Star Wars: Hidden Empire #1: Do you need to be caught up to read it?

Star Wars: Hidden Empire. Image courtesy
Star Wars: Hidden Empire. Image courtesy /

Yesterday, Lucasfilm released its newest comic in collaboration with Marvel: Hidden Empire (2022). Written by Charles Soule with art by Steven Cummings, this first issue of a five-part miniseries is an explosive addition to the canon.

However, this miniseries is technically the third installment of a trilogy of comic series which started with War of the Bounty Hunters (2021). The second part of the trilogy was titled Crimson Reign (2022), which just released its last issue at the end of June.

Hidden Empire follows Lady Qi’ra, leader of the Crimson Dawn criminal syndicate, as she tries to take down the two most powerful Sith: Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. She does not want control of the Empire, but instead wants to stand against the idea of absolute power and those who wield it to cause fear.

Some fans, especially those starting to get involved with Star Wars comic series, or those who are wholly unfamiliar with the comics, may wonder how well-versed one needs to be to pick up this new issue. Being the third miniseries in a trilogy, it is a little daunting to jump into something while having no prior knowledge of the story.

So, I decided to read Hidden Empire #1 to answer that question for us. I myself have just started dipping my toes into the Star Wars comic world, and this story was one that immediately caught my eye. (A powerful female leader trying to take down two bad guys on her own? Come on. That’s awesome).

I’m happy to report that Hidden Empire is very enjoyable regardless of whether or not you have read the previous comics with Lady Qi’ra. Soule does a wonderful job of filling the reader in on what’s come before. After the first few pages, I felt like I had all of the information needed to continue reading and enjoy the story. It felt very much like an episode of The Clone Wars as Admiral Yularen quickly recaps what happened in the episode prior.

If you’ve been on the fence about picking up Hidden Empire, go for it! It’s a great story that doesn’t need any prior reading to enjoy. Look for the second issue on December 7th, 2022.

Check out more comic reviews on Dork Side of the Force.