Darth Vader #7: Take Me Home

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Darth Vader #7 (Marvel, 2015)

Comics time! Ah, today I am serving up my two favorite things: Dramatics AND Kenobi-Skywalker-Related Angst. *happy sigh* A winning combination if ever there was one.

OK! Let’s re-acclimate ourselves with what’s going on in this series: previously, on Anakin Skywalker Is Very Slowly Figuring Things Out, Boba Fett — hired by Vader — had tracked down the Mysterious Young Pilot Who Blew Up The Death Star to everyone’s favorite desert getaway, Tatooine. He eventually ended up encountering said Pilot inside of the former home of the late and especially great Obi-Wan Kenobi, where he was rummaging around Old Ben’s things looking for wisdom or at least some Cliffs Notes on using the Force. Boba had tried to take the young man into custody, but had failed and gotten his ass kicked. Defeated, he’d gone back to Vader empty-handed, but with a key piece of information nonetheless: he hadn’t apprehended the pilot, but he did catch his name. It was Skywalker! Vader, of course, had taken this information in his usual understated, calm and collected manner:

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Oh, Anakin.

OK! So, armed with this Shocking New Information, we find Vader at the beginning of today’s issue headed back — once again — to his least-favorite place in the entire universe.

Recurring Theme: It’s Coarse, Rough and Irritating and It Gets Everywhere
BONUS Recurring Theme: Wistful Sunset Gazing
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Ah yes! Darth Vader’s life is a paradise, truly — one where he gets to spend all his time with the people and things and places he loves best. Once again: great job, Anakin. I’m so glad you got everything you wanted.

Vader is at the site of the former Lars homestead, and with him is Doctor Chelli Aphra, his sometimes-partner-in-crime. Since I haven’t spent time recapping Aphra content before, please allow me to list, just off the top of my head, amazing and highly amusing things about our girl Aphra:

  • her occupation is literally “rogue archaeologist” because THE LUCASFILM NERDS ARE PREDICTABLE AND REALLY LIKE THINGS THEY’VE SEEN BEFORE IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS
  • she is often accompanied by AN EVIL VERSION OF C-3PO, NAMED 0-0-0, THAT SHE AND ANAKIN RIGGED UP. He’s even an eeeeeevil shade of black stainless steel. Also they have an evil Artoo that hangs with them as well.
  • she goes on adventures with Vader even though he seems like the least-fun person to travel with ever and let’s be real, Anakin was probably NEVER fun to travel with to begin with but you know it’s way worse now and also his breathing probably keeps you awake all night while you’re trying to get a nap in on the ride.

OK OK: my point is, Aphra fits right in with the insanity we’ve all come to know and love in this galaxy. And now she’s on Tatooine with Evil Threepio and Darth Vader. Oh Star Wars.

Recurring Theme: Understatement of the Century

Aphra observes the burned-out husk of the old homestead while Vader stalks around, doubtlessly recalling the time he had a total fucking shit fit at this house. Aphra comments that if Luke had been home when the Empire showed up here, the Death Star would probably still be floating around out there, evilly blasting away at its enemies while Tarkin gleefully continued to take credit for all of Orson Krennic’s work. And, what’s more, if the Empire hadn’t killed his family, maybe Luke would have stayed behind instead of joining up with the Rebellion. Revenge, she notes, is “one hell of a motivator” and HA HA HA HA HA CHECK OUT VADER’S REACTION:

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Well, revenge and unresolved sexual tension.

Anyways Anakin is like “well this is a bust, let’s go”, because they’ve got yet another Place Full of Feelings to visit yet on this Nostalgic Journey. I’m not going to mention that Anakin totally knows his mom’s grave is RIGHT THERE and he’s probably trying not to look at it OR that Obi-Wan VISITED ANAKIN’S MOM’S GRAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO HER IN THAT AHSOKA BOOK GOD WHY IS STAR WARS LIKE THIS.

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As Vader leaves, I just want you all to know that his cape was very swooshy.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Obsessed Ex-Boyfriend
Recurring Theme: The Girls Of Star Wars Are My Favorites

So evidently Boba Fett had given Aphra and Vader some coordinates to check out for where he’d encountered Luke, and we kick things off here with Aphra saying the kind of thing *I* would have said had I been on this little field trip:
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Vader tells her to wait for his signal, and — oh yes — he walks into Obi-Wan’s old house. He walks into the dark room (LOL, how much do you wanna bet Obi-Wan did not have electricity?) and places a hand on the wall. He gets an image of Luke fighting off Boba, and is impressed:
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…not pictured, of course, are the many thousands of tortured hours of weeping that took place in this sad little room of loneliness but YOU AND I BOTH KNOW ANAKIN HAD TO SEE IT AND HE’S PRETENDING THAT HE CAN’T.

Recurring Theme: The Eternal Obsession

Vader sighs: Luke was able to do all that with little to no training? WTF. Luckily for Vader, this gives him a chance to do his favorite thing in the entire universe: talk about Obi-Wan. AGAIN: he does this around Padme, around other Jedi, around the Emperor, around his kids, and sometimes — like right now — EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS THERE. Anakin Skywalker, GET A GRIP.
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I sort of wish Obi-Wan’s ghost would have just shown up right now and slapped him upside the helmet. Also I am dying that they decided to actually canonize “Vader assumes Obi-Wan picked Tatooine in part because Anakin hates it there.” AND ALSO I’m laughing that he calls this “the one place I’d never return” to, and yet this is like the third time in this series he’s had to go back there. Sucks to be you, Skywalker!

Recurring Theme:

Vader sulks outside and tells Aphra that he’s all set: there’s nothing here. Aphra’s like ‘K, so…where do you want me to put the bomb?

