Star Wars fans have for long wondered why Darth Vader never attempted to overthrow the Emperor. Now, however, thanks to the latest issue of Marvel’s Darth Vader, we know what would have happened if the Chosen One ever went toe-to-toe with Darth Sidious.
The comic series takes place after the events of The Empire Strikes Back. When his son Luke rejects him, Vader goes on a quest to unearth his past life as Anakin Skywalker and learn the truth about Padme’s death. The Sith apprentice visits Tatooine, his childhood home, and then goes off to Naboo, where he meets Sabe, his deceased wife’s handmaiden, whom he actually mistakes for Padme. Eventually, Vader learns about Polis Massa, the asteroid field where Padme gave birth to Luke and Leia.
Upon examining the records, Anakin finds that they’re incomplete. But he does manage to get his hands on a recording that contains Padme’s last words. “Obi-Wan… there is good in him. I know… there is still…” he hears her say, moments before succumbing to her eternal sleep.
The revelation, of course, creates a major conflict within Vader. But he also makes the crucial mistake of not answering his master’s summons during this journey. When he returns, Palpatine determines that his apprentice has allowed his past to resurface again, so he must be punished.
In Darth Vader #6, the Emperor orders his guards to attack Vader and blasts him with Force Lightning. When he attempts to use the Force, Sidious disables and overpowers him, holding his apprentice in a relentless Force choke. Palpatine even uses his powers to crush Vader’s armor, almost killing him in the process.
The big bad then puts a crippled Vader on a shuttle and flies to Mustafar, throwing him in the same spot on the lava river bank where he found Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. The Emperor tasks Vader with rebuilding himself and tapping into the dark side once more, but as a final penalty, prohibits him from using the Force.
So, there you have it, folks. It seems that Anakin couldn’t defeat Palpatine after the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, even if he wanted to. But this experience, as grim as it turned out to be, has also laid the foundation for Vader’s redemption in Return of the Jedi.
To know how he’ll get out of this particular mess, though, we’ll have to wait until Darth Vader #7 releases on November 11th.