After decades of speculation and theories, Star Wars comic has finally revealed Darth Vader’s reasoning for keeping Chewbacca alive in a famous scene from The Empire Strikes Back. In the scene, Han Solo undergoes the process of being frozen in a carbonite chamber on Cloud City.
During this process, Chewbacca roars in protest, and Boba Fett raises his gun intent on killing the howling Wookie. But before Boba Fett can get the job done, Darth Vader raises his arm to stop the bounty hunter from killing Chewbacca. It would have made sense if Boba Fett had killed the rebellious Wookie, but Darth Vader prevented it, which has always been an odd choice for the film. Fortunately, we now have some answers to why he did it.
In the comic Star Wars: Darth Vader #12, it describes the same scene from Darth Vader’s perspective. As Boba Fett holds up the gun, Vader stops it, thinking to himself, “Good…Keep believing…Believe your friends survived this long by strength or fortune…instead of my design.” By saying this, Darth Vader reveals that he didn’t spare the Wookie out of the goodness of his heart or a hidden weakness. Rather, his intent was much more sinister as he wanted the rebels to think their survival was their own, as opposed to his own. He wanted the rebels to underestimate him.
This scene has long been a subject of controversy and debate among Star Wars fans. It was easy to believe that Darth Vader had friendly intentions or a simple code of honor for the Sith, but his plans were much more strategic. Instead, Darth Vader wanted to keep Chewbacca alive because he wanted the rebels collectively to suffer even more. He wanted them to be weak. The comic confirms how masterful strategist Darth Vader has always been, and it’s incredibly cool to see the comic series explore this side of classic stories.
The Star Wars comics have tried similar retcons and explanations in the past, but most of them are either hard to execute or just plain stupid. There have been many moments in the comic series, including the Darth Vader series, which have attempted to explain certain scenes or moments by providing additional context. Often it feels like the comic is just trying to cover up a plot hole with a ridiculous answer. However, this one certainly feels like a smooth explanation of a seemingly insignificant scene. It fits the character of Vader and the original movie itself perfectly, and it’s always refreshing to see comics stay true to the source material.
The most interesting thing about the whole scene is how Darth Vader was basically the one who underestimated it. His intent was for the Rebels to believe that they escaped of their own accord, thereby underestimating Darth Vader in the future. However, because he kept Chewbacca alive, Darth Vader accidentally caused the demise of the Empire itself. Chewbacca would seek revenge and eventually help Han Solo save from Jabba the Hutt – and the Wookie would then aid in the destruction of the second Death Star. Darth Vader’s pride and vanity helped the Rebels at every turn, and this comic just confirms it.
Subjects: Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader, Boba Fett