BURNING SEAS, PART 2: The Empire has decided it’s best to subjugate Mon Cal. But the natives aren’t giving up without a fight. Meanwhile, a Jedi seems to be behind the Mon Calamarians’ defiance and Darth Vader is planning on hunting him down.
DARTH VADER #14
Authors: Charles Soule
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inkers: Daniele Orlandini
Colors: David Curiel
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
Darth Vader is still hunting down the remaining Jedi. The Emperor has advised Vader that one may exist advising the king of Mon Cala as the Empire conducts negotiations. Vader arrives just in time to see the current Imperial ambassador blown up in his shuttle. This gives the Empire the justification to launch an all out assault on Mon Cala.
What You’ll Find Out:
The Empire’s forces are crashing down on Mon Cala. The planet’s forces are completely overrun. Vader and his two Inquisitors stroll through the landing docks past several fallen Calamarians. They head into the capital building, seeking an old “friend” of Anakin Skywalker: King Lee Char. Inside the throne room, Lee Char discusses his strategy with both Ackbar and Raddus. They are evacuating the city, only delaying the Imperials until all of the Mon Cal are under the water. But Lee Char has one last gamble. He presses a button.
Above Mon Cal, Lee Char’s hologram communicates with Tarkin. Char demands that the Empire cease their illegal attack of the planet but Tarkin counters, stating that he has precedence. The conference ends with no progress, except Tarkin is now expecting a counterattack.
In caverns underneath the capital of Mon Cal, the mysterious Jedi watches on the holocams the attack of the city. Apprentices surround him as he tells them of Skywalker. Of how Skywalker, now known as Darth Vader, was responsible for the massacre at the Jedi temple. The Jedi, Master Barr, has a plan, though, that will hopefully kill Darth Vader. He contacts King Lee Char who is still hesitant to enact the plan. But Master Barr is persuasive. In part, because he knows that Mon Cal must survive this as they will become important to the war effort.
Lee Char contacts both Raddus and Ackbar and tells them to enact the plan. Lee Char wants to make one last communication to his people from his throne room. But when he enters his throne room, he finds Darth Vader and his two Inquisitors waiting for him. Darth Vader easily overpowers the young king. But then, before the Inquisitors can interrogate the king, Lee Char’s plan begins. Creatures from underneath the sea rise up, completely destroying the city, sinking everything, leaving Mon Cal a complete ocean world, obliterating Vader’s forces as well as every single Imperial troop or vehicle on the surface.
What Just Happened?
As a long time fan, I’ve always really loved the Mon Calamarians. I loved their involvement in the expanded universe. Admiral Ackbar was one of my favorite new characters of Return of the Jedi. And the Mon Calamari Cruisers? Some of my favorites (and whenever I play the games, I always love to use them).
So to see this much of Mon Cal is really feeding into the geek in me.
However, this is a Darth Vader book. And the most of Darth Vader that we saw was from a holovid from a Jedi. Speaking of which, how did he know so much about who Vader really was? Vader is not known to be Anakin Skywalker, even by Jedi. So I find it hard to believe that Master Barr knows so much. Granted, it’s possible he’s a character who knew Skywalker well from the Clone Wars animated series (seeing as how Soule draws heavily for influence). But even if that didn’t bother me, this is supposed to be a Darth Vader book.
And so for it to be a story that’s supposed to center around Darth Vader, this is the second issue in a row where he’s barely been featured.
So I don’t know…maybe once the arc is finished and it can be read as a single story I’ll have a different opinion. Maybe we’ll get some definite character development from Vader by the end. It seems we still have at least 2 issues to go, so plenty of time to wrap things up and to bring the focus back where it belongs, but it seems like Soule, at this point, is telling a general Star Wars story, not a Darth Vader story.
And that’s not to say it isn’t good. It’s a good story. Just not the kind we should expect from this book.
Final Thoughts: Once again, we find very little of Darth Vader in this book and that seems odd considering the title is “Darth Vader”. It’s a good story, plenty of fan service (much like the previous issue) but how long until we get to see the Lord of Sith in some real action with some real development?
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