Most people are aware of Star Wars through movies and TV shows, but hardcore fans know that there are important stories taking place in other media. The High Republic novels are showing us the galaxy before The Phantom Menace, video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order explores the aftermath of Order 66, and the ongoing Marvel comics series are filling in the gaps in the Original Trilogy.
So far, the comics have shown us Luke attempting to retrieve Anakin’s lost blue lightsaber, Padme’s surviving handmaidens protecting her tomb, and a previously unknown conflict between Darth Vader and the Emperor in the gap between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. That came to a head in Star Wars: Darth Vader #11, in which Vader rode a giant space octopus into battle against Palpatine on the Sith world of Exegol (a planet last seen in The Rise of Skywalker). The fight didn’t go well for him, though, with a preview for issue #12 depicting him getting repaired in time for Return of the Jedi.
See for yourself below:
Those present seem surprised Vader is alive at all, with the gathered Imperials theorizing that his hate is the only thing keeping him going. In an amusing twist, Palpatine’s advisors ask whether it’s really a good idea to fix him up as he just tried to murder him. The big bad is upbeat, though, saying the whole octopus thing isn’t a big deal as everyone wants him dead and anyway, Vader has learned his lesson. Given that he has a date with a reactor core in the near future, however, it’s safe to say his confidence is a bit misplaced.
The actual repair is also interesting as it seems that the same type of droid used in Revenge of the Sith continues to maintain armor. Also of note is that Vader can be “shut down,” presumably placing Anakin’s squishy organics into a coma while his cyborg body is being worked on. But however Vader works, he can clearly still feel pain, as he screams disturbingly as he’s operated on and recalls severing Luke’s hand on Cloud City.
All in all, it looks like a pretty miserable day for Darth Vader. No wonder he wants to kill his boss so badly.