Darth Vader’s Castle Had A Long Journey Before Its Debut In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story offered the first big screen representation of Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar – officially known as Fortress Vader – but as anyone well-versed in their Expanded Universe and behind-the-scenes Star Wars material could tell you, Anakin Skywalker’s gothic home had already experienced many lives in various forms over the decades. And in a new piece from Screen Rant, this lengthy history is broken down.

The notion of Vader residing in a castle dates back to 1978, before the first draft for Empire Strikes Back had even been written. George Lucas and screenwriter Leigh Brackett explored the idea of Vader living on a castle built on a lava-based environment in early story plans, with the structure even being depicted in some concept art from Ralph McQuarrie, viewable below. Needless to say, the idea was ultimately scrapped for Empire, which ultimately saw Vader based on a Super Star Destroyer.

Nonetheless, the idea of a throne room based on a lava lake was once more thrown around for Return of the Jedi. This time, the suggestion was that the base was located in the Imperial capital of Had Abbadon, though the throne room was later moved to the Death Star for the 1983 film. After that, the idea persisted in Expanded Universe fiction, most notably in the form of Bast Castle, a fortress on the planet Vjun where Vader would return after missions.

In the wake of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, however, Bast Castle was struck from the canon, along with the rest of the Expanded Universe. But after appearing in The Force Awakens concept art, a version of Vader’s castle finally made the jump to the movies in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with a design that heavily echoed both McQuarrie’s art and descriptions of Bast Castle.

Now that Fortress Vader has been officially introduced to the film franchise, the question is raised of when we might see it on our screens again. Star Wars: Episode IX, for instance, is set to bring the Skywalker Saga to a close, making it a potentially fitting entry in which to revisit Anakin’s base. As it stands, nothing is confirmed on the matter, but we’ll find out if J.J. Abrams has such an inclusion in mind when the film hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.