How 'Star Wars: Darth Vader' Resolves a Cliffhanger
[This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: Darth Vader No. 2.]
The second issue of Marvel's Star Wars: Darth Vader hits store shelves Wednesday, resolving the cliffhanger that threatened to upset Star Wars canon from a month earlier and answering the question "Has Padmé Amidala returned from the dead?"
Heat Vision breakdown
It's revealed midway through the issue by Greg Bak and Raffaele Ienco: No, the woman who was convincing enough to leave Darth Vader confused about whether or not his wife was dead turns out to be Sabé, one of Padmé's handmaidens from when she was queen of Naboo, employed for her physical similarity to the monarch.
(Curiously, this reveal comes just months ahead of the release of Star Wars: Queen's Peril, a novel focusing on Padmé's earlier days as queen of Naboo. Perhaps there's a Padmé renaissance underway when it comes to Star Wars publishing plans.)
It's a revelation that leaves canon relatively undisturbed — there's no retcon that would subsequently need to explain where Padmé was while her children were being raised across the galaxy by others, nor why she wasn't an active part of building the Rebellion in its earliest days — yet succeeds in further emotionally unbalancing Vader in the wake of the events of The Empire Strikes Back, where he had confronted Luke Skywalker about his true heritage.
The introduction of Sabé might not literally bring Padmé back from the dead, but it ensures that she returns as an active presence to Vader and a conscience when he most needs it — although whether or not the emperor would agree remains to be seen.
Star Wars: Darth Vader No. 2 is available digitally and in comic book stores now.
by Aaron Couch, Graeme McMillan