The latest issue of Marvel's new Darth Vader comic may shine some light on Luke's story in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While not every fan of Star Wars is happy with the changes the prequels have made to the established canon, they still have a strong impact on how things play out moving forward. One of the biggest additions to canon from the prequels was Order 66, which initiated the Jedi Purge. Though hinted at in Return of the Jedi, it wasn't until Revenge of the Sith that the absence of the Jedi was finally explained.
Since then, the Great Jedi Purge has gone on to feature in a number of stories, most prominently the animated series Clone Wars and Rebels. Of course, many fans have long wondered why Jedi survivors mentioned in those storylines didn't take an active role in fighting back against the Empire at the time of (and in the years following) the Purge. So, why didn't the remaining Jedi eventually emerge and help those who were fighting back against the Emperor? Now, it looks as if a new comic may help clear things up.
A Reddit user has posted a panel from today's issue of Darth Vader #2 that elaborates on the inaction of the Jedi during the Purge thanks to the Barash Vow.
It seems that the Vow was a penance that a dedicated Jedi underwent, wherein nothing beyond the Force was allowed to be their focus. This includes matters related to the Jedi Order, making this one of the few attempts to address the idea of seeking the will of the Force - no matter how grave the circumstances that might befall their friends or fellow Jedi around the galaxy during this "penance". What's even more interesting about the reveal is that it could point towards something that will be revealed later this year when The Last Jedi arrives.
Star Wars 8 writer and director Rian Johnson has stated that he had lots of creative control over the movie, but obviously the Lucasfilm story group had input as well. Of course, with the film written and shot before this comic, it's even more likely that a plot thread from the movie (the reason for Luke Skywalker's isolation following the corrupting of Ben Solo) could have been used by Charles Soule in the new comic. If the slaughter of Luke's padawans led him to take the Barash Vow, it would explain his isolation - and the reason he stood on the sidelines while the First Order took shape.
The previous Darth Vader run revealed a lot about the character's past. Even more intriguing, but issue #1 of the new book even delved into the usage of red lightsabers amongst the Sith, a storyline that continues in issue #2. It seems that Marvel and Lucasfilm are using the new series to explore little pockets of Star Wars lore, and possibly even hinting at reveals that will play out in the films. Only time will tell, but with six months until The Last Jedi arrives, we should know soon enough.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019