main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Lit Dark Empire Trilogy

Discussion in 'Literature' started by DarthDeviousTX, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. comradepitrovsky

    comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2017
    That basically permanently killed my opinion of Tim Zahn. No matter what Tim Zahn thinks about Dark Empire, it's still a part of the Star Wars universe, it still has it's own fans, and it's just as valid a contribution to the universe as Thrawn and Pelly. Trying to dismiss an entire work offhand like that is rude, at best.

    I have a similar opinion of Stackpole - writing your OC into someone else's story, and then revleaing that, "nuh uh, I totes solved it, you're all idiots" is . . . not classy.
     
    AusStig, DarthJaceus and CLee like this.
  2. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    It's a fanfic that actually manages to surpass most of the EU in terms of quality and in how well it melds together with other works. There's even a few things and concepts/logical extrapolations, that were first mentioned there and in Publius' other writings that later found their way into the actual EU (the idea of a "House Palpatine", for example).

    Yep! :)

    Some have been waiting for Lightsider for a quarter-Century now. It's the oldest unreleased EU work still outstanding. It'll be a big deal when it does see the Light of day.
     
  3. blackmyron

    blackmyron Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    If you're referring to I, Jedi: Stackpole and KJA are friends and Stackpole talked with KJA about the story, and its relationship with the Jedi Academy trilogy, before it was published.
     
  4. TheAvengerButton

    TheAvengerButton Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2011
    I was a bit disappointed when I heard the stories of how difficult Timothy Zahn was to work with. He's a damn good writer, but I prefer the Dark Empire trilogy to the Thrawn Trilogy any day. Veitch and co. manage to capture that epic-yet-fun and silly spirit of the original trilogy while introducing really awesome new visual ideas one would expect from sequel stories.
     
    AusStig likes this.
  5. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm pretty sure KJA left half the class unnamed specifically so additional stories could be told about them being part of Luke's first class.

    Also, any reading of I, Jedi that left the reader with the idea that "nuh uh, I totes solved it, you're all idiots" ignored most of what was actually in the book. Other than a few pirates, there's only one character intended to be an idiot in I, Jedi, and that's Corran.
     
  6. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    THIS! I was actually re-reading that book to check another reference, and truly enjoyed the scene where Kun's spirit shows up Corran by destroying his charges, and then correcting him by noting the faulty assumption Corran had made thinking that just because he hadn't seen Kun directly affect the material world didn't mean that he couldn't.
     
    DarthJaceus, jSarek and Iron_lord like this.
  7. ForcePushUp

    ForcePushUp Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Its funny, but Dark Empire was something I didn't read in my youth, but EU books referenced it a lot!

    It was quite shocking as a kid to be reading a book and then all of a sudden there be some throwaway line like "Hey remember when Luke went to the Dark Side and aligned with that clone of The Emperor?" and I was like "NO! WHEN THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!?"

    I finally read it last year and I get why its important and all. It basically made Star Wars a viable brand for comics, but I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems to. A lot of the monochromatic color schemes bothered me, especially when it was that puke green hue. (Sidebar: Has there ever been a Star Wars comic that is all in black and white except for the lightsabers? That would look neat. Just saying).

    And there were things in the story that bugged me too. Luke joining up with The Emperor felt like it was undermining Return of the Jedi to me. We already went there, Luke got tempted, he resisted. Now he's with him...even if it is a trick or whatever, it still felt wrong. Heck, even just having The Emperor back felt like a rehash. In the EU, I gravitated to the villains that didn't remind me of anyone preexisting. Grand Admiral Thrawn, Prince Xizor, and The Yuzzhan Vong are all great examples of villains that carved their own identities in the lore and are able to stand on their own as great antagonists. Also, anytime I see a doomsday weapon/Death Star knock off, I roll my eyes. The Galaxy Gun is far from the worst (cough cough SUN CRUSHER cough cough) but the constant insistence of trying to recapture the Death Star is just annoying rehashing. (The World Devastators are more acceptable since they serve a function beyond just destroying stuff). They also tried to give Luke a love interest in part 2 and my feelings on that are that any love interest they tried to give Luke prior to finally tying him to Mara Jade was just a forced waste of time. It felt like in most cases some writers just felt like Luke had to be paired up with somebody and so they kept trying to force it (Callista was by far the worst example of this). The reason Mara Jade worked is because they made her a great character first and then paired them up. She would have been great whether she married Luke or not.

