Target Vader 5 is the fifth, penultimate issue of the canon comic book miniseries Star Wars: Target Vader. It was written by Robbie Thompson, illustrated by Cris Bolson, Roberto Di Salvo, and Marco Failla, and published on November 13, 2019 by Marvel Comics.
THE GREAT ESCAPE! VALANCE has been betrayed, captured, and now stands alone. But nothing will stop THE HUNTER from finishing his prey… DARTH VADER, who is closing in on his own target, THE HIDDEN HAND, a mysterious syndicate working with scum, villainy… and the REBELLION? Can Valance use his training as a former Imperial to escape… or will he find out he has more in common with the Dark Lord than he could ever have imagined?!
Joining the Empire
- "Keep your head down. Keep working as hard as you've always worked. And no matter what they put in front of you…keep going."
- ―Beilert Valance's father
Years before the hunt for Vader, Beilert Valance prepares to leave Chorin and enlist in the Imperial Navy. His lover, Yuralla Vega, hands him a gemstone to remember their relationship by and tells him to be safe. Valance's father reminds him that even though his path will be long and hard, it won't surpass the challenges of mining on Chorin, and he should keep going.
Valance does so and continues his career through the Carida Academy, his crash at the Battle of Howlan, and his time as a stormtrooper. Finally, during his participation in the Mimban Campaign, Valance and his fellow swamp troopers are pinned down in a trench, unable to summon air support. While two troopers say the Empire doesn't care about them, Valance refuses to let them die and leads them out of their trench to the rendezvous point. He is caught in an explosion and falls to the ground, but uses his father's words to tell his comrades to "keep going."
In the present, aboard the Star Destroyer Vengeance, Valance lies in a prison cell, continuously repeating the same mantra to the IT-O Interrogation Units around him. In the Vengeance's hangar, Darth Vader questions Dengar about the Hidden Hand. Dengar says he revealed everything he knew, and that Valance wouldn't give up any information at all. Vader allows Dengar to go, telling him he knew where to find him if the Galactic Empire needed him again. Returning to Valance's cell, Vader activates a holo-map and asks what Valance sees on the map. The bounty hunter initially jokes that the map marked his favorite places to drink before explaining that it really marked Hidden Hand outposts Vader already eliminated. Vader presses on with his mind probe.
Before, at an Imperial medical facility, Valance grows accustomed to the mechanical arms and legs that replaced those he lost on Mimban. His former instructor, Yurib Nakan, visits him and tells him of his discharge from the Empire, believing him to be lucky to go home unlike so many other Imperial soldiers. Valance returns to Chorin aboard a Zeta-class Heavy Cargo Shuttle and disembarks only to find his village in ruins. He apologizes to his father at his grave, and finds Yuralla, who explains that when the Empire expended their mines and left, raiders returned. Valance resolves to find the raiders and make them pay, leaving his people to stay safe in what remains of their village.
A new purpose
Valance awakes and breaks off his left cybernetic arm to escape his interrogation chair. He takes one last look at the Hidden Hand holo-map by plugging himself into the system. He then dispatches his guards outside and uses their stormtrooper armor as a disguise. As he arrives in the hangar bay, he is surprised to find his ship, the Broken Wing, already there and repaired. Darth Vader confronts him and says that it is time he went home. Together they travel to Chorin and land at the site Valance first traveled to when searching for the raiders who destroyed his home. Valance admits that both he and the Empire abandoned Chorin and allowed the raiders to become the Hidden Hand. Vader tells him that the remainder of his people are safe for now and offers Valance a job with the Empire to ensure it.
Valance travels to a secret rebel outpost on Lowik to find Gita, who had escaped from Vader, and Aeliar, her superior officer. Aeliar is shocked at how Valance found their base, but Valance simply explains that the Rebel Alliance needs weapons, he needs to destroy the Hidden Hand, and a location on the holo-map he connected to contains both.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology