WHO DARES COMMIT TREASON AGAINST THE EMPIRE?! Seemingly disparate threads from years of storytelling come together as DARTH VADER uncovers the master plan of the SCHISM IMPERIAL! The UMBARAN nurtures her conspirators! KITSTER and WALD return – along with the death machinery of GOVERNOR TAUNTAZA! But when a group of betrayers come together, how long will it be until they betray each other?
The Comicbook DispatchStar Wars: Darth Vader #43 brings the first part of a new story arc featuring the Schism Imperial faction. It starts out with a solid introduction to new members of the faction and later narration would highlight their core philosophy and attitude towards the Empire and why Darth Vader could temporarily be aligned with them. However, while it doesn't leave a bad impression, it's not a great one either, so more issues are needed to further flesh out this new group and see whether it's a neat addition to Star Wars or not. Other than that, the art was good and seeing Darth Vader and his new cyborg crew in action was nice.
ComicBook.comAs we get closer to the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Darth Vader has the opportunity to highlight the growing rift and tensions between Vader and Palpatine, as this new chapter in the saga details the development of the Imperial Schism. While the growing group of Imperials aren't quite members of the Rebel Alliance, they are fracturing away from the creed of the Galactic Empire, thanks to Vader leading the charge. The book effectively conveys the tone of "getting the gang back together" types of montages and recruitment scenes in a variety of stories, showcasing the diversity of characters, perspectives, and missions this Imperial Schism are igniting. Even while largely serving as a montage, the book still manages to inject some narrative momentum into the experience and build excitement for where this journey will take us, while also offering explosive sequences featuring a growing ensemble, and while we know this Imperial Schism won't fully overthrow Palpatine, it does help recontextualize Vader's journey during the original trilogy. The Sith Lord is almost the converse of Rose Tico's outlook of fighting for what you love instead of fighting against what you fate: Vader is fighting with nothing other than his hatred of Palpatine in mind as he has no capacity for love.
SWNN - Star Wars News NetIt is somewhat tiresome to read, even as someone who has been following this series for a long time, as it is necessary to refresh your memory on issues long since past. Although #43 is very exposition heavy, it still fails to really achieve much sophistication in its callbacks or navigate readers into this new Schism Imperial arc.
Comic CrusadersDarth Vader should be a comic in which a great interesting character is given even greater or equally interesting enemies. Instead we are seeing characters be maneuvered strategically without any actual likelihood of overthrowing the Emperor. We know how this ends and as such we can’t be asked to believe that Vader’s betrayal here matters. More than this continually having Vader betray or pretend to betray Palpatine massively weakens the end of Return of the Jedi. Why do we care that Vader turns against the Emperor for his son if it’s the seventh time he’s turned. We lose the lesson of hope if he’s willing to turn against the Empire purely for power or vanity.