- "It's all been building to this. From the very beginning of the series, this was always going to be the big huge arc we were building to, which is where does he get that castle?"
- ―Charles Soule
Darth Vader 23 is the twenty-third 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 November 14, 2018 by Marvel Comics.
"FORTRESS VADER" - PART 5 Darkness rises above MUSTAFAR as the brutal designs of LORD MOMIN begin to take shape. But the planet's inhabitants cannot take this desecration lightly, and shape plans of their own.
Trial through error
While working on the fifth version of Fortress Vader, Darth Momin encourages Darth Vader to let the building shape the dark side of the Force. He claims that his present form limits his ability to use the Force. The two Sith attempt to open the door to the dark side, which causes the ground to shake. The construction crew take shelter.
Meanwhile, the Mustafarian Kkkt and his son Zzzs sense that the dark side energy triggered by the fortress is creating another endfire storm. While Vader tries to open the door to the Force, Kkkt uses his own Force powers to hold it off, disrupting the Sith ceremony. Kkkt's efforts saves the Mustafarians. Knowing that the entire planet of Mustafar is screaming at what the "dark one" is building on the Gahenn plains, he tells Zzzs to rally the other Mustafarian clans for an assault on Fortress Vader.
Meanwhile, Momin surmises that the fifth design has too many focusing crystals but says that they can make adjustments for the sixth design. Vader is furious with Momin and slays the Sith Lord's Mustafarian's host body with his lightsaber. While the construction crew survey the damage, Lord Vader forces the Mask of Lord Momin on an unsuspecting Magma trooper commander. Taking possession of the hapless soldier, Momin resolves to work on the sixth design and orders the construction crew and stormtroopers to clean up the site.
Shortly later, several lava fleas attack the construction site. When Darth Momin asks why they are under attack, a Magma trooper believes that they may be intruding on the creatures' breeding grounds and says that they started showing up in response to the lightning storms from the castle. He reports that the creatures and Mustafarians keep attacking on a daily basis. He orders the trooper to defend the castle, showing little concern for the high casualties involved in defending the castle.
Lord Momin continues rebuilding the fortress for the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth times. The first three are disasters with the fortress sustaining damage from lightning storms and volcanic eruptions. Vader kills each of Momin's hosts including the magma trooper, a female Imperial officer and a lava flea. For the ninth attempt, Momin assumes the host of a male construction worker. When Momin expresses cautious optimism about his ninth design, Lord Vader warns that there won't be a tenth design.
Lord Momin's betrayal
The ninth design is a tall structure with two structures bisected at the top by a triangular structure. Lord Momin has modified the focusing chamber to consist of several sheets inscribed with Sith runes around a rocky mount. As Lord Vader seeks to open the door, a pair of magma troopers marvel at the design. Lord Momin urges Lord Vader to rest from his exertions by the Sith Lord hurls him aside and resolves to enter the door.
Captain Junus, the commander of the Fortress Vader Imperial garrison reports that an army of lava fleas and Mustafarians is converging on the site. He recommends retreating. When Lord Vader surveys the balcony, Lord Momin takes advantage of his distraction to open the door himself, triggering a large amount of Force energy. Momin regains his physical form and takes the helmet from his host. He tells a furious Lord Vader that he is his own masterpiece.
- UPC 759606086665; November 14, 2018; Marvel Comics
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- Vol. 4 — Fortress Vader
- Star Wars: Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith Vol. 2
- Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles Soule Omnibus
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary states that Fortress Vader was completed forty-six years before the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the fortress's construction, as well as the Battle of Fortress Vader that ensued, must have happened in 12 BBY.