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Fanclub Dark Times Fan Club

Discussion in 'EU Community' started by spicer, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    I've intended to create this thread for a while now, and I finally decided to do it - a Fan Club for the Dark Times comic series published by Dark Horse.
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    Star Wars: Dark Times is a comic book series that ran from November of 2006 to December of 2013 (although some of the main protagonists were first introduced in Star Wars: Republic #79, published in November of 2005). The story is set immediately after the events in Revenge of the Sith and follows the lives of Bomo Greenbark (a former separatist soldier) the crew of the smuggler ship Uhumele, and several Order 66 Jedi survivors (Dass Jennir, K'Kruhk, Chase Piru, Zao and a handful of Jedi younglings) during the first days of the Sith ruled Galactic Empire.

    Dark Times is my favourite Star Wars story, so much so that it's safe to say I am still obsessed with it, almost five years after the last issue in the series was published. I got hooked with this comic due to its darker, more serious tone that offered a different take from the usual Star Wars experience. The characters broke the standard Star Wars model too - none of them were the special, super important and powerful Jedi of prophecy, nor were they the most wanted smugglers with the sleekest ship in the galaxy, always appearing in the midst of galaxy changing events. The story was smaller in scope and more intimate, with occasional gut wrenching events that made me sympathize with the characters like with few other from the Star Wars universe. The beautiful artwork is the icing on the cake. What Doug Wheatley did with the character designs, non-humans and humans alike, as well as with the world concepts and ship designs is astounding. I sometimes think that visually Dark Times is either too good for a comic book, or that most other comics don't meet the standard.

    Have you read Dark Times and if yes, what did you think? Loved it, liked it, found it to be pretty meh, disliked it or hated it? Which characters stood out to you the most? Anything specific that you expected from this series that you got or didn't get? Anything Dark Times related is fair game here!
     
  2. Nom von Anor

    Nom von Anor Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 7, 2012
    I can't contribute a lot to this thread, because I never finished Dark Times. Around 2008 or 2009, I lost interest in the EU and basically stopped reading. Not because of Dark Times - I enjoyed what I read of it. The trainwreck that was Denningverse and the disrespect TCW showed to continuity disheartened me so much that for about three or four years I read very little EU, if any. And after that dry spell I never came around to finishing Dark Times.

    I really enjoyed the character of Bomo Greenbark. The plight of his people resonated with me: Forced to join the CIS because the Republic wrecked their economy with their thoughtless laws. And it showed how much the Prequel Jedi had turned into mindless minions of the Republic fighting the Nosaurians. Dass Jennir was truly surprised when faced with Bomo's anger towards the Republic. Not all of the CIS were moustache-twirling evil capitalists and I really loved that aspect.

    I also liked the Uhumele crew, and that their captain was a Yarkora. We don't see much of that species. I can't remember some of the details, but the crew members came from a diverse range of species and I thought that was a very good story decision.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  3. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    It's not too late to finish reading Dark Times, or any other story that you may have skipped for that matter. Now that the series has wrapped up (although it's debatable whether it truly ended on its own terms due to the Dark Horse license loss and the cancellation of Legends), it has never been more convenient to catch up. Most recently, the entirety of Dark Times has been collected in MARVEL's Legends Epic Collection: The Empire volumes 1-3. Also, Dark Horse collected the series in two omnibuses (Dark Times Omnibus volumes 1 and 2). You should be able to find all of the above mentioned volumes relatively easily both online and in most comic shops.
    Bomo is such a wonderful character, he is without a doubt one of my all time favourite fictional characters. And the cause the nosaurians from New Plympto fought for was in my view justified and understandable. I find it hard to envision a scenario where the Republic didn't act as a true oppressor on New Plympto during the Clone Wars. If LFL ever decides to tell a story where the protagonists are the CIS, the nosaurians would be the perfect protagonists. And that points to another beauty of Dark Times - the main heroes of the story are a former separatist who was on the right side of the war and a Jedi Master that was on the wrong side. There aren't a lot of stories that explore that aspect, at least not that I can remember at the moment. Most of the time it is only hinted that the Jedi of the Prequel Era were wrong, but the CIS is generally depicted as evil.

    The diversity of the main cast in Dark Times is something I wish to see more of in Star Wars. Most stories have a main cast that is predominantly composed of humans (or human-like non-humans like twileks or zabraks), with a non-human or two that may or may not be the comic relief. Not here though, as when we first meet the Uhumele crew there is only one human on board and the only human-like alien is an elomin. And how many Star Wars stories are there where the main protagonist is non-human? In Dark Times, only one of the three heroes is a human. We need more diversity in Star Wars the way Dark Times did it!
     
