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The Chosen One (Part 5) - Darth Vader (2017) - 005 - Marvel Comics

Series: Darth Vader (2017)

Issue: 5

Title: The Chosen One (Part V)

Creators: Charles Soule (Writer); Giuseppe Camuncolli (Illustrator)

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Timeline: Immediately after Revenge of the Sith

Review by Colin Borden. This is a full review with discussion.
Spoiler warning applies...

He began his journey as a Jedi with wonder and hope. Now it is time to put away childish things. Vader's first and most vital test as a Sith concludes.

Tempted by Emperor Palpatine's promise of power, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker succumbed to the ways of the dark side. Anakin was reborn as the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

In search of a Jedi who might have escaped the Emperor's purge. Vader traveled to the site of a sacred Jedi monastery on the river moon of Al'doleem. Here, he found Master Kirak Infil'a, a powerful warrior. After defeating Vader in combat, Kirak tossed him from the cliffs of Mt. Pasvaal and left him for dead.

Vader tracked Kirak to Am'balaar City where they clashed again atop the city's dam. Taking advantage of Kirak's concern for nearby civilians, Darth Vader stole the Jedi's lightsaber and threw Kirak from the dam moments before he broke it – unleashing a tidal wave and drowning the city....

Review & Summary

Final cover by Giuseppe CamuncoliI have only come across a few people who are not enjoying the new Darth Vader series (although I’m sure there are many), but I can’t help but enjoy this series more and more after each issue comes out. I believe this is such a great series and the story being told not only answers a question that will enhance the overall film saga, but also do so without overpowering and making it “crazy and ridiculous” as some other stories have done. The story of how Vader created his lightsaber, that first crimson blade we all saw on screen, is one that I find not only intriguing, but also exciting. Issue #5 takes us to a place we have not really seen until Return of the Jedi, a conflicted Vader. He is still so fresh from his loss to Obi-Wan on Mustafar and we don’t get to see much of Darth Vader’s emotional and mental transformation from Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Lord of the Sith that we see in A New Hope.

We pick back up with a hologram of Emperor Palpatine speaking to Vader, “Lord Vader, if you are seeing this message, then your quest nears its end.” Vader is in his ship with his droid who has been instructed to bring Vader to a destination that was personally selected by the Emperor himself. Mustafar! The Emperor begins to explain that deep beneath the surface of the planet “rests a locus for the Dark Side of the Force.” He continues to explain to Vader that this is where he will reclaim himself. “From the site of your greatest defeat, you shall rise…strong…unbroken…POWERFUL!” the Emperor tells Vader.

Palpatine continues to tell Vader about the Kyber crystal. He may have obtained the Jedi’s Kyber Crystal, but it is not yet his. Palpatine instructs Vader to find the place on Mustafar that is strong with the Dark Side and combine its power with his to corrupt the crystal and to make it bleed. Darth Vader makes his way from the ship and into a cave entrance. Still damaged from his battle with Master Infil’a, Vader makes his way to what appears to be an altar and deconstructs Infil’a’s Lightsaber, extracting the green Kyber Crystal from the hilt. He holds the crystal in his fingers and views it through the one lens the still works as the crystal shines.

Lord Vader places the crystal upon the altar and begins to use the Force to try and corrupt the green Kyber Crystal. It begins to glow bright green as it hovers above the altar. You can tell that Vader is struggling when suddenly he is thrown back by the power of the Kyber crystal. It appears that Vader is flung into a rock which causes the lens to shatter, revealing the blue left-eye of Anakin Skywalker. You can see the panic in his one eye as he says to himself, “…What have I done?” He begins to lift himself from the ground and makes his way towards the altar.

At the altar, Vader holds up the still green Kyber Crystal and begins to reassemble the Lightsaber he tookfrom Master Infil’a. We now cut to Emperor Palpatine sitting in his office on Coruscant as he asks Vader, “MyApprentice. You have returned. Were you successful inyour quest?” which Vader responds simply,“Yes.” Palpatine then asks Vader to show him the blade he constructed. As Vader holds the Hilt, a green blade extends from the weapon. “Ah, so you have made your decision?” Palpatine says with a grimace. “I have,” Vader says as Palpatine leaps to the air igniting his own crimson blade. “So be it, my friend! You have chosen weakness. So be it!” The Emperor says as he crosses blades with Vader, “Such a waste.”Just then Vader cuts down the Emperor, “Yes…I agree,” he says as he lowers his blade exiting Palpatine’s office.

