YMMV / Dark Empire

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Usually, Dark Empire is the point at which "Luke's really a Sith!" begins.
  • Ass Pull: The entire Rebellion leadership suddenly revealed to be alive at the end of the second series. An obvious example of Executive Meddling in order to make the comic agree with novels that took place after it, but were written before it.
  • Author's Saving Throw: For those unhappy with Palpatine returning after his climactic death in Return of the Jedi, the Hand of Thrawn duology tosses out the idea that the Emperor featured here isn't the real deal. It's pretty easy to read this "Palpatine" as being an insane clone (or clones) with delusions of grandeur.
  • Broken Base: Zahn and his fans loathed this series because it brought the Emperor back from the dead. Since then the fandom of the Expanded Universe has been split in two: Zahn Fans and Veitch Fans. The fact that most other writers have sided with Zahn hasn't diminished the Veitch fans one bit.
  • Complete Monster: Palpatine's cloning attempts lead to his vilest actions yet, not only by converting Luke to the dark side but also causeing havoc through the use of devastating force storms and the planet-destroying Galaxy Gun. When his last clone starts to decay, he tried to possess baby Anakin Solo and was only stopped by another Jedi's intervention that led to his final death.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: "The Sarlacc found me somewhat indigestible."
    • It's a shame Empatojayos Brand isn't mentioned here. At the climax of Empire's End, Palpatine's spirit departs his dying final clone body and attempts to possess Han's son Anakin. However, Brand (who was mortally wounded by Palpatine moments earlier) throws himself in the way, causing Palpatine to possess him instead. The result is that Palpatine is DRAGGED INTO THE FORCE BY BRAND'S SPIRIT, KILLING HIM. And unlike all of Palpatine's other deaths, this death is PERMANENT and FINAL. Did we mention Brand was an Order 66 survivor?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Eclipse get a much better reception than the other superweapons introduced here and of the giant Star Destroyers it's probably the most popular one besides the Executor.
    • The E-wing starfighter has also becomme immensely popular, and is one of the most enduring elements introduced by the series in later EU works.
  • Evil is Sexy: Fans like drawing Dark Side Luke.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Galaxy Gun, which was never a fan favorite, ended up being a more subtle version of Starkiller Base.
  • Narm: Declarative statements against dramatic backdrops, bold, italics and exclamation marks all over the place.
  • Popularity Polynomial: At the time it came out it was extremely popular, with even George Lucas himself saying that it was his favorite Star Wars comic (and apparently remained so for several years). A decade later, it was widely regarded as absolute garbage, and admitting to liking it was seen as pretty much akin to saying that Greedo shooting first was a great idea.
    • So Okay, It's Average: Nowadays, while it hasn't exactly swung back to being universally beloved, it tends to be regarded as, if nothing else, a decently entertaining story that at least doesn't suffer the various issues that the latter Star Wars Legends works tended to suffer from.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Line Art:
    • Dark Empire and Dark Empire II had some great line art by Cam Kennedy, but some of the coloring choices were... unusual to say the least, with most of the pages being tinted entirely in dark blue, and anything that needed to be highlighted being done in either green or pink-red. In subsequent years, Kennedy indicated that he started having trouble with his color perception at around this time, and so deliberately went with very abstract coloring schemes to offset this.
    • Inverted by Empire's End where Jim Baikie replaced Kennedy; the coloring scheme was much better-thought out, but Baikie's line art wasn't really in the same league as Kennedy's work.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The idea of Luke flirting with the Dark Side of The Force was something that fans had been curious about, and even became the series's selling point. Unfortunately, most of the story puts Luke Out of Focus during his temporary Face–Heel Turn, and the plight of his struggle is thereby undermined.