The Star Wars universe is forever expanding and evolving, with ongoing stories across all forms of media adding new characters like Ahsoka Tano and Omega, new planets, and new storylines. But now, in the Darth Vader comic book series, which is canon with all the movies, shows, and video games, a huge plan has been unveiled, which details the Empire's plot to destroy the Sith.
Fans will already know that a number of Empire officials had no desire to be in allegiance with the Sith, let alone have them calling the shots, with one officer even telling Vader that his "sad devotion" to the "ancient religion" has interfered with his duties (a foolish move, of course). But according to the latest canon, there were 'inside' plans to kill Vader, dethrone the Emperor and remove the Sith altogether – and the key to achieving this was Luke Skywalker.
The War of the Bounty Hunters crossover storyline that has been running throughout the Star Wars comics depicts off-screen events that take place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, following the interception of a carbonized Han Solo while in transit between Bespin's Cloud City and Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, courtesy of bounty hunter Boba Fett.
In the latest comic book, it's revealed that galactic crime syndicate Crimson Dawn – led by Solo's former lover Qi'ra (who appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story) and once run by Darth Maul – plans to sell the stolen carbonized Solo in an auction on the black market But Darth Vader attempts to track down Han Solo, in an attempt to hit Luke Skywalker where it hurts.
Meanwhile, female Umbaran Sly Moore, Palpatine's former aide who has mind control abilities, concocts a plan to remove the Sith from the Empire. However, after failing to have Vader assassinated by an IG-88 droid, Moore and Vader do battle. But Moore manages to exploit Vader's obsession with his son by revealing to him the Jedi's location, as she knows Luke is likely to kill him. In turn, Vader hires Moore to win Han Solo from the auction, and ultimately help him overthrow the Emperor.
The story continues to play out in the comics, but we already know how it ends - Moore's intentions to destroy the Sith ultimately fail: Luke technically ends up killing Vader, after Vader has already killed the Emperor, but, of course, we know that the Emperor doesn't stay dead, as the sequel trilogy retcons this and brings him back to life. The First Order ends up with its own fair share of Sith too, in the form of Supreme Leader Snoke, and, for all intents and purposes, Kylo Ren. While neither Jedi nor Sith, Ren is still a Force user.
As Star Wars continues to grow, with animated shows such as The Bad Batch and upcoming anime show Star Wars: Visions, and live-action shows like The Mandalorian and the upcoming Ahsoka, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, and The Book of Boba Fett, along with all the other forms of media, fans are being asked to suspend their disbelief even more with new retcons.
While retconning is a common tool throughout many franchises that allows for new characters, storylines, and twists, when it comes to retconning certain events of the long-established Star Wars films – in particular, the original trilogy and prequel trilogy - it's hard to know where Disney and Lucasfilm should draw the line.
Perhaps, like Sly Moore, they're using mind tricks to convince us of false truths. Or maybe we just don't need to think about it too much and appreciate the fact that, where the films are concerned, life for the inhabitants of the faraway galaxy doesn't stop just because the cameras do.