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IDW revisits the Sith Lord's abode in Star Wars Adventures: Return To Vader's Castle #1

By Jeff Spry
Vader Hero

Last Halloween season IDW Publishing ventured into spooky Star Wars territory in their triumphantly successful all-ages miniseries from celebrated writer Cavan Scott and Eisner Award-winning artists Derek Charm and Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife With Archie) titled Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader's Castle.

The original weekly five-issue treat unfolded as an entertaining anthology of scary stories set within the obsidian halls of Darth Vader's Mustafarian fortress, with fan-fave characters dovetailed in like Star Wars Rebels stars Hera, Kanan, and Chopper; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku; Han Solo and Chewbacca; and a tribe of furry Ewoks.

Now these eerie yarns emanating from the galaxy far, far away are back in a new event miniseries launching its premiere issue October 2 and SYFY WIRE has a special exclusive preview of the devilish debut.

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This second autumnal series is again penned by Scott but offers a revolving roster of acclaimed illustrators including Francesco Francavilla, Kelley Jones, Derek Charm, Nicoletta Baldari, Nick Brokenshire, Megan Levens, and Charles Paul Wilson III, with Francavilla providing the main covers and framing story.

It penetrates the shadowed corners of the whole Star Wars galaxy and spotlights a wretched hive of scum and villainy including Darth Maul, Grand Moff Tarkin, Asajj Ventress, and Jabba the Hutt, all under the ever-lurking specter of Lord Darth Vader.

Straight out of the gate, Scott has crafted a supremely wicked tale with guest artist Megan Levens that showcases the menacing machinations of the malevolent Horned Devil, Darth Maul.

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"Lucasfilm and IDW have given me the keys to Vader’s Castle again, bwa-ha-ha-haaaa!" Scott tells SYFY WIRE. "Sorry, got a bit carried away there, but it’s hard not to when you look at the talent we’ve brought together for this year’s halloween event. Francesco Francavilla on the framing story! Megan Levens! Kelley Jones! Nick Brokenshire! Nicoletta Baldari! Charles Paul Wilson III!

"And then there’s the fact that this time we’re focusing on the darker side of the Star Wars universe. We return to Lotho Minor to find mad, bad and dangerous to know Darth Maul scuttling around on his mechanical spider legs; Tarkin comes face-to-face with a monster from his past; Ventress turns pest controller to deal with rampaging Sarlaacs; Jabba the Hutt faces treachery in the catacombs beneath his palace, and Darth Vader finds himself under siege in his own castle."

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"I’m really excited to be working with Francesco," Scott admits. "I’m a big fan of all his work, especially his Universal Horror posters. He certainly dials up the gothic as Vaneé takes centre-stage as our sinister storyteller. Issue one is our most ‘EC comics’-type story yet, the main action beautifully realised by the amazing Megan Levens. Actually, we should probably come up with halloween nick-names for everyone on the series shouldn’t we? Well, fiendish Francesco Francavilla is a given, and as for Megan… Monstrous Megan. No, Macabre Megan. Yes, that definitely matches the action as we descend into Maul’s subterranean lair…"

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Now head back to the smoking lava planet in this sneak peek at the premiere issue of Star Wars Adventures: Return To Vader's Castle #1 in the full gallery below, then let us know if it gives you those spine-chilling Star Wars shivers and shrieks.