Though the Skywalker Saga is over and done with as far as the movies are concerned, Marvel’s line of Star Wars comics are still exploring that era. The Darth Vader comic series takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and it’s in that space that series writer Greg Pak and artist Raffaele Ienco will create a connection between the iconic villain and The Rise of Skywalker, as revealed during the Comic-Con@Home Lucasfilm Publishing panel, featured as part of IGN’s Comic-Con@Home livestream.
The first arc of the series sees Vader on the hunt for those who knew about the birth of his children and helped hide Luke away from him. This personal quest sees him cross paths and team up with Sabe, one of Padme Amidala’s former handmaidens and body doubles. Once that story wraps up in Issue #5, the next story will reveal how this series ties into Episode IX.
“At the end of our first arc, Vader claims to have settled all of his previous business, but the Emperor knows better. He knows Vader hasn’t settled anything! Vader is going to suffer a terrible punishment and undertake a new journey-slash-quest, and there are key elements that will tie into Episode IX in a huge way,” Pak said during the panel. “There are some doors that have been thrown wide open, which dig into some great unexplored territory and also dig deeply into the heart of Vader. Once again, I can’t believe they’re letting us do it.”
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Darth Vader #6 will kick off this new arc that will somehow connect to The Rise of Skywalker, so we’re left to speculate on just how that will happen. Obviously the Emperor makes his big return in Episode 9, and Pak said this story will involve the Emperor punishing Vader and sending him on a quest, so perhaps the connection has something to do with Palpatine.
It could be that the arc will shed some light on the opening scene of The Rise of Skywalker that took place on Mustafar, the planet Vader calls home. We saw Kylo Ren mowing down Vader’s cultists to obtain the Sith Wayfinder, so maybe we’ll learn more about that relic. It’s even possible we’ll get to meet the being known as the Eye of Webbish Bog, a new character that was cut from the opening scene.
Other story ideas that might be worth exploring include Vader learning about the cloning technology the Emperor will one day use to return from the dead, Vader meeting the failed Palpatine clone that eventually becomes Rey’s father, or Vader traveling to the hidden Sith base on Exegol. If Vader does learn about the Emperor’s cloning technology, one can only imagine he would be tempted to clone the love of his life, Padme, to bring her back.
After the Lucasfilm Publishing panel, IGN spoke with Pak about what he has in store for this crossover arc. While he kept all of the story details to himself, he did offer a small tease.
“It’s going to be a huge, hopefully deeply disturbing and entertaining and satisfying epic by the time it’s all done,” Pak said. “We got permission and the green light to do some stuff I never thought we’d be able to do.”
Watch our full video interview with Pak below:
Speaking of Star Wars, be sure to check out our list of the best Sci-fi movies of all time and the best Disney Plus movies available on the service, and check out IGN’s IGN’s full Comic-Con 2020 panel schedule.
Joshua is Senior Editor and Producer of Features at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.