Darth Vader #7 was recently released, and it seems to tie in to The Rise of Skywalker in a number of ways.
The series, written by Greg Pak, is currently exploring Vader’s punishment and testing on Mustafar at the hands of Emperor Palpatine, left to fend for himself and rebuild himself while being hunted by Ochi of Bestoon.
The arc continues with issue #7, and it’s growing more and more interesting as we go along!
Let’s jump in.
Picking up where the previous issue left off, Darth Vader attempts to rebuild himself after being left for dead on the shores of Mustafar’s lava river, like he had been so many years before. Vader has flashbacks to moments from the prequel trilogy as he crawls his way inside a facility, where years earlier he had slaughtered the Separatist council – and their remains still lie where they had been killed. Vader uses droids and droid parts that he finds around to rebuild his arm and legs.
After he has done this, however, Ochi of Bestoon catches up to him, taunting Vader and telling him that he waited for the Sith Lord to rebuild himself before the Sith Assassin killed him. Vader launches a surprise attack on Ochi, and the two battle. Vader eventually gets the upper hand and demands that Ochi tell him what the Emperor wants and what his plans are. Ochi responds,
“You can’t beat him. He has more power than you can imagine! You don’t understand, Sith Lord! I’m talking about real power! The kind you can’t defeat with a laser sword! Power beyond your understanding and mine. Power that only the Emperor could build.”
Vader picks up on the phrase “build” and asks where the Emperor is building it, while Ochi stammers and says he didn’t say it. Meanwhile, however, a mysterious figure calls out to Vader, who turns and heads toward a cave on Mustafar. Ochi attempts to catch him and winds up with Vader’s lightsaber, but the Sith Lord continues into the cave, still hearing the voice. He finally finds the source: the Eye of Webbish Bog!
We’re currently in the midst of a very interesting story about Vader, and that means that we don’t have the full details or answers yet. This arc is ongoing, and so while it picks up on last week’s issue, it doesn’t take us too far into revealing anything. But the way it sets things up at the end, it looks like that might be coming soon.
What’s especially interesting to me are the ways that this issue (and this arc) seem to be tying into The Rise of Skywalker. So far, I see at least three ways this is happening:
1. Ochi of Bestoon
We learned in TROS that Ochi of Bestoon was a Sith Assassin sent to retrieve Rey and bring her to Palpatine on Exegol, but his mission failed: he killed Rey’s parents but did not find the girl, and instead he died on Pasaana. But Ochi also had in his possession a Sith dagger that led to the whereabouts of Darth Vader’s wayfinder. It’s really cool to see him show up in this arc, sent by Palpatine to hunt down Vader. Ochi looks awesome in his gear, and he puts up quite the fight against the Sith Lord!
2. The Eye of Webbish Bog
If you’ve paid attention to scenes that were cut from TROS, you’ve probably heard of the Eye of Webbish Bog. The opening sequence on Mustafar was originally much longer, as Kylo Ren was going to encounter the Eye in one of the lakes on the planet. This was going to lead to him getting Palpatine’s wayfinder. This whole sequence was ultimately cut from the film, but this arc is now bringing the Eye back. Vader begins hearing it’s call and is drawn to it, and on the very last page, Vader finds it. So next issue we’ll probably learn a lot more, but this feels quite significant.
3. Palpatine is building something
The other two are pretty clear and obvious connections, but this one is more speculation than anything. Vader demands that Ochi tell him what Palpatine’s plans are, so clearly Vader knows that his master is up to something. And Ochi lets slip that Palpatine is building something, and Vader demands to know where. What might Palpatine be building? Well, this is just my speculation, but I wonder if this is something that has to do with Exegol and cloning. Last issue it was made clear that Palpatine knows that Vader wants to kill him, and the Emperor would surely have begun work on a contingency plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if Palpatine was building something on Exegol. And I wonder if this will lead to Vader’s wayfinder being created and entrusted to the Eye of Webbish Bog? Since he had a wayfinder, the implication is that he knew of Exegol, so I wonder if this arc is going to lead to that discovery? And we know that the original plans were that the Eye was sort of protecting Vader’s wayfinder, and so I wonder if through these events Vader gives it to it.
We’ll have to see, but I think it’s cool how the arc seems to be tying into TROS so closely. I can’t wait for the next issue!