The latest Star Wars graphic novel from Dark Horse brings more spooky tales from the galaxy far, far away in another effective comic anthology.
Continuing in the tradition of Tales From Vader’s Castle and last year’s Tales From the Rancor Pit, Dark Horse is bringing Star Wars fans a new collection of spooky comics in time for Halloween. This time around we have Tales From the Death Star, which puts the focus on the iconic planet killer(s).
A young human named Fry on Ednor’s watery moon of Kef Bir embarks on a seemingly suicidal endeavor to reach the remains of Death Star II (as seen in The Rise of Skywalker) in order to prove himself. As he does so, however, a mysterious stranger arrives to warn him of the dangers he may not be aware of.
To do so, this enigmatic, cloaked figure relays four different stories that offer thrills in their own way: The Creature from the Trash Compactor, The Wild Squadron, “We Shall Double Our Efforts,” The Haunting of Grand Moff Tarkin.
At each stage of Fry’s journey to the ruins of the superweapon, the stranger uses these stories to showcase the evil legacy of the Death Star. These are meant to serve as a warning both to the young protagonist and the readers as well.
While each story has its own clear start and end points, I love how the comic manages to seamlessly move between them and the “larger” story being told. It flows back and forth very well, and with each story bringing a unique art style to the table, there’s no real confusion to be had. The result is this doesn’t even feel like an anthology, but rather a singular story.
Personally speaking, I always love that approach to anthology stories. Rather than being disconnected (but thematically relevant), each story ties into a bigger narrative. On top of working as a fun reading device, it helps make the individual stories feel bigger than they are.
A couple of the stories presented feel more akin to vignettes. They offer something interesting, or provides some spooky spectacle, but don’t necessarily feel like a “story” in and of themselves. When presented in this context of the larger story, however, they don’t feel incomplete. Instead it manages to all come together for a singular story that not only gives you the chills, but leaves you thinking.
I won’t dive into each of the smaller stories specifically, but there’s a nice blend of spooky genres to enjoy. There’s a dash of creature feature, as an “extermination” crew endeavor to clear the bowels of the Death Star from some monster; ghostly visits and paranormal urban legends; plus there’s even a really interesting zombie tale to boot.
Personally speaking, the Tarkin-focused story is the one I enjoyed the most and have been thinking on the longest; while the zombie one has the most fun factor I’d like to see expanded on. Regardless, there’s something for fans of all different kinds of horror to enjoy and mixed together in a way that still feels uniquely Star Wars.
Whether you’ve kept up with these spooky Star Wars anthology graphic novels from years past or not, Tales From the Death Star makes for an engaging read and is well worth picking up.