WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Darth Vader #10
Darth Vader guards his secret identity closely - but his betrayal has been revealed to a surviving Jedi Master. For those who may have slept on Charles Soule's Darth Vader comic series, the story is set in the dawning days of the Empire. By the time the story begins Anakin Skywalker is merely a dream, as only Darth Vader remains - a towering warrior who is just beginning to earn his reputation. His first major steps are, unsurprisingly, to hunt down and slaughter the remaining Jedi Knights... but one survivor is more surprising than the rest.
The recent comic book twist revealed that Jedi librarian Jocasta Nu survived the purge. Or, as she's seen by Emperor Palpatine: Jocasta Nu, Chief Librarian of the Jedi Order, and a terrible threat.survived the Temple massacre. And Palpatine considers her to be a terrible threat. The next issue, Darth Vader #10 will see Vader and Jocasta Nu go head-to-head. And ahead of release, Marvel is teasing just how dangerous Jocasta Nu truly is.
Thanks to a preview from AIPT, fans get an early look at Darth Vader's greatest secrets laid bare. A Temple droid already recognized Vader's bio-signs, and Jocasta Nu heard it refer to Vader as "Anakin Skywalker." That's the only clue Jocasta Nu needs to effortlessly deduce every one of the Empire's greatest secrets. She realizes at once that the Sith Lord was actually Palpatine, and that he is the one who has turned Anakin to the Dark Side. Twisting him into the Emperor's "tool" (a description Vader will probably dislike).
"Little better than a droid," Jocasta Nu observes. "Set to stamp out the light side of the Force." Where most Sith focus on the Master/Apprentice relationship, the new Star Wars canon has already established that Palpatine viewed Darth Vader with disdain, more than guidance. According to Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath: Empire's End, he even referred to Vader as his "slave."
Incredibly, Jocasta Nu has even worked that out.
All too often, Star Wars fans assume that the greatest Jedi are the most powerful in the Force. As Master Yoda noted in The Empire Strikes Back, "Wars do not make one great" - and neither do feats in the Force. Here, Jocasta Nu wields the greatest weapons of the Jedi; not a lightsaber, but rather knowledge and wisdom. Centered in the Force, she is able to intuit every one of the secrets that have been buried for decades. Little wonder Palpatine feared Jocasta Nu.
In a beautiful touch, Jocasta Nu looks beyond the present, to the moment when the Light Side will rise once again. To destroy the light, she claims with confidence, is impossible:
"The Force is eternal. It cannot be ended, it cannot be stopped, not so long as life exists. It will find its vessels. It always does. It already has -- you know this. There are others, waiting out in the galaxy. When the time is right, the Jedi will rise again."
Somehow, even at the heart of the dark times, Jocasta Nu is able to look beyond the shadows. It's a breathtaking moment. Intriguingly, Jocasta Nu's statement of faith also applies to the sequel trilogy. In thematic terms, she could just as easily be speaking of another "Dark Time," when the fire of the First Order rages across the galaxy. Although Luke Skywalker fled to the remote world of Ahch-To, the Force still found its vessel - Rey. She was chosen to stand in the light, bringing balance to the Force, and opposing the shadow of the First Order.
Charles Soule's Darth Vader series has been tremendous to date, diving deep into the mind of the Dark Lord. It's showing Darth Vader in his early days, as he struggles to master his armor and cyborg limbs. This preview teases that the Sith are at their most vulnerable before the knowledge and wisdom of Jocasta Nu, their every secret exposed. But perhaps the most striking thing of all is the Jedi Master's faith, which looks beyond the time of darkness to a new dawn of hope.
She may just be 'the Jedi Librarian,' but Jocasta Nu is a fearsome enemy indeed. It's about time the world knew it.
Darth Vader #10 releases on January 10th, 2018.
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