Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol 1: Vader Review By Deffinition
Darth Vader is one of cultures biggest commodities. Chances are if it’s Star Wars related it has the villains jet black helmet plastered all over it. But why is this character so ingrained into the public conscious? Is it because he shows that every one of us has a dark side within that, if left unchecked, can corrupt us?
Is it because he too possesses a light side, one that we all wrestle with when we put self-interestest before doing the right thing?
Or is it because he has a really really really cool suit?
Whatever it is, for better or worse, after purchasing the rights to both Marvel and Lucasfilm, Disney have decided to partner the two and launch a Darth Vader comic book series. Having read this once already, I was so-so on the initial release. However, after The Last Jedi rejuvenated my love for the franchise I decided to go back and see if I was perhaps harsh with my initial feelings towards the work.
So with that out the way, let’s dive into Star Wars: Darth Vader.
Strut to the Hutt
Opening on Vader infiltrating Jabba The Hutts palace on Tattooine in order to negotiate a deal, the book instantly hits you with nostalgia. Referencing Return Of The Jedi heavily with callback after callback, it’s a nice look at the other side of the coin to see how Luke’s appearance there could have went had he been corrupted at the end of The Empire Strikes back.
Immediately this book provides the fan boy moments that you would hope for if you are a Star Wars megalomaniac and it feels like a home run. After appearances from Han Solo, Boba Fett and The Emporer, the story goes stratospheric. Feeling like a lost chapter from the archives. This is Episode 4.5 in a big bad way.
Siths about to go down
Wiping out Rebels from every corner of the Galaxy, Vader seems God-like. However, he still has flaws and allowing the Death Star to be destroyed doesn’t exactly hold him in the highest regards from The Emperors point of view. Realising he must be kept on a tight leash, Vader is monitored by Empire subordinates and it’s a nice touch that whilst Vader is feared, he isn’t that respected. This harkens back to his reputation in A New Hope, he was openly mocked during meetings because of his religion and it’s great to see this aesthetic continue. Vader is less interesting when he is merely ‘The Chosen One’ and for this series to work, there had to be flaws.
Adding a wealth of personality, the struggle within Vader makes him an easy character to get behind. Whilst we know his eventual outcome it’s still a fun ride to see him evolve and develop as a character throughout the graphic novel.
‘It should be in an Armoury’
Entering the series with a BANG, Doctor Aphra seems like a Reverse Han Solo. Attempting to steal weapons because they ‘don’t belong in a museum.’ It’s great to see hints at the Lucasfilm world overall and fans of Indiana Jones will love his satirical appearance in the Star Wars universe through this character.
Building an army from the ruins of Genosis, Vader’s plan springs into action. Tracking down the base where they are training his replacement he goes on the warpath. It’s great to see Vader fully unleashed, however, there are quite a few punches pulled throughout the fight so that inevitably his rivals have some back and forth with the Dark Lord down the line. The action nicely broke up the drama but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Whilst it does set up an interesting subplot, there is definitely more intrigue to be had in the fact that Vader learns that his son blew up the Death Star. For whatever, reason this plot thread is slightly overlooked and it’s a shame that the book shifts focus away from what could have been an outstanding storyline. It does tease its outcome down the line but I would loved to have seen more attention to it here.
Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1 is a great Story and it will definitely tick all of the boxes for hardcore fans. Developing the character in several ways it showcases a lot of aspects of his personality and I found a wealth of fun in following his adventures. Vader still remains one of the universes best bad guys and Marvel have done an outstanding job at bringing him to the page.
Star Wars: Darth Vader starts off with a bang and that’s why it gets a…