Enter Queen Triton, Leia's Dark Mirror
Like the annuals of yesteryears, Darth Vader Annual #1 was seemingly a one-off story, self-contained and never to be revisited again. But it stood as arguably the best issue of the series’ first years, so the fact that the entire next arc, entitled “The Sho-Torun War,” is a direct continuation of the events therein indicates a promising direction for the Darth Vader going forward.
With the exception of the annual, the genre of Darth Vader in its first years could best be described as an inverse espionage/political thriller, full of intrigue but from the perspective of the conspirator, most of his machinations made clear to the reader. Such was certainly appropriate for the character of Vader, who is all at once a political figure in the Empire, hitman for the Emperor, and constantly cloaked in shadows, literally and figuratively. Neither the Annual nor issue #16 remove or downplay Vader’s political maneuverings, but these are court politics and palace intrigue. Such represents a tonal shift for the book, far more in line with classic Star Wars. At long last, the genre of Darth Vader can finally be described as space fantasy.
Space Fantasy fits a very precise definition; it must inhere all of the tropes and trappings of fantasy with merely the veneer of science and space-ships amidst distant stars. Adhering to the conventions of space fantasy is every planet in the galaxy far far away seemingly having gravity and atmosphere equivalent to Earth’s. It is why swords are viable weaponry and hereditary monarchs rule with absolute authority. It is why in The Force Awakens an observer on Tokadana can immediately watch a blast from Starkiller Base rip across the sky and obliterates the Hosnian system, despite all three being lightyears from one another. The scientific term “lightyear” in space fantasy exists not to inform the audience of the physical properties of the universe, but rather to add the appropriate astronomical flavor to the fantasy.
Continued at PopOptiq