Written and Compiled by

Jack Camden

25 May 1996

 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Stories Set Between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
Timeline Clues and Notes: A Note on the Canon Debate
Jack Camden's Fearless Attempt at a Timeline
The Apocrypha
Acknowledgments
 



I. Introduction

        The publication of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire in 1991 marked the beginning of a resurgence for George Lucas' venerable Star Wars franchise.  Zahn's novel, the first of a trilogy, has been followed by numerous other novels and comics set after the events of Return of the Jedi, with the victorious New Republic struggling against the remnants of the evil Galactic Empire and Luke Skywalker working to re-establish the Jedi Knights as the guardians of justice and order in the galaxy.
        The new Star Wars stories have been resounding hits, paving the way for a new trilogy of movies set during the last days of the Old Republic.  Slowly but surely, Lucasfilm-sanctioned authors are writing stories which are set in other time periods besides post-ROTJ, and which deal with characters other than droids and Ewoks.  Dark Horse Comics' Tales of the Jedi, The Freedon Nadd Uprising, Dark Lords of the Sith, The Sith War, The Golden Age of the Sith, and The Fall of the Sith Empire are set millennia before A New Hope.  And new stories starring the Star Wars cast and set between the movies, such as Steve Perry's Shadows of the Empire, are beginning to appear.  These new, movie-era stories join the "further adventures" of Luke Skywalker and company written during the 1970s and 1980s, in the first flush of Star Wars mania: newspaper strips, novels, children's books and records, and Marvel Comics' long-running Star Wars title.
        Kevin J. Anderson, who has emerged as the standard bearer among the new Star Wars authors, has taken on the unenviable chore of making all the stories fit together into a coherent narrative.  His forthcoming Star Wars Chronology is billed as "a Michener-like historical narrative": Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi Master, builds his own Jedi holocron and records the adventures of himself and his friends, as well as some other galactic history, therein.  If Anderson's task is truly to make all the stories fit together, he will fail.  There are bald contradictions between various Star Wars tales (and even between parts of the movies) which can't be explained away without resorting to desperate acts or substantial reworking of the originals.
        The three-year period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back remains largely unsettled, canon-wise; yet it is long enough to comfortably accommodate nearly all the current Star Wars stories written during that time.  Still, there are difficult questions about what happened when, contradictions to be examined, and choices that must be made.
        The Star Wars Timeline: A New Hope — The Empire Strikes Back is intended as an aid for anyone trying to put the many stories set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back into a logical order.  It includes my version of a timeline, and suggests a number of different approaches to the canon question.  I have tried to err on the side of inclusiveness, but my choices inevitably reflect my likes and dislikes.  Where I have omitted a story from the timeline, I have explained why, and offered information that will allow those who disagree with me to include that story.  This document was written as a somewhat neurotic labor of love, and any and all criticisms, suggestions, brickbats, accolades, and denunciations are welcome.
 

II. Stories Set Between
A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back

        The following extant stories are set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.  Minor flashbacks in other sources are not included.  APOCRYPHAL stories are noted as such in bold type, while POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL stories which I have included in my timeline are noted as such in italic type.  For a discussion of such issues, see Part IV for POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL stories and Part V for APOCRYPHAL stories.


Books:

 
Splinter of the Mind's Eye
Alan Dean Foster
Ballantine
February 1978
APOCRYPHAL
The Droid Dilemma
[author unknown]
Random House
1979
APOCRYPHAL
The Maverick Moon
Walter Wright
Random House
1979
APOCRYPHAL
The Mystery of the Rebellious Robot
Mark Corcoran
Random House
1979
APOCRYPHAL
Scoundrel's Luck
[solitaire adventure]
Troy Denning
West End Games
1990
APOCRYPHAL
Jedi's Honor
[solitaire adventure]
Troy Denning
West End Games
1990
APOCRYPHAL

Records:

Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell, Brian Daley, 1983. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.


Television:

The Star Wars Holiday Special, Warren, Vilanch, Proft, Ripps, & Welch, 1978. APOCRYPHAL.
"[Starlog 324-1]," Nelvana Ltd. cartoon within above, 1978. APOCRYPHAL.

Marvel Comics:

The Aduba-3 series:
Marvel #7, "New Planets, New Perils," Roy Thomas. APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #8, "Eight For Aduba-3," Roy Thomas. APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #9, "Showdown on a Wasteland World," Roy Thomas. APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #10, "Behemoth From the World Below," Donald Glut. APOCRYPHAL.
The Waterworld series:
Marvel #11, "Star Search," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #12, "Doomworld," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #13, "Day of the Dragon Lords," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #14, "The Sound of Armageddon," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #15, "Star Duel," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #16, "The Hunter," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #17, "Crucible," Archie Goodwin & Chris Claremont. [frame story only]
The Wheel series:
Marvel #18, "The Empire Strikes," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #19, "The Ultimate Gamble," Archie Goodwin..
Marvel #20, "Deathgame," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #21, "Shadow of a Dark Lord," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #22, "To the Last Gladiator," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #23, "Flight Into Fury," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #24, "Silent Drifting," Mary Jo Duffy. [frame story only]
Marvel #25, "Siege at Yavin," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #26, "Doom Mission," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #27, "Return of the Hunter," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #28, "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut [sic]?" Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #29, "Dark Encounter," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel #30, "A Princess Alone," Archie Goodwin.
The Omega Frost series:
Marvel #31, "Return to Tatooine," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #32, "The Jawa Express," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #33, "Saber Clash," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #34, "Thunder in the Stars," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Annual #1, "The Long Hunt," Chris Claremont. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
The Dark Lord's Gambit series:
Marvel #35, "Dark Lord's Gambit," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #36, "Red Queen Rising," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #37, "In Mortal Combat," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #38, "Riders in the Void," Archie Goodwin.
Marvel Illustrated Books, Star Wars, November 1981:
"The Day After the Death Star," Archie Goodwin.
"Weapons Master," Archie Goodwin. [frame story only]
Marvel Illustrated Books, Star Wars 2: World of Fire,October 1982:
"World of Fire," Chris Claremont.
"The Word for World Is Death," Chris Claremont.
"The Guardian of Forever," Chris Claremont.
Marvel #50, "The Crimson Forever: Rage in the Red Nebula," Goodwin. [flashback] POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel #70, "The Stenax Shuffle," Mary Jo Duffy. [flashback] POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
The Keeper's World series:
Marvel Pizzazz #1, [untitled], Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #2, [untitled], Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #3, "A Dread Discovery," Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #4, "A Matter of Monsters," Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #5, "Pursuit Among the Ruins," Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #6, "Do You Know What Your Children Are?" Roy Thomas. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #7, "Caverns of Mystery," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #8, "The Keeper's Secret," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #9, "The Final Fury," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
The Akuria Two series:
Marvel Pizzazz #10, "The Kingdom of Ice," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #11, "The Snow Demons," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #12, "Treachery," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #13, "Death Trap," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #14, "Snow Fury," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #15, "The Ice Worm Cometh," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel Pizzazz #16, "Showdown," Archie Goodwin. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
"War on Ice," Archie Goodwin. [Marvel Illustrated Books] POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
Marvel U.K. Weeklies:
Marvel U.K. Weekly #151, "The Pandora Effect," Alan Moore.
Marvel U.K. Weekly #154, "Tilotny Throws a Shape," Alan Moore.

Other Comics:

Blackthorne Publishing:
Star Wars 3-D #1, "[no title]," Len Wein.
Star Wars 3-D #2, "Havoc on Hoth," Len Wein. APOCRYPHAL.
Star Wars 3-D #3, "The Dark Side of Dantooine," John Stephenson. APOCRYPHAL.
Uncollected newspaper strips:
"[The Kazhyyyk (sic) Depths]," Russ Manning. POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL.
"[The Constancia Gambit]," Russ Manning.
"Planet of Kadril," Russ Helm. [unfinished story] APOCRYPHAL.
Dark Horse Comics (reprints and original stories):
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #1-3, "Gamblers' World," Russ Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #4, "Tatooine Sojourn," Russ Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #5, "Princess Leia, Imperial Servant," Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #6, "The Second Kessel Run," Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #7, "Bring Me the Children," Russ Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #8, "As Long As We Live," Russ Manning. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: The Early Adventures #9, "The Frozen World of Ota," Manning & Hoberg. APOCRYPHAL.
Classic Star Wars: Volume One, Archie Goodwin.
Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm, Archie Goodwin.
Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth, Archie Goodwin.
River of Chaos #1-4, Louise Simonson.
 

III. Timeline Clues and Notes: 
A Note on the Canon Debate

        For my larger take on the canon question, please see the canon discussion of Mike Beidler's Star Wars Literature Compendium.  Those constructing a timeline should note, however, that canon and continuity problems come in many forms, from minor and easily ignored discrepancies to major obstacles that are impossible to overlook.  Some examples follow:

Plain old screw-ups:
'Kashyyyk' is often misspelled 'Kazhyyyk.'

Minds were changed about an unimportant detail:
Luke is Blue Five in the A New Hope novelization, and destroys the Death Star on his second try, while in the movie he's Red Five and only needs one chance to hit the thermal exhaust port.

Nobody paid attention:
The Rebel pilot Porkins' first name is Tono in Marvel's A New Hope adaptation; it's Jek in West End Games material.

The story changed:
In the script for A New Hope, Luke is 18, but Leia—later revealed as his twin sister—is "about sixteen."
Some believe that Ben's explanation in A New Hope of how Luke's father died is another example, though Lucas insists Vader was always supposed to be Luke's father.

The story can be made to make sense, but it doesn't feel right:
There's no reason Luke and Darth Vader's lightsaber battle in The Empire Strikes Back can't be their third one, with their clashes in the Marvel series and Splinter of the Mind's Eye being the first and second meetings, but including all three takes away from the drama of their long-anticipated confrontation in the movie.

Something's just plain wrong:
In the Marvel story "The Long Hunt," the winged inhabitants of Skye tell Luke that three Jedi—Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and Luke's father—once saved their planet from destruction.

        It is often hard to keep one's personal opinion out of a decision about what's "canon" and what isn't.  (My "certain point of view" take on the issue is intended, in part, to provide some middle ground between "the law of the land" and "never happened," so as to accommodate lovers of a given story."  Toward that end, I have tried to use "apocryphal" instead of "non-canon" when referring to stories that can't be made to fit within the most logical timeline.)
        Some rules can and have been sketched out to determine what has a greater claim to inclusion in a "canonical" timeline, however.  The movies and their shooting scripts have been granted the highest "authority," and rightly so.  Lucasfilm has extended the "canon" stamp to the novelizations and Brian Daley's radio adaptations of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, which contain extra scenes.  Beyond that, we can guess that the new crop of Lucasfilm-sanctioned books and comics are higher authorities than stories they have superseded.  For the ANH-TESB period, that renders some stories apocryphal.  For instance, in Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Search, the depiction of Kessel and the story of Han and Chewie dumping their cargo contradict the depiction of Kessel in Russ Manning's "The Second Kessel Run" and the story told in Archie Goodwin's "Way of the Wookiee," rendering both those stories apocryphal.
        A kind of secondary claim to canon status has emerged recently, as new novels and reference works approved by Lucasfilm have included references to material previously thought to be apocryphal.  Material that is rare, out-of-print, and even disavowed by George Lucas himself has crept back into "official" Star Wars consciousness.  This has led to joy in the hearts of die-hard fans hoping to see their obscure favorites revived, and to consternation for those attempting to untangle what is already a dense thicket of often-contradictory stories.


