Poor Jocasta Nu. Ever since she lorded over the Jedi Temple’s hoard of holobooks in Attack of the Clones she’s been the butt of endless jokes about having to forgo being a mystical warrior in order to be... well, a librarian with the galaxy’s most lethal reading light. But in this week’s Darth Vader, she’s the Jedi’s last, great hope.
Darth Vader #8—by Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, and David Curiel—sees Jocasta return to her old archives in the wake of the calamitous purge of the Jedi Order (an event that, in the old canon, had seen her perish at the hands of Anakin Skywalker), in search of records that could help the Jedi return from their fire being extinguished across the galaxy. What Jocasta finds breaks her heart: The fabled collection of stories and archives she’d maintained for years, ravaged and in ruin. It’s a perfect rebuttal to a lot of the old jokes Jocasta has been pelted with by Star Wars fandom over the years. The warriors of the Order are dead, but the Librarian? She’s the one left standing, and her archiving isn’t just studiously boring any more, it’s the key that opens the chance for a future Jedi Order to live on past the tragedy it has endured.
Specifically, because what Jocasta retrieves from a secret antechamber filled with ancient artifacts is one of the most vital pieces of information she had: The Jedi’s catalogue of every Force-sensitive child they knew of just before the events of Order 66. If she can safely see it out of the Temple and off Coruscant, it means hope for future generations of Jedi to rise against the Empire. If she fails, it puts countless numbers of children on Darth Vader’s hit list.
But we already know Jocasta probably can’t get away with that information. If she did, Star Wars as we know it probably wouldn’t happen. So tragedy strikes in a grimly humorous manner in the final pages of the issue. As Jocasta begins to make her escape, she notices someone among the ruins of the Jedi Library: The Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels, leafing through piles of books with his feet on the table. Her books. She hesitates, and puts her hand to her lightsaber hilt, before realizing it’d be better for her to escape with her life and the data she’s collected than aggressively chide an Inquisitor about proper reading etiquette. That is, until the Inquisitor does the unthinkable... and throws one of the books aside.
Throwing a book in a library? Bad form. Doing it in front of a Librarian? Worse form. Doing it in front of a Librarian who also has a laser sword? The worst.
And so, in the name of librarians across the galaxy, Jocasta Nu reveals herself to the Empire, jeopardizing the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Force-sensitive children she now has information about, all in the name of a mistreated book. Given that the next few covers for Darth Vader show Jocasta facing down Vader himself, it’s a moment that has probably sealed her fate for the worst. At least she got laid low by her love of books?