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Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy
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Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy

(Star Wars: Dark Empire #1-3)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,694 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Six years after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, the battle for the galaxy s freedom rages on. The Empire has been mysteriously reborn under an unknown leader, wielding a new weapon of great power. Princess Leia and Han Solo struggle to hold together the New Republic while the galaxy s savior, Luke Skywalker, fights an inner battle as he is drawn to the dark s ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 22nd 2010 by Dark Horse
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,694 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Gianfranco Mancini

Dark Empire:☆☆☆☆

Dark Empire II:☆☆

Empire's End:☆☆

Dark Horse Comics started making Star Wars comics in 1991, 4 years after Marvel quit publishing them, and it started with a bang: Dark Empire, set 6 years after Episode VI, was a real blockbuster one, a success so great and unexpected that Dark Horse quickly released two sequels following the format of original movie trilogy, becoming together with Trawn novels the milestone of the SW Extended Universe, now turned into Legends/What Ifs after Disney
Crystal Starr Light
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Crystal Starr Light by: Kendall Moore
Bullet Review:

Dark Empire - 3 stars. Meh but not horrible

Dark Empire II - 0 stars. Stupidest of the stupidest. I can't believe the same team did this.

Empire's End - 0 stars. Maybe BARELY better than DEII. Emperor has full blown mustache twirling as he races after a baby.

Full review to come - because I can't not for a Star Wars book I've seen alluded to SO MANY TIMES and am so underwhelmed with upon finishing.

THIS was the story all the books referenced back in the day?! What about the one where L
11811 (Eleven)
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
As usual, this stuff is best experienced in audio. The sound effects are priceless and some of the voices sound surprisingly authentic (Han, Leia, Lando "Colt 45" Calrissian.) As dumb as it was, I enjoyed it.

*I just realized Billy Dee Williams voices Lando in this production. That explains why he sounds like him.
Michael Mills
Star Wars merchandising in the 90s was all about the trilogies. As well as the Special Edition re-release of the original trilogy and the start of the prequel trilogy, there was the Thrawn trilogy (which took place after all that), the Dark Empire trilogy (which took place after that) and the Crimson Empire trilogy (which took place after that). There was also a Hand of Thrawn 'duology' in there somewhere, but don't ask me where.

Unfortunately, sometimes those trilogies ended up as a structural
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it


This trilogy has a nice hardcover compilation of all three story arcs. It is hard to find and fairly expensive if you do find it, but it is easier than getting ahold of the individual issues. The comic is rather old, and the art makes it a bit hard to read (but perhaps that is a personal taste). This comic was planned out in 1988 and was meant to be right after the events of Return of the Jedi, but Heir to the Empire was likewise in the works at the same time. To make this comic canon in
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Really, really dumb names for characters.
Drew Tucker
Jun 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was enjoying this pretty well until I got about 1/4th of the way in, and came upon luke's dark side falling moment. The little amount of effort and attention given to this momentous event ("lip service" as my mother would call it) immediately turned me off. I cannot think of another word to describe the cheesy, plot drive filled two pages that showed luke's transition than stupid. Luke has to join the dark side to beat them? I mean honestly? It's like the author completely missed the point of ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I heard about this trilogy and the events within for over a decade, and I think all the hype kind of ruined it for me.

I actually enjoy the artwork in all three of the series, as well as the overall storyline. That said, a lot of the actual dialogue and plotting are kind of mediocre. A lot of the characters seem like two-dimensional pastiches of who they were in the movies, thanks to cheesy dialogue and a lack of development. There are a ton of new characters, but none of them seem all that memo
Anime Mage
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars-books
Filled with strong writing and fantastic storytelling while featuring the return of fan favorite characters, the Dark Empire Trilogy quickly establishes itself as one of the best stories in the classic expanded universe.

4/5 - a must read for any and every star wars fan
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The only reason this is not a 5-star review is that the concept itself is kinda shitty: the Emperor resurrected is really not an imaginative villain. But this is truly a work of art, especially Cam Kennedy's art in DE I and II. Veitch, like in his Tales of the Jedi, writes top-notch Star Wars as usual. Some of the new supporting characters could have received more development, but the limited series format doesn't allow for much.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Always already almost victorious villain brings yet another superweapon in attempt to seduce bucolic virgin.

The superweapon this time is a shark-jumping giant vacuum, which essentially recaptures the parody in Spaceballs and plays it straight. (As I recall it, there actually may be some literal shark-jumping when the giant vacuum goes to suck up the red fish people.)
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Not a huge fan of the art in the first two sections, and the style made it hard for me to read, but it was interesting to see the beginnings of Jacen/Jaina/Anakin Solo. I've become more intrigued with the Extended Universe mainly because it's now considered moot.