Clues and Notes

        The following section presents the stories in the order I have placed them in the timeline and analyzes it for clues as to when it is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, how much time is covered within the story itself, and how much time might separate it from other stories (whether known or unknown).  Those who don't agree with my timeline will find such clues helpful in constructing their own alternatives.
        Continuity and logic problems will be addressed in this section, ranging from the minor to major.  My (sometimes desperate) attempts to include stories with problems that render them potentially apocryphal will also be addressed here.  Stories which I rejected as apocryphal are addressed in the next section.
        What I have attempted to do in this section is the gruntwork of making a timeline—not only for myself, but also for other obsessive fans who've wondered about the same questions. Obviously, there are many different timelines that can be assembled from this information, and many stories can be included or removed to suit individual tastes.
        Now, some problems and helpful hints.

        Many of the Star Wars stories begin in media res, neglecting such unexciting details as mission briefings and long grinds through hyperspace before (and after) an adventure.  Those days add up, however.  Estimating the duration of hyperspace jumps proved maddening.  In Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, West End Games notes that "using an established, well-known route allows for very fast travel, even between distant stars, while using a poorly traveled one, even if only over a short distance, takes longer and is often more dangerous."  The WEG book includes common travel times between a host of destinations (Yavin, of course, is not included).  Travel times cited range from 4h (Corellia-Coruscant) to 31d15h (Lianna-Dagobah).  I have generally set hyperspace travel times between Yavin IV and other destinations at 3d.  This is partially desperation and partially hope that things will average out.  I welcome any better information about these travel times.
        A couple of benchmarks are very helpful in determining where a given adventure falls in the three-year interval between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back:

Do Imperial forces know that the destroyer of the Death Star is Luke Skywalker?
In the Marvel series, Darth Vader finally uncovers this information in Marvel #35, "Dark Lord's Gambit."  If the name 'Luke Skywalker' is familiar to Vader or Imperial forces, the adventure takes place after Marvel #35.

Have the Rebels evacuated their Yavin IV base?
It seems logical that they would have done so as soon as possible after A New Hope, but the Classic Star Wars comics tell another tale, with the Rebel fleet escaping to Hoth just ahead of Darth Vader's Executor.  The evacuation must take place very soon before The Empire Strikes Back, because in TESB Luke and Han are still searching Hoth for life-forms and the Rebellion's airspeeders haven't yet been adapted to the cold.  This fact forces a lot of Star Wars stories either into the realm of the apocryphal or into a short period of time between Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth and The Empire Strikes Back.  (Purists will note here that the first issue of Star Wars 3-D shows the Rebels dismantling their base just weeks after the destruction of the Death Star; if there is any hope of constructing a somewhat logical timeline, we must postulate events yet untold that made the Rebels change their minds.)

How good is Luke with the Force?
Archie Goodwin did a terrific job showing Luke's continuing development during the early Marvels; in his stories, we watch Luke test himself and grow, slowly but surely, until he's the raw but talented trainee we see in The Empire Strikes Back.  (The Luke of Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye, on the other hand, is much more powerful than the one we see in TESB.)  By (admittedly subjectively) measuring Luke's abilities against those shown in other stories, an episode can be better placed.

What actions is the Empire pursuing around Yavin IV?
Early in the Marvel and Classic Star Wars series, the Imperial fleet blockaded Yavin IV and harassed Rebel traffic around the system.  Late in both series, the Empire became far more aggressive, finally moving in (in Classic Star Wars) for an all-out assault headed by Darth Vader's new Super Star Destroyer.

Is everybody where they need to be?
A lot of my most promising ideas about juggling stories were shot down by the inconvenient fact that characters were "busy" elsewhere at the time I tried to place a certain episode.  For example, there are approximately 44 days of dead time between Marvels #26 and #27 in the Marvel series—a time during which Han and Chewie were battling Jabba the Hutt on Orleon and living it up on Tatooine. There are also several stand-alone adventures starring Luke and Leia which don't seem to belong to any particular time period. So—voila—set those Luke and Leia episodes within the 44 days! Unfortunately, Artoo-Detoo was badly damaged in Marvel #26 and not repaired until Marvel #29. So if any of those Luke/Leia adventures featured Artoo (and most of them did), they couldn't happen then.
 
 

IV. Jack Camden's 
Fearless Attempt at a Timeline

Notes: +XXd refers to the total time for the story, including transit time to/from the action.  dXX refers to the days in which the story takes place.  The intervals on the left are in seven-day increments.
Year One After A New Hope
 
# of days
after the
Battle of
Yavin
Event
Reference
# of days
over which
event took
place
days during
which event
took place
+0d
Battle of Yavin
A New Hope
 
d0
 
"The Day After the Death Star"
Marvel Illustrated Book #1
<1d
d1
+7d
"The Stenax Shuffle"
[flashback]
Marvel Comics #70
10d
d7-16
+14d
Star Wars 3-D #1
Star Wars 3-D #1
6d
d18-23
+21d
"Rage in the Red Nebula" 
[flashback]
Marvel Comics #50
28d
d26-54
 
"The Keeper's World"
Marvel Pizzazz #1-9
6d
d26-31
+28d
 
 
 
 
+35d
"The Kingdom of Ice"
Marvel Pizzazz #10-17
Marvel Illustrated Book #1
6d
d32-37
+42d
Luke's mission to Drexel; Leia goes after him
 
 
 
+49d
Begin "Goodwin cycle"
 
 
 
+56d
Han & Chewie waylaid by Crimson Jack
 
 
 
 
Waterworld series
Marvel Comics #11-15
7d
d60-66
+63d
"Crucible"
[frame story]
Marvel Comics #17
<1d
d67
 
"Silent Drifting"
[frame story]
Marvel Comics #24
<1d
d68
+70d
The Wheel series
Marvel Comics #18-23
3d
d71-73
 
"The Hunter" 
Marvel Comics #16
13d
d73-85
 
Jabba begins siege of
Han & Chewie on Orleon
 
 
d76
+77d
"Siege at Yavin"
Marvel Comics #25
6d
d80-85
+84d
"Doom Mission"
Marvel Comics #26
<1d
d85
River of Chaos
[opening]
River of Chaos #1
7d
d90-96
+91d
 
 
7d
d90-96
+98d
 
 
 
 
+105d
"Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut?"
Marvel Comics #28
<1d
d107
+112d
Han/Chewie take Jabba to Tatooine;
bounty lifted
 
 
 
+119d
 
 
 
 
+126d
"Return of the Hunter"
Marvel Comics #27
<1d
d129
 
"A Princess Alone"
Marvel Comics #30
6d
d130-135
+133d
"Dark Encounter"
Marvel Comics #29
<1d
d133
 
"Return to Tatooine"
Marvel Comics #31
5d
d135-139
+140d
"The Jawa Express"
Marvel Comics #32
<1d
d140
 
"Saber Clash"
Marvel Comics #33
12d
d141-152
+147d
"Thunder in the Stars"
Marvel Comics #34
4d
d152-155
+154d
"The Long Hunt"
Marvel Comics Annual #1
14d
d160-173
 
Jabba puts price back on
Han & Chewie's heads
 
 
 
+161d
 
 
 
 
+168d
 
 
 
 
+175d
"In Mortal Combat"
[epilogue]
Marvel Comics #37
<1d
d179
 
End "Goodwin cycle"
 
 
 
+182d
River of Chaos
[main story]
River of Chaos #1-4
26d
d185-210
+189d
 
 
 
 
+196d
 
 
 
 
+203d
 
 
 
 
+210d
 
 
 
Year Two After A New Hope
 
        "Riders in the Void" and "Weapons Master" [frame story] can be logically fit together as Luke and Leia's tour, but they don't have to be.  These two stories must be placed in this order but are not necessarily prequel/sequel tales.
 
Event
Reference
# of days
over which
event took
place
"Riders in the Void"
Marvel Comics #38
8d
"Weapons Master"
[frame story]
Marvel Illustrated Book #1
9d
"The Pandora Effect"
Marvel UK #151
6d
"As Long As We Live"
Classic Star Wars:
The Early Adventures #8
7d
"[The Kazhyyyk Depths]"
LA Times
7d
"[The Constancia Gambit]"
LA Times
12d?
 
Year Three After A New Hope
 
        The third year after A New Hope offers some latitude in constructing a timeline.  It probably isn't exactly three years between the end of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back—we could postulate anything between say 31 and 40 months.  Instead of picking some arbitrary amount of time elapsed, I have laid out the timeline as if the time between the films is very nearly three years.  But this is artificial, to say the least.
 
# of days
after the
beginning
of Year 3
Event
Reference
# of days
over which
event took
place
days during
which event
took place
+112d
Bounty hunter of Ord Mantell;
Darth Vader's trap on Fondor;
Luke vs. the serpent masters;
attack on meeting at Kabal;
Arrakus' graveyard of ships;
intrigue on Aquaris 
(concluded in next volume)
Classic Star Wars:
In Deadly Pursuit
35d
d112-146
+119d
 
 
 
 
+126d
 
 
 
 
+133d
 
 
 
 
+140d
 
 
 
 
+147d
End of Aquaris story;
the Night Beast. 
Action stops just before smuggler
injured on Aridus reaches rebel base on Yavin IV;
begin "Aridus lacuña"
Classic Star Wars:
The Rebel Storm
(up to Part 10, Page 3)
35d
d146-150
+154d
"Dark Lord's Gambit"
Marvel Comics #35
35d
d154-188
+161d
"Tilotny Throws a Shape"
Marvel UK #154
6d
d162-167
+168d
 
 
 
 
+175d
 
 
 
 
+182d
 
 
 
 
+189d
"Red Queen Rising"
Marvel Comics #36
<1d
d189
 
 
 
 
 
+196d
 
 
 
 
+203d
World of Fire
Marvel Illustrated Book #2
25d
d206-230
+210d
 
 
 
 
+217d
 
 
 
 
+224d
 
 
 
 
+231d
 
 
 
 
+238d
Mon Calamari formally join Rebellion (approx.)
 
 
 
+245d
 
 
 
 
+252d
 
 
 
 
+259d
 
 
 
 
+266d
 
 
 
 
+273d
 
Classic Star Wars:
The Rebel Storm
(after Part 10, Page 3)
36d
d273-308
+280d
Han and Chewie to Junkfort Station
 
<1d
d282
+287d
Luke lands on Hoth
 
<1d
d291
+294d
Vader's Super Star Destroyer activated
 
<1d
d295
+301d
 
 
 
 
+308d
 
Classic Star Wars:
Escape to Hoth
25d
d308-332
 
Evacuation of Yavin IV begins
 
 
d311
 
Rebel fleet escapes Vader
 
<1d
d314
+315d
 
 
 
 
+322d
 
 
 
 
+329d
 
 
 
 
+336d
Establishment of Hoth base;
Luke as protégé of Commander Narra
 
 
 
+343d
Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell
Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell
8d
d344-351
+350d
 
 
 
 
+357d
 
 
 
 
+364d
 
 
 
 
+371d
The Empire Strikes Back
 
 
 
 
 
 

Year One After A New Hope

Marvel Illustrated Book #1
"The Day After the Death Star" 
Archie Goodwin

Start Date: A few hours after A New Hope
Story Duration: less than 1d
 
 

Marvel #70 
"The Stenax Shuffle" [flashback]
Mary Jo Duffy

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Very soon after A New Hope. Luke notes that the story takes place "right after Han and I joined the Rebellion," and Luke is clearly shown as a green, untested fighter. I would place it a week or so after A New Hope, preceded only by "The Day After the Death Star."
Story Duration: 2d
Total Time: 10d
Notes: Assume a 4d jump to/from Yavin IV.
Discussion: Purists can reject both flashback and frame story if they don't wish to stray past The Empire Strikes Back.
 
