HBO is sitting on a sci-fi goldmine.
Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for Episode 5 of The Last of Us.
While Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is only fourteen years old in HBO’s The Last of Us, the series highlights how being born and raised in a post-apocalyptic world has almost entirely robbed her of a childhood. That’s why the arrival of Sam (Keivonn Woodard) in Episode 5, “Endure and Survive,” is so refreshing. With another kid around, Ellie can forget her worries for a moment and just have fun playing games and sharing jokes, lending even more humor to a somewhat despairing show.
In Episode 5, Ellie and Sam also bond over Savage Starlight, a sci-fi comic book series that looks one heck of a good read. But can you read Savage Starlight anywhere? Is The Last of Us comic book series real, or was it created for the show?
What Is the ‘Savage Starlight’ Comic Book?
Unfortunately for The Last of Us fans eager to get their hands on a brand-new sci-fi story by the same creative team, Savage Starlight is a fictional comic book series. The comics first appeared in The Last of Us Part I, the franchise’s first game, and served as one of many collectibles players can find. So, players willing to search every nook and cranny are often rewarded with one of the fourteen issues of Savage Starlight, but you can’t actually read them.
In the game, players can toy around with the issues to look at the beautiful cover art by Mike Oeming, who also worked on The Last of Us: American Dreams spinoff comic book miniseries. Each issue also contains a back cover blurb that summarizes that specific Savage Starlight chapter. However, that’s all the information we get from the fictional comic book series.
From the Savage Starlight story blurbs, we learn that the comic book follows the adventures of Dr. Daniela Star, who, in the year 2186, develops a new technology that allows humans to travel through space faster than the speed of light. While crossing the cosmos, Dr. Daniela meets an extraterrestrial race called Travelers, who pose an immediate danger to the survival of mankind. So, as the story of Savage Starlight unrolls, Dr. Daniela joins forces with other characters across the galaxies while trying to prevent the Travelers from wiping out the human race. It’s a killer concept and one we would love to see further developed. Nevertheless, for the time being, the Savage Starlight remains a fictional comic book series.
That doesn’t mean things can’t change in the near future. In the games, we never get to actually open an issue of Savage Starlight and look at the story pages. But for the series, HBO managed to recreate full issues that Ellie and Sam read together past their bedtime. That means at least one issue of Savage Starlight actually exists, and maybe with the series’ success, HBO and Naughty Dog would be convinced to release the whole thing. Even better, HBO could turn the sci-fi story into an animated spinoff to keep us busy in between The Last of Us seasons. Only the future will tell if Savage Starlight becomes a full story or not. For now, we can only hope.
Find out more about how to watch new episodes of The Last of Us on HBO and HBO Max.