Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Darth Vader #10

This review of Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 contains minor spoilers.

If ever there was any doubt about the nature of the Force, Darth Vader #10 nullified it.

That it had to do so is a telling thing in these times, but by tackling the issue, however obliquely, writer Charles Soule has ensured that any deep-dive dispatches about the Force, its place in the Star Wars firmament (or lack thereof) is alway nebulous and chaotic.

Which is what it should be and what part IV of “The Dying Light” does so well: Building on the legend and lore of Star Wars, not just for its past, but its future, too.

First, let’s get up to speed. Darth Vader has been tasked by Palpatine to capture — and not kill — Jocasta Nu so as to mine the Jedi Temple’s expansive library for secrets the Sith can exploit. Nu has capably reminded readers that while a librarian she was, a warrior she is, easily holding her own against Vader, whom she knows is Anakin Skywalker.

That written, the 10th issue is rife with intrigue, action and extrapolation. The melee between Vader and Nu is brought to vivid life by Giuseppe Camuncoli’s pencils and Daniele Orlandini’s ink.

David Curiel’s color wizardry excels, too, lending atmosphere and tension to each page, advancing the story in a decisive manner, with the letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna amplifying the importance of Nu’s vital task of protecting what’s left of the Jedi Order and keeping it safe from the Sith, no matter the cost, personal or otherwise.

And therein is what makes this issue so vital. The connective tissue linking this story throughout the entire Star Wars Saga, from Original to Sequel Trilogy, is made more paramount by Soule’s words, as spoken by Nu:

“You are his tool. Little better than a droid, set to stamp out the light side of the Force. But this impossible. The force is eternal. It cannot be ended, it cannot be stopped, not so long as life exists. It will find its vessels. It always does. It already has — you know this. There are other, waiting out in the galaxy.”

Those sentences have created a vibrant ruckus, amplifying a thousand theories and even more click-bait headlines, but it’s a simple declaration, one that makes sense, no matter how much pretense is applied amid hope for clarity about who is a Jedi, what makes a Jedi and whether the Jedi will always be.

The issue is masterful in its scope, yet obtuse, as well, concluding on two strikingly different yet similar paths: One of resigned paranoia and another of marked optimism for one who was, and then wasn’t, the last Jedi.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 is in comic shops, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, tune into the next episode of Comics With Kenobi.)

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