    My nitpicking aside, The Dark Empire trilogy isn't bad. It just isn't the type of Star Wars story I typically gravitate to. My complaints about the coloring aside, some of the artwork is very nice, Boba Fett appears in it and he's great (this might be the earliest example of great EU Boba Fett material actually), and it wasn't a slog to read through. Its brisk, fast paced, and at least interesting. And somewhere in my brain, my inner 7 year old is happy to finally know what the heck all those books were making reference too, haha.
     
    jSarek and BigAl6ft6 like this.
  8. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2015
    I love DE, but I love it for reasons that I freely admit are entirely nostalgic. Some fans hold DE up as the gold standard of comic storytelling and sneer at present-day Marvel comics that don't live up to that standard, and I think those fans may be a little confused as to the reasons Dark Empire was special and important. It's because it was the comic book "face" of the early 90s Star Wars resurgence and because it presented a very different (at the time) take on Star Wars, not because it holds some inherent level of ultimate uber-quality. It was quality work for sure, but if DE came out in 2018 and was judged by the standards typically applied to today's Marvel comics as far as art, characterization, story, and writing go, DE would be found just as wanting and perhaps more so. (That's really not a knock on DE as much as it is on the aforementioned standards.)

    Again, not at all saying it isn't a great, fun series, because it absolutely is. But I think we should be wary of mistaking its historical importance to Star Wars, and perhaps our rose-colored-glasses memories of it, for inherent untouchability that can then be used to justify unwarranted criticism against the current crop of comics. It doesn't stand up to that.
     
    jSarek likes this.
  9. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2012
    I don't think anyone here is critical of the current crop of Marvel comics because they aren't the standard set by DE. It's that they aren't the standard set by DE, TOTJ, Rogue Squadron, Republic, Empire, Legacy, KOTOR, Dark Times....

    And I absolutely don't think that if DE hypothetically came out today it would get the same criticism as Marvel does for the same reasons. The most common critiques of Marvel, at least here, are that it's mainly post-ANH/pre-ESB filler, and that the art just copies stills from the movies, neither of which can be said about DE.

    If anything, the arguments against DE when it came out are closer to the reception of TLJ: claims that it doesn't gel with what came before (TTT/TFA), that it retroactively makes ROTJ pointless, that it's not a good characterization of Luke, that Leia gets sidelined in it, that it destroys the Republic in favor of bringing back the Rebel-Empire status quo, etc. This isn't a knock at DE or TLJ, but that I think Veitch/Kennedy and Johnson have similar views of the saga.

    And that brings me to why, even though I absolutely think that the DH era of comics is better than the modern Marvel era, that DE is a standout among all Star Wars comics of all continuities. It's the only Star Wars comic story, and one of the few Star Wars stories overall, that really succeeds in getting at the sort of mythical storytelling that Lucas had, and using it to actually advanced the core movie cast beyond their OT character development status quo.
     
  10. Ithorians

    Ithorians Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    I didn´t read Dark Empire until few years back, but I had a general idea of what was going on there for a long time. Even if I´m not that much on board with its idea of Palpatine coming back over and over again, it´s pretty interesting, and have what I felt was very unique art and coloring for a Star Wars comic (not a huge comic book connoisseur, so maybe it´s just my impression of it).

    Besides, DE (or, to be more precise, it´s sourcebook) it´s the origin for one of the characters that´s been my obsession for a while now, the Constable of Homunculi! Was he a scientist with dark side knowledge? a dark side alchemist? a special guard in change of security of the Clone Labs? such an interesting character made out of a passing reference!!
     