  4. KikReask

    KikReask Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2016
    I've yet to truly read this series properly but I remember how I first came to it. It was early days in the new Marvel comics, and aside from the Kanan comics nothing was gripping my attention, everything Marvel released felt too short to burn through with little consequence for the overall saga. Characters liked Boba and Dengar were being wasted and each new mini series felt more disposable than the last aside from Lando.

    So branching out more I found Legends Epic Collection Vol 2 at my library, and I loved it. I only had enough energy to read the first two arcs as I wanted to catch up and get to know the main cast from earlier stories more, but it was what I wanted from a Star Wars comic, something darker, something with new underdog characters I could care about, a bit more drama in their lives too. So I don't remember much from the arc I read but I remember enjoying it despite not knowing who these characters were.

    And then Vector happened which I liked a great deal. Vader fighting an ancient Jedi I'm down for that, but it did leave one problem for me. I felt as if I would enjoy this significantly more by going back to the start of Legends comics so this whole Vector comic would fit in better for me. So I read Dawn of the Jedi, and Tales of the Jedi. I loved both, and I adored the KOTOR comics, but because I wanted to savour the KOTOR comics it took forever for me to finish reading them.

    I'm nearly back up to Dark Times though, as I just decided to skip TOR and Knight Errant for another day and jump into the prelude to Dark Times, Republic. I'm half way through it, but considering how much I loved the Outlander arc as a kid I'm surprised I never finished it sooner. One last thing before rediscovering what made me enjoy Dark Times, and then right into Legacy soon after. =)
     
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  5. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    @KikReask I'm glad that you liked what you've read so far! I am also pleasently surprised that you weren't put off because you've started from the second arc of the series and have skipped the intro. It is also very cool that Dark Times inspired you to read all of the other titles you mentioned, they are well worth it.

    One of the beauties of Dark Times is that while it references other Star Wars comics and even adapts a small bit of the novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, it does not depend on prior knowledge on any other story. Really, the only Star Wars thing you should be familiar with before reading Dark Times is having watched Revenge of the Sith. Having read KotOR, Republic and Legacy would make one get all of the subtle reference sprinkled here and there, but by no means are they a requirement. You won't feel lost by reading Dark Times in isolation. In fact, I was only marginally familiar with Republic when I started Dark Times. Similar to you, I decided to pick those stories subsequently in order to satisfy my curiosity on what easter eggs I may find in my Dark Times re-reads, but again, I never felt confused when I read Dark Times without the prior knowledge of the other titles.

    Keep reading!
     
  6. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Great idea for a thread @spicer

    I miss Randy Stradley being a key editor for the EU. Everything I have read in this series was a page-turner. Doug Wheatley put tons of detail into the panels. I have the gallery edition as well (not saying it is a must-have to enjoy the series but you get to see more of the creative process).


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  7. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    I so wish Randy and Doug would get to work on a new Star Wars comic! The Gallery Edition is amazing, a must have for fans of the series!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  8. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Same here! Randy worked for Marvel under legendary editor Archie Goodwin. I understand how Marvel and Lucasfilm want something different. However, Marvel and Lucasfilm would be smart to consider continuing a few of the comics titles that Dark Horse had going towards the end (Dawn of the Jedi, Dark Times, Legacy Vol. 2, Old Republic) (Star Wars (2013) and the Darth Vader mini series titles have been replaced by Marvel's own versions). The problem is, these titles (Dark Times, DOTJ, and Legacy Vol. 2, Old Republic) would not look and feel authentic under the way Marvel does coloring and printing. Randy is probably too high up in Dark Horse as a creative director to come over to Marvel as a guest editor and writer? And then IDW has a sub-license agreement with Marvel.

    The message seems to be clear that Dark Horse's way of doing SW comics is out of the picture (for now at least). If there was a way for any of the Dark Horse titles to continue with Randy having oversight we might see a Dark Horse line being published concurrently with a Marvel line? As it stands right now, IDW is kind of working in their own way of doing SW comics on top of Marvel's new line....
     
  9. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    The reason why MARVEL got the license for Star Wars comics is obvious - Disney owns it just like it owns Lucasfilm. The reason why IDW gets to make Star Wars comics is probably because IDW has a history of publising Disney comics. Recently, Dark Horse announced that they'll be publishing comics based on The Incredibles, which is a Disney property. That sparks a bit of hope that Dark Horse has a chance of publishing Star Wars comics along with MARVEL and IDW. Nothing against MARVEL and IDW, but I do feel sorry for Dark Horse on losing a license for purely business reasons despite the fact that they did a phenomenal job overall with the license.

