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Star Wars: Graphic Story Album - Dark Forces 1 Hardcover – May 23, 1997

20 customer reviews

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Hardcover, May 23, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Soldier for the Empire, writer William Dietz and painter Dean Williams have accomplished something rare among the numerous spinoffs of the Star Wars films: a story that captures the essence of Star Wars while charting new territory in terms of character development.

The story is a simple one. Like Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn is a young farm boy who dreams of the stars. But for Kyle, the way off his home world is through the Imperial Military Academy, not through a Jedi mentor. Just as Kyle reaches the end of his training in a vicious firefight on a Rebel-held asteroid, his father, Morgan, is killed in an Imperial attack. As he learns the truth behind his father's death, Kyle is awakened to a terrifying vision of the Empire that he has grown to respect, and he suddenly finds himself working for the Rebels to steal plans for the newly completed Death Star.

By integrating Kyle's tale into the actual plot of Star Wars, Deitz makes his novel especially relevant for Star Wars fans. But what really drives Soldier for the Empire are the grim details that bring the war to life. Dietz's vision of the Empire recounts the awesome discipline of Nazi Germany, and his descriptions of Dark Jedi Jerec are reminiscent of the twisted minds that must always stand behind organized evil. At the same time, by going inside the Empire (and into the psyches of Storm Troopers), Dietz reveals the seductive power of that evil. Dean Williams's award-winning paintings are a perfect complement to the story, creating a cinematic life for the text. Kyle's tale continues in Rebel Agent and Jedi Knight. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Kyle Katarn is a decorated graduate from the Imperial Military Academy who would forfeit his very life for the Empire. But he wouldn't forfeit his father's life, and that's what the Empire has taken. Kyle is willing to do anything to avenge his father's death which is what the Rebel Alliance is counting on. Soldier For The Empire is the first of the new Star Wars "Dark Forces" series to be based on the popular interactive Dark Forces and Jedi Knight games. Readers can join Kyle Katarn in this fast-paced tale of adventure and suspense that is the hallmark of the Star Wars universe whether in the movies, in comics, in role-play games, or in paperback and hardcover novels. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Star Wars
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Boxtree Ltd (May 23, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752224158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752224152
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,613,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author William C. Dietz has published more than fifty novels some of which have been translated into German, French, Russian, Korean and Japanese. Dietz also wrote the script for the Legion of the Damned game (i-Phone, i-Touch, & i-Pad) based on his book of the same name--and co-wrote SONY's Resistance: Burning Skies game for the PS Vita.
Dietz grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a medic, graduated from the University of Washington, lived in Africa for half a year, and has traveled to six continents.

Dietz has been employed as a surgical technician, college instructor, news writer, television producer and Director of Public Relations and Marketing for an international telephone company. Dietz is a member of the Writer's Guild and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

He and his wife live near Gig Harbor Washington where they enjoy traveling, kayaking, and reading books. For more information about William C. Dietz and his work visit: williamcdietz.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Ann Minners on December 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Star Wars fan and I love the Expanded Universe characters. I first met Kyle Katarn when I played the Playstation game Star Wars: Dark Forces. The game gave you bits and pieces about Katarn's life, but left you wanting to know more. So you can imagine how happy I was to discover that there was a series of novels based on the characters in the game.
Kyle Katarn is the son of a farmer / mechanic from a planet in the Outer Rim. His family is not rich and the only way that Kyle will be assured an excellent education is to join the Imperial Academy. Although he doesn't always agree with everything he has learned at the Academy, Kyle has become a loyal officer, willing to risk his life for the Empire. Shortly after graduating the Academy, Katarn learns that his beloved father has been murdered. As Kyle journeys to his homeworld, he makes an amazing discovery - his father was not killed by Rebel agents as he had been told. His father WAS a Rebel agent, killed by the Empire. Bent on avenging his father's death, Katarn joins the Rebel Alliance. HIs first mission, given to him by Mon Mothma herself, is a doozy - get hold of the plans to the Imperial battlestation being built in orbit around Despayre (the Death Star for all you non-Star Wars fanatics out there!)! Can Kyle complete the mission, or will he sell out the Rebellion? Mon Mothma can't be sure, so she sends an opreative to keep an eye on him - and dispose of him if he reveals himself to be a traitor!
This book is 126 pages packed with action, adventure and intrigue! Perfectly written by William Dietz, the story will definitely hold your attention.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book AND the illustrations. These beautiful paintings are really imaginative. It is an exciting adventure with new characters and some really amazing images. It made me want to know more and more about Kyle Katarn and the other characters they introduced. Although I don't get into the computer games, if they are anything like the images in the book, I bet they're really cool looking. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in THE DARK FORCES series while I wait for the new film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Soldier for the Empire is a rather odd graphic novel. It combines a short book with illustrations that vary from strong to below average. It expands on the Dark Forces series of video games, and follows Kyle Katarn from his days as an Imperial agent to becoming one of the most trusted agents of the Alliance, to his days as a Jedi Knight.
The book had its moments, and most of the illustrations did the games, and the Star Wars universe credit. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the story (the sequence on the asteroid was a bit questionable so far as realism goes), and the drawings sometimes referred to the wrong pages. The book is better than its sequel, Rebel Agent, but comes up short when taking on the finale to the series, Jedi Knight. Buy that one instead, it isn't hard to figure out what's going on, particularly if you have played the game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Soldier for the Empire" is an entertaining and fun Star Wars story on its own, but it's really geared toward those who are already fans of the "Dark Forces" computer game. While I enjoyed this book, I felt that the (often odd) illustrations hampered my experience as a reader. The book would have been better served using the artwork as chapter breaks, rather than having it so often disrupt your own mental picture of the story. Also, and more purely from a continuity point of view, "Soldier for the Empire" takes some liberties with established Star Wars characters, which may be annoying to those readers who are fans of the "Dark Forces" games and the Star Wars universe in general.

All in all, "Soldier for the Empire" is an entertaining piece of Star Wars fiction, but it is not particularly well-written or especially well-illustrated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JediMack on May 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
It is a tricky assignment to write a story based on a game and still be relevant to the rest of the expanded universe. Mr Dietz did a pretty good job here. Kyle Katarn, which is available as an action figure, is the guy that steals the plans to the death star. Considering that I had already read the Han solo trilogy, (My favorite trilogy in the EU) where Hans first love dies leading the decoy team, I thought it worked.
The art work was uneven to me. Some of it was sharp and germane to the story. Some of it was soft pastels that I just did not care for. And none of the artwork matches Dorman who does the third and book in this trilogy.
I really liked the format for the illustrated novella. I wish there were more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mario G. Perez Fonseca on August 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, actually, a great trilogy, if you get the hardcover editions they also make a great display for any respectable collection. The writing is down to earth, yet descriptive and complete, leaves you wanting to know more, especially great is the step by step narration Dietz makes of the first Dark Forces level. The illustrations are great, but i found a couple of errors in this book: Acording to JK game, Kyle doesn't get his lightsaber until level three of the game, this book refers to Dark Forces, so why is he painted with a saber in the cover and other 2 illustrations? Also, when he meets Jan, the description tells us he's wearing a Stortrooper armor, yet in the drawing he's not...great book, nevertheless...
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