Tag Archives: Star Wars

Comic Review: Star Wars – Dark Empire

Dark EmpireThis is one of the first Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse around 1991 and 1992. The Dark Empire storyline is told through two 6-issue miniseries titled Dark Empire I & Dark Empire II, and wraps up in a two issue series called Empire’s End. The Dark Empire story is set after the Thrawn Trilogy, which I also reviewed and enjoyed immensely. Dark Empire however, was actually pretty terrible.

The story has Emperor Palpatine (Darth Vader’s Master) returning from the dead as a clone, and he wants to destroy the Republic. Whenever you bring back a character from the dead, you always open yourself to harsh criticism, if the story was good, it could have worked, but unfortunately it wasn’t good. Luke Skywalker than precedes to partner with the Emperor rather quickly and join the dark side, claiming it’s the only way he can destroy them. This action by Luke seeming very out-of-character. At the end of Dark Empire I, Empire Palpatine is killed, and Luke joins the good guys once again.

Dark Empire II and Empire’s End II, has the Emperor returning from the dead..AGAIN, by jumping into another clone body and continuing his takeover. The Emperor also has access to a weapon that has the ability much like the Death Star to destroy planets. This is silly though, because the Death Star was such a huge endeavour that took years to build, and the Emperor should in no way have that technological ability.

In the Thrawn Trilogy we are under the impression that Luke, Leia, and Jorus C’baoth were the only Jedi left in the universe, and in Dark Empire it seems like everyone is a Jedi! There are maybe 10-20 Jedi characters introduced. Also in the Thrawn Trilogy, we are introduced to Mara Jade, who has a long rich history with the Emperor, and Mara Jade is not even present in this story. Luke is also given a new love interest (who also happens to be a Jedi) who he kisses, but there was no real build-up between these two characters, and it never went anywhere, and the whole thing seemed out-of-place.

The colouring inside this book is atrocious. It seems like only one or two colours are chosen per page, and no matter what is drawn, everything is done in that colour. It really drags the book down. Empire’s End (the final two issues) got a new artist and it did improve a bit, but not by much.

Overall this series was a real disappointment.

5/10

Book Review: Star Wars – The Thrawn Trilogy

Thrawn TrilogyWith the announcement of Disney buying Star Wars from LucasFilm, and that we are going to start seeing a slew of new Star Wars movies coming out, I’ve decided to start getting into Star Wars comics and books. I’ve always been interested in venturing outside of the movie universe, and finding out what happens once Return of the Jedi ends. In order to start exploring the Star Wars expanded universe I Googled around, and the first thing Star Wars nerds everywhere recommend reading is a trilogy of books by Timothy Zahn called the Thrawn Trilogy. These books were published from 1991-1993, and they are set 5 years after the movies end, and many consider them to be the unofficial Episode 7, 8 and 9.

In the book the New Republic is setting up a government and controls most of the galaxy, but remnants of the Empire are still out there. Han Solo and Princess Leia are now married, with Leia being pregnant with twins. They live on the New Republic capital planet “Coruscant” with Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3PO.

Thrawn

Grand Admiral Thrawn

The major villain in the series is Grand Admiral Thrawn, of which the trilogy is named after. He’s a blue alien with a highly intelligent and strategic military genius, who had a high ranking important postion during the war, but was kind of forgotten about during the Empire’s collapse. With Darth Vader, the Emperor, and most of the other high ranking Imperial military figures wiped out, Thrawn is now the leader of the Empire, and he wishes to restore the Empire back to their former glory. What makes Thrawn such an interesting villain, is that he does not have special powers, he is not a jedi, he could not win in a one-on-one fight with Luke Skywalker, but his intelligence and ability to outthink everyone makes him such a dangerous threat.

Jorus C'baoth

Jorus C’baoth

In addition to Thrawn, other new character Jorus C’baoth, is supposed to be the only other Jedi in the universe now outside of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. In addition to being a Jedi, and looking like a jacked version of Gandolf, he is also insane! Thrawn goads C’baoth into working with him, but it is always an uneasy alliance, that makes for a very interesting dynamic throughout the trilogy.

Mara Jade

Mara Jade

Mara Jade is another character introduced in the book, who is a love interest for Luke Skywalker, and after the Thrawn Trilogy she goes onto eventually marrying Luke. However in the Thrawn books, she mainly just wants to kill Luke Skywalker, and her obsession with wanting to kill Luke, is a plot point that is revisited and restated hundreds of times throughout the trilogy, before finally being resolved near the end. It get a little repetitive and annoying after a while.

Another staple in the Thrawn Triolgy are these creatures called the Ysalamiri, which are lizards that are capable of blocking the force, and when these creatures are around Jedi, a Jedi will not have any power. I found the creatures to be a really cool idea, and it became amusing how Thrawn would keep them scattered around his ship, and draped on his shoulder whenever dealing with C’baoth.

Timothy Zahn has created some great new characters, and introduced some interesting new concepts to the Star Wars universe, as well as capturing the voice of all the familiar Star Wars characters well. When Han Solo says something, he sounds like Han Solo. These are great introductory books to the Star Wars expanded universe, and a series I highly recommend.

8.5/10

Minor annoyances that don’t really matter: Zahn likes to use the word “sardonically” a lot, and his characters frequently just say “point” when they agree with someone, as oppose to saying “you’ve got a point there” or “I agree”. It gets kind of annoying after a while!