Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 4 – End of Games

Writer – Kieron Gillen

Artist – Salvador Larroca

Colourist – Edgar Delgado

Kieron Gillen’s fantastic series comes to an end in this book, with Vader sending the murder-Droids to locate Aphra after her incarceration and escape from the Rebel prison (see Star Wars Volume 3: Rebel Jail) whilst finishing off the loose ends of Dr Cylo’s betrayal.

The book begins with the Emperor telling Vader about his vision of how life should have been had Vader not failed on Mustafar, and after his failure, the Emperor turned to other means to find a worthy apprentice. Cylo almost succeeded but his arrogance and later betrayal has put Vader back on the top of Palpatine’s ‘Good’ list.

Vader is sent to take down Cylo who is at his base, which is in a cybernetic enhanced space whale, Vader infiltrates the base and kills Voidgazer before Cylo takes his group to the space-dock where The Executor is being constructed.

Meanwhile, 000 and BT-1 are sent to procure more weapons and eventually find Dr Aphra, where they decimate a whole village before Aphra surrenders to them, causing them to keep her alive.

They take her to the Executor where she has an audience with The Emperor.

Vader fights with Cylo’s final abomination, Morit, and vanquishes him easily before killing Cylo, which leads to the next clone of Cylo to activate. As a means to survive he has Vader lured into the clone chamber where the rest are waiting. Vader destroys them all and meets the last Cylo on the bridge of the space-whale-ship. Vader uses to force to mind trick the whale into flying into the nearby sun, killing everyone aboard (including Cylo and any more Clones).

Vader escapes and returns to the Executor to meet with The Emperor, who Aphra has told everything (except Vader’s obsession with Skywalker). The Emperor is pleased with how Vader has performed and wants Vader to join him in a meeting with Grand General Tagge, who managed to have the Executor sabotaged by Voidgazer.

Vader throws Aphra in an airlock and sends her into space. He then joins Palpatine and Tagge on the bridge where Palpatine denotes Tagge and gives Vader command of the fleet. Vader Force-Chokes Tagge and has Admiral Ozzel become his second in command of the fleet.

Aphra is rescued by BT-1, 000 and Black Krrrsantan and the four of them leave, with Vader believing Aphra dead she is free to do what she wants.

This was a great ending to this amazing series. Gillen really made Vader his own in this run and really enhanced the character and his motivation between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘ Empire Strikes Back’ and the fact that he knew for a long time that Luke was his son just knocks it out of the park. It really makes Vader’s revelation in ‘Empire’ hit that bit more and his asking Luke to join him to overthrow the Emperor. It also gives us a good reason for Vader to be at the peak of his anger/hate in ‘Empire’ given everything he goes through in this book.

I will say, however, that the inclusion of Cylo’s weird and wonderful abominations was just slightly a bit too sci-fi for my tastes when it comes to Star Wars, I still really enjoyed this comic, because of its going to go a bit off-kilter, the comics is the medium to do it, for some reason it’s more acceptable for a Star Wars comic to do that than a cartoon, film or book.

As always Larroca and Delgado nail the artwork, each panel looks amazing and they style suits the story perfectly.

‘End of Games’ really ties up the story of Vader between Episodes Four and Five, brings new light to our favourite villain of all time and let’s us have fun at the same time.

I’m so pleased that Dr. Aphra survived and can’t wait to make a start on her series soon.

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