Dark Times is a 2006 comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics as a series of continuing mini-series. It is part of their 30th anniversary retooling of its long-running Star Wars series of comics, replacing Star Wars: Republic.
The first issue was released on November 8, 2006, and is written by Mick Harrison from a plot by Welles Hartley; both were eventually revealed to be pseudonyms of veteran writer Randy Stradley. The series ran until Dark Horse lost the license to Marvel Comics and the Expanded Universe received a Continuity Reboot, relegating this series to the Star Wars Legends.
The series is set in the Star Wars galaxy shortly after the events in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and about 19 years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The story begins in the days following the events in Purge by John Ostrander, and intertwines with the events of Dark LordThe Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno.
These books provide examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: Oh god yes...
- Asshole Victim: Noone shed tears over Dezono Qua.
- Back for the Dead: Kai Hudorra, one of the original protagonists from "Into the Unknown", performs a Heroic Sacrifice in "A Spark Remains".
- Badass Crew: It's quite a coincidence that Dass Jennir found the one group of people in the galaxy willing to go to the mattresses for a complete stranger.
- Batman Gambit: Dass Jennir is proving surprisingly adept at this.
- Darker and Edgier: Pretty much the embodiment of this trope. Oddly, the ending of the Blue Harvest arc seems to subvert this.
- The Dark Times: Duh.
- Dirty Business: Dass Jennir is the first Jedi to espouse this without falling to the Dark Side.
- Divide and Conquer: Dass Jennir's plan for dealing with the slavers.
- Downer Ending: The ending of the Resa Greenbark arc.
- The Dragon: Darth Vader is very uncomfortably settling into this role.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Poor Crys.
- Enemy Civil War: Dass Jennir engineers one of these.
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: Jennir killing Dezono Qua causes him to have a bounty placed on his head by the man's vengeful family, despite the fact that Qua was a murderous cannibal scumbag.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Due to his past, Vader is genuinely uncomfortable with the idea of selling the surviving Nosaurians into slavery, although he eventually does it anyway.
- Fantastic Racism: Taken to its most odious extreme.
- For the Evulz: Dezono Qua's motivation for killing Resa.
- Happy Ending: Master K'Kruhk and the Jedi younglings under his protection have the closest thing that could be called this in the whole comic, having settled in an isolated spot on a world under the watch of a friendly Imperial officer that respected the Jedi. Cue a Time Skip to years later, with all of the younglings having become fine young Jedi. While the younglings are never seen again, K'kruhk survived far into the legacy era, and as of the latest known events in Star Wars Legends, he's Grand Master of the Jedi order, and one of the three rulers of the galaxy.
- Hate Sink: Dezono Qua is built around this, lacking any likable traits and is all around an utter scumbag.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ratty and Bomo become very good friends.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Dass does this in Blue Harvest to make the gangs underestimate him.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Dass tries to prevent this, with catastrophic results.
- I'm a Humanitarian: One of the more disgusting examples in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- Lighter and Softer: After three entire arcs of having the cast picked off one by one and sinking into despair, things might be finally looking up, if Blue Harvest is any indication.
- Mauve Shirt: Stormtrooper Commander Vill of Vader's 501st shows up quite a few times, serving as a somewhat sympathetic viewpoint for the stormies... then Vader asks him if Palpy's got an Order 66 equivalent in case of Vader going rogue. When Vill tries to evade the question, he winds up getting force-choked and thrown off a cliff so that he can't report the question to Palps.
- Papa Wolf:
- Master K'kruhk.
- Bomo Greenbark is one as well; it's why he turns against Dass after he kills the man who murdered Bomo's family before Bomo could do it himself.
- Must Make Amends: Dass's attempts to liberate the slaves he was forced to leave behind.
- Recycled In Space: The Blue Harvest arc is Yojimbo in space.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: The fate of Resa Greenbark.
- Shoot the Dog: Dass Jennir is forced to do this a couple of times.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Dass disarms the spicers' most skilled swordsman in one move. In an interesting subversion, the move is incredibly detailed, the single stroke taking up an entire page and shown through five individual panels.
- Stuffed In A Fridge: Poor Crys.
- True Companions: The Crew of the Uhumele.
- Wham Line: In "A Spark Remains", Beyghor Sahdett convinces the group to try and assassinate Darth Vader. Dass Jennir eventually agrees and brings Kai Hudorra in.Hudorra: You know he's lying, don't you, Jennir?Dass: Yes. I've known for some time. But I also know his reputation with a lightsaber. I knew I couldn't take him myself.