 

Star Wars 3-D #1, [untitled], Len Wein.

Start Date: A few weeks after A New Hope, as noted on p. 9. For our purposes, say +18d.
Story Duration: 2d
Total Time: 6d
Notes: Assume the Falcon's space battle comes 2d out of Yavin IV. It reaches Tatooine a day later, and events unfold.
Discussion: The story occurs a few weeks after A New Hope, yet General Dodonna is presiding over the dismantling of the Rebel base on Yavin IV, which wasn't evacuated until shortly before The Empire Strikes Back. While Star Wars 3-D #1 has been accorded canon status by its out-of-left-field mention in X-wing: Rogue Squadron, it's clearly contradicted by the more-established Goodwin/Williamson strips. Still, it's canon, so we have to make it work. Something caused the Alliance to hastily reverse its dismantling of the Yavin base—perhaps the Imperial blockade arrived too quickly, or other Alliance cells launched a campaign that drew Imperial forces away from Yavin. Perhaps that mysterious "something" will be explained by a Star Wars story yet to be written. The story has been made to mesh with "Return to Tatooine" in my timeline, though I won't claim that it's pretty.
 
 

Marvel #50, "Rage in the Red Nebula," Archie Goodwin. [flashback]

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Han is eager to get back to spice smuggling, but hints that Chewie pressured him to do a favor for Leia. That indicates that the story could come soon after A New Hope, before the "Goodwin cycle" (GC) begins—an interpretation supported by the impression that the adventure Chewie recounts soon after The Empire Strikes Back took place a fairly long time ago. But, assuming the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series is moved to sometime before the "Aridus cycle" (AC), this adventure could also take place virtually anywhere between Marvel #34 and the Aridus story. (Han does mention the Imperial blockade, supporting that interpretation, though an Imperial presence around Yavin IV also makes sense shortly after A New Hope.) On the other hand, this is a flashback within a post-TESB story. I've included it because it's a flashback and because it's part of a coda to Goodwin's Vader/Tagge storyline, but it can be lost, along with the rest of "The Crimson Forever," without undue pain.
Story Duration: 23d
Total Time: 28d
Notes: Assume 5d for Han and Chewie to drop off the Rebel spies for Leia. It takes them 2d to reach Terminus, where they are shanghaied aboard the Nova Prince. Assume 9d for the extra-galactic jump to the Red Nebula, with a 9d return, then 3d back to Yavin IV.
 
 

Pizzazz #1-9, "[The Keeper's World]," Roy Thomas & Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: 0d "Pizzazz cycle" (PC). Must begin shortly after A New Hope: Leia notes that "we can't afford to lose any more precious time" and Artoo's malfunction is blamed on his hasty repair after the Battle of the Death Star. Could fall before the beginning of the "Goodwin cycle," particularly if one accepts that "The Stenax Shuffle" and "Rage In the Red Nebula" come before the Aduba-3 series. In fact, this could be what Luke and Leia are up to while Han and Chewie gallivant around the Red Nebula. Artoo's malfunction and the reason given for it are objections to this placement, but who's to say Artoo hasn't been acting up (off-screen, conveniently) on Stenax, too?
Story Duration: 2d
Total Time: 6d
Notes: Assume the hyperdrive shorts out 1d into the trip. Luke and Leia appear to spend one night on the Keeper's planet, since Luke builds a campfire and it doesn't appear cold. Assume 4d travel from the Keeper's World (which is apparently uncharted) to Akuria-2.
Discussion: Typically silly Thomas fare, with Bigfoot instead of the Aduba-3 series' Godzilla, but harmless enough. Its rarity gives it some novelty value, and if you excise the Aduba-3 series, this story gives Luke and Leia something to do while Han and Chewie muck around the Red Nebula. A judgment call.
 
 

Pizzazz #10-16, etc., "[The Kingdom of Ice]," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +5d PC
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 6d
Notes: Assume a 5d return to Yavin IV. Total time for the "Pizzazz cycle" is 11d.
Discussion: This story frankly isn't up to Goodwin's usual caliber, but is here because it's rare and there's no real reason to exclude it. Again, a judgment call.
 
 

Marvel #11, "Star Search," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +12d GC
Story Duration: 4d
Notes: Safe to assume it takes Han and Chewie until the next day to go back to town, celebrate in the cantina, and raise ship. They're headed back to Yavin IV, but drop out of hyperspace "well-shy" of there and run into Crimson Jack once more (say 3d). Aboard Jack's cruiser, they head for Drexel, described as "a long hop" (p. 24). That ordinarily would suggest a matter of days, but if it's more than a day or so, that leaves Luke sloshing around the oceans of Drexel for an awfully long time, and the opening of #12 suggests that hasn't happened. So let's assume Jack's eager for treasure and any hop is a long hop. Call it 1d.
Discussion: In my timeline, I've eliminated the Aduba-3 series.. This could be done here as well with only minor work, if only "Star Search" were reprinted. Replace Han and Chewie's flashbacks to the battle with Serji-X and his raiders with flashbacks to Crimson Jack stealing their treasure (and to their unhappy detour to the Red Nebula, if my placement of that story is accepted).
 
 

Marvel #12, "Doomworld," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +16d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
 
 
 

Marvel #13, "Day of the Dragon Lords," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +16d
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: The Dragon Lords attack at sunrise.
 
 

Marvel #14, "The Sound of Armageddon," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +17d
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: The battle rages all day and ends at dawn.
 
 

Marvel #15, "Star Duel," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +18d
Story Duration: A few hours
 
 

Marvel #17, "Crucible"[frame story only], Archie Goodwin & Chris Claremont.

Start Date: +19d GC
Story Duration: hours
Notes: The story of Luke and Biggs seems to take place a little over a year before A New Hope: "Biggs is leaving for the Academy soon," Luke notes on p. 5. But that's beyond the scope of this work.
 
 

Marvel #24, "Silent Drifting" [frame story only], Mary Jo Duffy.

Start Date: +20d GC
Story Duration: hours
Notes: This story of Obi-Wan Kenobi is set during the days of the Old Republic, though I can't see it conflicting with anything, and is beyond the scope of this work.
 
 

Marvel #18, "The Empire Strikes," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +23d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
Notes: The story notes that all aboard the Falcon are tired, and there's a clear sense that they're on a long hop back to Yavin.. Again, we can assume the Falcon makes several hyperspace jumps to avoid Imperial attention.
 
 

Marvel #19, "The Ultimate Gamble," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +23d GC
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: We see Luke in the medical unit "sometime later" and the doctor is surprised that "this shock case is still here." Plus Chewie is described as "finally awake" and time seems to have passed in Han's case as well. Assume 1d.
 
 

Marvel #20, "Deathgame," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +24d GC
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: Luke is "still in shock" and Han and Chewie probably would have at least one day of training before their first bout, so assume a day passes within the issue.
 
 

Marvel #21, "Shadow of a Dark Lord," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +25d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
Notes: In the interlude, we learn Darth Vader's mind brushed Luke's when the Falcon passed through hyperspace near the Dark Lord. Thus, Vader isn't far from the Wheel and is poised to get there quickly.
 
 

Marvel #22, "To the Last Gladiator," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +25d GC
Story Duration: hours
 
 

Marvel #23, "Flight Into Fury," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +25d GC
Story Duration: hours
 
 

Marvel #16, "The Hunter," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: A problem, but solvable in two ways. Originally, I labeled this story apocryphal, but the chorus of dissent from Valance fans made me change my mind. It is a very good story, and well worth fighting for, so let's make it work. But hang on here—this gets a little twisty. In its original placement between "Star Duel" and the Wheel series, "The Hunter" can't possibly begin more than a month after Han and Chewie left Aduba-3, because Valance has already hit Ultaar by +24d GC or so. (Darth Vader discovers Valance's handiwork in Marvel #23.) Yet consider the following: Jimm and Merri are married and expecting a child. Don-Wan Kihotay is sick in a medical station that isn't on Aduba-3, and it doesn't look like he just took to bed, either. And Valance already knows of the events of A New Hope from a copy of a copy of an Imperial transmission detailing the events of the Death Star battle. It must take Valance at least a few days to track down Jaxxon and get to Aduba-3, and, after the adventure's over, it must take him at least a few days to find his way to Ultaar. But there just isn't enough time. Even the most generous calculations result in Valance finding Don-Wan in the hospital before Han and Chewie leave Aduba-3. So we have to cheat—and there are two ways to do so:
(1) We grant that Valance is a very good hunter indeed—good enough to learn key details of A New Hope just days after the Death Star's destruction. (Never mind that "copy of a copy" stuff—let's say one of the hunter's contacts was covering his, her, or its behind.) That doesn't seem very likely, but what the heck. Now, the only thing we need to do is give Don-Wan Kihotay time to get sick, Jimm and Merri time to be a little settled down, and Jax and Amaiza time to hit a new world or two. That can't be done . . . unless we scrap the Aduba-3 series as it's currently presented. Sure, Han and Chewie and the gang defeated some bunch of rimworld punks with Amaiza and Jaxxon, but instead of weeks after A New Hope, it happened a couple of years before, and the story has yet to be written.
(2) Move "The Hunter" out of its apparent spot in the timeline and start it at around +31d GC, right before "Siege at Yavin." There's nothing in the stories themselves that suggests Valance's raid on Ultaar couldn't have come before his misadventure on Aduba-3. In this new reckoning, Valance destroys the Ultaar outpost around +24d GC, hits Talos station at +31d GC, and fights it out on Aduba-3 at +44d GC. He then heads for Junction to await Luke Skywalker. That's still not a lot of time for Jimm and Merri to settle down and Don-Wan to become deathly ill, but it's a lot better. And it's better still if you combine the two and postulate that the battle on Aduba-3, the details of which have been lost, took place sometime before A New Hope. (This is the model I have followed in my timeline.)
Story Duration: Around 13d
Notes: Assume it takes 11d for even a very good bounty hunter to track down Jaxxon. Then a quick 2d jump to Aduba-3.
 
 

Marvel #25, "Siege at Yavin," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +32d GC
Story Duration: 5d
Notes: Luke and Leia dump Senator Greyshade's yacht on the mid-systems world of Centares and then follow a Tagge mining ship back to Yavin IV. Seeing how they were fleeing Darth Vader when they left the Wheel, it makes sense that they would take a circuitous route to Centares to throw any Imperials off their trail. A week seems reasonable, though a case could be made for 3d or so. Assume 5d to Yavin IV, as Centares-Yavin isn't a well-traveled route. Leia notes that there's no spice in the area and that the Rebellion picked an out-of-the-way system. Also, one would hardly expect a mining ship to be a speed demon.
 
