SW7N Review: Marvel’s Darth Vader #5 Plus an Interesting Speculation Tying the Comics With The Force Awakens

Darth Vader #5Issue five of Marvel’s comic book series Darth Vader is out now. This time we are also including an interesting speculation tying this issue with The Force Awakens…



PLEASE READ: This review is going to cover spoilers not only related to the issue, but could very well be related to some huge ones as far as The Force Awakens goes. If you don’t want to get into any of that, do NOT read this review. If you have been avoiding spoilers as far as the sequel trilogy goes, avoid this review. For those of you getting off the bus here, just know this is a great issue and you should read it if you have been following the series.


Last chance…..



Welcome back! I’m going to skip the small details of this issue to get right into the meat and bones. I will be careful with my hyperbole, but this issue could be a big game changer for the SW canon and could be setting up a huge plot point for The Force Awakens.





We last saw Vader and Doctor Aphra heading toward the coordinates of Vader’s replacements the Emperor was said to be grooming. The facility looks like it has been constructed on some sort of giant space slug. Darth Vader may be a cold customer, but he’s quick to point out the “abomination” of technology and a living being (not detecting the irony). As usual, Vader and his trusty lightsaber have little trouble making their way into the facility.


It turns out his replacements are expecting him and are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to square off against the Dark Lord. They are neither Sith nor Jedi, they are cyborgs created by a cyborg, the recently departed fourth iteration of Cylo, and we meet his fifth iteration here.



Cylo V


Cylo V reveals that not only has he constructed the two cyborgs Vader first engages, there is a plethora of technological creations designed to make the Force obsolete and technology the servant of the Emperor. The Emperor is always looking for an upgrade for his apprentices and technology appears to be the route he is exploring.


Vader decrees these cyborgs blasphemous and Cyclo V points out Vader should consider them his own “children”. Just as Vader prepares to put a sudden end to number 5, the Emperor shows up and commands Vader to stop.





Then, Palpatine asks Cyclo V for a demonstration. Every cyborg turns toward Vader and that’s where we end.


Yes, this issue is just as on par with great story and artwork as the other issues. Let’s discuss the implications this may have later on in the Star Wars canon.


The Emperor has been building a secret arsenal of cyborgs designed to outdo the Force! Let’s play the assumption game. Let’s assume that a piece of this arsenal survives Vader’s assault or may be hiding in the wings already. If this cyborg in question survives post-ROTJ, I think we may have some insight into who Kylo Ren, or his master, may be.


Hear me out. We have seen some concept art depicting a cyborg, hooded figure solemnly holding the remains of Darth Vader’s mask. I know I am reaching here, but I think by the end of TFA it will be revealed that either Kylo Ren, or his master, is one of these cyborgs or related to them.



First Order


It’s pretty much assumed that the First Order, what is left of the Empire in the sequel trilogy, is piecemeal of a contingency the Empreror had put in place should he ever be overthrown or killed. It makes sense that he would also have a contingeny in case Vader were killed or the one to overthrow him. Perhaps one of these cyborgs is his best kept secret and is activated post-ROTJ. There is also a tiny rumor out there that Kylo Ren could be claiming to be Darth Vader. These cyborgs are shown to have free will, so perhaps the Kylo Ren or second villain is a result of this laboratory and regards itself as a natural replacement, hence the Vader imitation.


It’s also interesting how similar the outfits between Kylo Ren and the initial cyborgs are. Most notably the belt, placement of the hood and cape, and the fabric looks close. If the cyborgs clothing were black they would be almost identical.





I invite you all to speculate away. What I have put into my speculation is my OPINION alone. Simply saying, I’m not looking to start any heated arguments about what site said what and who is wrong. Take a look around at what we think we know about TFA and share what you think these cyborgs may or may not have to do with it. Keep it fun, let your imagination go crazy. All I ask is that you please be respectful and don’t knit pick what others might theorize.


And there is still another issue to go before the arc concludes, so keep in mind we might have answers that could negate everything I just said.



Vader #5


You can order a digital copy at Marvel.com or at Comixology.comor visit the nearest comic book store.


