Published: 31st October 2018
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artists: Derek Charm (Pages 1-2, 7-20), Charles Paul Wilson III (Pages 3-6)
Colourists: Derek Charm (Pages 1-2, 7-20), Michael Devito (Pages 3-6)
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Cover Artists: Francesco Francavilla (A, RI), Charles Paul Wilson III (B)
While on a secret mission for the Rebel Alliance, Commander Lina Graf’s ship came under attack by TIE fighters and crash-landed on the planet Mustafar, where her crew looks for a way to escape the inhospitable lava planet…
The Fearful Finale!
Lina and Skritt run to find each other in hall of armour. Suddenly the display of armour moves to surround them, and a dark menacing figure of Vaneé approaches them accusing Hudd of being a thief. He starts to tell a tale about a raid on the castle not long after it was built.
Troopers patrol a hangar and are alerted to a noise. They spot Mustafarian warriors, who attack the invaders of the planet. They capture Vaneé and he pleads for mercy, but not from Mustafarians, but from the dark lord of the Sith who stands behind them all. He ignites his lightsaber and the screams echo over the lava lakes of the planet.
Lina claims not to be scared, a voice from behind her warns that they are in fight they can’t win, it’s Crater, or what is left of him being held up by Vader. Lina fires her blaster at him, but he deftly blocks the shot. Crater’r remains fly through the air and strike Lina. Vader berates Vaneé and grips Lina through the force. Crater swings his remaining arm into Vaneé and knocks him in to Vader who loses his grip on Lina. Skritt and Lina make there move to escape, and they need to hide.
They find some droids and reprogram them to protect them as Lina remembers Hudd’s story about the Jedi. Vader finds them, but the droids attack him buying them time to escape again.
They find the main hangar, but Lina decides to go and rescue Crater. Skritt needs a plan to disable the troopers on duty. He sees some larvae that they encountered when they landed and throws this at the troopers. The larvae’s parent attacks the troopers to defend it and Skritt crashes into the troopers.
Lina finds Crater and removes his head from his broken torso. Vader is still fighting the droids and sees her. As he force chokes her there is an almighty explosion. Skritt has got on board an AT-ST and is attacking the castle. Lina uses this distraction to slip away. Vader recovers and uses the force to toss the AT-ST into a lava lake, Skritt gets out of the hatch, but the walker is sinking quickly. A TIE fighter appears overhead with Lina at the helm. Crater, Skritt and Lina escape to the skies and away from Mustafar.
Did Vader let them escape to tell the tale of what has happened, so they can spread the fear of the castle and Vader throughout the galaxy?
The Francesco Francavilla covers have been excellent and this issue doesn’t change that. It’s a great illustration of Vader’s castle, but for me the winner is Charles Paul Wilson III’s B cover. The way it shows the Auric approaching the castle on its doomed mission is brilliant and is up there as one of my favourites for the series.
As I thought we would, we learn more of the story of Lina and the crew of the Auric. Although the flashback story is short in this issue, it is very interesting to see that the Mustafarian natives tried to oust Vader and destroy his castle. I was really impressed with the artwork for this section from Charles Paul Wilson III. Excellent detail and really did look great on the page.
Vaneé is a great character and I think the way he is drawn by Derek Charm gives him a menacing, but comical, if not maniacal look. I’m sat here trying to think of who he reminds me of. He is so subservient to Vader, but evil and twisted in his own ways and at the same time sloppy and makes mistakes. A classic evil stooge and underling to the man fear factor in any horror style story.
There are two questions I am left is ‘what happened to Hudd?’ and ‘Did Vader let them go?’. It would have been interesting to see the fate of Hudd was played out in the pages of the comic, but We only see Vader fleetingly in the story, but it is enough to enhance the story of fear that always surrounds his name and does set out the possibility of Lina’s escape was planned.
I’m genuinely sorry that this series has come to an end, but I feel I got the finale that I had hoped for. It will be interesting to see what IDW with Cavan Scott have in store for us in the not too distant future.
A resounding well done to all involved for bringing us such a great series!
Star Wars Adventures – Tales from Vader’s Castle #5 is the final issue in a weekly series of 5 issues available from IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic book stores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.