Ladies and gentlemen, for a moment when I first read this I was like WAIT ANAKIN IS GOING TO LITERALLY BLOW UP OBI-WAN’S HOUSE OH COME ON GUYS. Instead, the bomb in question is a molecular purge bomb, used to remove all forensic traces of someone having been there. So, they’re not actually going to blow up his house. Just turn it into a barren junk heap that has no trace of Obi-Wan having ever existed. Great.

The bomb goes off, and Aphra notes that now “as far as forensic science” is concerned, no one was ever there. And ANAKIN SKYWALKER IS LIKE “YEP SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT”:
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I like how it’s as though Anakin — as Obi-Wan’s only living “relative” (THAT WE KNOW OF, YES, calm down Sequel Trilogy Conspiracy Theorists,) showed up to check out Obi-Wan’s estate and, having determined there was nothing of value in the old man’s house, is just going to walk away and let the house be taken by the elements.

On that note, I’m not really supposed to believe Vader ONLY sensed Luke in that place, am I? Anakin, no one is going to buy that. I know you know that was Obi-Wan’s house, and I can’t believe you didn’t want to rifle through his stuff. (Although maybe he was just too afraid he’d find tear-stained pictures of himself from back when he used to have hair and he can’t bear to confront it.) (You’re welcome.)

Aphra is like “soooo…now what?” Vader tells her he’ll have a job again for her soon, but now he’s gotta get back to the office. I like to imagine that they just pounded this whole thing out over Vader’s lunch break.

Recurring Theme: The Scumbags of Star Wars

So now we cut to Son-tuul in the Outer Rim, where some underworld criminal is harassing one of his enemies, and threatening him by showing off his collection of severed heads. And if you think I’m exaggerating, well…
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You just…you just never know which way Star Wars is going to break at any given time, you know? Sheesh.

So anyways this guy is juuuuuuust about to kill the other guy when he suddenly sees something:
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Uh oh! Bad news for the Bad Guy!

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Hopeless Drama Queen

Anakin arrives flanked by a bunch of stormtroopers and LOL, I’m sorry, but like…I know he’s a powerful villain and whatever but THE STUFF DARTH VADER SAYS IS HONESTLY TOO MUCH. I remain UTTERLY CONFUSED about how so many fanboys couldn’t believe that Anakin was a dork Before The Turn. Like…have they MET DARTH VADER?
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Vader swoops in and this whole ridiculous encounter ends with Vader FEEDING THE GUY TO SOME MYTHICAL CREATURE:
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…and then doing this:
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Yes, truly: why just shoot your enemies when you can be like 12000% Extra about it?

A trooper informs Vader that the guy the Rodian almost killed was also shot during this whole melee, which Vader is disappointed about: he figures that guy probably had more information for them. Ah well! He instructs the troops to open up a vault the Rodian had stashed here and lo and behold:

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‘Cause I’ve Been a Prisoner All My Life

Now Vader goes and talks to a Hutt, who is like NICE THANKS FOR KILLING THAT GUY JABBA’S GONNA BE THRILLED.

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I can’t even with the fact that Vader spends so much time wheeling and dealing with the Hutts. I…ANAKIN, FOR FUCK’S SAKE: this is what you get — no wife, no hair, no legs or arms, two kids who are trying to kill you, and a best friend whose ghost is definitely going to wait until you’re in your bacta soak and then show up to rattle off the many ways you hurt him so you can’t leave while he talks. You could have just NOT BEEN STUPID and maybe right now you’d be sleeping in between Padme and Obi-Wan while the Senate unveils a new statue of you looking handsome BUT NO. You’re just gonna be out here, chatting with criminals and killing stuff instead. *heavy sigh*

I digress. Yes, Anakin’s here to talk shop with the Hutts now that he’s taken care of one of their adversaries for them. Vader cuts a deal with them: he’d like it if the underworld around here were run by, oh, people with whom the Empire could have an understanding: 
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Oh, like SLAVERY YOU MEAN? LIKE THOSE OTHER THINGS THE HUTTS DEAL IN GODDAMNIT SKYWALKER AGGGGGHHHH. ANAKIN THE HUTTS ENSLAVED YOUR MOTHER YOU ABSOLUTE DOPE.

The Hutt then also tries to be all OH BY THE WAY, all that contraband you guys just took? Any chance we could, uh, find out where that’s headed? Vader’s all not-so-fast, that stuff belongs to the Empire, and this conversation ends thusly:

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Recurring Theme: Star Wars Name Alert

Next, we jump to nearby, still on Son-tuul, where Ridiculously Named Black Krrsantan (remember him?) is throwing down in a ring:
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A group of bounty hunters, including a few we’ve seen several places before, are having drinks after BK emerges victorious. They’re sitting around talking about how BK literally just killed somebody for the fun of it (yikes):
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And it’s at that point that Aphra shows up to their table with some Very Interesting News Indeed:

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The assassin droid is bored: girl, everyone knows that. Who cares?

Recurring Theme: The Wonderful Lines of Star Wars

Ah, Aphra points out — sure, but *I* happen to know exactly how it’s being transported, how to get at the goods, and most importantly how to get away. 

She seals up this proposal with a REALLY excellent question:

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“…who wants to BE RICH?”

Gentlemen. and. violent. robots. Yes, if I had a nickel for every time I’d said that on any given week…

Aaaaand with that proposal having been made, this comic — and recap — is done! Will Aphra assemble a crack team of thieves? Will Anakin show up on Tatooine again to bulldoze what’s left of Obi-Wan’s house and then salt the earth where where it once stood and also do a Force Exorcism and then also write a song about how he totally doesn’t care about Obi-Wan anymore? And what’s Sheev up to — just running a bunch of boring meetings and cackling happily to himself back on Coruscant? I guess we’ll just have to keep making our way through these! Join me next time — and thanks for reading!