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Darth Vader: Issue 34: Unbound Force Part 2

What is it ? : As Vader unleashes his power at her, Sabe begs him to stop, telling him that he has lost control and they must find out what is going on. But Vader invites her into the eye of the Storm, embracing her and sharing a vision with her.
She sees a future where she is making Padme's dreams of galactic peace come true, by use of power. She sees the Skakoan's being rounded up, alien dissidents being beaten and caged, the Rebellion being defeated by an Imperial Army with her at it's lead. But she knows this is not her dream but his, and within the vision she encounters Padme, and Luke, realising that Padme was right, there is still good within Vader.
However Vader appears in the vision, striking Padme down, and telling Sabe that this is her vision not his, and it is full of lies. That she should forget the past and focus on the future.
Breaking out of the vision, she begs him to regain control, but he tells her that Hate leads to suffering or power, it is her choice, his has led to power but not control, warning her that the next time she defies him he will kill her. He tells her that she has seen her desires in the vision, and that now she only needs to take them. But she responds that if hate leads to suffering or power, how can she claim either if she refuses to hate? And with a blast of energy he launches her off the beach deep into the sea around.
He uses the force to pull the remains of their shuttle out of the water, as another vessel approaches. The crew have heard of how Vader has lost control, how he blasted his own Super Star Destroyer, so think this is the best time to take him down, opening fire with their ships weapons.
Vader lifts the remains of his shuttle with the Force and uses it as a shield against their attack. They continue to strafe at him, and wielding a staff he has retrieved from the shuttle in one hand he activates an energy shield built into the cybernetics of his other hand, reflecting their blasts.
Thinking this is their chance they perform an attack run, blasting away at Vader as he stands on the open beach, but he emits a blast of energy from his staff cutting their vessel in half. As the ship crashes and Vader approaches their bodies, he says they were weak as they didn't have the Force, and they forgot that all Vader needs is Hate . . . .

High Points : The vision at the start of the issue continues this series exploration of Vader as a character, letting us judge for ourselves if we are getting to Vader's thoughts, or Sabe's. The idea that this is Vaders, and that his memories of his wife and son are the good within him is an interesting one, that they act almost as his conscience.
The vision is also a nice look at how he sees Sabe's fall in comparison to his own, that she will lead armies, will crush opposition, all to bring peace to the galaxy, mirroring his own desires and fall to the Dark Side.

Low Points : But then we get onto the attack on Vader. Who even are these guys? Obviously we know lots of people want to kill Vader, so any perception of weakness brings would-be killers out to make their attempt. But Vader and Sabe don't even know where they are, it doesn't seem that long since they landed here, so how did information that Vader's powers were out of control spread to these random dudes, and how did they find where the pair had crashed?
While you don't need to know absolutely everything about the background of a story, this feels really random, without even an explanatory paragraph "Vader has made many enemies over his career, and as the news of his weakness spreads, some of those have chosen to strike!". It wouldn't be much, but it would help.

And what is the energy blast he wrecks their ship with? Is it a targeted force lightning blast he can now use with his powers magnified from the Force Wave? Is is some kind of super light saber he stores on his shuttle? Is it the weapons of the shuttle powered by the Force? We're not told. We've also never been told he has gadgets built into his cybernetics, including the energy shield generator built into his left hand! Does he have anything else? Jet Boots? Blaster Cannons? Maybe even since the shield generator is like those used by the Mandalorians, perhaps some other toys they building into their Vambraces, such as whip cord projectors, or whistling bird launchers?

So what do you really think ? : I really liked the ambiguity of the first part of the issue, are we seeing a vision of what Vader wants to show Sabe, so a projection of her becoming like him? Or are we seeing her vision, where she will use the power for good, but as before it will lead to corruption and evil? Is Padme and Luke the good within Vader, or just what Sabe hopes is within him?
Really nicely done, continuing what this comic does so well.
But sadly then it just falls into a fight for a fights sake, showing us how mighty Vader is because he can cut a starship in two because his power is magnified, totally forgetting this is the guy that rode a Summa Verminoth into battle against Palpatine earlier in this series.

Final Words : So we're getting into a storyline with Doctor Aphra next issue, which will be interesting as I've wanted to find out more about this character for a while now.

Score : 7.5/10

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