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Darth Vader Discovered a Secret Anti-Sith Cult Within the Empire

Warning: contains spoilers for Darth Vader #14!

In the latest issue of Marvel Comics' Darth Vader series, a secret cult within the Empire has been revealed in the Star Wars universe, intent on destroying the Dark Lord once and for all. Tying into the War of the Bounty Hunters event, Darth Vader was recently attacked by none other than IG-88, the deadly droid bounty hunter first seen in The Empire Strikes Back. However, it seems as though the droid was hired by this dark cult, seeking to remove Vader's influence from the Empire for good.

IG-88 was hired by Sly Moore, a high-ranking member of the Empire also known simply as the Umbaran. Having some Force abilities herself, Moore is a part of Palpatine's inner circle and had previously been tasked with killing Vader during his recent split from his master. However, Vader survived long enough to rejoin Palpatine and re-enter the Imperial fold. While the Emperor reveals in this new issue that he never expected Moore to succeed, she is still demoted from her lofty position, becoming a mere sub-administrator.

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Darth Vader #14 from Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco reveals that the Umbaran was the one who found the weakness in the Dark Lord's armor that IG-88 used against Vader in the previous issue. However, Vader's rage and raw strength transcended the limitations of his technology. Moore meets with a congregation of like-minded colleagues all wearing the same dark robes in this issue, revealing themselves to be a cult of Imperials opposed to Sith control of the Empire. However, IG-88's return to Moore proves to be a deadly mistake. Vader has followed the droid, destroying him before turning his attention to the cult, who clearly have no idea as to the true levels of power he wields via the Dark Side of the Force, attempting to kill him where he stands.

While Moore tries to rally her secret group against the Dark Lord, it proves to be fruitless as Vader effortlessly kills the entire cult within a matter of moments. Backed into a desperate corner, Sly Moore manages to barter for her life by revealing the location of Han Solo's carbonite-encased body, which is being prepared for sale at the Crimson Dawn's auction. Offering to attend the auction and secure Solo so that he might be used as bait to draw out Luke Skywalker, Moore is able to prolong her life for a while longer in the face of Vader's wrath.

Essentially, this issue presents the idea that Vader truly can't be matched, with the Umbaran's Court set up in the prior issue only to immediately fall apart once the Dark Lord arrives. Not only that, but it seems as though Vader has plans to punish and humiliate the Umbaran further, as the issue ends with his arrival at the auction himself, having only sent Moore in order to combine her punishment with that of another servant. There are fates worse than death for someone such as Sly Moore, who was already feeling disenfranchised with her recent demotion. Vader seems to know this, and with her allies having been slaughtered, it's likely that the Umbaran is about to lose any power she thought she might still have had. While Moore is certainly a formidable Imperial in the Star Wars galaxy, her mistake was thinking that she was somehow Darth Vader's equal.

More: Darth Vader Comic Reveals Dark Aftermath of Surviving Force Choke

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