The first segment of "Blue Harvest" -- a wink and a nod to the fans of "Star Wars" familiar with the original working title of the third film -- offers a taste of plotlines that have been lingering from previous issues while at the same time giving the reader a whole new entry point for the adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
Mick Harrison delivers a story with aliens and deposed Jedi, smugglers and gangs. This story begins with a conversation between the Sith -- Vader and Emperor Palpatine. This conversation teases the hunt for straggling Jedi Knights, but also delivers an underlying message of a lack of trust between Vader and Palpatine. Harrison gives us the first chapter of a story that is sure to appeal to fans of Star Wars, but might leave newcomers baffled and itching for more story to work with.
Wheatley's art is impressive to the point of being rewarding. His characters are vital and damaged -- living, breathing characters with flaws, yet purpose. His worlds are foreign, alien, and used. This book has a flavor of photorealism, yet Wheatley imposes his talent upon it so significantly that his work does not feel like traced photos, but rather frames pulled from the undeveloped film between the scenes of the lives of these characters. Wheatley gives us a regal Vader, bold Chagrians and tangible droids.
"Star Wars: Dark Times" delivers the moments that didn't quite make it to the silver screen. Personally, this series is rewarding in that it offers forth the treu history of what happened between the credits rolling on "Revenge of the Sith" and the fleeing Rebel ship in the open segment of "A New Hope." The fact that this series brings in the threads of what has come before and will come in stories untold within this title's pages is truly what makes this book a fan's dream come true.
From the screeched, "No blasters!" line, to the cowing of Vader to his master, this is a series gives fans of "Star Wars" more to be fans of. Grounded in George Lucas's imagination, only with more engaging writing, but less familiar characters, this title is, in my opinion, Dark Horse's strongest offering in the Star Wars galaxy of comics.