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Sneak peek: Nightsister witch Asajj Ventress shines in IDW's Return to Vader's Castle #3

By Jeff Spry
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Asajj Ventress, that formidable Nightsister witch, weaves an alluring spell in this third chapter of IDW Publishing's spooky Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle, with the Sith assassin-turned-bounty-hunter investigating strange disappearances in the Coruscant underworld of 1313 that leave local authorities baffled. And SYFY WIRE has an exclusive peek into its secrets.

Return to Vader's Castle #3 arrives on Oct. 16 and is the latest release in the weekly series of bone-chilling stories from a galaxy far, far away. Written by Cavan Scott, the anthology offers a revolving roster of fan-fave artists like Francesco Francavilla, Kelley Jones, Derek Charm, Nicoletta Baldari, Nick Brokenshire, Megan Levens, and Charles Paul Wilson III, with Francavilla providing main covers and a framing story set within the obsidian halls of Vader's Mustafarian stronghold.

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The Force-sensitive Ventress stars in this new miniseries installment, humorously titled “Bop Sh-Bop, Little Sarlacc Horror,” written by Scott, with vivid art by Francavilla and Brokenshire.

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“Recently, I wrote Ventress for the first canon Star Wars audio drama, Dooku: Jedi Lost," Scott tells SYFY WIRE. "That was Ventress at a bleak period of her life, so I wanted to write her when she is more in control, in the period at the end of the Clone Wars when she’s an assassin-turned-bounty-hunter."

"I also knew I wanted Nick Brokenshire on art, as we have both waxed lyrical to each other about our love for Asajj," he adds. "The idea of having her tackling baby Sarlaccs came from our editor, Devilish Denton Tipton, although I’m proud to say the punny headline is the work of my own twisted mind.”

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Brokenshire's detailed artwork and rich pastel-like colors help bring to life the seedy underworld of Level 1313, with its twisted ventilation pipes, darkened alleyways, and hidden dangers. His striking Ventress seethes with confidence, charisma, and cunning in every frame, and it's obvious she holds a special place in his creative heart.

“Drawing Ventress has been the greatest thrill," Brokenshire tells SYFY WIRE. "She gets to be totally snarky and be a kick-ass Force user! Definitely one of my favorite Star Wars characters."

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Check out our five-page peek at IDW's Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle #3 in the gallery below.