Published: October 6, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-3 & 19-20), Robert Hack (Pages 4-18)
Colourist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-3 & 19-20), Robert Hack (Pages 4-18)
Letterer: Shawn Lee
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 #3, catch up with Hudd and Skritt! Hudd has been dreaming of the Spirit of the Swamp, a gilled monster that terrorizes Dagobah! The GHOST OF VADER’S CASTLE are in all corners of the galaxy…
A little later than usual, I finally got round to picking up issue 3 of Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle. Francesco Francavilla does it yet again with both the A and RI covers for this issue. The colours used on the A cover just pop off the page and you get to see exactly what is coming in this issue. The B cover by Derek Charm is yet again another marvellous illustration. Luke’s clothing seems to set the placement of the story post the original trilogy as he is now in his black Jedi garb with glove on his prosthetic hand.
The setup of the overarching story is solid. Jaxxon has been employed as Lina’s pilot, but Hudd and Skritt are important members of the team, and we start with them on Karken in the Inner Rim of the galaxy. Hudd had a lucky escape in an earlier visit to Vader’s Castle, but an entanglement with Mynock’s sets off a memory of a mission to Dagobah with Luke Skywalker.
Still haunted by his time trapped in Vader’s Castle, this mission with Luke to seek artifacts has already set off his anxieties. The shadows of the overgrown trees are playing on Hudd’s mind, and he thinks that Vaneé is there skulking in the shadows, watching, plotting. They arrive at Yoda’s hut to find it completely destroyed. In the shallows Hudd finds a holoprojector and plays back the message it stores. A young lady describing Dagobah as the next go to place for real estate within the galaxy is attacked by a monster from the bog and the holo fizzes out. Then they are attacked by the monster themselves.
This leads to a chain of events that sees Hudd plunged under water. Now this scene for me was very well executed. It has something that I still can’t describe about it except that it pressed buttons for me in a chilling way. Then to have Vaneé appear as the Ka like snake was perfect. Lost in his panic, Hudd finds twisted forms of Luke and Artoo hanging from the vines. Hudd then faces off with the monster with Luke’s lightsaber. And as if he has woken from another dream, he is consoled by Luke, and they are ready to leave Dagobah.
The appearance of Yoda on the last page of this section was a great addition. He almost appears in a Loki type way as if he was the trickster playing with Hudd. Was he? I can’t answer that, only Cavan Scott can, but we all know Yoda had an unusual sense of humour.
The mynock’s are still wreaking havoc on Kraken as the Rabbits Foot lands. As the ramp lowers, Lina tells Hudd that they are off to Vader’s Castle.
Francavilla, only gets 5 pages this issue, but he shows his skills off with great aplomb. I must admit, if I was a comic book writer and I was leaning towards writing something on the horror or macabre side, he’d be my first choice every time.
Robert Hack is the artist for the throwback story and his likeness of Luke is amazing! When I saw that first page of his, I just thought to myself… “WOW!”. And the brilliance doesn’t just stop there. Every page shows a talent of Hack, who is possibly a name that many Star Wars fans do not know. I just loved every page of the middle section for the artwork alone. Hack’s work is complimented by Shawn Lee’s lettering and layouts. Lee is a real talent and I would like to see more of him on the Star Wars Adventures titles in the future.
But it’s not just about the art, is it? We all know that monsters lurk below the waters of Dagobah’s murky bogs, so there aren’t many better places than there to set this issue. While this wasn’t my favourite tale, it is still a great idea and brilliantly executed. Scott’s story holds it all together beautifully. It’s a dark tale, in fact, it’s very dark. Scott plays on Hudd’s previous experiences and explores some very sinister links to good old horror stories.
I can’t believe we only have 2 more visits to Vader’s Castle. Let’s see what Cavan Scott brings us in issue 4!
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #3 is the third issue in a 5-part mini-series. Published by IDW on October 6, 2021, it is available from your local comic book store and online retailers. In the UK, it is available to order from Forbidden Planet.