We also hope that through our comments here over the past six movies, we've been able to impart some of our love for Star Wars.
We began Darths & Droids in September 2007, just shy of ten years ago. At the time there were just six Star Wars films, and no prospect of any more. Revenge of the Sith had only been released two years earlier. Some of us were hesitant to commit to an idea and a storyline that would involve us parodying all six movies, stretching some unknown distance into the future. We thought we could maybe do one movie per year and finish after six years.
In the end it took nearly ten years to realise our story. The thing that kept us going all this time is you, our readers. Many of you have written to us, or posted in various Internet forums that we follow, to express appreciation of particular jokes, or unexpected story elements, or the interactions between our characters. There's been some criticism too, but that's okay - we never tried to please everyone with what we were doing.
Some stories from readers have been particularly inspiring. We have heard from people who have used our comics to help overcome depression, or to get over relationship issues or break-ups. Many readers have told us that they decided to start playing tabletop roleplaying games because of us, and that they have made new friends and developed new social skills by doing so. Several teachers and home-schooling parents have written to say that they use our comics as classroom resources, to teach children various aspects of storytelling and social interactions.
We hoped to tell a story and generate some laughs, but you have helped us do so much more than that.
On our side, we have developed newfound appreciation for Star Wars. Going through the prequels frame by frame, and researching the Star Wars canon and the stories behind the production of the movies has made us appreciate what a difficult job it is to make a movie, and how difficult it is to please dedicated fans. George Lucas is nowadays often derided for "ruining Star Wars". But we must never forget that without him none of it would ever have existed.
So, to George: We have no idea if you even know our humble comic exists. But thank you.
This strip marks the end of our Episode VI: The Jedi Reloaded. But we're not done yet. As with the other films, we will follow in the next week with three non-canonical intermission strips. After that we will take a short break in publishing new Darths & Droids strips while we work on story plotting and building up a buffer for the next movie we will be tackling: Rogue One.
The last intermission strip will be published on Tuesday 13 June. Then there will be a 7-week break, and the first strip of Rogue One will appear on Tuesday 1 August. Please join us then for the next chapter of our story.
During the break, we will be debuting a new original webcomic, unrelated to Darths & Droids other than the fact that it is written and illustrated by two of us. The first episode of Eavesdropper will be published on Wednesday 14 June, the day after the last Darths intermission strip. We hope you will check it out, and hopefully enjoy it enough to follow it as well.
It's been a wild ride so far. Thank you for making the journey with us.
Han: So, was Palpatine good or evil?
GM: Well, that's up to you to decide. He wanted everyone in the Galaxy to live in peace and unity, and to achieve that he did whatever it took, including building giant weapons, dismantling a democratic system of government, and ordering the elimination of thousands of Jedi.
Han: So... was he good or evil?
GM: Like I said, it depends on your point of view.
R2-D2: I think he was pretty good. He may have trampled a few people in the process, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. His heart was in the right place, and that's what really matters.
C-3PO: Don't be so Machiavellian, Pete! He sent millions of clones to their deaths. He repressed any voices of dissent. He only kept what peace there was through fear of an overwhelming military. He was an evil dictator, pure and simple.
Leia: He was morally grey. He was pragmatic enough to make sacrifices to achieve his goals, but his goal was definitely wanting the best for everyone. At no stage did he ever make a decision that he thought went against the greater good. Unfortunately, the result was he dug himself deeper into depravity.
Chewbacca: So... chaotic neutral, maybe?
Han: I'm going to settle this once and for all.
Han: I cast Detect Evil on his corpse.