    Jarrus, DarthJaceus, Gamiel and 2 others like this.
  11. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    A lot of people say Luke fell to the dark side in DE. The thing is he didn't-he came very close but was held back according to Leland Chee.
     
  12. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2000
    Well, because Leland's retcon notwithstanding, the intent of the story was that he did.

    Sent from my SM-G386W using Tapatalk
     
    BigAl6ft6 and Daneira like this.
  13. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2015
    For the exact same reasons? Perhaps not. No one will accuse Cam Kennedy of "tracing," that much is certain. But how would the wildly melodramatic dialog, or the characterizations of Palpatine or Luke, fare against today's hyper-critical and polarized fans? Not bashing DE or Marvel nor condoning knee-jerk criticism of either. I'm just pointing out my observation, the tendency to place DE (or TOTJ, or "insert your favorite DH comic book here") on a pedestal of nostalgia and then inevitably finding Marvel wanting, when in reality the standards were never applied very evenly or fairly to begin with.
     
  14. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2000
    How high a pedestal can it be on when we've had decades of folks asking for a novelization to "fix" it?

    Sent from my SM-G386W using Tapatalk
     
  15. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    I disagree - DE certainly wants you, the reader, to believe that Luke has gone over to the dark side, but it's also testing your own sense of confidence in the character of Luke Skywalker at the same time. That's where the sense of jeopardy comes from - Luke's first confrontation with the Emperor is utterly insincere and they both know it. On the other hand, each has a prize the other cannot resist so let the games begin.

    If you compare how Veitch does the dark side in DE to how it was done by Ostrander in the Vos epic, the latter has a far more disturbing version and Vos does far more dubious acts. DE's interest is more in putting Luke on a trip through hell and asking if he can survive it? For, in the end, Luke does show that he is indeed doing an inside job on the dark side so the Emperor mind-frells him into being a nigh-on zombie.

    DE is an interesting experiment in terms of how readers view it, because the whole time the reader has far more info than the characters. The reader knows for instance there is a master control signal for the Devastators on Byss, it's that that is one of Luke's ultimate aims along with killing all the clones and there is no way to accomplish that without walking into the underworld. The reader knows that without Luke doing this infiltration, the Alliance is toast and the Battle of Mon Calamari emphasises this.

    DE's best trick it saves 'til the last, with the idea that the dark side works by isolation and that should resonate all the more in the wake of the prequels. Across the trilogy what does Sidious aim to continually do? Isolate Anakin. Isolate him and he's easy prey, but put another Jedi near to support and it all reverses.
     
    Nobody145, Gamiel, jSarek and 2 others like this.
  16. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2015
    I wanted a novelization of Dark Empire back in the day, but not because I felt a need for it to be "fixed." It never needed that. Back then I organized my books chronologically and just wanted DE to fit better between The Last Command and Jedi Search. (I don't try to do that now. It would be a nightmare...)
     
    Gamiel likes this.
  17. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2005
    That's true. TCW re-emphasized that with isolating Anakin from Ahsoka, probably part of a long scheme by Sidious. It makes the Rebels episode where the Anakin vision asks Ahsoka 'Where were you when I needed you? Don't you know what I've become?' more tragic.
     
  18. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 12, 2012
    I think Dark Empire is legit great but I think there's a dip in writing, by that I mean a compelling central story, in Dark Empire II and Empire's End. The DEII art is pretty good in places, though.

    Oddly, in the Star Wars universe where it's this giant, sprawling, decades long story, I don't think Dark Empire really needed a sequel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  19. Xander Vos

    Xander Vos Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2013
    I still order my books chronologically, even with the new Canon.
     
    Darth_Duck likes this.
  20. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Regarding the emperor's characterization in DE-I always thought this is who Palpatine really was beneath the scheming and cackling. After having spent an indeterminate time in the Star Wars version of hell he comes out both insane and revealing the darkness he so cleverly concealed from Darth Plagueis onwards.

