Darth Vader Strikes is a comic strip written by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Al Williamson, originally published in 1981 by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. It was later reprinted in Amazing Heroes magazine #6–12.
It was republished by Dark Horse Comics beginning on page 16 of Classic Star Wars 2, all throughout Classic Star Wars 3, and ending on page 11 of Classic Star Wars 4. It was again republished on StarWars.com's webstrips section of Hyperspace.
Darth Vader knows that the Empire has many traitorous high-ranking officials, so he hatches a plan with Admiral Griff to catch them. The Rebels get a mysterious message from an Imperial admiral telling them to send a spy to sabotage Vader's new project so that Vader will look bad in the Emperor's eyes. Luke Skywalker volunteers to go and takes C-3PO and R2-D2 with him.
Once Luke is near the coordinates he was given, he sees that Vader's big project is a gigantic battleship. He gets a ride to the ship from Tanith Shire and tells a stormtrooper that he's a mechanic. The trooper agrees to let him take a look at the ship, but the droids can't come with him. They argue for a while, until Admiral Griff comes in and lets Luke take the droids with him. After Luke has concluded a tour of the ship, Griff tells him to board the admiral's personal shuttle and brings him to the nearby planet, Fondor.
Unknown to everyone, Vader and Griff's plan is to get Luke and the traitorous officials to meet up so they can catch all of them at once. Griff brings Luke to the steam tunnels that run under the planet's surface, where he is supposed to meet with the traitors. Luke has to shut down the droids. When they are all together, they realize that it's a trap and try to escape, but it's too late. Unbeknownst to everyone, Tanith Shire has been following Luke, and when she sees that he is in trouble, she turns on the droids, and with their help she turns on all the steam. In the moment of confusion, Luke grabs a stormtrooper's suit and escapes. He flees the system with Tanith with the technical readouts of the battleship in the droids' memory banks.
Starting with this story arc, each Sunday strip included a panel called the "Star Wars Scrapbook," which showed a character, weapon, or vehicle from Star Wars lore as it existed when the comic was created. This panel was meant to be disposable, so that newspapers which laid out their Sunday comics in an alternate format could exclude it without those readers missing any part of the story.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Newspaper Strips Vol. 1
- Star Wars: The Classic Newspaper Comics Vol. 2
Notes and references
- Star Wars Volume 1 (1991), Russ Cochran, publisher (page 160)