New 'Star Wars' Comic Explains Luke, Leia, and Han's Promotions in 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Marvel Comics' various Star Wars titles have explored stories that fill in gaps of the saga's narrative, answering questions that fans never knew they had. The most recent issue of the Star Wars series details how Leia, Luke, and Han all got promotions within the Rebel Alliance ahead of the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars #55

The series takes place after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and leading into the film's first sequel. The most recent arc focused on the Galactic Empire surprising the Rebel Alliance and inflicting serious damage on their fleet, forcing the Rebels to take evasive action.

A key component of the storyline is the Empire deactivating many of the internal commands of the Rebels' vessels, making it nearly impossible to communicate or utilize necessary defensive measures. Luke, Leia, and Han sprung into action to discover how to reactivate the ships' processes, allowing them to escape, despite the fleet suffering serious casualties.

Given how much the Rebel Alliance was decimated from the attack, Mon Mothma recognized the efforts of the trio and promoted them for their quick-thinking.

star wars luke leia han promotion
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

In the scene, Leia becomes a general, Luke becomes a commander, and Han becomes a colonel. As you can see in the panels above, the trio was shocked at the revelation.

At the end of A New Hope, Han and Luke earned accommodations from the Rebel Alliance, though their new roles in the organization weren't clarified. As The Empire Strikes Back began, it was understood that this trio had more responsibility in the Rebellion, with this latest issue now confirming how they came into power.

Sadly, the promotion wasn't rooted in their accomplishments, but rather a result of the losses the Rebellion suffered.

In a subsequent panel, Mon Motha details, "The Rebellion command has been decimated. Every candidate of quality needs to step forward." In other words, they only climbed the ladder because there were fewer living leaders ahead of them.

Another surprising twist to the promotion is that, while Luke and Leia welcomed their new positions, Han was less than thrilled with the potential new responsibilities.

star wars luke leia han promotion 2
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

After attempting to refuse the promotion, Mon Mothma pointed out that, whether he liked it or not, he was a natural leader regardless of his rank.

The most recent issue of the comic book series is the end of an arc, leaving fans to wonder how much time will pass before the series catches up to the events of The Empire Strikes Back. Readers will have to wait and see if Han has a change of heart before the events of the film, or if his lack of devotion to the Rebellion is why he has no problem leaving them behind on Hoth.

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Star Wars #55 is on sale today.

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