TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1: THE HAUNTING OF THE GHOST by Cavan Scott, Derek Charm, and Chris Fenoglio
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Younger readers are sure to get a kick out of IDW's Halloween-themed Star Wars miniseries. With colorful, energetic art and clever writing, this comic is the perfect Halloween gift for the little Star Wars fan in your life.
70 %
Kid-friendly fun

THE HAUNTING OF THE GHOST is the first issue in STAR WARS ADVENTURES’ spooky miniseries. Written by Cavan Scott, with art by Derek Charm and Chris Fenoglio, TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1 is the first in IDW’s weekly horror-themed Star Wars comics for October. Adult Star Wars fans probably won’t be too interested in this miniseries, but it’s sure to entertain younger fans of the franchise.

TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE #1
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

The New Crew

TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1 is a two-parter of sorts. The story begins with a small crew of rebels led by Lina Graf, who returns from another young readers’s book: ADVENTURES IN WILD SPACE. She’s joined by fellow human Hudd, a gruff sea-captain looking fellow; Skritt, a shrimp-like alien; and their droids, XM-G3 and Crater.

While on the run from some TIE Fighters, they crash land right next to Darth Vader’s fortress on the volcanic world of Mustafar. Not being a fan of drowning in lava, Lina insists she and the crew evacuate. This spooks Crater, as he’s wary of exploring such a dark and foreboding planet. So much so, he feels compelled to tell his friends of a story he heard of another crew, who stuck their noses somewhere they didn’t belong…

TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE #1
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Dead Droids Tell No Tales in TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1

Cue the flashback to Hera, Kanan, and Chopper from STAR WARS: REBELS. I honestly wasn’t expecting to see these characters again after the end of their show, but their inclusion makes perfect sense. If you’re going to put pre-existing Star Wars characters together with ghosts, you might as well use the cartoon characters. Plus, I imagine the writers couldn’t resist the pun potential of using their ship, the Ghost, in a Halloween-themed comic.

They encounter a toucan-man named Graysom, who insists that their ship is now haunted. I won’t give away anything else, as part of the fun is guessing whether or not the ship is truly haunted or if some kind of techno-trickery is at play here. Before the comic ends, we return back to Lina’s crew, who decided to exit their ship, despite Crater’s warning. But nothing good is sure to come of these rebels as they face the towering monolith that is Darth Vader’s castle…

TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE #1
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Star Wars Meets Goosebumps

Combining ghost stories and Star Wars can go so wrong so easily. Even though ghosts and zombies technically already exist in the Star Wars universe, they aren’t always handled that well. Thankfully, Cavan Scott manages to create a kid-friendly Star Wars story with Halloween charm, without betraying the overall tone of the franchise. Graysom kind of throws a wrench into that, but we’ll get to him later.

Since this is a kids’s comic, the story is never actually scary. It can be suspenseful and mysterious, but I never expected a Star Wars comic for six- to eleven-year-olds to be frightening at all. Despite the simple plot and borderline Scooby Doo shenanigans, THE HAUNTING OF THE GHOST drew me into the story and piqued my interest for the issues following TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1.

TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE #1
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Two Artists for the Price of One

Like most STAR WARS ADVENTURES comics, the artwork in TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1 is cartoonish, kinetic, and full of life. This goes for both artists; Derek Charm, who draws Lina and her crew, and Chris Fenoglio, who brings the flashback portion to life. Fenoglio’s art perfectly captures Hera, Kanan, and Chopper’s designs from the REBELS cartoon. I can’t say I was a fan of the design of Graysom, who looks like a cereal mascot. It always feels out of place an anthropomorphic animal shows up as a Star Wars creature. Then again, this is a comic for younger readers, and I’m sure my seven-year-old self wouldn’t mind.

The designs of the new characters, on the other hand, get no complaints from me. Lina’s crew could blend right into the Mos Eisley Cantina without a second look. Derek Charm’s signature bold lines and colors makes everything pop, from a character’s smile to a splash of lava. Neither artist eclipses the other, creating an overall visual treat for Star Wars fans or newcomers alike.

TALES FROM VADER'S CASTLE #1
Image courtesy of IDW Publishing

Final Thoughts

As I said many times, this comic is more for younger readers. If you have a kid or a little sibling, this comic would make a great Halloween gift. You can pick up TALES FROM VADER’S CASTLE #1 at your local comic book shop, IDW’s official site, or Comixology.

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