Star Wars Has revealed more about why Darth Vader made the monumental decision to turn on Emperor Palpatine and save Luke Skywalker, in the climactic moment of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Indeed, much of the new Star Wars: Darth Vader comic series from Marvel Comics has been focused on retroactively pondering that moment. The Emperor is punishing Vader for a traitorous attempt to recruit Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, while Vader is starting to feel something other than the deep well of the dark side, again. Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 drives Vader's "awakening" to the next stage, in a stirring vision.
Warning: Star Wars: Darth Vader #10 SPOILERS Follow!
In the latest chapter of Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vader and his assassin partner/hostage Ochi are making a dash for Exegol, so Vader can uncover the Emperor's Sith secrets there. Vader has an Imperial fleet on his tail and a horrific Lovecraftian space beast at his front. Vader takes on both and prevails - but not without cost.
The space monster turns out to be a psychic predator, who hits Vader with a hard mind-jolt that forces the Sith Lord to have a vision of a dark event: his own death. That vision takes the form of the cycle of violence that Palpatine pulled Anakin Skywalker/Vader into fighting Obi-Wan on both Mustafar and on the Death Star; maiming Luke In Cloud City; and eventually, Vader sees, Luke cutting him down and completing the Emperor's seduction of a new Skywalker.
Star Wars fans know that Anakin Skywalker had one similar vision before, during the Mortis Arc from Clone Wars. When meeting with the living icons of the Force (The Father, The Son, The Daughter), Anakin saw his future fall as Vader. The memory was ultimately erased, but the vision the space beast unlocks in Vader will not fade.
It's always been a lingering question about what Darth Vader was thinking under that helmet, while Palpatine fried Luke with Force Lightning in Return of the Jedi. Writer Greg Pak has been exploring and evolving that aspect of Vader's character in wonderful strokes - and this vision sequence makes some key things clear:
- Vader knew what The Emperor planned to betray him and steal Luke.
- Vader didn't ever want Luke corrupted by the dark side.
As always, it's still wonderfully difficult to know for sure exactly why Vader is motivated to do what he does. Love of Luke? Hate of the Emperor? Thirst for power? All of the above? The series explains enough, without overdoing it.
Star Wars: Darth Vader is now on sale from Marvel Comics.