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SDCC 2014 Interview: Kieron Gillen Talks STAR WARS: DARTH VADER Series

Don't underestimate the power of this upcoming series.

Darth Vader played a part in all six of the Star Wars films in one form or another. As part of the big San Diego Comic-Con news from Marvel, we know Jason Aaron is writing a STAR WARS series. But that's not all we're getting. Darth Vader will also have his own series. The series will be written by Kieron Gillen with art by Salvador Larroca and covers by Adi Granov.

We caught up with Kieron to talk about how he sees Darth Vader and what we can expect in the series.

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COMIC VINE: Darth Vader? Do you agree he's really the true star of all six movies?

KIERON GILLEN: “Star” is loaded. I'd say he's the backbone of the whole saga. His narrative arc is what bridges the whole thing.

CV: Can you tell us where in the timeline this series takes place?

KG: It's set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. We pick up shortly after the destruction of the Death Star. It's a fundamentally interesting period of time for Vader, y'know? There's real narrative meat to dig into there. It's not just doing the writing equivalent of doodling in the margins. It's one of the biggest things that attracted me to the gig. It's a chance to tell a real and powerful story.

CV: Vader's always been a looming figure of little words. Will you do any inner monologues or focus more on the action?

KG: Heh. A good question. I'll rather not say the specific techniques I'm planning to do but you entirely hit the main problem with Vader. He's this looming, threatening monolith. That's required to keep him at a slight distance. If you have an internal monologue, that risks undermining it. However, this is also a dark, serious character based story. Vader's emotional journey is absolutely the point. It's something I think we can sell visually.

His supporting cast are also key. When Vader is being stoic, they don't have to be.

CV: Will we see what Vader does when he's not leading or intimidating others?

KG: Hmm. Tricky to phrase this one. Perhaps it's best to say that you'll see what he does when he's not expressly being the iron fist of the Empire.

CV: How much of Salvador Larroca's art or character designs have you seen?

KG: The book isn't out until February. It's still early days, so we're still wrestling with it all.

CV: Will we see other familiar Star Wars characters or will you steer clear to focus more on Vader?

KG: I'm writing the most iconic sci-fi universe of all time. Vader is at the heart of the book, but to not touch on anyone else would be a crying shame. The supporting cast is key. To give an example of the sort of thinking which led to the book, it was always fascinating how Vader clearly was on named-terms with all the Bounty Hunters he sends off in Empire. He has experience in their world. It's not a book that solely exists in the cold austerity of the Empire. It's a book which moves into the darkness of the underworld.

CV: What does Darth Vader do on his downtime besides sit in his big meditation chamber?

KG: As the book will show, he doesn't have much downtime. Darth Vader is a James Brown-ian hardest working man in show business. Hell, he even has the cape.

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca is on sale February 2015.