January 20, 2017
Marvel To Publish 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Lead-In Comic

Star Wars fans hungry for more information about Rogue One received a welcome surprise today, when Marvel announced that it will be releasing a limited prequel comic series for the movie in October.

The announcement came at the Diamond Comics Retailer Breakfast this morning at C2E2, according to Comicbook.com. Very few details of the series were revealed, though it was announced that it will consist of a three issue arc and a one-shot. Marvel further confirmed that the series will be a lead-in to Rogue One, and not an adaptation of the highly anticipated film itself, according to IGN. Beyond these simple facts, and the October release date, little more is known about the comic.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the next installment due in the iconic franchise, and the first of a planned stable of spin-off movies. These projects are designed to examine other stories within the context of the Star Wars universe, as the Inquisitr has previously reported, while the core sequel trilogy follows the exploits of the Skywalker clan.

Though the film is a mere nine months away from release, little has been revealed about it. The story centers on the group of Rebels responsible for stealing the plans to the Death Star, a seminal event around which the entire Star Wars saga turns. While the film's cast has been announced, their characters remain an unknown quantity. No trailer has yet been released, though recent reports suggest that it is imminent, and some unconfirmed footage may have leaked online.

Rogue One is highly anticipated by fans not only as the next installment in the series, but also due to the period of time in which it takes place. Happening just before the events of the original trilogy, Rogue One is perfectly situated for cameos and appearances by characters who have been absent from the screen for some time. One of the worst kept secrets of the film, for instance, is the fact that Darth Vader will have some role to play in chasing down the Rebels, though it remains to be seen how large a part he will play. (Early reports have stated that Vader's appearance would be small, though more recent rumors have suggested otherwise.)Other, less obvious characters may also be making a return to the Star Wars universe in Rogue One. Last year, it was reported that Disney is working on a "ground-breaking" digital performance of actor Peter Cushing, who portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars. The actor died in 1994. Disney would not comment on the reports, leaving it a distinct possibility that Cushing may appear in some way in Rogue One.

More recently, eagle-eyed fans pointed to a European Lego conference in which Boba Fett's ship, Slave 1, was used to denote Rogue One. While no role for the bounty hunter in the film has been confirmed, he remains a perennial fan favorite, and speculation has steadily grown that he could be included. Other reports suggest that some of the scenes in the film will take place on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld, giving fans hope for an appearance by Han Solo, portrayed by the as-yet-unnamed actor who will take on the role going forward.

While hard details remain sparse, fans have little time to wait. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters in December, preceded by Marvel's comic in October.

[Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]