The Sith Lord formerly known as Anakin Skywalker continues his rampage across Naboo in Star Wars: Darth Vader #4, out today from Marvel Comics. Last issue, we discovered that Padmé Amidala’s former handmaiden Sabé had lured Darth Vader into a trap on the serene planet when Amidala once ruled as queen. Believing the Dark Lord to be responsible for Padmé’s death (an deduction that’s at least half-true), Sabé and other Naboo loyalists ambush him in an underwater temple, with #3 ending on a cliffhanger involving the giant Sando aqua monster first seen in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
Now Vader must face off against the enormous beast, then confront more long-sidelined characters from the prequel trilogy who want nothing more than to make him pay for his perceived involvement in the untimely demises of both Padmé and her Jedi protector– little do they know what actually became of Anakin after the Clone Wars.
This issue is mostly made up of action and combat sequences, all of which are pretty exciting, with the fight choreography clearly and straightforwardly staged by artist Raffaele Ienco. Vader barely has time to catch his armor-assisted breath between battles, but writer Gre Pak’s crisp dialogue comes through in those fleeting moments, as the Sith Lord comes to realize just how many of Naboo’s denizens truly are out to get him. The busybody forensics droid ZED-6-7 is still around to provide comic relief and quite a bit of exposition as Vader encounters additional faces from the past.
It’s great to see that the powers that be behind these Marvel Star Wars comics are willing to dig up previously neglected dramatis personae and deal with them in a variety of interesting– not to mention surprising– ways. It would be difficult to say much more about this issue without giving away just who exactly shows up and how Vader deals with them, but suffice it to say that fans of the prequels and of certain recent young-adult Star Wars novels will be pleased by their inclusion and their hard-line stance against the Dark Lord. Vader’s own memories also continue to haunt him as we’re still treated to flashbacks of his pre-Mustafar history as he’s reminded of better times. It’s all building toward his eventual discovery (and acceptance?) of the absolute truth regarding Padmé’s passing, but that revelation will have to wait for future issues.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #4 is available now wherever Marvel comic books are sold.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.