We’ve seen this play out once before in the old EU, but the revised Star Wars canon is rewriting how the final days of the Empire went down.
A comic titled Star Wars: Shattered Empire will bridge the gap between the end of the last film (Return of the Jedi) and The Force Awakens in December, charting the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Endor, and the destruction of the second Death Star.
Here’s the official plot description:
Emperor Palpatine’s twenty-year reign of terror came to an abrupt and fiery end in the skies above the forest moon of Endor. A decisive victory for the Rebel Alliance, to be sure, but even with the loss of its leadership, the Empire’s Moffs and regional governors retained their hold on important systems from the Core to the Outer Rim, thanks to the might of the Imperial Starfleet. Now, with a power vacuum atop the Empire, those Moffs will jockey for position and control, and the heroes of the Rebel Alliance will soon discover that a wounded and fractious Empire may be more dangerous than any threat they faced before!
So what does this tell us about the new Star Wars universe?
The comic sounds like it’s directly addressing something a lot of fans have been saying for decades now: the fall of the empire and the subsequent rise of the New Republic sure seemed to have happened really quickly. In all likelihood, it would take decades for an organization as large as the Empire to crumble, as even without a central leadership, regional governments wouldn’t just turn over without a fight.
That’s exactly the situation the new Star Wars timeline will find itself in after the events of RotJ, with the surviving leadership of the Empire fighting the rebellion and each other in equal measure to fill the power vacuum.
When is Shattered Empire out?
The first issue of Shattered Empire is out on September 1. In total, the series will consist of four issues, which will be collected into a trade paperback on November 17.
In the meantime, you can check out the cover art (and variant) below, as well as see this period in time from another angle in the upcoming mobile game, Star Wars: Uprising later this year.