Debuting in 1997, Crimson Empire takes a closer look under the helmet and robes of the enigmatic Emperor's Royal Guard characters first seen in Return of the Jedi. This tale is told in two 6-issue limited series: Crimson Empire and Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood.
Each issue was co-written by Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley, with artwork by Paul Gulacy, P. Craig Russell, and Dave Stewart. All under a series of stunning painted covers by Dave Dorman. Randy Stradley originally pitched this idea years earlier to Marvel, but it was rejected because the characters were deemed off-limits. When Dark Horse began publishing Star Wars, the idea was resurrected and finally released.
Kir Kanos is one of only two surviving members of Emperor Palpatine's Royal Guard. After the Emperor's death in Empire's End, his royal bodyguards, considered the most skilled and ruthless warriors in the Empire, are deemed a threat to those with designs on the vacant throne. He's on the run ? and the Empire will stop at nothing to destroy him! It's the combined might of the Empire against a single man.
Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood
In the aftermath of the death of Carnor Jax, the Empire finds itself devoid of real leadership and suffering from the scheming of various Imperials who endeavor to take control of the faltering power structure. The Interim Council attempts to parlay any potential threats to security by managing the affairs of the Empire until a new emperor can take the throne -- but when members of the council begin to fall to assassinations, suspicions prevail and panic sets in as the Empire's already sorry state takes a turn for the worse. Meanwhile, the Republic is dealing with unexpected blows of its own, as even its safest trade routes are being raided with increasing frequency. The galaxy is in turmoil, and Kir Kanos is nowhere to be found!
Not only did Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax become popular characters in the Expanded Universe, but Kanos's alter-ego Kenix Kil was featured in a solo story of his own, and a Star Wars Handbook was published with complete backgrounds of each character in the series. An internet-exclusive #0 "issues" was posted at StarWars.com, featuring Carnor Jax in a lead-in story to the first series.
Furthering the EU connections, Carnor Jax is now said to have been a disciple of Marvel Comics character Lumiya, and New Jedi Order villain Nom Anor made a brief cameo appearance in the Council of Blood series. Finally, an action figure of the The Phantom Menace's Coruscant Guard was discovered to be wearing Crimson Guard armor underneath its robes, proving that great effort has been spent creating a cohesive galaxy where this popular comic book series plays an integral part.
|CRIMSON EMPIRE II: COUNCIL OF BLOOD|
|CRIMSON EMPIRE III Preview|
|CRIMSON EMPIRE III: EMPIRE LOST|