Greg Pak’s current Darth Vader comic series is connecting in major ways to the sequel trilogy, showing Vader encountering Ochi of Bestoon, discovering Palpatine’s wayfinder, and heading off for Exegol in an effort to discover what his master is hiding.
Because of all of that, it feels like a significant story being told, and it’s always fun to follow along when that’s the case. The current arc features six issues total, with two remaining. The next one comes on February 10, and then we have to wait nearly two months for the next issue, which releases on April 28. But part of the reason why the wait for issue #11 is going to feel so long is because the solicit for the issue teases what it’s going to be about:
“As punishment for his rebellion, DARTH VADER was broken by THE EMPEROR, his limbs shattered, forbidden to use THE FORCE. But after surviving OCHI OF BESTOON, THE EYE OF WEBBISH BOG, and the horrors of THE RED NEBULA, Vader stands on the verge of uncovering the Emperor’s greatest secrets. But will the revelations on EXEGOL empower Vader – or his master? And what new doom awaits LUKE SKYWALKER as a result?”
It sounds, then, like issue #10 is about Vader’s journey to Exegol (encountering a space monster along the way), and then issue #11 is about what happens once he makes it there.
I’m always a fan of when other Star Wars material helps connect things between movies, and that’s what this Vader comic has been doing so well. The first arc of the series (which is set in-between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) connected a lot of dots between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy, which was awesome. Now with this second arc, it’s not only continuing to draw on the prequels, but is connecting the dots between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy. With Ochi of Bestoon, the Eye of Webbish Bog, the wayfinder, and Exegol, there’s a ton here that ties in to The Rise of Skywalker, which is really cool. I don’t think that the films need to explain everything (they realistically can’t), but I always really appreciate when subsequent material is able to fill in some of the gaps. I think this arc is on its way to doing that.
But what stands out to me in particular about this solicit is the mention of Luke Skywalker. What role does he play in all of this? It’s not surprising to me that this might be playing into the Emperor’s overall plans, and I’m assuming that will be true. But how does this impact Luke? This feels pretty important and significant. Perhaps this might even shed a bit of light on the events and character surrounding Luke decades into the future, leading up to the sequel trilogy?