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Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader's Castle
IDW Publishing

Comic Books

‘Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader’s Castle’ review

Like seeing your favorite Star Wars characters having cameos in various episodes of Scooby-Doo.

The holidays are over and for many of us, it’s cold and dreary outside, which makes it the perfect time of year to grab a blanket and a flashlight, and read scary stories. Caven Scott’s love of early horror really shows in Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader’s Castle. The book, which is made up of two collections: Tales from Vader’s Castle and Return to Vader’s Castle, combines a great Star Wars adventure with multiple scary stories told by various characters along their journey.    

Tales from Vader’s Castle

Recap and Spoilers

Listen to the latest episode of our Star Wars podcast, Talkin' Tauntauns!

Tales from Vader’s Castle begins with Lina Graf and her crew of The Auric (Skritt, Lieutenant Thom Hudd, XM-G3, and Cr-8R) taking on heavy fire from a couple of TIE fighters.  Before XM-G3 takes them out with the ship’s cannons, they sustain heavy damage to their shields and the main core of the ship.  They have to land quickly before the ship explodes, and the closest planet is none other than Mustafar.  Once through the cloud cover, we get our first glimpse of Vader’s Castle surrounded by lava fields.  The Auric lands and everyone needs to get out quickly since the engines are not working and the temperature is rising.  Skritt, who is terrified (this becomes a theme throughout the book), does not want to leave the ship and neither does CR-8R, who decides this is the time to tell a scary story (Our first of many scary stories told at the worst time). 

Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader's Castle

IDW Publishing

  • Story 1:  The Haunting of the Ghost (The ship from Rebels)
    • Familiar Characters:  Kanan, Hera, and Chopper
  • Story 2:  Count Dooku:  Prince of Darkness
    • Familiar Characters:  Obi-Wan Kenobi, Adi Gallia, and Count Dooku
  • Story 3:  The Briar Witch
    • Familiar Characters:  Han Solo and Chewbacca 
  • Story 4:  Night of the Gorax
    • Familiar Characters:  Ewoks
  • Story 5:  Droid Hunters
    • Familiar Characters: locals from Mustafarians, Vader, and Vanee

 At the end of Tales from Vader’s Castle, Lina, Skritt, and CR-8R escape in a stolen Tie Fighter while wondering if Vader allowed this to happen so that they can spread the fear across the galaxy.   

Return to Vader’s Castle

Recap and Spoilers

Return to Vader’s Castle starts with Vanee happy that whoever he is about to torture is waking up.  In what reminds me of the beginning of Tales From the Crypt, Vanee looks directly at us and asks if we/they want to hear a story, in fact, a scary story.    

  • Story 1:  The Horned Devil
    • Familiar Characters:  Darth Maul (as a spider)
    • After the story, we find out Hudd, who was captured in Tales From Vader’s Castle, is the one being tortured.  Now it is his turn to tell a story.
  • Story 2:  The Curse of Tarkin
    • Familiar Characters:  Tarkin of course, and what looks to be a very mutated Ferren Bar
    • After the story, Vanee finds that Hudd has escaped. A chase ensues and when Vanee gets close, he tells Hudd yet another story.
  • Story 3:  Bop She-Bop, Little Sarlacc Horror
    • Familiar Characters:  Asajj Ventress and an adorable baby Sarlacc
      • Back to Hudd trying to escape Vader’s castle.  Hudd thinks he is activating a map of the castle when he accidentally activates two training droids each with four lightsaber arms.  Vanee stops the droids in the nick of time.  Vanee wants the pleasure of torturing and killing Hudd.  On their way back to the torturing chamber, Hudd has time to tell Vanee another story.
  • Story 4:  Vault of the Living Brains
    • Familiar Characters:  Jaba and Crakka Hutt.
      • After the story, Vanee is tired of stories and goes to push the button to kill Hudd.  Just before pressing it though, an inquisitor stops him and says they are there to transport the prisoner to Coruscant.  Vanee is reminded of another story.
  • Story 5:  Night of the Lava Zombies
    • After the story, Hudd is free and Vanee unmasks the inquisitor which turns out to be Lina Graf, who returned to rescue Hudd.  They get back to their ship where everyone is waiting (except XM-G3).  As they take off we are left with Vanne saying he won’t tell Vader about this escape, but he is too late.  Vader is there and now it’s time for him to tell a story leaving us wondering what the story will be about. 

The Verdict

The scary stories were fun and may even invoke a few nightmares for the younger readers.  It was like seeing my favorite Star Wars characters having cameos in various Scooby-Doo-like situations. I did feel that the story connecting everything was just filler and I would have just as thoroughly enjoyed a book of just scary stories.  Personally, if I was ever in a threatening situation, the last thing I would want is someone telling me stories about terrifying events over and over again.  If I am about to die, please tell me about rainbows and kittens, not zombies, witches, and devil spiders.  

The cover for each chapter is reminiscent of old horror movie posters.  The main storyline artwork is playful and fun like other Star Wars Adventures series.  Each of the scary stories have their own unique artwork from a variety of artists.  From the playful cartoon feeling to the more intense real-life style of drawing, there is something to please everyone.  

'Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader's Castle' review
‘Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader’s Castle’ review
Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader's Castle'
The scary stories were fun and may even invoke a few nightmares for the younger readers. It was like seeing my favorite Star Wars characters having cameos in various episodes of Scooby-Doo.
Reader Rating3 Votes
The covers are reminiscent of early horror movie posters.
Cavan Scott did a great job blending his love of Star Wars and early horror movies.
The story that connected the various scary stories seemed more like filler.

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