‘Star Wars’ Comics Preview: The End of ‘Darth Vader’ & ‘Han Solo’ Continues

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A fan dressed as Darth Vader at SDCC. (Getty)

After one of the best Star Wars comics since Marvel took over, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca were set to end their incredible run as the team behind Darth Vader this Wednesday, August 31. However, this week, Marvel only released the next chapter in its five-issue Han Solo miniseries.

UPDATE: Darth Vader #25 was pushed to October 12.

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Darth Vader #25. Art by Juan Gimenez. (Marvel)

The Darth Vader series has followed Vader in the days after A New Hope and the run has been filled with countless highlights. But the most important issue of all might have been #24. Although Gillen has traveled inside the mind of Vader before, the almost dialogue-free #24 showed Vader finally getting rid of the last remaining parts of Anakin Skywalker that remained. In a way, it makes Luke Skywalker’s victory at the end of Return of the Jedi look even more improbable. Only his son could see that there was still some good buried deep inside him.

At this point of Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith has almost achieved his goal of getting back in the Emperor’s good favor after the destruction of the Death Star. He finally killed the traitorous Dr. Cylo, a scientist who worked on the technology that keeps Vader alive. Unfortunately for Vader, there’s still one more problem: Dr. Aphra, the secret ally he enlisted to help him find Luke Skywalker, is still alive and could tell Palpatine all of his secrets. Issue 24 ended with Aphra walking into the Emperor’s chamber and you have to pick up #25 to find out if she spills the beans. Of course, we know that Vader will be in command of the Executor at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back and now we’ll learn how he got there.

Like most major issues, Marvel has a selection of 12 variant covers to pick from if you don’t like Juan Gimenez’s main cover.

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Han Solo #3. Art by Lee Bermejo. (Marvel)

Up next is Han Solo #3. The series is fills Marvel’s Star Wars mini-series slot, which also included five-issue stories starring Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and Obi-Wan & Anakin. The team on Han Solo is writer Majorie Liu and artist Mark Brooks.

This is another series set after A New Hope, as Marvel continues to stay away from the period between Empire and Jedi. Han is still a bit skeptical of the Rebellion’s chances against the Empire, but he hangs around and is convinced to run in the Dragon Void race. However, it’s really a cover for a Rebel mission to find a spy who just might be a traitor. Issue 2 ended with the Empire crashing the race, so we’ll see how Han gets out of this mess this week.