Gillen, Kieron

About the Author:

Kieron Gillen was an award-winning critic and journalist before becoming a comics writer.  He lives in London, UK.



3 out of 5

(1 book)

Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1

(Art by Salvador Larroca)

Set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star (and interweaving with Jason Aaron's 'Star Wars Vol. 1'), this book reveals the titular Sith Lord's fall from grace in the eyes of the Emperor and his clandestine efforts to not only restore his reputation but also to discover the identity of the pilot who destroyed the battlestation.

This book has plenty of interesting features that reveal genuinely new details of Vader's story.  Among them are the way in which he is forced to adopt a subservient role to other Imperial officers and how he deals with his sudden decline in authority.  Perhaps most interesting is the introduction of Vader's secret allies; the rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra and her homocidal droids BT and Triple Zero.  There's more than a hint of Indiana Jones to Aphra but with a far more mercenary twist; as evidenced when her discovery of an ancient weapon system leads her to paraphrase Indy by saying that 'it belongs in an armoury'.

Unfortunately, for all its interesting new ideas, they actually become what hold the book back from greatness.  Whilst it is intellectually interesting to see Vader taking a demotion and having to sneak around without his superiors finding out, it does not make for a satisfying story.  Honestly, what we want from Vader is power, relentlessness and a total disregard for the petty bureacracy of the Empire.  And we also don't want to see him having clandestine meetings with comedic sidekicks.

So; an interesting story but which totally mismanages its greatest asset; Vader himself.

3 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 2 (here)

Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View (here)

Star Wars Vol. 2 (here)


Star Wars (here)