While doing laundry on Monday morning I had the time to finish a volume of one of Marvel’s new Star Wars series, a little book entitled Vader (volume one of the series Star Wars: Darth Vader).
I have spent the last couple of days thinking about the book and how much I enjoyed it and today can say that I wholeheartedly can recommend the book for fans of Star Wars. I loved the book so much so that I’m going to do this backwards and give you the verdict up front.
Final Verdict: 8 out of 10.
Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca this book is a must read for Darth Vader fans and Star Wars fans in general.
Vader is a part of the new canon springing forth from the vacuum left by the “rebranding” of the Expanded Universe into the “Legends” timeline. It picks up in the aftermath of Episode IV, with Darth Vader essentially being demoted by the Emperor as punishment for the destruction of the Death Star (it’s explicitly stated that Vader is punished in part because he is the only living person to punish as everyone else perished on the Death Star).
Part of his punishment entails having to answer directly to General Tagge (who has been retconned as having left the Death Star prior to its destruction). Further insult comes when Tagge assigns Vader an adjunct who is to report all of Vader’s activities and communications to Tagge.
Vader accepts this inconvenience but immediately sets out to build a secret droid army of his own. The bulk of the volume deals with him assembling his forces, meeting a rogue archaeologist named Aphra who leads him to a murderous protocol droid that excels in torture (think evil C3po) and a”Blastomech” assassin droid, giving Vader a dark parody of Luke’s droids. As Vader works to build his army he begins to question the Emperor’s motives and plans for him as things begin to be not what Vader expects them to be. The story also has cameos from Jabba the Hutt (in one of the best opening sequences I’ve read in recent memory) and Bobba Fett.
Overall it is a brilliant book with great story telling paired with excellent art. It breathes lots of life into the Darth Vader character, giving him far more depth than the films did, something very necessary since the EU purge took away lots of great Anakin/Vader stories.
Check it out you won’t be disappointed.