Darth Vader: Into the Fire Part 1

Vader is in trouble!

Palpatine is very displeased with his apprentice who has allowed his anger and hate to slip away and become grief-stricken after his encounter with Sabé and the Amidalans.

Vader is struck with the Emperor’s lightning before being attacked by the Royal Guards. Mas Amedda tells Vader that his actions, allowing Luke to escape and not wiping out Sabé and her band of rebels survive, are surmountable to treason and punishable by death but Palpatine doesn’t want to lose his prize pupil.

Palpatine destroys Vader’s cybernetic limbs that replaced those he lost to Obi-Wan before taking him to Mustafaar and dumping him where Obi-Wan struck him down. Palpatine then tells Vader that he must build himself back up on his own, as Vader reaches for his lightsaber with the Force he is chastised and told that if he uses the Force his Master will know and his punishment will be more severe.

Vader manages to crawl towards the Techno Union stronghold where his and Obi-Wan’s battle started whilst Palpatine and Mas Amedda watch from a distance.

Even though we have seen Vader suffer at the hands of The Emperor in the previous Darth Vader comic series’, this issue, for me, really shows the evil lengths the Sith Masters would go to keep their apprentices in line.

Palpatine steps away from his emotional torment of Vader and rather than a mere blast of Force Lightning, he essentially has Vader beaten by his thugs and then in true evil overlord fashion, strikes the final blows by rendering Vader, in a manner of speaking, useless. Taking away three of his limbs and forbids Vader from using the one thing he has relied on for most of his life, The Force.

This issue starts to establish why Vader seems so downtrodden in ‘Return of the Jedi’ when in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ he is on top of his game, after winning back Palpatine’s favour in Kieron Gillen’s ‘Darth Vader’ series, but in ‘Return of the Jedi’ he comes across more like a wounded puppy, almost begging his master to acknowledge his triumphs. Vader is used as a messenger in the beginning of the film, and later banished to The Executor. When Vader dares to return to The Death Star with the news that Luke is on the Forest Moon he is questioned, obviously, now we begin to understand why and if Palpatine hadn’t believed him then I can only assume that a similar punishment would have met Vader in the Throne Room. Like ‘The Clone Wars’ giving us more insight into why Anakin turns his back on the Jedi in ‘ Revenge of the Sith’, this series is giving us a deeper look into why Vader is conflicted when it comes down to him fighting Luke, and it’s not just because if he doesn’t he will be killed and I get the feeling this comic run will make us see that duel in a different light once it reaches its conclusion.

This already strong series continues to get stronger in terms of the story and the lore building that goes with it. It’s truly brutal to see and makes you really feel for Vader, despite the evil deeds he has committed and allows us to follow his path to redemption more closely.

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