Darth Vader #4 by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca continues the partnership of Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra. The pair travel to Geonosis to liberate one of the last remaining droid factories from the immortal queen. What the two find is a damaged queen who thinks of her droids as more than machines. Doctor Aphra takes time to discuss her future and destiny with the Sith Lord. Finally, they discover one of the Emperor's secrets from a captured smuggler. And the secret is one that Vader must act upon.
I really wish I could say that the adventure on Geonosis would have been what I found as the highlight of the issue. There is a nice flashback to the movies and Anakin Skywalker's past on this planet. But really it is Doctor Aphra that catches my attention in this story, again the original character is the most interesting. It must be because she is the blank slate. She understands her role in the partnership and how Vader values her. She has no illusions where this story will take her. But she faces it with confidence! Aphra wants a life that mattered and a deal with the devil may be the clearest path to letting the universe know she was here.
As the issue ends I find myself worrying for Aphra. The Emperor's secret is tied to Lord Vader. Yet I feel as if it is Aphra who is at risk. Let us be blunt friends, we cannot guarantee a spot for her in any future movies!