2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story saw the return of Darth Vader to cinema screens and with it came a new revelation about the Sith Lord’s life. We learned that he’d made his home in a chilling gothic castle on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. Though the castle hadn’t been seen before in the Original Trilogy, the planet had wider significance in the saga as the place where Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Anakin Skywalker in battle, leaving him close to death. In other words, it’s where Darth Vader as we know him was born.
It has an importance to Vader’s character, then, but no piece of Star Wars media has established exactly why or how the anti-villain came to life on Mustafar. Until now, that is, as Star Wars: Darth Vader #20, the latest issue of Marvel’s solo series for the character, ends on a surprising note which teases how this situation comes about.
After a successful Jedi-killing mission, Vader reports back to Emperor Palpatine and is told to start on his next task and travel to Alderaan to deal with Rebel leader Bail Organa. Vader refuses, however, and makes a peculiar request from his superior: he wishes to be given his own world. Palpatine acquiesces and offers either Naboo or Vader’s homeworld of Tatooine. For unknown reasons, he chooses Mustafar instead.
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Palpatine’s reaction is not revealed in this issue, but Rogue One tells us that he’ll accept Vader’s proposal, even if he clearly doesn’t understand why. It’s previously been teased that the castle could be built on one of those Force-sensitive caves – see: The Empire Strikes Back or The Last Jedi – so perhaps this will be unveiled as the true reason behind Vader’s request.
It’s also possible Marvel’s working on a bit of cross-pollination here, as it’s rumored that Vader’s castle on Mustafar may return in Star Wars: Episode IX. Before it appears on the big screen, it would certainly make sense for the comics to remind fans of the location and to reveal some more about its importance.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #20, by Charles Soule, Daniele Orlandini, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Erick Arciniega and Travis Lanham, is on sale now.