After Star Wars’ expanded universe was removed from canon, the Darth Vader comic succeeded in bridging the gap. However, the aim of Darth Vader was to humanize the classic villain which was illustrated multiple Darth Vader’s quests. The circulation was eye-popping with the characters presented in an absolutely new light and the establishment of a new canon which differs from what we see on the screen.
It goes without saying that Darth Vader is widely distinguished by his red lightsaber. Up to this time, fans could only make speculation about the origin of the sword. However, it has been recently elaborated in the comics. Since Legends erased much of the expanded universe from canon, the comics provide new elucidation of the rationale behind the red color. Upon his transposition in his signature armor, Vader was entrusted with finding a lightsaber. Emperor Palpatine makes it clear to Vader that a Sith lord gains his lightsaber by vanquishing a Jedi in battle. Having found a Jedi who pulled through Order 66, Vader does away with him and gains his weapon.
However, everything is not that white and black as it seems. Palpatine divulges to Vader that a Sith lightsaber was turned red by putting all of the wielder’s fury into the Kyber Crystal. The secret of Vader’s lightsaber takes an even more frightening and unexpected course when it becomes patent that the Kyber Crystal struggles against this process. After giving an insight his last chance to get back to the light side, Vader gains the crystal and the blade turns red.
While creating his lightsaber, we observe another piece of evidence of Darth Vader expanding into canon that had only been alluded to. In the comics, we can observe multiple happenstances in the expanded universe except for the scene of Vader hunt down surviving Jedi. In an attempt to find a Jedi to gain their lightsaber, Vader finds out about the existence of Jedi named Kirak Infil’a. Kirak had made an oath not to meddle into anything but the force and pulled through the eradication of the other Jedi. Hunting him down being armed with the sole force, we observe the moment of Vader striving to wipe out the Jedi order.
Although the Anakin’s weak sides in the prequel trilogy are quite patent, after the transformation into Darth Vader, he becomes an irresistible menace. The comics have shed light on a new vulnerable side to Vader that we could not spot in the original trilogy. While hunting down Kirak Infil’a, Vader sustained a defeat at first. It was a pivotal moment since it was instrumental in humanizing Darth Vader. It proved that he is able to be defeated, and we observe a genuine struggle on his path to turn into the Vader that we all know and fear from the original trilogy.
There was one more occurrence in the comics that was fundamental in humanizing the Darth Vader. In Darth Vader #20, the situation revolves around Vader who is rebuked by Emperor Palpatine. The latter adopts an extreme method to make him become his apprentice. Palpatine took him to the Naboo Royal Starship which transported Padmé and the Jedi to his home planet of Tatooine.
Vader responds to this blast from his past quite vehemently, destroying a droid that is meant to repair the ship. This moment is suggestive of the fact that Vader still feels strongly about his previous life.
The initial aim of the new Darth Vader comics was not only to give insights into Vader himself but also his interaction with the Emperor. In the previous comics, we get an impression that Vader is more of a servant to the Emperor than an Apprentice, but in the new series of comics, we just have a splendid opportunity to see that it is in fact true. Vader is dismissed and maltreated by Palpatine in ways that are indicative of him being a lapdog to the Sith Lord. While it enables us to understand their relationship in a broader sense, it also serves as a rationale behind his betrayal of his master.
While Darth Vader in the extended universe has been clearly linked with mythology, the comics provided a brand-new story about the origin of Vader’s castle on Mustafar. Vader stumbles across a mask with the ghost of a Sith Lord called Momin. He is endowed with the ability to communicate with the ghost which enables them to design some plans for the castle. According to Momin, the castle is constructed like a giant tuning fork enabling him to get through to the dark side of the force.
Momin enchants Vader by promising that it will enable him to go through the veil of death and reunite with Padmé. Vader adheres to the instructions which give rise to some intriguing developments and the establishment of his iconic castle.
While Darth Vader revolves around the titular character, the comic also unveils some essential secrets about the surrounding world, particularly the start of the rebellion. Vader appears to be enraged at how the Rebellion has mounted, and we can see what sparks off the opposition of the Empire. The comic perfectly succeeds in depicting the deplorable situation of the Rebels following the collapse of the Jedi Order and provides the back-story which is linked to the original trilogy.
Darth Vader was quite effusive in using the force. In the previous trilogy, we observe the reach of his power and just how frightening he can be. However, in the comics, Vader’s use of the force is limited. While fighting back against Grand Moff Tarkin, the only weapon Vader uses after Tarkin takes away his lightsaber is force. Tarklin then sacrifices some men to come to know how far Vader can go using this force. Eventually, we see that Vader is not that potent in terms of using his force powers.
In the first run of Darth Vader, we can observe a subtle but positive change from previous prequels. One of the most hateful moments from Revenge of the Sith is the process of transforming from Anakin to Vader followed by a long-winded “NOOOOOOOOO.” In Darth Vader #1, we still observe this moment but with a text bubble just reading “NO.”
The revelation of Anakin’s father identity seems to be the most eye-popping turn in the Darth Vader Comics. In the prequels, it was said “there was no father” and people just concluded that he was the child of the force. In the comics, we see a brand-new explanation. Vader envisions Emperor Palpatine manipulating Anakin’s mother’s womb which gave rise to the imbalance in the force and led to him coming into this world.