Tag: darth vader

Darth Vader Comic #1

Can Darth Vader Comic save his infamous ‘Noooo’?

Text: ScreenRant. Animated gifs: Tumblr.

Star Wars is either a masterpiece, a chipped modern classic, or a sad devotion to an ancient religion, depending on who you ask. No matter what your opinion, the cultural impact of the original trilogy is undeniable. So when creator George Lucas announced his intention to flesh out the rise of Darth Vader and the Empire in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, fans were ecstatic… at least at first.

The prequel trilogy succeeded in both clarifying and muddying the classic mythology. Defenders and detractors alike can agree on one thing: Lucas’ second trilogy had a few flaws. One of the most common critiques leveled at the films (we’re not going near Jar Jar) is its mishandling of Darth Vader, where Lucas turned the cinema’s archetypal villain into the byproduct of a tepid soap opera. In particular, many take issue with Anakin’s final transformation sequence into Vader, where the very Frankensteinian moment is (some would say) ruined by the villain’s baleful howl.

Marvel’s Star Wars comic, Darth Vader #1, revisits the villain’s origins. Can it reclaim the oft-derided sequence, though, and give Vader a truly meaningful “birth”?

Episodes I-III attempted to present a viable reason for Darth Vader’s fall – his rebelliousness against Jedi doctrines, his impetuous and emotional nature, and his authoritarian desire for order by way of imposing his own will. Lucas succeeded to some degree, but, nevertheless, many fans of the original trilogy were dissatisfied with the quintessential foe’s rise to power. In particular, his turn from an upstanding if rebellious Jedi Knight (aside from a few dozen dead Tusken raiders, anyway) into a padawan-slaughtering, wife-killing psychopath.

One of the most contentious moments in the film arrives after Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) has scooped up his apprentice’s remains from Mustafar and deposited them in a new, mechanized body. Palpatine informs Vader that his young bride Padme, as well as his unborn children, are dead by his own hands. The up-and-coming Sith’s reaction is certainly understandable, as he just accidentally killed his entire family, but for many fans, the agonized wail came across as too theatrical. Clearly, Lucas meant Anakin’s scream to echo that of his son, Luke Skywalker, who dealt with his own pain upon learning the galaxy’s worst menace was his father. But the impactful moment falls flat in Revenge, largely thanks to its imperfect execution, as well as Hayden Christensen’s wishy-washy portrayal (not entirely his fault) of the elder Skywalker up until his reconstruction.

Marvel has decided to revisit this oft-derided moment in their latest Darth Vader comic #1, which threatens to give Vader back some of his dignity. Written by Charles Soule with art from Giuseppe Camuncoli, the series will replay Vader’s transition and (hopefully) reclaim it from the Star Wars reel of shame. Marvel’s Star Wars editor Jordan D. White explores the reach of their latest Vader book, explaining (via Newsarama) that the galaxy’s biggest baddie will continue to tell his side of the story:

“With the all-new Darth Vader series, we will finally get the chance to witness iconic moments in the Star Wars galaxy through the lens of one of its most famous characters. With Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli  at the helm, we are going to spotlight the construction of Vader’s red lightsaber, the fallout of Order 66, the beginnings of the Inquisitor program, the rise of an Empire, and many more sinister moments never seen before!”

In Darth vader #1, Soule and Camuncoli spin the not-so-classic scene from Revenge of the Sith in a different light. Their version actually comes across as visually stronger than the original to a degree, in particular by providing more insight into the dark Jedi’s agony. The comic book deemphasizes Skywalker’s reconstruction into Vader, instead focusing on his rapidly dawning realization of the pain he’s caused and his own betrayal. As emblematic as Lucas’ Frankenstein parallel is, the homage actually undercuts its own emotional depth, accenting Vader’s “rise” with Palpatine’s reveal seeming more like a footnote (“by the way, you killed your wife”), rather than the emotional crux of the entire franchise thus far. Even though moviegoers are well-aware of the Emperor’s twisted machinations, even his smug, baked-bean smirk seems too sedate under the circumstances, not that the scene requires hammy hand-wringing.