We then see Obi-Wan sitting on a hill, starring into green field. He is suddenly disturbed as hesenses something and immediately ignites his blade and turns around to find Vader standing before him. “Obi-Wan,” Vader says as he begins to remove his helmetand kneels before Obi-Wan, blade still ignited and ready, “Please.” Obi-Wan is about to slash down on the intruder when he realizes who kneels before him, “Anakin,” he says as he lowershis blue blade. We then see the once blue eye of Anakin now yellow with the red specks of a Sith.Back in the cave, Vader makes his way back towards thealtar and picks up the Kyber Crystal oncemore as he says, “No…I refuse. This is all there is,” as he slams his fist down on the altar with the crystal in hand now glowing a blue color.

Electricity, similar to the look of Sith lightning, begins to emit from the crystal under Vader’s hand on the altar. We see as the lava on Mustafar begins to erupt and lightning comes down from the sky around the planet. We see a glimpse of Obi-Wan as he stood before a defeated Anakin after their duel on Mustafar. Vader falls to his knee as tornados begin to ravage the surface of the planet. We then see the memory of Anakin carry his mother back from when the Sand People killed her. Next, we see a memory of Padme, simply smiling. The crystal is glowing much brighter from inside Vader’s hand. We see one final memory which is that of a wickedly smiling Palpatine as the Kyber begins to glow red as Vader screams.

Back on Coruscant, we see Emperor Palpatine sitting in his chair as Mas Amedda and Tarkin discuss matters while two Royal Guards stand at the front of the room. “Construction continues apace, your excellency. I believe we will meet or surpass all targets,” Tarkin says. “And the weapon, Tarkin? Does that move forward on schedule as well?” Mas Amedda says. “The latest reports are promising, Mas Amedda. I believe that…” Tarkin says before he is interrupted as the Royal Guards enter an attack stance.

Just then, the Royal Guards are sent flying into the windows causing them to crack. Tarkin stands there in complete disbelief as he begins to speak, “Wha...” But he is silenced at the sight of Lord Vader standing before them in tatters. “Both of you…Leave,” Palpatine orders both Tarkin and Mas Amedda. “But Emperor…Your safety,” Tarkin says in concern, but Palpatine assures him he is completely safe and tells them once more to leave. Vader approaches his Master as they exit as Palpatine greets him, “Apprentice.” The Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, ignites his newly corrupted crystal in what appears to be Master Infil’a’s old hilt, now a crimson red and says a single word, “Master.”

Finally! We see how Lord Vader obtained his Crimson Kyber Crystal, however, it appears that he was still using Master Infil’a’s hilt in place of his own for now. I really hope that is the case, because I believe it would be a MAJOR misstep for the writers to completely ignore the actual construction of his hilt. That I think is an important part of the construction of his Lightsaber. My favorite scene is Luke constructing his green lightsaber in the ROTJ deleted scenes. I always wish that was in the movie itself, so I personally would appreciate them showing Vader actually creating his hilt, although I can see why some people wouldn’t be bothered by it not being shown.

Master Infil’a’s hilt flies into Vader’s hand as he grabs it tightly. Suddenly, Master Infil’s is suspended in the air grasping at his throat as he begins to choke. “N-no. Please…Kill me…But let them Live…” Infil’a begs as Vader stands there gripping him with the Force. Vader hovers Infil’a over the edge of the dam so that he can watch as the structure finally gives way causing water to rush through the village and wash away all the homes and structures in its path. Infil’a watches in terror as all these innocent people become collateral damage of the showdown and manages to say one last, “No.” before his neck finally cracks and gives way to Vader’s power. Vader then tosses his lifeless body down into the rushing water. With Master Infil’a’s hilt gripped in hand, he stands atop the dam admiring his prize as he looks out at the destruction he caused.

I can see how some people would not enjoy this issue because it isn’t filled with “action,” but that is why I actually really enjoyed it myself. It gave us some insight into the importance of Mustafar and the connection to the Dark Side of the Force and why he will eventually have his castle built there. It also showed us some of the internal struggle Vader is still facing in his infancy in the Dark Side. Now, I’m not sure if I’m just not thinking straight at this moment of writing, but I’m not sure what construction Tarkin was discussing. The only thing I could think of was that they’re possible starting construction on Vader’s castle because then they discuss the weapon’s construction afterwards which is obviously the Death Star. It’s possible that I’m just overlooking the obvious and I’m disregarding something, but anyway I am still hooked on this series and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. Inquisitors!

Want to see a certain series reviewed? Drop me a line and let me know!

What Worked

  • Vader's vision of an alternate choice containing Obi-Wan
  • The inclusion of Tarkin although brief
  • The internal struggle of Vader
  • Vader's memories as he corrupts rhe Kyber Crystal
  • More information on Mustafar's connection with the Dark Side
  • The Emperor is always great to see

What Didn’t Work

  • Not seeing Vader construct his hilt, hopefully shown in next issue
Variant Cover Gallery

Variant cover by Terry Dodson   

External Links:
Added: September 19, 2017
Category: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Colin Borden
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