For other uses, see Star Wars: Darth Vader.

Star Wars: Darth Vader is a Star Wars comic book series written by Kieron Gillen, with art by Salvador Larroca. Marvel Comics began publishing the comics on February 11, 2015,[1] and the series concluded with its twenty-fifth issue in October 2016.[3] The story centers on the character Darth Vader between the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[1]

Development[edit | edit source]

Editor Jordan D. White offered Kieron Gillen a chance to write a Star Wars comic. Feeling apprehensive, Gillen almost turned it down, but decided to accept it, even dropping out of writing Iron Man to take the assignment.[4] Gillen acknowledged out of Marvel's current stable of writers, he was the most experienced in exploring the nature of evil and villainy, and therefore a suitable choice for Darth Vader.[1]

Furthermore, The Empire Strikes Back was the first film he saw in the cinema,[1] and now "I get to do the story of Darth Vader from the end of the first Star Wars film to the start of The Empire Strikes Back! It's a big story too. It's not just that I want to write Darth Vader. It's that I get to write this story of Darth Vader and it's all in canon. As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, this is what happened."[2]

He rewatched the films and noted small details he found pivotal, like the fact viewers do not see Vader discovering he has a son and that the Emperor lied to him, or that he begins The Empire Strikes Back in a stronger position despite being partly responsible for the destruction of the Death Star.[1]

Gillen cited inspiration from I, Claudius,[5] The Godfather,[6] and the TV series House of Cards in portraying the internal machinations of the Empire. If Jason Aaron's concurrent Star Wars comic depicts Vader on "a Tuesday," then Gillen's series shows the relatively mundane politics he must grapple with during the rest of the week. He mentioned Vader's antagonists include the military officials who do not believe in the Force.[1]

To overcome having a potentially monochromatic comic set in the Empire's corridors of power, Gillen has decided to emphasize the galaxy's underworld, explaining Vader's summoning of the bounty hunters in The Empire Strikes Back demonstrated the character is a "micro-manager" who knows these individuals personally.[1]

Gillen explained writing Vader was challenging because giving him an internal monologue would undermine his "looming, threatening monolith[ic]" presence, but the comic was also about his emotional journey, so it had to be "[sold] visually."[7] He likened writing Vader to writing a Punisher comic, where there can be humor with a terrifying protagonist as the straight man.[8]

Gillen also wanted to remind the reader that Vader was adept at building droids in the prequel trilogy, thereby showing "the passion of Anakin shining through."[9] He acknowledged both Salvador Larroca and Adi Granov are Iron Man veterans, explaining "They're both people who really know their hardware. They both come from a photo realist tradition, but at the same time they're entirely capable of drawing convincing machines. Those are useful talents when you're doing a book that is A) cinematic and B) technical."[2]

Media[edit | edit source]

Color code key:
Collected (TPB) issue Released issue Future issue Story arc
Issue Title Publication date Trade paperback Hardcover Omnibus
Book I: Vader
Star Wars Darth Vader TPB.jpg
Vol. 1 — Vader
October 6, 2015[10]
Darth Vader Volume 1 hardcover final cover.jpg
Volume 1[11]
July 19, 2016[11]
Darth Vader Omnibus.jpg
Omnibus[12]
September 19, 2017
1 Vader February 11, 2015[13]
2 Vader, Part II February 25, 2015[13]
3 Vader, Part III March 25, 2015[14]
4 Vader, Part IV April 8, 2015[15]
5 Vader, Part V May 13, 2015[16]
6 Vader, Part VI June 3, 2015[17]
Book II: Shadows and Secrets
Darth Vader Vol 2 final cover.jpg
Vol. 2 —
Shadows and Secrets

January 5, 2016[18]
7 Shadows and Secrets, Part I July 1, 2015[19]
8 Shadows and Secrets, Part II August 5, 2015[20]
9 Shadows and Secrets, Part III September 9, 2015[21]
10 Shadows and Secrets, Part IV October 7, 2015[22]
11 Shadows and Secrets, Part V October 21, 2015[23]
12 Shadows and Secrets, Part VI November 11, 2015[24]
Vader Down
Vader Down TPB final cover.jpg
Vader Down
April 19, 2016[25]
DarthVaderHC2.jpg
Volume 2[26]
February 28, 2017[26]
13 Vader Down, Part II[27] November 25, 2015[28]
14 Vader Down, Part IV December 23, 2015[29]
15 Vader Down, Part VI January 6, 2016[30]
Book III: The Shu-Torun War
SWDarthVader3TPB.png
Vol. 3 —
The Shu-Torun War

August 9, 2016[31]
A1 Darth Vader Annual 1 December 16, 2015[32]
16 The Shu-Torun War, Part I February 10, 2016[33]
17 The Shu-Torun War, Part II March 2, 2016[34]
18 The Shu-Torun War, Part III March 30, 2016[35]
19 The Shu-Torun War, Part IV April 13, 2016[36]
Book IV: End of Games
SWDarthVader4TPB.png
Vol. 4 —
End of Games

