Marvel has announced that the top-selling Star Wars ongoing title Darth Vader will be ending in August with issue #25 (via IGN). April's Darth Vader #19 was the eighth highest-selling single of the month according to Diamond, with the Vader Down TPB charting as the second highest-selling graphic novel. Gillen said the series conclusion is not do to sales or any direction from Marvel, Lucasfilm or Disney, but rather necessitated by the natural end of his story for the book.
"It was a situation where, you know, we’ve always said all the way through, from Darth Vader #1, that this was a story with a beginning, a middle and an end," Gillen said. "And we kind of looked where we were after Vader Down, and we realized we were probably actually nearer to the end than we thought we were. And it was a situation where we were like, 'Okay, it’s better to actually end this story in a way which we think is the most effective. We don’t want to pad it out extraneously.' That was the kind of thing, we were like, 'Oh yeah, this is the end of this particular story,' in which case it’s a natural place for Vader to move on."
Set in the time period immediately after Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader was launched alongside the main Star Wars ongoing series as the establishment of a formal line of titles within Marvel Comics that has since been joined by several other ongoing titles and miniseries.
Gillen goes on to say that Darth Vader is his "favorite book to write" for Marvel, but with news of this conclusion it would be the British writer's last announced work with the publisher after segueing into more creator-owned work. Gillen was first hired by Marvel in 2008 following his work on Phonogram (and on the recommendation of Warren Ellis), and went on to be a central writer for Marvel with work on Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Young Avengers, Origin II, Journey Into Mystery, and Angela. When asked if he would consider doing more Star Wars books for Marvel, Gillen was noncommmital.
"We'll have to wait and see. It's been an incredibly pleasurable experience, and I would definitely like to do more stuff. We'll just have to see what happens at the end of Vader. I was going to say, not everyone can survive this comic, so it's entirely possible Darth Vader will find a way to kill me as well. I haven't quite escaped him," said Gillen with a laugh. "I can imagine Vader actually getting very angry and saying, "Kieron Gillen, you do not control me," as I drop to the floor having written the final page. I digress..."
Darth Vader is scheduled to conclude with August's #25.