collections coming out this year on our mega-post here.

Star Wars Omnibuses

An omnibus is a collection of individual comics or short graphic novel reprints into one large book with, typically, a cohesive story. So instead of buying 26 different Darth Vader comics (some of which may now be $100+ each) you can buy the Darth Vader Omnibus to get the entire run in one place. Star Wars Omnibuses are typically the largest of the collected editions of comics. Ranging anywhere from 12-35+ comics in the book. Omnibuses typically retail between $80-$125 depending on how large they are.

You can see a full list of Star Wars Omnibuses, Trade Paperbacks, and Epic Collections coming out this year on our mega-post here.

Canon Vs Legends

Star Wars Canon Comics vs. Legends Comics

Other than comics that are adaptations of canon movies all comics published prior to Disney rebooting comics and books in 2013 are considered “Legends.” When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2013 they wanted a fresh start that did not need to adhere to the stories that were established in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Now, this does not mean they are not worth reading. Dark Horse did a fantastic job with Star Wars comics prior to losing the Star Wars IP contract to Marvel. Since then, many Legends characters have been re-canonized through shows, movies, books, and comics. However, for those just getting started with Star Wars comics, I personally suggest sticking to canon comics as you get familiar with the comic structure.

NOTE: If you did want to get into Star Wars Legends comics just know that buying each individual comic is going to be very expensive as titles with key moments like first appearances can be as expensive as hundreds of dollars each. The good news is that Marvel is reprinting most of the Legends comics’ new Omnibuses and their Marvel Epic Collections in 2021. These are the best way to read these stories on a budget unless you read comics online.

You can see a full list of Star Wars Omnibuses and Star Wars Legends Epic Collections coming out this year on our mega-post here.

Star Wars Comics: Where To Start

“Where to start with Star Wars comics” can be a tricky question as people who are new to Star Wars all have different tastes, interests, and reasons for wanting to get more Star Wars content.

Because of that, I took the top “goals” that I often see people mention when asking this question and am offering five different starting points that could be the best fit for you depending on which category you find yourself in.

Here are the 5 categories I am using.

I also prioritized series that you can find the larger collected editions like Omnibuses, Trade Paperbacks, and Epic Collections at decent costs.

The Best Canon Star Wars Comics to Read First: Star Wars: Darth Maul Son of Dathomir

How to start reading canon Star Wars comics Star Wars: Darth Maul Son of Dathomir
Star Wars Darth Maul Son of Dathomir Comic Series

For: Best place to start for those who want to start small with Star Wars comics.

Star Wars: Darth Maul Son of Dathomir is the ideal starting point for those who are just wanting to dip their toes into Star Wars comics for the first time as it’s a short 4-part mini-series. It’s also my personal favorite comic storyline. It’s perfect for those who’ve enjoyed the prequels and/or The Clone Wars and want more.

So while there are other series that are longer and may feel letter better starting points I like to suggest this series to those who want to give comics a try without committing to reading 25-75 issues of something.

Here’s the publisher’s description: Getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and being rejected by his former Sith Master Darth Sidious isn’t going to defeat Darth Maul. In fact, it only makes him mad enough to take on the galaxy – with an army of Mandalorians! After forming the Shadow Collective – a criminal organization composed of the Hutts, Black Sun, the Mandalorians, and the fearsome Nightbrothers – Maul wages war against Darth Sidious and his generals, Count Dooku and General Grievous! Adapted from unproduced screenplays for Season 6 of The Clone Wars television show, this is the final chapter planned for the Darth Maul saga.

How to Buy

Since there are only 4, I added links to the individual issues below. Just know that they are not cheap. My suggestion would be to buy the Trade Paperback or the Clone Wars Vol 4 Epic Collection while they are still reasonably priced.

Single Issues

Trade Paperbacks & Epic Collections

* The Star Wars Epic Collection: Clone Wars Volume 6 includes the following issues inside: Free Comic Book Day 2005: Star Wars 1; Star Wars: Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir (2014) 1-4; Star Wars: Republic (2002) 74-77, 81-83; Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) 1-4; Star Wars: Tag & Bink II (2006) 2; material from Star Wars Visionaries (2005) 1, Star Wars Tales (1999) 4

The Best Canon Star Wars Comics to Read First: Star Wars (2015) Comic Series by Jason Aaron

How to start reading Star Wars canon comics
Star Wars 2015 Comic Series by Jason Aaron

Best for place to start for those who want more original trilogy era Star Wars stories.

Star Wars (2015) is the best place to start reading Star Wars comics if you want canon content centered around Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and the events of the original trilogy.

