There are a lot of blanks to fill in order to connect the 30-year gap between ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. But Disney and Lucasfilm are exploring multiple avenues to tell the untold stories from the ‘Star Wars’ universe that took place between the original trilogy and the upcoming sequel trilogy, including a number of brand new Marvel Comics titles. Though books such as ‘Darth Vader’, ‘Princess Leia’, and ‘Star Wars’ are important to the mythology of this universe, the new series ‘Star Wars: Shattered Empire’ from Greg Rucka and Marco Chechetto will be the most instrumental story yet in informing fans of where the villainous Empire has been since that fateful confrontation on Endor.

While speaking to about his contribution to the Journey to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ publishing program, Rucka revealed that the Empire may be down, but they’re not out after the destruction of the second Death Star. After all, winning one battle doesn’t win a war, especially when the Empire basically still controls everything and has the power to keep “rumors” of a Rebel victory under wraps:

“When you’re young and you see ‘Jedi’, you can look at the happy ending and go, ‘Hey, it’s over!’ But you get older and you start to think about it, and you realize, no it’s not. It’s not over at all.

The Empire still has resources. The Empire still has an enormous fleet. They may be in disarray post the Battle of Endor, but to think that in that vacuum people aren’t stepping up [is shortsighted].

All these people are not about to go, ‘Oh, well, I guess we were on the wrong side. It’s over, then.’ [Laughs] There’s a Moff out there who’s like, ‘Right. I’m emptying the bank accounts, I’m changing my name, and I’m going to Aruba.’ You know there is. But for every Moff who does that, there are five who say, ‘Like hell am I leaving this post. We’ve got stormtroopers for a reason. You get out there and you shoot every last one of these upstart insurgents, these terrorists, and you make clear to them that the rule of law still stands.’ So it does get ugly.”

Judging by what we’ve seen so far, things continue to be ugly in ‘The Force Awakens’, where it appears that The First Order has risen up to take The Empire’s place against the Rebellion. But it sounds like Rucka’s four-issue mini-series that takes place in the immediate aftermath of ‘Return of the Jedi’ is planting the seeds that will give life to J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated feature film. If you can hardly wait for ‘Episode VII’ in December, this will definitely be something that you’ll want to keep your eyes on.

What do you think about the state of the Empire going into Greg Rucka and Marco Chechetto’s ‘Star Wars: Shattered Empire’? Will you be picking it up on September 2nd when it hits the shelves at your local comic book shop? Let us know in the comments below.