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Star Wars Dark Empire (Star Wars: Dark Empire #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,637 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Six years after the Battle of Endor (from Return of the Jedi), the fight for freedom rages on. While Luke Skywalker delves deeper into the mysteries of the Force, Han Solo and Princess Leia, now married, struggle to protect their twin children from danger. Darth Vader is dead, but a reborn Empire--guided by a mysterious new leader--strikes back against the Rebel Alliance. ...more
Paperback, 182 pages
Published March 28th 1993 by Dark Horse Comics
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 09, 2016 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see how long time fans would think this was great if there was nothing following the Return of the Jedi film, but this wasn't really that good. It was an okay read. The art was kinda wonky and psychedelic looking at times with the strange color use.
Lance Shadow
Oct 05, 2016 Lance Shadow rated it it was ok
1st question: George Lucas gave this his approval?
2nd question: *coming from the opening commentary in the trade paperback* Ok Kevin J. Anderson, how much money did they give you to praise this mess?
3rd question: Can somebody thank Disney for purging this bogus piece of crap of a story from the Star Wars Timeline?

As you can tell, I think this is a bad comic. But before we move on, let me give you some background.
If you read my review of Timothy Zahn's classic Star Wars Novel Heir to the Empire,
A fun way I found to read this story is to listen to various John William's Star Wars movie soundtrack songs as you read. I also imagined/heard Mark Hammill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher's voices as I read their characters dialogue in an attempt to connect the story in that way to the original trilogy of movies. Especially since this story takes place after Return of the Jedi. It was nice to think of this story as a MOVIE that could have come after Return of the Jedi, the movie as a fan I wou ...more
This book gets talked up a lot, but it's actually pretty bad. I love just about everything Star Wars related, but this graphic novel is kind of a mess. The dialogue is awful, minor characters are shoehorned in for no reason, the coloring is terrible, and the art is pretty bad as well. There are a few fairly cool moments in it, but the basic idea of the Emperor coming back as a clone is just... weird, and the solution to the problem is idiotic. Definitely the most disappointing part of the Star W ...more
Eric Mesa
As I said in one of my status updates, this is no longer canon as Disney erased the Extended Universe canon when they took over the franchise. I'm not bothered - we comic book fans are used to canon being changed and alternate universes. I can still enjoy the story.

What's interesting is that this is a radio play based on a comic book. If I remember correctly, it's by the same people who did the NPR radio play of the original trilogy. The voice acting is a little wooden, but Billy Dee Williams st
Sep 22, 2015 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good: Other than adaptations of the movies themselves, I'm unfamiliar with the world of Star Wars comics. I've read countless Expanded Universe novels, but, I'm fairly new to the world of comics--other than daily newspaper strips, i.e., Garfield--in general. This is different than the style of comics I'm used to, but it was definitely enjoyable nonetheless. Fans of the films will definitely enjoy this. The artwork is so bright and colorful, it reminded me of the video games I used to play as ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Roy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say this is my favorite Star Wars book, but it is quite good. I particularly like the explanation of how the dark side was actually defeated in this instance!
Now that Dark Horse Comic’s tenure with the Star Wars license is starting to wind down, I wanted to take some time to go back and reread some of the bigger, bolder titles that have seen release throughout the years. Like many longtime readers, I’m immeasurably bummed about the move of the comics from the Horse to the Mouse House of Marvel (I’m really not looking forward to the Vader/Wolvie crossover); and – in order to keep it real – I’m revisiting some of the yarns that made waves.

One of the fi
Mark Oppenlander
I began reading the Jedi Academy trilogy recently and ran across several references to the resurrected Emperor and to Luke Skywalker being turned to the Dark Side of the Force. A quick on-line search revealed that I had not missed any books in the EU sequence, but that the references were to a series of comics entitled Dark Empire. So I picked up this, the first volume of the collected series, to get caught up on the missing plot points.

I don't read comics on a regular basis now, but I did as a
Interesting from an anthropological point-of-view. The combination of speculation for Episode VII and the new Marvel comics led me to start looking back at old Dark Horse titles. When I was running a KOTOR RPG for my buddies in Ames, I devoured all of the Old Republic and Sith titles. I never really read more than a few post-ROTJ books. I suppose after reading the Zahn trilogy, most of the other titles were a disappointment. It was long after that until Episode I was announced.

