Emperor Palpatine Returns In Marvel Comics' 'Star Wars: Darth Vader' Series By Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader writer Greg Pak, who has written Marvel Comics' hit miniseries X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong and its sequel X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong, has brought Emperor Palpatine into the series. The fifth issue of this Darth Vader series ended with Vader meeting up with the Emperor, and the next arc seems to promise big things. The first arc, Dark Heart of the Sith, chronicles Darth Vader’s journey shortly after Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.

In previous issues of the series, we have read about Darth Vader visiting the grave of his former lover Padme Amidala, who died in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The story has gone in interesting directions, with Vader forming an unlikely alliance with Sabe, the former handmaiden of Padme Amidala. The upcoming issues will be focusing on Emperor Palpatine not being satisfied with Darth Vader’s actions. The end of the previous issue had the Emperor saying that Vader will have to start over by being put in a place of fear so that he can eventually be strong again.

Marvel Comics released these exclusive first looks of five pages previewing issue number 6, in which Darth Vader will be dealing with Emperor Palpatine after failing his master’s order by not bringing Luke Skywalker to him. On the page below, Darth Vader met with resistance on his return to Coruscant, precisely right where the previous book left off. The issue includes Grand Vizier Mas Amedda recalling Vader's failure to bring Luke and potentially treasonous actions in investigating on his own rather than reporting to the Emperor right away. Emperor Palpatine sets the Imperial Guards on Vader and also shows his cruel teachings methods by taking away Darth Vader’s lightsaber. 

These pages also came with the first look of this issue’s cover art by one of the best illustrator and concept artists, InHyuk Lee, whose earlier works with Marvel Comics include Scarlet Spider Vol. 2 issue 20, Morbius: The Living Vampire, Spider Geddon, Captain Marvel, X-Men Red, and many more.

Pak said the following about the surprising amount of freedom that he was given for this story:
“With every single issue of this series, I’m astounded by what we’ve been given the green light to explore… A brutal showdown between Vader and Palpatine? Yes, please! With massive repercussions for Vader that result in a total status quo upheaval? YES, PLEASE!”
This upcoming issue seems to be wasting no time on how Emperor Palpatine’s rocky relationship with Vader goes before Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Darth Vader went through some self-reflection in the previous issues and saw the consequences of his actions from when he turned to the dark side. It shows and provides more context and conflict within Vader as we see him before he turns against the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.

The sixth issue will be ready for grabs at your nearest local comic book stores on October 14, and it can be pre-ordered as well.

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Source(s): The Direct