Star Wars: The Old Republic: Blood of the Empire

Writer: Alexander Freed

Pencils: Dave Ross

Inks: Mary McKenna

Distributed By:
Dark Horse Comics

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I hadnít really checked out many of the Star Wars comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics when I learned that Marvel Comics would be taking over.  Now, as someone who grew up with Star Wars as a Marvel Comics title, this really didnít change much for me.  But I had enjoyed a few of the Dark Horse titles in their heyday.  And there was one in particular that I was interested in, but hadnít had a chance to check out Ė Star Wars: The Old Republic.

                Based on the video game by Bioware and LucasArts, Star Wars: The Old Republic takes us back to 3600 years before the Battle of Yavin, a time when the Sith Empire had returned to the galaxy, seeking to destroy the Galactic Republic.  The first volume of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire, focuses on Teneb Kel, a young Sith Lord who is chosen by the Emperor to hunt down Exal Kressh.  Once the Emperorís apprentice, Kressh knows all of his darkest secrets, a fact that concerns the Emperor as he comes closer to unleashing his power against the galaxy.

                As Teneb Kel begins his journey, aided by his Abyssin slave Maggot, Kel realizes that his adversary is a worthy opponent.  Capturing and killing Exal Kressh will be no easy task.  But more important is the secret Kressh has been seeking to destroy.  Should Kel allow Kressh to complete her mission?  Or is there something salvageable hereÖsomething Kel can use to further his goals within the Sith Empire?

                It took me some time to get into this trade paperback, but once I was in ten pages, I was hooked.  I needed to know if Kressh would succeed in her mission or be thwarted by the young, brash Sith Lord sent to hunt her down.  I needed to know what would happen to the Jedi who were tracking Exal Kressh.  I wanted to know if Maggot would stay loyal to his master or take the earliest opportunity to escape.

                The artwork was captivating and the storyline was quite interesting.  It explained a few things about the Emperorís apprentice, which seems to me to be very similar to the Emperorís Hand of later years.  The Sith idea of transferring essence into others for the sake of increasing the Sith forces and the reach of the Emperor is not new.  We have seen this before in later years, proving that the Sith will always fail by continuing to use the same tactics over and over.

                After a slow start, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Blood of the Empire was quite a fast-paced, action-filled enjoyable read.  I wonder what other surprises the rest of The Old Republic series holds.  Iíll just have to get my hands on some more trade paperbacks, wonít I?


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