While I placed it #2 on my list of 2015’s comics, the Darth Vader series easily could’ve been number one (the top 3 were basically tied) and from its showing so far this year it could likely be there by the time 2016 comes to a close. Unfortunately for fans of the series, which just launched into a new (but final) arc with the excellent issue #20, it won’t be around for 2017 as issue #25 signals its end come August (as announced via IGN). The series is responsible for tons of new characters, most notably Doctor Aphra and the murderbots, Triple-Zero and BT-1, and now it’s poised for an epic conclusion. Below are some highlights from IGN’s interview with Kieron Gillen, DV’s writer, and my hopes for what could come next in its place.
First off, let me just start by saying:
Then, here are some of my highlights from Gillen’s interview
He had this to say on why it’s coming to a close seemingly so quickly:
…from Darth Vader #1, that this was a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. And we kind of looked where we were after Vader Down, and we realized we were probably actually nearer to the end than we thought we were. And it was a situation where we were like, “Okay, it’s better to actually end this story in a way which we think is the most effective. We don’t want to pad it out extraneously.”
About Aphra, which makes me even more worried about her life expectancy:
…Aphra’s been left standing so far, and I’ve tried to work out ways to keep her alive for another scene every step of the way. For most of the book, it’s been increasingly tricky. Obviously, her and her relationship with Vader is right at the heart of the book, and now Vader’s been openly trying to kill her.
About Triple-Zero and Beetee:
Beetee and Triple-Zero have done very well. They’ve kind of been the necessary comic relief at the side of the book as well as occasionally just being really, really frightening. That’s kind of expanded, like the new issue, #20, has a backup story of them off doing their own thing, which is a particularly dark version of Droids, the old ’80s comic and TV show.
On what it was like to work with Salvador Larroca, the stupendous artist who’s been on this series since issue #1:
Salva is a fascinating — he’s a monster, and I mean that like he is an incredibly quick artist. I remember actually chatting with Matt Fraction before starting this — he did all of Iron Man with Matt, and Matt was like, “Can you write fast enough to keep Salva fed?” So that was always in my head. [Laughs]
And lastly, why writing in the Star Wars universe was a nice change of pace for him:
Writing Star Wars is not like writing the Marvel Universe. The Marvel Universe is a very diverse place and you can work in many different genres, but it also has a fundamental quality — it doesn’t work like Star Wars works. So at least part of it was the fact that this was something that was completely different to what I’d been doing, and I love it. I think only when I started writing Star Wars, the early Darth Vader issues, and how much fun it was instantly, that made me realize how burnt out I was on superhero comics, you know what I mean? In that it was so much easier and more freeing to write Darth Vader…
Issue #20 has wrapped up a lot of threads from the previous issues to date and set Vader on a crash course with Grand General Tagge and his in-progress Super Star Destroyer Executor, Cylo and his leftover creations, and of course Doctor Aphra. If the last arc is anything like what has come before, we’re going to be in for an insanely epic treat to finish DV out.
When the memorable Kanan series came to a close this year, it was replaced by the adventuresome Poe Dameron on-going, so we’ll likely be hearing relatively soon what will replace DV once it’s over later this year (possibly by July’s Celebration Europe). Of course, the biggest hope (by both myself and many others) is for a Doctor Aphra series, where she could go on misadventures with Triple-Zero and Beetee, sowing anarchy and chaos where ever they please. It’s quite possible she won’t survive the DV series proper, which would possibly cause me to riot (you hear me, Marvel?!), but even a series devoted simply to her years before joining with Vader would be suitable. Either way, anything to do with the murderbots or Aphra would be absolutely ideal, especially if Gillen could return to write!
Initially I was really bummed about this news, and as sad as it still is now, I’d rather Darth Vader go out on top than be drawn out; In the end, file this news under bittersweet, folks.
Now to just patiently await the Doctor Aphra series announcement…any time now… (UPDATE: It’s HAPPENING!!!!)
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25)
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Black Squadron (#1-6)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)