by Mark Mitchell
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
I’m not quite sure what to make of this new Darth Vader series yet, especially after an issue like Star Wars: Darth Vader 2, which indicates very little interest in the titular character himself. Like the first issue and its reveal of some previously un-seen optical lens settings in Vader’s helmet, it’s the details around the main Vader story that make reading worthwhile — albeit heavily dependent on your interest in the minutia of the Star Wars universe.
Many panels are devoted to two Clone Troopers, Kicker and Ding, working through the everyday menial tasks that come after the extermination of the Jedi. It’s played lightly, but there’s something undeniably dark about the soldiers fooling around with leftover lightsabers and junking useless Jedi robes and training equipment. Hundreds of Jedi lost their lives, but now some nobodies casually toy with the things the murdered once held sacred.
What is amusing is how the Troopers have no idea who Darth Vader is when he arrives at the Temple. In our world Vader’s one of the most recognizable villains of all time, but in-universe there’s no reason for him to be feared yet. The Clone Troopers try to take him down, and it’s about as successful as you would think.
Spending so much time with the Clone Troopers gives some fascinating insight into the galaxy post-Revenge of the Sith. Still, there’s a Vader-sized hole in this series that has yet to be filled. Besides a slight, largely unsuccessful attempt to shade Vader’s personality by pairing him with a sassy droid companion, there’s no compelling attempt to get readers invested in his quest. The world of Star Wars is rich enough that you can debit from the brand a lot and still break even, but hopefully Darth Vader can take center stage in his own series sooner rather than later.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?