For other uses, see Darth Vader 3.

Darth Vader 3 is the third issue of the Marvel comic book series Star Wars: Darth Vader and the third of six issues in the series' first story arc, Vader. The comic, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca,[1] was released on March 25, 2015.[2]

The issue sees Darth Vader continuing his mission to learn more about Luke Skywalker and the Emperor's mysterious agent. With his ability to command the Imperial Military taken away in the wake of the Battle of Yavin and the Rebel assault on Cymoon 1, Vader enlists the help of droid specialist Aphra in order to create a private army of battle droids.

Publisher's summary[]

Plot summary[]

Book I, Part III
Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Empire.
After the destruction of THE DEATH STAR,
the disgraced Sith Lord, DARTH VADER,
has been demoted by his Master only to
have his control be taken by Grand
General Tagge. And when Vader
discovered that a mole has been leaking
information to pirate raiders, it was made
clear to him that no person can be

Unknown to Emperor Palpatine and
Tagge, however, Vader is also quietly
pursuing his own interests: the
mysterious Force-strong pilot who
destroyed the Death Star and the identity
of the stranger who is conspiring with the

But for this he will need his own personal,
secret forces....

The heist[]

On Quarantine World III in Kallidahin Space, the rogue archaeologist Dr Aphra has managed to bypass the facility's guns. While the room is seemingly empty, Dr Aphra decides to test the ground by deploying antique stealth microdroid dust, which exposes several hidden laser triggers. She manages to enter a vault and access the Triple Zero personality matrix. After recovering the disc in a slender pen drive, she crawls under the lasers but accidentally triggers a blaster system.

Dr Aphra escapes the lasers, a droideka, and slips under a blast door. Despite escaping, she is cornered by the Kallidahin Curator Utani Xane and several B2-series super battle droids. Dr Aphra is not surprised that Utani is working on Quarantine World III. Utani replies that he was equally "unsurprised" to find her setting off alarms and says there is a reason why the Triple-Zero matrix has been quarantined for centuries. Dr Aphra retorts that people with small minds want to hide beautiful things inside a museum and claims that it should be in an armory. Fingering the Triple-Zero personality matrix, Utani responds that Dr Aphra should be in prison and hopes that it sticks this time.

Just then, a super battle droid informs Curator Utani about the arrival of an incoming starfighter, which turns out to be Darth Vader's TIE Advanced fighter. The Curator warns Lord Vader that the planet is "quarantined" but Vader doesn't care and hurls a super battle droid away. The other droids open fire but Lord Vader cuts them down with his lightsaber.

Dr Aphra and Curator Utani struggle for the Triple Zero matrix. Utani trips Aphra over the edge of the platform, causing her to drop the matrix. Aphra leans over the edge and manages to recapture it. Vader comes to Aphra's aid and impales Utani through the back with his lightsaber. Dr Aphra manages to cling to the platform. Vader offers a hand and helps her up, telling her that he has need of her.

Resurrecting Triple Zero[]

Dr Aphra welcomes Darth Vader aboard her ship Ark Angel, claiming that she is a big fan. Lord Vader tells her that this is private business because he has recently destroyed some of her reactivated droids and that they impressed him. Dr Aphra thanks him for his compliments and tells Lord Vader that she had come to Quarantine World III to get the right protocol droid. When Aphra asks Lord Vader how he found her, the Dark Lord has a flashback about attacking and Force choking several bar patrons and thrwoing an assassin droid down a cliff. With Vader silent and brooding, Dr Aphra says that she doesn't want to know.

Dr Aphra takes Lord Vader into her office, where she has been debugging the Triple-Zero personality matrix. She says that Triple Zero has a tendency to drain organics to collect their blood but speaks multiple languages. Dr Aphra finds that the droid's programming is code-locked and estimates that it will take a few hours to break it. However, Lord Vader uses the Force to unlock the personality matrix's codes, impressing Dr Aphra.

She installs Triple Zero's personality matrix into the protocol droid.The droid soon comes to live and its eyes turn red. The protocol droid introduces itself as Triple Zero, a protocol droid specialized in etiquette, customs, translation and torture. The droid extends hand to Dr Aphra but she issues an override code designating Aphra and Vader as "Masters." Triple Zero decides not to shake hands to avoid electrocuting Dr Aphra. Since there is nobody present to murder, he asks how he may be of assistance. Dr Aphra tells Triple Zero to wake an astromech droid.

When Vader questions why Dr Aphra put all this effort for a simple astromech droid, Triple Zero introduces the droid as BT-1, a "Blastomech" prototype which poses as an astromech droid but is actually a specialized assassin droid. Dr Aphra explains that BT-1 wiped out its Tarkin Initiative base before destroying the base. She found the droid and fitted it with some stronger behavioral inhibitors but says that she can't get it to wake up. The droid's core identity only speaks the same research and design of the base that disappeared along with it.

Triple Zero says that he was a product of the Tarkin Initiative and is fluent with all internal test languages. He uses an unknown language to revive BT-1. The droid's red Photoreceptor goes online and it unleashes its weapon, prompting Darth Vader to draw his lightsaber. Triple Zero convinces the homicidal BT-1 not to kill the organics

Hiring a secret agent[]

Later, Dr Aphra tells Lord Vader that she is relieved that she survived another activation. She then asks Lord Vader if he has come to enlist her services in applying a jackboot to the throat of the Rebel Alliance. Lord Vader observes that she is "overly fond of speaking." Dr Aphra says that she makes her living reactivating weapons and that his "tall, dark, menacing" appearance makes her nervous.

When Dr Aphra asks Lord Vader what he wants, he explains that he no longer commands armies but needs private resources of his own. Aphra tells Vader that she had been scheduled to deliver the two droids to the Droid Gotra, who had a mission lined up for them. Dr Aphra realizes that Lord Vader is planning to hire her for several missions. She tells Lord Vader that he is what she has been looking for all her life. While Dr Aphra blabbers, Lord Vader responds that he needs troops of unquestioning loyalty.

Dr Aphra suggests that Darth Vader could make use of a phalanx of carefully restored battle droids. She claims to know where to find them and that the Droid Gotra has tasked her with recovering them from a droid factory on Geonosis. When Aphra asks Lord Vader what he feels about a secret mission to Geonosis, the Sith Lord replies that he has not feelings regarding Geonosis. Aphra promises not to let him down. The Sith Lord agrees and warns that it would be a mistake.


Darth Vader: Doctor Aphra 1, a promotional one-shot comic book released for Halloween ComicFest 2016, reprinted the story from Darth Vader 3.


Cover gallery[]


By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea


Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology




Notes and references[]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Marvel Comics Full MARCH 2015 SOLICITATIONS (2014-12-16). Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Darth Vader #3. TFAW.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019.
  3. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that the events of Darth Vader (2015) 4, an issue taking place after this one, took place in 0 ABY. The opening crawl of the issue states that the issue takes place after the Battle of Yavin, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places in 0 BBY. Therefore, this issue must take place in 0 ABY.
  4. Marvel Star Wars April 2015 Solicitations (2015-01-19). Geekgusher. (backup link not available)