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Telgorn Corporation/Sienar Fleet Systems Zeta-class cargo shuttle

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Darth Vader: Issue 40: Dark Droids: The Masters Trial

What is it ? : Coruscant has been closed off, with all ships being checked for the Droid infection which is allowing Scourge to take control across the galaxy. All ships are to be checked, except for Vaders Tie Advanced which arrives.
Palpatine is speaking with Sly Moore and Mas Amedda, she is being effected by the Force Wave which has returned, and Palpatine criticises Amedda for being too weak to take down Vader even when he lost control of his powers during the last wave, and orders them to shoot down Vaders ship.
Vader lands the burning Tie, and tells Palpatine that he has passed every test, so will now test Palpatine. Palpatine questions how he has regained his control, and Vader tells him it is through hate, so Palpatine orders Stormtroopers to attack Vader. Vader easily disarms them all, so Palpatine order the Death Troopers to attack, as they were selected by Vader himself.
Even though they cause some more difficulty, Vader defeats them all. But a droid testing Vaders Tie for the infection discovers that he has brought the Scourge to Coruscant, but before it can inform anyone it itself is infected.
The infection spreads to the Death Troopers who begin attacking, but Palpatine disables them all with Force Lightning, but the infection has spread to the city where blaster fire can be seen everywhere.
Palpatine tells Vader that hate has made him strong, but he is his master and he thrives on hate, so he is even stronger now.
Seeing the truth of this, Vader returns to a shuttle and leaves, but a voice speaks to him, telling him that he cannot defeat Palpatine alone, so he accepts the Scourge infection, and together they speak, "So be it". . .

High Points : Palpatine feeding on Vaders, and indeed everyone around him, hate is well done. He has found a way of weaponizing his cruelty, and the rule of two, so as his apprentice gains power and works to usurp him, he gains even more power. It seems a very Palpatine thing to do.

Low Points : But the whole droid infection seems muddled, it appears that Vader breaks the quarantine and brings the plague to Coruscant, but the entire city seems consumed by it. But back on Mustafar it seems that the plague needs the small spider droids to take control, so how did so many hundreds or even thousands come aboard a single Tie Fighter? The plague has gained the ability to take control of living beings now, but takes control of the Death Troopers that Vader has just killed, so it can create Zombies?
Mas Amedda and Sly Moore seem genuinely upset by all the deaths that are being caused on Coruscant, but they've always been pretty evil characters, so don't seem the type to be bothered by mass slaughter if Palpatine is fine with it (Amedda ordered the destruction of the Executor to get Vader and remove the infection from it, a ship filled with 10's of thousands of loyal officers).
And finally, Vader accepts the Scourge to help him defeat Palpatine, but really what advantage does it offer him. He's got the power and experience to use his Force Abilities, what does the Scourge add to that. Working alongside it I could accept, but becoming infected. Unless his plan is to take control of it.

So what do you really think ? : Again we're back to a weaker issue, there's no real exploration of Vaders character, and it just serves the purpose of moving the Dark Droids storyline forwards, and it's not really proven itself to be very interesting.

Final Words : I know I'm being a bit of a scratched record and repeating myself, but how much can occur during such a short time period as that between Empire and Jedi? It almost seems that the Empire was destined to fall due to all of the chaotic events, Force Waves, Droid Plagues, etc. The stability that the Empire provided is long past, which makes comments made in later periods, where people miss that stability so help the Imperial Remnants or the First Order seem silly, "I want to restore the Empire for the stability and peace it brought to the galaxy, except for that weekend when a Droid Plague killed thousands across the galaxy."

Score : 8/10

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