Following the recent few weeks reading Eddings, I’ve returned to my Star Wars reading for a while, and Crimson Empire. I’ve already talked about the first arc in this trilogy at some length, of course, so want to follow that up with some shorter blogs about the other two. Today, then, I present to you: Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood!
Published in 1998-9 as a direct follow-up to the first, we see Kir Kanos continue on his vendetta against the Imperial Ruling Council for their part in the overthrow of the resurrected Emperor. After his defeat of the wannabe Emperor Carnor Jax, Kanos assumed the role of the bounty hunter Kenix Kil to help him move around the galaxy while there is a bounty on his head. Kanos takes jobs for the Hutt, Grappa, while also eliminating members of the Ruling Council.
Crimson Empire II is much more of a political thriller than the first installment. That is to say, it tries to be more of a political thriller. The goings-on of the Ruling Council, as they are whittled down by Kanos in disguise, try to convey the chaos of the wake of Carnor Jax’s death. However, I’ve read it twice now, and it still feels a bit too muddled and such. Once the main story gets going, what feels like a completely unnecessary further plot twist is added that only really serves to confuse the issue, rather than adding another of layer or somesuch.
The Ruling Council is an interesting idea that wasn’t really developed in the first arc, but here is treated like we should all know what it is. Hm. More, there are aliens on the Council – including a Devaronian and a Whiphid – which seems highly incongruous and is not really that satisfactorily explained. However, it is an interesting idea, and I did enjoy seeing it all.
We also get Mirith Sinn again, who is trying to track down Kanos by using the resources of Grappa the Hutt’s organisation. Not entirely sure why, considering she’s a New Republic official, so could surely have stayed where she was? Hm.
The comic introduced Nom Anor, a mysterious cloaked figure who is pulling the strings of the would-be Emperor, Xandel Carivus. Originally, it was intended that this storyline would lead into a crossover storyline between Dark Horse Comics and Bantam Spectra that dealt with the invasion of the known galaxy by a group of Dark-Side Force users who, it was intended, would have been the ancestors of the original Sith. Bantam lost the novel licence to Del Rey, who went with the invasion story but took it in a whole new direction. Nom Anor, however, was kept on as the herald of the invaders, taking on a whole new persona when he returned in 1999’s Vector Prime.
Overall, I like this story, but feel like it could have done with perhaps an extra comic to help smooth the story over. It’s still good, but it doesn’t really come up to the quality of the first one. Definitely worth a look, however!