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Enlarge / An alternate cover for Marvel Comics' new Darth Vader #1 implies that this series will dig deeply into the history of Star Wars' most iconic villain.Marvel

The "Skywalker Saga" of nine films may have finally concluded, but that doesn't mean the Lucasfilm and Disney powers-that-be are done mining the original Star Wars films' stories and characters. Barely one month after the finale of The Mandalorian's first season, the Star Wars universe has already thrown another curveball at fans—but not in another TV or film launch.

Instead, this week's news comes from a brand-new Marvel series of comic books starring Darth Vader. We're here to spill the beans—and offer context and guesses as to what might come next.

Noooooooooooo…?

From here on out, we're in full-spoiler territory about multiple Star Wars properties. You've been warned.

Longtime comics writer Greg Pak has helmed a few Star Wars comics series since last year, and his latest, Darth Vader, debuted on Wednesday by rewinding to the end of the 1980 film Empire Strikes Back. The first issue opens with Luke Skywalker choosing to fall to his potential death instead of taking his father's hand. Unlike Empire, this comic follows Vader back to his Star Destroyer, where he immediately boards an Imperial Shuttle with a skeleton crew of soldiers and a single, brand-new droid.

  • The standard cover of Darth Vader #1. The rest of this gallery includes spoilers if you click through. Marvel
  • This panel contains "spoilers," we suppose, but they're from 1980's Empire Strikes Back. If this scene shocks you by now, well, you're at the wrong site. Marvel
  • Darth Vader gets a new droid friend, Z-67, in his search for answers. Marvel
  • Why, who is this? Vader sees this woman and responds by saying, "Padme?" But we'll have to wait to learn more about this mysterious person. Marvel
  • After the publication of issue #1, Marvel went so far as to reveal the series' next two cover images. They most certainly qualify as "spoilers." Marvel
  • Their accompanying descriptions imply that this person from Vader's past hangs around for at least two more issues. Marvel

This droid, Z-67, informs Vader that Skywalker hasn't been found since his fall. "I will find him when the time is right," Vader replies, as if to imply that he already knows his son is still alive. In the meantime, he privately tells Z-67 that their mission is to find the breadcrumb trail of whoever kept Skywalker safe through the years "and destroy them."

I'll leave most of the book's details out for those who want to enjoy the its pacing and plot build-up, as it jumps to a few familiar locations with a mix of new combat and old-film flashbacks. But the issue's ending won't remain a secret for long, since its spoiler element will be front-and-center on the second Darth Vader issue's cover. The first issue concludes with Vader on a distant planet outpost where he finds a familiar face hiding: Padme Amidala.

A different kind of “clone” war?

This is the first time we've received any indication that someone resembling Padme, played by actor Natalie Portman in the prequel film trilogy, somehow survived after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Since her latest appearance comes in the form of a one-panel cameo, however, we don't have a lot of information to work with as of press time.

Vader is the one who greets his possible ex-wife with the call of "Padme?" as a question, so the second issue could very well begin with this person simply saying "No," or "Actually, I'm her bRead More – Source

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