Star Wars (2015) was the first Star Wars canon comic series published by Marvel after Disney established the difference between canon and legends. Much of this run that started in 2015 was written by Jason Aaron and tells the story of what Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, etc. were up to in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

This is probably the most common suggestion for those asking “Where should I start with Star Wars comics?” and it’s certainly a good suggestion. As I mentioned above, 75 issues were released over 4+ years since Star Wars #1 was published in 2015.

How to Buy & Reading Order

Since this run was so large there are tons of different formats to read it in.

Star Wars 2015 Single Issues

Since there are 75 single issues in this run I am not going to list them here. It will be much more economical to get the collected editions but if you want to collect the single issues check Ebay for “lots” to save on shipping.

Star Wars 2015 Trade Paperbacks

There are 13 Trade Paperbacks That collect all 75 issues of this run. There are also two mini-series that crossover into the main story (Vader Down and The Screaming Citadel) so they were included as well.

Trade Paperbacks

  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 1
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 2
  • Star Wars (2015) Vader Down
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 3
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 4
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 5
  • Star Wars (2015) The Screaming Citadel
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 6
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 7
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 8
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 9
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 10
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 11
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 12
  • Star Wars (2015) Vol 13

Hard Cover Collected Editions

In 2017 Marvel decided to create hardcover volumes of the Star Wars 2015 run that include 12 issues each. They created 3 volumes and then stopped. At the moment it is unclear if they are going to finish these. Just be careful if you are buying an omnibus that you don’t accidentally buy one of these as they are sometimes mislabeled as an omnibus on online marketplaces like eBay.

Hard Covers (12 issue collections)

Star Wars 2015 Omnibus

In May 2022 Marvel did a reprint of the 1200-page Star Wars Volume 1 omnibus that includes Issues 1-37, Star Wars Annuals 1-3, Vader Down mini-series, and The Screaming Citadel miniseries. In other words, it collects roughly 1/2 of the comics in this run.

At the moment we don’t have any information on with the 2nd volume will be released but you have to think it’s in the plans. My guess is 2023.

Omnibuses:

  • Star Wars by Jason Aaron Omnibus Vol 1 (Cassasday Cover)
  • Star Wars by Jason Aaron Omnibus Vol 1 (Immonen Variant Cover)
  • Star Wars by Jason Aaron Omnibus Vol 1 (Brooks Variant Cover)

The Best Canon Star Wars Comics to Read First: Star Wars Darth Vader (2015)

How to Start Reading Star Wars Darth Vader Canon Comics
Star Wars Darth Vader Comic Series

Best place to start for those who want more Sith lore and Darth Vader comic stories.

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015) by Kieron Gillen is a fantastic comic series that is my choice as a starting point for anyone who wants to start reading Star Wars comics featuring the Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader.

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015) was the first Star Wars canon Darth Vader comic series published by Marvel after Disney established the difference between canon and legends. This series focuses on Darth Vader struggling to maintain his loyalties to Emporer Palpatine while reeling from the destruction of the Death Star by a certain force-sensitive Rebel Pilot. All stories in this series are set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

Publishers Summary: One of the greatest antagonists in all of fiction rises again! Fresh from a stinging defeat at the hands of the Rebel Alliance, Darth Vader must reassert the Empire’s iron grip on the galaxy. But will his personal desire for vengeance against the young Jedi who destroyed the Death Star distract from Vader’s duty to the Emperor? As a fateful quest begins, the Dark Lord of the Sith will face fresh threats to his power. And, as other villains old and new play their part — from Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt to diabolical debutant Doctor Aphra and the killer droids Triple-Zero and BeeTee-One — will Vader’s imperial march continue, or will his schemes prove his undoing?

How to Buy & Reading Order

Since this run was so large there are tons of different formats to read it in.

Darth Vader 2015 Single Issues

Since there are 25 single issues in this run I am not going to list them here. It will be much more economical to get the collected editions but if you do want to collect the single issues check Ebay for “lots” to save on shipping.

Star Wars Darth Vader 2015 Trade Paperbacks

There are 4 Trade Paperbacks That collect all 25 issues of this run. There is also a crossover mini series called “Vader Down” that I’ve included as it ties directly into the story.

Trade Paperbacks

  • Star Wars Darth Vader (2015) Vol 1
  • Star Wars Darth Vader (2015) Vol 2
  • Star Wars (2015) Vader Down
  • Star Wars Darth Vader (2015) Vol 3
  • Star Wars Darth Vader (2015) Vol 4
  • Star Wars Darth Vader (2015) Vol 5

Star Wars Darth Vader 2015 Hard Cover Collected Editions

There are two hardcovers that each collect 1/2 of the Star Wars Darth Vader 2015 run. They are similar in concept to an Epic Collection but since they are hardcover they are not considered epic collections.

