Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are taken to the Crystal Valley entrance. Each will walk a path and the battle will begin when they meet. Both stride off on their paths, with their lightsabers ignited. Darth Vader with his dark thoughts and Luke looking forward to some honest fighting. However, Domina is the happiest. She now has the power she wants and feels that neither combatant will survive the valley. As Luke goes down his path, its filled with crystals growing up from the ground likes trees. Luke becomes lost in thought and is quickly brought back to the ground shaking. A crystal bursts forth from the grown like an explosion. It causes other crystals to shatter. Luke worries with the constant change in crystals that neither of them will survive to battle each other. But Vader has not descended into the valley. He’s waiting. The Falcon is trying to land in the Crystal Valley but can’t. Han picks a field in a clearing not far away. Baron Tagge is only concerned with his sister. They land, roughly. Han and Leia take Tagge’s weapons. He comments about it being a turning point in their relationship. Han thinks all is clear but Chewie does not. TIE fighters have followed are attacking. Han gets one TIE Fighter but the other is still flying. During this time, Baron Tagge has also escaped. R2 turns up next to Luke. C3PO is speaking through him. He tells him that R2 can home in on his signal to lead him to safety. But Luke refuses. He knows its all a Darth Vader trap, but he has a chance to fight him and end it. Then Luke breaks transmission. Elsewhere, Tagge is stuck in the crystal valley and struggling. But Darth Vader arrives. He’s happy to have the crystals bring and end to Tagge. Darth Vader tells him this fate is what his sister planned for him. Tagge is shocked, declaring Domina is innocent. Darth Vader tells him she is not anymore, not after his influence. He tells Vader to finish him. Vader assures him he will, but there is one final task. Han and Leia are trying to reach the crystal valley. She is desperate to stop the duel and also reach Domina and inform her that her brother is still alive. That she was tricked by Darth Vader. Back in the crystal valley, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader meet. Their lightsaber battle begins. As they fight, Luke reaches into the force. He discovers that Vader is actually afraid of him. Vader chops a crystal in half to try and crush Luke. The battle intensifies. He uses his feelings and the force to land a devastating blow to Vader. R2 appears. Luke is surprised but happy. He’s warned. Vader tries to deal a killing blow, but Luke defends himself. He’s forced to deal a blow that should be fatal. But it turns out it’s not Vader it’s Tagge. He realized too late it was Tagge and not Vader. That’s why he sensed the fear. He’s beaten Tagge before. Vader shows himself. He gives a nasty speech to Luke. He tells Luke he now knows all his limits and limitations. But Luke counters tell him he can change and grow. Vader then challenges him, even offers him the first blow. Luke knows it’s a trick. He knows the only way to win is to stop playing Vader’s game. He and R2 head to safety. Princess Leia reached Domina and tells her everything. Domina acknowledges that she may be correct. But also tells her no one can make it out of the crystal valley. At this moment, Vader’s fighter is up in the sky. Luke also makes it out. She asks about her brother and is filled with more fury. She decides to step down as the all high priestess. The order will also not turn against the rebels. But she will always be against Luke Skywalker. The all board the Falcon and leave the planet. Han is confused about Vader’s plans. Luke explains that Vader wanted to know how much of the force he was sharing with Luke. R2 managed to save him from the final fight he would not have survived. But Vader learned enough that he no longer needs to be cautious. Han tells Luke not to worry about the future but live as it comes. That Luke must have a lot more going for him than he thinks since Han is spouting wisdom. Han spots Crimson Jack’s pirate ship. He pulls a ship into it. Crimson Jack gives Jabba bad news. Han heads back to the rebel base. The only place he’s safe for now.
Categories: Star Wars Comic Books