Sacrifice and the Long Fight in Darth Vader 14

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Given how pervasive politics are in our current landscape, it’s no surprise that so much of the media being created nowadays contains political allusions and allegories. Both the allusions and especially the politics themselves can be exhausting at times, but given how dangerous so many political groups are today, getting involved and taking a stand seems absolutely necessary, no matter what the cost. That’s certainly the theme that runs throughout Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s Darth Vader 14, a clear allegory for our fraught modern political times that argues that great sacrifices must be made to fight oppression wherever it rears its face. Continue reading

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Vader’s Uncertainty Threatens All — Including Himself — in Star Wars: Darth Vader 12

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

Why is Darth Vader scary? It’s not necessarily because he’s so powerful, or because he’s so evil, although he’s obviously both. It’s because he’s unknowable, robotic, relentless, opaque. His mask betrays no expression, his words and actions only rarely betray emotion, and his motives often seem inscrutable. That kind of ambiguity begets strong reactions from almost everyone who sees Vader, be it outright fear or the kind of resentment festering in the Imperial Officers who place a hit on him in Star Wars: Darth Vader 12, not realizing what he’s done to gain his authority. In many ways, Vader’s unknowability is his greatest strength (only those who truly know Vader — such as Luke or even Jocasta Nu — ever manage to defeat or one-up him), but it also might be his greatest weakness, because as Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli suggest, even Vader doesn’t seem to fully understand himself, and his frustration over that is tearing him apart inside. Continue reading

The Hunter Becomes The Hunted In Star Wars: Darth Vader 11

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

In the modern Star Wars era, Darth Vader is like the Freddy Krueger of the greater universe — ostensibly a villain, but really the one everyone is rooting for. Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s Darth Vader 11 leans into Vader’s anti-hero persona by reversing the usual Vader story and turning him into the prey.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader 10: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: If knowledge is power, than so is wisdom. Both are talked up as some of the greatest traits of the Jedi Order, but so often we think of Jedis as warriors first and foremost, their victories physical ones rather than mental. It’s a mindset Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli are clearly looking to challenge in Star Wars: Darth Vader 10. Jocasta Nu, Jedi librarian, isn’t much of a warrior (at least in comparison to Darth Vader), but she achieves a vital victory over Vader anyway, simply by using her wits and knowledge. Most importantly, she has the wisdom to recognize that achieving such a victory will require sacrifice, and the will to go through with it nonetheless. Continue reading

The Complexity of Magna Tolva in Doctor Aphra 15

by Taylor Anderson

Star Wars Doctor Aphra 15

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

A lot of the time when I think about what makes Star Wars so much fun I think about the memorable characters. Darth Vader is the perfect villain, Han is the archetypical anti-hero, and Leia is the strong willed leader who won’t let herself or others fail. While all these characters are great, I have to admit that in many ways they’re pretty flat characters. Sure, you can argue that Leia, Han, and Vader all undergo a journey and gradually change, but none of them undergo a transformation that literally changes who they are. What I’m getting at here, is that Star Wars is sorely lacking in complex characters. It is for this reason, however, that Magna Tolva is such a welcome addition to the universe.  Continue reading

Sith Versus a Killer Granny in Darth Vader 9

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s revisiting of Jocasta Nu in Darth Vader 9 is what the Star Wars Expanded Universe has always excelled at — taking a throwaway character from the films and broadening the world around them. Continue reading

Tyranny Destroys Expertise in Darth Vader 8

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

Authoritarian rule is often the result of resentment toward the professional political class. All it takes is one “outsider” with enough willpower to assume power, and then the common man is freed from the dubious expertise of career politicians. The problem, of course, is that the elimination of political experts leads to brain drain in all other aspects of government, and eventually the loss of all knowledge and expertise. Star Wars Darth Vader 8 shows the tenuous balance between the experts and the tyrants that force their extinction. Continue reading

Magna Tolvan is Lovable, to a Distracting Degree, in Doctor Aphra 14

by Taylor Anderson

Doctor Aphra 14

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The great thing about Star Wars comics is that we’re introduced to characters from the extended universe we would never meet otherwise. I mean, Han, Luke, Leia, and Darth are all pretty compelling characters, but forty years worth of stories surrounding them means there isn’t a whole lot left to say about them. Dr. Aphra, then, is a great series in this regard. Aphra herself is a compelling character, but the title is made so much better by the rich cast of characters that surrounds her. However, if these characters lose their charm or act in ways that don’t make sense then there’s not a whole lot for an issue to fall back on save for space battles and explosions.

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There Are No Absolutes in Darth Vader 7

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

When I generally think about the causes of the fall of the Republic in Star Wars, my mind usually focuses on Palpatine and his meddling in senate affairs in such a way that he was gradually able to secure political power. While that certainly plays a part in the fall, I think we also have to wonder why the Republic was so weak that a single madman could gain solitary control of it in the first place. Certainly, I could point my finger at the Trade Federation or the Techno Union as sowers of unrest in the Republic which led to Palpatine’s rise, but that isn’t it, exactly. No, the reason the Republic fell was due to its crumbling institutions, namely the Jedi Order, which failed to protect and delegate the way it was designed to do. Continue reading

An Ending (of Sorts) in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 12

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Ah the finale: the last word a creator has on a particular story before they say goodbye. Some finales are literally the final word on a story, while others leave the door open for future adventures. Doctor Aphra 13 is an example of the latter — Kieron Gillen’s final story with Aphra before passing her on to writer Simon Spurrier. Continue reading