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SYFY WIRE Darth Vader

Tarkin's foul stench haunts IDW's Star Wars Adventures: Return To Vader's Castle #2

By Jeff Spry
Star Wars Hero

IDW Publishing's Star Wars AdventuresReturn to Vader's Castle, the follow-up series of frightful stories from a galaxy far, far away, is now in full stride, with the newest weekly release set to scare up a universe of space opera fans of all ages — and SYFY WIRE has exclusive extended preview of the sophomore issue orbiting our planet on Oct. 9.

This second fantastic fall series is again penned by Cavan 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.

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Return to Vader's Castle explores the shadowed corners of the entire 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-present specter of the man in black, Lord Darth Vader.

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Deftly written by Cavan Scott, with arresting art by Francesco Francavilla and Kelley Jones, Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle #2  targets the supreme evil of Grand Moff Tarkin as a captured thief being tortured on Mustafar unleashes the spine-chilling tale of the Imperial Star Destroyer Optima in “The Curse of Tarkin.”

"This story so nearly made it into the first mini-series. Michael Siglain [creative director at Lucasfilm Publishing] so wanted to honor Peter Cushing by turning Tarkin into a version of Hammer’s Baron Frankenstein, but we couldn’t quite get it into the run, especially as we’d already transformed Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku into a vampire," Scott tells SYFY WIRE. 

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"I was really pleased when Kelley Jones agreed to come back and complete the Hammer set, and mention has to be made Michelle Madsen’s wonderful colors," he adds. "Actually, I forgot, we were doing Halloween names for the creative teams, weren’t we? Okay … Kreepy Kelley Jones and Monstrous Michelle Madsen. How do those work?

"Oh, and Doctor Who fans might spot a little tribute to the Time Lord’s version of Frankenstein too!"

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“Although I rooted against him, I always had a sneaking admiration for Tarkin, as he was – in all honesty – the real evil of the Empire: cold, calculating, and all too human!" said Jones in an official statement.

Now feel the pain in our petrifying five-page preview of IDW's Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle #2, arriving on Oct. 9, then tell us if Tarkin is still your favorite Star Wars villain of all time (sorry, Darth).