Mon Cala retaliates against the Empire and the battle escalates in Darth Vader #15.
This review contains plot details for Darth Vader #15 – Burning Seas Part III.
Darth Vader #15 – Burning Seas Part III
Writer: Charles Soule | Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli | Inks: Danielee Orlandini | Colorist: David Curiel | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Elia Bonetti | Assistant Editors: Heather Antos, Christina Harrington, & Emily Newcomen | Editors: Jordan B. White (with Mark Paniccia)
Despite their best efforts to avert invasion and war in Darth Vader #14, the Mon Calamarians found their world subject to Imperial siege. In addition, Darth Vader and the Inquisitorius arrived in search of a Jedi. King Lee-Char did his duty to his people and summoned some whales from the depths of the oceans on the planet, and much of the surface infrastructure the Empire relied on for its invasion was destroyed. However, that was just the beginning of the battle. Darth Vader finds himself sinking in Mon Cala’s vast oceans. The Empire prepares additional offensives. Darth Vader #15 – The Burning Seas Part III details the Empire’s next steps on the ocean world.
Vader’s Journey Under the Sea
When Lee-Char launched Mon Cala’s counteroffensive, the assault caught Vader and the Empire a little off guard. Caught in a massive tidal wave, Vader began sinking to the depths of Mon Cala’s oceans. Charles Soule, the writer, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, who contributed pencils, created a very cinematic sequence portraying his struggle under the water.
First, there is little dialogue. As Vader sinks, his suit begins delivering warnings to him about oxygen depletion, excessive external pressure, and imminent suit rupture. This is a new development for Vader’s suit. It is the first time his armor is portrayed as having an onboard warning system. In some ways, it adds an Iron Man vibe to the issue. All of Tony Starks armor have an artificial intelligence that help him control the armor and provide warnings and damage updates.
Eventually, Vader does what he always does after assessing the situation, and he calls on the Force. The pressure is regulated once he creates a bubble around himself. Unfortunately for him, this attracts the attention of a giant squid. Exactly what Darth Vader did to the squid is a little unclear, but it involved the Force. The squid nearly crushed him to death before Vader reached out and apparently touched its mind and caused its eye to change color. Some sort of Force control was exerted. Ultimately, whatever Vader did, it was too much for the squid, and after using the beast to travel through the water, the squid exploded under Vader’s control.
After traversing the ocean with the squid, Vader reunites with his Inquisitors. His reunion is not a happy one. For one, the Inquisitors failed to complete the mission. They haven’t located the Jedi. Therefore, Vader tells them they failed the mission the Emperor assigned them. In addition, the Inquisitors completely overlooked the fact that just because Lee-Char told them the Jedi’s location, that information is worthless if he survived. The first thing Lee-Char would do is warn the Jedi they were coming. In fact, that is exactly what he does to Master Barr complete surprise. Barr didn’t expect Lee-Char to reveal his location.
Final Thoughts on Darth Vader #15 – The Burning Seas Part III
Compared to the prior two issues of this story arc, The Burning Seas Part III is light on revelations. Regardless, this issue tells an amazing Star Wars adventure. The style is very reminiscent of The Clone Wars. It was in that series that audiences witnessed the Separatist invasion of Mon Cola. Now, years later, the Empire follows in their footsteps. A key difference is that during the Separatist invasion, Anakin Skywalker was a defender of Mon Cala. He has returned later as an invader. So far, his prior knowledge of Mon Cala isn’t providing him many advantages.
Commander Ackbar lead an assault on one of the Imperial Skybases, and killed Colonel Bergon in the process. Colonel Bergon was the same commander that argued for orbital bombardment of Mon Cala in the first place. Ackbar’s attack was very much in the spirit of military action seen in The Clone Wars. He is earning his eventual promotion to the rank of admiral.
Although The Burning Seas Part III and the overall story arc might not provide as much insight into Vader and the man beneath the mask, this story is contributing to Vader’s reputation. He is still something of an unknown in the galaxy. The Jedi are learning to fear him. The rest of the galaxy is learning to get out of his way.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.