With Star Wars' expanded universe being erased from canon, the new Darth Vader comic has been helping to fill in the gaps. Darth Vader has served to humanize the classic villain, revealing his journey from Revenge of the Sith to the events of A New Hope. The run has been incredible, providing new insights into the character and providing new canon outside of what we see on screen. These are the biggest facts and changes about Darth Vader that have officially been made canon.
10 Creating His Lightsaber
One of the most iconic aspects of Darth Vader is his red lightsaber. Until now, fans have only been able to speculate on the actual creation of the lightsaber, but the comics have revealed the origin. With Legends removing much of the expanded universe from canon, the comics offer a different explanation for why a Sith lightsaber is red. After being placed in his signature armor, Vader is tasked with finding a lightsaber. Emperor Palpatine explains to Vader that a Sith lord wins his lightsaber by defeating a Jedi in battle. After finding a Jedi who survived Order 66, the attack on the Jedi Order, Vader kills him and takes his weapon.
This still leaves the task of turning the lightsaber red. Palpatine reveals to Vader that a Sith lightsaber is turned red by pouring all of the wielder's rage into the Kyber Crystal that is the core of the weapon. The creation of Vader’s lightsaber takes an even darker turn when it is revealed that the Kyber Crystal fights back against this process. After being presented with a vision of his last chance to return to the light side, Vader overwhelms the crystal within and the blade turns red.
9 Hunting Down Jedi
During the process to create his lightsaber, we see another fact about Darth Vader become canon that had only been alluded to. While there are many instances in the expanded universe, we had never actually seen Vader hunt down surviving Jedi in canon before the comics. While trying to find a Jedi to defeat to claim their lightsaber, Vader learns of the presence of a Jedi named Kirak Infil’a. Kirak had taken a vow to remain separate from everything but the force and survived the eradication of the other Jedi. Hunting him down armed with nothing but the force, we finally see Vader on his quest to bring the Jedi order to complete extinction.
8 Vader’s Vulnerable Side
Though we see Anakin have moments of weakness in the prequel trilogy, once he is transformed into Darth Vader he becomes an unstoppable menace. The comics have revealed a new vulnerable side to Vader that we weren’t able to see in the original trilogy. While Vader is hunting down Kirak Infil’a, he is initially defeated, even having parts of his mechanical body cut off. This was a vital moment because it helped to humanize Darth Vader. It showed that he is able to be defeated and there is a real struggle on his path to become the Vader that we know and fear from the original trilogy.
7 Remembering The Past
Another moment from the Darth Vader comics that helped to humanize him occurs when a painful reminder of his past is presented to him. In Darth Vader #20, Vader finds himself being reprimanded by Emperor Palpatine, who uses a drastic tactic to encourage his apprentice. Palpatine shows him the Naboo Royal Starship that landed on his planet in The Phantom Menace. This was the ship that brought Padmé and the Jedi to his home planet of Tatooine.
Vader reacts strongly to the relic from his past, destroying a droid that is working on repairing the ship. This moment shows that Vader still has some strong emotions towards his previous life.
6 Tested By The Emperor
The new Darth Vader comics serve not only to reveal more about Vader himself, but also his relationship with the Emperor. In the original trilogy we get the sense that Vader is more of a servant to the Emperor than an Apprentice, but in the comics, we get to see just how true this is. Vader is dismissed and tortured by Palpatine in ways that show he is almost like a lapdog to the Sith Lord. While this gives us a greater understanding of their relationship, it also lays the groundwork for Vader’s betrayal of his master.
5 Vader’s Castle On Mustafar
While it has long been a large part of the mythology surrounding Darth Vader in the extended universe, the comics recently gave a new origin story for Vader’s castle on Mustafar. Vader discovers a mask that contains the ghost of a Sith Lord named Momin. He is able to communicate with the ghost and they develop the plans for his castle. Momin tells him that the castle is built like a giant tuning fork because that is exactly what it is, and will allow him to connect to the dark side of the force.
Momin entrances Vader with the promise that this will allow him to pierce through the veil of death and reunite with Padmé. Vader follows his instructions, leading to some interesting developments and the creation of his iconic castle.
4 The Start Of The Rebellion
Though Darth Vader is certainly centered around the titular character, the comic also reveals major secrets about the surrounding world, most notably the start of the rebellion. Vader is shown to be infuriated with how the Rebellion has grown and we are able to see what leads to the opposition of the Empire. The comic does an amazing job of portraying the plight of the Rebels following the collapse of the Jedi Order, and gives the backstory that is needed going into the original trilogy.
3 Limits On The Force
Darth Vader is one of the strongest to ever use the force. In the original trilogy, we are able to see the reach of his power and just how fearsome he can be. The comics recently put some limitations on Vader’s grasp of the force. While facing off against Grand Moff Tarkin (it’s a long story), Vader has to rely almost solely on the force as his weapon after Tarkin steals his lightsaber. Tarkin, a military genius, sacrifices men in order to find out just how far Vader is able to reach with the force. This reveals that there is a physical limit to how far Vader can use his force powers.
In the very first issue of Darth Vader there is a minor, but still positive, change from the prequels. One of the most hated moments from Revenge of the Sith is the transformation from Anakin to Vader followed by a long drawn out “NOOOOOOOOO.” The moment completely misunderstood Vader and fans were not happy about the overdramatic wail. In Darth Vader #1 the moment is seen again, with a text bubble simply reading “NO.”
1 Anakin’s Father
Perhaps the biggest secret revealed in the comics is the identity of Anakin’s father. In the prequels, it is simply stated “there was no father” and the common explanation has been that he was the child of the force. In the comics, a much more sinister explanation was given. Vader sees a vision of Emperor Palpatine manipulating Anakin’s mother’s womb, creating the imbalance in the force that led to his birth. While Palpatine isn’t physically Anakin’s father, in many ways he was behind the birth.