Vader begins the purge in Darth Vader #7.
This review contains plot details for Darth Vader #7 – The Dying Light Part I.
Darth Vader #7 – The Dying Light Part I
Writer: Charles Soule | Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli | Inks: Danielee Orlandini | Colorist: David Curiel | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Cover Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Francesco Mattina | Assistant Editor: Heather Antos | Editor: Jordan B. White
One can’t help but question Vader’s teaching methods. Darth Vader #7, The Dying Light Part I commences with Vader looming over the Sixth Brother. Cradling what is left of his arm, Vader states, “It’s only an arm.” As it turns out, Vader has begun teaching the Inquisitorius, and he finds the lacking. More precisely, he finds them pathetic. In addition to instructing the Inquisitorius, the Emperor tasked Vader with hunting down another Jedi, but for reasons Vader finds surprising.
Students or Punching Bags
Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker. Compared to many other Jedi, Anakin was extremely powerful. Now, as Vader, he draws upon the dark side of the Force. In comparison, the Inquisitors are former Jedi themselves. However, they aren’t as powerful as Anakin or Vader. In addition, Vader finds them hamstrung by the weakness of the Jedi.
More precisely, the Jedi only fought when they had no choice. Vader calls this an error that infected the Inquisitor’s tactics. He plans to purge this error from the Inquisitors. Therefore, when the Grand Inquisitor asks what the Sixth Brother stood to learn from losing an arm, the answer is “loss,” and it is a lesson he will never forget.
One can’t help but wonder if Vader’s motives are pure in this regard. If Vader’s goal is for the Inquisitors to learn aggression, then is the loss of life and limb the only appropriate method? Could they not learn this lesson another way that doesn’t weaken them? Perhaps. Also, perhaps Vader disguises his own aggression and frustration behind instruction. How many officers and other Imperials die over the course of the Star Wars saga for perceived failures? Vader provides little chance for instruction and correction. With him, the consequences of failure are usually brutal and often fatal.
The Jedi Hit List
After discussing his teaching methods, Vader and the Grand Inquisitor next review a list of Jedi that survived Order 66. These are the Jedi first targeted for elimination. The list is in Aurabesh. Although some names are obscured, the list includes Kayce Beradun, Yoda, Quinlan Vos, Kirak Infil’a, Jocasta Nu, Ahsoka Tano, and two other Jedi whose names are partially obscured. Yoda is known to most Star Wars fans. Ahsoka Tano is also well known from The Clone Wars. Quinlan Vos is a creation of Dark Horse comics, but Clone Wars imported him into the current canon, plus he featured in Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. Kayce Beradun is a new name.
Kirak Infil’a is an interesting addition. This was the Jedi Vader killed for his Kyber crystal. Although Vader and Palpatine know him to be dead, he is still on the list. Was Vader’s mission that secret that even the Inquisitors cannot be told?
Of this list, Jocasta Nu is the most important to the current story. The Emperor emphasized her name.
The Importance of Jocasta Nu
Jocasta Nu was the Jedi’s lead librarian and archivist. She was responsible for cataloging and maintaining the knowledge collected by the Jedi on Coruscant. Now that the Order is gone, she takes it upon herself to preserve the collected knowledge of the Jedi. Therefore, she started another archive on some other world. When she first appears in this issue, she is making a recording in a Holocron. She also has an assistant named Gar. Furthermore, she is preparing a school for future Jedi students.
However, that isn’t her only importance to the Empire. Palpatine describes her as a witch that knows everything. Her knowledge could undo the Sith and the Empire. In addition, as the Jedi traveled the galaxy collecting knowledge of the Force, they brought that knowledge and artifacts back to their archive. There, Jocasta archived their discoveries. It wasn’t just the Jedi’s artifacts that she kept though. She also curated the Jedi’s collection of dark side secrets as well. Palpatine says the Jedi’s archives contain a great treasure that Jocasta hid.
Here is the twist: whatever the secret is, it is so powerful that the Inquisitors cannot know the Sith want it. The secret is that dangerous. Therefore, the Inquisitors may help Vader find Jocasta Nu, but Vader must protect her from them until Palpatine has what he wants from her.
Concluding Thoughts on Darth Vader #7, The Dying Light Part I
Jocasta Nu had a very minor role in the movies. The primary purpose of her appearance in Attack of the Clones was to further the mystery of Kamino. She appeared long enough to portray Jedi arrogance about the completeness of the Jedi’s records. After that, she appeared in a few episodes of The Clone Wars. Even then, a shapeshifter took her place and fought against Ahsoka Tano, and other than that, she was largely around to pass off information. The Dying Light Part I adds more to her character than any other story in the canon.
Even more intriguing is the unidentified treasure that Palpatine craves. The Emperor is unconcerned with her as a physical threat to the Empire. In addition, he fears she might perish at the hands of the Inquisitors. However, he can’t have that until he learns where she hid the treasure he craves. Therefore, Vader is in the odd position of needing to protect a Jedi.
This type of storytelling is perfect. Vader must complete an unexpected task. Hopefully, the payoff of Jocasta’s hidden treasure is compelling. Regardless, the hunt for Jocasta and Vader’s need to bring her back alive was a nice twist.