STAR WARS: VADER DOWN

Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen join forces for a Star Wars crossover event!

From Marvel Comics

This November, Darth Vader faces his biggest challenge yet: going solo against the entire Rebel fleet in Vader Down, a six-issue crossover event between the ongoing STAR WARS and DARTH VADER series.

Writers Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen will combine their might to crush an epic tale that rolls out over two issues each of their respective Star Wars titles, plus a special VADER DOWN one-shot to kick it off.

Marvel.com: Jason, what kind of opportunities does a big Star Wars crossover like this offer both the reader and you as a writer?

Jason Aaron: I think this is the chance for me and Kieron to do the biggest story either one of us has done. When we started these new books, STAR WARS and DARTH VADER, we wanted them to feel like they were part of the same universe, that everything was happening at the same time. So it was pretty clear from our first arcs how things were pretty closely inter-connected. Then with our second arcs we both kind of veered off in our own directions. Kieron has been setting up a lot of new characters in his book. We’ve had a big new character pop up in my book. It made [sense] after we both veered off for a bit that the third arc would be when things would come crashing back together in a huge way. I was especially excited about the idea of taking the cast of characters that we’d both built in our books and having them interact for the first time.

Marvel.com: How’s the interaction been with Kieron on this? How do you see your respective roles in crafting this story?

Jason Aaron: It’s been easy. I’ve known Kieron for a long time, and we’ve been working closely together for a long time, whether in the X-Men universe when we were writing the two main X-Men books, or the Thor stuff where he was writing Loki and Angela. So, really what we’re doing with this is kind of like an X-Men crossover. There’s sort of a big inciting incident and then it just bounces back and forth between our respective books.

The process of building had been really smooth. This has sort of been built over the course of a lot of different meetings and conversations in different parts of the country. I think it started with a Star Wars dinner in New York and then we talked about it in meetings with Lucasfilm in San Francisco. We passed outlines back and forth and all of that. It’s been a really fun process building this thing together.

Marvel.com: In the story, what are the Rebels thinking going into it?

Jason Aaron: Just that they’ve got Vader in quite the predicament. He’s alone. He’s grossly outnumbered and his ship has crashed on this alien landscape. Whether everybody believes they can do it or not, they know this is their best shot to capture him or kill him or whatever. When you get that shot, you’ve got to take it and send everyone you’ve got down after him.

Marvel.com: What can we expect when our heroes meet Aphra from DARTH VADER? Do her evil droids encounter R2-D2 and C3P0?

Jason Aaron: I think with this story you can expect that every pairing or meeting we can possibly do is going to happen. When Kieron first introduced a lot of those characters like Aphra and the murderous droids, my first thought was, “Wow, I can’t wait until Aphra meets Han Solo or until Kieron’s droids meet C-3PO and R2.” I think you can expect a lot of those different meetings. I think that has, for me, been one of the things that’s the most fun. What I’d been looking forward to most about this story was mixing up this cast in every way we possibly can.

Marvel.com: Kieron, what about you? What sorts of things make a crossover like this special for a writer like yourself?

Kieron Gillen: I’m writing a Star Wars comic. The day that’s not special is the day I don’t write this anymore, y’know? [Also,] a lot of getting to play with parts of the universe I’ve yet to touch. I get to write Han Solo. I’m going to repeat that in capitals: I GET TO WRITE HAN SOLO!

Also Leia and Luke and Threepio and Artoo, but you’d probably not surprised to know I’m a Han guy.

Marvel.com: What’s the collaboration been like between you and Jason while planning it?

Kieron Gillen: We’ve had experience with working together, but this is the tightest thing so far. You may be hoping for some drama and butting of heads, but it’s been worryingly egalitarian and generous. There’s stuff in Vader Down comes from both of the books, and adds to both of the books coming out the other side.

Marvel.com: What can we expect from Vader’s reaction to the situation he’s in here? Is it possible for him to believe the Rebels stand a chance of defeating him?

Kieron Gillen: I think he’ll take it calmly and try diplomacy for a while, perhaps inviting everyone in and baking them a tasty pie. Seriously—the situation is agreeably complicated. It’s a small environment with all the characters in, each with their powerful desires. Vader wants Luke. Vader wants to survive. Vader wants Luke to survive. Vader doesn’t want anyone to know why he wants Luke. Balancing all those puts him in a really interesting situation.

He also has a whole base of Rebel soldiers to stab.

Marvel.com: And what are some of the joys of mixing characters like Aphra and her droids from DARTH VADER with the Rebel heroes from STAR WARS?

Kieron Gillen: This is one of the most fun parts of it. We get to take all the characters we’ve developed in our first year on the [books], and get them interact. This has just been joyous stuff, real laugh-out-loud in delight writing.

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