    Now for Randy coming back to Star Wars - if you remember, the first several arcs of Dark Times were written by Randy under two different pseudonyms, Welles Hartley and Mick Harrison. I'd be totally fine if "Mick" or "Welles" come to write instead of Randy [face_whistling]

    On continuing some of the Star Wars titles published by Dark Horse, I'd love to see all of them continued. Unfortunately, as all of them are Legends I don't see that happening anytime soon, as Lucasfilm has no intention to revive that timeline in the forseeable future. There might be a chance for a handful of titles like Dark Times to be canonised. I see no reason why Dark Times couldn't be canon. It doesn't contradict anything and it's a small scale story focusing on original characters. It is virtually impossible for any new story to step on the toes of Dark Times and vice versa (unless LFL conciously decides to work very hard to contradict it just for the sake of it...).
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  10. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Yup, "Mick or Welles" might be able to jump on board for Marvel while "Randy" stays on at Dark Horse as Creative Director of sorts. It might be worth mentioning that Marvel has stuck with its own roster of artists and writers who have built up a following on Marvel and Image titles. I hope they would consider John Jackson Miller, John Ostrander, and "Mick or Welles" to revive Old Republic, Dawn of the Jedi, and Dark Times, and Legacy.

    I can also mention that I had pleasure of meeting the creative team on Legacy Vol. 2 here in the Los Angeles area a few times at signings, Corrina Bechko and Gabriel Hardman. They did a good job developing the Ania Solo character before the series got cut off. Definitely there were things planned for that series that they never got to. They were going to go into the background of AG-37 and his relationship to the Solo family.

    I'm ready for someone to jump in and say "No, your wishful thinking will never happen. Those titles were tossed out as Legends under the new canon scheme." My response would be something along the lines of "Yes, that is the way it looks right now but things can change. And normally, everything changes."
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  11. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Agreed @Tython Awakening I'd love to see the big creative names from the Dark Horse days come and work on the new stuff.
     
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  12. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Knight star 3

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    Oct 12, 2017
    I was surprised to see how Marvel went completely "In-House" in picking the new creative teams. I heard John Jackson Miller put his name out there as available to write for Marvel SW. He wrote Kenobi, A New Dawn, Lost Tribes, and Knight Errant so he was positioned well in terms of being an authority on the EU continuity and being able to bridge new continuity. He was probably so well positioned with his prior EU work that he could have become an editor for Marvel.
     
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  13. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 14, 2012
    To be fair, MARVEL has used a few artists that worked on Star Wars at Dark Horse, such as Luke Ross (did a few covers and was the penciller on an issue of Republic back at DH, for MARVEL he did Darth Maul, the TFA adaptation and now Thrawn), Terry Dodson (did the art on Dark Force Rising for DH and Princess Leia for MARVEL). But we are definitely missing the creators that were most prominent back in the day at Dark Horse.
     
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  14. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Also don't forget to add artist Mike Mayhew to that list. He did all the interior artwork for The Star Wars (8-issue SW draft series), the Journal of Obi Wan Kenobi issues for Star Wars (2015), and also the Storms of Crait tie-in to Episode VIII.


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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  15. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 14, 2012
    Right, he slipped my mind. Thanks for reminding me!
     
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  16. Blackhole E Snoke

    Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    I'm going to start reading Dark Times again tomorrow. Meekerdin Maa was always my favourite character, he was so kind and understanding to Bomo and the amazing artwork was able to really show the subtle emotions.
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  17. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Since the fan club has gone silent, I'll try to give it a small boost - what are your favorite Dark Times covers? Personally, I like all of them and I can't say that I find any one cover to be objectively bad. However, I do prefer some covers more than others, so here are my favorite's from each Dark Times arc. I'm posting the images in spoiler tags because of their large size.

    Into the Unknown
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    Out of the two issues in the Into the Unknown introductory arc, I prefer the cover for the first issue. Both covers are very similar in style and thus it is very difficult to pick a favorite out of the two, but I find the bothan Kai Hudorra visually more interesting than Dass Jennir.

    The Path to Nowhere
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    All of the covers by Doug Wheatley are amazing, but the cover for The Path to Nowhere #2 has to be one of the most iconic comic covers featuring Darth Vader.

    A close second from this arc is the cover for The Path to Nowhere #3. It is a pretty action packed cover with some awesome creatures being the focus of it.

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    Parallels
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    A badass looking K'Kruhk on the cover for Parallels #1.

    A close second is the cover for Parallels #2. A trully touching and beautifully drawn Crys Taanzer.