+ posts

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

78 thoughts on “SW7N Review: Marvel’s Darth Vader #5 Plus an Interesting Speculation Tying the Comics With The Force Awakens

  • May 14, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    #1. Canon achieved.

  • May 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm


  • May 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Spoiler: the space slug is the main character of Star Wars episode 6 part II: the force awakens.

  • May 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Sounds pretty bad tbh, so it might be true indeed.

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    It’s a big leap of faith, but not impossible. Also consider the cyborg concept art could have been dropped and the character does not appear in the film in that form. Is Kylo always gloved? This could be concealing cyborg hands perhaps, if so why aren’t they ‘skinned’? Furthermore, does Kylo get de-faced during the film and resort to wearing a mask?

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      My de-face be with you!

      • May 14, 2015 at 9:18 pm


    • May 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Stand by your sources even when they are wrong? Really makes sense but hey the other sites aren”t 100% correct. They at least have gotten a lot more right compared to 2 measly details. What a joke.

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    woah, is that Gerald Ford on the cover of the next issue??

    • May 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      No it’s Pope Benedict XVI

      • May 14, 2015 at 11:44 pm

        Its George HW Bush and son lol obama is thrawn

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    sounds really bad… in the words of luke: “NOooooooo”

    I really didn’t like this issue. To replace a force user (vader) with technology by the order of a force user (palpatine) sounds stupid. Just a matter of time till technology will bring down the Emperor. And if the Old Republic was 25,000 years old, enough time I think for any smart ass to create a technical army to bring down all force users and take control. Well the Sith lived after the dismantling of the Old Republic, so apparently the force sensitives where stronger then technology and cyborgs could ever be. Palpatine master of the Force would know this.

    I really hope in my humble opinion that this nonsense of cyborgs replacing the Force stays in the Marvel universe of superheroes like Thor, Hulk and others and don’t find it ways into the movies.

    May the force be with us!

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Wouldn’t this kind of be a re-hash of the Clone Wars? Techno Union Part II. Please no clones, no cyborg reincarnations. Hero worship maybe on Kylo’s part, perhaps an apprentice of an undisclosed Vader apprentice, but please don’t let TFA be about clones or cyborgs.

    • May 14, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Its more likely that he is exploring this as an alternative to the Rule of 2.

      the concept behind the Rule of 2 is that the more force users there are, the more the power of the force is diluted (diluded)…. lessened.

      He wants to be the sole force user in the universe, but he still needs enforcers and agents to carry out his will.

      • May 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        This I could live with. Any other reasons I am going to be pissed.

        • May 16, 2015 at 6:21 am

          It would also help if this was one of dozens of projects with completely seperate ideas and concepts behind them.

          Showing it was neither his first thought, nor his preferred thought.

    • May 16, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      They’re more machine than man now.

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I doubt that that’s about to happen. Hints to TFA are way more subtle I guess. This might even be a mislead. Haven’t read any of the new comics yet, this plotpoint seems weird to me. The Emperor should know by then that cyborgs are no match for a capable force user. To clone himself like in Dark Empire makes much more sense. Guess they didn`t want to tell the same story again. Uber shall be a powerful sithlord, if there’s a cyborg it shall be a minion like Grevious.

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      you’re so right! 🙂 thanks, my bloodpressure went back to normal haha

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      You guys are nuts! He is “so right” having admittedly not read any of the new comics? How is your opinion on anything within the new comics valid at all?

      • May 15, 2015 at 12:13 am

        Silly, I was referring to that specific plotpoint as presented on this site. Also I have read all the summaries to every new Star Wars comic so far. Having the Emperor chosing technic over the force doesn’t fit that character in my opinion. Obviously Vader will win that fight, so maybe that part of the story will make sense in the end. No need to twist your knickers.

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    It’s hard for me to see some of those sci-fi-super-hero type images as canon; the mon cal’s overly fancy robot arm, the lady’s headband, the trandoshan’s Spiderman-like suit, and the flamboyant spider-webby cybernetic markings on the one eyed human’s neck, not to mention the stock low-fantasy asymmetry of the guys half cyborg face. I wouldn’t comment if it weren’t intended to be canon.

    • May 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      you take the words out of my mouth

    • May 14, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Funny they don’t think that guy is MVS or Montross.

