The current run of the Darth Vader comic has mostly featured the Sith Lord carrying out the brutal orders given to him by Emperor Palpatine, with the series leaning more into action than Vader's emotional depths. In Darth Vader #20, Vader is given a present that clearly offers him a tragically emotional connection to his past and events that fans saw in the prequel films, with the character showing the slightest amount of sadness.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Darth Vader #20
After Vader has eradicated what he perceives to be foes of Palpatine's and the Galactic Empire, his Master offers him the gift of the ship upon which he and his future wife Padme Amidala would escape Tatooine, as seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Fans of the franchise would immediately recognize the iconic ship, as its debut in Phantom Menace marked a significant departure from the style of aircraft we had seen in the original trilogy. Vader pausing to admire his reflection and almost stunned silence conveyed that this wasn't just a similar model to the one he used to travel in with Padme, but was the exact same ship.
A follow-up sequence depicted Vader turning down repairs to the ship so that it would remain in the condition in which he last saw it.
The connections to the prequel trilogy don't end there in this issue, as Vader goes on to demand that he be given his own world to rule over as he saw fit. Palpatine offered up Tatooine, his home planet, or even Naboo, given how much time Anakin Skywalker spent there with his former love. Instead, Vader demands to be given Mustafar, the planet covered in molten lava, which is where he had his fateful encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi that resulted in near-fatal wounds in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
For fans of the prequel trilogy and the tormented love story, this issue serves as a good bridge between the terrifying character Vader became and the human that existed underneath the intimidating armor, while not having to depict too much of his vulnerability.
Amidala proved herself as a complex and fascinating character who never got the same attention as many of her counterparts. Luckily, next spring will see that image being corrected, as the novel Star Wars: Queen's Shadow will explore more of the character's exploits.
In the novel, "Padme Amidala served Naboo well as its queen, but now she is ready to begin a new chapter in her life. Then the newly-elected queen asks Padmé to serve Naboo in a new capacity–as its senator. With the help of her devoted handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow."3comments
Darth Vader #20 is on sale now. Queen's Shadow hits shelves on March 5, 2019.
What do you think about this prequel connection? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!