Stories from the Star Wars franchise have been adapted into manga before, but two new adaptations are coming this fall from Yen Press, and they’re both set before the events of A New Hope. Star Wars Rebels and author Claudia Gray’s young adult novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan are each getting the manga treatment.
Star Wars Manga
Yen Press has announced that manga versions of Star Wars Rebels and Leia, Princess of Alderaan will be launching in print and digital versions sometime this fall, and both will be ongoing series.
Yen Press is collaborating with Lucasfilm to bring these stories to this medium. They’ve hired writer/artist Akira Aoki to tackle the story of Rebels, and Haruichi Furudate to illustrate Leia. I’m not a manga reader myself, but Crunchyroll points out that Furudate created “the hit volleyball manga Haikyu!!“, so maybe some of you recognize that title and are extra excited about this now.
Leading up to the release of 1999’s The Phantom Menace, the original trilogy and The Phantom Menace were all adapted into manga for readers across the world. But years later, other manga adaptions came along which were only available overseas. In October 2006, two additional Star Wars manga were published by Tokyopop, but they took some liberties with the story and were deemed non-canonical. And in 2009, stills from The Clone Wars animated series were used to create a manga adaptation of that story.
Here’s the plot breakdown for Star Wars Rebels, based on the Disney XD animated series:
Set during an era when the Galactic Empire is hunting down the last of the Jedi, a fledgling rebellion against the Empire begins to take form. Star Wars Rebels takes place in the area surrounding the planet Lothal, where the Galactic Empire battles against Ezra, a teenage con artist with latent Force abilities, Kanan, one of the last surviving members of the Jedi Order, and the rest of the ragtag rebels on board the starship Ghost.
And here’s the description of Leia, Princess of Alderaan (which, in this version, translates to Leia Organa – Ordeal of the Princess):
A young Princess Leia spends her days learning the ways of politics, aiding those in need and preparing for the traditional ceremony in which she declares her intention to one day rule Alderaan. But as Leia prepares herself to be named the heir of the throne, she becomes aware of the growing distance between her and her parents, who behind closed doors are leaders of the newly-formed Rebellion. Upon learning her parents’ secrets, Leia must now make a choice between her responsibility to the people of Alderaan and her responsibility to save a galaxy crushed by the rule of the Empire.