Marvel’s Star Wars titles have been running strong since their debut in 2015, and as the company enters their third year of publishing comics from a galaxy far far away it’s time once more for a crossover.
Revealed exclusively through StarWars.com, the new crossover follows in the footsteps of the 2015/2016 Vader Down event that brought together the Star Wars and Star Wars: Darth Vader titles together for a number of issues. Since Darth Vader came to an end last year, it’s successor series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra will be the title crossing over with Star Wars.
The new event, titled Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel, teams up Jedi hero Luke Skywalker with the amoral archaeologist to investigate an infamous castle on the edge of space called the Screaming Citadel. Kicking off in May, the five-issue event will begin with a Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel one-shot by Doctor Aphra writer Kieron Gillen and artist Marco Checchetto before the story rolls out in Jason Aaron’s Star Wars issues 31 & 31 and Doctor Aphra issues 7 & 8.
“The previous crossover series we did, Vader Down, kind of took my Star Wars book and Kieron’s Darth Vader book and slammed the casts together, and grew out of Vader’s quest to get his hands on Luke,” Aaron said. “This one is the same thing, it’s Kieron and I coming up with it together. This one’s probably more his, more from what he’s been setting up in Doctor Aphra. It’s really trying to do something like Vader Down. Mix our casts up, this time mixing them up in very different ways than what we did the previous time, and playing with some very different settings and tropes. This is very much a Star Wars gothic-horror story.”
Aaron said that the story starts off with Luke and Aphra together exploring where they come into the clutches of an alien queen. The story will feature symbiotes, Aphras murderous droids, her best-friend the Wookie Black Krrsantan, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Sana Starros and some new villains.
The thing that strikes you is how robust these characters are. You can put them in this situation and then you see what they do. They’re heroic figures, and they respond to this situation they’re not normally used to being in, in a way that feels quite convincing. If things get a little bit spooky, you can imagine how Han is going to react. It’s this character we know so well, we can see that, and it’s quite fun,” Gillen said. “In Vader Down, the idea was, ‘Can you describe it in a way that would make people get why they want to read that story?’ In this it’s like, ‘Luke Skywalker and assorted friends in a gothic-horror adventure,’ and your mind goes, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. I get how that will work.’ It’s the pop-song nature of the form, I think.”
The new crossover will also continue to up the profile of Aphra and Sana as the two characters that Gillen & Aaron have added to the growing canon of the Disney owned Star Wars world.
“This is such an enormous story for Aphra and Sana. We alluded to their history a little before, and now it’s the chance to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to put them together and make them really interact in a more extended way.'” Gillen said. “They’re very much part of the emotional arc of the whole thing and how the casts end up coming together is very much linked to Sana and Aphra.”
Just like the previous crossover, Aaron & Gillen promise that the event will have lasting effects on both books going forward.
“I think both of these crossovers that we’ve done, it wasn’t a situation where we were derailing what we were doing in our books, and then wedging in another story. They were both grown out of what Kieron and I were doing,” Aaron said. “It helps that he and I have been talking about Star Wars since Marvel first started doing Star Wars books, right? He and I were there together for the first retreat we did with Lucasfilm, and we’ve been plotting two books at the center of all this from the get-go. So it’s been really easy and organic, I think, to have these crossovers grow out of what we’re both already doing.”
Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel begins in May.