    He is basically Star Wars version of the devil-the dark side made flesh in the Chommel sector. Pure malice and power embodied in human form.

    And that's where DE succeeds-showing the core of who Palpatine is.
     
  21. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    It didn't. The commercial smash hit aspect made a sequel inevitable but nope, it wasn't needed. The sequel did give us Kam Solusar and Ossus though.

    Exactly. You can see exactly this in the finale of ROTS when Sidious finally feels able to cast off all sense of restraint.
     
    AusStig, fett 4 and Dr. Steve Brule like this.
  22. TheAvengerButton

    TheAvengerButton Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Hell yeah. I loved seeing how well ROTS managed to match up to Dark Empire when that movie came out. It was my favorite Star Wars film for a while after that.

    Regarding DEII and Empire's End, I really do feel that these two suffer a little bit from something I can't put my finger on. Maybe if Empire's End would've been a better conclusion to the story I could look back at DEII with more fondness.

    I want to sit down one day and put down some ideas on how to expand Empire's End, but I need to reread it (it's the one I've read the least).
     
    AusStig, Dr. Steve Brule and Jedi Ben like this.
  23. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Empire's End was a mess, but it was only in recent years that it became known as to how much of a mess it was behind the scenes. (At the time, in an age without internet, it seemed so very strange that there was only a 2-issue conclusion. Never mind what happened to Lightsider?) It was to be six issues, it became two. It lost Kennedy on art - two big hits:

    http://www.starwarsunderworld.com/2016/08/interview-with-dark-empire-writer-tom.html

    "In the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Kevin J. Anderson mentions that Luke Skywalker defeated Kam Solusar in the Lightsider Game just before the start of Dark Empire II, but we never saw this in any story. The Dark Empire II Audio Drama only relates a lightsaber duel between Luke and Kam with victory for Luke, and after the combat, Kam joins the Rebel Alliance. We know that Lightsider was going to be a novel written by you, placed between Dark Empire I and II. Could you please tell us a little more about this project? (plot, characters...)


    TOM: I can tell you the book was written and well-received by LucasArts. George read it and approved it. But due to the stodgy side of the business, we never received a contract! When George found out that he had approved the book without a contract, he killed the project. There was a tremendous uproar at that point and the axe fell in a number of ways. One of the major consequences was that a proposed third series of Dark Empire was cancelled, Cam resigned, and I was told to wind up the whole plot-line in the two-issue series that Jim Baikie drew. It was a sad day, but it shows you how the business side can hurt the creative side, even on a popular project. The legal beagles were slow to get out the contracts, and "1000’s of Bothans died", so to speak."

    That said, I love the scene with Sidious on Korriban, talking to the still present spirits of the Dark Lords of the Sith, asks for their help and gets told: **** off. That's very, very Sith.
     
    Sinrebirth, BigAl6ft6, Gamiel and 2 others like this.
  24. TheAvengerButton

    TheAvengerButton Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Yeah, I think it's sad how the whole thing ended up. Veitch really GOT Star Wars, IMO. Zahn is all fine and dandy, but Veitch had those big Lucas-like ideas and the DE trilogy was so over the top and crazy that its easy to see it as a more fitting continuation of the OT story (IMO).

    Really, Empire's End is not bad. Not at all. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly, but I think the thing that holds it back is it's length--or rather lack thereof. If there were a little more added to the proceedings it wouldn't feel so rushed.
     
    AusStig, Dr. Steve Brule and Jedi Ben like this.
  25. Nom von Anor

    Nom von Anor Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Things sometimes move so quickly in Empire's End that it almost feels like a Benny Hill show. Rayf Ysanna attacks Palpatine! Next panel he's dead! Brand comes in! He's toast in seconds! Eclipse II is sent into hyperspace arrives at Byss Umak Leth is like "what the kark" Eclipse II crashes into the Galaxy Gun which misfires and BYSS IS TOAST and the crew of the Falcon are like YAY!! the end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    BigAl6ft6 and Jedi Ben like this.