The first trailer for the eighth episode in the Star Wars franchise dropped only a few days ago and it blew up the internet like a fully operational Death Star. The Last Jedi is still seven months away and if you don’t feel like waiting that long for your Star Wars fix then you should head out and pick up the Star Wars: Darth Vader series written by Kieron Gillen, drawn by Salvador Larroca, and put out by Marvel comics.
The series picks up with Darth Vader right at the end of the first Star Wars movie, and fills in the blanks of what the dark lord of the Sith was up to between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Darth Vader is one of the most iconic villains in all of film history. His presence is the most effective when he is side-lined to big reveals or memorable moments. He is at his best in small doses, but the opposite is true with this series. Vader is the sole focus of the series and this time it really works.
Much like Kylo Ren at the end of The Force Awakens, the story picks up with Vader having just faced his worst defeat ever at the hands of an amateur Jedi. He has fallen from grace in the eyes of his Emperor and has to prove his worth all over again. The Star Wars series captures Darth Vader’s shame and rage at his current situation; while also showing the effects of the trauma he has faced throughout his life. Unlike the often mocked prequel films, this series humanizes Darth Vader not by rehashing where he came from, but instead by making the Sith Lord relatable to readers in his most terrifying form. We see his failings and his struggle to maintain his status as the Star Wars galaxy’s most intimidating presence.
If the ominous dark tone of The Last Jedi trailer spoke to you, then this series will grab a hold of you with its gracefully looming art work. The art by Larroca is sterile and minimalist like Vader himself, but it also manages to capture the emotions of a man held together by only robotic attachments and rage. Like his booming theme song, Darth Vader is both grandiose and menacing. He’s the bad guy we always want more of. This series has already concluded and only ran for 25 issues.
You can pick up the full story in only 4 volumes and get that Star Wars fix you’ll be needing until December 2017.
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