A couple of years ago, an amateur animator called Wilkins created a concept cartoon of the Star Wars comic book mini-series Dark Empire and published it on YouTube.

He hand drew much of the animation on sheets of paper, using old light table techniques, and then would scan it into a computer to be colored in TVpaint.

Although extremely time-consuming, the result was a very unique aesthetic that is a serious departure from Cam Kennedy’s distinctive work in the comic.

I guess it can work…

Now, Wilkens is back with the intent of delivering the entire six-issue run Dark Empire as serialized cartoons on YouTube. 

A few days ago he released Episode I, “The Destiny of a Jedi.”

What Is Dark Empire?

For those of you who are not die-hard Star Wars honks, Dark Empire takes place after the EU Heir To The Empire trilogy of novels, which in turn took place after Return Of The Jedi.

Wilkins has made a short prep video to help you get up to speed.

Quick EU Primer

All of our old friends are here: Han, Leia, Lando, Chewie, Wedge, the Droids and a dark, weirdo Luke. Since it’s essentially a reproduction of the comic book, expect what you have come to expect from the medium, lots of dialogue, most of it clunky.

I’d wish for a much more streamlined adaptation and a style more in-line with the original comic but the result is most impressive, especially considering it’s a one-man project.


Episode I, “The Destiny of a Jedi”