One of the biggest highlights of Rogue One was seeing Darth Vader in all of his terrifying glory, once again voiced by James Earl Jones. He didn't have a lot of screen time, but it was used so effectively. The good news is that if you want to see more of Anakin Skywalker, look no further than Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's Star Wars: Darth Vader from Marvel Comics.
Larroca's layouts are truly otherworldly, while Gillen's dialogue lends a mystique befitting of Lord Vader's approval. It's really on par with the film depictions of Vader in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Plus, it helps you think about Vader as Anakin — after all, without Anakin's history, Vader is just some bad guy with a cod piece!
Some minor spoilers for Marvel's Darth Vader follow, but I won't reveal too much so you'll still want to read it!
1. It Sows The Seeds Of Vader Saying F*** You To Sidious
Darth Sidious, a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine, destroyed the Jedi Order by preying on the mind of a young man who was vulnerable, sad and oh-so-angry. Anakin Skywalker had one of the purest hearts of any Jedi, until he lost faith.
Throughout this comic, you start seeing more and more of Anakin's personality as Sidious starts to betray Vader — and even replace him. It gives far more context to Anakin saving Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi.
2. The Evil Versions Of C3PO And R2-D2 Are A Delight
Oh Vader, you might be more nostalgia-fueled than most Star Wars fanboys! His droids Tripe-Zero (a malevolent take on C3PO) and BT-1 (R2-D2) are such a welcome change to those goody two-shoes other droids, being so bloodthirsty and snarky that it's hard not to like them!
3. Vader Hunting Luke Is All Sorts Of Warm And Fuzzy
Throughout this comic, Vader is really in Sidious' doghouse due to the Death Star blowing up. So, Vader is hunting for the person responsible — who happens to be his son. (Jason Aaron's companion comic series, simply titled Star Wars, does a great job fleshing this out even more if you'd care to read that as well.)
When Vader finds out that Obi-Wan hid Luke in the last place that he'd ever look, it's a testament to not only Kenobi, but how much of Anakin is still left in Vader.
4. The Utter Badassery
Sidious knows that technology is the future, not Force wielders, and uses various innovations to further enhance subjects to do his bidding. Since Vader replaced Count Dooku — just how Dooku replaced Maul — he knows how temporary power can be, and eliminates any threat to his position. Just seeing Vader fight these people is a spectacle to behold. Plus, no one intimidates quite as well as Vader.
5. It Fills In The Time Between A New Hope And The Empire Strikes Back
Lucasfilms' go-to move lately is filling in gaps between movies with other media. It started with the immensely successful Clone Wars, then Rebels and Rogue One, and it's a continuing trend thanks to Marvel's relatively new line of comics.
Plus, with all the Extended Universe stuff being non-canonical now — the countless books and games created before The Force Awakens — this is really your chance to get the whole story.
6. Vader In The Criminal Underworld
You have to love this aspect, because criminals usually think they're the baddest in the land. When Vader strolls into Jabba the Hutt's lair, there's something so amazing and intense about Vader's confidence level. Also, he's not above using any type of person to achieve a mission — it's a blast to see Lord Vader interacting with the worst that the galaxy has to offer!
7. It Introduces Doctor Aphra
Vader needed to think outside the box to find people who could do his bidding. This archaeologist, kind of a female Indiana Jones, appears in the second issue and she makes it so fun to read.
She's so morally grey, which makes the comic extremely suspenseful, but she also has a heart. This combination makes her one of the most interesting new Star Wars characters in recent memory (and one of the biggest badasses in the entire galaxy). No wonder she has her own comic series now!
Kieron Gillen had one of the toughest jobs possible in comics when he took a stab at writing Darth Vader. He had to live up to the legacy of such a classic villain without making him over-the-top evil, considering Return of the Jedi. With Larroca's art, Gillen not only succeeded, but created one of the decade's most memorable comics!
Are you a fan of the Star Wars: Darth Vader comic? If not, think you'll check it out? Tell us in the comments below!