Star Wars: Darth Vader #34 Review

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020) #34

Writer: Greg Pak

Artist: Adam Gorham

Color Artists: Federico Blee

Cover Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

It has finally come to this: Darth Vader and Sabe are at a crossroads where they must decide what their fates will be. Will Sabe truly join Darth Vader and serve in the Galactic Empire under his wing? Or will she choose not and face the wrath of the Sith Lord she once knew as Anakin Skywalker? Find out in Star Wars: Darth Vader #34 to see what choice is made.

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We’re finally here. After close to a dozen issues and two maybe three story arcs – if you count the very first story arc in this run – have building up to this where Sabe is confronted by Darth Vader who is tired of her fluctuating loyalties. Now she is forced to tackle the issue directly when Darth Vader is at his most dangerous and finally make a decision: Will she join Vader and serve the Empire? Or will she die? Unfortunately, the answer is pretty obvious. Fair warning, this review will have spoilers in it.

As I said, this is all about Darth Vader exploiting his unstable state caused by the “Force Wave” to make Sabe choose where her loyalties will lie. The art is what really pulls the weight for this comic. Adam Gorham does a lot of heavy-duty in keeping this comic alive thanks to his art bringing some cool imagery whether the characters are in motion or not, and most of all when the action starts. Because yes, there is action in this comic besides the big “choice” Sabe has to make.

And that is where the problems for this comic truly lie. See, the thing about reading this entire handmaiden storyline is that you kind of know one of three things will happen to Sabe. Either she is killed by Vader, she flees with her other fellow handmaidens, or crazily enough, she actually joins Vader and the Empire. Out of all of these options, only one makes the most sense to happen based on everything that’s come before it in this run. As such, the resolution to this whole storyline just feels like a big “Finally!” to this reviewer.

However, the comic doesn’t end there and nor do its problems. If you saw the cover, then you’re probably wondering why Darth Vader has a makeshift staff and is facing off against rebel soldiers. Well, it’s just something that happens. Just like with the random “Force Wave” that came out of nowhere in the previous issue, a small crew of rebel soldiers choose to exploit Darth Vader’s current instability with the Force to kill him. They just heard it from a source on the Star Destroyer Vader was just on and they quickly zipped over to try their luck at taking him out. Goes about as well as anyone expects.

It’s well drawn and colored, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just some random fight to fill up the remaining page count and give Vader a cool line to end the comic on.

Final Thoughts:

Star Wars: Darth Vader #34 concludes the long storyline with Vader and the handmaiden Sabe. The resolution is very predictable to anyone who’s been reading this series’ past story arcs, and it feels like it’s long overdue so the series can move on. The art by Adam Gorham really picks up the weight and is what holds this comic together with everything that happens in it. Now that the handmaiden storyline is hopefully over, the Darth Vader series can proceed to a new storyline.


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