Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Darth Vader is on the planet Shu-Torun. He had previously helped the Empire put a puppet government in place, but now the nobility has staged a revolt against the Imperials and the Queen. Vader is also having to deal with Cylo and the cybernetically enhanced twins who are trying to take his place in the Emperor’s favor.
The people of Shu-Torun are a stubborn and proud people. The Ore Barons and the Queen both seem to place a heavy value on their history and traditions. Even while seemingly violating both in their battles for power. The Barons have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle and the Empire challenges that way of life.
The book opens with an attack on the Queen. The Barons are attacking using what can only be described as a floating lava sub. It seems to be able to withstand the extreme temperatures of the molten rock. Darth Vader takes it upon himself to protect the Queen and take out the attacking vessel. Well, he’s not protecting the Queen so much as he is protecting the Empire’s investment in her and her rule.
This whole storyline feels very weird and there is very little about it that feels like Star Wars. It’s been very difficult to get involved in this story or to care about any of these characters. Star Wars is a many faceted story that lends itself to many different genres and stories, but this feels like an existing story that the creators wanted to tell but have converted it into a Star Wars story. There are almost none of the classic hallmarks of a Star Wars story here. There are some Buck Rogers type designs in the Barons machinery, but that’s about it.
It’s not all bad though. The subplot revolving around Cylo and his creations against Vader is enjoyable. Cylo has some secret about Vader, feeling that he is owed some respect because of it and that pushes him in a battle against the Dark Lord. Meanwhile, one of the twins asking for Vader to help train her so that she can eventually defeat her brother was a good twist.
The story closes out with a bounty hunter trying to claim the bounty on Aphra. Unfortunately for him, his ruse doesn’t work on Vader and he finds out what happens when you cross a Sith Lord.
This issue is a very mixed bag. The main story is trying very hard to be interesting, but it didn’t really grab me and it feels very foreign to Star Wars. However, the subplots gave some intriguing subterfuge as the different players vie for power and control. I’m holding out hope that this story turns around in the coming issues.