How The Darth Vader Comic Series Combines The Best Of Two Star Wars Eras

The difference between Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker has always been apparent. A lot of people’s criticisms of the prequel trilogy was that it made Darth Vader “more lame” and not the same anymore. With art from Giuseppe Camuncoli and a story from Charles Soule, 2017’s Darth Vader comic succeeds like no other Darth Vader story has: by connecting Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader as one person.


The very first issue opens with Anakin awaking from his transformation to Darth Vader.



He has flashbacks of what has happened in the past few hours, with him seeing a vision of Padme. Vader gets punished from the Emperor for losing his fight to Kenobi. Everything’s happening so fast, yet it’s so perfect. There’s also a ceremonial burning of Jedi lightsabers that’s just awesome. Within the first ten pages of the first issue of Vader, I’d argue that there was more great moments than any of the Star Wars comics in recent time.


Vader’s task is to find himself a lightsaber. Not just for the saber, but more particularly for the crystal within. The way Sith get their kyber crystals is by bleeding the life out of Jedi crystals, which make them red (we know this from the Ahsoka novel). The first issue of Vader already pushes the character forward more than the entire (2015) Vader series. In my opinion, one of the most interesting times in the life of Darth Vader is right after he became the dark lord. And already through one issue, they completely killed it.


In the second issue of Vader, there’s a part where he destroys a few starfighters with no problem. A few stormtroopers comment on the action saying “I haven’t seen flying like this since…” and another trooper replies “don’t even say it. It can’t be a Jedi. They’re all dead.”



This reminds me of in the Lords of the Sith novel, Vader remembers a moment from the Clone Wars, back when he was Anakin Skywalker. Little things like this help tie the two characters together so well, and Charles Soule deserves a great amount of credit for doing so.


Issue four starts with Vader broken, having limbs removed from a fall, using a droid leg to substitute for his own. Vader fulfills his mission by killing a jedi and taking his lightsaber. We see the full brutality of Vader in issues three and four. I’d even say this is the most savage we’ve seen the dark lord outside of his glorious scene at the end of Rogue One. Issue 5 starts with Vader going to Mustafar. Already you’re hooked. Again, linking Vader and Anakin strikes a successful blow with readers here. Vader is on the planet to draw on its darkside power and use it to help corrupt his kyber crystal . While doing so, Vader has a vision of what he could do after this mission. He envisions going back to Coruscant and striking down his master (Palpatine). He goes to wherever Obi-Wan Kenobi is located and apologizes to him. I’ve always wondered if Vader has contemplated going back to the light side before his son brought the best out of him. It’s easy to forget that just days before this he was known as Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic.


Issue six starts with Vader getting repaired from his injuries he suffered in the previous issue, where he used robotic limbs as substitute.This reminds us of the scene in Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One where Vader is getting worked on.



We are again reminded of how the man once referred to as Anakin Skywalker has lost his humanity and is, like his limbs, robotic. Vader vs the Grand Inquisitor is another amazing thing that this series gives us. Seeing the Dark Lord face off against someone truly powerful and skilled with a lightsaber is something we don’t see that often. By the time Anakin becomes Vader, almost all the Jedi are extinct. Seeing him actually unleash his full power is nothing short of epic.


The most recent arc (issues 7-10) is about Vader and Jocasta Nu, the former Chief Librarian of the Jedi archives. We see her go back to the Jedi Temple. A few pages later, there’s a beautiful panel of Vader. He’s meditating, looking like his body is becoming a physical embodiment of darkness. Vader is levitating, with a glowing butterfly in front of him. There’s no information as to what this floating butterfly is, but I perceived it as him looking at his old self. Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan. There isn’t much left. This is symbolized by the butterfly being so small. So much darkness has taken over the light.



Something else that’s amazing is when he’s awakened, Vader’s lightsaber is levitating as well. I wonder if this is a common thing when he meditates, or if it’s a response to being awakened.


Jocasta and the Grand Inquisitor face off, with Vader saving her. Jocasta is there to delete all the archives of the children of the force scattered around the galaxy so that the Emperor and Vader don’t get their hands on them. Jocasta is one of the last Jedi left. It’s so cool seeing her go back to where she once worked. The connection between the prequels and classic Vader works very well. She also uses a lightsaber as ammo in some sort of gun, which is absolutely bonkers.



