Writer: Kieron Gillen
Pencils: Leinil Yu
Inks: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Leinil Yu
Darth Vader has been sent to Shu-toron with a gift and a message from the Emperor. Shu-toron is a cultured mining world that has been struggling to meet their quotas of ore production.
We are introduced to the royal family of Shu-toron, the elderly king, his son who will be his successor, his oldest daughter who will lead the military, and his youngest daughter who will serve a special purpose. It is the youngest daughter, Trios, that we spend the most time with. She has been tasked with meeting Darth Vader’s arrival and escorting him to the King.
I was immediately struck by the aristocrats of this world and the lavish courtesan ball that we follow Darth Vader through upon his arrival. This is a world of pomp and circumstance, tradition and ceremony it seems. The designs are intricate and lavish, but it’s not what immediately comes to mind as Star Wars, especially when we are dealing with the height of Imperial power and oppression. I would think these designs would feel more at home in the prequel era before the Empire rose and pushed such artistry out.
Darth Vader is not one for such ceremony and he is quick to let them know. It is interesting to see Darth Vader going through this type of environment. It’s almost like he was plucked out of Star Wars and dropped into a Marie Antoinette film.
The story itself here is a little bit cliche. Just as Vader is making his way through the ball there is an attack by rebel terrorists. Darth Vader quickly dispatches them and Trios guides him through a set of tunnels that are a supposed secret passage. This also turns out to be a trap. Vader, of course, sees through this and is prepared for everything. What makes this story stand out is how it’s written. Again, Kieron Gillen seems to relish in writing the Dark Lord of the Sith and his two murderous droids.
While I didn’t care for the lavish royal court designs, Gerry Alanguilan’s inks and Jason Keith’s colors really impressed me here. Darth Vader seems to always be partly in shadow and is almost always silhouetted in red. Making him seem that much more imposing and matching how the locals must feel about him.
This is a well executed version of classic story trope. The final panels remind you of just how far Vader and the Empire will go to those who don’t fall in line.