Since the first movie came out way back in 1977, Star Wars has always been known for stunning visuals. And while we’d never judge a book by its cover, we have to admit that one of the coolest things about the Star Wars’ book and graphic novel empire is that every new release seems to come with an amazing cover. Join us as we look at a few of our favorites!
Dark Empire was a short Star Wars comic series that ran for six issues. If you missed it’s original run, don’t worry – you can pick up the whole Dark Empire series in one volume now. That one-volume graphic novel has a decent cover, but for our money, nothing touches this creepy cover from issue five of the series.
Dark Force Rising is the second of three books in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, and the first of two of those books that we’re including on this list. Zahn’s books were the first and most important expanded universe novels, and they each have awesome covers that emulate the style of movie posters. The ominous red-black cover of Dark Force Rising features familiar heroes and a great image of the Millennium Falcon.
There are plenty of cool Star Wars covers for the kids, too. We’re partial to the warm and fuzzy look of Jack and Holman Wang’s Epic Yarns series, which retells the original trilogy with illustrations made of felt and yarn. The style makes for a distinctive and appealing look.
Arguably the greatest of all of the expanded universe novels, Zahn’s Heir to the Empire also has one of the coolest covers in the Star Wars universe. The style recalls a movie cover, and it mixes images of some familiar heroes with some interesting newcomers. If you want to know who that guy shooting lights out of his fingers is, you’ll just have to read the book.
While the Shadows of the Empire novel was probably better than its comic book counterpart, the graphic novel clearly had the upper hand when it came to the front cover. The book version has a relatively muted cover with the Emperor front and center. The graphic novel’s cover, on the other hand, is much more colorful and is dominated by fan favorite Boba Fett.
Star Wars #1 (Marvel)
Marvel’s first run of Star Wars comics was developed before the final version of the film was released, so this cover has a few perks that make it really interesting to Star Wars fanatics. The characters look a little less familiar, Luke’s lightsaber is red, and Darth Vader is kind of green, for some reason. What makes this cover so cool is that it’s such a throwback. Who knew then what Star Wars would become?
The Star Wars #1 (Dark Horse)
After a long run with Marvel, the Star Wars comics moved over to Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse did some really interesting things with the franchise, including this interesting non-canonical series based on George Lucas’ original Star Wars screenplay draft. The story was very different in its early form, so this cover makes for a really interesting study. Everything looks just a little bit off to Star Wars fans.
One of the coolest things about Star Wars is the ships. So it’s no surprise that the first novel in the popular X-Wing book series has an awesome cover. Check out all of those Imperial and Rebel ships blowing each other up! Too cool.