Star Wars Darth Vader issue #5.

Writer: Keiron Gillen

Pencils: Salvador Larroca

Colorist: Edgar Delgado

Cover: Adi Granov

Darth Vader has learned the Emperor has decided to replace him with a new right hand man. This won’t due of course and Vader is off to make sure no one is able to bump him out of Palpatine’s good graces.

We enter the issue with Vader, Aphra and the pair of droids still using the Naboo royal vessel en route to the base that Cylo IV was smuggling supplies to. A giant space whale with an installation built on it’s back. Some may think it space-cheesy but giant space living creatures have been around since Empire Strikes Back. So that part I could live with. Darth Vader calls it an abomination, funny coming from a half man/machine dark lord who is eerily similar.

Vader readies his new commando droids he’s acquired from the droid production plant he “found” on Geonosis. Thankfully Aphra has come to be more, comfortable in the presence of the Sith Lord and isn’t spouting jibberish all the time from her nervousness. One thing that caught me off guard was just before Vader leaves the ship to go to the installation Aphra calls his attention to say “May the Force be with you.” Now,… this is saying which always had a light side stigmata attached to it I found intriguing. We know that Vader uses the force as does Palpatine. I think it catches some people off guard because it’s meant as a sentiment of the Force being with someone as an ally. Maybe Aphra’s not up to date on Sith lore, as dark side users don’t usually use the force as their “ally” rather then their tool to use to bend to their own will for a faster and quicker path. Hence the dark side. We get that small intriguing line of dialogue to possibly have a four hour conversation another day.

So Vader decides to pay the installation an unscheduled visit, unscheduled and very bloody. Taking down installation personnel and making a bloody mess of things until he reaches a pair of siblings who are a mandalorian’s dream. Blonde hair and pale skinned, and holding light sabers. They decide to square off against Vader for a few panels while jabbering on about each other and such. Vader actually has more dialogue during this fight then possibly the last two issues combined. While squaring off against the pair he calls them fakes as neither have the force instilled in them like he and jedi do.

After a few more lines the fight is called off by Cylo-V. Yes a clone of Cylo-IV the guy the droids tortured to death in the previous issue. He says that they are hear to advance and evolve combatants. To create a better beings to be the Emperor’s chosen. Then a door opens and we get an X-Men action pose, with an imperial officer wearing goggles, an imperial probe droid, a trandoshan a mon-calamari and the pair of humans siblings. Sighs…. ok. A comic book. Yes.. this is a comic book. I like comics. I like STAR WARS I like comics about STAR WARS. I am trying REEEAAALY hard not to be turned off by this twist in the Darth Vader series. After a minute or two more of Cylo-V’s drivel Vader kind of figures it’s time to clean house. Then another voice yells “Vader Stop!” Vader turns to see Palpatine hiding in the shadows. Palpatine was masterfully drawn and colored by the way looking so much like Darth Sidious I had to pop in Episode III to see if he got reference from there.

Palpatine tells the Cylo’s crew that Vader is sensitive when it comes to the subject of children… hmmm. (rewinds certain areas of Episode III again)

So in the books final panels Cylo-V explains that he is creating this beings to help Palpatine understand that the apprentice title Vader holds is ceremonial and that a true tighter grasp on the galaxy is something his creations can provide and he is here to show the Emperor that.

Hmmm. I’m going to go out on a limb and take this as a breather issue. No seriously with all the action and awesomeness of the last four issues I’m assuming Gillen was giving Larroca a chance to rest so he wrote an issue with a little action to satiate the Star Wars action fans but giving more lead up to a new plot. No easy-mode rest issue for Edgar Delgado though ha! Back to work!!! and what awesome work it was. I’m just assuming as everyone else I talked to who read the issue is that Palpatine doesn’t expect these guys to last more then a few minutes against Vader and it’s more of a test to ensure Vader is the correct man/machine/abomination for the job/title. The only thing that got me was Palpatine’s dialogue wasn’t really sinister as we’ve become used to in lots of other media we see. But then again Gillen may have wanted to try and create a less sinister atmosphere which is hard to do with Palpatine all Sidious’d up like he was. Either way next issue is sure to have some good hack-n-slash and I’ll be there to root for our favore Sith lord abomination.

See ya in 30!