Published: October 13, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Chris Fengolio (Pages 1-14), Francesco Francavilla (15-20)
Colourist: Chris Fengolio (Pages 1-14), Francesco Francavilla (15-20)
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 #4, Lina’s dreams are visited by the ghost of the galaxy’s most threatening villain! The GHOSTS OF VADER’S CASTLE are looming closer…
I always talk about the covers for any review as I feel they are an important part of any comic. And, oh my days… issue 4 has a cover that I have just simply adored since the solicitations for October were released. Derek Charm’s B cover of a possessed young Anakin Skywalker is the best of the series and possibly my favourite cover of all the Star Wars publications from IDW, ever! It is sinister, chilling, and atmospheric through such simplicity. No disrespect to Francesco Francavilla, but for me, this should have been the A cover. After that, Francavilla has a tough act to follow for his covers, but again he has produced another top-quality cover in colour and mono.
Hudd and Skritt are now onboard the Rabbit’s Foot alongside Lina and Jaxxon. Their destination Vader’s Castle on Mustafar, but something is amiss with Lina. An argument between the crew sends her into a dream where the team has disappeared and replaced by young possessed Anakin Skywalker as the pilot. She also takes her childhood form, and she is pursued around the ship.
And this for me is where the really sinister fun begins. While trying to hide from Anakin she finds Crater smashed to pieces. Finding Crater is of comfort to her, but Anakin morphs into his adult version and we all know that can’t bode well for a youngling. She finds strength from Crater and defiantly calls back as the older Skywalker threatens her. She engineers a chance to flee and escapes his lunge, which flares his anger.
In her race to escape she collides with her brother Milo. She feels safe and hugs him tightly, but something is wrong. Milo becomes distorted and he himself morphs into a new form… he is Vader… Vader reborn… Vader renewed… Vader triumphant!
And then, as if nothing had happened, she is woken from her dream by the intercom. They are dropping out of hyperspace, and she is needed in the cockpit. There to greet her is Vader himself standing over a slain Jaxxon and Hudd. As he warns her that she is too late to save her brother, he strikes her down.
Now, you would think that is a pretty cool way to end the story, but no, Scott goes one better. As Vader strikes her, she wakes with a start in the cockpit in a passenger seat with a concerned Hudd checking on her. The dreams she’s having are getting worse, she fears for her brother. They disembark on the surface of Mustafar and start their search for Milo.
Not just because of the B cover, but this issue has been by far my favourite visit to Vader’s Castle to date. The story just blew me away, and it is as near to perfect as Scott and the team could get! I felt that issue 3 pushed some sinister tones in some sequences, but this has really upped the ante. The images of young Anakin really do strike and there are some subtle hints to what comes next, like the shadow of Vader’s before she collides with her brother.
Scott really does ramp up the tension and anticipation with every page turn. The double wake up is well hidden and comes as a pleasant surprise. I think we’ve all dreamt about waking up during a dream, but hopefully not in the same way or under the same circumstances as Lina! The final line of “dreams can’t hurt you” is just perfect for a horror story.
In a slight shakeup of the usual format, Chris Fengolio starts the issue off with Francavilla closing proceedings in the final pages. This is obviously done to setup for the finale next time out. Fengolio’s artwork is a joy to look at. His colours pop, but the expressions and details are of the highest quality.
24 issues down and sadly, just 1 more to go. I can’t believe we are now embarking on the countdown to the very last visit to Vader’s Castle. After such an amazing penultimate issue this week how can this issue be topped? I am truly excited to see where Scott and the team takes us to for the final chapter.
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #4 is the penultimate issue in a 5-part mini-series. Published by IDW on October 13, 2021, it is available from your local comic book store and online retailers. In the UK, it is available to order from Forbidden Planet.