Veitch, Tom

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

4.5 out of 5

(4 books)

Star Wars: Dark Empire

(Art by Cam Kennedy)

Set six years after 'Return Of The Jedi', this is by far the best and most influencial graphic novel in the Star Wars saga.  The New Republic is once again sent fleeing from the Empire when Emperor Palpatine is reborn in a clone body and decides to reclaim what he has lost. 

Attempting to defeat the dark side from within, Luke finally becomes the Emperor's apprentice, but finds himself unable to resist the dark side.  Meanwhile Han, Leia and their friends attempt to save Mon Calamari from the latest Imperial superweapon; the near-invincible World Devastators.  And it's only fair to mention that Boba Fett makes his comeback here! 

This book truly earns the 'novel' part of graphic novel, being as complete and epic a story as any book in the franchise.  Kennedy's art will probably feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but once you realise he's focused on tone rather than detail, you'll appreciate it much more.  For instance, his depictions of the Emperor are spot on.  If you want to get into Star Wars comics, this is where you start.

Followed by 'Dark Empire II'.

5 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Dark Empire II

(Art by Cam Kennedy)

10 ABY.  Following on directly from 'Dark Empire', the Emperor is reborn once more, unleashing his Dark Jedi and his new superweapon (the daftly named Galaxy Gun) upon the New Republic.  In response, the Star Wars heroes attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order by gathering the scattered survivors of the Jedi Purge. 

This book is another great read, but will always be a shadow when compared with its predecessor.  Also, to actually find out how the story is resolved, you'll have to get your hands on the near-impossible-to-find-separately 'Empire's End'.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Empire's End

(Art by Jim Baikie)

11 ABY.  The conclusion to the story from 'Dark Empire II' sees the ailing Emperor Palpatine plotting to impose his spirit into the body of Han and Leia's new son, Anakin Solo.  Luke and his newly gathered cadre of Jedi decide to take the fight to the Empire, storming the fortress of the Dark Jedi and then rushing to confront Palpatine himself. 

This is a very enjoyable little read and Baikie's art manages to continue the tone set previously by Cam Kennedy.  However, this book is very hard to find and may well cost a fair bit because of that, so bear in mind that it is only a compendium of two comics and therefore isn't much for the money. 

Still, if you've read the previous two books, you've got to find out how it ends I guess.

Followed by Kevin J. Anderson's 'Jedi Search'.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - The Collection + The Freedon Nadd Uprising

(Art by Chris Gossett, Mike Barreiro, Janine Johnston, David Roach, Tony Akins and Denis Rodier)

The first book of the Tales of the Jedi series (albeit not chronologically), set four millennia before Episode IV.  You'll be lucky to get hold of this particular edition of the book but it's worth going to the trouble of finding because the newer edition doesn't actually contain 'The Freedon Nadd Uprising' (which is impossible to find separately too). 

The three stories here are excellent Star Wars adventures, perfectly capturing the spirit of the saga.  The first two stories introduce two Jedi Knights, the talented but impulsive Ulic Qel-Droma and the troubled Nomi Sunrider.  The third story tells of how these two heroes fight alongside other Jedi to defeat an army of dark side servants. 

This is essential reading for Expanded Universe fans and a nice bit of background for people who've played 'KOTOR II: The Sith Lords' and want to know more about Onderon and Dxun.

5 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Star Wars: Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina (here)

Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi - Dark Lords Of The Sith (here)

Read more...

Star Wars (here)