November 23, 2016[37]
20 End of Games, Part I May 11, 2016[38]
21 End of Games, Part II June 8, 2016[39]
22 End of Games, Part III June 29, 2016[39]
23 End of Games, Part IV July 20, 2016[40]
24 End of Games, Part V August 10, 2016[41]
25 End of Games, Part VI October 12, 2016[3]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 StarWars.com SDCC 2014: Inside Marvel's New Star Wars Comics – Exclusive on StarWars.com (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Richards, Dave (2014-07-27). SDCC: Gillen Explores the Dark Side in "Star Wars: Darth Vader". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved on July 27, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 DARTH VADER #25. Previews World. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved on August 20, 2016.
  4. MarvelLogo.svg SDCC 2014: Darth Vader on Marvel Comics' official website (backup link not available)
  5. Letamendi, Andrea (2014-07-27). I, Vader: Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca Talk ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader’. Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on July 26, 2017. Retrieved on July 27, 2014.
  6. Johnston, Rich (2014-07-26). Talking To Kieron Gillen About His New Darth Vader Comic For Marvel’s Star Wars Line. Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
  7. Guerrero, Tony (2014-07-27). SDCC 2014 Interview: Kieron Gillen Talks STAR WARS: DARTH VADER Series. Comic Vine. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved on July 27, 2014.
  8. YouTube.png San Diego Comic Con 2015: Kieron Gillen Interview on the GamesRadar YouTube channel (backup link)
  9. Truitt, Brian (2014-07-26). 'Darth Vader' focuses on 'Star Wars' Dark Side. USA Today. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved on July 27, 2014.
  10. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 (Star Wars (Marvel)) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1 on Amazon.com (backup link)
  12. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca Omnibus on Amazon.com (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Marvel Comics Full FEBRUARY 2015 SOLICITATIONS. Newsarama (2014-11-18). Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved on December 16, 2014.
  14. Marvel Comics Full MARCH 2015 SOLICITATIONS. Newsarama (2014-12-16). Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved on December 16, 2014.
  15. Darth Vader #4. TFAW.com. Retrieved on January 30, 2015. (backup link not available)
  16. MARVEL COMICS SOLICITATIONS FOR MAY 2015. IGN (2015-02-17). Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved on February 17, 2015.
  17. Darth Vader #6. TFAW.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
  18. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets on Amazon.com (backup link)
  19. MarvelLogo.svg DARTH VADER (2015) #7 on Marvel Comics' official website (backup link)
  20. DARTH VADER #8. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved on June 21, 2015.
  21. DARTH VADER #9. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved on June 21, 2015.
  22. DARTH VADER #10. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved on June 21, 2015.
  23. DARTH VADER #11. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved on June 26, 2015.
  24. DARTH VADER #12. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved on August 21, 2015.
  25. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Vader Down on Amazon.com (backup link)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 2 on Amazon.com (backup link)
  27. Burlingame, Russ (2015-07-27). EXCLUSIVE: Marvel's Star Wars To Sell More than 200,000 Copies in Collected Edition. ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved on July 27, 2015.
  28. DARTH VADER #13. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved on August 21, 2015.
  29. DARTH VADER #14. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved on October 18, 2015.
  30. MARVEL COMICS January 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2015-09-20). Archived from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved on October 22, 2015.
  31. Amazon favicon.png Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 3: The Shu-Torun War (Star Wars (Marvel)) on Amazon.com (backup link)
  32. MarvelLogo.svg Darth Vader Annual (2015) #1 on Marvel Comics' official website (backup link)
  33. DARTH VADER #16. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved on November 6, 2015.
  34. MARVEL COMICS February 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2015-11-17). Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved on November 17, 2015.
  35. MARVEL COMICS March 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2015-12-15). Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved on December 15, 2015.
  36. MARVEL COMICS April 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2016-01-19). Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved on October 7, 2016.
  37. STAR WARS DARTH VADER TP VOL 04 END OF GAMES. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved on October 6, 2016.
  38. Marvel Comics Full MAY 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2016-02-16). Archived from the original on January 23, 2019. Retrieved on February 19, 2016.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Marvel Comics Full JUNE 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2016-03-22). Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved on March 22, 2016.
  40. DARTH VADER #23. PREVIEWSworld. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved on June 23, 2016.
  41. Marvel Comics AUGUST 2016 Solicitations. Newsarama.com (2016-05-17). Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved on May 17, 2016.

External links[edit | edit source]

Star Wars: Darth Vader
Vader: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6
Shadows and Secrets: 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12
Vader Down: 13 · 14 · 15
The Shu-Torun War: A1 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19
End of Games: 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25
Trade paperbacks
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · Vader Down
Other
Hardcover 1 · Hardcover 2 · Omnibus
Color Your Own
Related media
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
Darth Vader (2020)
[edit]
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