At the same time, Revenge has the disadvantage of being viewed from a third-person perspective, whereas Soule, alongside Camuncoli can rework the somewhat cheesy sequence in Darth Vader #1 through Vader’s eyes and heart. Like Lucas, they keep the dialogue to a minimum, at first, transposing images of mechanization with flesh and blood moments, which creates a moving picture of Vader’s emotional state. The Emperor’s positively gleeful expression also highlights the true depths of his malevolence: every step his apprentice takes towards misery is another string for the puppet master to tug at.

Viewing the “iconic” moment directly through Vader’s perspective also allows Soule to add an explosive twist to the sequence, as a wave of Vader’s rage and anguish actually flings Sidious against the wall. Not present in the original scene, it’s unclear whether this is a retcon or simply the way Vader views things. Palpatine seems genuinely overwhelmed by the raw power of his apprentice, and Soule uses this to construct the first power struggle in the newly minted master-apprentice relationship.

Instead of begrudgingly accepting Palpatine’s explanation – and then cutting to him puppy-dogging behind the Emperor on the bridge of a star destroyer – Vader explodes at the Emperor, questioning his promise to save Padme, which is arguably what sealed his deal for joining Team Dark Side. Ever the manipulator, Sidious sidesteps his supposedly “miraculous” powers, urging his apprentice to use his wife’s death, channeling her “gift of pain” to complete his transition into an agent of evil.

Also it appears that Soule ups the ante for the dastardly duo. The conversation between them suggests that Vader really didn’t have as much say in his final conversion as audiences presumed. Everyone assumed that Vader, although clearly under Palpatine’s influence, made a final conscious decision to embrace the dark side. Soule’s revision of his Sith origin adds a new, coercive wrinkle the dark lord’s rebirth – something already explored to a degree in the recent, post-A New Hope series from Kieron Gillen. From how it looks, Marvel’s version establishes Palpatine’s dire threat to his apprentice much earlier on, which, so long as it doesn’t override Vader’s own complicity in his fall from grace, gives their relationship and eventual falling-out an extra layer.

In addition to tweaking (hopefully for the better) his transformation, the comic also promises to peel back the layers of Vader’s role in the “Great Jedi Purge” – something once explored by a number of non-canon Star Wars Legends’ comics Dark Horse, as well as several novels and video games. Star Wars: Rebels and other more recent comics have dealt with Vader’s genocidal quest, but much of the disturbing but fascinating story remains untold.

Soule and company will also delve into the legacy of the Inquisitors – a group which dominated the first few seasons of Rebels and were a welcome addition to the galaxy’s rich lore. While Vader’s rebirth and evolution should be the true highlight of his latest ongoing journey, giving readers more insight into the exemplary evildoer and further details into the fledgling Empire as it tightens its grip on the galaxy. Most importantly, it appears to give Emperor’s right-hand cybernetic man a chance redeem his somewhat cringe-worthy “origin” story.

“WHERE IS YOUR LIGHTSABER, LORD VADER?”

Text: ScreenRant.

Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber has been a central fixture of the Star Wars galaxy ever since Obi-Wan first presented it to his son, Luke, in A New Hope. It always held the weight of legacy in its hilt due to the legendary status of the former Jedi, only for it to be revealed that it was also the same weapon used to hunt down and destroy many Jedi Knights, including the younglings at the Jedi Temple, after Anakin turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader.

That same lightsaber was eventually lost when Vader himself severed it from Luke’s arm, along with his hand, with the saber falling into the depths of Cloud City, only to resurface decades later when it calls to Rey from the basement of Maz Kanata’s palace. Now the saber isn’t even considered Anakin’s or Luke’s, with Lucasfilm marketing, explicitly referring to it as “Rey’s” saber. But it’s not the only weapon to be wielded by the fallen Jedi, as Vader is probably most well known for the crimson blade he wielded in each movie from the original trilogy.

