After a brilliant debut comic book by Marvel's Aaron and Cassaday we follow the Cymoon 1 story arc that previously left us with the first confrontation between the Sith Lord Darth Vader and the hero of the Rebellion, Luke Skywalker. Throughout this beautifully illustrated comic book titled Skywalker Strikes Part 2 we delve into the consequences of the fail-safe alarm getting triggered during the band of rebels' raid on the Imperial weapons factory.
If anything during this particular book we get sense of the power scale and how it differs between the master of the arcane arts, Darth Vader, and the young would be peacekeeper of the galaxy, Luke Skywalker. After the initial confrontation between the two at the end of the first book, we're given the impression that the ever present spirit of Obi wan Kenobi is desperately trying to get in touch with his former apprentice, urging him to flee from Vader as he stormed through the weapons factory, to find and question the motives behind the attack, which to me is pretty unlike the fearsome Sith Lord that we all know and love. Aside from this we have the usual domestics between our favourite Corellian smuggler Han Solo and the beautiful Princess Leia, who continues to deny the scruffy looking nerf herder! Meanwhile, C-3PO is remains within the Millennium Falcon while a group of tentacle baring aliens try to scrap and tear it apart...
I can't help but find the confrontation between Vader and Luke has taken the centre stage for me so far. It would be the first time that Luke had come into direct contact with the Sith Lord after executing the Jedi Master Obi wan Kenobi back on the Deathstar, and understandably he is letting his emotions get the best of him. Almost forgetting all the training he had previously gotten from Kenobi he intends to go for an all in attack, but naturally the Sith Lord negates any threat quite swiftly. A notion that I'm over the moon (Eh... Get it?) about, despite the fact that Luke is after all the saviour of the Jedi and the Rebellion itself, he is still a novice to both the Force and evidently lightsaber combat. We get thorough understanding of this when Vader proves his mastery and affinity to both of the aforementioned fields when he gives an outstanding display of his potential.
However, Vader continues to display a nonchalant attitude when addressing the boy, completely undermining his abilities. This, I believe is one of Vader's disadvantages, as such an accomplished and unbelievably talented Force sensitive he completely rules out the possibility that there is somebody able to take him on, for match his skill for that matter. Throughout the entirety of the confrontation he seems to dismiss Luke and stand over him asking questions in regards to the pilot who had taken out the Deathstar, being completely oblivious to the fact that person stands before him as we speak. I'll never forget the conversation between the two when Luke accuses Vader of killing his rather, to which he quite casually responds "I've killed many fathers. You'll have to be more specific." That really does conclude Vader's approach to life, putting himself completely above it and for those who prove to be unworthy or weak, he'd be more than happy to remove them without a shadow of a doubt to cloud his mind.
Through many books, including some of the old Expanded Universe content, we see Vader's stern facade fading at different points in time, namely within this particular timeline that we find ourselves exploring at the moment (That being between Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi), it seems after all the denial that we've seen, there are points in time where he does recall the past. My question is how will this pan out throughout this series of books? I'm quite thrilled to see that Aaron, the writer of the books, has kept true to the some concepts that have been established previously by other authors and continues to respect the Star Wars universe, while also bringing new content to the table for everybody to enjoy.