Book review–Book examines what makes Vader a borg

Marketed as a flip book for ages 8 and up, the newly released Star Wars: Darth Vader: A 3-D Reconstruction Log offers a high level overview of the internal make-up of the Empire’s #1 weapon of destruction, from his internal cybernetics to his “exoskeletal” integrated body armor.

As a 24-page board book, this newest look at Vader offers some fun insights, and is cleverly written from an in-world perspective.  The text provides that “The text of this record was salvaged from the memory logs of the two droids that performed the majority of Darth Vader’s procedures…”

Surprisingly, Darth Vader is not the optimal cyborg we might have expected, for certain practical reasons: “if not for the constraints imposed on the surgical team by the Empire’s budgetary issues, the results could have been even more impressive.”  Humorously, the book is sprinkled with excuses and shortcuts taken in the development of Vader’s final form.

The nicely designed book looks at main features behind Vader’s helmet, mask, chest armor, gloves, boots, belt, chest box, bodysuit, prosthetic limbs, implants, organic components, skeleton, nerves, and cape.  Text is accompanied by a stacked layering of each component, seen from the cover all together as the complete “lord of the sith.”

Some interesting tidbits from the book:

Vader’s waste processor is actually a recycling system similar to those employed by long-haul asteroid miners.

Vader has (had) his original lungs, but a breathing regulator replaced this function, and he uses an entirely artificial heart.

As revealed in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Vader’s right arm is entirely cybernetic, but unlike the rest of his cybernetics, it is of a Jedi medicine design.

Vader is a bit of a superhero, as his suit incorporates a body-weave that repels blasts and distributes energy across the suit, a bit like a cross of Batman and Superman.

Also like modern superheroes, the cape isn’t just for looks, as it helps filter contaminants into his breathing apparatus.

Star Wars: Darth Vader: A 3-D Reconstruction Log will appeal to the 6-12 year old Star Wars fan, and the writing is not dumbed down for that age level, adding a benefit to incorporate some expanded vocabularly to this reading group.

C.J. Bunce


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