by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
The “it was all a dream” storytelling device is often looked down upon as a narrative cheat, which depending on the circumstances might be true. However there are merits to it as well, as we see in Star Wars: Darth Vader 5. Sometimes, asking the question of “what could have been” makes the reality of a situation that much more bitter.
Physically broken but undeterred, Darth Vader is embarking on the last journey of his quest to truly become a dark lord of the Sith. He has obtained the lightsaber of his slain Jedi foe and has been sent to Mustafar to make it his own; “make it bleed.”
Emperor Palpatine claims that Mustafar is a world strong in the dark side of the force, perfect for Vader to craft his blade. He also notes that Mustafar is the site of Vader’s “greatest defeat” at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi — the more manipulative reasoning for the location choice.
As Vader tries to ignite his kyber crystal with his hate and pain, we see an epiphany in his exposed blue eye.
He returns to Palpatine and in a dramatic display of defiance, reveals the unchanged green lightsaber.
Giuseppe Camuncoli elicits Palpatine’s odd, unrealistic jump spin from Revenge of the Sith as he launches himself at his apprentice. Vader makes short work of him and we see a reunion with Obi-Wan.
Of course none of this is meant to be. The dream ends and Anakin’s exposed eye returns to its hateful orange glow. Camuncoli draws two intense double-page sequences where Vader fights through his painful memories and channels his anger into the crystal.
Why does Vader refuse the chance at redemption? Is it because he is committed to his dark purpose? Or more likely, is it because after everything he’s done, he doesn’t believe he deserves redemption?
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?