REVIEW: Star Wars: Darth Vader #8

STORY BY Kieron Gillen
ART BY Salvador Larroca

Star Wars does Mission Impossible, with Doctor Aphra turning from Indy Jones into Ethan Hunt., with an element of Oceans 11 thrown in for good measure.

With this issue the schemes are afoot as plan and counter plan collide with the goal of finding that rascally young Rebel pilot that destroyed the Death Star.  With such an intense focus, I am not quite sure why there is the need for so much subterfuge.  All this issue shows is how capable Aphra is, alongside her pair of murderous droids.  This in the long run may come back to haunt writer Kieron Gillen as sooner or later, due to her lack of impact in the movies, you would assume that she is going to have to dealt with at some point.  The issue also tries to highlight some of the political goings on in the shape of (didn’t he die on the Death Star?) Grand General Tagge and Ackbar wannabe, Karbin.

Gillen’s story, for all it’s use of regular characters such as some of the bounty hunters and the influx of facsimile ones, moves along at a fast pace.  There is a lot going on, with the heist, the other heist and the political teeth gnashing over young Skywalker.  The main characters remain consistent from earlier issues, the droids in fact bringing their own version of the usual repartee you’d expect from Threepio and Artoo.

Salvador Larroca is on art duties and does a good job with the new and existing characters.  Not only that, however, there is a genuine Star Wars look and feel to proceedings.  Granted, some of this may be due to colourist Edgar Delgado who does a great job “painting” the various environs. However, with the pace of the story requiring the action shown to demonstrate that pace, Larroca is definitely up to the task.

Darth is getting a lot of focus at the moment.  The recent Star Wars Rebels episodes showed him at his Dark Side best.  Lets not forget, this book and the aforementioned Rebels aren’t the only time we have seen such a focus on the Sith Lord.  Does anyone remember Shadows of the Empire, which went some way in creating some positive feelings for Darth and his perception of the universe?

All in all, I don’t mind this book.  I do sometime feel that stories set between the movies fail to show any real development to the main characters.  For example, in stories set between A New Hope and Empire Luke can not become too strong in the Force, and it follows that Darth can’t find or dispose of Luke.  Of course, this isn’t the first time Marvel have traversed this particularly rocky road, and their success, especially when their previous series hit it’s high notes when set between Empire and Jedi. Because of that, I am sure that long time fans may be giving the benefit of the doubt, in similar measures as new fans are enjoying these new Star Wars books.

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