Vader Down starts with Luke Skywalker as he finds his way to an old Jedi temple on Vrogas Vas; Doctor Aphra informs Darth Vader of Luke’s location and decides to go after the Jedi. Vader’s ship flies into three Rebel squadrons in which he attempts to wipe them all out, managing to kill the majority of them until Luke shows up causing them to both crash land.
After crashing his ship, Vader encounters hordes of Rebel troopers on ground. Before killing them, he mentions that all he is surrounded by is fear and dead men, and then destroys them all with ease in one of the comics’ best moments; Vader then goes on to kill Karbin, the Mon Calamari Commander who instigated the attack on Darth Vader.
Although this is a Vader comic, the other characters within have fantastic moments such as Han Solo and Dr Aphra playing on one another’s arrogance, as well as the introduction of new characters such as BT-1, an astromech assassin droid; 0-0-0, a protocol droid similar to C-3PO, with the added skill of torture, and Black Krrsantan, a Wookiee bounty hunter who squares off against Chewbacca.
One thing in particular that was enjoyable to see was Luke in a search for ancient Jedi temples; when fans see Luke at the end of The Force Awakens, he has gone into hiding on Ahch-To, which was the birthplace of the Jedi. Luke’s arc in Vader Down could be connective tissue to help fill the gaps between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens in which fans have been eager for.
This story is taken on a fun and adventurous journey, with thrills and excitement throughout, just as fans would expect from a Star Wars story. Vader Down contains some brilliant fight scenes, different twists and turns in the plot with Vader giving the rebels hell in the midst of it all. The artwork is more stylized in comparison to some of the other comics coming out, but it proves to be really beneficial with regards to the splash pages, covering scenes from a distance.