I will say that t
Bailey Marissa
(3.5) The low rating isn't because of the story-line. That part was pretty good.

It was for the artwork. WHAT. THE. HECK. HAPPENED??

Like it was okay for the first half, then it slowly began to devolve into unrecognizable characters. I literally only recognized Mon Mothma. Like, what happened, Dark Horse? I don't read SW for Mothma.

The only reason I'm going to keep reading is because it's Star Wars. But the artwork is horrible and almost makes it not work it.
Bobby Luke
Nov 22, 2015 Bobby Luke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so awesome. I have been meaning to read this for quite some time now. Glad I finally took the time to do so. I have an inkling that the new Star Wars film may be pulling from some of these concepts....
David Dalton
I read and loved this series years ago in the classic Dark Horse comics. Have them all bagged and sealed. But I get to re-read them again on my Kindle Fire. Still very good. All of the old Star Wars characters we love and hate. Jedi action, storm troopers, Han, Leia and the whole gang.
Jeral Rivarola
A ver, en principio la serie introduce un concepto interesante: el Emperador sobrevive transfiriendo su alma a nuevos cuerpos clonados. Pues bien, lo acepto. A partir de ahí nada es gran cosa. El argunento es casi inexistente. Los personajes están muy desdibujados: Luke de repente decide que para vencer al Emperador debe convertirse en su discípulo, Leia es un útero cuya función es producir discípulos para que Luke inicie una nueva Orden Jedi, Han está ¿celoso? de Luke. Y plot holes: el Emperado ...more
Jan 09, 2017 Dc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Enjoyed the darker/ edgier tone of the story. Palpatine's desire for immortality is revealed in Revenge of the Sith (he also tells Anakin that the dark side has secrets to bring people back to life) that's why I'm not as critical of him being brought back and of the cloning story line being used. I think its a fun read & if you ever get a shot to listen to the audiobook (Lando does some work in it), do it!.
Pablo Terradillos
Nice adventure. Some things are hard to believe at the beginning, probably because of the knowledge on how the franchise has evolved but it takes forms and becomes addictive.
I enjoyed some plot developments here, not so much the others. I think what I liked best was the psychedelic art. The characters seemed a little too dramatic and the overall style reminded me more of David Lynch's adaptation of Dune than of Star Wars.
Jan 08, 2017 Aziff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ever since the release of Rogue One and Steam's timely winter sale - I've been threading nostalgia with the LucasArts games. Namely the Jedi Knight and Knights of the Old Republic series that was popular among the fans. These two game titles represent the 'Legends' expanded universe timeline that has been Disney declared as non-canon in 2014.

The appeal of 'Legends' was how it branched out the six Star Wars films to new adventures, characters and explored the breadth of its mythology. For many fa
Mar 16, 2008 Jace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I’ve often heard that DARK EMPIRE is the gold standard by which all other Star Wars comics are to be judged. After reading this collection, I can only assume I was misinformed. Don't get me wrong; I've been a huge fan of Star Wars since childhood. And that nostalgic love for Star Wars is the only reason I graciously rated this book 2 stars instead of 1. As far as I'm concerned, DARK EMPIRE gets it all wrong.

STORY: Like all Star Wars stories, the plot is pretty epic. Sneaking around Imperial cit
Christopher Rush
I understand George Lucas approved of the storyline, but there's also a good chance George Lucas approved of Jar-Jar Binks, Boss Nass, a petulant Anakin Skywalker, and, well, everything else about Episodes 1-3, so saying "George Lucas approved" doesn't quite have the same currency as it may have in 1991. I take it Cam Kennedy loves the color green, since almost everything in the trade feels like it is green-coated (most of it is, in fact, green). Perhaps he was a Nickelodeon fan as a child, but ...more
Ian McGaffey
This was a good story about the struggle of the alliance against the remains of the empire.
B. Reese
Jun 16, 2015 B. Reese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
My first encounter with the content of this story was "Jedi Search" By KJA where he touched on it briefly by mentioning that Luke had gone to the dark side. I thought to myself, "WHAAAAAT?!" I then somehow found an audio drama version of this and listened to it. And I was amazed.

