The latest issue of Marvel’s rebooted Star Wars comic series has revealed a major moment in Luke Skywalker’s life that has never been explored before: the first time he discovered his father Darth Vader’s real name. The current story from writer Charles Soule and artist Jesús Saiz takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and focuses on Luke reeling from the revelation of his parentage and how this ultimately strengthens his resolve to do good.
Last issue, he received a vision of a mysterious woman calling to him through the Force. In Star Wars #6, Luke encounters the woman, who’s named Verla and is a survivor of Order 66 who’s managed to escape from the Empire, Vader and Inquisitors. She goes on the attack when Luke arrives, then, especially after she reads his thoughts and discovers he’s Vader’s son.
Thanks to R2-D2, though, Luke gets out of a sticky situation and is able to reason with Verla. She opens up about the little she knows about the man his father used to be: Anakin Skywalker, “a hero of the Clone Wars” and “a truly great Jedi” until “something happened to him” and he became the dreaded Sith lord. Luke is stunned by the sudden knowledge, repeating his father’s name to himself.
Infamously, Obi-Wan Kenobi kept the truth about his father from Luke in A New Hope, only revealing that he was a skilled pilot and warrior and refraining from mentioning his name or his dark fate. Obi-Wan’s Force ghost does refer to Anakin by name in Return, but now we know the exact moment that Luke first learns of Vader’s true identity. And his discovery marks another important moment that adds to his increasing desire to bring his father back to the light side.
Star Wars #6 – which also reveals Luke’s never-before-seen yellow lightsaber – is on sale now.