      • May 15, 2015 at 12:24 am

        I don’t see Spider-Man there. Just take a deep breath and relax.

    • May 15, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Fellow fanboys! Comics will never have the same elaborate costumes like the movies. It will be more simple always. Don´t be troubled. Do it my way. Make your own canon and let in only what you like. To me Disney or anyone could make comics, book or cartoons as long as I live. And all that time my own canon will be just the movies. That doesn´t mean I couldn´t enjoy any other Str Wars stories out there. They´ll just be part of different SW universe…

      • May 15, 2015 at 5:22 pm

        “Comics will never have the same elaborate costumes like the movies.” The thing that makes these illustrations stylistically incomparable with the film cannon is that they are TOO elaborate. Luke and Han and even Greedo dress in a way that gives a simple realistic and unified impression. People with circuit boards tatooed on half their face or neck are fun in campy 90s sci-fi about virtual reality but they fall below the level of realism that makes Star Wars unique.

  • May 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    You make interesting points.
    However, Kylo Ren is kindof a copycat, so he’s probably copying the clothing style from those old cyborgs anyway. Or stole them directly from their long dead corpses.

  • May 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm


    Stop trying to tie-in every canon work to TFA.

    The problem is with this thinking, isthat they specifically have announced the “journey to the force awakens”

    a series of books and comics that will have hints towards the new film. any media before that… no…

    Almost definitly no canonical tie-in.

    as for the comic, I think this is the weakest issue of Darth Vader yet and these cyborgs are a little too… Star Treky

    • May 14, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      You live in a fantasy world if you actually believe that

      • May 15, 2015 at 3:51 am

        If I believe what?

        That they are not including hints and stuff in the current Star Wars comics.

        They said they are going to specifically label every book with TFA foreshadowing as “journey to the force awakens”

        so im going to take their word for it.

        • May 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm

          So you mean to tell me that NOTHING without “Journey To….” will have ANY connective tissue to VII? Get real, dude. There are no lines in the sand. There will be and are connections. You are just too dense to see that.

          • May 15, 2015 at 5:36 pm

            Yes… that is exactly what I am saying, especially because…

            Well… a lot of this stuff was planned and even scripted before TFA was being made :/

  • May 14, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I don’t buy it at all. They wouldn’t put a major plot point for a major motion picture in the comic-book medium. They may give hints that you realize after the fact but this seems like too much of revelation to have out there.

  • May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Jedi might have a problem with cyborgs… because they are supposed to use the force “for knowledge and defense”? But not Vader. He kills babies, sentients, lyneks and whatever else stands in his path…. cyborgs are nothing to LDV.

  • May 14, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    That would just be really lame in my opinion. We already had a cyborg – Grievous and he failed to appeal as a character other than him looking cool. I doubt they would go back this route.

    • May 15, 2015 at 1:53 am

      Isnt Darth Vader a cyborg?

  • May 14, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I’m expecting to see Ian McDiarmid or Hayden Christensen walk in at the end of TFA.

  • May 14, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    The day that a cyborg or anything else can make The Force obsolete is ever in a movie, is the day I stop watching Star Wars.

    • May 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Especially since its obvious that such a thing is impossible, and that the whole point of this comic is obviously going to be something along the lines of “technology cant best the force”

      Like.. .seriously, vader is clearly and obviously going to whipe the floor with them.

  • May 14, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I’ll be extremely disappointed if Kylo Ren is NOT a Skywalker/Solo.

    There’s zero point continuing the saga if the Skywalkers (the “holy” line of a virgin birth directly from the force) aren’t the ones driving the story for both good and evil. The whole thing about the Skywalker “gene” is that it’s messed up…it mirrors real life and walks an ambiguous line between good and bad.

    So with that said…I’m going to discard this theory and pray it isn’t true

  • May 14, 2015 at 11:39 pm


    I’m still of the belief that Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia and the brother of Rey. I have a theory that if Rey’s real name is Kira then she and Kylo have similar sibling-sounding names in that of Kira Rey Solo and Kylo Ren Solo.