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    Vector
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    A difficult pick between the covers for the first part of Vector in the Dark Times saga and the second part, but I settled for the cover for part two. More things are going on in the second one, which is why I went for this.

    Blue Harvest
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    The epic, action packed cover for Blue Harvest #2 is my favorite from this arc. It features several T'surr, which are really cool looking non-humans that I wish would appear more often in Star Wars.

    A close second pick for me is the cover for Blue Harvest #1. The detail in this cover by Doug Wheatley is amazing!

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    Out of the Wilderness
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    Bug Jedi centric cover is simply too cool! This is the cover for the second issue in this arc.

    A close second is the cover for the fourth issue, featuring Falco Sang and Izee.

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    Fire Carrier
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    I love the cover for Fire Carrier #1 so much! Probably my favorite cover featuring K'Kruhk.

    The close second for me from the Fire Carrier arc is the one for the second issue. One of the best drawn Darth Vader covers ever!

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    A Spark Remains
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    The cover for A Spark Remains #4 is my favorite from this arc.

    The second favorite of mine is the cover for A Spark Remains #5.

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    An honorable mention goes to the variant cover for Blue Harvest #5. Dark Times had very few variant covers (four to be exact), but this one is my favorite:
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    All of the Dark Times covers are great, but these are my top picks. Which are yours?
     
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  18. Blackhole E Snoke

    Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    The cover for A Spark Remains #4 is so good. The two on the front of the Omnibuses are the most memorable for me as they are what I read.

    I finally got around to rereading the beginning with "Into the Unknown" yesterday. Its amazing how long it took me to get though just that first part. I spent so long on each panel looking at all the extra details in the background. I think I mentioned it once before how much I like the Kai Hudorra marketplace scene and the bar scene following it. There is just so much going on, and I just love the little Twi'lek slave girl's grinning expression when Hudorra steals her abusive master's money bag.:D

    I also noticed something I had missed the times I read it before. I haven't looked it up on wookieepedia yet but at the Jedi temple when that young Jedi goes crazy and tries to take on all those clones with no help from other Jedi that he knows are there watching, two of those people in the crowd looked like the Jedi in Star Wars: Purge, that lured Vader. Was the woman's name Potkin or something like that? And the big guy with dreadlocks.
    Edit: I just checked, and it was them. Shadday Potkin and Koffi Arana. Never knew they were in RotS either. Haha:cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  19. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 14, 2012
    There are several such references to other comics as well as a novel in Dark Times. The synergy with other stories was great!

    Oh, the art by Wheatley is sooo good, I often just look at the panels without reading the text because there's so much stuff in them. It's like a movie set compressed in a two dimensional panel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  20. Blackhole E Snoke

    Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 26, 2016
    I must read more Dark Times tomorrow. It is so much better than what Marvel is currently putting out.
     
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  21. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    In my very, very subjective opinion, Dark Times is the best Star Wars comic series ever and some of the very best Star Wars, period. Objectively, Dark Times is one of the best Star Wars comics ever.
     
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  22. Blackhole E Snoke

    Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 26, 2016
    That's the thing about reading comics long after they were originally published. The quality of writing and art is apparent, but the time it took to be fully published isn't, and is also of no consequence to us now.

    On the Cost/Speed/Quality scale Dark Times would have been firmly in the grey triangle, while something from Marvel (Let's say Screaming Citadel) was totally in the purple zone. But because we now don't care about production speed or cost, only quality, Dark Times will forever be the better product.


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    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  23. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Absolutely. It is a shame that a lot of people are (or at least were) put off of Dark Times because it took quite some time between issue publication. The wait was always worth it. But as you said - thanks to Wheatley taking his time on the art, we now have a title that's worthy of re-reading over and over again.

    Speaking of Doug Wheatley, last week it was announced that he will be the artist on a new book by George R. R. Martin set in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe. You can check the announcement in the link below:

    http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/

    Here's a preview of the art
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    Sorry for going a bit off topic with this, but I thought I'd mention it now as it is relevant on Doug Wheatley, the main artist behind Dark Times. The comic wouldn't have been what it is without Doug.
     
  24. Blackhole E Snoke

    Blackhole E Snoke Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    That is certainly something to look forward to.=P~
     
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  25. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Again, sorry for posting something off-topic, but I think it's worth bringing up a brand new Star Wars (albeit not Dark Times) artwork by the legendary Doug Wheatley, one of the masterminds behind this incredible comic series. Doug shared this on his Facebook page today:

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    According to Doug, this is a thumbnail and therefore it's not final. But look at it, it's better than most artist's final art! I seriously miss Doug's art in Star Wars and hope he'll return soon!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018