*Spoilers for Darth Vader Annual #2*
Darth Vader Annual #2 just released and while the comic is interesting in and of itself, its the last few pages that has people talking. The last few pages infer that Vader is indeed responsible for the events that destroyed the first Deathstar. Like the Butterfly effect, where one little event changes major events down the line, Vader does indeed appear to knock over the first domino in a chain that would destroy the battle station.
This issue does a great job weaving in Moff Tarkin, Director Krennic, and even a bit of Anakin Skywalker. Vader expresses his disapproval of the “Stardust” project as its referred to at this point. He then gets sent on a mission to hunt down the cause of why the project is suffering delays and problems. He solves the issue of course. However then comes the “wrong step” taken by Tarkin. Tarkin proceeds to rub the power of this station in Vader’s face. Not a smart move. While Vader had been specifically warned by the emperor not to touch Tarkin, there are ways to get back at someone without directly touching them.
Jump ahead to the last few pages. We find a young, female scientist mining kyber crystals. You guessed it. It’s none other than Lyra Erso. Vader found out from his loyalty officer investigating the case that Galen Erso, a suspect for a time, is a pacifist. Vader holds pacifists in poor standing of course. He responds, “Pacifists are fools. Naïve about the necessary reality that violence creates order.” Enter Vader’s opportunity.
An RA-7 protocol droid (deathstar droid) appears before Lyra and tells her that she and Galen are indeed working on a superweapon that will kill billions of people. It even goes as far to say “What would your daughter think of you Lyra Erso?” The droid then self destructs. Lyra grabs her stuff, activates her communicator and tells Nari to prep the shuttle. They have to go now! Thus disappears the Erso family.
While the story can be retconned to have anyone be responsible for the droid, the issue heavily infers that it was indeed Vader that warned Lyra about what was going on. The sender of this droid starts a chain of events that would not only lead to Rogue One, but leads to Galen building in the very flaws that would make the station vulnerable to the rebels in the first place. So from a certain point of view, Vader does destroy his master’s prized weapon.