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[The Dark Times]
Events that occur between 19 and 2 years before the Battle of Yavin.

[Darth Vader and the Lost Command]

Hardback Graphic Novel
Published as
Darth Vader and the Lost Command.
Check availability & pricing at:

[things from another world]


Paperback Graphic Novel
This story is included in:

[Epic Collection: The Empire: Volume 1]

The Empire: Volume 1

Comic Book series
Published January thru May 2011 as Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 by Dark Horse Comics:

[Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 1 (Tsuneo Sanda cover)][Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 1 (Doug Wheatley cover)]

Issue #1
(Tsuneo Sanda cover)
Issue #1
(Dark Horse 25th Anniversary cover
by Doug Wheatley )

[Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 2][Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 3]

Issue #2Issue #3

[Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 4][Darth Vader and the Lost Command - issue 5]

Issue #4Issue #5

e-Comic Book
Published 2011 by Dark Horse Digital,
re-published 2015 by Marvel.

Darth Vader and the Lost Command
Haden Blackman, Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, Wes Dzioba et al.
Dark Horse Comics
Story published as:
Comic Book series (2011)
e-Comic Book (2011, 2015)
Hardback Graphic Novel (2011)
Paperback Graphic Novel (2015)
Alternative language(s):[Also published in French language]

If you have read this story, please rate it:
2 reviews [Average review score: 4.5 / 5]

Still haunted by the events in Revenge of the Sith, Darth Vader must set aside his past and put his future on hold for a mission to the mysterious Ghost Nebula to locate and if possible, rescue a missing Imperial expeditionary force.
But what seems a perfect opportunity to lose himself in his duty is complicated by two factors: he is paired with a wilful yet highly competent co-commander, and the officer they are being sent to locate is the son of Vaderís rising nemesis, Moff Tarkin.
Vader in command! Vader in turmoil! Darth Vader steps up his attacks when his invasion of the Ghost Nebula meets with stiff resistance. But when a courageous beauty offers her help in conquering the system, visions of what his life might have been if he had not betrayed the Jedi and if Padme was still alive affect the Dark Lord's decisions.
Haunted by recurring visions of what his life with Padme might have been like if he had not succumbed to the dark side, and guided by the Ghost Nebulaís mysterious priestess, Vader and his troops become embroiled in a disastrous battle on a tar-pit world.
Worse, the hard-fought battle brings Vader no closer to locating Moff Tarkinís missing son, but it does put him in the deadly sights of a traitor!
Vader betrayed!
An attempt on his life leaves Vader and a handful of loyal troops trapped on a desolate world. Despite the deadly perils posed by the environment and attacks from his mysterious enemy, Vader will not veer from his duty.
But what if the reason for his mission is negated? And what do these visions of Padmť mean to Vader's future?
The final battle with the insurgents brings a resolution to the mystery of Moff Tarkinís son.
Vader resolves the entire mission in a way that only he, the darkest lord of the Sith, can!

This story occurs shortly after Revenge of the Sith (approximately 19 years before the Battle of Yavin).

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Review by J. L. Polacek, USA, 2012:
A very gripping story. It's tells splendidly how Darth Vader and Moff Tarkin became formidable allies. Also it was good to see that Vader out of his shell being helped by more robots then being in some special chamber. Also, it was cool to see him dream about the possibilities of an alternate future, where he's a father to his son Jinn, his wife the new Supreme Chancellor, and that he is stopped the Sith and is still a Jedi despite his attachments. It made me feel sad when it was all revealed to be a illusion by some witch in the Ghost Nebula."
Rating: 5 / 5

Review of Issue #1 by Ewan, Star Wars Books, January 2011:
"If there is one writer of recent years who should be able to get beneath the mask of Darth Vader it must surely by Haden Blackman. As lead writer for both The Force Unleashed videogames (2008 & 2010) as well as their comic book adaptations and author of Purge - The Hidden Blade (2010) it is clear from the outset of this first issue of Darth Vader and the Lost Command that Blackman is well versed on what it mean's to be the galaxy's most infamous Dark Lord of the Sith. Right out of the bag we are witness to Vader's inner torments as he battles with himself over what might have been if things had gone differently in Revenge of the Sith: if only he had brought Sidious to justice instead of following him he would have been the youngest leader of the Jedi Council. But instead he must suffer the torments of both being reliant on artificial machinery just to stay alive and the knowledge that he is forever at the beck and call of his Master.
"When A New Hope was first released in 1977 and we were introduced to Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, and Grand Moff Tarkin one question occupied many fans' thoughts: who was in charge? The Dark Lord of the Sith or the Grand Moff? Vader was known to be the Emperor's right-hand man but clearly Tarkin is giving Vader orders. But here at this moment in the story not long after Revenge of the Sith and Blackman's own story, Purge - The Hidden Blade, it is clear who stands by the Emperor's right hand: Tarkin. Clearly, Vader has yet to earn that position and as he kneels before his Master he is, in effect, also kneeling before Tarkin. Here, some issues between both men-of-power will not be completely resolved until Tarkin's death on the first Death Star. But, what we also see in this issue is some good old-fashioned 'Vader action': from ordering his troops to open fire first; his slaying without pity and remorse; to the necessary use of the Force to knock down blast-doors - everything a fan expects from a Vader story.
"I have only one criticism of Blackman's story so far and that is in the opening pages he establishes a lack of trust issue for Vader: since Vader failed in his previous mission set by the Emperor (contained in Blackman's
Purge - The Hidden Blade story), the Dark Lord is to be accompanied on this mission by a Captain Shale, appointed by both Tarkin and the Emperor, as his 'shadow' - and in this issue at least I half-expected Vader to try to undermine Shale at every opportunity that presented itself: from the space landing to the taking of the stronghold. Instead, Shale becomes almost indispensible to the mission: not only does he 'save' Vader from a sniper, but he is instrumental in securing the last bastion of enemy resistance. Hopefully, this issue will be explored in future issues.
"While penciller Rick Leonardi is not new to Star Wars comics, he pencilled the General Grievous (2005) four-issue mini-series as well as contributing to two of the six issue Outlander (1999) story, he is perhaps best known for his work on Dark Horse's Alien vs. Predator: Three World War (2010) series. Although his action sequences were, well, action-packed (including what has become an almost obligatory decapitation by lightsaber), I found his character features less defined than other Star Wars artists and his representations of film characters were at times unrecognisable. In particular Tarkin, as a young Peter Cushing, who let's face it has a very recognisable jaw-line, was completely unrecognisable to me and if it wasn't for the mention of his name, I probably wouldn't have placed the character as being Tarkin in the first place. The same could be said of his representations of Natalie Portman (Padme) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin) - although the story's second panel does contain a good likeness of Anakin Skywalker, pre-Vader.
"Setting aside my reservations of Leonardi's representation of Tarkin and other film characters, I found this issue to be a promising start to what looks to be an exciting new mini-series that hopefully wont be the last set in a period ripe for comic story exploration. It also offers a great jumping-in place for fans yet to experience Star Wars in comic book form or those fans new to the Star Wars Expanded Universe as, apart from a small reference to Purge - The Hidden Blade, the only prior knowledge of Star Wars needed is to have seen the films."
4 / 5

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