Witness the tough choices one Jedi makes in the wake of Order 66 & the growing shadow of the Empire.

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

The dawn of the Empire marked an era of great struggle and strife throughout the cosmos. Senator-turned-Emperor Palpatine – also known as Darth Sidious of the Sith – enacted his secret, sinister plots to gain complete control.

That’s the setting for the 2006 Legends Continuity series STAR WARS: DARK TIMES. In the first arc, which ran for issues 1-5, Welles Hartley, Mick Harrison and Doug Wheatley introduced readers to Former Jedi General Dass Jennir and Bomo Greenbark, a Nosaurian, fighting against Clone Troopers on New Plympto.

The duo survived the battle at Half-Axe Pass by falling into a large hole. It worked out as the Troopers rolled in and killed all of the rebels. From there, they wound up on the Uhumele, a ship captained by Schurk-Heren and piloted by Crys Taanzer. Wanting to find his captured wife and daughter, Bomo asked them for help. To earn heir passage, Jennir orchestrated a way for them to get off-planet before the Troopers could fully inspect their ship.

They then set out for the horrid slave planet Orvax IV to save Bomo’s family. The idea of selling slaves did not sit well with the newly christened Darth Vader either, having been one as a child. Palpatine explained it away as a more humane alternative than killing them, but Vader remained unconvinced.

On Orvax, they found Bomo’s people, but discovered that his wife Mesa died while trying to save their daughter Resa, who had just been sold. Sending everyone else back to the ship, Jennir used his Jedi abilities to track down the seller. After finding out who bought her, Dass shot the being in the head to keep their mission a complete secret.

As the Uhumele set course for Esseles, where Resa had been taken, Vader traveled to Murkhana where a group of Clone Troopers reportedly failed to follow Order 66 – the command to kill all Jedi – after working with one for so long. The Emperor sent his underling to quell independent thought, sending a message to the former Anakin Skywalker at the same time.

Back on Esseles, Jennir, Bomo and the crew decided to go into Dezono Qua’s villa guns blazing to get Resa back. Upon confronting Qua, he admitted to not only buying Resa, but also eating her. Jennir stepped in to kill the monster in part to spare Bomo from having such a thing on his conscience. They all moved on feeling the dark reach of the Empire towards further adventures.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Dass Jennir and Bomo may have gotten along well enough in this first arc of DARK TIMES, but that hadn’t always been the case. In fact, the Jedi originally found himself on New Plympto in order to squash the Nosaurian Separatist movement. Enemies became allies, however, after Palpatine took over and issued Order 66. With the Clone Troopers flipping the script on Dass, he joined up with the Nosaurians to push back the tide of white armored killers. However, as seen in the first issue of this series, their efforts proved woefully minor as their fellow warriors ended up on the wrong end of Trooper blaster fire while the women and children were sold into slavery. If you’re wandering what happened to the rest of the Nosaurians on Orvax IV after they discovered what happened to Bomo’s family, it’s not great. Dass Jennir stood over their cage and told them it would be better to survive as slaves to be hunted down if he attempted to free them. Not exactly the behavior we expect from a hero of the galaxy, but then again, this proved a highly difficult time for everyone not associated with the Sith.

Move from the rise of the Empire to the very beginning of the Order in the pages of STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons.

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The tyrannical rule of Emperor Palpatine begins…

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

“I’m sorry, Senator Braxis,” a familiar out-of-frame character states at the beginning of STAR WARS: DARK TIMES #1. “The Imperial throne cannot interfere in local politics.” In one single opening panel, the tone is set for the 17-issue series to follow, as the Emperor refuses to assist a planet in need. On the same page, Palpatine’s associates inform him that anti-Imperial sentiments have been rounded up and eliminated, and that other planets in turmoil are being put in their place. It’s clear that optimism has no place in this new era for the Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars: Dark Times (2006) #1

Star Wars: Dark Times (2006) #1

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Beginning shortly after the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” the very title of STAR WARS: DARK TIMES should immediately resonate with Star Wars fans, per an Obi-Wan Kenobi quote about the glory days of the Jedi Knights from “A New Hope”: “Before the dark times. Before the Empire.” Picking up after STAR WARS: PURGE, DARK TIMES serves as a direct continuation of STAR WARS: REPUBLIC, offering numerous story arcs with new and established characters as they adapt to the new galactic order.

Most of issue #1 focuses on a battle of natives versus Imperial forces on New Plympto. Not only do we see the hopeless struggle of the Triceratops-like Nosaurians, we also get a inside the heads of the clone troopers: “When the fighting ends, what then for men bred only to be soldiers?” we’re asked. “What future is there for men of action when peace breaks out?” Anyone familiar with what becomes of the clones comes to realize the phrase “dark times” extends to more than just the good guys…

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