Star Wars: Dark Empire (1991) - #5
"Emperor Reborn" (Gold Edition)
Dark Horse Comics
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Barbara Randall Kesel
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Cover Date: March 1993
Cover Price: US $2.95
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
This is a version of the following issue:
Star Wars: Dark Empire (1991) #5 - Emperor Reborn
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Palpatine is delighted with his new acquisition. Not only is Leia potentially more powerful in the Force than Luke, she's also easier to frighten and to anger. At first, Palpatine attempts to demonstrate the futility of opposing the Dark Side when he shows her an old Jedi holocron on the subject. Then he points to the clones all around them and explains how he intends to live indefinitely by inhabiting these newer, younger bodies. She seems particularly upset when he tells her that his own power with the Force is so great that he can enter any body he wishes--even her unborn child.
Her anger does prove useful to her, though. She is able to temporarily escape him--and to steal the valuable Jedi holocron. She finds Luke elsewhere in the facility, and discovers, now that they are both outside the physical presence of Palpatine, that he has put a plan in motion to defeat the World Devastators plaguing the New Republic, as well as Palpatine's cloning facility.
Elsewhere in the facility, Han and Chewie are broken out of their holding cell by Shug Ninx and Salla Zand, two of Han's buddies from his days on Nar Shaddaa, who had managed to take control of an Imperial Hunter-Killer (HK) droid in the opening panels of the issue.
Now reunited, the Falcon's crew are urged to depart the planet to take on the World Devastators. Leia is able to convince a still-angry Han that Luke is only "pretending" to have defected to the Emperor, and that Luke intends to stay behind to kill the Emperor--again.
It's their job to now get R2-D2 into position against the World Devastators, because Luke has given him the programming necessary to destroy all the World Devastators.
The issue seems to end on an "up" note, until we see that Luke begins his conflict with the Emperor seconds too late. Though he manages to terminate all the Emperor's "backup" clones, Luke isn't able to kill the very last one. The Emperor has time to transfer his essence into the remaining backup, and now confronts Luke as a younger, more physically powerful man. A defeated Luke is left alive when the "new" Palpatine could have easily killed him. The Emperor wants Luke to help him exact his revenge on Leia for stealing his holocron, and makes it obvious that his act of vengeance involves Leia's unborn child.
As with the rest of the issues in this series, the book also contains a 4-page text article explaining the gap between the end of Episode VI and the beginning of this series.
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