Darth Vader #32: Handmaiden No More?
Jul Tambor must be stopped at all costs. This puts Sabe in a particularly troubling spot. To capture this despot she will need to abandon her past and join with the evil specter of a once great Jedi who now sees her as a ghost of his former being’s wife.
Sabe is bound to duty. She was the first line of defense for her long-lost dead queen and best friend. Her number one goal is to stop tyranny at any cost. This story arc is about how she will align herself with the darkest beings to accomplish her goals. This issue tragically brings all that to a head as she is finally forced to rebuff those closest to her in honor of defeating a tyrant. Vader, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with her. He uses all his tricks to manipulate her to gain someone he needs to accomplish his goals. Under the surface, he wants Sabe for a more straightforward reason. She knows his secrets. Yet she is also a double of Anakin’s wife. She might be family. All this is shown in a set of three panels. Vader remembers holding his hand out to Padme and holding a hand out to Luke on Bespin. Here he has a hand out to Sabe. His desire for her is complex.
The other handmaidens in this chapter fight fiercely and passionately for their sister. They are named the Handmaidens of Padme Amidala for a reason. They are mighty and fight for freedom wherever they can. In a very true since they have not only carried on her mission but in the thirty-five years since serving Padme, and twenty-two since she died, they have matched if not surpassed the mandate of their mistress. It would stand to reason that they cannot and will not break apart. That certainly holds up to this issue. One thing Padme never did was blindly align herself with villains outright. That would be hubris. However, Sabe is a different person and not as cautious. She only sees the endgame, overly confident in the outcome.
The art will get overshadowed by the dramatic narrative. Readers will breeze through this particular issue and perhaps pass by the art. However, a second glance is advisable as the art is incredibly detailed. The coloring is grey. Not black and white, but predominantly grey. Whether intended or not, this parallels the grey area in which Sabe narratively finds herself. The only time this series’ typical red-hued memories of Vader appear is to connect the events to Sabe offering a hand of allegiance to the Sith Lord. He has extended this hand parallel to the times he shows it in memory of Padme, and Luke, denying him. The impact on the overall saga is unimportant unless it is read. It doesn’t add anything to the surface but paints a very interesting undercoating. That alone makes this a very provocative issue.
Vader is disappointed and angry. He put his faith in a proxy for his only love, mother of his presumably only child. She has failed him, which is akin to betrayal. Future events are unclear. Ask again later.
Darth Vader #32: Love the One You’re With
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 4/104/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 5/105/10
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