Needs more Lando. Everything needs more Lando.
Matthew Balliro
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
I was shocked at how much I didn't like this.
Joshua Pruitt
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
when it comes to star wars id keep to main lucas themed timeline this was a miss
Feb 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dark-horse
Wow that was bad
Daniel Butcher
May 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of the art.

Really not a fan of the story.

And I really don't like the art.
Jordan Anderson
Dark Empire is probably one of, if not the most popular and influential Star Wars comics to ever be produced. Not only did it put Dark Horse on par with Marvel and DC as a producer of popular franchise comics, but it was one of the first truly successful spin-off Star Wars story arcs that told a the cohesive story many fans of the original trilogy had been clamoring for since the end of Return of the Jedi. Even I remember sometime in the mid-90's as a kid of about 7 or 8, and a young new comer t ...more
Jerry Briscoe
Jan 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
There are three things that I require from a book when I read it, particularly if it is set in a pre-existing universe, like that of Star Wars. These three things are:

1) Treat the characters appropriately.
2) Don't insult me as a reader.
3) Have an interesting story to tell.

The Dark Empire Trilogy does none of these things successfully. The characters are who they are in name only; merely a facsimile of their appearances and personal histories from other Star Wars media, drug through the mud of th
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
This gets 2.5 stars for the classic artwork, decent first third, and the laughs the majority of the mid-section brought me.

So let me get these things straight...
-Leia is pregnant for most of this but it never really shows until they decide it’s time for her to have the baby so there’s one panel where she actually looks like she has a baby bump. And she’s been running around the galaxy and handling stressful situations the entire time. She’s also back to running around after giving birth with a r
Dcn. Jedidiah Tritle
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it

It's weird, it's corny, and the coloring is reminiscent of Technicolor. And, it's one of the most influential works in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Nar Shadda? Bast Castle? The "Dark Lord of the Sith?" Palpatine? Most of those concepts that are second-nature to Star Wars fans started right here in one way or another. The graphic style is well-drawn but oddly-colored. However, the covers for each issue are reminiscent of the Star Wars movie posters, and are beautifully done.

The story is
Sooo..... my impression is, this is a sort of "alternate timeline" even as far as the EU is concerned. Stuff happens differently in this comic than it does in the novels (birth of Leia's twins, Emperor's clones, etc). That seemed a little odd to me going in, but I wanted to read it anyway.

The artwork really, really threw me off. Characters were pretty well unrecognizable except for context. If you pulled a random page out of this book and said "who's that supposed to be?" I wouldn't have known.
Christopher Lutz
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
What The Thrawn Trilogy was to the resurgence of Star Wars novels, Dark Empire was to the comics. I’ve finally read it thanks to Marvel Unlimited and I really enjoyed it. Star Wars is, at it’s heart, fantasy, and Dark Empire fully embraces it. TIE fighters with droid brains programmed with abilities of ace pilots imbued with the dark side, a reborn Emperor who passed his spirit to a clone body.... More fantastical than the movies were actually. That made it tricky to reconcile with the rest of t ...more
Joe Nava
I loved Dark Empire as a kid, and read it so often that the pages began to fall out. The story doesn't really stand the test of time, but it's still an interesting piece of Expanded Universe lore. The pretty bad. The weird use of color often makes one face indistinguishable from another. The poor art continues into Dark Empire II, which is definitely the worst story of the trilogy. It is boring and repetitive, and has Force users popping up everywhere. Empire's End feels rushed, but it' ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must have

This is suggested reading for any star wars. One of the interesting parts is seeing the star wars universe expanded before the prequels or new sequel trilogy. Boba Fett being a storm trooper who killed his commanding officer, a new take on the Jedi Knights (very different from the prequel order). Great read.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because Amazon offered it as a freebie from buying another book and I had never finished the series when they were originally published ... and I didn't like it much. Maybe the barrage of Star Wars movies since then has dulled my interest in the franchise.
andrew orillion
Aug 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was really bad. It's grossly overwritten with description in almost every panel instead of letting the visuals tell the story. The plot is dopey, even for a Star Wars movie and the art is weird and ugly. Don't bother.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-wars
3 stars. Wasn't really impressed with the art and story.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
The second and third parts never live up to the promise of the first: A mediocre story with some pretty great art.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Not the best writing, but I like the story. And it's good to read as background before Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy trilogy.
Stuart Den Hartog
Good stuff here
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Other books in the series

Star Wars: Dark Empire (3 books)
  • Dark Empire I
  • Dark Empire II
  • Empire's End