Possibly the most epic sequence in this whole series so far happens towards the end of issue 10. Jocasta would rather die than succumb to Vader, so she jumps off into the darkness of Coruscant. While doing this, she says “I am one with the force and the force is with me”, imitating the dying words of one Chirrut Imwe. Vader, instead, has other plans for the former librarian. He uses the force to bring the falling body of Jocasta to a standstill, and begins bringing her towards him. She tells both Vader and the stormtroopers surrounding her that Vader is the one who should be taken in, being a former Jedi himself: Anakin Skywalker. You can feel the tension inside of Vader right after this happens. Someone knows who Vader is now. What will happen to him if the public becomes aware? Nothing. Vader kills them all, leaving no witnesses to know the true identity of the dark lord.


The first ten issues of Darth Vader are extremely successful. I’d go so far to say that it is the most successful ten issue run of any Star Wars comic so far. What this series does so well is connecting things together. It connects new and old. The Vader we love, with the best of the prequels. Things we know about Vader, with things we don’t. Anakin and Vader are one in this series. So often we think of Anakin Skywalker as a prequels character and Darth Vader as an original trilogy character. It’s easy to not connect the two of them. However, with this current Vader series, the bridge between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader is closing. We are beginning to see them as the same character. This is how the series succeeds; and I can’t wait to read more. 


Be sure to check out an all new story in Darth Vader #11 this week as the saga of the young Sith Lord continues!



+ posts

44 thoughts on “How The Darth Vader Comic Series Combines The Best Of Two Star Wars Eras

  • February 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I’ve always looked at it like we never saw Vader in the prequel trilogy. He became Vader after ROTS.

  • February 11, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Agree with Jawa below me. This was a very well written article. Thanks for taking the time.

  • February 11, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    A bit of off-topic from me, but it seems that Disqus has been marking comments as spam without no particular reason and removing them. I’ve started restoring some of them and in the future we will be sure this won’t happen.

    • February 12, 2018 at 12:33 am

      *Commences not to talk shit about the mods Mode*

    • February 12, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Honestly, I think this place is in need of more strict moderation. This website seems to have blown up, and it’s attracting people with some very disgusting opinions, that are openly expressing them. Some are incredibly misogynistic, others are flat out trolling and starting arguments for the sake of it.

      This is by far the best Star Wars news site on the internet, and has been for the past several years. I don’t want to feel like I can’t traverse the comments because there are people who are so utterly disrespectful promoting extreme opinions and starting arguments with anyone they don’t agree with. I’m all for a friendly conversation, but I have seen multiple instances within the past few weeks where I’ve had to block people simply because they are here trolling and ruining other peoples experience.

      Please take some of this feedback into consideration and look into improving the moderation of these comment sections.

      • February 12, 2018 at 2:22 am

        On this message board some people are always ready to slap the labels of racist and mysoginist on anyone who happens to disagree with them. In many cases those who pretend to be victims actively bully others by using knockout-arguments like “You don’t like Rey so you must be a woman hater even though in the same comment you stated how much you like the character of Jyn Erso”. Even I, a tree hugging, leftist libertarian, have been labeled with multiple derogatory expressions associated with the alt-right movement by two especially overzealous ideologs on this message board. But I accept their freedom to voice their opinion as long as they don’t use any foul language. There’s a difference between moderation and censorship and the Mods seem to understand this.

        • February 12, 2018 at 2:27 am

          When I said misogynistic I meant it. I’m not referring to people calling Rey a Mary Sue or anything, I’m talking real actual misogynistic views that are highly offensive anywhere except 4chan. This comment section looks more and more like 4chan every day and it’s disgusting. It’s not what a Star Wars community should look like

          • February 12, 2018 at 2:34 am

            You might want to spend more time in the Cantina then. The rating system there that allows for instant feedback and publicly displays the likes to dislikes ratio keeps things pretty well in check. I would also argue that 4chan is probably worse than Disqus according to hearsay but then again I haven’t spent more than a couple of minutes on 4chan in my entire life so I don’t really know.

          • February 12, 2018 at 4:52 am

            Bobby gets very sensitive when you start talking about misogyny; because he’s guilty of it.

            Just a head’s up.

