Star Wars: Dark Empire (1991)
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Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: December 1991 - October 1992
Country: United States
Bi-monthly series that was Dark Horse's first significant attempt at original Star Wars fiction. Post-ROTJ storyline that, most significantly, posits the continued life of Palpatine after the events of Return of the Jedi. Probably as significant to building the reputation of Dark Horse's license as the Thrawn trilogy was to revitalizing the novels. More controversial now in the light of the completed prequel trilogy.
Additional information about the title as a whole can be found in the notes on the reprint Dark Horse Classics--Star Wars: Dark Empire.
Other than some parts of the Sin City line, there's no Dark Horse product that's ever been reprinted more times, and under as many different covers. Dark Empire was even a multi-media event, becoming one of the few comics to enjoy a full-cast audio drama production, for which Veitch received sole writing credit. It also became a significant module of the 2d edition of the D6 role-playing game, complete with its own 128-page sourcebook (written by Michael Allen Horne).The title "Star Wars: Dark Empire" also refers to the trilogy of Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, and Empire's End.
Edition Notes (individual issues):
After the first printing, the six issues were re-issued twice, in so-called "Special Gold" and "Special Platinum" editions. Both were sold on the QVC Home Shopping Network as a complete set of 6. Both were altered from the original issue only in the fact that the Star Wars logo was done in foil, and the back cover was completely black.
The Gold Edition was released first, in March 1993, and sold--along with a certificate of authenticity from Catch a Star Collectibles. The initial price for the set was $50, and only 5000 sets were made.
The Platinum Edition came later, in October of 1993, and sold for $75. Only 4000 of these were made.
Edition notes (collected):
The US trades have gone through a number of iterations. There were three printings of the first edition, occurring in 5/93, 4/94 and 6/94. The Second Edition saw distribution in 11/95 and appears to differ little from the First Edition--though its cover price was $1 higher than the First Edition. The Third Edition came in September of 2003, has a slightly different title and wholly new cover. It is also abridged from the first and second editions by about 30 pages.
The first hardcover edition was limited to 1000 copies, bound with a faux-leather cover, and signed by Veitch and Kennedy. Its list was $99.99.
Number of issues cataloged: 26