- Approval of God: While the series met a mixed response from both fans and Star Wars authors, George Lucas himself praised the series according to Tom Veitch. Reportedly, Lucas directed them in the comic's plot, and ultimately felt that Dark Empire was the closest thing to his current idea for the then unplanned Sequel Trilogy. If we take in account his plans about the Clone Wars for the Prequels, it definitely makes sense that he wanted to use Cloning Blues again.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The Galaxy Gun was always called the Galaxy Weapon, at least in its original appearances. Which might still not have been enough to save it from the scrappy heap, but this does sound somewhat more dignified than the moniker it was subsequently saddled with in the fluff.
- Creator Backlash: Timothy Zahn, the renowned author of The Thrawn Trilogy and one of the biggest contributors to Star Wars literature, disliked the comic book series and pretty much hated the idea to bring back Emperor Palpatine even when George Lucas supposedly was the one who proposed it as he felt that it was against the ending of Return of the Jedi. Unknown to most fans, Zahn was asked to critique the plot of Dark Empire whereas Tom Veitch was asked to critique the plot of Heir to the Empire (which Veitch deemed uncinematic, leading Zahn to take that criticism to heart and improve his further work). Zahn's hatred for the series came to the point of even inserting a Discontinuity Nod in the Hand of Thrawn duology in which Luke Skywalker mentions Palpatine's resurrection to Mara Jade, who in turn assures him that personally, she is unconvinced that the cloned Palpatine was actually him.
- Executive Meddling: The series was originally supposed to take place immediately after the events of Return of the Jedi, as that would pick up where the Marvel Comics left off. However, Timothy Zahn, when writing The Thrawn Trilogy, was asked to put in references to Dark Empire since the trilogy was planned to take place afterward, but he refused (unsurprisingly, as previously mentioned above). Because of this, they had to move it, and even rewrite various panels to omit any references to the original placement as a result.
- Fan Nickname:
- "Wankatine" for the overpowered Palpatine featured in this series.
- "Bowie-peror" for young clone Palpatine's resemblence to David Bowie.
- Lying Creator: Ambiguously. While Emperor Palpatine mentions that his death during Return of the Jedi wasn't his first one and that he had started transferring his soul to cloned bodies before that, Holocron continuity database keeper Leland Chee replied in 2005 that Palpatine was lying to Luke about having died before and that his death during the Battle of Endor had been his first one, clarifying that no clone of Palpatine was present in the prequels nor in the original films. Whether Tom Veitch knew that Palpatine's claims were lies when he wrote the series or had other plans is beyond anyone's speculation.
- Refitted for Sequel: Mark Hamill reportedly first proposed to George Lucas the idea of Luke Skywalker journeying into the dark side of the Force back in the mid-1980s. Hamill himself mentioned in 2018 that when filming Return of the Jedi, he believed that Luke would fall to the dark side due to his black clothes. While Luke felt tempted but desisted from joining the dark side of the Force in the finished film, Dark Empire shows him falling to the dark side and joining Emperor Palpatine as his apprentice before getting back to the light side.
- What Could Have Been:
- When George Lucas contacted Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy to make a Star Wars comic book, Tom Veitch's initial idea for a Star Wars comic book was doing a series called The Jedi Chronicles, delving into the history of the Jedi Knights, but Lucas told him he preferred for them to make a story set immediately after Return of the Jedi (yet the finished version starts six years after it due some squabbles). It's likely that Veitch's original proposal ended up taking the form of Tales of the Jedi. (The change in date explains some of the oddities of the comic, such as the Imperials being in control of Coruscant and the Star Destroyers captured at Endor being treated like recent accomplishments.)
- It was originally intended that, instead of reviving Palpatine as a clone, the storyline would have involved the Galactic Empire hiring someone to wear a replica of Darth Vader's suit or the original one to keep fear in the galaxy, but Lucas vetoed that option. Veitch was then allowed to resurrect the Emperor, which Lucas approved (although there are conflicting accounts whether it was Lucas or Veitch the one who suggested the idea in the first place).
- The series was originally going to be published by Marvel Comics, but was moved to Dark Horse since very few people at Marvel thought that there would be any real interest left in the franchise after the release of the third movie.
- There was supposed to have been an original graphic novel set between Dark Empire and Dark Empire II called Lightsider, which would have properly introduced Kam Solusar. While most people on Lucasfilm and George Lucas himself loved the graphic novel, it was cancelled when Lucas discovered that he had approved a novel without a contract. This is why Kam suddenly appears out of nowhere at the start of Dark Empire II. The battle between Kam Solusar and Luke Skywalker is in the audio drama of Dark Empire II, however.
- Originally, Lucasfilm asked Bantam Books to do a novelization of Dark Empire, but they instead opted to hire one of their novelists to write an original Star Wars story. And that novelist was Timothy Zahn, who wrote The Thrawn Trilogy...
- Word of Saint Paul: According to Tom Veitch himself, one of the reasons for which Emperor Palpatine came to the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi was that he was ready to make to transfer his soul to a young cloned body, asking Luke Skywalker to strike him to accomplish both Luke's fall to the dark and his transition to a new body, with Veitch adding that the blue flashes that marked Palpatine's death represented the Emperor's living energy, his conscious dark force, leaving his body for his newest one across the galaxy.
Trivia / Dark Empire