Padme's Story Didn't End With Her Death
The Darth Vader series has made Anakin's inability to simply erase his past, or forget what drove him to the Dark Side one of the core themes. That includes making the trip to the planet Mon Cala, and acting as the Emperor's attack dog against a figure he once called an ally and comrade. During the days of the Clone Wars, the Mon Cala King Lee-Char became a great hero... but with Vader now a faceless, rankless enforcer of the Empire, he was a potential enemy.
Still, that couldn't stop Vader from recalling the king to his own Inquisitors as more than a backworld governor. And as Vader's mind conjured up images of his mission at Lee-Char's side, it wasn't the Mon Calamari who stole his attention - it was Padmé fighting for peace at his. No sooner had that mission been concluded with the slaughter of yet more Jedi survivors than Palpatine gave permission to Vader to return to Mustafar. But the helmet of Lord Momin wasn't the only "gift" Vader got.
The reveal of Palpatine not just finding, but beginning the repairs to Padmé Amidala's unforgettable, mirror-finish, Naboo starship took Vader completely by surprise. within seconds he turned the repair droid to scrap metal, wishing nobody else to touch the relic of Anakin and Padmé's life together. Either that, or passionately denying anyone the chance to return it to its former glory. In fact, the strong feelings evoked by the ship were dealt with by Vader upon his arrival to Mustafar.
Dropping the heat shielding upon entry into Mustafar's atmosphere, Vader subjected the exterior to intense heat, turning it into a dark, twisted, half-melted monstrosity. We'll let the fans connect the dots on the symbolism there, but one thing is clear from the canonical Vader series: the influence still wielded by Padmé Amidala didn't end with her death. And may still have some of its most important chapters to tell.
The True Meaning of Mustafar is Changing Everything
With this new story twist delivered in "Fortress Vader," Soule and Camuncoli have shown that the planet Mustafar is a far more pivotal place in the Star Wars universe than it seemed. And since it was both the place where Obi-Wan defeated Anakin, where Vader was born, and where he meditated for the decades to come, that really is saying something. But as difficult as it may be to believe, the films may have only scratched the surface.
Previous lore made slight mention to the fact that Darth Vader's castle was built over an ancient Sith site, but its power or purpose was never before revealed. That work is now being done by the comics, teasing a Force locus point that was formed... somehow, and if Vader is to be believed, is a place where the Dark Side can make the impossible within reach. assuming Lord Momin has the designs to back it up, and Vader's castle truly can be the key to the Dark Side powers "locked" to him.
When the door opens, what will happen next? Does the chance to see Padmé returned to him mean resurrection, or contact beyond the grave? And if Padmé can truly see what Anakin has become, will his heartbreak further change his character? Or will Padmé's response be what finally forges Vader, and kills what's left of Anakin Skywalker for good?
Darth Vader #22 is available now from Marvel Comics.