The beginning of the up-trend can be tracked to the first episode of The Mandalorian S2 (see "'Mandalorian' S2 Date"), and it only escalated through Disney Investor Day (see "Disney Drops 10 'Star Wars' Project Announcements at Investor Day") on to the final episode of S2, in which Disney revealed Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett (see "'Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett' Officially Announced for Disney Plus"). The S2 character reveals and announcements from Investor Day clearly triggered price action on several Star Wars issues, and here are five noteworthy titles affected, in no particular order:
Publisher: Marvel Comics (1980)
Why Collectors Care About This Issue: Star Wars #42 is a reprinted comic adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back from Marvel Comics Super Special Magazine. This issue contains the first appearance, in a standard-sized comic book format, of Boba Fett, the upcoming star of his own spinoff series. It also has first cameo appearances of Dengar, Bossk, IG-88, Zuckuss, and Emperor Palpatine.
Price Action: Since the cameo appearance of Boba Fett in The Mandalorian S2 on October 30, CGC 9.8 copies with white pages have gone from selling at around $1300 on eBay up to selling at $2500 (sale recorded January 4, shipping costs not included in sale price). A CGC 9.8 newsstand copy with white pages recently went for $4,350 (December 21) which is up from a $2795 on November 27, a 56% increase in less than a month!
Publisher: Marvel Comics (1977)
Why Collectors Care About This Issue: Like many #1's, the first run of a series is very desirable. It also contains the first appearances, in a standard-sized comic book format, of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Grand Moff Tarkin, and cover appearances of Han Solo and Obi Wan Kenobi.
Price Action: Star Wars #1 (first printing with $0.30 price tag) in a CGC 9.8 Grade with white pages logged a sale on eBay at $1926, without shipping included, on October 25. Since then, eBay has seen a similar CGC 9.8 copy go at $2600 and one, shipped from Canada, at above $2750, which shows between a 34% and 42% increase. This title is a little tricky for retailers to evaluate because there are multiple variants thanks to Marvel's reprinting of the title, two prints through Whitman, and a price tag change from $0.30 to $0.35. A copy of Star Wars #1 with a $0.35 price tag and a bar code is rare find as there are less than a thousand known to exist.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (2008)
Why Collectors Care About This Issue: This issue features the first appearance of clone Captain Rex and Ahsoka Tano, a Togruta Jedi. Ahsoka Tano is a fan-favorite character that was a star of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series (see " 'Clone Wars' Scores Highest Ratings Ever"), and later, appeared in The Mandalorian S2 (see "'Mandalorian' Casting").
Price Action: This comic book has seen some pretty crazy action since Ashoka Tano appeared in The Mandalorian S2 and then was announced for her own series (see "Disney Drops 10 'Star Wars' Project Announcements at Investor Day"). In October, this book, in a CGC 9.8 Grade with white pages, fetched around $1450 on eBay, but a couple months later, on December 15, a similar copy sold for $2295. That's a 58% gain over a short term period of time, which is an astounding price increase for a comic that is only a little over 12 years old (September 2008).
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics (1995)
Why Collectors Care About This Issue: Star Wars: Heir to the Empire #1 is a comic book adaptation of Timothy Zahn's novel of the same name. This comic contains the first appearances of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade.
Price Action: In the Chapter 13 episode of The Mandalorian S2, Ahsoka Tano name-dropped Grand Admiral Thrawn at the end of duel with Morgan Elsbeth and sent the comic collectible speculator world into a frenzy over the potential of Thrawn in a future live action series. A CGC 9.8 with white pages copy used to sell for around $400 on eBay in October, but in December, a similar copy sold for $2295 which represents a 470% increase!
Publisher: Marvel Comics (1981)
Why Collectors Care About This Issue: This book features the second appearance of Boba Fett in a standard-sized U.S. comic book. Arguably more important, it features the first appearance of the baddest, droid-loving gambler in the in the whole galaxy, Lando Calrissian.
Price Action: The announcement of a Lando series, combined with popularity of Boba Fett, slow-burned this comic's price up into January 2021. A CGC 9.8 Grade with white pages newsstand copy sold for around $259.95 on eBay on October 25, and on November 27 a similar book went for $299.99. The big pop on this book didn't happen until January 4 when another 9.8 newsstand copy with white pages sold on eBay for $1200, which is quadruple the value of the November 27 sale.
The price increases for these books will likely settle out over time, but as the Star Wars Universe expands more and more, first appearances of once minor characters in back issues of Star Wars comic books are driving prices and are worth watching.