          • February 12, 2018 at 5:25 am

            Hmm, didn’t you block me? I’m wondering how you can still read my posts. Let’s see how you’ve been treating otherusers on this forum within the last 48 hours. Let’s have a look at some of the highly intelectual discussions you are having with numerous people here. (Note how I excluded myself from this list but I didn’t feel the need to read through our correspondence a second time)

            @ Yaddleforprez
            “I will never deny that. Nor will I deny that I troll the feckless haters who can’t make an argument to save their lives…”

            “It’s not all about you, Yaddle. I don’t give a shit about you. I don’t usually reply to your comments because there’s no need to. I don’t find them interesting enough to engage in, and they’re usually not stupid enough to shred to pieces…”

            “Just so you know, didn’t take the time to read the rest of your comment. You’re another useless white knighting waste of time. See ya!…”

            “No. Finishing and putting people in their place. But thanks for playing Chris. Got an opinion? Keep it to yourself…”

            @ msked avenger:
            ” But lately I’ve decided if the mods aren’t going to do their job then I’ll happily start brow beating idiots if they choose to act in a manner they deserve to be…”

            @Gideo Grundlebobins
            “Disagree with? They’re garbage. There’s nothing to disagree with. You whine and bitch and offer nothing to discuss. Same comments, over and over again. Like a broken record…”

            @young force
            “You need to stop talking. Seriously. You are embarrassing yourself on a daily if not bi-daily if not tri-daily if not quad-daily…sigh, pretty much every time you put words in the little white box and hit the “Post as young force” you are embarrassing yourself. Your children will see these posts. They’ll be disappointed…”

            Truly fascinating. Within 2 days time you managed to get into fights,… sorry I mean “heated discussionss” with more than half a dozen forum users. You had multiple posts deleted yet somehow you continue to whine about toxic behaviour in the comment section. I’m pretty sure you don’t see the irony in all of this. But maybe you are just too ignorant 😉

          • February 12, 2018 at 5:43 am

            Yep, he’s one of the people I was referring to. Blocked him earlier.

          • February 12, 2018 at 7:57 am

            Yup. I blocked him too. I feel better already.

          • February 12, 2018 at 6:01 am

            It’s best just to ignore him. Even when he’s right about something it’s hard to agree with him because he’s such an obnoxious twat. He seems to take pleasure in trying to demean people. He thinks his opinion on Star Wars is the only one that counts and then gets aggressive if you disagree in anyway.

          • February 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm

            I like your comment but I like your username even more 😀

          • February 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

            Lol! Same here 😉

          • February 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm

            could make a list of the people that show up here and do that…

          • February 12, 2018 at 7:20 am

            Nice compilation work, although what a depressing state of affairs! I also find it harder to express my opinion lately, and my (clumsy) attempts at friendly banter are sometimes met with unexpected vitriolic hate. Still, I firmly believe good humour is the best weapon against such hostility. Something like a Tickling Death Star.

          • February 12, 2018 at 8:11 am

            He tends to complain about “White Knights” quite often.

            The guy goes off on people (sometimes fairly) for the injustices of being misogynistic, racist, etc. and seems to be intelligent enough. Far from the genius he would seemingly credit himself as though.

            Despite all of that, he just can’t grasp the concept of basic respect for users who have a different opinion than him. He doesn’t give a shit about you or your opinion, yet he feels the need to let everyone know. Odd guy

          • February 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

            There is a lot of that here…if you don ‘t love the new material and fall in line then many on this site try and humiliate you, throw garbage at you or label you some sort of racist or anything along those lines. Hard enough to argue with smart people but impossible to argue with idiots.

      • February 12, 2018 at 9:27 am

        I agree completely and I confess that after TLJ we neglected the comments section a bit. The main reason was the huge amount of comments, but I took measures and from this week things will improve drastically.
        And please everyone, you can help stopping the poison of spreading by flagging such comments. This will speed our reaction.

        • February 12, 2018 at 1:37 pm

          Thank you. I know it must be a huge amount of work, and I really appreciate it. It’s really hard to comprehend how people would misunderstand the message of Star Wars so completely, and sad….

        • February 12, 2018 at 7:42 pm

          I guess I’ve missed some comments but haven’t really seen anything that’s way out there….

    • February 12, 2018 at 4:48 am

      Hi Viralhide – thanks so much for running this site. I agree with Chris Creveling below. The comments section on this site has become so disgusting – full of misogynist, racist, and xenophobic posts in particular – that it’s really ruining it for those of us who have chosen the Light Side of the Force and reject that sort of hatred. It’s bad enough for me to read them as an American, white male. If I were a woman or a person of colour there’s no way I would feel welcome at this point.

  • February 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Great article & 100% agree. This is my favourite Star Wars comic followed closely by Doctor Aphra. It’s a shame ROTS wasn’t something along these lines.

  • February 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Make the fkg movie

  • February 12, 2018 at 1:28 am

    The 2017 Darth Vader run is my favourite Marvel Star Wars series without a doubt. It was an absolute thrill to read. Other than Kanan, it feels like the only one that has something important to add to the universe. I kind of wish this story had been used for a video game instead, though.

