I read the two original Crimson Empire miniseries when I was in high school back in the '90s, and always hoped that Dark Horse would wrap-up the storyline someday. Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost is an attempt to conclude the trilogy - but we know how those usually turn out. Again, the plot focuses on the last Imperial Guard, Kir Kanos, a seemingly amoral antihero who usually finds himself fighting on the side of the Rebels due to plot contrivances, and Mirith Sinn, a tough-as-nails Rebel commander who stated at the end of the original Crimson Empire that she would avenge her best friend's death at Kanos' hands - but was madly in love with him by Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood. This miniseries could have brought the original plot back into focus, especially considering that Kanos swore vengeance on Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia for the Emperor's death, and the solicits for the issues foreshadowded a confrontation between Kanos and Skywalker.
Instead, Crimson Empire III focuses on yet another remnant of the Empire stirring up trouble; they describe themselves as the "real Empire", but considering the amount of "lost remnant of the Empire" factions that cropped up in Star Wars Expanded Universe novels and comics throughout the 90s, one can imagine these characters swearing that they're "totally not like those other Imperials". The villain is a hackneyed assasin with, of course, cybernetic enhancements. In many ways, Crimson Empire III is a time-machine back to the Expanded Universe of old (before fan-favorite characters started dying left and right and everything needed to jibe with the prequels). This is somewhat interesting, considering how long it's been since the earlier Crimson Empire stories. This could have been an interesting character study of Kir Kanos, coming to terms with his loyalty to an evil empire that no longer exists, and could have depicted a battle every Star Wars fan would like to see: Jedi vs. Imperial Guard! The plot does focus somewhat on the forthcoming peace between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant and Kanos' place in this new galaxy, and the character is no longer written as the amoral antihero of the orignal miniseries - but in the end, Crimson Empire III amounts to very little. As for Paul Gulacy's art, it's quite good in spots (especially his renderings of Luke, Han and Leia), but the action scenes often feel cramped and occasionally incomprehensible. I was hoping for a good Star Wars story that was NOT about the characters from the films - Crimson Empire III is merely an okay one.