Marvel Star Wars: Age of …Comics Rankings
Ranking all 27 Age of comic issues to let you know which of these one-shots are worth your time.
The Age of Comics was a series of one-shots covering the Republic, Rebellion, and Resistance that highlighted primary, secondary, and tertiary characters from all three eras. But it was a long series (running from 2018 to 2019) that required a lot of investment from fans.
While comics are relatively cheaper than buying a new book, the costs can quickly add up. And being a Star Wars canon junkie (or just wanting to read more about your favorite Star Wars characters) can be expensive. Digital comics run about US 2.99–5.99 USD and, when everything is connected in Star Wars canon, you want your canon experience to be enhanced from reading a comic.
So let’s go through all the Age of Comics and give my thoughts on which ones you might want to consider. Get ready for some credit puns in this spoiler-free ranking.
Credit Worthy (#1–8)
These single issues are strong enough to stand on their own.
1. Age of Resistance: Rose Tico
Without going into too much detail (because you really should read this), this is the story of Rose and Paige Tico, following them from their homeworld, Hays Minor, to joining the Resistance. There is a touching twist that does both sisters the kind of justice the films neglected and makes a perfect case of why more Tico sisters’ stories should be in canon.
2. Age of Rebellion Special
It is crazy that Yoda did not get his own one-shot in the Age of Rebellion series, but the popular canon character is still the star of a great canon piece that takes place before he meets Luke Skywalker.
Jek Porkins also gets a storyline with eye-popping, editorial-style art by Jon Adams. When the war takes its toll, Porkins takes a vacation to Irff. What follows is just an odd series of mini-adventures with Porkins and Biggs Darklighter.
The IG-88 story is ok, but it is the weak link. For Droid stories, might I recommend the one-shot Star Wars Special: C-3P0. Other than that, Age of Rebellion Special is the best of the three Special issues.
3. Age of Republic: Qui-Gon Jinn
A story about a Jedi doing what Jedi are supposed to…serve. (caption)
If you have delved into canon deeper than The Phantom Menace, you probably know how important Qui-Gon Jinn was to the Jedi Order. Not necessarily directly, but his perspective was one of which we have not seen in this Star Wars timeline.
I do not want to deal in absolutes, but it is fair to say that if Qui-Gon lived through the Clone Wars, Anakin would not have fallen to the dark side. And it is not because Qui-Gon would have been more of a father figure to Anakin than he needed versus the big brother Obi-Wan was.
Qui-Gon would have realized, at some point, that Anakin needed his mother. Whether rescuing her or just allowing him to visit would have made all the difference. Having more context on Qui-Gon in canon, he was a Jedi Master who often clashed with the beliefs of the Jedi Council. So much so that he declined to serve on the Council.
What does that have to do with this one-shot? Age of Republic: Qui-Gon Jinn is a simple story of conflict resolution, but it is also a reminder of what the Jedi should always aspire towards. To give great thought to conflict resolution and stand by your morals, no matter how difficult.
4. Age of Republic: Jango Fett
Boba Fett content is experiencing a renaissance with The Book of Boba Fett. But it is almost easy to forget that Boba is a clone, especially if you did not watch The Clone Wars. Yet even in The Clone Wars, when most of Boba’s drive is to get revenge on Mace Windu for killing his father, Boba’s relationship with his father is rarely explored. The two had very few scenes in Attack of the Clones and, even though a backstory with his father was teased in the first few episodes, The Book of Boba Fett did not explore his relationship with Jango either.
Age of Republic: Jango Fett fills that hole of a touching father/son adventure where we see their relationship through Jango’s eyes. The dynamic between fathers and sons in Star Wars has been shown through the perspective of the Skywalkers with Vader and Luke, then Han and Ben Solo. But here we have a father and son bounty hunting team that share the exact same genetic code, and this one-shot brings more understanding of how that scientific fact shapes both moving forward.
5. Age of Rebellion: Grand Moff Tarkin
Star Wars canon is trying hard to make Grand Moff Tarkin interesting by placing him in almost every story set during the Reign of the Empire: Rebels, The Bad Batch, Rogue One. He even made an appearance in The Clone Wars. In 2015, Lucasfilm Press and Del Rey released Tarkin by James Luceno, which chronicles Tarkin’s rise within the Empire, working with Vader, and his eventual promotion to Grand Moff. It is a struggle to get through.
My suggestion is to read this issue instead. You come away with the same conclusion: Tarkin’s brutal approach to leadership and demand for unquestioned loyalty led him to be the architect of his own demise.
6. Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker
What could have been? That is the question if Anakin Skywalker did not “die” and become Darth Vader. The answer is probably a great leader who could have been an ally to ending slavery across the galaxy. As it turns out, he became complicit, using the same tactics as the Separatists under the Empire.
This one-shot follows Anakin as he has to choose between life and death, and the result will most definitely have you wonder what could have been if the “chosen one” stayed with the light.
7. Age of Republic: Obi-Wan Kenobi
For a quick summary before diving into Obi-Wan Kenobi or even Prequel Trilogy, this is a good one-shot that encapsulates Kenobi’s fears of failing his Master and, ultimately, his Padawan.
