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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.