This article is about the Legends comic. You may be looking for the conclusion of the Aftermath Trilogy.

Empire's End, also known as Dark Empire III: Empire's End, or known simply as Dark Empire III, was a series of comics written by Tom Veitch and Jim Baikie, and the end of the Dark Empire trilogy. It was originally released by Dark Horse Comics in 1995 as a two-issue monthly series, then in September 1997 as a trade paperback.

Publisher's summary[]

Emperor Palpatine has a new weapon—one that can annihilate a planet. But he's not targeting a planet—he's targeting the future of the Jedi, Leia's children. It looks like a hopeless situation for Luke Skywalker, who has the critical task of protecting the children. But it's not the first time Luke has found hope where none existed. The finale to the Dark Empire trilogy is collected here.

Opening crawl[]

Empire's End
Emperor Palpatine has deployed a terrible new weapon, once again asserting his dominance over the galaxy. With the Alliance base destroyed, and its leaders driven into hiding, many worlds sympathetic to the Alliance have capitulated to the Empire on pain of annihilation.

Luke Skywalker and his small band of Jedi have but one hope: draw the Emperor into a face-to-face confrontation, end his dark reign, and restore peace to the galaxy for all time...

Plot summary[]

After perishing in battle with Luke and Leia Skywalker in Dark Empire, Emperor Palpatine was forced to occupy an inferior clone body. Unbeknownst to him, his personal physician had been suborned by Carnor Jax, backed by a number of other high-ranking Imperial personnel. The physician deliberately inserted genetic material and contaminants into all stored samples of the Emperor's original body, to the effect that these bodies will be nowhere as resistant to the ravaging effects of the dark side as the original.

The last remaining clone body undestroyed by Skywalker or traitorous Imperials were now aging rapidly, and Palpatine's final, irrevocable end was near unless he can either fix his genetic material (an impossibility since no unadulterated samples remain) or insert his spirit into another body. After consulting with ancient Sith Lords on the mausoleum planet Korriban, Palpatine learned that Han and Leia's youngest child, Anakin, is the only workable body.

After an attack on Byss, in which the second Eclipse-class Star Destroyer, the Eclipse II, was steered into the Galaxy Gun by R2-D2, and a projectile from the Gun was shot into Byss (destroying Byss utterly), Palpatine following the Solos to Onderon, then proceeded to attack Leia inside the Kira fortress, prompting Leia to fight back before realising she was no match for the Emperor. Shortly after, Luke Skywalker arrived with his fellow Jedi. Following their arrival, Rayf Ysanna was then killed by a barrage of Sith lightning, and Empatojayos Brand was mortally wounded. Skywalker, stunned that Palpatine was going for baby Anakin Solo, looked on in shock, before Sidious was then shot by a blaster bolt sent from Han Solo (which he purposely didn't block) and proceed to sadistically rush his cackling spirit towards the infant Anakin Solo, however, he was intercepted by the body of the dying Brand, who chose to make the ultimate sacrifice as he died, willingly clasping his soul to Palpatine's, ensuring that both of them would be pulled into the netherworld of the Force (In Palpatine's case, Chaos). At long last, and with the assistance of all the Jedi of the past dragging him down, Emperor Palpatine was finally and truly killed.


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Color code key:
Collected (TPB) issue Released issue Future issue
Issue Title Publication date Trade paperback Hardcover Epic Collection
1 Triumph of the Empire October 24, 1995 Eetpb.jpg
Empire's End
September 10, 1997
Dark Empire II
Second Edition

September 13, 2006
Dark Empire Trilogy
September 15, 2010
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection The New Republic Vol 5 revised cover.jpg
The New Republic Vol. 5
March 23, 2021
2 Rage of the Emperor November 28, 1995

Notes and references[]

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