It is a level of insecurity we did not see in the Prequel Trilogy but do get more of in Obi-Wan Kenobi. But there is enough new here to be worth the money if you are an Obi-Wan fan.
8. Age of Resistance: Poe Dameron
I don’t know why I like this story so much, but Poe Dameron’s life before joining the Resistance was a good choice to center his one-shot on. The complacency of the New Republic between Episode VI and Episode VII is just starting to be explored in shows like The Mandalorian, and there is plenty of room for more stories. In Age of Resistance: Poe Dameron, the New Republic’s inaction is close to a breaking point, and Poe Dameron is caught in the middle, sensing that something is not quite right.
Add to that a surprise cameo and recognition of another great pilot in Star Wars, and there really is nothing to complain about this one-shot.
Two Credits Are More Than One (#9–16)
Best to pair these stories together to get a meaningful canon experience.
9. Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker | 10. Age of Resistance: Supreme Leader Snoke
Palpatine tried to manipulate Luke early on into his awareness of the young Skywalker. Just like we see Palpatine grooming Anakin in content like Obi-Wan and Anakin, he tries to do the same with Luke.
But Luke cannot be manipulated by Palpatine as easily as his father, which can also be attributed to his time on Tatooine being a kid versus his father’s youth being in the Jedi Order and close to Palpatine. Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker ties in well with the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, but it also works well with another Age of comic.
In the Age of Resistance: Supreme Leader Snoke, Snoke takes Kylo Ren on a rite of passage for a Jedi, the same one his Uncle Luke went on while training with Yoda on Dagobah. During their trip, Snoke talks to Kylo about his uncle and has a clear respect for Luke. Having seen Rise of Skywalker and knowing Snoke’s origin, this story will have a whole new meaning that pairs well with the aforementioned Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker.
Kylo Ren’s insecurities also shine through, showing how easily manipulated he was in the beginning by Snoke, making the turn in The Last Jedi all the more shocking.
11. Age of Republic: Padmé Amidala | 12. Age of Rebellion: Princess Leia
Both mother and daughter take matters into their own hands and are not beneath trickery in disguise to get results. For Padmé, it is a mission to find allies during the Clone Wars. For Leia, it is a mission to rescue the man she loves from Jabba the Hutt. Both put themselves in danger on the front lines and take advantage of others underestimating them.
In the Skywalker saga, more emphasis has been placed on Vader and Luke’s relationship in the Original Trilogy and somewhat on Luke and Leia’s relationship in the Sequel Trilogy. But the two siblings did have a mother who also died when they were born. Reading these two stories back to back will play like a tale of mother and daughter across time and reminds you that Leia is a Skywalker, but she is also an Amidala.
13. Age of Resistance: General Hux | 14. Age of Resistance: Captain Phasma
Is there a better way to show why the First Order barely lasted than showcasing these two psychopaths?
General Hux and Phasma are both products of their upbringings within harsh, abusive environments. You only get a sense of that in Hux’s one-shot (for Phasma, you have to read her self-titled novel). They only care about their personal ambitions and view everyone else as disposable. With Phasma, this narrative is repetitive as the same conclusion is made reading her four-issue mini-series Star Wars: Captain Phasma and reading the novel. The only media where it is not clear is the Sequel Trilogy films.
But pairing these two issues gives an insight into why seemingly unstoppable superpowers fail: Poor leadership breeding a self-serving populace.
15. Age of Republic: Darth Maul | 16. Age of Republic: Count Dooku
Both Darth Maul and Count Dooku thought they were the heir apparent to the dark side under Darth Sideous. Both were just stepping stones for Palpatine to get to Anakin Skywalker.
And both of these Age of Republic tales separately are just as inconsequential to your canon experience as these apprentices were to Darth Sideous. But together they add to the pattern of Palpatine using his current apprentice while always looking for another.
To keep Maul in line after he starts to go rogue, Palpatine shows him his worst nightmare (which is pretty amusing). Dooku gets reminded that he could be replaced when he is sent on a mission to broker a deal with a corporation and encounters a Jedi who recognizes him.
These are different stories that feel so similar because they are about men who are trapped in a game that they will ultimately lose.
If these are on sale, they are serviceable stories to entertain.
17. Age of Republic: General Grievous
The first two-thirds of this comic are Grievous being Grievous from The Clone Wars (a fairly one-note villain). There is only a hint of new character development in the last third where you see what he looked like before he got addicted to cybernetic enhancements.
That part of his story should have been given more time (I delve into why in my post on Grievous and Cybernetics). Aside from that, this is a pretty average story for a pretty average villain.
18. Age of Rebellion: Boba Fett
Once upon a time, this story of Boba Fett would have been a welcome addition to the Star Wars canon. In 2019 when this issue came out, Fett had not yet made his return in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. However, we have much more character development, so this one-shot feels dated. Still, it does pair well with who Boba Fett used to be before he underwent his sarlaac pit transformation and emerged as more of an anti-hero than antagonist.
