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‘Star Wars: Darth Vader #8’ (review)

Written by Greg Pak
Art by Raffaele Ienco
Published by Marvel Comics

 

Greg Pak continues to play in The Rise of Skywalker toy box as an element from a popular deleted scene enters the fold.

The spider-like creature known as the Eye of Webbish Bog is an oracle who appeared before Kylo Ren while guarding Darth Vader’s Wayfinder until the scene was left on the cutting room floor.

However, the moment occurred in the film’s novelization, making it officially canon. We get to see how Vader obtains his Wayfinder as he confronts the Eye. Pak does a great job of shrouding the creature’s intentions in mystery.

The Eye could very well work the Emperor? Perhaps, he’s an agent of the dark side?

The limited information he gives Vader makes his allegiance a fascinating question.

Pak also poses some existential questions about the burden of being the chosen one. It’s a term that has defined Anakin Skywalker his entire life, but who actually chose him? Is his destiny preordained or subject to change?

And if Anakin has no say in the matter, does being the chosen one even matter. It was great seeing these questions posed to a damaged Darth Vader as he desperately looks for answers of a different sort.

Raffaele Ienco’s artwork invokes Ragnarok, as giant horned monsters, attack Vader while Ochi is still hunting the dark Lord. Not only is Vader’s chest plate short-circuiting, but he can’t use the Force, thus adding tension to these encounters. Speaking of Ochi, he mentions something about the Wayfinder that suggests there have been or there are more than two Wayfinders.

In Episode 9, it was stated there were only two. I’m not sure if this is something that will be cleared up or left up to interpretation. The appearance of an Umbaran character barking orders on behalf of Palpatine seems to come out of nowhere. He’s flanked by a squad of Death Troopers and admonishing Ochi about his pursuit of Vader. It was hard to take a character seriously since he’s never appeared in the series’s previous comics. Pak should have used Mas Amedda in this role since he’s a more recognizable character, the Emperor’s right-hand man, and has already appeared in the series.

Mas irks people, but he has the clout to act in a highly pretentious manner. Seeing him order around a Sith assassin would make more sense. Darth Vader’s brutal punishment at the hands of the Emperor has invoked a fiery will to survive. His “Hulk Smash” offense with second-hand droid parts for limbs is a fun visual to behold.

Now that Vader has a Wayfinder, will he find his way to Exegol, or will it lead to another secret?

Rating: B

 

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