Star Wars Darth Vader issue #6.
Writer: Keiron Gillen
Pencils: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Cover: Adi Granov
It’s time once again to take a peek into the dark lord of the sith’s view of things with this months issue of Darth Vader, issue #6. He’s found out he has competition to continue to be the Emperors right hand man and isn’t taking the news easily.
The issue opens where issue five left off. Vader confronted by a group of physically enhanced beings with Palpatine and the scientist behind the groups enhanced bodies Cylo-V. The start of the scene shows Cylo-V showing off his minions versus Vader in small tests. The small fights are highlighted with Cylo’s thoughts on his creations and Palpatines old man way of being the emporer and acting like he doesn’t care too much for this entire event but is still interested… it’s hard to explain I text you’ll have to see how well Larroca captured Palpatine’s expressions.
The first fight is a small battle with the pair of Astarte twins who were secessionists children given to Cylo-V for enhancement at an early age and now nearly two decades later they are wielding lightsabers in one hand and shooting fire at Vader with the other. Palpatine’s offhand comment about if one dies he has a spare… may have other layered nuances to it.
The second fight is against a Trandoshan who has it’s beast senses and instincts heightened with a train Guide A.I. But is able to turn off its body to certain feelings like pain as is seen when the beast takes a nice cut on it’s shoulder from Vader’s light saber as if it felt nothing.
The third (and IMO most interesting fight) is against an imperial scientist named Tulon who sports some funky awesome goggles. Cylo gives a little backstory that she had many of her scientist friends on the Death Star when it blew up. Her goggles link directly to a bunch of hovering remotes called Voidgazers. Much as the remote on the Mellinium Falcon was shooting small lasers at Luke to deflect these have a visual feed back to Tulon’s goggles and have much more powerful laser bolts coming out of them.
The fourth and last fight was against a Mon Cala named Karbin who was a commander in the separatist war but his ship was damaged severely and spent years on life support until Cylo enhanced him, with a big old cyborg body like General Grievous. So seeing a Mon Calamari with Grievous’ body was… different but still fun.
Palpatine and probably most of the readers are ready for some action by now and get it as Cylo heeds Palpatine’s order and tells the combatants to fight to the death. Suddenly everyone goes into a battle royal mode. Vader squares off against the trandoshan while the others start going at each other. Vader for his part doesn’t outright force choke the trandoshan to death instead spares with him a few moments cutting into his opponents arms and body with his lightsaber. Then suddenly as the trandoshan was setting up a move one of the twins’ lightsabers cuts the poor reptile down the middle of it’s chest from behind killing it. Palpatine decides after the loss of the trandoshan the herd has been thinned sufficiently and stops the fighting.
At fight Vader tells the Astarte boy he won’t forget what he did today. The boy thinking Vader was thanking him says it was only becase he thinks Vader is weaker then the knew models humans they were. Vader explains it wasn’t a thanks, it was a warning. That the trandoshans life was his to take not to be interfered with. Palpatine steps off his throne to explain to the survivors that they will be tested in this hour of chaos and tells them not to slay each other, or if they do not to let him find out about it.
Palpatine leaves with Vader in tow, applauding him for going outside the system that Palpatine created and using his own resources to gain droid soldiers and attack the R&D facility this entire issue is taking place on. Vader calls the enhanced human team of Cylo’s abominations to which Palpatine reminds him that he to is half machine and how he’d not even be alive if it wasn’t for his own self actions to save Vader. He reminds Vader how much he was disappointed at his failure at Mustafar. Vader sullen and angry returns to the Naboo ship to find Aphra gearing up thinking she was going to have to go in and save him…lol.
Vader’s having none of the glib and wants silence and to leave asap. Aphra does this but tells him Boba Fett reported in with information. Later Vader is on an Imperial star destroyer as Fett rendevous’ with him. They exchange few words except that Fett knows the pilot that destoryed the Death Star’s name… Skywalker. Fett leaves and Vader stands there a moment and lets the rage inside him build. Knowing now, he was lied to, he was deceived he was used even with Padme… and now he knows he has offspring.. a son. The scene is also shown in Star Wars issue #6 as well but here it showed more of Vaders’ point of view rather then the overall story with him being angry as SW#6 did. It showed his memories of Padme, of awakening and being told he had killed her.
Vader goes to his chambers and talks to the Emperor on his holo-viewer. Telling his master he will not fail, the anger in him is how he should be. Vader says to him he understands how the Emperor and himself view each other and ends the message. Vader returns to the cracked ISD’s window and thinks about the events leading to this moment. He sees Padme in angst for him, her funeral, the Death Star trench run against a pilot who was so strong in the force and finally a young boy he met (in SW#1) who used a light saber that he recognized. It was Skywalker… his son. He has a son. Vader doesn’t say much else of what he thinks but says to himself the boy will be his… it will all be his. I’m assuming he means taking the Empire from Palpatine and creating the Father and Son dynasty he would later talk about in Empire Strikes Back.
Wow, the beginning of the book was ok story wise. Maybe not lackluster but definitely not on the same level as the last few scenes, hell the last few scenes were in a whole other league. Larroca’s art is SUPERB by the way he captures movie photo stills so well for panels and even when he doesn’t the entirely unique scenes with Vader and Palpatine are wonderful I can’t say enough about the art. The story was ok but the Story Group at Disney said this moment in SW#6 & DV#6 when Vader learns the name of the pilot was Skywalker was something they made sure to flesh out early and go over. I’m glad they did. It came off beautifully. Earlier in Darth Vader #1 I had wondered if the visit to Jabba’s palace was the same one he took in Star War’s #4. It seems it was if the two books are crossing the scenes later like this. To be honest seeing the same scene is boring for some but as an artistic fan I love seeing different interpretations by different artists. Seeing Cassady’s Jabba’s Palace and Larroca’s Jabba’s Palace for the same visit by the Sith Lord to me was cool, as we finally seeing Larrocas version of Luke swinging his light saber at Vader which actually takes place in Star Wars #2 in this issue as a flashback. Wow,… is all I can say about the last scene even though I had read it in SW#6 a few hours earlier seeing it this time through Vader’s eyes gave me that chilling moment of what he feels when knowing he has a son. I wasn’t old enough to know what the feeling was like when people found out in Empire Strikes Back that Vader was Luke Skywalekrs father… so I wonder if it felt like this moment did. If it is then I can see why it was so moving. I can’t wait until next issue… see ya then! -Matt