Open Salvador Larroca’s Darth Vader Sketchbook, Part 2

The fan-favorite artist talks about illustrating Sith, Jabba, and more!

We delved into artist Salvador Larroca’s philosophy on approaching his handling of Marvel Comics’ new Star Wars: Darth Vader ongoing series in the first part of this interview on Here, we’ve pinpointed an intriguing sequence from Darth Vader #1 — available today! — that combines our favorite galactic baddie with a very familiar location from the films to get his take on what all went into its execution. Salvador, we see Vader arrive at a very familiar place to us, Jabba’s palace; how did you decide how to populate the backgrounds of these pages? And if the film didn’t show a spot that the script of your layouts demanded, what did you do to fill it in?

Salvador Larroca: I watched the original scene from Return of the Jedi several times to catch the feeling, the mood, and the look of it, so if I needed to improvise on the setting, I had only to repeat that style of architecture and its patterns. It’s not that hard; in fact it’s easy for me. I saw the films many times; nothing is new or unusual to me in its locations and sets. I decided on just how I wanted it for the comic, just following the films the same way as with the characters.

Darth Vader page by Salvador Larroca Beyond Darth Vader himself, what existing character or characters proved the most fun for you to draw in Jabba’s palace, and why?

Salvador Larroca: Why, the one and only Jabba the Hutt and his guys; I tried to fit in the most badboys possible. I love all of them, and I know the fans love and appreciate each and every one of them individually, to the point that they know all their names! So, I set out to make as many of the fans as possible very happy.

Darth Vader page by Salvador Larroca Okay, now, what was it like creating new aliens for the book? How did you approach that?

Salvador Larroca: In creating new alien characters, I follow the writer’s descriptions and try to match them with the existing Star Wars styles. I don’t think it would work very well to have a guy, for example, who looks like the Hulk or the Thing in the book. Everything has to look very Star Wars. The best part of these films is that they are absolutely different and very individual from all the rest of the sci-fi movies; everything is specific and you can recognize separate elements as Star Wars elements. Ships, characters, backgrounds, robots — everything you see is Star Wars and nothing else. So, readers will be thrilled to see Boba Fett on the scene in Darth Vader #1; was he in the script or was that your idea?

Salvador Larroca: He was in Kieron [Gillen]’s script. Just at the end of the first issue, I placed him in Jabba’s court because it’s easy for me to imagine that fans will cheer when they see him — he has such a huge army of fans! Lastly, let’s talk about the series’ writer Kieron Gillen, overall, what’s it been like working with him on Darth Vader?

Salvador Larroca: As talented as Kieron is, and knowing how familiar this universe is to him, also, I feel very comfortable working with him. We have similar feelings and approaches to how this must work and look. Every time we’ve spoken about the book, we’re on the same page, so it’s very easy for me to draw his concepts and ideas; and as big a Star Wars fan as I am, I’m having a very, very fun time on Darth Vader.

I hope the fans enjoy it as much as I do!

Darth Vader page by Salvador Larroca

Jim Beard, a native of Toledo, Ohio, has worked as a professional writer since 2002, not only on comic books, but also on prose adventure fiction. He’s contributed weekly to for over ten years, one of his proudest achievements.