The New Darth Vader Comic Gives Us A Much Better Version Of Revenge Of The Sith's Infamous 'Noooo!'

The moment Anakin Skywalker reawakens as the armour-clad Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith should be one of the most horrifying and tragic moments in Star Wars history. Instead, it's one of the most infamously mocked moments of the prequels. Today's new Darth Vader comic revisits the moment to finally do it justice.

Image: Marvel Comics. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and David Curiel.

The previous — and honest to God fantasticVader comic understood that what made him such an intimidatingly villainous presence in the first place is the quiet, understated fury that drives every moment and action Vader takes. The fact that he could spill over at any time and snap your neck with his mind, or rend you with a slash of that crimson blade, as he effortlessly glides around like a shadow is what fills every encounter with him with a palpable tension. Suffice to say, even in his lowest point, Vader is not, and never really should have been, the sort of person to emit a lengthy baritone "nooooooooooo!" like he's stuck in bullet time.

That's what the opening pages of the first issue of this new Vader series — written by Charles Soule, with art from Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and David Curiel — understands as well, and it makes the moment of Vader's rise in Revenge of the Sith so much better. It layers the tragedy of Anakin's fall (and especially his betrayal at Palpatine's hands); the undiscriminating potency of his raw power even in this new, compromised half-form; and the simmering nature of his fury in a way that is far more fascinating to watch unfold than what occurred on the silver screen.

The build up is slow, yet relentless, combining fleeting glimpses of Vader's destructive force powers wreaking havoc around his operating table with one final, tragic memory of Padmé, punctuated by his own singular internal thought, repeated over and over.

The "no" here isn't drawn out, or particularly grandiose, even if the havoc swirling around Vader is. It is not particularly emotional, either. It's defiant. It's dripping with understated rage, a refusal to accept what's happened to him. The grief internalised rather than externalised — hidden away in the man within the monstrous machine.

That defiance — which drives Vader and Palpatine's relationship throughout the saga until he finally puts it in action in Return of the Jedi — also comes in a moment we unfortunately don't really get to see in the movies: Vader confronting Palpatine about the promise he could save Padmé from death...

And Palpatine pretty much just not giving a shit, ready to forge his new tool of destruction as he sees fit. If this was how it had gone down in Revenge of the Sith, I'm pretty certain we still wouldn't be having all these "noooooo!" jokes over a decade later.


Comments

    In many ways, I always hoped that they had changed Vader's and Palpatine's relationship to reflect that they were very close friends before they became master and apprentice. It'd be interesting to see what two sith do when in the "rule of two" when they're actually friends and care about each other, and not just waiting to replace/overthrow the other like every single other sith that came before them.

      I gotta disagree on them being "close friends"... it felt like that was all a ploy by Palpatine...

    I would be genuinely curious to know what the public/fandom reaction would be to altering that scene in a re-release, similar to what happened to the original trilogy. Would it be hated for tampering with the original vision à la the OT, or would it be lauded for fixing what should have been, as said in the article, 'one of the most horrifying and tragic moments in Star Wars history'.

    I for one would be okay with it. I imagine it would never happen, that George Lucas would have included in the sale contract that no alterations could be made to any of the existing films, but one can dream.

    I feel that the problem is not the "noooooo". That uttering is out of character for Darth Vader but not out of character for the Anakin Skywalker that he had been through the movie. Anakin "descent" into the Dark Force in that movie was not a journey into the grim acceptance (and wielding) of the inevitability of suffering that life is according to Sith philosophy--and which would be perfectly embodied by Darth Vader--but an escalating journey into desperation strangely punctuated by cockyness.

    The journey and not that photo-finish moment of reaching the destination is what is wrong with the movie. A better journey would have warranted a better finale.

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