Marvel Comics has launched an all-new storyline with the debut of Star Wars: Darth Vader, which takes place after the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Fans have largely been kept in the dark about what happened to both Luke Skywalker and Vader following their fateful encounter in that film, instead jumping forward in time to the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with both this book and the proper Star Wars series unfolding in this specific timeframe. While many fans thought they knew what Vader had been through in between the events of the two films, the new series' debut issue features a reveal which could come with some major revelations for the villain.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars: Darth Vader #1
Feeling disappointment after Luke turned down his offer to rule the galaxy, Vader seeks retribution against anyone who prevented him from learning about his son earlier. The Sith Lord visits the former Lars homestead on Tatooine and has visions of being there with Padmé before then traveling to Coruscant to investigate her old apartment. Vader's quest for clues ultimately leads him to Vendaxa, only to come face to face with Padmé herself.
While there is a possibility that this really is Vader's former love, this seems like such a game-changing reveal for the entire franchise that we can't help but assume this is a misdirect. Were Padmé, the character ultimately responsible for Vader's descent to the Dark Side due to his quest to unlock the key to her everlasting life, to somehow be alive and ultimately disappear between the events of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it could create a number of complications for the continuity of the original trilogy.
This isn't to say that such a reveal would be impossible, but with this being the final page of an all-new issue, we can't help but assume there will be some other explanation for this reveal.
A seemingly more likely explanation for the events would be that this character is instead one of the Royal Handmaidens of Naboo, characters who not only served to assist Padmé, but also took the queen's place, on occasion, to serve as her decoy. Given his fractured state of mind, it's possible that, when confronted with someone who shared a strong resemblance to his former love, Vader assumes it is really her. It could then be possible that, rather than expressing his rage, he is at least briefly deterred by discovering one of Padmé's closest confidants to embrace one of the only connections to her he has left.
Stay tuned for details on the future of the series. Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 is available now.