'Star Wars': Everything you never knew about Darth Vader

All the backstory you never saw in the movies.

June 22, 2017, 3:33 PM

— -- Fans are two issues in on the new 2017 run of Marvel Comics' "Darth Vader," the books that fill in the backstory of everyone's favorite Jedi-turned-Sith Lord.

These books are canon, so they count for the official story and lead right into the movies. In last year's Marvel run (25 issues in all), we learned all about what was going on with Vader between "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back." It focused on a Vader down and out on his luck a bit and needing to prove his worth after Luke destroyed the Death Star.

This year's books will focus on Vader right after "Revenge of the Sith," when Anakin Skywalker has just turned to the Dark Side. Vader is in real pain and just lost the love of his life, Padme.

Combing through both comic book runs can be a daunting process, so ABC News welcomed both authors of their respective franchises, Kieron Gillen and Charles Soule, to "Inside Marvel: Darth Vader," to help break down all that's taken place.

You can watch the full interview here, with a quick list of facts to know below!

1) Darth knew about Luke well before 'Empire'

You know that scene where Vader kneels before the Emperor in "The Empire Strikes Back" and he feigns surprise as the Emperor tells him Luke is the "offspring of Anakin Skywalker." Well, he was playing coy and knew the whole time.

In fact, much of Gillen's Vader run from 2015 to 2016 is focused on Darth trying to find this kid Luke and recruit him to possibly take over the empire.

There's one chilling scene where he's just been told about Luke, to which he replies, "I have a son," followed by how the galaxy will be his.

2) There are evil Wookiees, droids and more

Also in Gillen's run, we meet a rag-tag group much like the flip-side version of C-3PO, R2D2 and Chewie. They often help Darth in his mission to find Luke, while getting into trouble along the way.

0-0-0 is the nasty version of 3PO, not trained in communication, but torture, while BT-1 is an assassin droid, not the cute droid you've come to expect like R2.

3) Force lightning is Darth's Achilles' heel

There's a reason why Vader never tried to take over the Empire himself and kill his master. The Sith code always went by the rule of two, one to have power and one to crave it. Under their law, the apprentice was supposed to one day try and kill his master.

But Palpatine changed all that when he let Darth live after he failed to beat Obi-Wan at the end of "Revenge of the Sith."

He put a seriously injured Anakin Skywalker into a lifesaving black suit, but it's incredibly susceptible to Palpatine's force lightning. Not that anyone likes to get shocked with lightning, but you see in Soule's issue 1 (June 2017) that after Vader uses the Force against him, Palpatine makes him pay with a few volts. Vader crumbles and falls to his knees.

Palpatine tells him that if he ever touches him again, he'll finish the job.

It makes the end of "Return of the Jedi" that much more heroic. He knew he'd die, but chose to save Luke from the Force lightning, stepping in and taking it on himself.

4) Darth is stronger and more ruthless that you ever saw on screen

Sure, he Force-choked his share of Imperial officers, but you've never seen anything like what's in these books.

In Gillen's run, he's literally surrounded by Rebel soldiers at one point who think they have him dead to rights. He has no fear and literally cuts through all of them, using his Force abilities and his lightsaber.

In issue 2 of Soule's 2017 run, out Wednesday, he takes things to a whole new level. Darth attempts to dock on an Imperial station to obtain crucial information and rather than tell the stormtroopers defending the station that he's on their side, he proceeds to just slaughter them for spite. This is a powerful, but broken man and it shows.

5) How he got his lightsaber and why Sith sabers are red

Also in this new run, we learn that a Sith's lightsaber is red because you take the crystal that lives inside it and make it bleed crimson red. Sith sabers are also not given, but earned after you kill a Jedi.

At the end of issue 2, we meet the Jedi whom Darth has to fight to obtain said lightsaber -- Kirak Infil’a, who looks like Conan the Barbarian mixed with Yoda, mixed with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The cover of issue 3, out in July, teases an epic battle, which Soule confirmed.

He said that the battle between Darth and this warrior Jedi -- who did not deal in politics, just war -- will actually take place over several issues. He essentially was the Jedi's version of Darth Vader, Soule added.

This ought to be good!

ABC News, Lucasfilm and Marvel are all part of parent company Disney.

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