You can’t keep a bad Sith down.
This review contains plot details for Darth Vader #4 – The Chosen One Part IV.
Darth Vader #4 – The Chosen One Part IV
Writer: Charles Soule | Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli | Inks: Cam Smith | Colorist: David Curiel | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Francesco Mattina | Assistant Editor: Heather Antos | Editor: Jordan B. White
Fixing What is Broken
“Life seems so much simpler when you are fixing things.” – Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones
Since the beginning of “The Chosen One” story arc, the newly minted Darth Vader hunted for a Jedi. He finally found one on the River Moon of Al’doleem. Vader travelled to this unheard of world seeking Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. The Dark Lord’s goal is simple: kill the Jedi and take his Kyber crystal. Only the mission failed to proceed as planned. Master Infil’a sensed the destruction of the Jedi through the Force. He prepared for Vader. When the Sith arrived on his mountain, Infil’a made short work of him and pitched him off the side of the mountain. Now, Vader begins his redemption in Darth Vader #4 – The Chosen One Part IV.
Vader’s first order of business is fixing himself. The fall down the mountain took a toll. Even before he tumbled, Vader lost a leg in his duel with Infil’a. The solution to this problem lies at his foot. Before falling himself, Vader threw Infil’a’s droid off the mountain. It now rests nearby in a crumpled heap. Although the droid taunts Vader and the inferiority of the dark side of the Force, Vader crushes him with his power. Then Vader uses his parts to repair himself. That isn’t all Vader fixes in this issue.
The Power to Defeat a Jedi Master
Once Vader completed his repairs, he resumed his hunt for Master Infil’a. In the last issue, Kirak pronounced his Barash, his time of penance and solitude, complete. With the Jedi decimated, he vowed the restoration of the Jedi Order and the destruction of Vader’s master. Therefore, he finds himself back in society looking after his old starfighters when Vader catches up to him.
In their previous fight, Darth Vader took a direct assault to Master Infil’a. This time, Vader thinks like a Sith. Without a lightsaber and still acclimating to his new armor, Darth Vader lost badly. However, Vader learned from their previous fight. This time, Vader attacks Kirak indirectly by striking at the citizens and peace keepers of Al’doleem. Infil’a has no choice but to protect them. This gave Vader power over him and ultimately lead to his victory over the formidable Jedi Master.
It is All about Them
While Vader diverted Kirak’s attention to the citizens of Al’doleem, Kirak pleaded with him. He begged Vader to spare them. He stated, “It isn’t about them!” Vader responded, “You are a fool. Of course it’s about them.” At first glance, this is a curious statement for a Sith. However, upon further reflection, Vader is on to something.
The Sith of this era now rule the galaxy. Vader seeks his Kyber crystal, and with it, his first Sith lightsaber. The Sith lightsaber is more than just a weapon. It is a symbol of Sith power. The red blade instantly distinguishes the one that wields it from the Sith.
Control of the galaxy is meaningless without the people that inhabit it. By sacrificing the people of Al’doleem to achieve his lightsaber, Vader, a Sith, is exercising his dominion over the citizens of the galaxy. Where the Jedi serve the Republic and the people, the Sith Rule them. This battle was as much about the difference between the two orders as it was Vader acquiring his lightsaber.
Up until recently, I always included a favorite panel section in my Star Wars comic reviews. However, over the 150 plus reviews I have written, I began finding it difficult to select a single panel from any particular issue. Therefore, I reserved that portion of my reviews for singular panels in an issue that are especially striking.
Although I do not have a favorite panel for this issue, I am drawn to the sequence in which Vader repairs himself. Without a word, he crushes Infil’a’s droid as it spouts Jedi dogma. Then Vader uses its parts to repair and reinforce himself. The final three panels demonstrate the repairs as the perspective focuses on his outstretched hand. Vader deftly moves parts around using the Force, and by the final panel, his hand is in considerably better repair than when he started. This sequence is both artistic and effective.
When the reader next sees Vader a few pages later, his repairs are complete. His body is either repaired or reinforced with the droid’s parts. Once that is done, he seizes the droid’s weapon and stalks after Master Infil’a.
Conclusion of Darth Vader #4, The Chosen One Part IV
This issue highlighted many of Charles Soule’s strengths as a comic writer. Most of the action occurred over a few pages at the end of the issue. However, the issue itself was captivating. Vader’s solution to his damage was ingenious and in keeping with Anakin’s personality. Even though Anakin is essentially dead, and Vader arose from his ashes, some of the former Jedi remains.
Anakin once commented to Padme, “Life seems so much simpler when you are fixing things.” Unable to defeat the Jedi whole, Anakin reassessed while fixing himself. In doing so, he discovered the solution to his challenge and acted upon it. This series highlights the transition of Anakin from the brooding Jedi Knight to the ruthless Sith Lord. The Chosen One Part IV is a highlight in that transition.