Star Wars Darth Vader issue #7.
Writer: Keiron Gillen
Pencils: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Cover: Adi Granov
So we meet again at last…
Oh wait no that’s from ANH. But the boss saying it is still boss as boss can be. We return to the galaxy far, far, away this month with Darth Vader issue 7. Having set up the reveal of Luke Skywalker as Darth Vader’s son through the previous six issues and an epic encounter that was told not only in this title but in the main STAR WARS line as well.
We pick up with Darth Vader issue 7 shortly after the events of issue number 6. Our favorite dark lord of the Sith is back on his native Tatooine. The reflection he takes when overlooking the landscape on page 1 is reminiscent of Darth Vader issue 1… though this time there’s no slaughtered sand people. Aphra and the pair of deadly droids are tagging along as Vader researches the Lars homestead. Aphra lets everyone know in the last panel on the page that everything has been dead in the homestead for weeks. (Is it too soon since ANH for the timeline? Eh… we’ll let it ride). Vader tells her the boy who destroyed the Death Star came from this small farm.
Aphra gives some insight into the way the Imperials were working. I had always assumed the stormtroopers burned the bodies and the homestead as a message to those holding out on the Empire. Instead Aphra talks of how things were burned to hide imperial blaster marks and how the mission was covert even with the Senate “Fresh in the ground.” as she put it as on she can. The next few pages are typical Vader/Aphra dialogue, with her doing the majority of the talking and Vader not so much skulking about but using the force for investigative issues.
The group heads to Ben Kenobi’s old hut. Their Vader reaches out through the force to feel glimpses of the previous standoff between Skywalker and the Bountyhunter. Vader realizes the boy is indeed strong in the force and even comments how lackluster his training has been. He gives Ben Kenobi a parting jab as he stands in the middle of Kenobi’s wrecked hut, saying he had 20 years and it was still a failure. Vader also comments on how Kenobi used Tatooine as the one place he knew Vader would never return to. Kind of confirming the Vader podcast I did with Shiloh and Corey that Vader HATED Tatooine so much he felt he’d never return it… ever. Losing a Death Star changes emotional and political priorities however. By the way on page 6 Aphra sets off a molecular bomb to hide traces of their ever coming to Ben Kenobi’s place. I mention it because Larroca’s art has been magnificent since about issue 2 and the teaming of his pencils and inks with Delgado’s colors, especially when the bomb goes off is a thing of beauty. The group leaves Tatooine after not finding much.
Flash to Son-tuul in the Outer Rim of the galaxy. A rodian crime lords lair in it some lacky is pleading his life away blaming his lost loot on imperial crackdowns. The rodian doesn’t care and is about the shishkabob the fellow when the boss sees a tracer on the guys clothing. A second later the wall explodes and Vader and what I assume is stormies of the 501st unleash on the boss and his minions. The Rodian boos lets his pet dog/monstrosity loose to attack the imperials but Vader has it under control, literally. Vader force grips the monster dog/hell hound thing and then force lifts the rodian crime lord and stuffs the guy into the monsters huge mouth. Then efficiently slices his lightsaber through the beasts eh…. ear-cheek/thingy area killing it and the boss inside the mouth in one simple thrust. Reminded me slightly of Ayra Stark on GoT with Needle… but I digress. Vader and the stormies open the crime lord/pride leaders vault and takes all the ill gotten loot/cash.
Page 14 shows us Vader and Lambda class shuttle in tow (man’s ride has gotten improved since issue 5 it seems) meets with Suth a hut that is understanding of the empire’s needs to keep the crime syndicates and the empire’s needs both well satisfied. The hut does try to pry information from Vader as to where all the huge amount of loot and cash are going but Vader doesn’t let her know. Saying its imperial property now and the world is now under the control of her master Jabba the Hut (namedrop!).
We then flash to a nearby bar on Son-tuul where a double faced twi’lek-esque guy is giving IG90? Some lip about not being welcome as most droids aren’t after the Clone Wars. The ugly guy is fried with a shot to the chest and IG walks in. (more on IG90/88 later). He enters and greets another well known hunter, Bossk. So they enter and meet a dwarf sized mandolorian-esque wearing guy who tells them there’s a wookie they need to meet who went back to fighting in the slave pits after escaping… which happens pretty much never. Bossk mentions slaving and selling wookies so much to hear that a guy volunteered to go back to the pits makes him skeptical. But this wookie Krrsantan got into the pit again and has made it well known he fights well in them. After the fight the trio of hunters meet with the wookie and have a drink. While there the wookie tosses the dwarf hunter a wookie braid/tail … hair I guess… lol. Which I assume from the hunters reaction is slightly valuable. But then the wookie apparently gets rowdy to which a woman tells him to watch his mouth because there are ladies present. And this lady has information about the Son-tuul prides massive cash hoard Vader was shipping off. IG88 says everyone knows he is, but this woman who we see on the last page is indeed a capless Dr. Aphra explains she knows the route, how to get past security and how to get away. Sooo she asks them, who wants to be rich?
-Raises hand- I do Aphra… I need to be rich so badly my wallet can almost taste it. Anywho. This issue didn’t feature Vader doing hardcore stuff a ton but it didn’t need to it had plenty of other stuff like the Lars and Kenobi homes to deal with and the intro to 2 of the galaxies top bounty hunters to boot… my saliva glands can hardly wait another 30 days for more. Thankfully girl-Indy aka Aphra is drawn so well on the last page I may have to customize her to pass the time until then…
I will be looking for Aphra customs until next issue… see ya then! -Matt