Coming into a Star Wars book there are a few things you typically can expect. There will be space, ships and if you’re lucky even a saber fight or two. Still despite their importance to the overall theme of the series the spiritual and supernatural elements tend to be downplayed. However, IDW Publishing’s first issue of Star Wars Adventures Vader’s Castle gives readers a look at one of the more mysterious ways the Force can be utilized.
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle # 1
“Dawn of The Droids”
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artists: Francesco Francavilla & Megan Levens
Colors: Francesco Francavilla & Charlie Kirchoff
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Ghosts of Vader’s Castle begins on Mustafar, the location of Lord Vader’s private refuge. Within the confides of the castle, as lava flows and sulfer fumes rise, an apprentice of Vader begins a ritual. Speaking to an entity he believes is the Dark Lord himself, this apprentice begins an incantation meant to punish those who have wronged Vader.
After the opening sequence in Vader’s Castle we meet Milo at the Graf Archive on Orchis 2. Speaking to a holoprojection of his sister Liva, Milo explains all the artifacts he discovered that were hidden away until the fall of the Empire. The mention of diagram’s of Vader’s Castle troubles Lina who apparently has visited this location before. After their conversation Milo begins to explain a dream he had to his droid Crater.
Ghosts of Vader’s Castle is an interesting frame story. Or maybe even a double paned story. There are three separate plots that seem eerily connected.
Milo’s vidid dream begins the main action of the story. This recollection seems to be from an adventure somewhere between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. I’m only guessing this given the participants involved. A non pregnant Padme is the main clue. She is accompanied by Anakin, Jar Jar Binks, 3PO and R2. The group finds themselves on an unsanctioned mission to a Republic settlement in Rubinero. It is more a curious exploration as Padme wishes to discover why the settlement has gone offline.
The settlement is a ghost town with only inoperative droids littering the streets. As the group wanders around the town you immediately get the sense that something bad happened. And not the typical Star Wars battle bad, more the eerily haunting bad. Will it be their fate as well? And what exactly does this have to do with Milo and more importantly Lord Vader?
Ghosts of Vader’s castle feels like a classic 80s comic in terms of it’s art style. The depictions of R2 and 3PO remind me of the seldom remembered Droids cartoon series. Including Jar Jar hinders the story because while I feel he is a misunderstood character he is also hard to write and therefore read. The same is true of Anakin who tends to be one dimensional at times. Of course his inclusion hints that whatever took place in Rubinero would no doubt find it’s way to Castle Vader.