For other uses, see Darth Vader 21.

Darth Vader 21 is the twenty-first issue of the Marvel comic book series Star Wars: Darth Vader. The issue, released on June 8, 2016, is written by Kieron Gillen, with art by Salvador Larroca.[1]

Publisher's summary[]

Plot summary[]

Book IV, Part II
It is a time of rebuilding for the Empire. After the
destruction of the Death Star, Darth Vader is atoning
for his failures by destroying all who would oppose
the Empire.

Vader has been able to redeem himself in the
eyes of his master, Emperor Palpatine. As a result,
the Emperor has tasked the Dark Lord with the
capture of Cylo, a scientist turned traitor, and
Vader's former rival.

Before embarking on his newest mission, Vader has
met with Inspector Thanoth regarding the location of
Vader's secret ally, Dr. Aphra. With her whereabouts
procured and the inspector silenced, Vader orders
the droids Triple-Zero and Beetee to retrieve and
deliver her to The Executor. Now, Vader's hunt for
the traitorous Cylo begins....

Into the Crushank Nebulae[]

Aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor's engine room, Darth Vader confronts Professor Thlu-Ry, an Imperial scientist who helped with the Death Star's final alignment test. The Sith Lord asks about his contacts with Doctor Aphra. Thlu-Ry insists he is not a traitor. Vader asks about the location of Doctor Cylo's fleet of "abominations". Seeking to save his own skin, the Professor reveals that Cylo's fleet is hiding in the Crushank Nebulae in the Outer Rim Territories.

Using Thlu-Ry's information, Lord Vader takes his Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator into the Crushank Nebulae. The Imperial commander confirms that Cylo's fleet is in the nebulae. Lord Vader than orders his crew to contact the Executor in order to thank Professor Thlu-Ry and then execute him for fraternizing with a traitor. Vader orders the commander to take them into the nebulae and vows there will be no more running.

Finding Dr Aphra[]

In the Cosmatanic Steppes in the Outer Rim Territories, Dr Aphra visits a bar for several drinks after retrieving a helmet. The Vurk bartender asks her what she is running from and thinks that it can't be that bad.

Meanwhile, an elderly green Twi'lek man warns Triple Zero and Beetee that droids are not too popular around here. Triple Zero asks if he has seen Dr Aphra while Beetee displays a hologram of her. When the Twi'lek asks if they have money to pay him, Triple Zero has Beetee threaten him with a blaster appendage, asking if he is willing to trade his life for that information. The frightened Twi'lek tells them that he saw Dr Aphra head into the bar. Beetee then kills the Twi'lek with Triple Zeros' approval.

Triple Zero then sets his BX-series droid commandos lose on the town. The droids begin gunning down the residents and bar patrons. When Dr Aphra asks what the droids are doing, Triple Zero that he is carrying out Lord Vader's orders to eliminate witnesses in order to ensure that she hasn't spread any information to anyone. Dr Aphra responds that the Rebel Alliance captured her but that she didn't tell them anything.

Triple Zero reveals that he has received orders to kill her in order to prevent her from disclosing information. Dr Aphra tries to reassert her authority over the droids but Beetee open fires on her. Triple Zero explains that he is following the first rule of protocol droids: protocol. Since they have a priority order from their other master Lord Vader, they have to deal with it before progressing to anything else. Tiple Zero apologizes for having to hunt down Dr Aphra.

Dr Aphra and the Vurk bartender exchange fire with the droids. The Vurk bartender is cut down in a hail of fire. Dr Aphra takes advantage of a break in the shooting to ask Triple Zero what was the specific order. Triple Zero explains that he was ordered to bring her to the Executor to await Lord Vader and failing that to silence her. Dr Aphra surrenders in order to save herself.

As Dr Aphra is led by the command droids aboard Krrsantan's Auzituck anti-slaver gunship, Triple Zero and Beetee grumble that Dr Aphra takes the fun out of everything. She also chats with Black Krrsantan and tries to bribe the Wookiee into helping her. However, he ignores her and they fly off, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

Hunting Cylo[]

Aboard Cylo's flagship, Tulon Voidgazer informs Dr Cylo that Darth Vader's Star Destroyer Devastator is approaching. Dr Cylo is confident because their preparations are nearly complete. He orders Voidgazer to activate the contingencies and Morit Astarte to proceed with Escape Plan JGT-HB-4.

Cylo's whale-ships engage in a dogfight with Vader's TIE Advanced x1 starfighter and several TIE fighters. One of the whale-ships breaks from the shoal and dispatches several smaller ships which disable the Devastator with ion pulses. One of the TIE pilots thinks that Dr Cylo is going to escape but Vader disagrees.

He rams his TIE fighter into Dr Cylo's flagship. Despite fleeing into hyperspace, Dr Cylo and his underlings discover that Lord Vader has made an unauthorized landing. Dr Cylo wants to dispatch troops but Tulon Voidgazer convinces him to let her study the Sith Lord in close quarters combat.

Meanwhile, Vader exits his TIE Advanced fighter, which has penetrated the organic hull of the whale-ship, exposing part of the ship to zero gravity space. In the labs, Vader is greeted by Voidgazer, who claims that his journey will end here. Vader is dismissive of the scientist, thinking she won't be able to fight against a Sith Lord. Recalling Vader's battle against the Trandoshan she had implanted a cyberanimate with, she pits Vader against her latest creation: a rancor implanted with a cyberanimate system.


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Cover gallery[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Marvel Comics Full JUNE 2016 Solicitations (March 22, 2016) Newsarama (archived from the original on September 6, 2018)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Preview: Darth Vader #21 (June 2, 2016) on www.cbr.com published by Comic Book Resources (archived from the original on June 13, 2017)
  3. This issue takes place after the Alliance to Restore the Republic's victory at Yavin, which is featured in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY. The issue also takes place prior to the assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks, which Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition dates to around one year after the Battle of Yavin, meaning that it takes place in 1 ABY. Therefore, this issue must take place between 0 ABY and 1 ABY.

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