J.J. Abrams still hasn’t revealed much about the upcoming franchise-restarting Star Wars: The Force Awakens, beyond the occasional trading card hints. Expect to get some teases about Episode VII starting in September, though, when Marvel debuts the new comic series, Shattered Empire. It’s one of two new Star Wars series that will comprise a new saga called Journey to the Force Awakens. (That means the full title will be Star Wars: Journey to the The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire, which is disappointingly less colonic than Star Wars: X-Wing: Rogue Squadron: Battleground: Tattooine.)
Marvel released the first official art from Shattered Empire today. It’s a group shot of the original Star Wars cast, smiling—essentially identical to the last shot of Return of the Jedi. That would seem to imply that Shattered Empire will pick up right after the Battle of Endor, and might be the first step in Disney’s attempt to craft a new history of Star Wars, separate from the Expanded Universe that flourished in the ’90s.
Then again, maybe Shattered Empire will just be a lot of pictures of the original Star Wars characters smiling, gradually growing older and older with every image, celebrating birthdays and Life Day, their hair turning gray, all their hopes for the future fading into memories of the past, until finally there is only R2-D2, beep-beep-beeping in the mist of eternity. Probably not, though.