 

Marvel #26, "Doom Mission," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +37d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
 
 

River of Chaos [opening scenes], Louise Simonson.

Start Date: See main story's entry below.
 
 

Marvel #28, "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut [sic]?" Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +59d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d.
Notes: We join the story on its last day and get caught up to date by Han: he and Chewie go to ground on Orleon after escaping Darth Vader and the Wheel on +25d GC. It doesn't take them long to reach Orleon, which is a mid-systems world. Assume Jabba arrives on +28d GC. A "long, desperate siege" then begins—let's call that two-and-a-half weeks, which is long and desperate when you're wet. (Jabba's a busy gangster, after all.) That takes us to +59d GC. Han and Chewie are next seen on +91d GC in Marvel #31, but Luke does kid Han that he's been sitting around blowing the Hutt's reward money. And it seems perfectly in character for Han and Chewie to sit around under a furious Jabba's nose living the high life because . . . well, because they can. For the issue of when the price is taken off Han and Chewie's heads, see Marvel #37.
Discussion: Marvel included the confrontation between Han and Jabba the Hutt in its comics adaptation of A New Hope, using the humanoid Jabba the Hutt then employed by a cash-strapped George Lucas. In their adaptation, Jabba was a bewhiskered yellow alien not unlike something from Dr. Seuss. (The model for this character seems to be a John Mollo sketch which can be found in The Art of Star Wars.) In the adaptation, Marvel's cantina aliens look little like the ones in the first movie, but that would be due to the fact that artist Howard Chaykin had little to work with except costume sketches. Even if Lucas hadn't cut the scene with the humanoid Jabba from A New Hope, Marvel's version would have looked wrong. But Lucas did cut the scene—and that turned out even worse for Marvel. The "Dr. Seuss" Jabba starred in Goodwin's Marvel #28 and appeared once more in the epilogue to Marvel #37. Then Return of the Jedi appeared, and Jabba was revealed as a 10-foot slug who didn't wear clothes and couldn't even walk. Clearly there's a continuity problem with the fact that Jabba apparently lost his legs and gained hundreds of pounds between Marvel #28 and Return of the Jedi. One answer is to excise Marvel #28 and the epilogue to Marvel #37. Then all that needs to be done is to change Han's dialogue with Luke in Marvel #31, "Return to Tatooine." As it stands, Han tells Luke that he and Chewie returned the rescued Hutt to Tatooine, collected their reward money, and then decided to sit around living the high life in Mos Eisley. Those word balloons could be changed without undue trouble. If anyone's reckless enough to sit around Mos Eisley with a price on his head, it's Han Solo. But "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut [sic]?" is one of Goodwin's better efforts, and a case where some more extensive work might be worth it. If the slug-like Jabba can be inserted into A New Hope, why not into Marvel #28? Pencils and ink are still a lot cheaper than CGI, after all. Dark Horse could even make Jabba's Voidraker look like the ship from its own Dark Horse series. And of course the letterer could add that extra 't.'
 
 

Marvel #27, "Return of the Hunter," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +81d GC
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: What is it about Valance the Hunter which makes any timeline into a nightmare? On p. 2, the bartender says that Valance has been on Junction for five weeks. Vader discovers survivors of Valance's raid on Ultaar on +25d GC, meaning Marvel #27 can start no earlier than +62d GC or so. (25d + 35d + a modest 2d for travel.) But Valance acknowledges that he's been waiting for Luke to show up on Junction because of the Imperial blockade of Yavin IV, which Leia first discussed around +32d GC. Since Valance didn't go the Junction the moment the blockade began, the issue must start after +72 GC or so, with a later date more likely, call it +81d GC, though +90d GC might be even more likely. The +81d GC start date also allows Valance fans to move "The Hunter" to its new place in the timeline, as discussed earlier.
 
 

Marvel #30, "A Princess Alone," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +85d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
Notes: There is a minor problem with the fact that Arn Horada tells Leia that Alderaan was destroyed "long ago." Even with the Marvel Pizzazz and flashback stories added before the "Goodwin cycle," Marvel #30 can't take place more than five or six months after A New Hope. Does six months equal "long ago," even if you're on a prison planet? (The best answer to the problem is that the Empire lied about exactly when Alderaan was destroyed, which doesn't strain credulity overmuch.) Again, the start date for "A Princess Alone" fits with the apparent long lag between Marvels #26 and #27. Baron Tagge notes that he's doing penance for the Emperor by checking on various Tagge projects—two months doesn't seem like an unusual amount of time for such an undertaking. Luke complains about Leia's mission in #29 (at +85d), so it isn't unreasonable that he immediately headed back to Yavin IV from Junction to get Artoo- Detoo repaired. Leia should have reached Metalorn about +85d GC.
 
 

Marvel #29, "Dark Encounter," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +85d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
 
 
 

Marvel #31, "Return to Tatooine," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +89d GC
Story Duration: 2d
Notes: Dodonna tells Luke that he, too, needs a mission on +85d GC. It's logical that Luke doesn't take off immediately, but is briefed for a day or two. The comic notes that Luke is 20, which would at first seem to date this issue at two years after A New Hope. But remember that Marvel relied on the novelization for most facts (the root of its confusion between Admiral Motti and General Tagge), and the novelization says Luke is 20 during A New Hope.
Discussion: The problem here is that Len Wein's Star Wars 3-D #1, a very minor Star Wars story long considered apocryphal, was accorded a surprising place in the canon thanks to a reference in Michael A. Stackpole's novel X-wing: Rogue Squadron. In Star Wars 3-D #1, Luke returns to Tatooine not long after the battle of the Death Star and gives a fearsome bounty hunter, Throgg, the deed to his aunt and uncle's farm. That would seem to be it for "Return to Tatooine," which contains a return to the old moisture farm very similar to the one in Wein's story.. But if "Return to Tatooine" goes, the rest of the Omega Frost series goes as well, as does the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series. In fact, the last half of Archie Goodwin's whole Marvel storyline, which centered around the House of Tagge and Luke's fumbling attempts to become better with the Force, comes crashing down. Call me a Goodwin chauvinist, but losing all that seems unfortunate, and I'm willing to bend credulity a bit to save "Return to Tatooine." It doesn't turn out to be an impossible task, either. Here goes: Luke is surprised to see that a vaporator is working, but that's okay—he has no idea that Throgg accepted the deed to the farm. In fact, Luke saw Throgg ball it up and toss it aside in Star Wars 3-D #1. It's only after the fight in the cantina that Throgg reconsiders Luke's offer. Fixer notes that the House of Tagge owns the farm now, which seems to present more of a problem. But it's less than five months since Luke gave the deed to Throgg, so it's not inconceivable that the bounty hunter had loose ends of his own to tie up before taking possession. Besides, he had the deed to the place, so what was his hurry? After Owen and Beru's death, the Darklighters took over the farm. The House of Tagge then bought the farm from the Darklighters, with neither party aware that Luke had given the deed to Throgg. The Tagges then got out of the moisture-farm business after the Omega Frost project proved disastrous. The Darklighters took possession again, only to lose the farm when Throgg returned to Tatooine, deed in hand. The alien worked the farm for a while. Then, as noted in X-wing: Rogue Squadron, after a couple of seasons he was forced to sell out and the Darklighters took over for a third and final time. So far, so good. But why does Gavin Darklighter omit the House of Tagge episode when he tells Wedge the story of the farm? The answer is simple embarrassment. In "Return to Tatooine," Fixer and Camie are defensive about working for the Empire. It isn't illogical that young Gavin—particularly since he's trying to impress his New Republic commander—would choose to gloss over his family's brief time accepting Imperial money.
 
 

Marvel #32, "The Jawa Express," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +92d GC
Story Duration: less than 1d
Notes: Story opens at dawn after Luke and Han flee Mos Eisley.
 
 

Marvel #33, "Saber Clash," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +93d GC
Story Duration: 11d
Notes: Assume it takes Luke and Han a day to get back to Mos Eisley and off Tatooine. Assume 8d to Junction (p. 7 notes that a "long journey begins") and 3d for Han to get back to Yavin IV after Luke is captured.
 
 

Marvel #34, "Thunder in the Stars," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +104d GC
Story Duration: 3d
Notes: We see Han and Leia before the Rebel battle group jumps to Junction—assume that happens the same day Han returns with news of Luke's capture. 3d back to Junction, where the battle with Tagge's forces follows.
 
 

Marvel Annual #1, "The Long Hunt," Chris Claremont.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Must be after Marvel #34, since Leia mentions Luke's brush with Darth Vader's mind in Marvel #18, and the whole gang isn't together again until after #34. One possibility is that "The Long Hunt" takes place on a circuitous return trip from Junction to Yavin IV—Kharys recognizes Luke as the man Darth Vader seeks, but doesn't know his name, which strongly suggests the story can't come after the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series.
Story Duration: 10d
Total Time: 14d, not counting trip from wherever they've been before Tirahnn.
Notes: The Falcon takes "the next few days" to travel from Tirahnn to Skye, let's say 4d. Luke and Leia are imprisoned after the ship is shot down and tried by the S'kytri. Assume another 4d. Then 2d for Luke and Leia to plan and execute the attack on Kharys' fortress, and 4d back to Yavin IV.
Discussion: Claremont's story is a good one, and it would be a shame to lose it. But as currently written, it's clearly apocryphal: the S'kytri tell Luke that years ago three Jedi—Ben Kenobi, Darth Vader, and Luke's father—visited the planet Skye. A number of convoluted attempts to explain this away have been advanced by die-hard Star Wars fans over the years. But if we're allowed to cheat a little, all that's needed to save "The Long Hunt" is the services of a letterer. Change Aragh's speech about Obi-Wan and "his pupils" to "his pupil," and have the S'kytri swear eternal friendship and fealty to Obi-Wan and any who learned the way of the Jedi from him. Change "one of the pupils returned" to "another of his pupils appeared." Then change Luke's question from "Obi-Wan's other pupil, who was he?" to "Obi-Wan's first pupil, who was he?" And that's that. The story even acquires a bit of nasty irony with Luke's declaration that he now knows his father was a man to be proud of.
 
