Darth Vader faces his master after his failure on Bespin and his short “personal errand.” Greg Pak gives us a story about Sidious putting his apprentice through another test that takes them both to some of the darkest places we’ve seen. Once again Ienco’s art lends itself to the sort of grungy interpretiveness of Vader and a lot of the introspection he’s about to face. All while still giving up some stunning splash pages and panels of some CRAZY action.
Warning: This story is high on the Dark Side craziness and does not let up!
Sidious is disappointed by his apprentices recent failures and decides Vader must regain his power through the cycle of pain, fear, and suffering that made him as powerful as it did before. He destroys Vader’s cybernetics and leaves him on the shores of Mustafar where he saved him so long ago.
Oh, and one last catch: Survive without the Force.
With nothing but anger and will, Vader one-hand crawls to the ruins of the nearby Separatist base he once destroyed. There he begins to rebuild himself.
No Force, but mouse droids are okay…
You Mean the Guy with the Knife?
Sidious sends his Sith Assassin after Vader. Ochi of Bestoon who, honestly looks pretty cool!
Fair and Square
Even without the Force… Ochi of Bestoon is soon doing his best “I’m in danger.”
Breath of the Wild
In some very cool panels Vader has to make use of whatever he can to survive (except the Force.) It’s kind of cool when he takes part of this creature’s shell to have a shield!
Vader follows the call to find The Eye of Webbish Bog. A really crazy/cool creature created but deleted from The Rise of Skywalker! The dialogue is really cool and mysterious and dark side-y and Vader finds himself with a wayfinder. Wonder where that leads?
Ochi assembles a few droids who want Vader’s superior Imperial tech for themselves. They prove themselves just as helpless as Ochi and also get mad that Vader’s tech is super old and outdated. The droids wonder how Vader could be so powerful when he’s like, a 1995 PC apparently.
Bonus Vader punch. Please see Rogue Rebels Podcast ep 80 where we talk about punching in Star Wars comics….
Follow the Way
Vader hooks up the wayfinder, fixes up an old crashed Jedi Interceptor and glues an escape pod to the bottom to take Ochi with him to wherever the wayfinder will lead him! And what the Emperor is hiding!
Of course the path isn’t clear. This really crazy tentacle creature in in the way.
OH, and Sly Moore is also following them with 3 Star Destroyers…
Call of Cthulu
OH, and the Summa Verminoth thingie also infects your mind so Vader is having a DAY.
Vader finally breaks the rules and uses the dark side to take control of the creature. Then he rides it (I said what I said) to Exegol. There Sidious awaits. Sidious sees the creature and summons 2 giant creatures with pinchers and there’s a kaiju fight.
Vader follows Sidious through his lab. Killing everyone Sidious throws at him. Along the way we see Snoke jars, clone warriors, and a hand.
Comics are wild y’all.
Blinded by the Light
Vader finds a massive kyber crystal being bled and screaming. The power is so overwhelming that Ochi is like blasted away and his eyes are burned out.
Somehow Vader Has Returned
The story is very introspective on Vader’s thought and motivations while at the same time being a series of crazier and crazier situations as Vader follows the rabbit hole to his master. Every time you thing you’ve seen the craziest thing, you turn the page.
All in all the story is a mind bending trip and can probably be interpreted many different ways but deals heavily on Vader and his inner turmoil and conflict.
I thought the story and settings were WILD and I love when Star Wars swings from the fences which this arc does in spades! This is a must-read if you enjoy diving into the dark side psychology, relationships, and actual space terror stuff.