Star Wars Explains How Vader Can Return in Episode 9

New changes to Star Wars mythology have set the stage for Darth Vader as a villain in Star Wars 9 - even if Anakin Skywalker was saved.

Warning: SPOILERS for Darth Vader #22

The story of Darth Vader may be over, as far as Star Wars fans are concerned. But going by recent changes to the mythology of the Dark Side and the Sith equivalent of Force Ghosts, it isn't a stretch to say it seems like Lucasfilm is flat-out explaining how Darth Vader can return for Star Wars: Episode 9. At least, that's our theory.

These clues and teases will be lost on fans following only the Star Wars films, and turning a blind eye to the wider range of comic books - specifically the Darth Vader series following the titular Sith in his first years at the Emperor's side. While it's true that Luke Skywalker managed to "save" his father Anakin before he died, the space taken up by Darth Vader in the Dark Side of The Force doesn't just go away when Anakin decides to repent. As the newest comics show, the evil committed by Vader, the way in which Anakin's body was destroyed, and the fact that his armor survives all mean one thing: Vader can definitely return to end the Skywalker saga in Star Wars 9. Even if Anakin Skywalker doesn't.

Star Wars Just Confirmed Sith Immortality

The issue of Sith Force Ghosts has long been debated by Star Wars fans, since the films suggest that appearing in the world even after death was some how a uniquely Jedi trait. Strange, since the idea of 'conquering death' is made out to be an evil, Dark Side power. And yet the Sith seem to lack the ability - until recently, when the Star Wars comics clarified the issue. Sith Lords are able to exert influence on the living world, just... in a far more Dark Side fashion.

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When Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader both came across one of the twin lightsabers of new Sith Darth Atrius, both were soon overcome with uncharacteristic emotions. For Luke, a desire to slay his enemies with the saber. For Vader, to make sure Luke didn't beat his podracing record. Even then, the clear confirmation that Dark Side wielders can imbue their artifacts with traces of their Force acumen was a massive twist. But the comics were just getting started.

Comic fans were first introduced to Lord Momin, a legendary Sith sculptor when his helmet appeared in Emperor Palpatine's private collection of priceless artifacts. Even then, years ago, it was shown that the Sith Lord Momin's helmet could take control of unsuspecting people foolish enough to gaze into its glowing red eyes. Simply by looking upon the Dark Side 'residue' contained within it, the will of Lord Momin could drive a good man to murder. But the true bombshell came when Emperor Palpatine passed the helmet on to his pupil, Darth Vader.

The Body May Die, But Sith Masks Survive?

To make a long, incredibly important story short: Vader needed help in constructing his now infamous Mustafar castle to bring Padmé Amidala back from the dead. Since that job requires a different kind of Sith - a sculptor, in fact - Palpatine entrusts the helmet of Lord Momin to Vader. Apparently, Momin's work was considered too grotesque or evil for the Sith, who had him erased from their history. Naturally, that leads Vader to ask the most obvious question. If Lord Momin was a forgotten Sith, how is it that Emperor Palpatine knows his story?

The answer is delivered nonchalantly by Palpatine, claiming that "the mask told me." Despite how world-changing that update to the new mythology of the Sith and Star Wars, Palpatine isn't using any subjective perspectives in the description. When Vader arrives at the building site of what will be his castle, Lord Momin makes his will known by compelling the Imperial architects, and offering up his own designs. Realizing Palpatine wasn't kidding about communing with the spirit of an ancient, dead Sith Lord, Vader asks to hear the same story... and boy, does it ring some bells for modern fans of the Star Wars movies.

Not only the circumstances of Lord Momin's death, which allowed his Dark Side essence to go on living in his famous helmet, but even return to influence and manipulate those living decades, even centuries later. Paving the way for Vader's own helmet to do the same in Star Wars IX.

Page 2 of 3: How Darth Vader Could Have Beaten Death

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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