My critical response to this story is: goddamit neophyte sith make illogical and stupid decisions. Ventris' sacrifice is a bit too close to girl-in-a-refridgerator for me. And Yoda foresaw at least partial outcomes and knew Ventris needed to go with Voss.. which leads me to suspect he knew she'd die. That's cold, man.
Overall response: I liked this story (hence the rating). I liked that it didn't deal with absolutes, even in terms of the dark side. The character voices are superb, though some of the narration could have done with a little less 'action' infection.
My review of the first book in this series.
Spoilers for the first book!
While Dark Empire can be read by itself, its sequel merely points the way to the last book in the trilogy. That's not to say it's not a fun story, it is. It simply is not as finished as one would wish.
With the death of the Emperor and his clones, Luke sets out to start the Jedi anew. With the help of Kam Solusar, a dark Jedi who had served the Emperor before being saved by Luke, they fine a Force sensitive people on a planet where a Jedi came to rest and one joins them. They are soon pulled back into the troubles of the galaxy as New Alderaan as well as Han and Leia's children are threatened by an evil not as vanquished as they thought.
As it has the same cast, sound effects, and music, this dramatization does the first credit. The story is very engaging though I occasionally found Luke's "Jedi mentor" lessons somewhat dull!
The Empire (what's left of it) is very interesting and at times I wanted the focus to stay on them as they plotted and planned.
All around, it was good but most pushed me to read the original graphic novel.
While I own the graphic novel of this and really enjoy it, I was intrigued to learn something told so visually had been turned into a full cast audio drama. I simply had to try it after that.
Thanks to my local library signing onto Hoopla (I have such rapturous love for this digital library service - it not only has many great ebooks and audiobooks but Movies, TV shows, and music!), I've had a plethora of interesting things to choose from but this was one of the first.
Overall, I have to applaud both the writers and cast's efforts on this drama. The script balanced well dialogue from the graphic novel (which naturally leans heavily towards that anyway) and "descriptive additions" - added dialogue, etc. that set up and explained things shown in the original work. This was an excellent adaptation.
As for the cast, while not as good as NPR's radio dramas of the original trilogy, they were quite decent and conveyed the emotions and even reactions to environment, etc. well. All in all, a very well put together dramatization.
For Star Wars fans, if you haven't read this graphic novel and its sequels, do so. While it's true that Disney has voided this iteration of Extended Universe, seeing the return of Emperor Palpatine and Dark Luke should never be missed! It's one of the best Media-tie-in series I've read.
But I hesitate to recommend this over the graphic novel. For fans of the original source material, I do highly recommend it. In fact, it landed on my to buy list. But as an introduction, I can't say that it works. It comes close, I'll grant you but there were parts I could only follow because I'd already read it and knew what would happen.