An anthology comic book series in the Star Wars Legends, Star Wars Tales was one of several series released to cash in on the release of The Phantom Menace. It ran for about five years and told the stories of characters from the films, existing Expanded Universe material or completely new protagonists. Stories could focus on any number of ideas - some were serious and dramatic while others in the same issue could be straight-up comedies or parodies; some were action-oriented while others relied on mystery and suspense. In short, there was something for just about every Star Wars fan to enjoy.
The canonicity of the series was disputed. The first twenty issues were officially classified as "Infinities" stories, meaning they were completely non-canonical, although some characters, concepts and stories appearing in these issues have been referenced in other EU works. The last five issues of the series, published after long-time editor Dave Land stepped down, were canonical so long as they don't conflict with established ideas. As of the Disney buyout and the old expanded universe being declared its own separate continuity from the current timeline, the stories are solely part of the Legends universe now.
Notable stories include:
- Indiana Jones discovering the remains of Han Solo after his death in crash landing on Earth.
- Darth Vader and a resurrected Darth Maul fighting to the death to decide who's more worthy to be Palpatine's apprentice.
- Darth Vader hunting and slaying the Dark Woman.
- Darth Vader finding C-3PO's parts on Bespin.
- A multi-part story featuring Badass Normal mercenary Darca Nyl hunting down the Dark Jedi who murdered his son (Nyl later showed up in the Rebellion comics).
- Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors explore their long-running relationship in the middle of fighting the Yuuzhan Vong
- Darth Nihilus wiping out a multitude of the Jedi and taking Visas Marr as his apprentice in a prequel to Knights of the Old Republic II.
- Aerith and Bob: Exaggerated in "Lunch Break", which features two stormtroopers named Kjazhed-Uhl and Bob.
- Aside Glance: In "Fett Club", Fett turns and stares at the audience when he sees that one of the potential recruits lining up to become a Mandalorian is an Ewok.
- Badass Boast: Wedge has a bit of introspection at the start of "Lucky"; it's not proper boasting because the whole issue is sad in tone, but without context it certainly looks like this trope.I survived the Battle of Yavin. I survived the Battle of Hoth. Hell... Just a couple of weeks ago I blew up the Death Star during the Battle of Endor. The reason I'm still breathing when a lot of other good Rebel pilots aren't? Maybe it's because I'm better. Or maybe I'm just lucky.
- Badass Normal: Darca Nyl. He has no Force powers, but he can wield a lightsaber convincingly enough to make people think he's an actual Jedi Knight.
- Big Brother Instinct: In "Nomad", mercenary Darca Nyl comes across a mentally handicapped giant of a man and his petite sister fleeing from pursuers. One night, while camping, the girl is set upon by a huge and vicious predator. Darca knows that he can't reach them in time to save her, when the man leaps at the beast with a large rock in his hands. Several minutes later, the creature has long since stopped moving and he keeps smashing at it with the rock.
- Body Horror: The transformation of Awarru Tark/Stauz Czycz in the final stage of his duel with Darth Vader.
- Contemplate Our Navels: Very much the case in Life, Death and the Living Force, an early story featuring Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.
- Canon Discontinuity: Some elements of the series are this while others are considered canon so long as they don't directly contradict the films or other, higher-level canon stories. As of 2014, they're only canon to the Legends timeline.
- Most of the non-silly stories were eventually referenced in other works. And one of the sillier ones (Skippy the Jedi Droid) was referenced as an in-universe legend that was dismissed immediately.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Darth Vader vs. Darth Maul.
- Cruel Twist Ending: "Dark Journey" was the story of a Jedi Master who ignored her orders to return to Coruscant at the start of the Clone Wars, having become embroiled in the pursuit of a Dark Jedi named Kardem, a serial killer who targets Twi'lek women and also murdered her secret lover. Eventually she comes face to face with Kardem and engages him in a lightsaber duel. As it transpires, she is the real killer, having caught her lover in the arms of a Twi'lek woman and murdered them both in a rage. She created the Kardem personality to reconcile her actions with her breach of the Jedi code, but it takes control whenever she encounters a female Twi'lek. The "Dark Jedi" she encounters is actually a Jedi knight dispatched by the council to bring her in. As soon as she kills him, she regains consciousness, assuming that Kardem has struck again and killed a Jedi knight, and resolves never to stop until the killer is brought to justice.
- Cue the Flying Pigs: In "Force Fiction", two Jedi Masters debate whether Anakin Skywalker should be allowed to become a Jedi. Just after one says it will happen "when banthas fly", their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a group of robbers on a repulsorlift skiff designed in such a way that resembles a bantha.
- Death by Irony: "Trooper" is told entirely from the perspective of a career storm trooper who's about to board the Tantive IV. The man dreads being chosen to be sent in first, because the guy sent in first always dies—he's seen it dozens of times. Naturally, the sergeant chooses him. For once the boarding routine works the way it's supposed to, buying the man time to get into the hallway and start shooting. And right behind him, the sergeant that ordered him in first is shot in the face.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: How Darth Vader ends the duel in "Resurrection".
- Distracted by the Sexy: In A Jedi's Weapon Anakin is distracted by the four wives of a king he and Obi-Wan are meeting, so much so that he doesn't notice one of them stealing his lightsaber.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Apocalypse Endor", the story of a former stormtrooper with PTSD is told with a bunch of parallels to the Vietnam War, with the Ewoks as the Viet Cong.
- Doppelgänger Crossover: "Into the Great Unknown", in which Han Solo lands on a remote planet and crosses the path of Indiana Jones.
- Evil Is Petty: A story about Leia's childhood suggests that Tarkin was driven to destroy Alderaan out of being a frequent victim of water balloon attacks by the young princess. "Soon, soon."
