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Darth Vader Secretly Revived A Clone Wars Army After New Hope

In Marvel Comics' Darth Vader series from 2015, the Dark Lord of the Sith secretly revived an army that hadn't been seen since the days of the Clone Wars. Following the destruction of the Death Star and Vader's failure to prevent the Rebels from destroying a key Imperial factory, the Emperor was less than pleased with his apprentice after A New Hope. This resulted in a humiliating demotion for Vader, motivating him to seek out his own army and resources apart from those he had had in the Empire.

In Darth Vader #3-6 from writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca, Vader was forced to serve under the command of Grand General Tagge, losing the Imperial platoons of stormtroopers and ships he once had at his disposal. Furthermore, Vader also learned that his master was actively entertaining the idea of replacing him as his apprentice, exploring agents who were created with advanced science rather than those who could wield the Force.

Related: Darth Vader’s Force Powers Have An Embarrassing Limit

As a result, Vader sought the help of Doctor Chelli Aphra in Darth Vader #3, serving as her first appearance in the Star Wars canon. Impressed by her ability to reactivate and rewrite the programming of droids, the Dark Lord and rouge archaeologist ventured to what remained of Geonosis. What had once been a key world full of droid factories for the Seperatists' use during The Clone Wars had become little more than a wasteland after the Empire seized control of the world. However, Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra managed to locate a single factory that was still protected by a Geonosian queen. Taking it as his own, Vader soon had contingents of commando droids at his disposal once Aphra reactivated and reprogrammed the factory for the Dark Lord.

While it's impressive that Vader brought back Clone Wars-era battle droids to replace his typical stormtroopers, his motives in using them had nothing to do with serving the Emperor. Determined to find the Rebel pilot who blew up the Death Star (and was strong in the Force), Vader needed his own private soldiers outside of his master's purview. It's also likely that the droids would have been crucial assets had Vader decided to make a move against Palpatine to overthrow him.

In the end, Vader ended up using his new droid army to lay siege to the facilities of Cylo-IV, a scientist in the employ of Palpatine who helped forge Vader's armor and life support systems. Since then, Cylo had been seeking to make the Vader obsolete with new, more advanced warriors who could become Palpatine's new apprentice, a concept Vader naturally sought to correct with a vengeance.

While his battle droids ended up being destroyed, the Emperor was certainly impressed by Vader's initiative and resourcefulness. And in the end, the reveal that Darth Vader briefly had his own Clone Wars army of battle droids after A New Hope is a pretty epic part of the Star Wars timeline.

More: Darth Vader Would've Found Luke as a Child if He'd Listened to Palpatine

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