– Spoiler Review –
Leia makes a surprising (but understandable) choice, Dr. Aphra’s hairy ally joins the fray, and the being responsible for the events within Vader Down arrives to take out his main rival. Darth Vader #14, part 4 of Vader Down, is an entertaining issue where everyone gets put into place for the last two issues of this crossover event.
Standing up to Vader isn’t anything new for Princess Leia, but you got to love her fierceness still being present even after she’s watched him decimate a sizable portion of the Rebellion’s army. Even better, she seems to lack any hate for him despite everything he’s done or been a part of to hurt her and the Rebellion she puts so much faith in, making her a truer Jedi than most (and shows off the Padmé inside of her). It’s that faith in her cause, and her desire to see him pay for his crimes rather than getting revenge for them, which makes Leia’s decision to sacrifice herself by acting as bait for a Rebellion bombing run on Vader understandable for the character though still a tad surprising. It certainly fits with her mood in Vader Down so far, as last issue she was willing to put Luke’s life at risk in an attempt to bring as much firepower down on Vader as she could. Being selfless is the Jedi’s most powerful asset/skill to fight the evil in the galaxy and it’s awesome to see Leia exhibit that so flawlessly here (even if we know she doesn’t really go on to become a Jedi). And then there’s that weird moment in her first scene with Vader, where he’s distracted by…something: did she inadvertently use the Force and make a distraction noise, much like Obi-Wan does aboard the Death Star? It certainly seemed like it and I love that Vader doesn’t even consider Leia being the culprit a possibility.
As predicted the backup Aphra calls in for (back in Vader Down #1) is Krrsantan, the rage-filled Wookiee bounty hunter, and he gets to make a grand entrance: he plows his ship into the Millennium Falcon, forcing the Falcon down. Krrsantan blows open a hole in the ship and takes a dazed Luke out, but Chewbacca doesn’t seem to like those plans and steps in to fight the other Wookiee. I hope we get to see as much of their battle as possible because nothings more surprising than seeing Chewie being lifted over someone else’s head and thrown. Chewie is still recovering from Triple-Zero’s poisons, but I think any Wookiee on Wookiee fight would be an epic brawl no matter their current state. The look on Han’s face when he sees Chewie being thrown is priceless, as is his loss of confidence that he and Chewie can subdue Krrsantan while Luke rushes to save Leia.
But just as Leia is seemingly going to be sacrificed to kill Vader, Commander Karbin (the Mon Cal remade in General Grievous’ image by Dr. Cylo for Palpatine’s initiative to replace Vader) steps in at the last minute with his own personal compliment of Imperials and prolongs both of their lives. As revealed in DV #12, Karbin has been manipulating events and is the cause of Vader arriving on Vrogas Vas, against what should be insurmountable odds, in the first place. Karbin was assigned the mission of finding the Rebel pilot who destroyed the Death Star and after patiently waiting for Vader to bring the boy before him, Karbin now strikes while Luke is so vulnerable. Karbin also wouldn’t mind if he can take out Vader personally (his first and last true error is trying to do it himself), rising to be Palpatine’s right hand man, at the same time. Should be interesting to see if Karbin will survive the crossover or if his time is finally up.
Here are a few other things:
- Aphra gets but two pages, however it’s great to see she’s alright and ready to fight another day. She has the funniest line of the issue: when Triple-Zero points out things could’ve gone better in their battle with Han, Chewie, and Artoo, Aphra responds, “Thanks for the tactical analysis, Triple-Zero. Every credit poured into the Tarkin Initiative was a credit well spent.” (The Tarkin Initiative hasn’t really been explained, but it’s the birth place of BT-1, which he blew up, and Triple-Zero.)
- Threepio’s opening lines were classic Goldenrod, while I’m hoping something interesting comes from Triple-Zero taking Threepio’s arms…even if the sideplot ends with Chewie ripping them out to return to Threepio.
- The cover for this issue is about as misleading as the last one. Star Wars #13’s cover had Leia front and center with Vader looming over her, but that didn’t take place until this issue. Darth Vader #14’s cover (the image at top) has Han and Luke battling Commando droids last seen in The Clone Wars, but not a single one appears in this issue. But Vader has built a droid army (back in the first arc of the DV series, when he visits Geonosis) so it’s possible he’ll be calling on them to help with Karbin’s invasion fleet (so he doesn’t seem like the one responsible for so many Imperial deaths by blaming it on the Droid Grota, I’d imagine).
- I felt like something just seemed off in Leia’s face for the art this issue.
Darth Vader #14’s job within the Vader Down crossover event was to shuffle players around Vrogas Vas to set up some possibly big and exciting moments in the final two issues and at that, it did a fine job.
+ Leia’s non-Jedi Jedi ways
+ Karbin makes his arrival
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Vader Down (crossover between Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Part 1: Vader Down #1 | Part 2: DV #13 | Part 3: SW #13 | Part 5: SW #14 | Part 6: DV #15
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Annual: #1
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Poe Dameron (on-going)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)