- "Inside the ship were two droids. One droid was short, and the other was tall."
- ―Description of R2-D2 and C-3PO from Escape from Darth Vader
Escape from Darth Vader is a young-readers story from Disney–Lucasfilm Press that was released on September 16, 2014. Written by Michael Siglain with illustrations by Stéphane Roux, it tells the story of the opening events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, from the Rebel Alliance vessel Tantive IV being pursued by the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator to the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping and landing on the desert planet Tatooine, the former carrying secret plans to the Empire's Death Star battle station.
C-3PO and R2D2 [sic] must keep Darth Vader from discovering the Rebels' secret plans! This fully-illustrated level 1 reader retells the classic scenes from A New Hope where the droids crash land on the desert planet of Tatooine and meet a young farmer named Luke.
- "Princess Leia had to keep the secret plans hidden from Darth Vader. She gave them to R2-D2 to keep them safe."
- ―Description from Escape from Darth Vader
A rebel vessel carrying Princess Leia Organa is under attack by a larger spaceship. Organa is in possession of secret plans for an Imperial battle station. R2-D2, a specialized droid, desperately seeks the princess, who moves swiftly to escape a boarding party sent by the Empire. Meanwhile, a droid of another type, C-3PO, worries that everyone aboard the vessel is doomed.
Organa evades pursuing troopers and provides R2-D2 with the secret plans to keep them from falling into the hands of the feared Sith Lord Darth Vader. She is soon captured by the pursuing troops and taken to Vader, but she does not reveal the plans' whereabouts. C-3PO finds R2-D2, and together the two board an escape pod, which lands on a sandy planet. Having escaped Vader with the secret plans, they begin a new journey that will bring them into contact with farm boy Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, smuggler Han Solo, and the Wookiee Chewbacca.
On April 25, 2014, Lucasfilm announced a new storytelling structure for the Star Wars franchise, wherein past titles considered part of the Expanded Universe would be rebranded as Star Wars Legends, while new releases would form a new continuity of canon. Escape from Darth Vader, a thirty-two-page fully illustrated book written by Michael Siglain and illustrated by Stéphane Roux, was published on September 16, 2014, making it part of the new canon.
The title, designed for readers ages 6–8, retells situations and events previously depicted in full in the original trilogy film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Disney–Lucasfilm Press released an electronic edition on October 7, 2014, and Egmont issued a U.K. edition on June 4, 2015. Scholastic Inc. also published an Australian edition.
Escape from Darth Vader is part of a series of Star Wars titles under the World of Reading banner that retell events from the franchise in a format suitable for the youngest audiences. Other titles in the series include Use the Force!, Rescue from Jabba's Palace, and AT-AT Attack!, all of which were published in 2015.
Two short stories from other authors share the same title as Escape from Darth Vader. A short story by Rebecca L. Schmidt was published in the anthology The Original Trilogy Stories on September 1, 2015, while a second story, written by Brooke Dworkin, was published as one of eleven stories within 5-Minute Star Wars Stories, a December 2015 compilation from Disney–Lucasfilm Press. It retains the same basic narrative and illustrations by Stéphane Roux but features completely rewritten text by Dworkin as well as direct quotations from the film not featured in Siglain's version.
Escape from Darth Vader is included in the compendium book 3 Out-of-This-World Tales!, published on August 29, 2017. The title also include the stories AT-AT Attack! and Ewoks Join the Fight, along with an accompanying CD narration.
- "This is a book that I think will suck kids in as they flip through the pages of cool artwork. As a first introduction to the story of Star Wars this could be a great introduction to children who may not be ready for the full film."
- ―Reviewer at the Lightsaber Rattling fansite
Overall reception to Escape from Darth Vader by reviewers has been positive. As of February 14, 2022, the title had received 391 customer reviews at Amazon.com, with an overall rating of 4.8/5 stars. Reviewers describe the story variously as a "well-written recounting" and "a story that has lured my young daughters away from helpless princesses." Mundie Kids, a book review site written by a mother, featured a positive review, which stated, "This is a book I wish I had, had [sic] for my son when he was learning how to read."
- ISBN 9781484705001; Disney–Lucasfilm Press, September 16, 2014, 32-page paperback
- ISBN 9780606359245; Disney–Lucasfilm Press, September 16, 2014, 32-page hardcover
- ISBN 9781484718148; Disney–Lucasfilm Press, October 7, 2014, 32-page digital reader with audio
- ISBN 9781614793649; Disney–Lucasfilm Press, August 1, 2015, 30-page hardcover
- ISBN 9781405277778; Egmont UK Ltd, June 4, 2015, 32-page paperback
- ISBN 9781760157937; Scholastic Australia, 32-page paperback
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Notes and references
- Escape from Darth Vader
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which this storybook adapts, in 0 BBY–0 ABY. Because Escape from Darth Vader adapts only the opening part of the film, it must take place in 0 BBY.
- A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
- The Original Trilogy Stories
- 5-Minute Star Wars Stories