  • February 12, 2018 at 2:26 am

    I am so happy this comic is doing what it can to make up for what the prequels couldn’t deliver on vader.

  • February 12, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Great article about the Darth Vader comic! I completely agree, it has absolutely been my favorite by far. I was blown away by so much, especially the two-page panel with him meditating. Wow!

  • February 12, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Efforts like this to repair what happened in the PT go a long way. Who would be against a series like this? Perfect for their streaming service. It’d have to be very adult though. Not saying the violence but the subject matter itself. Dark stuff. I’d take it a step further and really up the writing. Some of it can come off a little… immature. That it’s still trying to tap into an innocence but come on. Star Wars has a dark side and it’s very freaking dark. Slaves, drugs, genocide, torture and the breaking of people’s wills.

    BTW I’m not saying Star Wars needs this. Just that it already exists… and often glossed over.

    Again I’m not saying it visually needs to happen on screen. Look at the rating The Dark Knight got and the themes and tone it had. Anyways I’m rambling at this point.

    • February 12, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Then ramble on my friend, because I agree with every word you said!

    • February 12, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Clone Wars explored the darker side of things quite well and I’d love to see another series genuinely take another shot at it. If it can happen on the big screen too for a film or two, all the better. To Lucasfilm’s credit, Rogue One did at least already show the darker side of the Rebel Alliance.

  • February 12, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I have gone through all the Vader issues and I confess myself pleasantly surprised. “Vader” paints a more intimate, closer portrait of Anakin which would hardly fit in a light-hearted conventional SW saga movie, but could perhaps fuel an excellent SW spin-off story. The problem is I’m not sure I’d have enough with a one-off!

    • February 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Whenever I read the Vader comics I fell happy and sad at the same time. Happy because they contain so many well written plotlines and ideas yet sad because Disney will probably not publish the same story in two different media. Likewise, we’re probably never going to see Maul in the Obi Wan Kenobi movie since his storyarch has already been dealt with in Rebels and it will probably be the same for the Vader comics.

  • February 12, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I enjoy the storylines, but can’t say I like the art at all. I would like for more famous Marvel artists to get their hands on Star Wars; Chris Samnee, Mike Deodato Jr (again) Romita JR (come back from DC…).

  • February 12, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Well done for the article, and I can’t but agree with almost every word of it (more on that below). The series has been a joy to go through so far and I love the fact that we get to see more prequel material together with Vader’s formative experiences. While ROTJ did seem to wrap everything up neatly, I really like the direction this has taken to show that it wasn’t the case, be it remaining Jedi or trust issues between Vader and the clones if they find out his identity. The art has also been pretty good and I’m still mesmerised by that visualisation of Anakin/Vader’s inner self when in meditation.

    The only point I’m a bit unsure about is comparing this series to the 2015 comic run when it comes to character progression. The point of the latter comic isn’t really to show any change in character, since Vader is already fully formed. What we get is to see him in action and reminders that, beneath it all, he is still Anakin Skywalker. The penultimate issue confirms that he has nonetheless moved on. I’m sure these two comic series will compliment each beautifully once they’re done.

  • February 12, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Do you guys remember James Luceno’s Dark Lord* novel? How does the comic series compare to that?

    *For people who don’t know. It’s the third installment of James Luceno’s and Matt Stover’s the Dark Lord Trilogy (focusing on Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader respectively and now Legends) consisting of Labyrinth Of Evil, Revenge Of The Sith and Dark Lord.

    • February 12, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      That novel would fit so well into what they are currently doing…I wish they would bring it into canon and release it again as such! It’s a GREAT novel!

      • February 12, 2018 at 10:56 pm

        Do the novel and the comic series contradict each other? Not sure if I should read the novel. I like my head canon as it is 😉

        • February 13, 2018 at 12:55 am

          they are nothing alike…for sure, but both are good!

    • February 13, 2018 at 6:29 am

      Dark Lord is one of my favorite Star Wars novels. My favorite moment in any Star Wars book is when Obi-Wan realizes that he didn’t kill Anakin. Such tremendous writing.

  • February 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Great article! This has been a jewel and a pleasure to read after so many misses in this new canon.

    I still believe a Vader movie and his hunting of the Jedi would be great…happening very soon after ROTS. Maybe base it on Luceno’s Dark Lord???

    • February 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

      Of course it would be awesome, but I promise you Disney will never ever make that film as Star Wars from here on is social justice warriors in space.

      • February 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        They certainly make it feel as if they are trying to make that statement …

      • February 14, 2018 at 3:19 am

        Why the fuck are you here then? Find a new hobby.

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