We know Darth Vader from childhood as Anakin Skywalker and have seen the Dark Lord in his prime but Charles Soule is telling the tale of the man just after he became mostly machine. Soule has teamed with artist Giuseppe Camuncoli to tell the tale of Vader on the rise as we see “the construction of Vader’s red lightsaber, the fallout of Order 66, the beginnings of the Inquisitor program, and the rise of an Empire.”
Quite a few of these are key moments in Vader’s history that we really haven’t been able to see before.
We all know that Palpatine molded Vader how he wanted him, but how much and what kind of training did he get in the new canon? This book will help answer that and so much more.
One of the main things Soule has to think about when writing these is that he is writing stories that will now be canon, unlike the defunct Legends universe. What kind of a state of mind must that put a person in?
“I was nervous at first, when I got my first gig to write the LANDO [limited series]. You don’t want to screw things up, you know? But the truth is, Star Wars is broad and deep, and it was really about realizing that nothing I could do was going to break it. That’s especially true because of the great people at the Lucasfilm Story Group, whose job it is to make sure I can’t break Star Wars. Really, it’s just a blast, even the really high-canon things like [STAR WARS: POE DAMERON] or this new DARTH VADER series. It’s a privilege, not a burden.”
What time period will we see this story play out in?
“This time period, set immediately after Star Wars: Episode III, is very fertile ground for Star Wars, and it’s largely unexplored. Lucasfilm and Marvel wanted to do more with Darth Vader, especially after his prominent appearances in Rogue One and Rebels, and I’m just the lucky jerk who got the call.
In the new canon, this is very true, and that means there is plenty of opportunities to play around with the character. Why though did they end up setting it directly after ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’? Well that one is easy as:
In any story, comics or otherwise, you want drama and conflict, and you want your protagonist to have a compelling goal or challenge to overcome. By setting the VADER series in this part of the timeline – when he’s just gotten into the armor after his defeat at Obi-Wan’s hands, we get all of that. Darth Vader has lost everything, including—basically—his body and face. He’s trying to discover, at a basic level, what he is. It’s a fantastic story to be able to tell: a terrifyingly powerful dark wizard with absolutely nothing left to lose, and a galaxy to subjugate. Doesn’t get much more epic than that.”
What is the mindset of Vader and where do his loyalties lie when it comes to Palpatine as the story opens?
“Vader’s all in. I mean, what else does he have, from a psychological perspective? Palpatine is all he’s got left to cling to; he offers him a role, a place, power. This is Darth Vader at a very low point, really. All he wants is what Palpatine will give him: the excuse to immerse himself in rage and pain. Why question it?”
One of the bonuses for ‘Star Wars Rebels’ fans is that we’ll be finding out quite a bit more about the Inquisitors and how they come about, but don’t expect any details on that ahead of time:
“Yes…but I don’t want to say much more than that at this point. The Inquisitors are definitely part of the book, and we’ll learn much more about the entire Inquisitors program and how Vader fits into it—in time.”
There are quite a few interesting things to look forward to in this series and fans of Soule know that he can craft a solid story. Series editor Jordan D. White also chimed in that:
“I’m so excited that we get to tell more stories about the best villain of all time…and this time, we get to show his very first steps into the Dark Side. I was blown away by some of the stuff we plan to show in this series…and I think readers will be, too—from hardcore Star Wars fanatics to those who want to see more of that deadly threat from the end of Rogue One. Charles has an evil streak in him that readers might have seen whenever he’s written Palpatine in the past. Now, that comes front and center.”
I am stoked to see what kind of horrendous actions they plan on showing Vader commit. I suspect that we’ll have some intense Jedi duels and slaughter on Vader’s part as he fully turns to the dark side in this series.
Are you looking forward to the release of ‘Darth Vader’? Which aspect of his history do you most hope that they focus on? Share your thoughts below!
Oh, and as a bonus here are the first three pages of the book which do show that it does pick up exactly where ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ ends:
When Anakin Skywalker fell, both to the pull of the dark side and to the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he rose back up, more machine than man. Having lost everything that he once held dear, the one who was prophesized to bring balance to the Force instead chose a darker path. Now, in a story set directly after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, he must take his first steps into a darker world as…Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith!
‘Darth Vader’ #1 will be available at comic shops this June!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!