Released: December 6th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Darth Vader 20-25
Here marks the end of the Darth Vader series. It was a good run, and on the whole I really enjoyed it. I think this series could really be read as a standalone or alongside the main Star Wars plot. The whole series, from start to finish, occurs between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, which until now I hadn’t really thought about what occurred in that time span.
As with the previous volumes, the artwork was fantastic. The artists made use of the darker tones to help build tension, and it certainly was effective.
Even while feeling pleased that I’m finally caught up, I’m actually kind of sad to see the end of Darth Vader. I really enjoyed being able to see a bit more of Vader’s point of view – even though it did frequently pop of to show what Aphra was doing (considering I love her, I’m more than ok with that). I really appreciate that Star Wars has never been afraid of letting us get to know the villains. In many ways I think the Sith are actually more popular than the Jedi (though I’m not going to say that as fact – I don’t want to start a war here.
I think the series made several strong attempts at showing us Vader’s feelings and motivations; probably more so in this volume than the others (specifically when he got shut down). I can’t pretend that I feel a new found sympathy for the guy (I love to hate him too much for that), but it does give me a new level of appreciation for what he’s gone through and what he’s still going through.
Quite a lot occurred in this volume (they had to wrap up all their plots, after all) and in a short span of time at that. Vader as per usual did what he does best: hunt and destroy (though I’m sure he wouldn’t use those terms). I won’t say too much on the matter, as I don’t want to give spoilers. I was fascinated by the Detective’s choice however. I sincerely didn’t see that coming. That alone almost makes me wish there was a follow-up comic for him (even just a single issue) so I could see what brought him to that point.
Even though they’re not the namesake of the series, I truly believe that Beetee, Triple Zero, and Aphra really made the series what it is. The murderous insanity that the droids bring to the mix is the much needed comic relief. Aphra’s witty and chatty personality helps to balance out Vader’s sullen silence. Add in the fact that her main motivation is simply to survive and well…you have dramatically different characters interacting with one another. I’m still absolutely stunned on how she was able to trick Darth Vader. Part of me wonders if she truly did…is there any chance he’s just letting her think she tricked him? Could he have not wanted to kill her, but had to have her think he was willing to do so? I suppose we’ll never know, but it sure is interesting to think about.