The Star Wars extended universe was a vast, complicated and often convoluted thing. So, when Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 the extended universe was scrapped in order to have a relatively fresh start, and so that new story-lines and new characters could be introduced. And the first new character to really make an impact was Doctor Aphra.
Created by Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca, Doctor Aphra is an archeologist/adventurer – much like Indiana Jones, if Indiana Jones was morally fluid and ethically challenged.
She first appeared in Darth Vader #3 where she worked for Vader with a reluctant enthusiasm – until ultimately she betrays and escapes Vader which is where we find her at the start of her own series.
Aphra is intending to sell an artifact that she acquired – by dubious means – and finds that she can’t do it legitimately because her doctorate has been revoked – by none other than her father. This is done as blackmail to get Aphra to help him find a temple of heretical Jedi order searching for eternal life. And so Aphra and her father along with her merry band of murder droids and a Wookie bounty hunter set off on their quest followed closely by the empire.
It seems a straight forward story but it is complicated by Aphra’s unpredictable nature. Doctor Aphra is something unique in Star Wars – a character that defies the traditional roles. She is witty and sarcastic, she is brave and ruthless, she is honorable and duplicitous, she is new and different – and that is exactly what Star Wars needs.