Published: October 20, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
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 the final Vader’s Castle tale, Lina, Hudd, Skritt, and Jaxxon race to Mustafar to save Milo and Crater. Will the group be able to fight the ghosts that still haunt the castle, or will the galaxy forever be bound to suffer from the wrath of the GHOSTS OF VADER’S CASTLE?
The covers for this series have been the best so far. Francesco Francavilla and Derek Charm have delivered time after time. And they haven’t let the standard slip for what is the final issue. Francavilla’s illustration for the A cover is the standout one for me this time. Our heroes gazing at Vader’s Castle which takes on the effigy of Vader is quite beautiful. And of course, Jaxxon quoting the famous “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” line brought a smile to my face. Not forgetting Charm’s B cover. Another cover full of energy and his use of colours is vibrant.
Now, onto the pages in between.
Landing in the shadows of Vader’s Castle our intrepid heroes attempt to breach the door. Hudd is taking too long for Jaxxon’s liking who kicks the door off the hinges. Lina can sense Milo and their first encounter is straight upon them. Vader appears before them and Jaxxon’s blaster fire is deflected by him. Hudd throws Skritt at Vader and knocks him over, his becoming detached Dagobah style. Instead of revealing Luke’s face, this time it reveals that Crater was inside.
Crater explains that goings on that have led to this point, and they venture into Vader’s bacta chamber to find Milo suspended in the healing tank. Attempting to release Milo sets off a tun charge that renders the team unconscious.
When Lina comes around, she is in a torture chair surrounded by the rest of the team suspended in force fields. Vaneé confirms the plan to resurrect his lord and releases ghouls and evil spirits into the room that circulate them. They encircle Lina and she warns that Vader will never rise again, but she is overcome by them. She is possessed and Vader is resurrected in Lina’s body.
Vader, through Lina, demands to be released and takes up the lightsaber next to her and ignites it. Vaneé seems almost panicked that his ritual has worked. Lina then cuts free her colleagues and the bluff is over. Milo shoves Vaneé into the chair where Lina had sat, and he is clamped in place. They look to escape and see a blue lightsaber ahead of them, it seems to be leading the way out. They follow it to the exit, but Lina is missing.
Vaneé is now left with the demon’s he has released and seems to be settling in for a journey of eternal torment at the hands of the demons he has released and his own mind.
Lina appears behind them and hugs her brother. The make it to the Rabbit’s Foot and make a rapid exit. But who led them to safety with their blue blade? I’ll leave you in suspense, but it is a pleasant surprise and end to the issue and series.
Cavan Scott teamed with IDW always works. He knows how to deliver a story for the younger audience for the Star Wars Adventures series. Scott is so well versed in Star Wars literature and this series has really shown that he can make the story accessible to a grown-up reader. Vaneé has been the perfect conduit for the plot for the series. Along with Scott’s recent reintroduction of Jaxxon to canon, I’m sure this will spark interest of the mature reader like myself. While a zany figure to behold, his roots are back in those original Marvel Comics of the late 70’s and that helps reinforce the choice of Scott for a series like this. Ethan Sacks has done similarly with bringing Beilert Valance back to us in recent years in his stories for Marvel.
The artwork has been a joy to behold in every issue. Francavilla is the only artist in issue 5 and his art with its dark tones reinforce that he is the master of the horror genre comic.
Hats off to the brave editorship of Denton Tipton when they decided to take on this style of comic a few years ago. Since then, Riley Farmer, Elizabeth Brie and Heather Antos have continued that vision and helped it flourish. Here in the UK, Hallowe’en wasn’t a popular holiday to celebrate. The odd trick or treat, playing bobbing apples and a few people dressed up, but it was always overshadowed by Bonfire Night on November 5th. A surge in recent years in its popularity has coincided with this title being available and it’s timing for the UK has been perfect.
We’ve had fun all the way with this series, and I am actually sad that it is the last issue. They say, “all good things must come to an end…” and a truer statement cannot be made at this moment.
Thank you to Cavan Scott, Francesco Francavilla, Derek Charm, Denton Tipton and all those involved with taking us on a memorable trip to Vader’s Castle!
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #5 is the final issue in a 5-part mini-series. Published by IDW on October 20, 2021, it is available from your local comic book store and online retailers. In the UK, it is available to order from Forbidden Planet.