Warning! Spoilers for Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills
A recently released Star Wars manga titled Guardians of the Whills is spotlighting the heroic Rogue One brotherhood, Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe. Their adventures might have found a conclusion on screen, but the new manga is bringing readers back to their beginnings on Jedha.
Their iconic presence in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story quickly cemented itself as a fan favorite component of the current Disney Lucasfilm era. The dynamic rebel duo portrayed by Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen made many audience members feel represented in the Star Wars galaxy for the first time. Although it seemed their story had met a definite end with the Death Star’s blast, their adventures continue in the form of comics. Similar to Andor’s upcoming Disney+ series, the Force-bound brotherhood have a prequel of their own to be told.
Baze and Chirrut return in the new manga Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills, illustrated by Subaru, and adapted by Jon Tsuei from the novel written by Greg Rucka. The prequel explores how the two of them originally crossed paths, and became friends who would eventually fight side-by-side, into their demise. While on Jedha occupying the Kyber Temple, the Guardians of the Whills struggle to uphold a status of peace with the imminent presence of stormtroopers. As tensions rise, Baze and Chirrut team up with Saw Gerrera in an effort to detour the Empire from the Holy City. Little did the rebel trio realize that this would serve as training for a mission they had yet to accept.
The origin story of Baze and Chirrut’s partnership holds significance in the Star Wars galaxy, as it made the way for the Death Star plans to be shared with the Rebel Alliance. Without their contribution on the front lines, Jyn Erso and Andor might have never been able to transmit the signal to the rebels from Scarif. Presented as a manga intended for teenage readers at 196 pages, Guardians of the Whills has plenty to offer the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm has rarely experimented in the style of manga, with few examples such as adaptations of the Original Trilogy and The Phantom Menace. Whenever Star Wars has ventured into such territory, it has left a mark on canon.
This retelling of Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe’s brave first team-up has a new layer of vision added with Subaru’s art. Although Rogue One didn’t have time to deeply establish the rebel duo’s backstory, this manga adaptation could be the best way for fans to learn about their brotherly bond. It might come as a surprise that the Empire was the force to bring them together. Baze and Chirrut’s origin story, Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills, is available now in paperback and digital from VIZ Media.