Author: Hayden Blackman
Illustrator: Agustin Alessio
Publisher: Dark Horse
The Star Wars universe has been covered in intricate detail. There are hundreds of stories that have graced the pages of various novels, comics, and even the television screen with two installments of the Clone Wars. Many of these stories deal with the universe’s greatest villain, but Darth Vader & the Ghost Prison offers something new — a twist into the mindset of the masked Sith Lord.
The story begins with the graduation of several new Imperial officers. Cadet Laurita Tohm is at the head of the class and has already been recruited by Grand Moff Tarkin to work aboard the secret Death Star project. A childhood incident has left him crippled, but his mind and determination have brought favored eyes upon him. Following the graduation ceremony, Tohm is lured into a trap as an uprising within the Empire begins to take place. Tohm escapes the insurgency with Darth Vader and cybernetic lieutenant, Moff Trachta, to find a way to save the Empire from the grips of the would-be usurpers.
Darth Vader & the Ghost Prison collects a five-issue miniseries that was difficult to put down. Without hesitation, I read the entire story arc in one swoop, fully immersed in Vader’s struggle to maintain control of the Empire. Laurita Tohm was an interesting character, somewhat unique in his total devotion to the Empire without concern for his own self-advancement.
The interaction between Tohm, Vader, and Trachta is interesting and natural as they discuss the options of protecting the Emperor from the traitors. Vader is somewhat submissive in these discussions with the Emperor’s presence, keeping his true desire for power at bay. Tohm fully bows down down to Vader’s command, no longer setting his eyes on his personal aspirations, but in trying to please his master. His allegiance in no way makes him a puppet and his devotion raises the attention of the Emperor who makes great plans for the young cadet.
Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison has great action, excellent artwork, interesting characters, and surprisingly a fresh look into the mindset of Darth Vader. I highly recommend it.