Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle #1 begins a dramatic and dark new tale, full of surprise twists and a highly stylized art style.


The tale of Vader’s castle continues in STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER’S CASTLE #1. Coming out this Wednesday from IDW, the all-new series will bring with it a new set of adventures – and dangers surrounding some of our favorite antagonists in the universe.

Well, that’s certainly an attention-grabbing cover!


Fans will likely remember the first round of Star Wars Adventures: Vader’s Castle. It didn’t exactly go well for explorers or antagonists alike, leaving us to assume that things will go just as dreadfully this time around as well.

While the first series was set almost entirely on Mustafar, the sequel series, Return to Vader’s Castle seems to be interested in branching out a bit. Yes, everything will inevitably lead us back to Mustafar in the end. But it doesn’t all have to start there, now does it?

And so the story begins, once again on Mustafar.

The entire run of Star Wars Adventures reads almost like a series of campfire tales. They’re dark and dangerous and designed to leave children feeling a little bit chilled to their bones. But it’s all meant in good fun, and Return to Vader’s Castle perfectly fits that structure.

There are several disturbing and heart-stopping moments within these pages, but there are also plenty of thrilling moments to balance things out. Fans of certain antagonists will be especially excited to see their appearance here – as it’ll explain just a little bit more about their survival and their time spent between movies.

You heard the man! It’s time for this story to begin.

Cavan Scott was the author behind this issue, and you can tell this is a tale they’ve been working on for quite some time. You can also tell which characters they grew up being fond and curious about – if the focus and direction of this series is anything to go by.

Return to Vader’s Castle #1 is told through several jumps in time. These jumps were designed to obfuscate the truth while building tension. And it works. Readers will know right away that there’s something seriously wrong going on, but it’ll take a few pages for the truth to be fully revealed.

This big reveal was dramatic, to put it mildly. Any sith fans out there are going to have trouble holding back their reactions while reading this issue. Let’s be honest here. Most people that are chomping at the bit to read a series titled ‘Return to Vader’s Castle‘ are likely to be fans, or at least curious, about the darker side of Star Wars.

This issue does leave us off with more questions than answers, and in the comic book world that is excellent. It’s how they ensure that we come back next month. And there is more to this thrilling tale than meets the eye.

Nothing quite like getting forcibly ejected from a ship mid-flight.

Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle #1 had a decently sized art team working to bring the story (and our antagonists) to life. But it was worth it. The result was a series full of brightly lit and colored panels. It may not be the sort of thing you’d expect from a dark tale, but it fits the general ‘campfire’ theme pretty well. And it really does leave a lasting impression.

The character designs were the highlight of this issue – though one or two are more notable than the rest. This fact will become immediately clear upon the major revelation. When that happens, be sure to take some time and absorb all the details about this character’s appearance.

Francesco Francavilla (artist and colorist), Megan Levens (artist), and Charlie Kirchoff (colorist) all worked on this issue together. Their style may not match the movies – but honestly, that may be for the best. They’ve made this tale their own, through and through.

And of course, we can’t forget the lettering for this issue, which was provided by Andworld Design. The lettering was intentionally unobtrusive, while also pulling some extra weight in the emoting department. It was the perfect final touch on this issue.

Think he’s lashing out because he’s scared?

Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle #1 was a curious introduction to a new series surrounding Vader and all of his many mysteries. There’s so much going on behind the scenes. After all, this is a Star Wars antagonist we’re talking about. The creative team has did a fantastic job of making the series both unique and memorable.

Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book fan. She loves comics - possibly too much, and will happily talk your ear off about everything she's reading. Though picking a favorite is a bit harder. She reads a little bit of everything and is always open to trying a new series.
Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle #1 begins a dramatic and dark new tale, full of surprise twists and a highly stylized art style. The Tale Continues in STAR WARS ADVENTURES: RETURN TO VADER'S CASTLE #1