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Darth Vader: Issue 37: Dark Droids: Curse of the Jedi, Scourge of the Droids

What is it ? : Aboard the Executor an RA-7 droid is supervising maintenance when a Mouse Droid bumps into it's leg, releasing some smaller droids which take control of the RA-7. This spreads through the droid population of the Super Star Destroyer and lights go out, until the Imperial Crew are barricaded on the bridge.
Meanwhile on Mustafar, Vader realises that he doesn't need the Zaly Shield to control his powers any more, as he can reach out and crush a droid just using his own concentration.
He is contacted by Mas Amedda who orders him to deal with the situation developing on the Executor, while asking him if his control has returned, which Vader responds to by telling him he has never been stronger.
As their shuttle approaches the Executor it comes under attack by Tie Fighters piloted by Astromechs which they have to fight their way through before boarding the ship. Piett contacts Vader to tell him the Droids have gone rogue, and warns him that the same could happen to Vaders droids, something Vader dismisses.
They battle their way through the ship to a control center, where they would normally be able to shut down every droid on the ship, but the systems are damaged and will take hours to repair, by which time the remaining crew will be dead.
Arex, the former Jedi Training Droid, mentions that he witnessed Vader using the force to merge Arex's parts with his own broken cybernetics in mere moments, and Vader could try something similar to that.
Vader concentrates under the guidance of Arex, who tells him to do this he must remember his Jedi Training, to use the Force without forcing it.
Vader remembers words from Qui-Gon that his focus becomes reality, he remembers Obi-Wans guidance to not be too agressive, and finally he remembers his mothers grave, Obi-Wan confronting him on Mustafar, and Obi-Wan leaving him as a burned and mutilated body on the volcanic beach on Mustafar. He lashes out with the force against Arex and destroys him once again, before leading his forces to attack the vast number of droids as he lashes out with the force to destroy.
Meanwhile the commander of the escort fleet of the Executor has been contacted by Mas Amedda, and informs him that scans detect that 80% of the crew are already dead and they cannot contact Vader. Amedda tells him that this cannot be allowed to spread further, so they must destroy the Executor . . . .

High Points : Once again the use of the flashback makes this issue, with it's use subverting the obvious, where Vader must reach back into his memories to bring back his old Jedi Training, but instead he just finds Grief leading to Suffering leading to Anger and he instead explodes with rage.

Low Points : But I really don't understand what's going on, why are the droids being reprogrammed?, who is doing it?, is it something to do with Vader already making a droid army?, is the storyline about Vaders control weakening now over? what was that all about?
The story just seems to have moved on without actually resolving any of the ideas it's introduced. Is this all some test for Vader by Palpatine? As why are there Confederacy Battle Droids on the Executor in the first place?

So what do you really think ? : This comic really tries my patience, as I don't think we've actually resolved any storylines in quite a while. What happened to Sabe? Wasn't the entire thing about Vader feeling justified by corrupting someone else who had been close to Padme? But she's just wandered off so we could have a guest appearance from Aphra.
And once again I must remember that all of this is happening in the very short period between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Final Words : I think perhaps what most griped me about this issue is the cover. We get a big image of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and I think perhaps we'll get them interacting with Vader. After all at some point he gets taught how to become a Force Ghost, so having them play a part in his later redemption, laying down the groundwork for Luke to save his father would be cool. But really they feature in a very short flashback, with Qui-Gon getting lead position on the cover, actually only being featured in three frames of the issue.
Once again, missed opportunities.

Score : 7/10

Comments made about this Article!

23/Aug/2023 13:33:44 Posted by

I can see where you're coming from in regards to the cover. This is a case where things will make a lot more sense after you read something down the line.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. In ESB, we learn Vader was Anakin Skywalker. But we're left wondering why did he turn to the dark side? How did it happen? We find the answers in the prequels and in the Clone Wars show. After seeing them, it makes more sense as to how and why Anakin turned to the dark side.

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