Darth Vader constructs his first crimson blade on the volcanic world of Mustafar…
Issue #1 and #2 of Darth Vader (2017) sends the newly christened Sith apprentice on a mission to acquire a kyber crystal for his first Sith blade. Unlike the pilgrimage for the Jedi to the ice planet of Illum during the Clone Wars and for millennia before that, a Sith’s right of passage for this weapon is much different and darker.
Vader’s Master, the evil Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine), instructs his apprentice that a Sith lightsaber crystal must be taken from a Jedi, by killing them in the process. As we first learned from the Ahsoka novel, a Dark Side user then corrupts the crystal, bending its power to their will, using the Force itself to corrupt the light within the jewel and pouring all of their pain and suffering into it.
Issue #3 finds Darth Vader on the outer rim planetary moon of Al’doleem, where he tracks down surviving Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. The seasoned Master is more than a match for the young Sith, when Kirak defeats Vader, leaving him for dead.
Using the skills of his youth, Vader is able to repair his amputated cybernetic leg, then relentlessly pulls himself out of the pit, in Issue #3.
Without mercy, Vader then uses the good nature of Kirak to draw the Jedi out, killing him and an entire village of locals, displaying that treachery is truly the way of the Sith, shown in Issue #4. Vader, at this point, is still conflicted, however, with the persistent flickering of light within him, that his Master wants to fully extinguish for good before the Light side of the Force can strike back against the Dark Side.
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In Issue #5, his Master then sends Vader to the volcanic world of Mustafar, with the purpose of him facing the demons of his greatest defeat, which we saw in Revenge of the Sith.
The Sith apprentice is then led by the Dark Side to a mysterious cave, where Vader then takes the stolen kyber crystal in order to corrupt it and use to power his new lightsaber. Once again, Vader is humbled and faces an even greater challenge than even the skilled Jedi Master.
He must face the Light Side of the Force, which is still sharing space with his newfound Dark Side resident.
Channeling all of his anger and reliving the greatest pain and suffering experienced as his former self Anakin Skywalker, Vader refuses the pull to the light and fully gives into the Dark Side of the Force.
The crystal is finally corrupted and turns crimson, showing Vader’s new ownership over it, and also symbolizing the complete corruption by the Dark Side over him. This lightsaber, however, is not the one we see in the films, like the one below, but a different weapon altogether. It’s unknown at this point whether Vader keeps both or if his initial blade is destroyed.
The issue ends with Darth Vader returning to Coruscant, where he then challenges his Master, igniting his new crimson blade.
Darth Vader (2017) continues when Issue #6 is released on October 4, when we will meet the Grand Inquisitor for the first time.