SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Darth Vader #20, by Charles Soule, Daniele Orlandini, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Erick Arciniega and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
Currently, in the pages of Marvel’s Darth Vader series, the eponymous Sith Lord’s castle on the volcanic world of Mustafar is receiving an origin story in the aptly titled “Fortress Vader” arc.
First introduced in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the obsidian castle was constructed upon the site of an ancient Sith cave. Inside, it contains a bacta tank that allows Vader to meditate outside of his life-supporting armor.
Why build his castle on Mustafar, though? Why establish his homestead on the same inhospitable planet where he was dismembered by his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, before being severely burned by lava?
In a 2016 interview with StarWars.com, Lucasfilm VP and executive creative director Doug Chiang said, “perhaps [Mustafar] had special meaning for [Vader], and that this is where he comes to meditate and to heal himself.” However, Darth Vader #20 helps fill in some crucial gaps in the story of the former Anakin Skywalker’s castle; namely, why does he even have his own castle in the first place – especially one that places him far away from the watchful eye of the Emperor on Coruscant?
After successfully killing the former Jedi Eeth Koth and two rogue Inquisitors, Vader reports back to Emperor Palpatine, who rewards his apprentice by giving him the ship that once belonged to his now-deceased wife, Padmé Amidala. However, while Vader’s mission to purge the galaxy of the few remaining Jedi is far from over, Palpatine instead tasks his apprentice with traveling to Alderaan to confront the rebellious Bail Organa. Much to Palpatine’s surprise, though, Vader declines.
“No,” Vader says in response to his master’s request. “I have destroyed the remaining Jedi for you. I will perform any other tasks you require. But first… I ask that you give me a world.”
After some initial confusion, Palpatine agrees to appease Vader, believing it will give him a place to fine-tune his skills and his rage. In fact, the Emperor even goes so far as to offer him their respective homeworlds of Naboo or Tatooine. Once again, though, Vader declines, instead requesting that his master give him the world of Mustafar.
How Emperor Palpatine reacts to Darth Vader’s request to return to Mustafar remains to be seen. However, if his apprentice honing in on his rage is Palpatine’s reason for giving him a planet, there’s no better place than the world that truly gave birth to Darth Vader.
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