Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, Book 1: The Chosen One
Author: Charles Soule
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Published: June – October 2017
Set set directly after RotS
Something New for Me!
Until Jason Concepcion and Mallory Rubin covered these comics in the Binge Mode Darth Vader podcast, I hadn’t planned to dig into them. I would have looked up the synopses and such, but I wasn’t going to do a full read. I’m so glad they decided to cover these comics and ignite my curiosity, because they are gorgeous! The art and character design are flawless, and the writing is tight, the dialogue perfectly matching each established character. You can hear Ian McDiarmid and James Earl Jones when reading.
What You’ll Find Within...
Book 1 deals with Vader’s first steps in his new form and finding a lightsaber to steal. His main mission is to dominate the Kyber crystal. It was fascinating to see Palpatine interact with fresh baby Vader, how easily he controls his new apprentice. There’s a reason everyone in the galaxy should be afraid of our guy Palpy. But the real focus is on how Vader will push Anakin aside and embrace his new existence.
These comics further our understanding of what's happening in Anakin’s mind as he slips deeper into Vader. He uses Anakin’s most admirable traits – determination, self-sufficiency, and courage – and melts them into rage and relentlessness. He’s becoming the monster. By the end of this collection, Obi-Wan’s “he’s more machine than man now” sentiment really rings true. But there are still glimmers of his humanity as well, which I’m glad the writer put in. We have to believe that Luke will be able to turn him back to the Light, and these small human moments make us dare to hope. One heartbreaking sequence really hammers this point home. The book title The Chosen One relishes in our pain, showing that in this moment Vader is the Emperor’s Chosen One, and that he has failed his Jedi roots.
Great new character alert!
Kirak Infil’a, the Jedi Vader faces in this collection, is AWESOME. I wish we got to see more of him in canon. The concept of the Barash Vow is intriguing: there are Jedi Buddhist monks out there, just kicking it with the Force?! His story is also tragic and showcases that even Jedi not directly connected to the Council are often felled by hubris and arrogance.
Recommendation: 8/10 Lightsabers!
Very excited to continue this collection!