One of the first moves Disney made after buying Star Wars was to wipe away the tangled Extended Universe. Now Chewbacca was never crushed by a moon, there were never evil clones of Luke Skywalker called ‘Luuke‘ and ‘Luuuke‘ and, most tragically, Han Solo never fist fought a giant weasel.
But, sensing fresh pastures for Star Wars storytelling, Disney has been busy filling in the blanks between the films again. One of the most interesting bits of extended canon has been finding out what Darth Vader was up to between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. And now, thanks to Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith: The Choson One, Part VI by Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, we have another piece of the puzzle.
Readers of the comic will have already seen Vader constructing his iconic red lightsaber and “bleeding” his new blade, as well as watching the last flickers of the Light Side deep within his psyche, but now we know how he connects with the enigmatic Inquisitors, which we’ve mostly seen in the Rebels TV show.
The story picks up with Vader damaged and in need of repairs after his visit to the Inquisitorius. Once he’s all patched up, the Emperor sends him to check out something… odd in the old Jedi Temple. That turns out to be a furious dual-blade wielding Inquisitor. I won’t spoil the outcome of their pitched battle, but let’s just say you’re probably not going to see this Inquisitor popping up in the Original Trilogy…
More interesting for those into Star Wars lore is a full explanation of what the deal with the Inquisitors is. They’re the Emperor’s crack team of Jedi Hunters – all force sensitive and some even former Jedi Knights whose character flaws have been twisted for Palpatine’s evil ambitions. In typical Sith fashion, Palpatine seems to be pitting his acolytes against one another in order to maintain their strengths, but in a twist, Vader is suddenly handed command of the upstarts, giving them the benefit of his Force skills and molding them into the fiercest, scariest and most badass team of Jedi murdering dark siders in the Galaxy.
It’s a great leaping off point for future stories and precisely the kind of thing we want to see Vader doing as he ascends to becoming the most feared servant of the Emperor and a scion of the Empire at large.