vader castle

Exclusive: Francesco Francavilla delivers five cosmic covers for IDW's Tales From Vader's Castle

Contributed by
Jul 23, 2018

The intimidating abode of Darth Vader was briefly teased in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, offering only a tantalizing look at the awesome obsidian fortress on Mustafar owned by the galaxy's most notorious Imperial enforcer.

Now we'll get a more intimate peek inside the Sith Lord's cool, volcanic crib in IDW's new Star Wars Adventures weekly mini-series, Tales From Vader's Castle, starring silhouette-style covers by the acclaimed pulp-noir artist Francesco Francavilla.

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Credit: Francesco Francavilla/IDW Publishing

Star Wars Adventures is the Young Adult anthology series started last year by IDW Publishing, focusing on thrilling stories set within the Star Wars Universe and appealing to readers of all ages. Each book was planned for rotating creative teams and features lead stories spotlighting popular heroes from the feature films and back-up tales with lesser known or fan-favorite characters.

Tales From Vader's Castle will be written by Cavan Scott with art by Derek Charm and a talented roster of guest artists. Frights and scares told from inside Vader's lair will feature characters from across the galaxy far, far way, including Rebels stars Hera, Kanan, and Chopper; Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku; Han Solo and Chewbacca; and the furry Ewoks.

News of this spooky October series was announced Friday at San Diego Comic-Con with a sneak peek at the intriguing synopsis and two of its bold, evocative covers.

Today SYFY WIRE is proud to present the entire set of all five horror-themed Halloweentime covers for Tales From Vader's Castle rendered in Francavilla's trademark color palette of blood red, starfire orange, and infinite black.

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Credit: Francesco Francavilla/IDW Publishing

"I had worked with IDW's editor Denton Tipton in the past doing covers for several books (I did a long run of covers for X-Files: Season X I am particularly fond of) so when he needed a cover artist for Halloween-themed Star Wars books, he knew who to call," Francavilla told SYFY WIRE. "Needless to say, I replied to the email immediately with a gigantic YES!

"Of course these are YA books, so I knew right away I had to keep the creep factor to a minimum but I was still happy to get some degree of creepiness and horror on several covers. Look at the owl looming on the back of Han and Chewbacca on the cover for #3 for example. Or the dead eyes of the Ewoks on #4 cover. Or the ominous look of Vader's castle on #5.

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"LucasFilm is directly involved with everything that is Star Wars so my concepts/prelim art for the cover needed to go through their approval," he explained. "I was happy to hear they loved all five covers right away (with very minimal notes) so this turned out to be a very smooth process, which is always a blessing when you work on licensed properties. I had so much fun and I hope readers will pick up all the issues (they will be out one every week) come this October, leading to a stellar Halloween. If this is a success, maybe they will do it again next year!"

Check out the rest of Francavilla's eerie Tales From Vader's Castle covers in the full gallery below, plus a special look at two of the superstar artist's layout sketches for Issues #3 and #4, then tell us if you'll step inside this slightly-scary series when the premiere installment drops October 3.