Earlier in January Marvel Comics started a new Star Wars comics series. Path of Destiny (or Star Wars 2020) follows events immediately after the duel between Luke and Darth Vader. Luke has to deal with the knowledge that Vader is his father. He also lost his hand and lightsaber. Two issues have been released so far and I have given both them the thumbs up (review #1, review #2). So why wouldn’t a Darth Vader comic series set during the same time period not work? After all, Vader comics have been nothing short of epic during the last few years. It would be interesting to watch two series mirror each other towards the events seen during The Return of The Jedi!
Back too Tatooine
In Star Wars Darth Vader 2020 we see a Sith Lord who is still tormented by the loss of wife Padme Amidala. The duel with Luke has torn open old wounds. Vader is keen to find Luke and decides to discover where he lived during his youth. That means going back to Tatooine. In this issue Vader speaks very little. Instead Vader recruits a droid to help him with the investigation. It is an attempt to introduce some lighthearted moments, and that works for the most part. Yet, we see little of the wider galaxy. Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious is also briefly seen and there is no sight of Commander Zahra.
It is not often that I am left unimpressed by a comic. Alas, this first issue in a new Darth Vader series manages exactly that. For most of this issue prior events from the Prequel Trilogy are pointlessly rehashed. I think most fans are familiar with the events that caused General Anakin Skywalker to fall to the dark side. Watching Vader relive prior painful moment could have been worth it if they revealed new insights into his psyche. Yet, events are simply retold without any additions. Instead the droid does manage to recreate most of the records of Luke’s time on Tatooine, and even the time of Cliegg Lars, and his wife Schmi. I found this hard to believe as the Empire was not yet established then. Tatootine is also meant to a backwater planet with little record keeping.
As such I found the events of this issue pointless and too convenient. The comic does take a turn when Darth Vader opens the sealed chambers of Senator Amidala on Coruscant. Vader briefly relives a moment from the clone wars before he snaps out of it. When he does Padme is standing right before him in the chamber. Whether Padme is just another apparition or a hologram remains to be seen. It could even be a clone sent by the Emperor to torment his apprentice. That said, issue 2 of Star Wars Darth Vader 2020 is set for release on March 11th. This issue was written by Greg Pak, the cover is by In-Hyuk Lee and the artwork by Raffaele Ienco.