Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chris' Midichlorian Corner for September 19th, 201

Greetings Star Wars fans. Welcome back for the exciting conclusion of this amazing series: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison. Last time, Vader had just recruited the strongest prisoners from the secret Jedi prison: Prism. He hoped these people would help him attack Headmaster Gentis, a man responsible for an attempt on the Emperor's life. Time is of the essence, as Vader and his forces must rush to intercept Grand Moff Tarkin before he can go to Coruscant and fall into Gentis' trap to take control of the entire Imperial military.

The issue opens with Tarkin's arrival on Coruscant. Gentis awaits with the entire Imperial Academy behind him, seemingly in a show of respect. But of course this is just a ruse. As Tarkin and his entourage exit their shuttle, Gentis orders them taken into custody. Everything seems to be going according to plan. Until all hell breaks loose. 

Turns out Tarkin wasn't alone. Vader rushes forth, his subordinates and the prisoners of Prism in tow, and proceed to lay waste to Gentis' forces. They are nothing more than a collection of students who clearly have a lot more to learn when faced with the Jedi's fiercest enemies from the Clone Wars. Among the fallen students is Gentis' last son. As Gentis embraces his son's lifeless corpse, he is engulfed in a flurry of Sith lightning, which courses throughout his body and melts his flesh. It would seem Tarkin didn't only have backup from Vader. The Emperor has returned and he is pissed.

From there we see the Emperor's forces make short work of retaking the Empire. Lieutenant Tohm is given the task of executing the traitors. Moff Trachta is awarded the rank of Grand Moff and appointed Headmaster of the Imperial Academies. And the prisoners are granted conditional freedom as long as they promise to never return to the Empire. However, this freedom proves to be short-lived. As their shuttle takes off from the launchpad, the prisoners explode over Coruscant. It would seem Lieutenant Tohm is truly a ruthless servant of Lord Vader.

Even the Emperor is impressed by this fact. He suggests that Tohm might prove to one day be a suitable replacement to Vader, should anything ever happen to the Dark Lord. Vader sees through the Emperor's words to their true meaning and has a private conversation with Lieutenant Tohm. The Dark Lord intends to give one final lesson to his would be successor, and what follows is one of the most chilling moments in any. Comic. Ever. Period.

This story arc is quickly becoming my all time favorite. It reminds us all why we first loved Darth Vader as a character (and it wasn't his dislike of sand). It is the absolute ruthlessness that he keeps contained beneath his cold mechanical demeanor. To quote a wise Jedi master, "He's more machine now than man. Twisted and evil." He no longer sees the people who serve with him as allies, but as tools to be used and then discarded when they have outlived their usefulness or as threats who must be eliminated. If this arc cemented anything into the Star Wars universe, it's this: you don't fuck with Darth Vader. And I dunno about any of you, but I hope Haden Blackman returns for future arcs of the Dark Lord of the Sith, with Agustin Alessio's art returning as well. These guys produce absolute gold.

Until next time Star Wars fans, may the Force be with you.

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