After fans have waited for years - some die-hards would say decades - for the cultural phenomenon that is "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," what can one do to sate the appetite for new adventures, which seems as vast and infinite as space itself?
One answer: Check out the plethora of comic book adventures coming out every month from Marvel.
Star Wars comic books and novels have always been popular, but now that they are being published by Marvel and have the full marketing muscle of Disney behind them, they are dominating comic book shops just as the movies have dominated theaters.
When the first issue of the relaunched Star Wars comic was released last January, it sold over a million copies - about 10 times what is considered a monster hit in today's market.
DarthVader has launched with over 300,000 copies for the first issue, and Princess Leia launched with over 250,000 copies sold. Now, with preludes to the film and titles starring old favorites like Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, as well as fresher faces like Kanan, "Star Wars" titles grabbed an astonishing nine slots among the top 47 best-selling comics, with all of them topping Superman.
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso recently explained the line's tremendous success: "Well, the huge popularity of the original movie and characters certainly play a big part. We just promised to deliver high-quality, accessible stories that count, and I think fans can see we delivered on that promise."
He added, "We've been meticulous in our planning and our casting. We don't take any shortcuts - and we've made the line lean and mean so each book really offers something different to the reader. The result is, we've lured new customers into comic shops around the country - and there's no sign they're going away."
Given that there are so many beloved characters, Alonso and Jordan D. White, the line's editor, said it is a joint effort with Lucasfilm Ltd. to decide who gets the spotlight.
"We meet regularly with the Lucasfilm story group to discuss options," Alonso said. "Our goal was to tell stories with as many classic characters as we could - and so far we've gotten our wish."
White added, "We've had ideas originate here, we've had ideas Lucasfilm wanted us to pursue, and we've had writers propose characters they want to write about. Thankfully, regardless of the origin of the concept, the storytellers we've brought in have come up with great twists that have made each [project] special to the larger saga."
With all the great talent chomping at the bit to work on Star Wars comics, Alonso and White agreed that it can be difficult to choose, but that having fan favorites Jason Aaron and John Cassaday as writer and artist on the linchpin book of the line was a no-brainer.
"Both are amazingly talented and both are huge 'Star Wars' fans," Alonso said. "Plus, we knew that we were going to be starting a new creative relationship with Lucasfilm, so we wanted creators who would bring passion and patience in equal measure."
"Jason and John were our top choices to launch the series," said White. "They were the first people we pitched to Lucasfilm - before they knew they were even up for the gig. It's hard to find a better artist than John Cassaday, and . . . Jason [is] a complete master of walking the fine line of action and humor that Star Wars perches perfectly upon."
So what does the future hold? Will fans be seeing more old classics, newer characters from "The Force Awakens," or other characters altogether in the future?
"We plan to keep doing what we've been doing - which includes exploring new characters," Alonso said. "Keep watching for announcements. It might expand in terms of content, but . . . we want to focus on quality and [not] quantity."
Alonso isn't just professionally into Star Wars, he's also a fan.
"Like the Marvel Universe, 'Star Wars' is modern mythology that speaks to generations around the world. The possibilities for storytelling are endless. What's not to like?"