- Eviler Than Thou: During their fight in "Resurrection", Maul boasts that he can easily defeat Vader because his hate is stronger. When he loses, he demands to know what Vader could possibly hate enough to muster the strength to win. Vader's answer: "Myself."
- Evil vs. Evil: The duel between Darth Vader and Darth Maul in "Resurrection".
- The Force Is Strong with This One: In "The Apprentice", the Sith Master Finn says this about the slave girl Marka who had just mind-tricked his apprentice into taking her with him. Finn wonders if the Force led them to the god-forsaken rock of a world they are on just so they could meet her.
- Green-Eyed Monster: In "A Wookiee Scorned!", Chewie starts feeling jealous because Han is spending more time with Leia than with him. He forgives Han after he describes Leia as the only woman he's ever "loved as much as I love you", and Leia after she promises never to come between them. Then Han starts feeling jealous over how much time Chewie is spending with Leia...
- HeelFace Door-Slam: In "Trooper", the protagonist is a stormtrooper who's part of the Tantive IV boarding party at the start of A New Hope. Thinking back on the atrocities he's seen, and been part of, he promises himself that if he survives this boarding action he'll desert from the Empire and turn over a new leaf. Then Leia shoots him and he dies.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Skippy the Jedi Droid in a story written by Peter David.
- Hope Springs Eternal: "Storyteller" is in the far, far future of the galaxy. C-3PO has told a young boy named Remoh the story of Luke Skywalker's adventures. The story ends with him destroyed, and Remoh taking up Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and declaring a new hope, ready to stand against the new Empire.
- Imagine Spot: In "Apocalypse Endor", a former Storm Trooper who served on the forest moon and whose unit was decimated by Ewoks says that he comforts himself by imagining the furry little critters suffering the consequences of the Death Star exploding, accompanied by a panel showing an Ewok fleeing through a burning forest.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: "Into the Great Unknown", in which Han Solo lands on a remote planet and crosses the path of Indiana Jones.
- Kansas City Shuffle: In the story Routine, Han Solo outsmarts an Imperial captain by misleading him into thinking he is smuggling contraband. It turns out he's actually smuggling the spaceships.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: In "Lucky", Wedge Antilles reflects on the fact that he's survived a lot but the people around him often haven't been as lucky. In particular, he remembers the first woman he loved, who was killed in an Imperial bombardment (which he was lucky enough to be away for); he did get to say goodbye, but he never got to tell her he loved her.
- Never Mess with Granny: The Dark Woman manages to give Darth Vader a run for his money despite her advanced age.
- No Endor Holocaust: In "Apocalypse Endor", a former Storm Trooper who served on the forest moon and whose unit was decimated by Ewoks says that he comforts himself by imagining the furry little critters suffering the consequences of the Death Star exploding. We're then told that no such thing actually happened, because any pieces of the Death Star large enough to make it through the atmosphere were diverted by the Rebels before they hit the planet.
- No Name Given: The stuttering, sharp-shooting rock miner protagonist of Incident at Horn Station (who turns out to be an undercover Jedi Knight) is never named. Subsequent stories were meant to reveal his identity, but they never materialized.
- Not So Different: After defeating an assassin who transformed himself into a monstrous killing machine for the sake of avenging himself against the Empire, Darth Vader wonders if they were that different after all.
- Only Sane Man: George R. Binks, father of Jar Jar, in the non-canon story that features them stranded on a desert island.
- Rule of Two: The Sith rule of two is illustrated in "The Apprentice". A Sith Master named Finn and his unnamed apprentice are concluding business on some backwater planet when they run into a slave owner Lod and his slave girl Marka. The apprentice ends up killing Lod and freeing Marka out of anger towards Lod (and sympathy towards Marka much to Finn's irritation). It turns out that Marka is powerful in the Force and even mind-tricked the apprentice into taking her with him — Finn suspects that the Force led them to the planet in the first place to find her. When Marka begs him to take her with them so she can learn the ways of the Sith, Finn denies her. He explains that he doesn't need a slave and he already has an apprentice. Marka takes the hint and promptly steals the apprentice's lightsaber and pushes him off the roof to his death. Finn immediately invites his new apprentice aboard his ship.
- The Social Darwinist: In "Extinction" from the first volume, Darth Vader says to the Dark Woman when she comments about the Jedi being almost extinct that it's how things work in nature-weaker species make way for stronger ones. She counters that some species though are hardier than he thinks and thrive in out of the way places before returning (like the Jedi).
- Spit Take: "Force Fiction" has Yoda doing a spit-take when he learns that Mace Windu plans on giving Qui-Gon's lightsaber to Anakin Skywalker.
- The Storyteller: In "Storyteller". Far in the distant future, two young boys named Remoh and Otalp find the battered body of C-3PO. The droid entertains them with the tale of a hero named Luke Skywalker, who redeemed a darkened soul (Darth Vader) and freed the galaxy from the ultimate evil (Emperor Palpatine).
- Threat Backfire: In "Outbid but Never Outgunned", a sleazy little creep is cornered by Boba Fett and Fett's ex-wife Sintas and tries to use a hostage to save his life. It doesn't go quite as planned.Pizztov: Drop your weapons, or I will be forced to kill this annoying female.
Fett: No, kill her.
Sintas: Yeah, I don't care.
- Thrown Down a Well: Yaddle's backstory in The One Below. She was imprisoned in a well as a potential bargaining chip by a tyrannical dictator after he killed her master. The wardens and villagers kept taking care of her and she was eventually freed by an earthquake.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The heroes of Three Against the Galaxy, who were later declared canonical but haven't been seen since that story. Then again, the ending suggests that this might be the point.