|Events that occur between 19 and 2
years before the Battle of Yavin.
|Darth Vader and the
|Haden Blackman, Rick
Leonardi, Dan Green, Wes Dzioba et al.
|Dark Horse Comics
|Story published as:
Comic Book series (2011)
e-Comic Book (2011, 2015)
Hardback Graphic Novel (2011)
Collection Paperback Graphic Novel (2015)
If you have read this story, please
2 reviews [Average review score: 4.5
Still haunted by the events in Revenge
of the Sith, Darth Vader must set aside his past
and put his future on hold for a mission to the
mysterious Ghost Nebula to locate and if possible,
rescue a missing Imperial expeditionary force.
But what seems a perfect opportunity to lose himself in
his duty is complicated by two factors: he is paired
with a wilful yet highly competent co-commander, and the
officer they are being sent to locate is the son of
Vaderís rising nemesis, Moff Tarkin.
Vader in command! Vader in turmoil! Darth Vader steps up
his attacks when his invasion of the Ghost Nebula meets
with stiff resistance. But when a courageous beauty
offers her help in conquering the system, visions of
what his life might have been if he had not betrayed the
Jedi and if Padme was still alive affect the Dark Lord's
Haunted by recurring visions of what his life with Padme
might have been like if he had not succumbed to the dark
side, and guided by the Ghost Nebulaís mysterious
priestess, Vader and his troops become embroiled in a
disastrous battle on a tar-pit world.
Worse, the hard-fought battle brings Vader no closer to
locating Moff Tarkinís missing son, but it does put
him in the deadly sights of a traitor!
An attempt on his life leaves Vader and a handful of
loyal troops trapped on a desolate world. Despite the
deadly perils posed by the environment and attacks from
his mysterious enemy, Vader will not veer from his duty.
But what if the reason for his mission is negated? And
what do these visions of Padmť mean to Vader's future?
The final battle with the insurgents brings a resolution
to the mystery of Moff Tarkinís son.
Vader resolves the entire mission in a way that only he,
the darkest lord of the Sith, can!
This story occurs shortly after Revenge
of the Sith (approximately 19 years before the
Battle of Yavin).
Review by J. L. Polacek,
"A very gripping story. It's tells splendidly how Darth Vader and Moff Tarkin became formidable allies. Also it was good to see that
Vader out of his shell being helped by more robots then being in some special chamber. Also, it was cool to see him dream about the possibilities of an alternate future, where he's a father to his son Jinn, his wife the new Supreme Chancellor, and that he is stopped the
Sith and is still a Jedi despite his attachments. It made me feel sad when it was all revealed to be a illusion by some witch in the Ghost Nebula."
of Issue #1 by Ewan, Star Wars Books, January 2011:
"If there is one writer of recent years who should be able to
get beneath the mask of Darth Vader it must surely by Haden
Blackman. As lead writer for both The Force Unleashed
videogames (2008 & 2010) as well as their comic book
adaptations and author of Purge - The Hidden
Blade (2010) it is clear from the outset of this first issue
of Darth Vader and the Lost Command that Blackman is well
versed on what it mean's to be the galaxy's most infamous Dark Lord
of the Sith. Right out of the bag we are witness to Vader's inner
torments as he battles with himself over what might have been if
things had gone differently in Revenge
of the Sith: if only he had brought Sidious to justice
instead of following him he would have been the youngest leader of
the Jedi Council. But instead he must suffer the torments of both
being reliant on artificial machinery just to stay alive and the
knowledge that he is forever at the beck and call of his Master.
"When A New Hope
was first released in 1977 and we were introduced to Darth Vader,
Dark Lord of the Sith, and Grand Moff Tarkin one question occupied
many fans' thoughts: who was in charge? The Dark Lord of the Sith or
the Grand Moff? Vader was known to be the Emperor's right-hand man
but clearly Tarkin is giving Vader orders. But here at this moment
in the story not long after Revenge
of the Sith and Blackman's own story, Purge
- The Hidden Blade, it is clear who stands by the Emperor's
right hand: Tarkin. Clearly, Vader has yet to earn that position and
as he kneels before his Master he is, in effect, also kneeling
before Tarkin. Here, some issues between both men-of-power will not
be completely resolved until Tarkin's death on the first Death Star.
But, what we also see in this issue is some good old-fashioned
'Vader action': from ordering his troops to open fire first; his
slaying without pity and remorse; to the necessary use of the Force
to knock down blast-doors - everything a fan expects from a Vader
"I have only one criticism of Blackman's story so far and that
is in the opening pages he establishes a lack of trust issue for
Vader: since Vader failed in his previous mission set by the Emperor
(contained in Blackman's Purge
- The Hidden Blade story), the Dark
Lord is to be accompanied on this mission by a Captain Shale,
appointed by both Tarkin and the Emperor, as his 'shadow' - and in
this issue at least I half-expected Vader to try to undermine Shale
at every opportunity that presented itself: from the space landing
to the taking of the stronghold. Instead, Shale becomes almost
indispensible to the mission: not only does he 'save' Vader from a
sniper, but he is instrumental in securing the last bastion of enemy
resistance. Hopefully, this issue will be explored in future issues.
"While penciller Rick Leonardi is not new to Star Wars comics,
he pencilled the General
Grievous (2005) four-issue mini-series as well as
contributing to two of the six issue Outlander
(1999) story, he is perhaps best known for his work on Dark Horse's
Alien vs. Predator: Three World War (2010) series.
Although his action sequences were, well, action-packed (including
what has become an almost obligatory decapitation by lightsaber), I
found his character features less defined than other Star Wars
artists and his representations of film characters were at times
unrecognisable. In particular Tarkin, as a young Peter Cushing, who
let's face it has a very recognisable jaw-line, was completely
unrecognisable to me and if it wasn't for the mention of his name, I
probably wouldn't have placed the character as being Tarkin in the
first place. The same could be said of his representations of
Natalie Portman (Padme) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin) - although
the story's second panel does contain a good likeness of Anakin
"Setting aside my reservations of Leonardi's representation of
Tarkin and other film characters, I found this issue to be a
promising start to what looks to be an exciting new mini-series that
hopefully wont be the last set in a period ripe for comic story
exploration. It also offers a great jumping-in place for fans yet to
experience Star Wars in comic book form or those fans new to the
Star Wars Expanded Universe as, apart from a small reference to Purge
- The Hidden Blade, the only prior knowledge of Star Wars
needed is to have seen the films."
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