Hard Covers (non omnibus)

  • Star Wars Darth Vader HC Volume 1 – Main Cover
  • Star Wars Darth Vader HC Volume 1 – Ross DM Variant Cover
  • Star Wars Darth Vader HC Volume 2

Star Wars Darth Vader 2015 Omnibus

In April 2022 Marvel did a new printing of the 700+ page Star Wars Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen omnibus that includes Issues every Darth Vader comic from this run.

This would be my suggestion for anyone looking to get started with Darth Vader comics. Best bang for your buck.

Omnibuses:

  • Star Wars Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen Omnibus (Andrews Cover)
  • Star Wars Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen Omnibus (Brooks Variant Cover)

The Best Canon Star Wars Comics to Read First: Poe Dameron Comic Series By Charles Soule

How To Start Reading Star Wars Canon Comics Star Wars Poe Dameron
Star Wars Poe Dameron Comic Series

Best place to start for those who want more stories after Return of the Jedi (Canon New Republic)

The Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic series is a great place to start for anyone looking for more sequel trilogy content and background on how the galaxy reached the state it did before Episode VII The Force Awakens.

The series dives into Poe’s status as the top X-wing fighter pilot for General Leia Organa and leader of a squadron with an important mission. But the evil First Order also has a goal of finding Luke, and a new villain from the organization is introduced as Poe’s chief nemesis, Terex.

The coolest part for me is that Star Wars: Poe Dameron fills in some story gaps from The Force Awakens by telling the story that ends up where the movie starts. Poe on Jakku searching our Lor San Tekka to find the missing piece of the map that leads to the great Luke Skywalker.

Just like The Clone Wars added fantastic context to the prequel trilogy this comic series adds some needed depth the sequel trilogy story.

Just know that, as I write this, there is no omnibus or hardcover collected editions. The two options are to collect the single issues or buy the trade paperbacks. That being said I would be shocked if we didn’t eventually get an omnibus.

How to Buy & Reading Order

Star Wars Poe Dameron 2015 Single Issues

Since there are 31 single issues in the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic series I am not going to list them here. It will be much more economical to get the trade paperbacks but if you do want to collect the single issues check Ebay for “lots” to save on shipping.

Star Wars Poe Dameron Trade Paperbacks

There are 5 Trade Paperbacks That collect all 31 issues (and 2 annuals) of this run.

Trade Paperbacks

The Best Canon Star Wars Comics to Read First: Star Wars: The High Republic

How to star reading canon star wars comics The High Republic
The High Republic Comic Series

Best place to start for those who want new Non-Skywalker-Saga stories.

Anyone who is looking for brand new Star Wars stories that are not directly tied to the Skywalker Saga stories need to start The High Republic immediately. When you talk to as many Star Wars fans as I do it’s clear that there is a healthy appetite for stories that are not bound by needing to fit into existing stories. Often limiting the scope of the story to avoid contradicting future shows and movies.

Since the first phase of Star Wars: The High Republic is set 150 years before Episode I the Phantom Menace the creators have had the freedom to create a much large story with galaxy-wide implications. We get to follow the Jedi in their golden age. An age that is supposed to be full of peace and prosperity. But new threats in the Nihil and The Drengir have shown themselves to be huge threats to not only the Galactic Republic but to the Jedi Order.

I don’t want to spoil to much of the storyline but here are a few things you need to know about The High Republic before you get started.

The High Republic is being split up into three phases. I’ve included all Phase I comics in this guide as the best starting point for reading new Star Wars comic stories.

Phase 1 comics were split into two different main runs and three mini-series;

Star Wars: The High Republic (Marvel) by Cavan Scott

This is the main run that has a style that is most like the stories listed above. If you only picked one I would suggest choosing this run from Marvel.

Publisher Summary: A new era of Star Wars storytelling begins! Journey back to the High Republic — the golden age of the Jedi! Centuries before the Empire and the Skywalker saga, the Jedi are at their height, protecting the galaxy as Republic pioneers push out into new territories. But as the frontier prepares for the dedication of the majestic Starlight Beacon, Padawan Keeve Trennis faces the ultimate choice — will she complete her Jedi trials, or rescue the innocent from disaster? And can she trust her closest ally? Enter a rich and vast world of new Jedi! New worlds! New ships! And new evils to fight — including the terrifying Nihil!

