Review: Vader’s Quest
Here’s a confession my regular readers are probably sick of hearing: I’m not in to comic books. I’m not. If you’re a regular, you’ve heard me say they’re hard to read, they’re unappealing, they’re confusing. I spent a lot of my realcanon years trying to ignore them and pretend they didn’t exist in the canon, unless the novels forced me to accept them like Dark Empire.
The Disney reboot has given me some good things, though. It’s caused me to explore and accept parts of realcanon I never would’ve dreamed of before. It’s even gotten me to the point where I purchased this without even reading it, taking for granted it would fit as canon between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
And it’s got some great stuff going for it. The story of How did Vader find out who Luke was? has almost certainly been on fans’ minds since 1980 and the memorable crawl that states that Vader is obsessed with finding young Skywalker.
In short, this is the story of how Vader discovers Luke’s name. It provides a strong background for the fateful holocall in ESB, especially after the 2004 edits made it sound like Vader didn’t know who he was hunting in spite of the fact that the crawl explicitly identified it only 20 minutes previously.
The parts with Luke were not anywhere near as strong as the ones with Vader as Vader scrambles to learn Skywalker’s name. There’s also a sub plot with the rebel pilot who had to sit the Battle of Yavin out (explaining how Luke got an x-wing to begin with) — and how badly he resents Skywalker and the lengths his resentment takes him to.
However, the bits with Luke . . . well, they might have been okay, but I was overwhelmingly distracted by why the artist chose to have Luke in his moisture farmer clothes, as if Luke only maintains one outfit (or a dozen of the same-looking outfits) for three years. He was even shown in a different suit at the end of ANH! I’m sorry, you might think it’s petty, but if anyone ever asks me what I remember about this comic, it’s going to be the fact that Luke is shown cartoonishly wearing the same thing he wore at the beginning of ANH.
Otherwise, the Luke segments just miss the mark. Some cool bits about him being blind and hints about sight being deceiving, but they’re either hastily done or not well developed, and I’m sure it’s not just the fact that I can’t track comic books very well that led to me not having a clear idea of what the point of most of this was.
I’d give it a positive-neutral rating if Goodreads let me. Two seems harsh, but 3 stars is too generous. Interesting story, poor execution. Vital curiosity satisfied, but in a curiously confusing fashion. Decent, but not great.