Star Wars: Crimson Empire #1
December 1997
24ppg, $2.95

Writer, Publisher: Mike Richardson
Writer: Randy Stradley
Penciler: Paul Gulacy
Inker: P. Craig Russell
Letterer: Sean Konot
Colorist, Computer Separations & Effects: David Stewart
Cover Artist: Dave Dorman
Computer Separations & Effects: John Hanan
Book Design: Scott Tice
Editor: Diana Schutz
Assistant Editor: Mike Hansen

Kir Kanos

Tem Merkon, General Redd Wessel, Burr Danid (in flashback; dies)

Colonel Xexus Shev, Imperial informant, Carnor Jax

Stormtrooper (Zaddja Patrol), Destiny Commander, Phaedan port master, Bald Imperial Officer (presumably dead), Red haired Imperial Officer (presumably dead), Black haired Imperial Officer (presumably dead), Stormtrooper (Phaeda Patrol), Squall Instructor (wearing dark purple armor)

Palpatine (in flashback), Darth Vader (in flashback)

Yinchorr, Zaddja, Phaeda

Emperor's Royal Guard

Destiny, Kir Kanos' tramp freighter, Emperor's Revenge (unnamed until issue #4), Destiny landing craft

According to the inside cover, the events in this issue takes place 11+ years after the Battle of Yavin.

The letters page, Scarlet Letters, features a profile of writers Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley. There is also a single letter from Anthony Avraham Capati.

Each of the Imperial Guard trainees wears a different colored suit of body armor with a unique symbol on the forehead of the facemask. Kir Kanos wears yellow with a bisected circle symbol, Carnor Jax has a blue suit with a 's' style emblem, Burr Danid wears green with a pair of circles within a larger circle, and finally the instructor, who is unnamed, wears purple with a tent shape/heart cutout. In the wide shot of the Squall 43 total trainees are seen.
After the reign of Palpatine and his clones, Carnor Jax and ex-Imperial Guardsman, has taken control of the interim ruling council and seeks to position himself as a new Dark Lord. Only one other knows this secret, and he is biding his time for a chance to destroy both Jax and the Council.

On the barren planet of Zaddja, a squad of stormtroopers from the Destiny approach a small wooden dwelling. When they attempt to enter the building it explodes, killing all of the squad in the process, but not before the squad leader can send off a message that it was a trap.

Elsewhere on Phaeda, a obscure planet that has become a haven for smugglers and thieves, a tramp freighter lands at the port. A lone, cloaked figure exits the craft and is stopped by the port master who asks for identification. The figure, a "traveling merchant" offers a quiet bribe and is soon on his way into town.

Entering a local tapcafe, the stranger encounters a trio of Imperial officers discussing the current political state of affairs, bordering on treasonous conversation. A red-headed officer notices the stranger looking at them. He pulls his blaster on the stranger, who plainly says that the man has nothing to fear from him. The Imperial persists, and that's when the stranger stands up and pulls a staff from his cloak that sprouts blades out of each end. He makes fast work of the Imperial's and even manages to take out four stormtroopers that respond to the disturbance.

Outside the tapcafe the stranger is approached by Tem Merkon, a local smuggler, who offers to hide him from the garrison troops on their way. The stranger pauses and then follows him. Onboard his star destroyer, the Emperor's Revenge, Carnor Jax receives an update on Kir Kanos from General Wessel, who believes to have tracked him to the Trilon sector. Jax doubts the General and orders a more thorough search for the fugitive guardsman, reminding him that as long as Kanos lives, the Empire is in jeopardy.

Tem Merkon formally introduces himself to the stranger, and proceeds to become very chatty, mentioning that he has only seen the moves that stranger made from Jedi Knights, or Palpatine's elite guard. The stranger says nothing. Merkon shows him into his dwelling and leads him into a hidden underground room, stocked with enough food for a month. He then leaves, telling the stranger that he will return with some friends that can help him further. After Merkon leaves, the stranger pulls his hood back revealing the scarred face of Kir Kanos. His mind drifts back to a more difficult time in his life, training on the planet Yinchorr.

Yinchorr. The desolate planet where the Emperor's guards are trained in the deadly art of echani in the arena known as The Squall. Dressed in their training armor, Carnor Jax and Kir Kanos stop their training as an Imperial shuttle lands and the Emperor and Darth Vader disembark. The Emperor commands Vader to begin the demonstration. Vader asks for the best student and then steps into the Squall with Burr Danid. Vader then hands Danid a force pike and they proceed to fight. Danid holds his own exceptionally against Vader, but Vader is stronger and cuts off Danid's right hand. To his credit, Danid does not beg for mercy as Vader pushes him into the pit that surrounds the Squall. The Emperor orders the men to continue their training.

Back in his hidey-hole, Kanos awakes suddenly, alerted to a squeaking hinge on the trap door. Elsewhere on the planet, Colonel Shev questions and informant about the tapcafe incident. When the man tells him what he has seen, Shev takes him into custody as a witness and then orders all ships to be grounded, worried that the attention of central command will be alerted and his underhanded dealing will be exposed. He vows to find the fugitive and stop him.

Related Issues
Crimson Empire #2 Crimson Empire #3 Crimson Empire #4 Crimson Empire #5 Crimson Empire #6 Crimson Empire #0 Handbook #2 Jedi Council #1 Jedi Council #2 Jedi Council #3 Jedi Council #4

Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Crimson Empire Saga Hardcover Crimson Empire Trade Paperback Crimson Empire Trade Paperback with Bust-Up Set 30th Anniversary Collection #10

Return to Comics