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.”
Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago, Volume 5 Story by Jo Duffy, Archie Goodwin, Ann Nocenti, Randy Stradley
Pencils by Bart Blevins, Sal Buscema, Jaan Duursema, Ron Frenz, Bob McLeod, Cynthia Martin, Tom Palmer, Tony Salmons, Al Williamson
Inks by Sam de la Rosa, Steve Leialoha, Art Nichols, Tom Palmer, Whilce Portacio, Ken Steacy, Bob Wiacek, Al Williamson
Colors by J. Ferriter, Daina Graziunus, Michael Higgins, Elaine Lee, Glynis Oliver, Petra Scotese, Bob Sharen, M. Wrightson
Cover Art by Cynthia Martin, Art Nichols, Petra Scotese Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 26, 2012
Cover Price: $24.99
Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith! The Nagai! Zeltrons!
Does that make me seem too overexcited for this review?
Well then, go to buggery if it does, because my, oh, my, Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago, Volume 5 is an extraordinary trip down memory lane for those of us Star Wars fans old enough to remember the closing era of the Marvel Star Wars.
The fifth part of the A Long Time Ago Omnibus reprints the final series of issues originally released by Marvel Comics – from Issue #86 August 1984 to Issue #107 September 1986. The collection represents the closing period of Marvel’s Star Wars publication, in a post Return Of The Jedi era as the Expanded Universe (as it was during that time) would begin to wane. It would not be until 5 years later when Timothy Zahn would release Heir To The Empire, his first episode of The Thrawn Trilogy, that enthusiasm would return to the Expanded Universe with a new level of enthusiasm from fans old and new.
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 explosive and amplified conclusion to the Crimson Empire epic is finally here, reaching an ending that makes for a highly satisfying resolution to the series that began many years ago. Star Wars fans who have followed the adventures of Kir Kanos will thoroughly enjoy the last two issues of Empire Lost, a tale that also sets up what chronologically comes next for the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant.
Issues 5 & 6 conclusively tie together the loose ends left from the earlier installments, as Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn journey to meet Imperial representative Feena D’asta, in an early effort to bring peace between the two major factions. They discover themselves betrayed, as antagonist Ennix Devian begins unleashing his strategy to open up his aim to retake the Empire under his own iron fist and perverted new order. Kanos and Sinn find themselves placed in a standpoint where they must stop Devian’s forces, to help any future chance at peace between the Republic and the Empire.
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.