Now, thanks to Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader #1, from writer Charles Soule and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, the story behind the more sinister of Anakin’s weapons is finally being told.

Picking up during the ending of Revenge of the Sith, right after Anakin gets his fancy new black armor, the comic reveals that the infamous “NO!” yelled by the new Sith not only damaged the droids and medical equipment, but also knocked back Sidious himself. The Dark Lord of the Sith attacks Vader, taunting his new apprentice, saying “where is your lightsaber, Lord Vader? Use its power! Defend Yourself!” When Vader tells him it had been lost during the duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, Palpatine corrects him: “That blade belonged to another. A Jedi. You are a Sith.”

It was already revealed in the Ahsoka novel that Sith lightsabers are red due to a the kyber crystal inside being made to “bleed” when a Sith exerts his control over it. The comic goes into more detail, with Palpatine saying that Sith lightsaber blades are indeed colored by their crystals, just as Jedi blades are. But since the Sith don’t manufacture these kyber crystals, nor do they excavate them from natural sources. Sith steal their kyber crystals from the lightsabers of Jedi. After a crystal is extracted, the Sith who stole it pours all of his or her pain and rage into the crystal, effectively torturing the living force within the kyber crystal, causing it to “bleed,” turning it red. A process that is actually reversed by Anakin’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, when she steals her kyber crystals from an Inquisitor, turning the blades white.

This continues a trend in modern Star Wars canon’s depiction of the Force that shows the Sith as usurpers, not simply tapping into a “dark side” of the mystical energy field, but actually corrupting its natural flow, perverting its original intent to serve their will, as opposed to surrendering to its will as some of the more wise Jedi, like Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi urge in their teaching.

“THE SABER OF A SITH IS NOT GIVEN. IT IS TAKEN.”

With Order 66, and contributions from Vader himself, having just killed thousands of Jedi, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda is hosting a public destruction of the Jedi weapons, declaring the Empire safe from their “Separatist plots” after their “attempt to assassinate” Emperor Sheev Palpatine. Vader notes that Palpatine is not giving him one of these lightsabers, deducing that it must be because “the saber of a Sith is not given. It is taken.”

In what appears to serve as a sort of right of passage for the new Sith apprentice, Darth Sidious takes him to an unnamed planet on the Mid-Rim, where he leaves him unarmed to track down his Jedi victim, claim his weapon, and bend its kyber crystal to his will in the black hilt of his new lightsaber. The obvious question is who will Vader’s victim be? Jedi bear a much more intimate connection with their Kyber crystal, and Ahsoka even recognized the presence in the crystals she claimed from the Inquisitor for her own. Will the Jedi that supplies Vader’s new kyber be one familiar to fans, and will this in any way reflect on his continued legacy?

Regardless, the lightsaber inherited by Luke – and later by Rey – was only the property of Anakin for a few years during the Clone Wars, whereas this new blade, presuming he doesn’t need to regularly replace it as well, has several decades of legacy behind it, so its only fitting for the very first story in Vader’s post-Mustafar career to revolve around its theft and construction, including a depiction of the former Jedi bleeding one of the crystals with which he used to share a much more intimate bond.

Whatever happens, with hundreds – if not thousands – of Jedi possibly still on the loose, the new Sith Apprentice has his work cut out for him once he claims his new crimson blade and continues to finish what Palpatine started with Order 66.

Download Darth Vader #1 clicking here. You will need to download and install CDDisplay app to open the file. Check out for more comics on GetComics.

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Happy Birthday, James Earl Jones

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Happy birthday to the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones! The venerated actor turns 86 years old today.

James Earl Jones was already a star of stage and screen by the time he voiced the dark lord of the Sith in Star Wars, and the rest of the original trilogy, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. With a Tony award in The Great White Hope in 1969, and on-camera roles in Dr. Strangelove and the film version of Great White Hope (which earned him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for Newcomer), when his voice emerged from behind that black mask, it was instantly recognizable.

