Some fans out there consider today Revenge of the Fifth, as such, we'll continue our look at the Star Wars Infinities range of comics, in this review: The Empire Strikes Back. It was first published in 2002 as solo issues and then collected as a trade paperback in 2003. It was written by Dave Land and pencilled by Davide Fabbri.
Pretty much everyone is familiar with the store of Empire, but Infinities takes a twist on it by turning it into a what if story, In this instance, our story starts on Hoth. Luke has escaped the Wampa, but because Han's tauntaun died before he could leave Echo Base, Han arrives too late to save Luke, who succumbs to his injuries and the cold, dying in Han's arms.
The Rebels hold a funeral for Luke, which is interrupted by the Empire. Without Luke's direction, most of Rogue Squadron is killed, including Wedge. Most of the Rebels escape Hoth, including Han, Leia, Chewie and R2 aboard the Falcon. They stop off at Bespin on the way to Dagobah, as per Luke's dying wish. It's here that Lando repairs the Falcon, as they skipped the asteroid field. Boba Fett arrives wanting Han. Fett is captured by Lando and the Cloud City police forces as Han and the others leave.
Lando has turned Boba Fett into a desk, trapping him in Carbonite. Vader arrives to speak with Fett, Lando replies that he isn't here and nor are the Rebels. Vader takes this thinly veiled admission as reason to destroy Cloud City, killing everyone. Han comforts Leia, who claims the last few days have taken their toll on her, but she felt the deaths of everyone in Cloud City.
They arrive at Dagobah to train with Yoda. Yoda instructs them that it's Leia who will be trained and not Han. While Leia is training with Yoda, Han leaves to go repay his debt to Jabba, However, Han is betrayed by an agent of Jabba;s who takes his money and leaves them to die in Jabba's nexu pit, However, R2 frees Han and the Nexu, who trash the palace. Using this as their escape from Jabba's Palace and back onto the Falcon.
Vader arrives on Tattooine to get Han from Jabba, who explains that they escaped. However, he finds C-3PO. He takes the droid back to the Executor and reveals that he was the droid's creator, through this he learns of Leia's location, Dagobah. Vader arrives on the planet and demands that Yoda turn over Luke to him. Yoda and Vader get into a mind duel, where Vader is attacked with the Force Ghosts of dead Jedi, like Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Mace Windu.
Leia has finished her lightsaber in time to see Yoda being struck down by Vader. Leia and Vader get into a saber duel, in which Leia severs Vader's right arm. However, he offers her a chance to rule beside him. She refuses and is almost struck down herself when Han appears and shoots Vader, killing him. Yoda's parting words to Leia are to pass on her teachings. She burns Vader's body on a funeral pyre. It's now down to Leia to restore peace to the galaxy!
This comic is very interesting and a great read. So many fantastic twists and turns throughout the story that really keep the reader engaged. The comic is available via the secondary market these days and doesn't cost all that much. You could also find the single issues.