Published: September 06, 2017
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
He began his journey as a Jedi with wonder and hope. Now it is time to put away childish things. Vader’s first and most vital test as a Sith concludes.
A holographic image of the Emperor floats in front of Vader and it tell’s him that his droid will take him to complete his journey at a destination selected by Palpatine himself.
The Outer Rim; Mustafar
Vader’s ship fast approaches the planet of Mustafar, the holo of the Emperor continues to tell him of what he is about to face. There is a locus for the Dark Side buried within Mustafar and although he has a lightsaber and it’s crystal, Vader must now use the Dark Side to corrupt the Kyber crystal and make it bleed.
Vader’s ship lands on the surface and he walks down the ramp towards an opening to a cave. There are symbols etched into the walls of the cave and there is a stone table that is more like an alter in there. He approaches the table and places the Jedi lightsaber on it. He takes it apart until he is holding the crystal in his fingers. He studies the crystal and holds it with the force and it floats before him. The crystal starts to glow as Vader seems to struggle against it’s power, then an pulse of energy is released from it, knocking Vader to the floor. He looks back in awe of what has happened as he rises back to his feet, he questions himself, what has he done? He rebuilds the lightsaber placing the crystal back in it’s place within.
Vader and Palpatine are in the Emperor’s quarters on Coruscant. Palpatine in his throne asks of his progress. He ignites the blade of his lightsaber and the blade is green. The Emperor believes Vader has made his choice of the light side and of weakness as the blade should be red and Palpatine launches into an attack with his own lightsaber. Vader has chosen the path of weakness and the Emperor will kill Vader. He sees a gap in the Emperors attack and slices across his chest and his lifeless body falls to the floor. Vader stalks out of the door agreeing that he is weak.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is sitting on an mound as he is startled by the presence of someone behind him. He spins around and ignites his lightsaber. Before him is Vader, but he does not draw his weapon, he removes his helmet and kneels in front of him. Obi-Wan moves to strike him down, but his lightsaber extinguishes to Kenobi’s surprise.
Vader wakes from his visions and is still in the cave on Mustafar. He grabs the crystal out of the air where it floats and refuses to relinquish himself to the Light Side of the Force. The crystal releases another pulse of energy, but this time Vader resists. He sees his past, the recent fight with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, the death of his mother, his wife Padme and then Palpatine.
The Emperor sits on his throne in his office talking to Mas Ameda and Grand Moff Tarkin. The room is guarded by Royal Guards. Suddenly the guards are thrown into the window and crumple to the floor unconscious. Vader stands in the doorway and the Emperor asks Ameda and Tarkin to leave them. Alone with Vader, his apprentice is standing there before him holding his lightsaber. Vader ignites the blade, it is crimson red the colour of a Sith lightsaber and he proclaims the Emperor as his master.
The cover is another great piece of artwork. Very high detail and beautifully drawn and coloured.
The story really starts to reflect the inner battle that Vader has to overcome to truly become a Sith. In the films we never see this transformation and the eradication of the light side of the force from Anakin in the follow up to his defeat on Mustafar. Obviously, there was always a flaw in him and this was picked up on by Luke and leads to him being redeemed in Return of the Jedi.
The artwork and flow of the panels, is really good. I liked the way the visions weren’t announced, but the reader is left to work out what was going on. Although that is obvious as Vader kills the Emperor, but I felt it added to the story telling.
The dialogue in this issue was always going to be limited due to the quest involved. It would have been nice to have had a bit more of a conversation with Obi-Wan, as it may have expanded on the anguish they both felt after Mustafar.
Now Vader is fully in Sith mode, we are going to be introduced the Inquisitor’s for the first time in comic book form in issue 6. This could get very interesting and we will now see how this ties in with the characters in Rebels.
This issue was released on 6th September 2017 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.