Growing up I was completely obsessed with the Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire N64 game. My father and I would play it every spare second we got and it was a real bonding experience for us that stands as one of my favourite childhood memories.
Naturally, when I discovered that there was a comic book series on the work I was desperate to find out more. Unfortunately, until now, the book has always been too expensive for me to justify paying for. However, after a recent price drop, I decided that it was finally time and bit the bullet, buying this once and for all.
But does it live up to my expectations?
That’s what I’m here to let you know!
Throughout this review, I will be breaking down everything that you need to know about the story as well as giving my opinion on the work. There will, of course, be heavy spoilers here so if you don’t want to know anything then I highly suggest that you skip to the score
For everyone else let’s dive into Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire!
The Empire Strikes Back
The entire book takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and The Return Of The Jedi. This is arguably the best time period in Star Wars Lore and had me hooked instantly.
The first section includes issues 1-6 of the Shadows Of The Empire storyline and it’s outstanding to behold.
The introductory book follows Boba Fett delivering Han Solo to Jabba The Hutt whilst Darth Vader attempts to track down his son, Luke Skywalker. There are a whole host of characters including several fan favourites and the book also brings Prince Xizor to the forefront which fans of the game will of course recognise.
Dash Rendar too makes an appearance but unfortunately I found him so vastly different from the fond memories that I had of the character in the game that it became very jarring. He’s basically quite cowardly and sleazy in this story and it made me wince a bit seeing one of my heroes reduced to someone who would ‘dash’ out at the nearest opportunity….scuse the pun.
However that doesn’t mean it’s bad, the book just feels well…underdeveloped and it pales in comparison to its other interpretations. In the end though I did have fun with it I just don’t think it’s a worthy adaptation.
The second graphic novel in the Omnibus is Star Wars: Mara Jade – By The Emperor’s hand. The introductory chapter does a fantastic job of introducing the character and getting readers up to speed. However, after this, the storyline quickly becomes dull and rather none eventful.
The book is packed with so much action that it eventually is to its detriment and every moment feels like slightly needless padding in what could have been an amazing glimpse into life on the dark side.
In the end it did win me round slightly but this quest for revenge is too by the numbers to really leave a lasting impression.
Shadows Of The Empire: Evolution
The third and final book follows Prince Xizor’s niece and his ex-assassin droid as the former attempts to track down the latter.
The original heroes too show up to attempt to negotiate with the new Black Sun group but this quickly devolves into saber fights and blaster shots.
From the off this seems like a pretty clear cash in as the book goes on it becomes apparent that there is little foundation here for what ultimately ends up being a very hollow story.
It’s by far the most disappointing book of the three and left me quite bored by the end even if there is a great cameo to top it off.
Overall Shadows Of The Empire did not live up to the hype. The omnibus gets worse as it goes on with every issue being bettered by the one before it.
However, that initial graphic novel is still a lot of fun so, if you can find that as a stand-alone piece, then I highly recommend that you pick it up.
As a complete package though, Shadows Of The Empire: Omnibus gets a…