I later tracked down and read the graphic novel and really enjoyed it as well.

At first I didn't care for the artwork, but it really did grow on me. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to present a comic story and some
Josh Lewis
Apr 09, 2015 Josh Lewis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Melodramatic and cliché fan jizz.

If that wasn’t enough of a review for you, details of my thoughts are below. If any of the words I used to describe this first part of the comic series just made your stomach turn, move on and don’t pick up this comic. (Spoilers ahead!)

As an avid Star Wars fan, I am more willing to delve into mediums of this fandom beyond my usual haunts. Comic books are close enough to novels that it seemed like a natural branch to climb out on. Besides, who could resist that co
Aug 11, 2007 Chad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!!!
This graphic novel was absolute TRASH! I usually ignore how other people rate Star Wars novels, because I've loved every one so far...this is one that should be avoided at all costs! Here's my review I put on Amazon.

"I bought Dark Empire 1 and 2 to find out what happened to Luke between the Zahn series and the Jedi Academy series. What I discovered, was a Death Star sized hole in the wonderful Star Wars story.

Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy should be dragged to the streets and shot for the sin again
You think I would have figured it out after seeing the three "prequel" episodes: the reason I love the first three Star Wars movies is not because they are such great cinema (although I would assert that The Empire Strikes Back was an excellent film), but because I saw them when I was a little kid, back when everything was fresh and wonderful and filled with awe. Storybooks, Underoos, crappy plastic playsets, and tons of action figures (including the free Boba Fett I got in the mail after collec ...more
After many years of reading Star Wars, I decided to finally get around to Dark Empire, the first comic released based after Return of the Jedi, which was around the same time as Timothy Zahn’s first set of novels hitting the bookshelves. Overall, it’s a real hit and miss. The story begins just after the Thrawn campaign with a confusing battle seemingly waged on Coruscant between the Empire and New Republic. No explanation is ever offered as to how the Imperials were able to invade again after th ...more
Feb 27, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid story. Luke and Leia dance with danger as they work to revive the Jedi and fight to stop Emperor Palpatine for good. Mean while, the rebel alliance must deal with the fact that the emperor is dead set on planet destroying weaponry. Seriously, J J Abrams should have consulted Veitch for planet destroying weapons, the two here are distinct from the Deathstar and very dangerous. Unfortunately, the writers don't put them to good use. A series of successful (as far as the narration is ...more
Christina Brummett
*** Review contains spoilers ***

I'd heard of this comic series many years ago when some friends and I were very into the Star Wars Expanded Universe books, starting with Zahn's Heir to the Empire series. However, I never got an opportunity to read it until recently, when I found the sites compiled into a graphic novel on the clearance rack at Half-price Books. Honestly, I don't think I missed much.

Dark Empire feels like a piece of fan fiction written by someone with grand ideas, but no clue how
Jaime Krause
Nov 01, 2015 Jaime Krause rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audiobook has some very good voices for the characters seen in the OT. Except Boba Fett. Ewwwww
Overall though the adaptation was done well.

It's 6 years after ANH. After dealing with Thrawn, Luke has crashed on Coruscant and is scrounging through some of the underworld of Imperial City. Han, Luke, Chewie & 3PO search for him, only to see him under the effects of a holocron developed by Palpatine.

The Imperials threaten the New Republic, as well as themselves. Still, there are some battles
Timothy McNeil
Mar 30, 2012 Timothy McNeil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diehard Star Wars fans
With dialogue as bad as anything from the prequel trilogy, Tom Veitch's Dark Empire reads like an attempt to add more story to an already finished tale. But, since it is effectively canon (at least as far as the RPGs went), I figured I may as well give it a shot. Since graphic novels can be read in a day (faster readers can no doubt finish the Star Wars novels in a day, but I can't), even if this was bad it wouldn't be that much of a waste of time.

Unfortunately, much like Rockne S. O'Bannon with
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Other Books in the Series

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