|Source: Star Wars 7 News|
StarWars.com and Marvel Entertainment have this week announced the publication of a new Star Wars comic-book compilation for release next year. Dubbed Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 (don't ask why Disney felt the need to include that horrendously clichéd adjective shortly before the sub-title), the bumper-sized graphic novel will bring together (deep breath) Star Wars: Republic Issues 78-80; Star Wars: Purge Issue 1; Star Wars: Purge - Seconds to Die Issue 1; Star Wars: Purge - The Hidden Blade Issue 1; Star Wars: Purge - The Tyrant's Fist Issues 1-2; Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command Issues 1-5 and finally Star Wars: Dark Times Issues 1-5.
As its name suggests from the outset, though, there's a substantial catch; by inhabiting the Legends range, The Empire Vol. 1 will need to be regarded as an isolated narrative entity, since Disney confirmed earlier this year that only the storylines contained within the six core Star Wars films and the spin-off TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be regarded as 'canon' (let's not delve into just how ambiguous and to some extent indefinable a term such as that is right now) from this point onwards and as a result, none of the standalone tales featured in the Epic Collection range (more instalments of which - primarily based around the Rebellion and other factions - are planned for release in the not too distant future) will have any impact on Episode VII or future instalments in the long-running saga. Whether the fact that these bombastic narratives - which were originally devised as a creative means by which to bridge the gap between Episode III and Episode IV amongst other chronological voids in the franchise's mythology - will be outright retconned from this point onwards holds positive implications for Star Wars' future is a hotly contested matter at present, but for anyone who feels as if there's still a space for these semi-parallel universe exploits in the wider context of the increasingly convoluted universe, The Empire Vol. 1 should be a fitting place to start gaining an insight into what might have been.
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Vol. 1 TPB will jump out of hyperspace and into all good book retailers in April 2015.