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The actor has continued his career on stage, on the small screen, and the big screen, with screen credits across seven decades. Recently, he’s returned to the vocal role of Darth Vader twice. He first came in for Star Wars Rebels season two, voicing Vader across several apperances throughout the season, culminating in a major showdown in the season finale between Vader and his former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. Next, he returned to the big screen as Darth Vader’s voice in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first standalone film in the saga, which is in theaters now, bringing the character full circle. He even got to deliver a pun as Vader!

In the genre entertainment world, Jones is best known (outside of Star Wars) for his roles as the voice of Mufasa in The Lion King and as Thulsa Doom, a villain in Conan the Barbarian opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has also made guest appearances on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and The Big Bang Theory

Happy Birthday to James Earl Jones. May the Force be with you.

Source: ComicBook.Com

Marvel’s Darth Vader Comic: A deeper look into the final issue

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, Marvel has reclaimed the Star Wars comic book mantle from Dark Horse, one they originally held from 1977 until 1986. Since then, the House of Ideas has steadily built upon and integrated their shared universe, continuing the in-canon development of new characters like Star Wars: Rebels’ Kanan Jarrus as well as classic characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia. By far one of their hottest properties since redeveloping their line has been their Darth Vader solo series.

Starting in 2015, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca tapped into the untold tales between Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, exploring the aftermath of Vader’s ‘failure’ to protect the Empire’s first planet killer. Several months ago, Marvel announced that issue #25 would conclude the post-Battle of Yavin chronicle.

In honor of Vader’s popular run, Marvel pulled out all the stops, including variant covers from Adi Granov, Jamie McKelvie, Michael Cho, Sara Pichelli, Chris Samnee, Kamome Shirahama, John Tyler Christopher, and Cliff Chiang. Marvel CCO Joe Quesada even got in on the action (take a look at more variants here). In addition to the alternate covers, Marvel is also giving fans a sneak peek at the action-packed conclusion to this acclaimed series. Check out the synopsis and get an early look at the interiors, as well as a few more of the variants below:

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“It has all been building to this! The epic conclusion to the blockbuster ongoing series! Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s critically acclaimed series comes to a close on October 12th in the blockbuster DARTH VADER #25! It has all built to this! Vader’s trials against Cylo’s creations! His machinations against the Emperor! His covert missions with Doctor Aphra and her murderous droids. It all comes to a head in this cataclysmic final chapter. Plus, this oversized issue also contains a thrilling new tale from Kieron Gillen and artist Max Fiumara. Who lives? Who dies? The answers may surprise you!”

The latest round of adventures finds Darth Vader trying to get back in the Emperor’s good graces after that whole Death Star fiasco. Of course as a Sith Lord, he has a few plots cooking on the side as well, including his wheelings and dealings bounty hunter favorites, his subterfuge with Doctor Aphra, and the reveal of Cylo’s diabolical ace in the hole in Darth Vader #24. The final issue will wrap up the swirling subplots, the menacing machinations, and conclude the heady “The End of Games” mini arc with a major bang.

As one of the most fascinating characters in Star Wars mythology, it’s no wonder Marvel chose to further expand on the Jedi hero turned Sith Lord. While the Prequel Trilogy and the Clone Wars animated series explored more of the elder Skywalker’s trials and tribulations, his early and middle years (glimpsed further in Rebels) show Vader in his prime. Gillen and Larroca’s work has delved into some of the meatiest material, allowing fans to watch the Emperor’s Right Hand recover from one of his worst periods since his defeat at Mustafar by his former teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi.

While it’s always a little sad to see Vader’s latest adventures come to an end, fans only have a short wait until the Dark Lord rears his sleek mask in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December. The Sith Lord’s story, of course, is far from complete. Following the success of his solo arc, it wouldn’t be surprising if the fallen Jedi finds his way into another solo run.

vaderDon’t be sad, Darth Vader will be back in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, on December!

