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For other uses, see Darth Vader 21.

Darth Vader 21 is the twenty-first issue of the canon comic book series Star Wars: Darth Vader (2017). The issue was written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli, and published on September 12, 2018 by Marvel Comics.

Publisher's summary[]

DARTH VADER returns to the place of his birth as he seeks the path to his destiny. Echoes from the past reach out to him — both from his own, and from the dark history of the SITH.

Plot summary[]

FORTRESS VADER
Part III
The Republic is overthrown. Emperor Palpatine rules
the galaxy with an iron fist. Palpatine's apprentice —
Darth Vader — serves his master's Empire by rooting
out surviving Jedi with the help of the Inquisitorius, a
squad of dark side adepts.

But they have done their job too well. No Jedi remain for
Vader to hunt. As a reward for his service, Palpatine
has recovered the royal starship of Padmé Amidala, the
deceased wife of the man Vader once was.

He now has Palpatine's blessing to go where he will in
pursuit of the powers of the dark side. But Vader has
only one prize in mind — the world of Mustafar....

Facing the past[]

While Darth Vader's newly acquired Naboo Royal Starship travels through hyperspace, the Sith Lord is haunted by a ghoulish manifestation of his younger self whose face has been deformed to resemble his helmet. Colonel Alva Brenne informs Lord Vader that they are approaching Mustafar. The Sith Lord informs Colonel Brenne and Lieutenant Roggo that he will personally take control of the ship once they enter orbit. Brenne asks Vader why he has chosen Mustafar.

In a flashback scene at the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Emperor Palpatine grants Lord Vader's request for Mustafar to become the site of his new stronghold. The Emperor assigns the Imperial architect Colonel Brenne to serve Vader. Brenne had previously overseen the alterations of the Imperial Palace to remove all traces of the Jedi, impressing the Emperor. The Emperor is baffled that Lord Vader has chosen Mustafar since the planet was the site of his defeat and life-changing injuries.

In the present, the ship's computer announces that they are exiting hyperspace momentarily. Vader leaves the two Imperial officers without answering Brenne's question. Brenne confides with Roggo that this could be a difficult assignment but believes that a great artisan can provide her client with what he wants even though he has no idea what he wants. Roggo compliments her, stating that she could build Lord Vader something beautiful.

Colonel Brenne is curious about what Lord Vader regards as wonderful. She and Roggo regard the luxurious J-type 327 Nubian royal starship as an unusual choice for Lord Vader, whom Colonel Brenne assumes prefers a minimalist approach to art. Roggo is also familiar with Vader's role in killing five Imperial officers and regards the Sith Lord as intimidating. Concurring, Brenne remarks that Vader rarely speaks and seems more like a droid than a man. She is also curious about an ancient sinister mask on display in the former throne room.

A fiery landing[]

The Naboo Royal Starship's computer announces that the external hull temperatures are rising to critical level and orders all passengers and crew to emergency stations. Roggo realizes that the ship is descending into Musfatar's atmosphere without any deflector shields. Colonel Brenne confronts Lord Vader, demanding to know why they are making a dangerous unshielded atmospheric entry. When she demands that they return to high orbit to repair the shields and attempt a second landing, Vader responds that he deactivated the shield.

Regarding Vader's actions as suicidal, Brenne reiterates her demand and reaches for her pistol. However, Lord Vader uses the Force to grab the pistol. He tells her that she will do whatever he requires per the Emperor's directive. Lord Vader then orders her to sit in the co-pilot seat. As they descend into the volcanic world. the ship's hull is scared and one of the transparisteel windows are damaged.

The ship's descent is watched by the Mustafarian father Kkkt and his son Zzzs. The former believes this is an omen. When fire rises from a laval lake, Zzzs asks if it is "lifefire" or "endfire." Kkkt replies that they shall see. After landing, Lieutenant Roggo asks a dazed Colonel Brenne what happened. Brenne attributes the rough landing to Vader. Surveying the scarred hull of the Naboo Royal Starship, she says that she now knows his aesthetic.

The call of darkness[]

As Lord Vader enters a cave, Colonel Brenne offers to begin designing a facility for his use immediately. She also questions his purpose here. In a flashback, Vader explains to the Emperor that he chose Mustafar because he sensed that the dark side locus on the planet has a deep connection to the Force that is able to work wonders. The Emperor praises Lord Vader for seizing the opportunity to be a perfect Sith. The Emperor is open to the idea of Vader discovering a way to bring back his late wife Padmé Amidala. He also believes that Vader's time on Mustafar could be a good learning opportunity for him. He then leads Vader to his "final gift."

Back in the present, Lord Vader tells Colonel Brenne that he is here to study a great mystery but that he does not know how long it will take. Brenn returns to the Naboo Royal Starship to work on designing Vader's fortress. With Vader not addressing her questions, she decides to start with a basic functional approach and gauge his reaction. At Brenne's request, Roggo leavers to fetch tea and brandy. She vows not to disappoint Vader in order to maintain her solid track record as an architect.

While Vader meditates before a large rock, Brenne and Roggo survey a nearby site, which she believes will make a stunning vista due to a nearby lava flow. Later, Brenne tasks Roggo with running tests on the tensile strength of the flood basalt they saw during the survey. Brenne later presents her first design, which envisages a double pyramid structure. When Vader rejects her first design, she returns to the ship to continue her work but is shot dead. Vader finds a masked figure at her study.

The Mask of Momin[]

In a flashback, the Emperor gifts Lord Vader the mask of Darth Momin. He explains that Momin was an unusual Sith Lord who preferred to create using the dark side of the Force. The Emperor believes that Lord Vader can learn new insights from Lord Momin. He tells his Sith apprentice to take the mask to Mustafar. Vader is unaware of Lord Momin since his contemporaries regarded his path as heretical and suppressed his story. The Emperor replies that the mask told him the story of Lord Momin.

In the present, Lord Vader attacks the masked figure with his lightsaber, killing him. The mask figure turns out to be Roggo who has donned the mask of Momin. Vader sees that the possessed Roggo has created a structure with two sharp crests at the top.

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Notes and references[]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 MarvelLogo.svg Darth Vader (2017) #21 on Marvel Comics' official website (backup link)
  2. The events of Tarkin take place five years after the rise of the Galactic Empire, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, Tarkin must be set in 14 BBY. As Darth Vader knows about Wilhuff Tarkin's past on Eriadu in Darth Vader (2017) 18, which he only learned about in Tarkin, issue 18 must take place after the novel. The later issue Darth Vader (2017) 19 featured the Second Sister, who was killed in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Fallen Order takes place five years after the Great Jedi Purge, which is dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is also set in 14 BBY. As Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 18 is between both Tarkin and Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 19, the events of the issue must take place in 14 BBY. The events of issue 20 take place immediately following issue 19 and therefore, the events of issue 21 must also occur in that year as it immediately follows the events of issue 20.

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