Darth Vader's Castle

Marvel's Darth Vader comic will explore the creation of his castle on Mustafar

Contributed by
May 8, 2018

During preproduction on The Empire Strikes Back, concept artist Ralph McQuarrie created the design for Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar — even though it went unused in the original trilogy.

The prequel trilogy ultimately led Anakin Skywalker to Mustafar for the near-fatal duel that fully transformed him into a vengeful cyborg. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made a surprise stop on Mustafar and made Vader’s previously rumored castle into an established part of his lore. Many of the details behind the castle are still unknown, but that may soon change within the pages of the Darth Vader comic book series. 

Charles Soule, the writer of Marvel’s Darth Vader comic, revealed that the next major arc in his series will dive into the origins of “Fortress Vader.”

Last year, LucasFilm’s executive creative director Doug Chiang shared some intriguing hints about how and why the castle was created. Chiang even expressed his hope that the story could be explored in a future Star Wars film. As noted by SlashFilm, Star Wars The Last Jedi: A Visual Dictionary revealed that Supreme Emperor Snoke wore a ring forged from Obsidian “taken from the volcanic stone beneath Darth Vader’s castle.” This suggests the location itself is a hot spot for Dark Side activity. This also tracks with some of Chiang’s previous comments.

“If you look at the finished design, it has this very strong element of a structure that was there for a purpose, and that purpose was to draw energy from the lava lake,” said Chiang while speaking with StarWars.com. “If you look at the design of the base, it feels very much like a dam, and how the lava flows through it, possibly getting energy... Visually, we’re trying to create a sort of history for the tower. The bottom is the most ancient, the lava lake dam part was perhaps what Vader built his foundation on, and then the tower was Vader’s addition.”

From its brief appearance in Rogue One, we know that Vader kept a bacta tank in his castle to treat his wounds. It’s also long been rumored that the Emperor forced Vader to live on Mustafar, but his exact reasons were unclear. Now we may be closer to answers when the next Darth Vader comic book arc begins later this year.