    As far as Andy Serkis’ character goes, though, my belief that he’s Plagueis has been shaken a bit considering how the leaked concept art seems to coincide with this issue of the Darth Vader comic. That being said, though, I still think he’s Plagueis. There’s one concept art image that features a character strongly resembling Plagueis and that would seem to fit with the rumor that Luke is guarding an ancient Sith tomb so a powerful Sith Lord doesn’t return. Who knows, though?

  • May 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    In a world of awful ideas, this comic seems to have out-Amazoned the EU as a waste of trees.

    • May 15, 2015 at 3:55 am

      Not going to lie… Its definitly up there with some of the stupider ideas of the EU.

      Below Waru, and just above Reist I think…

  • May 14, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    News flash: Darth Vader is a cyborg

    • May 14, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Damn you! It’s been ruined for me!

    • May 15, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Actually I was thinking of Terry Pratchetts (R.I.P) discworld

  • May 15, 2015 at 12:07 am

    i think luke has gone into exile like yoda and obiwan did and is going to train kira rey solo to redeem her brother kylo ren solo from the dark side just the way he had to with vader. that would be the most logical and coolest way to bring old and new together.

  • May 15, 2015 at 12:11 am

    The similarities in the costumes are intriguing. Could Kylo have been kidnapped and made into a cyborg by the main villain? Could Rey have escaped the same fate and been placed on Jakku to hide her?

    • May 15, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Err.. you wanted to write Tattoine right?


  • May 15, 2015 at 12:38 am

    I find the coloring in those panels lame. Standard shading and boring lights. It is indeed possible to use Photoshop like a canvas and make pictures look like real paintings. Guess that takes too long and therefor costs too much money…

  • May 15, 2015 at 1:10 am


    If we will only get “little hints” about The Force Awakens in Joruney to the Force Awakens books (which starts in September, and is mostly set around OT period of time), then we definetly won’t see anything in current canon comics and novels that is connected with TFA. It just won’t happen. It’s just a story made for fun, read and enjoy, don’t seek future-movie references in every single issue, it’s bullshit.

  • May 15, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Please stop it alright. There is no cyborg. The cyborg is placeholder for Kylo. If the characters in the concept art showed up in the movie, then Vader is in this movie fully alive and functioning. There’s no living version of the dead Vader in the movie.

    Your friend who runs this joint here even said numerous times, he heard about no cyborg. I think at one point in the forum, you said you hadn’t heard about a cyborg.

    So what is the point of this, then?

    • May 15, 2015 at 2:09 am

      Hi folks,
      Kyle (the author) here. Yes, I realize this is a controversial theory and it contradicts information I and others on this site stated to have heard. That’s why I was very careful in the review to state it as a “theory”. I’m just saying to have fun with it and the theory could very well be wrong. Please don’t think that I’m saying I hope or know this is true, because I’ll take a good ole’ fashioned Sith or Jedi over a clunky cyborg any day.

      We are still at a point where we can speculate and theorize away.

  • May 15, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Those garments aren’t exactly unique. I’m sure you’ll find a ton of SW characters (or fantasy characters in general) with similar getups. Not to mention, Kylo Ren’s drapes down to his legs, the cyborg’s doesn’t. It’s just one difference, but saying they would be almost identical stretches the definition of both “almost” and “identical”.

    The rest of the speculation is pretty baseless. Even if he is claiming to be Vader, that would fit in with the “relic hunter” narrative too, someone obsessed with reclaiming the past. It’s just an issue of a comic book, and just another incarnation of Palpatine’s “tests” for Vader. They’re not going to set up their new villain with his origin already published in a medium hardly anyone reads. (not to put down comic books, I love them, but we’re a serious minority of SW fandom). They wouldn’t waste the opportunity and potential of the Kylo Ren ligeage on it.

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Hmmm… Does Adam Driver have any resemblance to Hayden Christensen?

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:37 am

    does anyone else hear Anthony Daniels voice when they’re reading triple zeros dialogue?

  • May 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Would a Cyborg make a shitty lightsaber?

    I don’t think so…

    You’re Welcome.