 

Marvel #37, "In Mortal Combat" [epilogue only], Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: The epilogue presents a major problem. In it, Jabba (humanoid again) discovers the wreckage of Crimson Jack's battle cruiser, destroyed in Marvel #15. The Hutt was one of Jack's backers, and is infuriated that Han Solo has cost him so much money. He puts the price back on Solo's head (it was taken off in Marvel #28) and a bounty hunter ambushes Han and Chewie on an unnamed planet (in TESB we learn that it's Ord Mantell) and tells the pair what happened, after which they decide to join up with the Alliance once more.
Discussion: The "canon" episode of "the bounty hunter of Ord Mantell" is that presented in Classic Star Wars (ironically, also written by Goodwin). The problem is that without the epilogue to Marvel #37, Marvel #28 must vanish. If Marvel #28 vanishes, either substantial rewrites must be made to Marvel #31, or else the "Omega Frost" series must also vanish. And if that series is scrapped, the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series vanishes as well. Now, that may be a fine answer, particularly since Marvel #28 features a humanoid Jabba and would have to be reworked if it were to become canon. But it seems a shame to unravel one of Goodwin's better storylines just because Lucasfilm didn't let Marvel in on the events of TESB (as well as because of Star Wars 3-D #1, which is a separate problem). So let's look for another way. First off, the planet in Marvel #37 isn't ever named. It doesn't have to be Ord Mantell. The bounty hunter Han shoots here isn't much of a contest, anyway, and Han cites the bounty hunter of Ord Mantell as the reason he's leaving the Alliance, not as a reason to rejoin the Rebels, as is stated here. Because some of the Classic Star Wars strips take place before the relocated "Dark Lord's Gambit" series, the epilogue has to be moved. And there's a logical place for it: soon after Marvel #34. (Han, alluding to Marvel #28, notes that Jabba took the price off his head "weeks ago," which works after Marvel #34, too.) I won't claim it's any neat piece of work, but it does the trick.
 
 

River of Chaos [main story], Louise Simonson.

Start Date: According to Dark Horse Comics, "a few months" after A New Hope. This presents a problem, as early on we see Leia with the Mon Calamari, who have only recently joined the Rebellion near the end of The Rebel Storm. But we can fudge this by saying that while the Mon Calamari have yet to formally join the Rebels at the time of River of Chaos, factions of the race have indeed rebelled and are working with the Alliance. There are two stories here: the first, with Leia witnessing the attack on Aguarl-3, fits neatly somewhere after "Doom Mission," say +90d. The second story, which begins with Leia's tour of Ikon and segues into the action on M'Haeli, can be placed some time after the epilogue to "In Mortal Combat," say +185d. It's my opinion that Leia's A New Hope Valkyrie hairstyle is a red herring for timeline purposes. It seems to me that the twin-donut 'do was chosen to mark the fact that River of Chaos is set—unlike any other new Dark Horse title—between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Story Duration: The first part, on Aguarl-3, takes 7d: 1d for the attack, and 3d to/from Yavin IV. The second part takes 26d. Assume 3d travel time between Yavin IV and Ikon. Leia diverts fighters to M'Haeli, which we see destroyed by Ranulf on his arrival. Assume 14d pass here. 3d pass until the first attack on the mine, and there are attacks on the mine the next two nights as well, the last one ending with its destruction. Ranulf and Mora leave the planet the next day; it takes Leia another 3d to return to Yavin IV.
 
 

Between River of Chaos and Year Three

(Possibly Year Two After A New Hope):

 
 
 

Marvel #38, "Riders in the Void," Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: Virtually anywhere between Marvel #34 and the "Aridus cycle."
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 8d. Assume 7d time for jumps to/from Yavin IV, betrayal by smugglers in outworlds noted at beginning of story.
 
 

Marvel Illustrated Book, "Weapons Master"[frame story only], Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: Virtually anywhere between Marvel #34 and "Aridus cycle."
Story Duration: less than 1d
Total Time: 9d. Story opens with Luke and Leia fleeing stormtroopers after being betrayed by an uncommitted planetary governor with whom they hoped to hold talks. Assume 6d round-trip travel time between Yavin and whatever planet they're on, 2d for briefing, and 1d of good old "hunting and escaping."
 
 

Marvel U.K. Weekly #151, "The Pandora Effect," Alan Moore.

Start Date: Sometime between "In Mortal Combat" and the "Aridus cycle."
Story Duration: Less than 1d
Total Time: 7d
Notes: Assume 3d from Yavin IV to Attahox, 1d more to Daalang, and 3d from Daalang back to Yavin IV.
 
 

"[The Kazhyyyk (sic) Depths]," Russ Manning.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Any time between Marvel #34 and the "Aridus cycle." If we try to fit both The Star Wars Holiday Special and this story into the timeline, we have to juggle the calendar, since the newspaper story states that Life Day is celebrated every three years. (Alternately, we could claim that this story comes on the same trip.) The story definitely comes before "The Constancia Gambit," in which Gyla Petro appears.
Story Duration: less than 1d
Total Time: Can't tell. The story refers to another adventure (apparently never written) in which the Empire captured Han and forced him to descend to Kashyyyk's lowest level, and during which suspicion fell on Gyla as a potential Imperial agent. For simplicity's sake we might assume that episode occurred on the same trip to Kashyyyk, though Gyla's behavior in the Constancia story seems inconsistent if some event has just marked her as a possible Imperial spy. In any event, we can assume 5d for Han and Chewie to travel from Yavin IV to Kashyyyk, and another day for Chewie to see his family, with the adventure recounted here on the seventh day.
Discussion: There's nothing logically awry, and the story is a much better take on Life Day than The Star Wars Holiday Special. It's strange how home life on Kashyyyk has become the Banquo's Ghost of the Star Wars universe. Mallatobuck, Lumpawarrump, and Attichitcuk appear not only in the Holiday Special, but also in The Wookiee Storybook (which apparently takes place before A New Hope) and in Marvel #91, "Wookiee World." Anyway, no Malla, Lumpy, or Itchy, but a trip to Kazhyyyk (misspelled here as usual) and the usual spiel about the dangers of its increasingly hellish ecosystems.
 
 

"[The Constancia Gambit]," Russ Manning.

Start Date: After "The Kazhyyyk (sic) Depths" (which tells the story of the first time Han and Chewie met Gyla Petro). Sometime between Marvel #34 and the "Aridus cycle."
Story Duration: 2d
Total Time: 7d + x
Notes: Assume it takes Luke 4d to be briefed and rendezvous with Gamine, then another day to Constancia, where Luke's ship is destroyed. Han arrives the next day and picks up the droids, finds Luke, and runs the blockade. The celebration lasts until the next day. The usual 3d-back-to-Yavin calculation doesn't apply here because the Falcon undoubtedly had to drop off Gyla somewhere and probably wouldn't take her back to Yavin. Maybe 12d total? At first glance, this story seems to be an immediate sequel to "The Kazhyyyk Depths," but that's unlikely because the droids are with Han in the Kashyyyk tale and with Luke in the Constancia story. Luke could be skulking off-camera on Kashyyyk, but that seems silly.
 
 

"As Long As We Live," Russ Manning.

Start Date: Somewhere between Marvel #34 and Aridus.
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 7d
Notes: Assume 6d round-trip between Yavin IV and Arda.
 
 

Year Three After A New Hope:

 
 
 

Classic Star Wars: Volume One, Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: 0d "Classic Star Wars cycle" (CSWC). If one accepts the "Goodwin cycle" and the moving of the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series to soon before the Aridus story and Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth, Volume One and the beginning of Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm can go anywhere after the epilogue to Marvel #37 and before the "Aridus cycle," which can be separated by any amount of time from the earlier CSW stories. The most logical start date is somewhere in the third year after A New Hope. The base at Yavin IV is shown to be heavily pressured by the Empire, and after the Dr. Arrakus story Han notes that the Empire has stopped blockading Yavin IV and started attacking it, which fits neatly with the timeline so far. Note that Volume One must precede the "Dark Lord's Gambit cycle," as Vader does not know Luke's identity until the Aridus story.
Story Duration: 31d
Total Time: 34d, assuming 2d for Luke and Leia to be briefed and 1d to travel from Yavin IV to the planet on which they open Volume One.
Notes: Han rescues Luke and Leia 1d after departing Yavin IV after they're posted as dead. A day later they reach Ord Mantell, and a day after that Han rescues them again. They reach Yavin IV 2d later. Assume the drone from the Imperial admirals arrives 3d after that, and that it takes Luke 4d to reach and enter the starship yards at Fondor. A day later he meets with Griff, is ambushed by Vader, and escapes. 5d after that Tanith Shire's slow drone barge crashes on her homeworld. The serpent masters capture Luke and Tanith 1d later, and 2d after that Luke escapes from the Great Well. It takes Tanith 4d to bring Luke to Kabal, where Leia notes that he began his spy mission "weeks ago" (17d, which may be a little short, but the time already feels a little padded). The Falcon is caught in Arrakus' graveyard of ships and escapes the same day. 2d later it is warned away from Yavin IV by Rebel Command; 3d later the ship reaches Aquaris. 1d later the hunting party sets out and Volume One ends.
 
 

Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm [opening section], Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +31d CSWC
Story Duration: 4d to "Aridus lacuna" (35d in "Aridus cycle", which takes events to perhaps a month shy of The Empire Strikes Back.)
Total Time: 4d (CSWC) and 35d ("Aridus cycle") periods.
Notes: If the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series is moved, a lacuna must be introduced in The Rebel Storm between the Night Beast and Aridus stories. In the Aridus story, Darth Vader knows Luke's identity (which he learns in the beginning of "Dark Lord's Gambit"). In Volume One, which leads directly into the Aquaris and Night Beast adventures, Vader does not. After "The Night Beast," Griff warns Vader that more and more allies are joining the Rebels on Yavin IV. Vader counsels him to wait, noting that "certain other events" are in motion. The reference is to the Dark Lord's deception on Aridus, but "certain other events" can easily be extended to also include the deception involving Domina Tagge in "Dark Lord's Gambit." No specific time element links the Night Beast and Aridus stories. But the beginning of "Dark Lord's Gambit" is consistent with a period of increased Imperial raids, precisely as noted by Han in Volume One. As for the time notes, here they are: the intrigue on Aquaris ends on the first day of The Rebel Storm. It takes the Falcon 3d to hit the Imperial blockade and for the Night Beast to rampage through the Massassi ruins. A day later Luke solves the crisis, and a day after that, Griff and Vader have their discussion, bringing us to the Aridus lacuna.
 
 

Marvel #35, "Dark Lord's Gambit," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: 0 "Dark Lord's Gambit cycle" (DLGC)—see Notes.
Story Duration: 34d
Notes: The "Dark Lord's Gambit" series was Marvel's last before the adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, and the series spurs the action along by showing increasing Imperial pressure on the Rebel base at Yavin IV (though Marvel, not let in on TESB's secrets, never did any stories about the evacuation of Yavin IV or the establishment of the Hoth base.) As originally published, "Dark Lord's Gambit" fits neatly into the "Goodwin cycle" timeline, concluding the tale of Vader's rivalry with the Tagge family and preparing Marvel's readers for the new movie. But it does not fit with the inarguable fact that three years passes between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. If attached to the "Goodwin cycle," it's difficult to believe that "Dark Lord's Gambit" could possibly begin more than six or eight months after A New Hope. "Three years" between the two movies could conceivably mean 32 months—or 40—but it can't possibly mean six or eight. So can "Dark Lord's Gambit" be moved? The answer is yes, with a little cheating on Marvel #37. In fact, it not only can be moved, but can be moved to a place where it fits logically: before Goodwin's story of Aridus (Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm) and the evacuation of Yavin IV in Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth. "Dark Lord's Gambit" also serves as a handy marker for determining when a story occurred. It is in Marvel #35 that Vader at last learns the identity of the Death Star's destroyer, ending his long quest. So if Luke's identity is known to Vader or to Imperial forces in a story, it comes after "Dark Lord's Gambit." If it isn't known, the story comes before "Dark Lord's Gambit." As for the story's duration, assume it takes 4d for Vader to rendezvous with Ulric Tagge after discovering Luke's identity. Vader notes that the family title has "recently" fallen to Ulric, referring to the Baron's apparent demise in Marvel #34, but "recently" could mean anything, particularly with Vader scheming to draw Tagge into his web. The comic notes that "time passes" (assume 25d) before Domina Tagge, drawn into Vader's plan, arrives on Yavin IV. (During this interlude, Leia hurts her ankle and runs afoul of Tilotny and her peers, as noted below.) Luke heads for Monastery the day after Domina arrives, with Han and Leia arriving perhaps 4d after.
 
