Having slain his Jedi bounty, Darth Vader is now instructed by the Emperor to return to Mustafar and gain control of a Kyber Crystal from a Jedi blade.
The Light Side is strong in the crystal, and Vader must use the power of the Dark Side to make it his own so that he can forge his new lightsaber.
However, the power of the Light Side may cause this task to be far more difficult than one might think.
Darth Vader is a character largely defined, for better and for worse, by the question of what could have been for this character. He was said to be the Jedi Chosen One, and he was trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the greatest Jedi Masters of the pre-Empire era. However, he still fell to the Dark Side. Anakin could have stopped the fall of the Republic had he simply resisted the allure of Palpatine. The Jedi would not have been exterminated. Hell, they could have potentially deprogrammed the Clone Troopers. Years later, his son tries to bring him back to the side of the Light, succeeding in the end at the cost of Vader's own life.
This issue of Darth Vader ponders the same idea of what could have been, as the Jedi Kyber Crystal resists Vader's attempts at corrupting it. It shows Lord Vader a version of reality where he gives in to the Light, returns to Coruscant, kills Palpatine, and returns to his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, on bended knee.
Despite being a clear illusion, this sequence is so powerful. You know a part of Anakin Skywalker wants to give in to this version of reality. He wants to go back to how things were before they changed irreversibly. He loved his former master, and the fact that Padme was still alive then certainly helps.
This makes the moment where Darth Vader resists all of this and forces his will upon the crystal all the more powerful. He decides that there is no going back, and this is how things are now.
This was a masterful bit of storytelling that gives limitless insight into the psyche of Darth Vader at this point in time and forever after. Much kudos to writer Charles Soule for putting all of this together.
Artist Giuseppe Camuncoli still feels like an odd choice for the title. His art style is a bit too light-hearted and cartoonish for this kind of comic title. That is not to say his art is bad, quite the opposite. However, it is ill-fitted for this comic. That being said, it does not break the enthralling nature of this issue, and his eye for detail adds a lot to the turn of events.
Color artist David Curiel adds a gleam to the page which does add a lot. It is still a little upbeat in terms of set-dressing, but it is still quite good.
This is a powerful story in the saga of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Seeing this moment of weakness and will to make things right contextualizes all the evil commits afterwards. You get to see how things could have been had Anakin simply gave in to the Light Side. It is incredibly engaging, and this was a great comic for it. Pick this one up.