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Comic Review: Star Wars: Purge
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Star Wars: PurgeStar Wars: Purge
Trade Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Haden Blackman, Alexander Freed, John Ostrander
Art by Michael Atiyeh, Marco Castiello, Andrea Chella, Jim Hall, Alex Lei, Mark McKenna, Ronda Pattison, Chris Scalf, Douglas Wheatley
Cover by Adam Hughes
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 10, 2013
Cover Price: $17.99

The collected trade paperback of Star Wars: Purge draws together the standalone and miniseries issues released by Dark Horse that follow skirmishes involving Darth Vader as he continues his obsessive purge of the Jedi, following the rise of the Empire across the universe. While Palpatine endures as Emperor, the focus of the Sith become in strengthening the New Order, but Vader soon learns that to purge the galaxy of the Jedi, he must purge his very being of all traces of what once was Anakin Skywalker.

The first chapter, the self-titled “Purge,” was the first comic to be distributed to depict Vader on his Jedi Purge mission. A group of surviving Jedi, having evaded Order 66, collectively meet in an abandoned mine on Kessel, to discuss their options having now faced the fall of their friends and the rise of the empowered Sith. But the gathering’s organizer has something more devious planned, having heard of Vader’s obsession for locating Obi-Wan Kenobi, she puts out word he is with them to meet… and Vader is coming to them.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier #5
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Star Wars: Dark Times: Fire Carrier #5Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier #5
Script by Randy Stradley
Art by Gabriel Guzman
Colors by Garry Henderson
Cover by Douglas Wheatley
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

The Dark Times series of Star Wars is, mostly, as what the title says: a darker era of the saga. This largely unexplored epoch of the history of the galaxy is ripe for exploration, examining the events of those two decades between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While the series has largely followed new personalities, two of the dramatis personae are known to many fans: Darth Vader (of course), and Jedi Master K’Kruhk, first introduced in the Dark Horse comics.

I have a soft spot for K’Kruhk, and he has become one of my favorite characters, mainly because (like the droids C-3PO and R2-D2) he is a metatextual symbol of the followers of the Star Wars saga, be they viewers of the films, readers of the Expanded Universe, or both. He is ever-present in the galaxy, first surfacing in the prequel era of the comics, and not only outlasts Order 66, but lives on in the Star Wars: Legacy series, which is over 100 years after Return of the Jedi. It seems that K’Kruhk’s species of Whiphids also have very long life spans like Wookiees or Yoda’s species.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #5
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Star Wars Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #5Star Wars Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #5
Written by Randy Stradley
Art by Douglas Wheatley
Colors by Dan Jackson
Cover Art by Pablo Correa
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 25, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

"Dass Jennir is walking into a trap…"

This opening line from Star Wars Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #5 highlights what I enjoy so much about the Star Wars Dark Times series. Each issue begins, and ends, on such bleak terms. And just when you think that things are looking up, writer Randy Stradley sweeps hope away from under your feet.

There are so many developments in the overall story of Dark Times that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. But overall, the creative team behind the work of this Star Wars series has done a brilliant job at not only capturing the mood of the period, but highlighting exactly why Obi-Wan Kenobi refers to it as the “Dark Times.”

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Comic Review: Star Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of Tatooine
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Star Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of TatooineStar Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons Of Tatooine
Written by Jeremy Barlow, Mike W. Barr, Paul Chadwick, Michael A. Stackpole, Randy Stradley, Rob Williams
Art by Brandon Badeaux, Christian Dalla Vecchia, Gary Erskine, Davidé Fabbri, Wil Glass, Douglas Wheatley
Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Chris Chuckry, Neziti Domenico, Davidé Fabbri, Dave Nestelle
Cover Art by Kilian Plunkett and Brad Anderson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Cover Price: $24.99

There have been countless additions to the stories in the Expanded Star Wars Universe over the last couple of decades, and Dark Horse has long touted some of the finest comic stories of the galaxy far, far away. However, very few come along that have the power and potential of being so good that it could be conceivable to imagine a film or television version of the tale. The compendium represented in The Other Sons Of Tatooine is one of these rare pleasures, showcasing some of the exceptional storytelling focusing on Star Wars.

The conception behind The Other Sons Of Tatooine is simple: to focus on the characters from Tatooine other than Luke Skywalker who have had major impacts on the in-universe history of the saga. The first, an obvious selection to adapt, is Biggs Darklighter, first performed by Garrick Hagon in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The second, a creation within the Expanded Universe, is Janek Sunber aka Tank – who does not appear in A New Hope, but is mentioned by Mark Hamill in the scene where the Lars Farm purchases the droids.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #4
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Comic Review: Star Wars Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #4Star Wars: Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #4
Story by Randy Stradley
Art by Douglas Wheatley
Colors by Dan Jackson
Cover Art by Pablo Correa
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 22, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

The Dark Times series of the Star Wars Expanded Universe is the inescapable exploration of tales and stories set between the Prequel Trilogy and Original Trilogy. Of the main film characters, Darth Vader and the Emperor are fairly much the only ones who show up, and most of their appearances are generally cameos. This series follows a former Jedi Knight named Dass Jennir, who survives Order 66 and follows his path as he tries to live during the era that Obi-Wan Kenobi dubbed as the “Dark Times.”

Installment number four of the Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness story arc is actually my first dive into this story – though I have read a few of the previously released trade paperbacks for the series, so I have a reasonable backing of information about the fundamental characters.

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Comic Review: Star Wars: Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness #2
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Dark Horse Comics:  Star Wars: Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness #2Star Wars: Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness #2
Written by Mick Harrison
Art by Douglas Wheatley
Colors Dan Jackson
Letters Michael Heisler
Cover by Pablo Correa
Dark Horse Comics
Release Dat: September 7, 2011
Cover Price: $2.99

One of the most original Star Wars comic titles in recent years is Dark Times. For those of you who haven’t read this series, let me lay down the background. The story takes place in the time period between the prequel Star Wars trilogy and the original Star Wars trilogy. The story of this book has Darth Vader trying to track down an assassin who killed a prisoner he was trying to interrogate about the location of former Jedi Knight Dass Jennir. Jennir’s former crew members are trying to find him with the help of another Jedi named Beyghor Sahdett, which leads them to attack an Imperial holding facility to find out where Jennir is, they find out Jennir has left the planet. When we see Jennir he has be stranded on a desert moon with a companion who is a lair and a cheat. But little do they know they are also being tracked by the same assassin who thwarted Vader.

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