Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 is written by Greg Pak who is joined by artist Raffaele Ienco, colorist Neeraj Menon, letterer Joe Caramagna, and cover artist Daniel Acuña. Published by Marvel Comics, this team gives readers Darth Vader one of the most vulnerable states they have ever seen him. After rampaging throughout the galaxy in previous issues, the mechanized Dark Lord of the Sith is now in hot “lava” on Mustafar.
Previously in Star Wars: Darth Vader #6, Emperor Palpatine was adamant about reteaching his apprentice in the ways of the Sith. He believed that Darth Vader had lost himself during his search for the truth behind Luke Skywalker being hidden from the former Jedi Knight. During Vader’s journey, he showed mercy to many of the Amidalans who were dedicated to avenging his long-dead wife. This weakness was unacceptable in the eyes of his master. His aim was to reintroduce his apprentice to the meaning of fear. Emperor Palpatine maimed Darth Vader and stranded him on Mustafar.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 opens with Vader much in the way that he was left by Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Darth Sidious found the broken Sith and rebuilt him. Now with only one arm and prohibited from using the Force, Darth Vader must rebuild himself. Slowly but with all the anger and pain readers would come to expect from the Sith Lord, Vader makes his way to the ruins of a Techno Union installation.
Through the red-tinted flashback that has become a staple for Darth Vader comics, Vader remembers the last time he was in the same installation. Even the decomposing body Nute Gunray lay across on the floor baring the lightsaber strike Lord Vader had delivered years ago. Darth Vader utilizes a mouse droid along with the parts of the destroyed Separatist battle droids to piece himself back together. As the limbs are attached, the dark lord is approached by Ochi of Bestoon, assassin of the Sith.
Readers may recognize the name Ochi of Bestoon from The Rise of Skywalker. Ochi was tasked prior to the events of The Rise of Skywalker to retrieve Rey for Darth Sidious. Ochi would be seen killing Rey’s parents ended up stranded and dying on Pasaana. However, before all of that Pak gives the assassin the chance to be truly formidable. At the end of the previous issue, Sidious dispatched the Sith Eternal to test his apprentice. The rest of Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 follows the unafraid Ochi’s and the Forceless Vader’s confrontation.
The Star Wars: Darth Vader series gets better and better with every issue. The artwork continues to be top-notch. Even with very little words on the panels where Vader is remembering his past, the issues speak volumes for the complicated feelings that he is dealing with. Additionally, the team was able to weave the events of the prequels into Vader’s current story expertly early on in the series with the same panels. Now with the introduction of Ochi and the cliffhanger at the end of Star Wars: Darth Vader #7, it is clear that readers are going to more context for the events of the Sequel Trilogy.
My favorite part of Star Wars comics and other expanded material is the extra layers it is able to provide for the stories we already love. Despite happening almost over 30 years later canonically, Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 is starting to do that now with the Sequel Trilogy and it works. The weaving of time periods so well can only be achieved by a team that is filled with expert storytellers. Star Wars: Darth Vader has me counting the days until the next issue. The strands throughout the Skywalker Saga are starting to connect in Darth Vader’s story before the reader’s eyes and any fan of the Dark Lord needs to be experiencing it.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 is available now wherever comics are sold.