 

Marvel U.K. Weekly #154, "Tilotny Throws a Shape," Alan Moore.

Start Date: During the interlude in Marvel #35, "Dark Lord's Gambit."
Story Duration: Less than 1d
Total Time: 6d
Notes: Assume 2d from Yavin IV to the point at which Leia is forced down on Tilotny's planet. Assume 4d for her to return to Yavin IV in her presumably damaged ship. Diehards will note that this issue solves the minorest of old Star Wars mysteries: how Leia hurt the ankle she's seen favoring in "Dark Lord's Gambit."
 
 

Marvel #36, "Red Queen Rising," Archie Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +36d DLGC
Story Duration: less than 1d
Notes: Issue begins morning after #35 ends.
 
 

Marvel #37, "In Mortal Combat" [except epilogue], Goodwin.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +36d DLGC
Story Duration: less than 1d, not counting epilogue
Notes: Luke notes sadly that Vader has tested and measured him and now will no longer have to be careful for fear of underestimating his abilities—a perfect lead-in for the events of the Aridus story (in The Rebel Storm) and Escape to Hoth.
 
 

"World of Fire," Chris Claremont.

Start Date: +6d "World of Fire cycle" (WOFC). Story must fall after "Dark Lord's Gambit," since the Imperial scouts recognize Luke.
Story Duration: 5d
Total Time: 11d
Notes: Story opens with Luke, Leia, and Mici Shabandar infiltrating the Imperial shipyards on Foundry. Assume 6d for them to be briefed, travel to Foundry, and infiltrate the shipyards. Perhaps 1d out of Foundry, General Dodonna diverts them to Alashan. Assume 4d to Alashan since the story notes that "uneventful days pass."
 
 

"The Word for World Is Death," Chris Claremont.

Start Date: +11d WOFC
Story Duration: 3d
Notes: Luke and Leia are captured the next day after crash-landing on Alashan. Assume a 1d trek to the archaeologists' camp, with them poised to enter the underground city the next day.
 
 

"The Guardian of Forever," Chris Claremont.

Start Date: +14d WOFC
Story Duration: 5.5d
Total Time: 10d
Notes: Assume 5d until Luke, Leia and the Imperials escape from Alashan in the Staraker. Grau and Anarine leave during the night. Assume 4d more to return to Yavin. The total time for the "World of Fire cycle" is 24d.
 
 

Classic Star Wars: The Rebel Storm [second section], Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +0d "Aridus cycle" (AC)
Story Duration: 35d in "Aridus cycle," which takes events to perhaps a month shy of The Empire Strikes Back.
Total Time: 35d
Notes: Assume it takes the smuggler 4d to reach Yavin IV with his report that Ben is alive. Luke heads for Aridus 1d later and takes 3d (in a faster ship than the smuggler's) to get there. A day later Luke and "Ben" head for the Iron Tower; the same day, Han and Chewie set out for Junkfort Station. 4d after that Han and Chewie reach Junkfort and Luke hitches a ride on a comet (apparently moving faster than light, but never mind—stranger things exist in the Star Wars universe.) It takes Han and Chewie 5d to reach Raskar's rimworld, and the same amount of time for Luke to reach Hoth. 4d later Han and Chewie return to Yavin IV and Vader's ship is activated. 2d after that, Laakteen Depot is destroyed by the Executor. 3d later our heroes rendezvous at Hoth (it takes the Falcon 5d to travel between two such obscure worlds). 2d later the Falcon investigates the debris at the rendezvous with the Mon Calamari and lands on Daluuj. A day later Daluuj is left behind; 3d later the Falcon encounters space battle debris, and Luke spots Vrad's undamaged craft. 2d after that, the Falcon returns to Yavin IV and Luke confronts Dodonna's son.
 
 

Classic Star Wars: Escape to Hoth, Archie Goodwin.

Start Date: +35d AC
Story Duration: 24d
Total Time: 24d
Notes: A day after the story picks up, Luke and Vrad leave on their mission, which ends with Vrad's death and Luke's umpteenth rescue by Han. The evacuation of Yavin IV begins the next day, the rendezvous with the Rebel fleet comes a day later, and the fleet moves out (with Luke and Han scouting ahead) the third day. A day later, the fleet escapes after Griff crashes into Vader's ship. 3d later the rebel fleet reaches Hoth; the Falcon lands on the tropical planet for repairs. Luke encounters S'ybll the next day, and the Falcon leaves the planet a day later. 3d later the Falcon returns to Hoth, encounters Raskar's ship, and crashes on Hoth. Raskar's captured ship leaves the system the next day and reaches Ord Mantell 4d after that (the same day Vader and Boba Fett meet). 1d after their arrival at Ord Mantell, Luke and Han are rescued by Raskar and Vader's fleet forms to hunt the Rebels. 2d later the Falcon picks up a rebel distress beacon; 1d later they land on Verdanth. 2d after that the Falcon returns to Hoth.
 
 

Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell, Brian Daley.

POTENTIALLY APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Between Escape to Hoth and The Empire Strikes Back.
Story Duration: 4d
Total Time: 8d
Notes: Luke and Han begin the story on a mission to divert the Empire from the Rebels' new base on Hoth. Assume they're 1d away from Hoth base, and take 1d to get back after eluding the Imperial patrol. The Falcon leaves promptly for Ord Mantell, taking 3d to make the trip. (In Escape to Hoth, Raskar's slower ship makes the same trip in 4d.) Following their encounter with Cypher and the theft of the currency shipment, another 3d are required to return to Hoth. Discussion: This story must come after Escape to Hoth, as the Rebels have already set up their new base on that icy planet. That's not long after Han, Chewie, and Luke escaped from Boba Fett's team of bounty hunters on their second trip to Ord Mantell. It is possible to listen to Princess Leia's line, "The planet [where our mission's taking us] is Ord Mantell," and claim that she sounds ominous because she's thinking of the close calls everyone has suffered there. It's not likely, but it can be done. It's also not likely that Han wouldn't say something like, "Are you kidding, Your Worship? The kid and I just finished almost getting our tails shot off back there!" But again, you can claim that he said exactly that while the record was switching sides. This whole story, of course, is based around the throwaway line from The Empire Strikes Back in which Han tells Leia that his run-in with the bounty hunter on Ord Mantell convinced him he'd better leave the Rebels and pay off Jabba the Hutt. In Daley's story, the bounty hunter alluded to is Cypher; in Classic Star Wars: Volume One, it's Skorr. But this needn't sink Daley's story, either. It doesn't matter which bounty hunter Han had in mind when he said it was time to go. Ord Mantell also doesn't sound much like the planet we see in Volume One, but planets are fairly sizable places, so this isn't a huge objection. In short, it's most plausible that "the bounty hunter of Ord Mantell" is Skorr, and that Goodwin's version of the story in Volume One is the one and only. But it's hard to claim that including Rebel Mission for good measure ruins anything, and Brian Daley deserves far more than just this as a monument, anyway.

That takes us to The Empire Strikes Back . . . well, almost. In the beginning of Brian Daley's TESB radio drama, Luke becomes the commander of Rogue Flight after the death of Commander Narra, who is obviously somewhat of a mentor for Luke. So we can assume a month or so between the end of Escape to Hoth and the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, a period in which Luke's relationship with Narra begins, blossoms, and ends.
 
 
 
 

V. The Apocrypha

        What stays and what goes in constructing a timeline?  I tried to keep everything that wasn't obviously contradictory to more-established sources.  That seems like a fine rule when the sources being compared are a Russ Manning comic and a Kevin J. Anderson novel, but it may raise some hackles when the comparison is between two comics.
        Those who have waded through the timeline notes may wonder why some of their favorite stories are here while some of the old Marvels are up above.  Well, I admit to being somewhat of an Archie Goodwin chauvinist, considering him hands-down the best author to set stories in this period.  He is certainly the dominant author: more than half of the A New Hope—The Empire Strikes Back works are Goodwin stories.  About half of Goodwin's stories—the newspaper strips illustrated by Al Williamson—have been reprinted by Dark Horse (and to great acclaim) in the Classic Star Wars series.  These should be regarded as canon; indeed, Kevin J. Anderson has stated that he is drawing upon them for his Star Wars Chronology.
        The other Goodwin stories—Marvels illustrated by Carmine Infantino—have not been reprinted and have been largely ignored, despite Andy Mangels' efforts to restart the debate in his Essential Guide to Characters.  That seems like a loss for Star Wars. Many of Goodwin's old Marvels are as good or better than his later Classic Star Wars work, and the fact that Carmine Infantino is not Al Williamson's equal with a pencil doesn't strike me as sufficient reason to lose some very good tales.
        So, in most instances, I deferred to Goodwin's stories—whether they bear the Marvel or Dark Horse imprint—as the "definitive" comics.  Toward this end, I have stretched logic a bit in an effort to save his "Return to Tatooine" storyline, which I think fits admirably with the saga as a whole.  Many will note that I have employed pretzel logic to save a story I like, while claiming a dislike of pretzel logic as grounds for declaring other stories apocryphal. All I can say is, "You've got me."
        In every case, however, I have included information to help lovers of a particular "apocryphal" story place that story in a timeline by telling them what must be changed and/or what other stories must get the ax to let their favorite carry the day.  Potentially apocryphal stories which I opted to exclude from my timeline will be found here.  I explain why I made that decision, and I include information to help those who disagree with me.
        Some will note that I suggested changes in published comics in the above section because I wanted to keep them, while not doing the same for stories here.  Is it unfair to suggest that one story be changed so that it isn't apocryphal while deciding another isn't worth it?  Well, sure.  Again, I can only plead guilty, and again, I have included information for constructing a coherent timeline for those who don't agree.
 
