As Luke makes his way to Jekara, he replays his duel with Vader in his mind, trying to understand Vader’s fighting style and strategise a way to survive another encounter. His reflection soon ends when he arrives at the planet and comes face-to-face with The Executor which launches a squadron of TIE Fighters.
Luke draws them into a chase and, avoiding their blasts manages to get the Inperial fighters to fire on one of the Crime Syndicate ships, which draws them into the fray allowing Luke a chance to get away.
On the planet, Vader duels and bests Qi’Ra as Lando, Leia and Chewie debate whether or not the time is right to rescue Han. Luke provides a distraction, as Vader becomes more interested in luring Luke into a meeting but Luke admits to Leia that he’s not ready to face Vader in combat.
I’m loving all of this starfighter action, Soule is really having his cake and eating it too with this cross over, with the criminal auction, full of the scum of the Galaxy, a full on Vader fight, Boba Fett kicking ass and then in this run we’re getting the Space Battle.
Luke’s fear of facing Vader is well played out in the early pages, he’s really trying his best to ramp himself up to a rematch, each panel where he has his lightsaber drawn it shows him with his new yellow sabre. Each one is basically a juxtaposition of his words, this is Luke still afraid, not come to terms with Vader’s revelation from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and desperately in need of training.
Leia’s determination in this issue is likely to get her killed if she didn’t have others around her to keep her on the straight and narrow. I get her need to save the man she loves but if she followed through with her plan then she’d get all of them killed, leaving Luke alone to deal with Vader, Crimson Dawn and the various Criminals. And those are pretty bad odds for him.
Again this issue has moments from the films depicted, and whilst used gratuitously in the ‘Darth Vader’ comics, again here is feels more fitting, and whilst this is only a couple of pages in this issue, some of the ‘Darth Vader’ sequences can go on for up to around half an issue so at least here I’m no feeling short changed.
With two more issues left of this arc, I’m now looking forward to seeing the fight between Luke and Vader take to the sky (and space) in what could be an ultimate grudge match.
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