8 Star Wars Series You Don't Want To Miss | Mondo Manga

From the very beginning, comics have been a part of the Star Wars franchise. Check out these intergalactic must-read manga titles for teens.

Comics were a part of the Star Wars universe from before its birth: George Lucas’s initial plan was to make an updated version of the old “Flash Gordon” movie serials, which were adapted from a hugely popular newspaper comic. He couldn’t get the rights, so he had to think up something new, and the result was a movie that planted the seed for a whole galaxy of movies, television shows, novels, and comics.

Marvel launched its Star Wars comic in 1977, the same year the first movie released, and for 10 years it published comics that were original stories and straightforward adaptations of the films. Dark Horse began publishing Star Wars comics in 1991, expanding the universe with prequels, sequels, and original stories all told in graphic form. Marvel regained the Star Wars license in 2015 and has reissued some of the Dark Horse material along with a robust line of Star Wars comics. IDW also publishes the “Star Wars Adventures” series for middle grade readers.

Meanwhile, in Japan, creators have been working on their own versions of the story for decades, and a number of them have been translated into English, with more on the way. Here’s a quick look at what’s available now and what’s coming soon.


“Star Wars: A New Hope,” by George Lucas & Hisao Tamaki
“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” by George Lucas & Toshiki Kudo
“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” by George Lucas & Shin-ichi Hiromoto
“Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” by George Lucas & Kia Asamiya
ea vol: Marvel. 2015.
Gr 7 UpThese four manga series are faithful adaptations of the original screenplays; the first three are four volumes long, and “The Phantom Menace” is just two. They were originally created in 199899 and first published by Dark Horse. (“Star Wars: A New Hope” won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material.) Marvel rereleased these manga in digital editions in 2015, and they are available on the usual platforms, including Amazon and ComiXology. While the characters don’t really look like the movie actors, the sci-fi aspects (spaceships, stormtroopers, light sabers) are faithfully rendered, and the stylistic tropes of manga lend themselves to action-heavy stories like this. And yes, Tamaki actually drew sweat drops flying off R2D2 and those little anger symbols (they’re supposed to look like bulging veins) on the stormtroopers. These series have been flipped to read left to right.


“Star Wars: Lost Stars,” by Claudia Gray & Yuusaka Komiyama (Yen, 201819).
Gr 7 UpBased on Gray’s novel of the same name, this three-volume series focuses on two teenagers who grew up together on the planet Jelucan but come from different castes: Ciena Ree is a First Waver, and her family are dark-skinned farmers, while Thane Kyrell is a light-skinned Second Waver whose people are traders. Despite the class discrimination of their home planet, the two become childhood friends, united by their desire to someday pilot the Imperial spaceships. They attend the academy together and attain their dream, but Thane joins the Rebels while Ciena remains loyal to the Empire. The story is set in the same era as the first Star Wars movie, and the iconic characters make cameo appearances, but it stands well on its own. The artwork is very clean and not as stylized as the older manga, which makes this an easy read for those new to the medium.


Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker, by Ken Liu, adapt. by Akira Himekawa, Haruichi Subaru, Akira Fukaya & Takashi Kisaki (Viz, Jan. 2020).
Gr 10 UpLuke Skywalker strides confidently through a quartet of tales, rescuing a marooned soldier of the Empire, leading captive droids in a rebellion, getting advice from a flea on how to defeat Jabba the Hutt, and getting trapped in a space slug with a biology student. The art styles are very different, and the stories are clever, especially the flea one. Manga fans may know Himekawa as the two-woman team that writes and draws the Legend of Zelda manga. This story is based on Liu’s prose novel and takes up only one volume.


“Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan,” by Claudia Gray & Haruichi (Yen, Oct. 2020).
Gr 8 Up This manga relates Princess Leia’s backstory, depicting her childhood on Alderaan and her preparations to take the throne, as well as the shocking revelation that her parents are secretly leaders of the Rebellion. The manga is based on Gray’s novel and was originally published as a webcomic in Japan. Haruichi is one of the contributors to Legends of Luke Skywalker. The series is still ongoing in Japan.


“Star Wars Rebels,” by Akira Aoki (Yen, Nov. 2020)
Gr 7 UpBased on the Disney animated series that ran from 2014-18, this manga takes place in the area around the planet Lothal before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Ezra, a wily teenager and possible user of the Force, teams up with one of the few remaining Jedi and a band of rebels on the starship Ghost. This manga is ongoing in Japan and is serialized as a webcomic.

Author Image
Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, editor of the “Good Comics for Kids” blog, writes “Stellar Panels” SLJ’s graphic novels column. 

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing