Aside from his menacing presence and domineering voice, a great deal of what exemplifies Darth Vader‘s monstrous persona and overall illustriousness comes from his masterful handling and terrifying usage of the Force, all of which is accentuated by the deft handling of his lightsaber. So one might wonder how the Sith Lord would fare if he ever lost his ability to wield the Force and have to rely on a weapon other than his signature saber. Turns out, the former Jedi finds himself in a rather precarious predicament where all of these things just so happened to come to pass in Darth Vader #8 by Greg Pak.
This isn’t to say, however, that Darth Vader no longer has the ability of ever calling upon and manipulating the Force to do his bidding. His situation is a voluntary one, at least if he doesn’t want the Emperor to kill him. In the issue #7, Emperor Palpatine marooned Vader on Mustafar as punishment for defiantly seeking out those who had hidden Luke from him, but not before badly damaging his armored servant first to make his stay less pleasant. Palpatine made sure to take away even more chances of Vader experiencing a pleasant stay there by forbidding him to use the Force and sending Ochi, the Sith assassin who took Vader’s saber in battle, after him. Vader ventures into a cave to retrieve his weapon, unaware he was actually being summoned by the Eye of Webbish Bog.
It is in the cave where the Sith Lord proves he is still a terrifying force to be reckoned with even without the Force or lightsaber. In fact, the feats that Vader achieves and the ways in which he does so there are arguably the most badass of the Sith Lord’s numerous exploits, especially when Vader ends up becoming the first person to survive the Eye of Webbish Bog. His trials begin when spark-roaches spit lava over him before a herd of massive lava fleas start stampeding onto the scene, one of which destroys the weak foundation Vader is standing on, thrusting him deeper into the cave. But rather than just falling helplessly, the Sith Lord utilizes this time by using the droid arm he installed on himself earlier to stab the lava flea repeatedly. His efforts are successful as the creature is clearly deceased, but, an ever resourceful warrior, Vader still has use of the carcass and rips off a portion of its hide to serve as a shield.
The shield later proves quite effective in more ways than one as it blocks a blast of lava from another one of the deadly insects and later staves off an attack from a darkghast, a creature quite similar to the rancor Luke fights in Return of the Jedi, save for its extra limbs and mandibles. Soon, the advantageous Vader changes the use of the hide from a shield into a weapon by plunging it into the heart of the massive monster.
As Darth Vader later emerges from the cave after his interesting interaction with the Eye of the Webbish Bog, one wonders if there will ever be any other times when the Sith Lord will have to rely on his skills outside the Force and on weapons other than his lightsaber. It would be a very much welcomed and undoubtedly thrilling development should it occur.