Released: April 19th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Vader Down 1, Star Wars 13-14, Darth Vader 13-15
Vader Down is a cross over volume, mixing together Darth Vader and Star Wars into one short set of issues. If you’re reading Vader down through a subscription service (like me) instead of reading the printed volume, things can get a little tricky to track down. The order for reading goes like this: Vader Down, Darth Vader 13, Star Wars 13, Darth Vader 14, Star Wars 14, and finally Darth Vader 15.
So I’ll admit I don’t normally like tie-in novels/comics – it feels like they’re just trying to force you into getting hooked on other series. In this case though I’m willing to let it slide, as I was intending to read Star Wars next anyway. Thankfully the crossovers are contained to one volume worth, instead of having them hop in and out and all over the place (I’m looking at you, Spider-Man).
Thanks to the collision we get an interesting mash up of characters, including Darth Vader (duh), Aphra, Triple-Zero, BT-1, Luke, Leia, Han, Artoo, Threepio, and of course, the wookies Chewie and Black Krrsantan (and before you ask, yes there is in fact a fight between those two, so fear not!). The interactions themselves were pretty on par and at times pretty hilarious, so I don’t have many complaints about them.
Leia’s stubbornness really shown though in this volume – she was willing to sacrifice basically everything (including Luke and herself) for even a chance at taking Vader out. Now, admittedly I don’t really blame her for her logic there, but you should realize something is off when Han is chastising you for not caring enough.
Upon sitting down to write this review, I realize most (if not all) of the highlights for me involved one or more of the droids; which is pretty funny in itself. Seeing Bt-1 chase Artoo around with a whole arsenal of weapons was pretty funny (and I love Artoo, so you know it’s not that I was rooting for him to get hurt; the scene itself was just comical). Luke’s realization that he probably enjoyed stabbing Triple-Zero more than he should have (courtesy of being pestered all the time by Threepio) was absolutely hilarious (though I still maintain an apology is not necessary). And finally, Triple-Zero lecturing/screaming at BT-1 to stop being greedy and stop killing all of the humans around (as he wanted to get his fair share in, naturally).
More happens in Vader Down of course, but those were my favorite and most noteworthy highlights. This whole story is basically a side event between the movies, and it’s easy to see where and how they fit in. So the information provided isn’t technically needed…but it sure is fun.