'Return of the Jedi' 40th anniversary sees Lando and Stormtroopers get their own 'Star Wars' comics

Star Wars: Lando #1
Cover art from "Star Wars: Lando #1." (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

It's nearly time to blow out the blazing candles on "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi's" 40th birthday cake.

To mark the upcoming milestone anniversary in May, Marvel Comics is breaking out a robust lineup of special one-shot issues spotlighting certain characters from that thrilling era of the "Star Wars" canon.

Directed by Richard Marquand, "Return of the Jedi" was the third and final installment of the original "Star Wars" trilogy that began back in 1977. Released on May 25, 1983, "Return of the Jedi" wrapped up some pivotal plot points from the original trilogy and was a cultural touchstone for an entire generation that's still highly entertaining today.

Cover art from "Star Wars: Lando #1." (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

We've already delivered news of Marvel's first two 40th anniversary releases, "Star Wars: Jabba's Palace #1" (March 29) and "Star Wars: Ewoks #1" (April 12), and now here are the next two titles to fortify this collection of celebratory space opera editions.

Next up on May 3 is "Star Wars: Lando #1," showcasing that smooth galactic smuggler with the killer blue cape so coolly portrayed in the movie by Billy Dee Williams. It's written by Stephanie Phillips and paired with artwork by Alvaro Lopez. The amusing main cover by Ryan Brown shows Lando enjoying a friendly game of Sabacc, and apparently winning by the looks of his fat chip stack and knowing grin.

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Cover art from "Star Wars: Lando #1." (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Here's the official synopsis:


When Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca find themselves on a perilous mission to steal from Jabba himself, a dangerous figure from Lando's past threatens their plans and their lives. Chewie finds that putting his trust in Calrissian is a gamble that just might pay off, as Lando calls on his skills as a smuggler to make it out alive. Part of a series of one-shots celebrating the 40th Anniversary of "Return of the Jedi," this story by Stephanie Phillips ("Cosmic Ghost Rider," "Rogue & Gambit") and Alvaro Lopez ("Captain Marvel") bring you a new, high-stakes adventure with some of Star Wars' most beloved characters.

Cover art from "Star Wars: The Empire #1." (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Finally, the dark side of the galactic struggle gets its time to shine on June 7 with "Star Wars: The Empire #1." 

The fourth canon one-shot in Marvel's salute to "Return of the Jedi" focuses on the unsung workers and soldiers at the heart of the Empire's efforts to wipe out rebel scum. It's deftly written by Jody Hauser ("Doctor Who," "Star Wars," "Stranger Things") with interior illustrations by Jethro Morales ("Star Wars: The High Republic").

Here's the full description:


As operations begin to take shape on the moon of Endor, a technician must figure out how to live under the control of The Empire. But if he can't stay out of trouble, what will the Empire do with him? Continuing the 40th anniversary celebration of "Return of the Jedi," Jody Hauser and Jethro Morales pull back the curtain of the Empire like never before!

Cover art from "Star Wars: The Empire #1." (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics' "Star Wars: Lando #1" swoops into comic shops for the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" on May 3, 2023 followed by "Star Wars: The Empire #1" on June 7, 2023.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.