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A traitorous uprising against the fledgling Galactic Empire leaves Emperor Palpatine close to death. Saving the Emperor—and the Empire—appears to be a lost cause… unless Vader can uncover the secrets of the Jedi Council and locate the mysterious “Ghost Prison.”

It’s time for another comic review and this time, I look back to the 5-part mini series Darth Vader and The Ghost Prison from Dark Horse Comics. It’s from 2012, takes place 19 years before A New Hope and is written by Haden Blackman with art by Agustin Alesson.

I only remembered the story because it was in a trade paperback of Star Wars Legends stories that I recently read. The “painted” look of the art works best for the several one-page action shots of Vader.

I’ll try to break this story down the best I can.

• Cadet Tohm—an Imperial recruit who is horribly scarred and has one arm
• Headmaster Gentis gives a rousing speech to the class
• Do the other really like Tohm or just feel sorry for the poor guy? He’s the only one who wasn’t part of the plan
• Vader’s nickname amongst Imperial Officers is “The Warlock”
• The story revolves around a coup by Imperial Officers and the few holdouts who choose to protect the Emperor
• Tohm’s a bit of an ass-kisser to whoever’s the most powerful
• The Emperor uses the Force to keep himself alive after a chemical weapons attack
• Trachta: Cyborg officer whom I’m pretty sure I’ve seen in another story
• A look into the Jedi Temple, abandoned after the Purge (at least in Legends)
• The coolest idea of the whole story: A prison where the Jedi sent all the Separatists POW’s. “The Prism,” which just sounds like somebody spelled “Prison” wrong on Microsoft Word and chose the cooler-sounding word
• The Jedi warden of the prison didn’t know the Jedi order ended
• Trachta beating a prisoner to death with no explanation
• 208 War Criminals!
• They explain some of the criminal’s backstories with a simple word balloon that I felt was pretty cool: “Captain Shonn Volta, Confederacy sniper, arrested by Kit Fisto and Anakin Skywalker before she could assassinate Senator Riyo Chuchi”
• Just being with Vader turns the impressionable/likeable Lieutenant into a murderer
• Several panels show characters holding their blasters sideways, gangsta-style
• A rather brutal, Sith lightning execution by the Emperor
• Back to that Lieutenant: he becomes more brutal and ends up betraying 99% of the convicts
• He is later killed by Vader who will brook no rivals. Kind of written off as a point of fact.
• Tohm became ruthless and brutal for no reason whatsoever.

SOURCEWookieepedia
Michael Davis
Michael F. Davis became obsessed with Star Wars after repeated viewings of The Empire Strikes Back on VHS and a 1983 viewing of Return of the Jedi in movie theaters. He also saw all the Special Editions in the theater, bought all the Shadows of the Empire tie-ins, and even took a bus trip to Maine to see The Phantom Menace. He is currently employed as a Librarian in the US but has always has his sights on a galaxy far, far, away….