Let’s talk about Crimson Empire. This is another post-Return of the Jedi comic, it takes place after the Thrawn Trilogy and Dark Empire. Crimson Empire follows Kir Kanos, an exiled Imperial Guard after he is ambushed by his fellow Imperial Guards. The first story also follows Carnor Jax, who wants to sit on Palpatine’s throne and commands his own sect of the Imperial remnant. This story is cool, it shows the training and how elite the Imperial Guard really are. When seeing Return of the Jedi, we get a good look at the Imperial Guard, which have every awesome helmets. But I never thought of them as fighters, that mask has to be hard to see out of, right? They wear armor under the cloak and it is cool. In Star Wars Legacy, Jan Durrsema took this look to a new level and left the mask aside.
“I swear this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Emperor Palpatine, to exercise every power in service to the Galactic Empire, and shall, whensoever I am asked, be prepared, as a loyal servant, to surrender my life for this oath.“
During the training program, recruits spar against each other to perfect their combat skills. By working both alone and in pairs, recruits learned how to rely on themselves or on a teammate to achieve victory. Failure in training usually means death to the recruit. Their final test, the trainees fight each other to the death in an arena called “The Squall” before Emperor Palpatine himself. The arena is awesome and pictured below, it looks very similar to the Imperial cog. Many would die in “The Squell and few would survive this final test in a display of their loyalty and skill to Emperor Palpatine. There are a couple of very cool fight scenes in the books that take place at “the Squall” and they are cool, Vader even gets in on the action.
The story is all about Kir Kanos and life after being a Imperial Royal Guard, but the training was the highlight of the three stories. They are all good reads and totally worth the time. I feel the first story is very good and I love the exclusion of any of the big names from the film franchise, with a couple exceptions. But they play no major role, no that is for Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax. The second story is weak to me and when I was finished reading it left me unfulfilled. But when the third book was released in 2012, it brought it all together, it just took a long time to get here.
If this were 2012, I would say these books are essential, but it is 2015 and Marvel now has control of the Star Wars comics. So the Dark Horse books are all Legacy. I would still read Crimson Empire, the second is tough to get through, but they are all good together.
Next week, possibly the BEST Star Wars comic series ever, Star Wars Legacy. For those who don’t know, it takes place 130 years after Return of the Jedi. It is written by one of my favorite, John Ostrander and most of the art is penciled by Jan Durrsema.