Saturday, November 21, 2015

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Empire #1

September 2002, the same month Dark Horse's Star Wars title was renamed Star Wars: Republic with the 46th issue, the Star Wars: Empire title made it's debut.  Each ongoing title would tell stories in different eras, with Star Wars: Republic telling stories about the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars and Star Wars: Empire telling stories around the period of the original movie when the Galactic Empire ruled.  These two ongoing titles along with a mixture of mini-series would remain the status quo for Dark Horse's Star Wars publishing until 2006 when the Star Wars line would be refreshed once again.  In 2006, both Star Wars: Republic and Star Wars: Empire would end making way for four ongoing titles: Star Wars: Legacy, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Dark Times, and Star Wars: Rebellion.  Star Wars: Rebellion is a continuation of Star Wars: Empire.

Star Wars: Empire #1 is the first part of a 4-part story titled Betrayal.  The story is about a plot to overthrow Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader by a group of dissatisfied Imperial officers.  The tale draws on the same theme as Marvel Star Wars #51 and 52 where a group if Imperial officers attempt to assassinate Darth Vader.  Not surprisingly, these scenarios draw parallels to the various attempts on Adolf Hitler's life during his rule of Nazi Germany.

Star Wars: Empire #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (September 2002)
The cover shows the opening scene from the first issue were Darth Vader is testing a new detachment of Imperial Stormtroopers.  Many of the Dark Horse comics, during and after the prequel movies were released, melded the visual aesthetics of the original and the prequel trilogies.  Here, we have Darth Vader and Imperial Stormtroopers as seen in the original trilogy against the backdrop of Coruscant shown in the prequel trilogy.

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