But it is still a story where everyone else does most of the talking for Fett. There are some beautiful frames by artist Marc Laming, and the story follows a similar tone to The Mandalorian, so this western-style one-shot is worth a look.
19. Age of Rebellion: Jabba the Hutt
Hutt politics is something Star Wars should consider devoting more time to, perhaps in a novel. Live-action seems too expensive as the Hutt Twins were only in The Book of Boba Fett for two scenes in the entire six-episode series.
If you are interested in the underworld of Tatooine and Jabba’s relationship with the various natives and outsiders during his reign as a crime lord, this is the one-shot for you. Plus, it has Salacious Crumb on the cover.
20. Age of Rebellion: Lando
I am not the biggest fan of Lando, but the most interesting element of his character is his role in Cloud City. It is not defined well in the films, so other canon materials have had to do the work of explaining what a Baron Administrator does. Apparently, it is a glorified Chief Operating Officer/Operations Director. But, Lando Calrissian is also about high stakes, so not so by the book when it comes to keeping the lights on in Cloud City.
If you want a snapshot of what a day looks like for a Baron Administrator with a penchant for gambling in the Star Wars universe, odds are you will like Age of Rebellion: Lando.
21. Age of Resistance: Rey
The Sequel Trilogy character had a fantastic introduction that also introduced Jakku in live-action. Her time on Jakku is referenced in this less compelling story of found family that also involves a strange detour that does not clearly feed into the overall message.
If you are a Rey fan, any of the novelizations of the Sequel Trilogy films might be money better spent. But, if you are a Rey fan, you might also like this one-shot because it gives her an extra scene with Leia, who ends up as more of a mentor to her than Han or Luke.
Operating at a Loss (#22–27)
Don’t waste your money and just go to Wookiepedia.
22. Age of Republic Special
This special includes Asajj Ventress, Mace Windu, and a Captain Rex/Jar Jar story. The Asajj story comes out on top, exploring her soft spot for sisters during her second career as a bounty hunter.
The Mace story plays into his rigid idea of actions and consequences, but it also contradicts his character in how he treats a teen terrorist versus how he treated young Boba Fett. And I cannot recommend a story with Jar Jar Binks, even if it is with Captain Rex.
Ventress’ life after being a dark side apprentice is covered solidly in The Clone Wars and continued in the novel Dark Disciple. Meanwhile, Mace Windu has his own five-issue comic series set during the Clone Wars, Star Wars: Mace Windu (2017) that is more substantive and adds something new to the character. This one is a skip.
23. Age of Rebellion: Darth Vader
Vader serves the will of Palpatine (like the apprentices before him), and Palpatine will sacrifice anyone in his Empire to make that point. That is something we have been shown many times in canon.
And there is so much Vader content in all Star Wars media, and Vader has the largest presence in comics, with a long-running series in Star Wars: Darth Vader and a couple of one-shots. So this one-shot would have to be truly special for me to recommend. And it is not.
24. Age of Rebellion: Han Solo
Let’s set aside that Chewbacca does not even get a story in the Age of Rebellion: Special let alone his own one-shot.
This is another “Han Solo is not a part of the Rebellion but really is a part of the Rebellion” story. This takes place directly after A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin 4 and does answer the question of what happened to all those credits Obi-Wan Kenobi promised Han and Chewie. The answer is not as interesting as the question, so you can leave this issue on the shelf.
25. Age of Resistance: Finn
If only Tom Taylor could do in this one-shot for Finn what Tom Taylor did for Rose in Age of Resistance: Rose Tico. Rose’s one-shot improved upon the character because it informed her motivations in The Last Jedi.
I am not sure what the takeaway is here for Finn, except the “not like other troopers” trope, but overall this is a forgettable story for a character who always seems to get short-changed.
26. Age of Resistance: Kylo Ren
I will be blunt: This is a pointless plot that conveys the same thing which the Sequel Trilogy films showed: Kylo Ren is chasing Darth Vader. Has he learned nothing from staring at his charred grandfather’s helmet?
Kylo participating in a competition with his dead relative and involving an old former Stormtrooper is strange. And childish in a cringe way.
He is reckless and is quite like Anakin, but these are things that you learn from the films. So this one-shot is a skip.
27. Age of Resistance Special
The sin of this issue is that it underscores that Lucasfilm never did know what to do with Maz Kanata or Amilyn Holdo after introducing them in canon (Maz in The Force Awakens and Holdo in Leia: Princess of Alderaan). Maz has been stuck acting as a narrator for other people’s stories in Forces of Destiny or a cameo in various timelines because her species is super old.
Holdo is stuck with a similar story in this special of being underestimated because she dyes her hair purple. Something is interesting there, but it needs more than a third of an issue.
At this point, I am not sure why Maz Kanata does not have her own comic series or novel. She is a Force-sensitive being who has lived across all current timelines in Star Wars, including The High Republic. And then there is the third story, which is BB-8 being a droid and talking to other droids. Unfortunately, one of those droids is not CB-23 from Star Wars Resistance, so I cannot recommend this story either.
Originally published at https://creditsandcanon.com on July 16, 2022.