 

Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Alan Dean Foster.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: It must come after the "Dark Lord's Gambit cycle," since Vader knows Luke's identity.
Story Duration: 20d
Total Time: 32d
Notes: Assume a 4d period for Luke and Leia to be briefed about their mission and head to Circarpous. After they crash on Mimban, Luke figures he ought to find Leia "within a week," but seems to do so the first day. They travel for several days (assume 5d, and add another day for the scene in which Luke watches Leia sleep). That brings them to the mining station at night. They meet Halla, are captured, and break out with Hin and Kee the same night, escaping with Halla into the jungle. They travel for 7d and are pursued by the Wandrella. Luke and Leia reach the underground lake and go to sleep on the first night underground, and reach the other side the next day. The battle with Imperial troops rages through the night (add another day). "Several days later" (say 4d for variety's sake) they reach the Temple of Pomojema and fight Vader. The story ends, but we can assume 5d to reach Mimban's spaceport and steal a ship, followed by 3d back to Yavin IV. We can also assume that the Circarpous meeting must be rescheduled, since Luke and Leia are a month late and the Dark Lord of the Sith is in the system searching for them.
Discussion: Fans have come up with some ingeniously convoluted reasons why Splinter of the Mind's Eye fits just fine between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. There are reasons to be sympathetic to such attempts: part of Splinter's appeal is that it "feels right." Foster ghost-wrote the novelization of A New Hope, and his sequel uses pieces discarded from earlier versions of the Star Wars script, such as the Kaiburr Crystal and the Yuzzem. But there simply isn't any remotely believable way to make Splinter fit any timeline that includes such basic elements as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The basic objection to Splinter is that its lightsaber battle between Luke and Vader robs their later confrontation in TESB of its dramatic power. This is supposed to be the moment for which Luke has burned for three years, but if Splinter is to be believed, Luke already faced Vader—and, in fact, beat him rather handily. If you still feel a little thrill when the lights go on in the carbon-freezing chamber and Vader hisses " . . . but you are not a Jedi yet," I don't understand how can you possibly think Splinter isn't apocryphal. Protecting TESB's dramatic power, of course, is not a logical reason to reject Splinter. But there are logical problems, too. Why does Luke whip Vader in Splinter and then get whipped in TESB, particularly when he has also taken possession of a giant crystal which concentrates the power of the Force? And what happened to the Kaiburr Crystal after Splinter? In TESB, Luke (injured, it's true) still has trouble levitating objects as small as his saber. You can claim that while Luke became much more powerful after Splinter, Vader became more powerful still. You can claim that the Alliance hid the Kaiburr Crystal, or lost it. But that's awfully contrived. (Kaiburr crystals are mentioned, oddly enough, in Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta's Lightsabers.)
Making It Fit: Move Volume One, the pre-Aridus stories from The Rebel Storm, and the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series back a couple of months, into Year Two. Place Splinter soon after "Dark Lord's Gambit," perhaps separated by a couple of adventures. Make sure you allow Vader enough time to get back to the surface of Mimban and healed before the "Aridus cycle" and Escape to Hoth.
 
 

The Droid Dilemma, [author unknown].

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: [I don't have this one, but odds are it's set sometime between Marvel #34 and Volume One.]
Story Duration: NA
Total Time: NA
 
 

The Maverick Moon, Walter Wright.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Sometime between Marvel #34 and Volume One.
Story Duration: less than 1d
Total Time: 37d
Notes: Assume Luke has been training at the New Academy for Space Pilots for a month, that it took him 3d to get there, and that it takes Leia 3d to get back.
Discussion: Why in the world would the Alliance send Luke off to the Planetary Pioneers and their New Academy for Space Pilots? Either the Planetary Pioneers are an Imperial organization, or the Alliance is spending money on it that it should spend on X-wings and Corellian Corvettes. The odd thing is that Luke could have saved a Rebel base from the maverick moon—there would have been no need for any hint of war (I can only guess that's what bothered the author) in such a story, and nothing would have seemed obviously apocryphal.
Making It Fit: Set it in the otherwise-unoccupied Year Two, and postulate some truly incredible events that happened beforehand. Maybe Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, and the other villains took a six- month vacation to Hologram Fun World.
 
 

The Mystery of the Rebellious Robot, Mark Corcoran.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Sometime between Marvel #34 and Volume One. A case could also be made—though not easily—for setting Mystery in a post-Return of the Jedi period, with a New Republic presence on Tatooine.
Story Duration: less than 1d
Total Time: 28d
Notes: Assume Luke has been on Tatooine helping build a super-vaporator for three weeks, and add in a 6d Yavin IV/Tatooine round-trip.
Discussion: First off, it seems like Luke would have better things to do than build vaporators again. How did Tatooine go from an Imperial possession to being in Rebel hands? Why would the Rebellion then put a base there? Wouldn't the Empire find it? What did Jabba the Hutt have to say about all this? How many times could Luke go back to Tatooine, anyway?
Making It Fit: Set it in Year Two, and extend the villains' Hologram Fun World vacation by a few more weeks.
 
 

Scoundrel's Luck, Troy Denning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Some 35-40d after A New Hope. The story says that several days after the destruction of the Death Star, General Dodonna ordered all Rebel personnel to search for Darth Vader's damaged TIE fighter. Han, Luke, and Leia searched for a month before Dodonna called it off. They stopped at Ord Mantell to gamble, and a day later Luke was sent off on another mission (detailed in Jedi's Honor). Also, the Mon Calamari's active role in the Alliance (in Jedi's Honor) is problematic.
Story Duration: Varies, depending on the choices made by the reader/player. That in itself would seem to exclude it from the timeline.
Total Time: See above.
Discussion: A terrific story; it's a shame that it contradicts so much by sending our heroes out for weeks of searching for Darth Vader's damaged TIE fighter. Plus there's the difficulty of saying that a choose- your-own-adventure book actually happened. I mean, what version of the adventure is the real one?
 
 

Jedi's Honor, Troy Denning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: A few months after A New Hope. The Mon Calamari's apparent activity in the Alliance in Jedi's Honor is problematic, however; according to the Goodwin/Williamson strip, they do not join the Alliance until soon before TESB.
Story Duration: Varies, depending on the choices made by the reader/player. That in itself would seem to exclude it from the timeline.
Total Time: See above.
Discussion: The story starts a few months after A New Hope, but the Mon Calamari have apparently joined the Alliance. Leia indicates that they've only joined recently in The Rebel Storm, which takes place in Year Three. And again, there's the problem of nailing down the various storylines in a choose- your-own-adventure book.
 
 

The Star Wars Holiday Special, various writers.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Sometime after Marvel #34. If one accepts that Lumpy is actually watching the cartoon "Starlog 324-1" and that the cartoon also "really happened," then this story must also come between Escape to Hoth and The Empire Strikes Back since, in the cartoon, Fett is trailing Luke and the others in hopes of discovering the Rebels' new base.
Story Duration: 5d
Total Time: 12dv Notes: When Malla, worried about Chewie and Han, calls Luke, Luke says they're "way overdue" (5d total considering a normal 3d travel time?) Assume martial law is declared the day after that. Chewie returns home in the evening and he and Han kill the stormtrooper left to guard Chewie's family. Since Luke, Leia and the droids arrive in time for the Life Day ceremony, it must be at least 3d later. Assume Leia became worried after her talk with Malla and she and Luke headed for Kashyyyk. Then add a 3d trip back to Yavin IV or Hoth.
Discussion: Fact-wise, there's very little basis to dismiss the Holiday Special as apocryphal aside from Fett's appearance in the Star Wars Special Edition. It doesn't seem likely that Malla can just dial up Luke Skywalker in his repair shop, or that Imperial stormtroopers would have to watch a documentary on Tatooine featuring a Bea Arthur musical number, but it's not impossible. Anyone who has seen the Holiday Special will tell you that this is one situation where an aesthetic judgment should be allowed to come into play. And none other than George Lucas himself has said that he'd like nothing more than to round up all the bootleg copies of the Holiday Special and burn them. With that in mind, until events in the Holiday Special are directly referenced in a new comic or novel, it remains apocryphal in my timeline.
Making It Fit: Go ahead. Because Life Day takes place every three years, you can't have both the Holiday Special and "The Kazhyyyk (sic) Depths" in the timeline without juggling the calendar or postulating that they're part of the same story.
 
 

"Starlog 324-1," cartoon introducing Boba Fett [within above].

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Between Escape to Hoth and The Empire Strikes Back, as Fett's mission is to win the Rebels' trust and be taken to their new base.
Story Duration: 2d
Total Time: maybe 12d
Notes: Story begins with Han and Chewie "long overdue" from their mission to acquire a talisman that makes things invisible (say 8d total to reach this point). The Falcon and Luke crash-land on the Panna waterworld and encounter Fett. Luke succumbs to the talisman's sleeping virus; Chewie and Fett go to Panna's city on dragon-back. Assume that takes a day. Luke and Han are revived, but Artoo has intercepted Fett's transmission to Vader. The bounty hunter flies off promising that they'll meet again. Assume 3d back to Hoth.
Discussion: A variety of later sources have left little doubt that Boba Fett is the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy and a very well-known figure, to say the least. Yet on Panna, Han and Chewie (who ought to know a thing or two about bounty hunters) don't recognize him. It's certainly possible that Luke wouldn't recognize Fett on Panna, but it's curious that he then doesn't seem to recognize him in The Empire Strikes Back. If this adventure had happened, Luke would have known that with Fett lurking around Cloud City, Han had either been captured or was in terrible danger. But Luke just looks bewildered. Note also that when Fett opens fire on Luke in TESB, Luke is looking for his friends and hasn't yet encountered Leia. Wouldn't he pursue the bounty hunter who'd worked with Darth Vader and hunted Han Solo before? At that point, Fett is his only lead to unraveling the mystery. It has been noted that other bounty hunters and galactic citizens (such as Jodo Kast and Alfreda Goot) wear Mandalorian armor, and therefore there's no reason that Luke and the others would automatically assume on first glance that Boba Fett is, well, Boba Fett. But this doesn't seem likely either: If you were repeatedly attacked by a guy in a hockey mask, wouldn't you become somewhat suspicious of hockey masks?
Making It Fit: Set the adventure immediately after Escape to Hoth and say Luke was being doltish on Bespin (true enough, when you think about it).
 
 

Marvel #7, "New Planets, New Perils," Roy Thomas.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Can't be too long after A New Hope since it begins with Han and Chewie leaving Yavin IV, and the note that "good-byes can no longer be delayed" (p. 1).
Story Duration: 8d
Notes: The Falcon is headed for Tatooine, probably by a roundabout route. The "Goodwin cycle" of stories, for which this is a prequel of sorts, repeatedly depicts ships as approaching and leaving Yavin IV through a circuitous series of hyperspace jumps in hope of avoiding Imperial observation. A jump between two obscure planets such as Yavin IV and Tatooine can't be too common a course. And the Falcon, after being captured by Crimson Jack, then changes course and heads for another rimworld, Aduba-3. Sounds like a lot of traveling for Han and Chewie.
Discussion: See below.
 
 

Marvel #8, "Eight For Aduba-3," Roy Thomas.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +8d "Goodwin cycle"
Story Duration: 1d
Notes: Luke leaves for his own mission and notes that Han left "not so many days before" (p. 23). Spacers meet Han and Chewie at dawn after their arrival on Aduba-3.
Discussion: See below.
 
 

Marvel #9, "Showdown on a Wasteland World," Roy Thomas.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +9d GC
Story Duration: 2d
Notes: Han and company spend the issue making preparations for their war with Serji-X, which could take a day or two. The real clue is that Luke calls into Yavin IV from a possible location for the Rebel base and contact is lost, prompting Leia to rush off to rescue him. Leia is nervous about not hearing from Luke, which suggests more than a day at least, but if it's more than two days we have to wonder what can be taking so long on Aduba-3. So call it 2d.
Discussion: See below.
 
