How Darth Vader Overcame His Greatest Weakness
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When you have to rely on a suit to keep you alive, keeping it in top condition is the most important thing. And that is just what Darth Vader strives to do in the Darth Vader comics. Vader has to make sure that his armor is always in perfect condition. Whenever he is away from Coruscant and Palpatine, he has to take special care because he doesn’t have the support system and resources. He often has to use scrap metal and anything else he finds to keep his suit together. Also, he wants to make sure that he can improve his suit.
Due to this, in Star Wars: Darth Vader #13 by Greg Pak, Raffaele Ienco, Jason Keith, and VC’s Joe Caramagna, Vader started to hunt for the carbonite slab that Han Solo was imprisoned in. The carbonite would really help Vader improve his armor even more. In his quest to find the carbonite, in Star Wars: Darth Vader #13, he ended up in the Outer Rim allied with Bokku the Hutt. Both of them followed a lead to a droid-run pirate repair center and data hub. Unfortunately, this lead was not good, and they were ambushed by IG-88 and a whole bunch of droids. It looked at first like Vader might make quick work of the droids, as we would expect. However, in an unexpected twist, IG-88 took out a datapad that was able to stop Vader from his attacking
IG-88 took complete control of Darth Vader’s suit, which of course has all sorts of technology to keep him alive. IG-88 attempted to decapitate Vader, by making Vader cut his own head off with the lightsaber, but Vader was able to summon some strength and used the Force to get the datapad away from IG-88. Then, he used that same datapad to blow IG-88’s head off and took care of the rest of the droids. The droids were there because Bokku the Hutt betrayed Vader, in true Hutt fashion.
This is where Star Wars: Darth Vader #14, by the same authors, comes in. Vader has an idea that using the datapad to track what happened might lead him to the people who ultimately betrayed him and wanted him to fail. So, he uses the datapad to track another assassin droid who was connected with IG-88. This droid was in Coruscant where it connected with Sly Moore and entire group of betrayers. However, when Vader followed the droid and Sly Moore into the building, Moore trapped Vader and tried to use the same trick with the datapad that IG-88 did. Of course, since Vader was looking for this and ready for this, he had fixed the fault in his armor. He had to be able to beat it and beat anyone else who would try to get into Vader’s hardware with technology. Moore’s attacks with the datapad were rendered useless and in true Vader fashion, he enslaved Moore to his will so that he could use her for his own separate purposes later on.
The Darth Vader comic series by Greg Pak are set after Vader’s failure to get Luke to his side at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. And throughout the series, Vader has done a lot of changes to his suit. In the first comic, Palpatine felt like Vader’s actions with Luke and his subsequent disobedience with not following Palpatine, were a sign of betrayal. Because of this, Palpatine ended up using Force lightning on Vader, damaging Vader’s suit and leaving on Mustafar for dead. So, of course, Vader, having survived, decided to try to improve his suit as much as possible.
After being left for dead, Vader found shelter in a former Trade Federation base and was able to build himself back together with parts he finds there, including having to find things that could work as an arm and a leg, which Palpatine had taken in the fight. He got a chance to test out this makeshift armor when he had to stop assassination attempts from Ochi and Sly Moore.
Vader didn’t usually make improvements to his suit, though he did often repair it. However, in James Luceno’s Legends novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Vader made the greatest improvement to his suit. He insulated it against electrical damage after Palpatine informed him that it's vulnerable to electrical attacks, which of course meant Palpatine’s Force lightning, which we see evidenced in Greg Pak’s comics.
Darth Vader’s suit was key to his survival, so he definitely did anything within his power to keep it running and functioning properly. And even though he did make many repairs and some improvements to his suit, it does seem ironic that most of the protective improvements that Vader had to make to his suit was because of people within the Empire, particularly Palpatine. However, on the flip side, if it wasn’t for Palpatine’s consistent betrayal and all the threats within the Empire, Vader might not have survived as long as he did. Because he needed that to be able to improve and repair his suit and be an even better fighter.
Written By Elizabeth Dresdow
Syndicated From Culture Slate