Published: September 22, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-2 & 16-20), Megan Levens (Pages 3-15)
Colourist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-2 & 16-20), Charlie Kirchoff (Pages 3-15)
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Join Cavan Scott, Francesco Francavilla, and a host of classic Star Wars artists in the epic conclusion to the Vader’s Castle saga! Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle is a horror-packed, star-studded, five-week event guaranteed to haunt your dreams.
In issue #1, life is looking up for Lina and Milo Graf and Crater, but Milo has been having nightmares… about zombie droids! Find out what’s causing these dreams and if Milo can handle being haunted by the GHOSTS OF VADER’S CASTLE.
The annual trip to Vader’s Castle is here again with Cavan Scott and Francesco Francavilla back at the helm! For this issue, they are joined by the hugely talented Megan Levens, Charlie Kirchoff and Shawn Lee. So, where will the first issue of this five-part mini-series take us?
Let’s start at the cover. The ‘A’ and ‘RI’ covers from Francavilla is just typical of his style. His art always stands out is identifiable as his just at a glance. The depiction of our prequel trilogy heroes, Padmé, Anakin, Jar Jar and the droids takes on a ghoulish hue with the colours outlined by Vader’s silhouette. The ‘RI’ cover is the same original ink drawing before it was coloured. Derek Charm is never far away whenever we return to Vader’s Castle, and he takes on the ‘B’ cover. A real fun cover this one, with our main characters again shown disappearing into a melee of zombie droids. Now, we also have exclusive covers that have been created by Megan Huang and Megan Levens. I’m loving both covers, especially the one from Levens.
Milo Graf is now the focal point of the main storyline. For those who don’t know, Milo is the brother of Lina, who featured prominently in the first three series and the Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space series of junior books. Of course, CR-8R (Crater) is there too. I loved the little nod to Rebels in there, with Lina off to meet General Syndulla.
The dream that Milo has had is about Padmé, Anakin, Jar Jar, Threepio and Artoo who find themselves on Rubinero, a planet with no signs of life. The team split up and investigate for themselves, this leads to Threepio encountering a droid which is very much operational and ominous.
This leads to Threepio becoming a droid zombie and he attacks Anakin. Cleaved in half by a lightsaber, it doesn’t stop his wires reconnecting and he is now joined by many familiar looking droids. Artoo tries to come to his friend’s rescue, but he too is overcome.
A character that is not really associated with quick thinking in Jar Jar Binks. Anakin’s robotic arm is becoming possessed and with the tray from a serving droid, he throw’s it and removes Anakin’s troublesome arm. This releases them to flee for their ship.
The droids within the melee left me gazing over the pages trying to identify each one as I read. The little bits of humour, especially with Anakin referencing Obi-Wan and his corny jokes in desperate times. They depart is a hurry, leaving Threepio and Artoo behind. But the crisis isn’t over, the droids got to Jar Jar too!
Then we get the classic Scott and Vader’s Castle twist. While handling a glowing artefact, Crater too seems to have been possessed and he shocks Milo to render him unconscious. And this is done as his Dark Lord commands!
The story is a testament to Scott’s love of horror. This time he has switched focus from Lina Graf to her brother Milo, which is a good thing. This gives him more scope and will allow him to expand the story that he has developed over the last three series while remaining anchored to the core theme. It is all so simple, but so cleverly written with subtle nods to Star Wars lore. I want to compare Scott to the golfer Ian Poulter. Poulter, is famously known as ‘The Postman’ for his exploits in the Ryder Cup over the years, and now Cavan Scott, I christen you ‘The Postman’ for delivering brilliant Star Wars content time after time!
Artwork… all I can say is wow! I have already said Francavilla has a style of his own and it fits perfectly with this genre of comic. But for this issue, Megan Levens steals the show. The team here at Jedi News are all fans Levens’ work, and this issue just reinforces that. The colour tones used by Kirchoff really helps Levens work and helps convey her striking art. Shawn Lee’s lettering and layouts work brilliantly. Some of his call outs and unusual, which is fresh to see.
When each series finishes, I always sit back and wonder whether we will get another and if Scott can actually come up with more horror themed scenarios for us to enjoy. Yet again, he has started off with another great issue, so let’s see where he takes us this time!
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #1 is the first issue in a 5-part mini-series. Published by IDW on September 22, 2021, it retails at $3.99 and is available from your local comic book store and online retailers. In the UK, it is available to order from Forbidden Planet.