  • May 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    So Palp is looking into replacing his apprentice with cyborg tech. Is that a mandate against the rule of 2? What would happen to the Sith when Palp dies? He is mortal after….. OHHHHH SCHNAPP, perhaps he has reason to believe he can be immortal and the only threat in the universe to that is Vader. He still would need bad ass henchman.. enter the cyborgs? I still hate it. :p

  • May 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    What if Kylo and his master aren’t Sith? And if they are the possibility that they learned these Sith teachings via artefacts or holocrons is bigger, even if they were trained by Darth Maul it would be more likely then some cyborg/clones.

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I was so juiced for this issue, but after reading it I seemed to feel somewhat deflated. The art is great, but this was a terrible plot development. I mean, Palpatine consciously chooses to have cyborgs/technology replace someone who is Force-sensitive? I mean, I knew Palpatine has always had his doubts and reservations about Vader, but to completely turn his back on the Force? The equivalent of turning your back on God (or in the Sith’s case – Satan)! Come on now. I’m really hoping this is all just some elaborate test that Sheev is putting Vader through.

    • May 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Except… the concept behind the rule of 2 is that the less force users there are, the more powerful individual force users are.

      Palpatine believes if he can eliminate Vader he will become more powerful in the force.

      But he still needs enforces and agents to carry out his will.

      • May 15, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        What?! I thought the Rule of 2 was simply instated by Darth Bane because the Sith literally slaughtered each other, almost to extinction. It was a rule established to keep the Sith ego in check and to keep the order alive by running in secret, not to empower the Sith by centralizing the amount of “Force” power there is.

        Nevertheless, the whole Rule of 2 thing is such an unnecessary concept. The average audience (much of which consists of kids ages 4-13) doesn’t give a single shit about it, or even understand it. Why? You try explaining to an 8-year-old what the difference in belief systems is between the Inquisitor and Darth Vader, etc. His/her eyes will just glaze over, because there virtually is no difference! The difference is so trivial that it’s unnecessary and not fun.

        • May 16, 2015 at 6:20 am

          oh yeah Rule of 2 is dumb as hell and it specifically deprived viewers of having the chance to ever see the force war.

          I am just saying there is some logic in legends/canon taht would support the creation of these cyborgs…

          Just as one of many idea that Palpatine would explore though, not as a main idea or anything.

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    It makes no sense to think that you must read every novel or comic book about the “new” canon to understand TFA’s main plot. The average movie goer doesn’t care about SW in any media other than film.

    Moreover, Abrams himself has already made it clear in his interview with VF that there won’t be many references in TFA related to other media. He doesn’t want people to think that TFA’s paving the way to an animated series, other films, etc. Obviously the same principle applies in reverse.

    • May 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Exactly! I love the Star Wars fan community, but sometimes people get carried away with over-analysis and speculation.

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Sigh…looks like it’s already starting to come full-circle: they abandoned the EU because it had too many hokey plots that they didn’t want to make canon, only to replace it with a new EU with the same problems but less depth. Mind you, I’m still excited for the new films, but they had better be worth losing all that came before.

  • May 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Sooo…. the theme of this comic is “out with the old”? That would be fine if the “new stuff” didn’t suck seven tons of bantha poodoo thru LDV’s feeding tube. Seriously.

    I hope Vader breaks each one of them. Slowly.

  • May 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    On a side note: Adam Driver looks really bad ass in that picture! He is going to be a great bad guy! (I hope for more than one movie).

  • May 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror”

  • May 15, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    This is one the main reasons why many of us supported and argued for Terry Pratchett to write the story and the script with JJ for the force awakens. But sadly it fell on deaf ears, despite an over whelming majority in favor of it. A considerable percentage of those in favor of Terry Pratchett coming from this site. If you read back in the comments. What does that tell you ? Select script writers that fans actually want.

  • May 17, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but did anyone else think it was weird how the term “Resistance” was used so much over the course of 2 pages in the comic, in the dialog between Vader and Dr. Aphra?

  • May 21, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I’ve been thinking for a while that there may be some people in this new trilogy who, rather than being light-side or dark-side, are anti-Force.

    Assuming the Force is playing a central role in TFA (as the title suggests), I’m betting it will be more important to the story than just a tool that two or three characters use occasionally.

    This comic seems to be establishing that there are technological terrors that can still be significant next to the power of the force. I’m pretty sure that we’ll see similarities in theme, even if not specific characters, in TFA.

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