Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series will end in August with issue #25, the last in the story arc “End of Games.”
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IGN broke the news this morning, pairing the announcement with an interview with the series writer, Kieron Gillen. IGN’s Joshua Yehl talked to Gillen about why Darth Vader is ending, how the assumptions readers made about the series’ length have been resolved, and what’s next for him in the Marvel Star Wars universe.
Darth Vader has been one of the more popular of the Star Wars comic series to come out of Marvel in the past two years. After all, who doesn’t love seeing Vader smash people around every week? But the series is about more than just Vader getting to show off his brute strength; it’s about the journey his character takes, from the precarious position of weakness he finds himself in after the first Death Star is destroyed, to a place of power as the Emperor’s trusted right hand once again by the time of the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
Variant cover by Chris Samnee
It is that transformative story arc that determined when and where the series needed to end, according to Gillen.
"“…I always described the story in interviews as the story of how Darth Vader recovers his position post-A New Hope… We get Vader in an incredibly powerful position by the end of the story. So definitely Vader, by the end of the story, is the man we meet in Empire.”"
The plan for the series was always to give it a proper ending, rather than have it continue indefinitely.
"“…it was a situation where, you know, we’ve always said all the way through, from Darth Vader #1, that this was a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. And we kind of looked where we were after Vader Down, and we realized we were probably actually nearer to the end than we thought we were. And it was a situation where we were like, “Okay, it’s better to actually end this story in a way which we think is the most effective. We don’t want to pad it out extraneously.”"
I applaud the team at Marvel for not milking the Vader series, even though it’s brought them a lot of monetary profits. They’re choosing story and quality of story over financial gain, something you don’t see often in big companies. The fact is, Darth Vader has been around for a long time – over a year – and it’s time to let another long-form series get its chance in the limelight. Who or what will be the star of that series, who knows. Marvel has made a couple of announcements regarding upcoming mini-series, like Han Solo and Rogue One, but no hint as to what new ongoing series they may be planning. Hopefully we’ll get an announcement soon.
Darth Vader #25 is scheduled for release in August.