DARTH VADER #25 arrives in comic shops and on digital devices October 12, 2016. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016

Rogue One: New poster, early concept art and Darth Vader

Source: ScreenRant.Com

Star Wars Celebration 2016 is happening in London now and Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ Gwendoline Christie hosted a panel with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, director Gareth Edwards and the cast of the movie, including Felicity Jones, who plays protagonist Jyn Erso. Edwards shared a couple of special treats for fans: a brand new poster showing Rebels rushing into battle with Stormtroopers on a beach as the Death Star looms ominously in the background, and a piece of very early concept art for the movie, showing a Rebel team that looks rather different from the final lineup in the movie, but demonstrates that the war movie feel that we’ve seen in the trailers was present from the very beginning.

Check out both images below:

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Based on the concept art, it looks like the plan for Rogue One included an android character and a mixed-gender team from a very early stage, though the final lineup doesn’t include any aliens (at least, not that we know of yet). The team that audiences will meet in the movie consists of Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Captain Cassian Andor, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus, Riz Ahmed as pilot Bodhi Rook, and Alan Tudyk as android K-2SO.

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The poster shows a scene from what appears to be a centerpiece battle of the movie, which we saw glimpses of in the first trailer for Rogue One. Among the Rebel fighters running towards the Stormtroopers in the poster are the main characters of the movie – you can see K-2SO on the far left, with Cassian and Jyn closer to the water and Chirrut and Baze farther down the beach. During the panel it was also revealed that the name of the planet they’re on is Jedha, and that the battle scenes were filmed in Maldives. Given what we’ve already seen, this battle promises to be quite the spectacle on the big screen.

How much Darth Vader is there in Star Wars: Rogue One?

Source: ScreenRant

Although it has yet to be released publicly at the time of this writing, during Star Wars Celebration a second brand new teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was played for attendees, and the biggest takeaway from it – in addition to it being a better trailer than the first one – is that it concludes with the reveal of Darth Vader. Appropriately so, he’s not shown in full form. Instead, his silhouette and vague details of his costume are seen in a reflection as the camera pans upward over a shiny floor, with something bright red behind Vader as we hear him breathe. It’s not a surprise, but as one of the most iconic film characters of all-time, it was no less exciting. But how much is Vader actually in Rogue One?

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Gareth Edwards at Rogue One Panel during Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016

As the show floor came near its conclusion on the first day of Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, ScreenRant had the opportunity to spend time with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards. So, how does Edwards and the creative team find the right balance in how much to use Darth Vader in Rogue One?

“He’s got such a gravitational pull, the second he shows up you just get sucked into Darth Vader. So it was a process to try and figure out how to pepper that in in a way that felt right. When I read the first document, which is ‘this is what we’re thinking of doing’ I was like ‘Oh my god, they’re going to do that film? Geeze.’ And at the time I thought they must have sent it to hundred other people and I accidentally got it by mistake. Then I realized they were going to do it, and I was like ‘I could never live with myself to be two years from then and it’s coming out and this is happening and there’s some guy here going ‘yeah, so we filmed in 360′ and I’d be going ‘God damn I could have been doing that!’ So you have to do it…and I’ve forgotten the question.”

Asked again if it difficult to figure out how much to use Darth Vader in the film…

“Sure. So hopefully, it was like… I got pulled into making the film through my love of the original films, but then what was a clear conversation that happened early on at Lucasfilm is that we’re doing new things here, this is not a karaoke number or just pure winks and fan service. That’s not going to make a good film. This has got to be characters that you care about and there’s an opportunity to create new people and events that pull you in, so hopefully the goal is that you come to the film for all the reasons that we love Star Wars and you get sucked in and start to care about the new people and when you’re in the midst of all that and that’s going on, familiar things start to pass you by, you start to remember ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah’ but the film should exist on it’s own terms.

If all these films are ever just ‘And here’s that character you love, Yay! Here’s that other character you love, Yay!’ all the time, that’s all they’re doing then they’re not really doing what George did – he tried to find stories that were about something, that were saying something, that you keep in your pocket forty years later, that stay in your head and are still affecting you.”

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.