Return to Vader's Castle #1 Review

by Ellie J. on October 02, 2019

I’ve loved pretty much everything Cavan Scott has written for Star Wars, from his Star Wars Adventures stories to Dooku: Jedi Lost; his new series, Return to Vader’s Castle, is no different. It’s the sequel to his previous Halloween-themed Adventures series, Tales from Vader’s Castle. Both feature a framing story set in Vader’s castle, and five spooky stories “to chill the blood and stir the soul,'' as Vanee puts it in this issue.

The first series featured a group of rebels (led by Lina Graf, from Scott’s Adventures in Wild Space series) breaking into Vader’s Castle and telling each other stories. The sequel’s framing story is about one of those Rebels, Thom Hudd, after being captured. Vader’s attendant Vanee is torturing him for information, and starts telling him stories. 

Unlike the first series, which just told spooky stories in general, Return to Vader’s Castle seems to be focusing on villains as the focus of each story. The first story Vanee tells Lieutenant Hudd is about Darth Maul during his exile on Lotho Minor. A group of kids are taking a trip to the planet to prove themselves to a scavenger they hope to work with. They end up getting picked off one by one by Spider-Maul, but in the end, they capture Maul. 

The twist of the story is that Maul is the person that hired the scavenger; he was trying to steal a ship to escape in. It’s an interesting twist, since the Spider-Maul we see in The Clone Wars is too far gone to come up with that kind of plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if this story takes place closer to The Phantom Menace than it does The Clone Wars, back before he went fully insane. Anyway, they manage to escape Maul’s wrath, leaving one of their own behind to be slaughtered. 

I really liked the issue; it was a great start to the series. The art by Franceso Francavilla and Megan Levens did a great job of adding a spooky atmosphere to the story. The first series had good art, but the framing story’s art didn’t seem very spooky; now everything has dark and scary art; Vanee looks terrifying. I’m excited to see where this series goes; it looks like next issue will feature Tarkin as the focus of Vanee’s next story.

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