Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #9 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #9Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #9 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We’re all going…to Exegol!

But, not quite yet, first Vader has to fight some droids that Ochi has called in to hunt him down, who then turn on Ochi when Vader starts slaughtering them. You see, they taunt Vader that his flesh is weak, that it’s failed him and they’re now going to steal his parts…but then they realise that his mechanical parts are nothing special. What makes him special is his flesh…and his connection to the Force. What this comic is saying is that he is NOT more machine now than man (and with that epiphany I changed my score from four starts to five…damn Pak’s good).

And so to Exegol…next issue…maybe…if Vader doesn’t get eaten by space Cthulhu first…

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, I absolutely love what Pak’s doing with this series, tying all three trilogies together. It’s work like this which will ultimately make me love The Rise Of Skywalker as much as the rest of the Saga. And, quite frankly, I can’t wait till we get to Exegol.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #8 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #8Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #8 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve said many times before that the strength of this series is the way in which Pak is weaving together elements from the original trilogy, the prequels and the sequels, but here he goes further than that, including a character from the cutting room floor of The Rise Of Skywalker, although they remain in the novelisation (which I really must read)…The Eye Of Webbish Bogg.

The Eye seems to be a sort of Sith oracle who Vader visits seeking answers, but The Eye provides him with nothing but questions…and a Sith wayfinder. Which presumably means we’ll be heading to Exegol soon…which I’m very exited about. I may have my criticisms of The Rise Of Skywalker, but I still want to see more of this ancient Sith world!

Pak continues to tie the entire saga together wonderfully in this series and Raffaele Ienco’s art compliment his story wonderfully.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #7 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this is superb, and as I said in my review of #6, I love that Pak is weaving elements from the Prequel and Sequel trilogies into this series, which sis et during the original trilogy.

But he seems to be taking things a step further here. Not only do we have Ochi of Bestoon, assassin of the Sith, whose body was found by Rey and the gang in The Rise Of Skywalker…but we also have a strange creature from the concept art from…well, I’m pretty sure it’s from Duel Of The Fates, Colin Trevorrow’s original take on Episode IX (the script for which was actually one of the first reviews I posted on GoodReads). Either way, this creature certainly appears in the Art Of Episode IX book.

Star Wars beyond the movies, in my opinion, is often at its best when it’s drawing from the concept art for the series, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Pak’s going here.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #6 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

so far Pak has brilliantly linked the Prequels with a Vader comic set during the original trilogy, between Empire and Jedi. Now he’s linking to the Sequel trilogy, which is likely to prove controversial with some fans, but is providing much needed connective tissue to the Saga as a whole.

Returning from his quest to find out the truth of what happened to Padme, Vader is now on the receiving end of some harsh punishment from Palpatine. This essentially takes the form of him reliving his mutilation and abandonment on Mustafar. Which seems harsh, but, you know…Palpatine’s gonna Palpatine.

And then we have that last page reveal and…well…I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #5 by Greg Pak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pak continues to ably chart Vader’s character development between episodes five and six.

It makes a lot of sense that his face to face confrontation with his son would have him revisiting his past and trying to deal with the fact that he is, at heart, still Anakin Skywalker and still mourning the death of his wife…a death that he ultimately caused. It’s also clear that his misplaced jealousy of Obi Wan still runs deep.

Ienco’s art also continues to be outstanding, and I really like the so-subtle-you-might-have-missed-it call back to Cloud City as he envisions himself falling down that shaft, rather than Luke, and regressing back to the child he was when we first met him as he does so. Illustrating that he sees so much of his old self in his son…just as Uncle Owen did.

Next issue promises to be traumatic and, possibly, be yet another step along Vader’s path to redemption.

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