Star Wars: Dark Droids #1 does not officially come out until August 2nd 2023, but we already have a multi-page art preview from Marvel Comics that provides hints at what’s to come.
If you’re not sure what Star Wars: Dark Droids is all about then read the top of the reading order and variant checklist post first and then come back here.
I looked through the entire preview and took note of anything that could provide clues about the story.
Let’s break it down…
The first two pages are pages we’ve seen before as they were included in the Star Wars Celebration 2023 panel when Star Wars: Dark Droids was announced.
The purpose of these two pages is just to show the scope of the issue. The “Scourge” that is impacting droids impacts them across the galaxy and is not an isolated or contained event.
And on the next page, we see a droid inside of the Amaxine Station (from Star Wars: Hidden Empire #5) find a small disk with 3 connected circles that somehow infects the Imperial KX-Series Security Droid.
You can see the purple haze or whatever it is transferring from the disk to the droid here.
If that disk looks familiar it’s because we’ve seen it before. In Star Wars: Hidden Empire #5, Qira and The Archivist tease Emperor Palpatine that they’ve uncovered the Fermatta Cage and were going to release a trapped Sith Lord to destroy Palpatine and Vader.
If you didn’t read that story, the Fermatta Cage is an ancient Sith artifact that could trap beings, places, or objects in time. Trapping them until the cage is open again. It’s essentially a prison for anything you want locked away for good.
Turns out that there was no Sith in there at all. The real plan was to lure Darth Vader and Darth Sidious to it and trap them inside once it was opened.
When the Fermatta Cage opened a small circular disk fell out. It seemed inconsequential at the time but at the end of the issue, we see the essence of the Spark Eternal (too crazy to explain fully in this post but essentially it was created to allow non force users to mimic force powers to destroy the Sith) transferred itself into the disk.
My theory is that the Fermatta Cage was actually used to lock away something dangerous and wasn’t just a dud. But instead of locking away the Sith, they locked away this “Scourge” droid virus that can be used to control all droids in the galaxy.
Meaning, this has happened before. And I’m not talking about Ajax Sigma’s droid revolution (See Star Wars: Revelations #1) in the High Republic. That happened, sure, but I don’t think that was the “Scourge.” Instead I think Ajax and the droid revolution is being used as a red herring for the bigger threat, this virus.
Next we see the same KX-Series Security Droid open an airlock in a cargo bay releasing his human co-workers to the vacuum of space and their death.
It will be interesting to see how dark this gets. Charles Soule described it as a “horror filled epic” so I’d guess this isn’t the last droid lead mass murder we see.
Up next is a crazy looking droid priest putting in a mechanical heart into a new droid for his revolution. This is actually Ajax Sigma with some fresh paint and a lavish robe. He looks more like a cult leader than a warrior here.
While Ajax Sigma seems to have been marketed as the villain initially, I’m not so sure that’s the case here. With the “scourge” coming from that disk and likely controlled by the Spark Eternal I can’t come up with a scenario where Ajax was involved in that plan.
Add in Ajax Sigma’s philosophy of droid autonomy and it seems like all droids being controlled by a virus would go against everything he stands for.
I’m really excited about this one. It looks weird, it looks big, and it looks like a ton of fun.
If you haven’t pre-ordered a copy yet, you can see all of the issues of Star Wars: Dark Droids (including tie in issues from other series’) here on the Drunk Wooky Star Wars: dark Droids Reading Order and Variant Checklist.
~Grand Admiral Frik