 

Marvel #10, "Behemoth From the World Below," Don Glut.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: +11d GC
Story Duration: 1d or less
Discussion: The Aduba-3 series is Roy Thomas' tribute to The Magnificent Seven and Godzilla, along with joking references to Don Quixote and Bugs Bunny. There's nothing wrong with that—after all, A New Hope is a loving homage to everything from Flash Gordon serials to The Hidden Fortress, with dashes of San Joaquin Valley car culture, Carlos Castaneda, and Joseph Campbell thrown in for good measure. But the difference is that A New Hope is a terrific story in its own right, and the Aduba-3 series . . . well, it isn't. Reducing Aduba-3 and Jaxxon to an odd connection from Han and Chewie's past is fairly easy to accomplish, given some tinkering. (I freely admit that the possibility of tinkering with comics for a hypothetical reprint is probably cheating.) Let the "Goodwin cycle" begin with Marvel #11, "Star Search," which starts with Han and Chewie roaring away from Aduba-3. Replace the panels recalling their battle on Aduba-3 with a flashback to Crimson Jack stealing their treasure (the one element of the Aduba-3 series which must be kept for continuity's sake.) In Marvel #11, Princess Leia does the rest of the work by recalling Luke's mission to search for a new Rebel base, the moment when the Rebels lost contact with him, and her own ill-considered departure from Yavin IV. The planet gets visited in "The Hunter," and Han Solo's adventure there is noted, but nothing in "The Hunter" says anything about whether such an adventure took place before or after A New Hope.
 
 

Star Wars 3-D #2, "Havoc on Hoth," Len Wein.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: 5d after Star Wars 3-D #1
Story Duration: 6d
Total Time: 8d
Notes: After fighting off Vader, it takes Luke and Han 4d to reach the rendezvous, and another 2d ("a short while later") to reach Hoth. Then factor in 2d back to the fleet.
Discussion: Luke and Han are on Hoth only a few weeks after A New Hope, strongly implying that the Alliance, which has evacuated Yavin IV and is searching for a new base, won't be far behind. Yet in The Empire Strikes Back, the Alliance is still looking for life-forms on Hoth and struggling to adapt airspeeders to the cold weather. Would it really take the Rebels three years to do all that? Again, remember that Wein had all three films and every story considered in this timeline except River of Chaos to work with, but still made a very basic error. (On the other hand, he made the same error in Star Wars 3-D #1, and that's now considered canon, thanks to X-wing: Rogue Squadron.)
Making It Fit: Eliminate Luke's discovery of Hoth in Escape to Hoth.
 
 

Star Wars 3-D #3, "The Dark Side of Dantooine," John Stephenson.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: If not for the fact that the description of Dantooine doesn't fit the one in Jedi Search, it could be placed after Escape to Hoth and before The Empire Strikes Back.
Story Duration: less than 1d
Total Time: 8d
Notes: Assume an 8d round-trip between Hoth and Dantooine.
Discussion: Stephenson's story depicts Dantooine as having at least one good-sized city, and as being a trading planet important enough to supply the Alliance with much-needed war materiel. Yet in Jedi Search, Leia tells Gantoris that Dantooine is uninhabited save for a few nomadic tribes that roam up and down the coasts of the ocean. Furthermore, in A New Hope, Leia claimed Dantooine was the site of the Rebel base, when in fact it had been abandoned by the Rebellion for some time. Would the Rebels have set up shop on a world apparently located on galactic trade routes? And would Leia have sicced the bloodthirsty Empire on a planet known to be inhabited?
Making It Fit: Come up with some reason why Dantooine, uninhabited when the Alliance had a base there, boasted a fair-sized port by the time of The Empire Strikes Back, only to be uninhabited again by the time of Jedi Search. And come up with a reason that Leia wouldn't mention such an odd turn of events to Gantoris.
 
 

"Planet of Kadril," Russ Helm.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Sometime between Marvel #34 and The Empire Strikes Back.
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: Assume 10d.
Notes: Assume 4d for briefing and trip from Yavin IV to Kadril.. It seems to be night when the Falcon lands in the hills of Kadril. Assume our gang stays for a day after outmaneuvering Vader and then heads back to Yavin IV (or, conceivably, Hoth), taking another 3d.
Discussion: Darth Vader plays amateur chemist with a bunch of midget chameleons, working to brew up a gas with a rather large variety of effects, to say the least. The major non-aesthetic objection to "Planet of Kadril" is its use of Darth Vader. The Marvels were careful to use the Dark Lord of the Sith sparingly. In Marvel's ANH-TESB stories, Vader has one encounter with Luke and another near-miss. Vader is a more common sight in the Classic Star Wars strips, but again never actually confronts our heroes. The more Darth Vader does battle with Luke, Leia, and Han, the less impact any confrontation with him has. It isn't necessary to lay down some arbitrary rule, such as declaring "no Darth Vader until The Empire Strikes Back." It is a good idea to limit Vader's appearances, chucking stories where he plays a role that any old villain could play. "Planet of Kadril" is one of them.
Making It Fit: Go right ahead.
 
 

"[Gamblers' World]," Russ Manning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Must be sometime after "Dark Lord's Gambit," since Luke's identity is known to the Empire. Also, Blackhole has clearly had little problem determining where Rebel headquarters is and reaching it.
Story Duration: 5d
Total Time: 9d
Notes: Blackhole reports to Vader that Luke and Leia are headed for Vorzyd-5. Assume a 4d trip from Yavin IV to the Gamblers' World. The action on Vorzyd-5 takes a day and is followed by a 4d trip back to the Rebel base. While the Rebel strategy of failing in all direct confrontations with the Empire doesn't seem very likely, Manning gives us something to work with, timeline-wise, by noting that the Rebels are going from planet to planet recruiting allies. "Gamblers' World," "Riders in the Void," and "Weapons Master" (as well as Splinter of the Mind's Eye) are all stand-alone tales which find Luke and Leia spreading the Rebel gospel. Luke and Leia certainly make good ambassadors, and all of these stories could be combined into an Alliance "galactic tour" for the two.
Discussion: Luke's identity is known to the Empire, but the Luke portrayed by Manning is clearly the wet-behind-the-ears farmboy one would expect to meet soon after the Battle of the Death Star. By "Dark Lord's Gambit," Luke has grown with the Force, shed his farmboy clothes, and seen a few cosmopolitan planets of the Empire. For those admittedly minor reasons, I've rejected "Gamblers' World" and placed "Riders in the Void" and "Weapons Master" in the "unused" second year between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Making It Fit: Go right ahead. Just stretch out the "Aridus lacuna" a little. (This works better if you reject the "galactic tour" idea and place "Riders in the Void" and "Weapons Master" somewhere else.)
 
 

"Tatooine Sojourn," Russ Manning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: There really can't be one, since Star Wars 3-D #1 has earned a surprising place in the canon, courtesy of its mention in X-wing: Rogue Squadron. We can just possibly squeeze in another pre-ROTJ return to Tatooine (i.e., Marvel #31), but a third trip would be really pushing it. A lot has changed on Tatooine—too much for the story to precede the "Goodwin cycle"—but Luke clearly reacts as if this is his first time back on his homeworld.
Story Duration: 3d
Total Time: 15d
Notes: Luke is interrupted during a recon mission and notes that he's seen "nothing but space dust for [some time]." Assume he's spent 8d being briefed and looking at space dust and that his diversion to Tatooine (he must be nearby) takes another day. Luke and Anduvil are seen riding banthas at night (1d) and the twin suns are going down as the story ends (1d). Assume 3d more to get back to Yavin IV.
Discussion: If the multiple returns to Tatooine don't bother you, ask yourself how on earth any disease would make third-person perspective star maps appear in people's eyes? That one makes the Force and hyperdrives seem like high-school science.
Making It Fit: Junk Marvel #31-37 (saving the epilogue to #37 if you decide to keep "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut [sic]?") and place "Tatooine Sojourn" in Marvel #31's place.
 
 

"Princess Leia, Imperial Servant," Russ Manning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Anywhere between Marvel #34 and the Aridus cycle.
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 7d
Notes: Assume 3d from Yavin IV to Phelarion and the same amount of time back.
Discussion: There's nothing logically wrong with "Princess Leia, Imperial Servant," though it seems highly unlikely that someone of Darth Vader's intelligence and power would be fooled by Princess Leia's laughable disguise, particularly once she called attention to herself and was rebuked by Lady Tarkin. The story also uses Darth Vader as window dressing, cheapening the character.
Making It Fit: Go right ahead.
 
 

"The Second Kessel Run," Russ Manning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: It would have to come between Marvel #34 and the epilogue to Marvel #37 goes, since Han is working for Jabba again for some reason.
Story Duration: There are clues, since Han boasts he's set a new record for the Kessel run, but with the story basically one big contradiction, I'll leave the calculations to someone more determined.
Total Time: See above.
Discussion: It would be hard to imagine two planets as different as Russ Manning's Kessel and Kevin J. Anderson's Kessel. That alone sinks "The Second Kessel Run." Also, Han is working for Jabba the Hutt again, which seems pretty unlikely under any circumstances.
Making It Fit: Set it between Marvel #34 and the epilogue to Marvel #37. This is the only time period during which there isn't a price on Han's head. Come up with some spectacular catastrophe that changed Kessel from a planet with fungi forests to a nearly airless, barren speck.
 
 

"Bring Me the Children," Russ Manning.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Between the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series and the "Aridus cycle," as Vader knows Luke's identity.
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 7d
Notes: Assume the usual 6d round-trip between Yavin IV and Harix.
Discussion: This is a prime example of a story where Darth Vader is used as the villain simply because of a lack of imagination. An evil Imperial governor using children as bait would be one thing; the Dark Lord of the Sith wasting his time with such mustache-twisting is another. And the scene where the child prodigy wins the rough cantina crowd over to his plan is so inane that you expect it to segue into a musical number.
Making It Fit: Go ahead. Set it between the end of the "Dark Lord's Gambit" series and the beginning of the "Aridus cycle."
 
 

"The Frozen World of Ota"
Russ Manning & Rick Hoberg.

APOCRYPHAL
Start Date: Some time after the epilogue to #37, since Fett notes the price on Han's head.
Story Duration: 1d
Total Time: 14d
Notes: Since Luke is patrolling around Ota, and Han and Leia are in residence at that planet's Rebel base, we can assume they've been there a while, say 8d, counting a trip from Yavin IV. If they took all that trouble, assume they'd stay a bit longer. Call it 5d more.
Discussion: As with the Nelvana cartoon from The Star Wars Holiday Special, if Luke's already clashed with Boba Fett, why doesn't he recognize him in The Empire Strikes Back and realize what his presence on Bespin implies? Or at the very least seem a bit more jumpy at the sight of someone in that distinctive armor?
Making It Fit: Place it some time after the epilogue to Marvel #37, since Han has a price on his head. Or, if you've junked "Whatever Happened to Jabba the Hut [sic]?", place it anywhere you want. And if you accept both this and the Nelvana cartoon, come up with a reason that our heroes keep giving the benefit of the doubt to Mandalorian shocktroopers.
 
 
 
 

VI. Acknowledgments

        Special thanks to Mike Beidler and Rich Handley, who are Star Wars archivists, logicians, and enthusiasts of the first order, and tireless seekers of the rarest Star Wars stories. Thanks to all those whose picky questions about my Marvel Star Wars Archive that got me thinking further about such things.
        Thanks to all the authors who have told new Star Wars stories, whether good, bad or ugly, and including those that make a would-be continuity logician insane. And, of course, thanks to George Lucas for creating such a marvelous universe in the first place.


Send questions and comments to JackCamden@aol.com.

 
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