3. Vader’s Discovery of Luke’s Identity
When Boba Fett reports back to Vader, he gives Vader the last name of the Rebel who destroyed the Death Star: Skywalker. Of course, Vader recognizes his own last name and puts two and two together. He realizes that Padme must have given birth before her death, and that Luke is his son.
Originally, we believed that Vader discovers Luke’s identity when talking to the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back. With this comic, we learn that Vader must have been playing along in that discussion, having known Luke was his child years before. While not contradicting the film, it does provide an unexpected new way of viewing it.
2. Cylo-V and His Enforcers
In Marvel’s “Darth Vader #5,” we are introduced to the characters of Cylo-V and his Enforcers. Cylo-V was an android tasked by the Emperor to create cybernetically enhanced beings. The purpose: to provide possible replacements for Darth Vader. The Emperor no longer had the confidence in his apprentice due to Vader’s failure at the Death Star.
The cybernetic Enforcers are among the most bizarre creations we’ve seen in the canon so far. They include humans with flamethrowers built into their arms and a Mon-Calamari general with four arms. Many of the Enforcers had Force-like abilities, though none of them were Force sensitive. Vader found some to be a slight challenge, but of course no one is a match for the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Cylo-V himself is rather unusual. While he used to be human, Cylo found a way to transfer his consciousness into a cybernetic body. Cylo-V is the fifth iteration of that body. Oh, and he also has a Rodian’s eye. Without a doubt, Cylo-V and his band of cybernetic superheroes remain one of the most unexpected additions to the new canon.
1. The Journey to the Force Awakens
Several books and comics have been released under the banner of “Journey to the Force Awakens.” Every one of these stories provides some backdrop for The Force Awakens, though only slightly. For example, in the comic Shattered Empire, we learn a bit of the backstory for Poe Dameron’s parents, who fought in the Battle of Endor.
Also, a series a short stories flesh out some of the background characters in The Force Awakens in a way that will change your perspective on scenes like Maz Kanata’s castle. Remember that Harley Quinn-looking lady who betrayed the heroes to the First Order? There’s a whole story about her called “The Perfect Weapon” where we learn more of her backstory and why she is so cold and heartless.
There’s a lot of canon material out there besides the films, and a lot of it informs our viewings of the films. We can hope that in the future we’ll see plenty more stories to flesh out that galaxy far, far away.