SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Darth Vader" #25, which is on sale now.
After launching in February 2015, Marvel's "Darth Vader" ongoing by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca has reached its conclusion. The final issue, "Darth Vader" #25, is in stores now and caps off a dark, dramatic run with plenty of death and betrayal. The months leading up to this vengeful climax have seen Vader come face-to-face with his enemy, the scientist Cylo. Meanwhile, Vader's former accomplice Doctor Aphra was last seen approaching Emperor Palpatine, ready to tell the dark lord every deceitful thing his apprentice has done in the shadows over the course of the series.
"Darth Vader" #25 kicks off with the conclusion of Vader vs. Cylo; after cutting his way through Cylo's army of clone bodies, the Sith Lord meets Cylo and uses the Force to command him to fly into the sun. Cylo scoffs as his mind is protected against Jedi tricks -- and then Vader reveals he was actually reaching out to the brain of Cylo's organic spaceship, located under the glass under Cylo's feet. Darth Vader manages to escape in his TIE fighter, but Cylo -- and all of his clones -- aren't so lucky.
Their ship flies into the sun, destroying Cylo.
Back on the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Vader learns of Aphra and Palpatine's meeting. But the meeting takes a turn when, instead of being angry at Vader's secret vendetta, the Emperor turns out to be proud of the treachery. Vader's actions, although they often went against the will of the Empire, were done out of anger and executed in the shadows. This more than makes up for Vader's failure with the Death Star, failure he's been grappling with throughout the series.
But things don't turn out well for Aphra.
Vader, predictably, doesn't take kindly to being betrayed by her. Instead of cutting her down with his lightsaber as he had previously promised to do, he throws her in an airlock.
Vader's killing spree doesn't end there; Grand General Tagge is demoted and Vader is given command of the Executor and the Imperial fleet -- thus placing Vader in the status quo we see him in in the film "The Empire Strikes Back." Tagge tries to talk his way out of Vader's wrath, but, well...
It's worth pointing out that this is an example of where the new "Star Wars" canon differs from the previous expanded universe that was reset back when Disney restarted the franchise. In the original canon, Tagge died at the conclusion of "Star Wars" with the explosion of the first Death Star. In the new continuity, he dies right here, having survived the Death Star's destruction but not a demotion.
We also see Admiral Ozzel take his place as Vader's right-hand man on the Executor -- and we already know how that ends, thanks to "Empire Strikes Back."
(That's Ozzel in the background, having the same choking fit as Tagge)
But the issue doesn't end there. In a literal post-credits scene, the comic picks back up moments earlier when Aphra was shoved out of the airlock. We learn that the cunning Aphra knew Vader would likely not be a fan of her talking to the Emperor, and that he wouldn't show her the mercy of a lightsaber. She engineered technology on a nearby asteroid to catch her and reel her into her ship, where the murder droids Beetee and Triple-Zero as well as the bounty hunter Black Krrsantan waited for her.
"Darth Vader" may have concluded, but Kieron Gillen has a new, untitled Star Wars series launching in December with artist Kev Walker.