6) "The Short, Happy Life of Roons Sewell" from Star Wars: Empire #10-11
In 2003, Dark Horse interrupted a 4-part series with a 2-part story that's a funeral for a character nobody had ever met before and had no real bearing on any future story. The character in question, Roons Sewell, was an anagram for Orson Welles -- and the character was an actor of questionable talent that jumped ship to join the Rebel Alliance. Characters from the planning of the Death Star assault talked about how great he was, while readers were wondering why they were interrupted in the middle of what was a pretty cool story about how Luke's friend Biggs joined the Rebellion. The authors made Sewell an homage/parody of Orson Welles in numerous ways, such as his quick rise to prominence, aspects of his appearance, and other little bits and pieces of his life. Truly, this story filled a much-needed gap in the Star Wars expanded universe (apologies to This Is Spinal Tap).
5) Jabba the Hutt: The Hunger of Princess Nampi
Nearly every character in Star Wars with any real recognition is going to get a story written about him or her, and Jabba the Hutt got several one-shots about his space gangsta lifestyle. In this one from 1995, Jabba meets Princess Nampi, the kind of intergalactic warlord that would invite the use of the "No Fat Chicks" t-shirt. She's massive, and eats her lovers -- she's even big enough to gobble up Jabba, which is no small feat (it's part of the mating ritual, you see). Because if there's one thing you want more of in your comics, it's the implication of Hutt sex and/or cannibalism in any capacity. On the bright side, the story ends with an awesomely disgusting explosion, which you don't usually get in these kinds of stories.
4) Episode I: Queen Amidala
With Episode I, the bulk of the prequel-era comics had nothing directly to do with the film. There were, however, four side-stories that took place during the movie like this one (made in '99), in which Padme meets magical water sprites. Actually the creatures are called trooshti, and their water pump is broken. So Padme and Jar Jar have to fix the water pump battery. How's that for gripping entertainment?
3) "Touch of the Goddess" from Marvel Star Wars #95
In this 1985 non-epic, Lando, Luke, and Han end up on a planet of 1960s space aliens and the whole thing is some big machine run on gems. The Rebels have Lando go to talk to some dude, last seen in a dress or muu-muu or something (and a victim of identity theft via Mr. Calrissian), to get a statue to fix the machine to save this planet of the flu or whatever. As the story goes on, Wedge and Nien Nunb show up and as the ingrate antenna alien people won't let Lando get cured, pretty much everybody says they're going to blow the entire planet to Hell. It's outrageously out of character with what George Lucas made the Jedi out to be, or heroes in general, but we can all walk away from this story with one important message: do not fuck with Lando Calrissian.
If that sounds a little bloated, yes, it was. And you see that guy in white on the cover? That's supposed to be Luke, apparently at his most evil. The tagline of "If Lando dies, I'll destroy your planet!" wasn't hyperbole -- this is really the crux of the story here! Who knew Han Solo thought so much of his old buddy that sold him out to Darth Vader?
2) Vader's Quest #1-4
The art is by Dave Gibbons, of Watchmen. The story takes place following the original Star Wars film, with Darth Vader looking to track down the rebel that destroyed his space station. Would you buy this '99 comic series? Of course you would. But the thing that they don't tell you is that this, like many of the stories, is totally inconsequential and introduces you to characters like Jal Te Gniev, the pilot that Luke replaced during the Battle of Yavin because he got the measles. No, seriously. He's also a heavy drinker and a generally bitter fellow. The series basically goes nowhere, which isn't unexpected for fiction that takes in-between stories that have already been resolved, but Gibbons' art was just weird. Most of the humans looked okay, but characters like Darth Vader were bizarrely off-model in the kind of way you saw during Marvel's early run in the late 1970s.
Also, measles. Again, measles are the reason that Luke Skywalker had an X-wing fighter to blow up the Death Star. Aren't you glad you now know that it wasn't skill, or the reputation of Luke's then-nameless father? Oh, expanded universe fiction, how we all adore you.
1) "Dark Lord's Conscience" from Star Wars: Devilworlds #1
How's this for an exciting tease: in 1996, the people at Dark Horse found an early-'80s, never-before-published in America story from Marvel UK! It has Darth Vader in it! Alan Moore wrote it! It's going to be fantastic, right?
In it, you see some unhelmeted Stormtroopers brought down by "Clat the Shamer," a hired killer that causes people to kill themselves by feeling great shame. While this is going on, Darth Vader is playing chess with a squid in a big glass orb named Lady Dhol. The chess board causes things to get caught on fire and Vader flames them all. Does that make sense to you? If so, we apologize, and we hope that if you don't get help at Charter you will indeed get help somewhere.