DARTH VADER #2
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Vader reports to, now, Grand General Tagge’s Super Star Destroyer. Tagge was part of the leadership on the Death Star. Movie fans might remember him as the one whose lack of faith Vader found so disturbing. The Emperor retrocons his existence by telling Vader (in Vader #1) that it was lucky Tagge had left the Death Star before it was destroyed by the rebels.
Tagge is a typical imperial. Arrogant and overly sure of himself and his power. So sure, he doesn’t see Vader’s maneuvering and duplicity. And this shows us the nature of the Empire from the Emperor on down: it is all power playing and machinations.
Like Vader #1, the last page of panels is disturbing. Vader#1 showed us the violence and anger that fills Vader. Here there is mere curiosity at seeing the destruction, at his command, of his faithful droid. There is a lot in Vader’s line: “one can always trust droids…” Vader is under siege from all sides. He cannot trust his fellow imperials: the commanders fear him but loathe him. The Emperor, he knows, he cannot trust. The Emperor is constantly testing and pushing Vader, controlling him. There is allusion here, I think, as well to R2D2 and C3P0 and their loyalty (and to BB8’s loyalty to Poe, L3 to Lando—this is an important leitmotif in Star Wars). And deeper still, young Anakin’s connection to droids— as a youth, they were his escape in a desolate life. And part of the reason Anakin becomes Vader is because his sense of betrayal, stoked by Palpatine/Sidious, by the Jedi Order and, in particular, Obi-Wan. Lastly, with the introduction in Vader #3 of Doctor Aphra and her homicidal droids, we get an all together different look at Star Wars droids. But more on that in the next review.