Star Wars Reveals Darth Vader's Secret History With Han Solo

Star Wars has revealed the secret history between Darth Vader and Han Solo, as a major lead-in to its "War of the Bounty Hunters" event that will unfold this summer. That slice of previously unknown Star Wars Original Trilogy history is revealed in the new Darth Vader #12 comic book, which serves as a bridge between the previous story arc that saw Vader battle Emperor Palpatine on Exegol, and the bounty hunter crossover that's about to happen. Vader's been left battered and broken, and while he undergoes some truly grueling restorative surgery, the Sith Lord has nothing to do but dream about revenge... against Han Solo!

Warning: Darth Vader #12 SPOILERS Follow!

As stated, the battles on Exegol leave Vader broken down and injured, with crude droid parts replacing his cybernetic limbs. The Emperor brings Vader back to Coruscant to get his just rewards: excruciating surgery to restore Vader's body to its full evil killer potential. Pain once again proves to be Vader's best form of strength and focus, and during his surgery, the Sith Lord realigns his thinking about uniting with this son Luke Skywalker and trying to overthrow the Emperor.

Bottom line: after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader is done trying to recruit Luke: he wants to kill the boy. And Vader knows that Luke's greatest strength is also his greatest weakness: his connection to his friends.

Vader's rumination about Luke's friends takes us back through key events of the Star Wars OT films we know - like how Han Solo intervened and blasted Vader's TIE fighter in the Battle of Yavin, which allowed Luke to make the fateful shot that destroyed the Death Star. However, we also get new scenes we never saw before - such as how Vader tracked the Millennium Falcon back to Corellia after A New Hope, and nearly took out Han and Chewie when he found them there (they managed to escape).

Star Wars Darth Vader vs Han Solo Comic 12 Spoilers
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

It was that encounter on Corellia that helped Vader learn Han Solo's name and history. We also get deeper context for the Empire Strikes Back scene where Vader used an interregation droid on Han, without asking him a single question (he just wanted revenge on Han for interfering in the Death Star fight). We also get the reasoning for Vader allowing Han to be frozen in carbonite: as bait to draw Luke out.

The new dimensions of Vader's history with Han Solo will continue into "War of the Bounty Hunters." Other comics have revealed that Boba Fett had Han's body stolen from him while en route to Jaba The Hutt's palace: Boba's mistake brings Vader out to meet with Jabba's family member Bokku The Hutt. Vader has assassin Ochi of Bestton coerce Bokku to recover Han Solo's body before Jabba does - so that he can use Solo to bait the trap for Luke Skywalker, and finally kill his son before Luke can challenge the power of the Sith.

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While we obviously know that Vader's scheme with Bokku The Hutt fails, Star Wars comics like Darth Vader continue adding intetersting new layers of depth to how the chess game of the Rebellion truly played out in the months or years between each movie.

Darth Vader #12 is now on sale. "War of the Bounty Hunters" will begin its crossover event in Star Wars comics this June.