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The Hunt for Surviving Jedi Begins in Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Vader #7


Written by Charles Soule

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli


As Vader takes his place in command of the Emperor’s secret Inquisitorius Program, he sets his sights on one of the most dangerous Jedi remaining alive…and it’s not who you’d expect.






With this issue, the Soule/Camuncoli creative team begins the new arc of the current Darth Vader run: The Dying Light. In the previous issue, the Emperor gave Vader the command over the Inquisitorius, led by the Grand Inquisitor (whom we know from Star Wars: Rebels). The Inquisitorius is another testament of the breadth and depth of Palpatine’s planning. Though, in the comics, the events seem much faster, disregarding space travel and jumping from location to location, we are still talking about only a few months after the Revenge of the Sith and the Inquisitorius is fully functional and running. This means that, like in the case of the Death Star (which Palpatine started building in secret during the Republic), he must have pre-selected his candidates and planted the seeds for their turn much earlier – knowing that Order 66, no matter how successful, wouldn’t be able to wipe out thousands of Jedi. The last panel revealed to us one of the surviving Jedi he had set his eyes on – Jocasta Nu, the former Chief Librarian of the Jedi Archives.



As this issue opens, we find out how seriously Vader has taken his new task. He is merciless towards the inquisitors, chopping off hands left and right. He doesn’t believe that they are ready to take on the surviving Jedi because they still fight like the Jedi – defensively.



If anything is clear from these opening pages, it’s that Vader’s reputation still isn’t what we see in the original trilogy or even Rogue One. The Grand Inquisitor, proud that he was personally selected by the Emperor, questions Vader and tries to use that as a leverage. He even questions the emphasis given to Jocasta Nu on the list of surviving Jedi that the Emperor provided them with.



Speaking of the list, the aurebesh proficient fans on Reddit and Tumblr have already partially translated the list and you will be happy to know that in addition to expected names like Yoda or Ahsoka, the list also includes the bad boy Quinlan Vos. Hopefully, we will see him in the future. After his turn in Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, his encounter with the inquisitors and/or Vader could be very interesting.

Charles Soule’s tweet on the topic (read all sub-tweets):





It soon becomes clear why Palpatine has singled out Jokasta Nu. Hidden in an unknown location, she is creating holocrons containing Jedi knowledge she acquired over the decades maintaining the Jedi Archives, knowledge that Palpatine wants to suppress at all cost. But, Jocasta is more ambitious than that – she envisions a school and the future for the Jedi. Before she can start, though, she has to retrieve something that will enable the school to find its students.



In conversation with Vader, Palpatine reveals his true intentions concerning Jocasta, which he did not reveal to the inquisitors, because her knowledge could be easily used against the Sith. Vader is to find her and save her life.



While the issue lacked in action (hand chopping notwithstanding), it gave us an interesting insight into the post-ROTS era. It is clear that Palpatine is working on the consolidation of his power and tying up loose ends. Jocasta Nu is a logical if unexpected loose end, considering her “If an item does not appear in our records, then it does not exist!” blunder. But, perhaps that can be attributed to the general complacency of the Jedi in the late Republic era. That is one thing Palpatine was not wrong about.

But I liked the idea that the old librarian and, as the Emperor puts it, middling Jedi at best, can threaten two powerful Sith lords and the future of the Empire as well. I am curious to see what the mysterious item is that they both require – she to acquire students and he to ensure his power.


I also like the insight we are getting into the Grand Inquisitor’s personality in these last couple of issues. He is clearly of the ‘knowledge is power’ school of thought. He is resentful of the Jedi and especially Jocasta for preventing him to learn the deeper secrets of the Force. You can easily see why the former Jedi strayed. And since he is itching to kill Jocasta, he will inevitably come into conflict with Vader. The Grand Inquisitor seemed such a loyal follower in Star Wars: Rebels. The question is did he still hope that the Sith would share knowledge with him or was the smackdown he received from Vader (or Palpatine) brutal enough to keep him in line and provoke this:




On the more mundane side of things, the continuing presence of clone troopers on the streets is another testament to how early in the Imperial timeline we are.



I always liked Camuncoli’s art, but what I was really appreciative of in this issue was what David Curiel did with colors. He filled Camuncoli’s art on the Imperial/Sith side with cold blues and grays and gave warmth to Jocasta’s side of the story.


I appreciate Soule’s storytelling more and more. This new Darth Vader run has a very intimate feel to it, as if we are flies on the wall watching the true birth of the Dark Lord of the Sith and his secrets. I like where the story is going and expect great things from the future issues. I’m not sure I want to see the horrible things Palpatine is planning for Jocasta, though I know they need to and inevitably will happen. Still, watching Vader grow in power and all the ways Palpatine breaks him to ensure that is like watching a Star Destroyer wreck – you can’t take your eyes off of it.


That is, however, in the future. Until then, Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith #7 gets 7/10 STARS.



NEXT ISSUE (and what a great cover):


Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.


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