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures (IDW) by Daniel Jose

The High Republic Adventures is the “all ages” series from IDW Publishing that is intended to be enjoyed by more than just teenagers and adults. But don’t let that stop you from reading it. Unlike some other all ages comics this 13 issue run from IDW is not just filler. Major plot lines with the new big bad Marchion Ro (an amazing villain) and the Jedi take place in this series. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Publisher Summary: An all-new ongoing series! In the glory days of the Republic, two hundred years before the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca, the Jedi stand as guardians of galactic peace—until a powerful new adversary called the Nihil arrives. Now a group of young Padawans, training under Master Yoda, must protect the Republic while learning the lessons that will one day lead them to become powerful Jedi in their own right. Writer Daniel José Older, bestselling author of Star Wars: Last Shot, and artist Harvey Tolibao bring IDW into The High Republic, a massive publishing crossover spanning comics and prose!

Star Wars: The High Republic (Marvel) Trail Of Shadows Mini-Series by Daniel Jose Older

As I mentioned above there are three storylines that take place in mini series’ that dive deeper into different areas of the story. Daniel Jose Older’s High Republic Trail of Shadows mini-series is one of those. It’s a noir-style detective series that pairs a Jedi with a non force sensitive detective to uncover the Jedi’s biggest threat in centuries. It’s great.

Publisher Summary: JEDI KNIGHT AND PRIVATE EYE TEAM UP TO UNCOVER A MYSTERY THAT WILL CHANGE THE HIGH REPUBLIC FOREVER! A Jedi Master is dead. Another is in a state of complete shock. It’s a murder the likes of which the Jedi Order has never seen before. There are no leads. There are no suspects. There is no motive. But Jedi Investigator EMERICK CAPHTOR must solve the case before it’s too late. The fate of the Jedi, the Hutts, the Nihil and everyone in the galaxy, hangs by this tangled thread of lies and deceit. Emerick will need to dive into the darkness, testing himself and his Jedi ideals like never before. He’ll need help. Luckily, Private Eye SIAN HOLT lives in the dark. Together, they’ll follow this trail of shadows wherever it leads. If they can work together, that is.

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures The Monster of Temple Peak (IDW) by Cavan Scott

In the High Republic, there is a character named Ty Yorrick who’s a former Jedi turned space witcher. Hands down one of my favorite new star wars characters I’ve read about in years.

Publisher Summary: Follow former Jedi turned saber-for-hire monster hunter Ty Yorrick in her first comic appearance in this all-new High Republic miniseries by Cavan Scott and Rachael Stott! Ty is a brave yet superstitious monster hunter, traversing the galaxy with KL-03 and her trusty rune-stones fighting the deadliest monsters on any world. After dealing with an escaped Drewen being transported to the Republic Fair, Ty heads to Loreth, where local pioneers have tasked her with taking on the fearsome Gretalax that terrorizes them. She takes the mission but can’t shake the feeling that something is amiss with the Force.

Star Wars: The High Republic Eye of The Storm (Marvel) by Charles Soule

One of my favorite mini-series that Star Wars has ever created. I absolutely love what the High Republic writers have done with Marchion Ro. This is his origin story. But be sure to read this very last or you’re going to spoil the other comics.

Publisher Summary:

ACT ONE: Ro. The Truth. The Lie. The Kill. In which we reveal the true origins of MARCHION RO, the Eye of the Nihil and sworn enemy of the Jedi Order. In which the lie at the heart of his family is exposed. In which the doom of the High Republic begins…with a single kill

ACT TWO: Marchion. The Wreckage. The Hunt. The Storm. In which the Eye of the Nihil exults after a job well done. In which Marchion Ro reveals the source of the Jedi’s greatest fear. In which the future of the Nihil is revealed. 

How to Buy & Reading Order

Star Wars: High Republic Phase 1 Single Issue Comics

Since there are over 40 single issues in the Star Wars: The High Republic and Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic series I am not going to list them here. Just know that since there are so many first appearances in these series’ that they have gotten quite pricey. If you are dead set on getting the individual issues then you can use the links below to find them on Ebay.

Star Wars The High Republic Trade Paperbacks

  • Star Wars: The high Republic Vol 1
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Vol 1
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Vol 2
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Vol 2
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Vol 3
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Vol 3 (coming fall 2022)
    • TFAW
    • Ebay
    • Amazon
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Trail of Shadows Trade Paperback
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Monster of Temple Peak Trade Paperback (coming fall 2022)
    • TFAW
    • Ebay
    • Amazon
  • Star Wars: The High Republic Eye of the Storm

*Note Star Wars the High Republic Eye of the Storm is only available in single issues

One thought on “The Ultimate Guide To Reading Star Wars Comics: Where To Start, Reading Order, And Formats

Leave a Reply