The story we see in the latest issue of DARTH VADER AND THE GHOST PRISON is one that we've seen before: if you're the supposed "villain" in the story and you are down and out and need an army of men to fight a battle for you, where do you go to find them? Why, a prison of course! The penultimate issue of this mini-series might feature a predictable outcome, but that doesn't make it any less of a great story. The story opens with a battle raging and the narrator recognizing that perhaps this fight wasn't a war, "it was just violence." It's an interesting moment. All throughout this series (if you have been following from the beginning of the story) we've seen Lt. Laurita Tohm become Darth Vader's protege; willing to bend over backwards to meet the needs and commands of the great dark Lord -- until this moment. This issue is the most reveling of any other before it because you begin to see the conscience and innermost sentiments of Tohm as well as the motivations of Vader's second in command, Moff Trachta.
There's a great moment where Trachta tells Laurita that if he wants to learn how to serve that he should continue to follow the leadership of Vader, but to come to him when he decides he wants to be a leader himself. There's a great parallel between these two characters depicted in this scene. Each of them needs a physical crutch; both are deformed in some way, but that doesn't mean that neither of them are incapable of being and becoming leaders. Looking at Trachta is like seeing the character that Laurita Tohm can become, and it's interesting. While Vader only sees in black and white, the reaction in a specific scene in this issue reveals that Laurita Tohm sees more than that: he sees the gray in a situation. His eyes are opened.
I think one of the things I have enjoyed most about this series is the fact that it offers a different perspective on Star Wars: in these stories, the Jedi are the antagonists. That's not something you see very often. Seeing these stories in this light allows the reader to sympathize with characters like Moff Trachta, for example, and offers a very new and different perspective on the events that took place in the Star Wars universe. I have really, really enjoyed reading this series.
The beginning of the issue was rather unclear. The narration was not explicit about what was happening in the scene and I think it could have been executed a little bit better.
Like I mentioned above, although the plot itself might be a little bit predictable, I think the amount of character development we see in this issue is what stands out. I love seeing these characters in a different light. It's interesting. I also really like the art in these books. I think there is a lot of emotion that is captured really well in this issue. Not everything is what it seems. If you want to jump into this story, you should definitely start from the beginning of the series. This is definitely not a jumping on point for new readers.