Jocasta Nu Shows Her Strengths in Marvel’s Star Wars: Darth Vader #9
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Guiseppe Camuncoli
As the threat of the Jedi continues to menace the fledgling Empire, Vader finds himself on the trail of Jedi his master has commanded him… to keep alive?
When we left the Dark Lord of the Sith in the previous issue, Palpatine had instructed Vader to curb his murderous inclinations towards fellow Imperials, and Jocasta Nu had infiltrated the Jedi temple to acquire the location of every Force-sensitive individual known to her Order. Confronted with the sight of the Grand Inquisitor further disrespecting her beloved knowledge, she makes possibly the stupidest decision ever – to challenge him in the midst of the temple surrounded by Imperial troops.
As this issue opens, we see Vader arrive to the Jedi Temple which was sealed off by Clone Troopers who are, at this point, still very much an active part of the military. Vader forbids anyone to either enter or leave the Temple. The Commander asks for additional information, and when he confirms that he was a part of Order 66 and the Jedi Purge, Vader informs him that they have missed some of the Jedi.
nside the temple, Jocasta is taunted by the Grand Inquisitor who reveals to her that he used to be a Jedi and gloats over the fact that the Jedi are now considered traitors. The Jedi took him as a child and taught him only the Light Side. He was never allowed the deeper secrets of the Force. Jocasta claims that he was not singled out – the deeper, stranger, more complex sides of the Force were denied to everyone. It was her duty as an archivist to protect them.
While Jocasta holds her own in the fight for a while, eventually the Grand Inquisitor overpowers her; his bloodthirst and desire for revenge are too strong, and he revels in Jocasta’s weakness. Just when he is about to kill her and Jocasta begins making her prayers, Darth Vader intervenes and prevents him.
The Grand Inquisitor is shocked and appalled (sorry!). Being so early in the Imperial time line, it seems to me that the Grand Inquisitor still hasn’t realized the reality – that he is but a tool of the Sith and will not have a part in their power. He is still questioning Vader’s loyalty at this point, and I have a feeling that there are some harsh lessons for him to learn in the future.
While the two of them fight, Jocasta takes her chance to take the Inquisitor out of the game and escape. Vader is stalking after her, trying to get her to surrender. But, Jocasta is not entirely powerless. After all, she knows all the ins and outs of the Jedi archives and so she manages to erase all the data before Vader catches her.
Vader finds his way into the hidden vault where Jocasta’s guardian-protector droid recognizes him as Anakin Skywalker, which is not good news for the librarian. While Vader brutally dismantles the droid, Jocasta feverishly searches for something. In the nick of time, she finds what she is looking for. Vader manages to repel the blast, but it is not enough. Jocasta Nu has come to play.
While I began this review by saying that Jocasta’s decision to confront the Grand Inquisitor was extremely stupid, the issue surprised me by showcasing Jocasta’s strengths. She still holds the beliefs and values of the old Jedi Order, and while her fighting skills are not on par with even the average former Jedi I believe the Inquisitor used to be, there is no one who knows the Jedi Archives better than she does.
She knows how the archives work, every nook and cranny and where every item is located. Additionally, she is quick on her feet – she only needs a chance to get the better of both the Grand Inquisitor and Vader. Not to mention that you have to be especially gutsy to be stalked by Vader and remain level-headed.
The issue is action packed, and the action is enhanced by Camuncoli’s art. I still love how he draws Vader in a dynamic way, making even his helmet and cape expressive – much akin to Frankenstein’s monster. I also like that the characters are all in flux – they are not the people we have already met in-universe. The Grand Inquisitor is not the cool, collected man we know from Star Wars: Rebels who has the utmost respect for Vader.
He is hot-headed, still reveling in his newly granted powers of the Dark Side. More importantly, he doesn’t fully understand the balance of power in the new Empire. Additionally, Vader is still being questioned by subordinates, whether it be Clone Troopers or the Inquisitor, and has to continue proving himself.
This is the middle of the arc and not the best place to pick up the story. I recommend you to start with issue #6 or start from the beginning, because this new Darth Vader run is worth it.
We all know that Jocasta has no fighting chance against Vader, but her dedication is admirable. It remains to be seen whether Vader will achieve his goal and capture her alive or if she will manage to prevent him by, perhaps, taking her own life out of the equation. That is the question for the next issue…
…BUT THIS ISSUE GETS 7/10 STARS.
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Vader’s showdown with Jocasta Nu comes to a startling conclusion! What secret information has the Jedi librarian risked her life to protect? And can she stop Vader from getting it?