Painting The Future Darth Vader In Star Wars Age Of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

In the Corvair Sector, the Republic has encountered a surprisingly large cluster of Separatist Droid Starfighters, they almost gain the advantage on the Clone pilots–until Anakin Skywalker joins the dogfight. The Republic swiftly wins. Back on the Resolute, Anakin and Admiral Yularen quickly discover that there is a droid foundry on a nearby moon previously under the control of a planet neutral in the Clone Wars. The foundry is apparently currently being run by said neutral species. Yularen wants to simply bomb the foundry, but Anakin wants to evacuate the workers first. This leads to an impasse–one resolved when Anakin himself infiltrates the droid foundry.

Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 cover by Paolo Rivera
Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 cover by Paolo Rivera

Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 shows that there was nothing inherently flawed in the basic design of this character.

While the character of Anakin in the prequels is legendarily bad (and the blame and harassment lobbed at actor Hayden Christensen is wrong), making Anakin a pugnacious, overzealous, and even moody Jedi that is constantly challenging authority isn’t a bad design for a character. Hell, it is a deliberate and clear parallel to Luke Skywalker.

Of course, the Clone Wars series already redeemed Clone Wars-era Anakin Skywalker. Here, writer Jody Houser constructs a story that essentially summarizes Anakin in a tight and compelling read that shows that there was once hope for Anakin as a Jedi Knight.

Anakin doesn’t want needless death, and he doesn’t want to punish the Kudo people for not joining up with the Republic in the Clone Wars. It’s an excellent portrait of a villain that wasn’t always a villain.

Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 art by Cory Smith, Wilton Santos, Walden Wong, Java Tartaglia, and letterer VC's Travis Lanham
Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 art by Cory Smith, Wilton Santos, Walden Wong, Java Tartaglia, and letterer VC’s Travis Lanham

Cory Smith and Wilton Santos do an excellent job of making it a visually stunning comic too. The smaller details and expressions as well as the texture work makes for a comic you won’t want to take your eyes off of. There’s an appealing minimalism in many panels too that keep the reader from being distracted from the focal point of the scene. Walden Wong’s inkwork articulates the scenes quite well. Color artist Java Tartaglia’s contribution is an excellent palette that keeps each panel moody and appealing.

Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 is an excellent portrayal of this contentious and complicated character. The narrative is tight, the pacing is solid, and the artwork is great. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Star Wars Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 comes to us from writer Jody Houser, artists Cory Smith and Wilton Santos, inker Walden Wong, color artist Java Tartaglia, letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, cover artist Paolo Rivera, and variant cover artists Mike McKone with Guru-eFX, Rod Reis, and Sang Jun Lee.

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