- “I've only heard that name once, from Kanan. He said Mustafar is where Jedi go to die.”
- ―Hera Syndulla
Mustafar is a small planet that appeared in the Star Wars universe. Located in the Mustafar system of the Outer Rim Territories, it is known as a fiery volcanic world where lava is mined like a precious natural resource.
Mustafar is a very young and volatile world, torn apart by opposing gravitational forces of the gas giants Jestefad and Lefrani, with the former being the closer of the two. Astride thick-skinned lava fleas, the natives leapt across the lava fields to mine the planet's deadly natural resources. Mustafarians oversaw the smelting facilities constructed by the Separatists on Mustafar.
Mustafar was once a lush, beautiful world, teeming with life until a Force-sensitive woman named Corvax tried using a sacred relic known as the Bright Star to resurrect her husband after he died. The resulting energy surge from the relic caused the planet to turn into a molten wasteland where only the hardiest of creatures could survive.
During the Clone Wars, Mustafar was the last capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the site of the Separatists' downfall by Darth Vader, who formerly was the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, an event that shaped galactic history. Even before Anakin turned to the dark side, Darth Sidious used it as a base to try and shape Force-sensitive infants into dark side assassins until his plot was foiled by Anakin and his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. It was also the site of the climactic lightsaber duel between Anakin and his former mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi after Skywalker became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The duel ended with Anakin defeated and severally burnt by the planet's harsh environment, resulting him being concealed behind a mask, and encased in life-supporting armour for the rest of his life.
Mustafar later came under the control of the Galactic Empire after Darth Sidious ended the Clone Wars and brought the Empire to power, resulting in the fall of both the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic. Mustafar was also a planet that was strong with the dark side of the Force, and it was here that Darth Vader came to corrupt a Kyber crystal after taking it from the Jedi he killed for his lightsaber. Vader would later use Mustafer as his own personal retreat and stronghold, as it was the location of a major locus in the dark side of the Force. Sidious gave Vader Mustafar as a gift upon inquiring why it interested his apprentice so. Here, in this locus, Vader believed there were things that could be done with the Force that were otherwise impossible.
To that end, Vader built his fortress on the planet, above the cave, crafted from the schematics of the ancient Sith architect, Lord Momin. Through the Force, the spirit of Momin, trapped within his helmet, agreed to help Darth Vader build his fortress, as the Fortress would also serve as a tuning fork to help Vader immerse himself in the dark side of the Force while giving Momin's spirit a chance to create a masterpiece he would be remembered forever for. To this end, Momin helped to construct Fortress Vader, failing a total of eight times before the ninth and final variant was completed.
Using the fortress as a tuning fork, Vader opened a gateway in the dark side locus, as Mustafar's inhabitants began to attack. Momin then opens the gateway and reveals his true plan: to free himself from the gateway and return to his place of power. However, Momin was quickly confronted and killed by Vader, who used a pillar from the dark side locus to crush him, killing his physical form once and for all, leaving only his helmet. After disposing of Momin, Vader enters the Locus to try and bring Padme back to life, leaving his mechanical body behind to wander through as a spirit inhabiting his old body.
There, he is confronted by several truths; first that no matter what he tries, Vader will never be able to save Padme from death, second, Sidious created Anakin through the Force with dark side energy, and third, he would someday meet his end at the hands of a mysterious Jedi. Awakening from his journey through the locus, Vader would destroy the locus' portal by turning the energy on itself using the power in the fortress to magnify his strength in the Force, before contacting his master and returning to Coruscant.
Sometime afterwards, Mustafar became infamous for being the place where Jedi would go to die. Shortly after Kanan Jarrus was captured, he was transported to Mustafar for further interrogation under the supervision of Wilhuff Tarkin, until he was later rescued by his fellow Rebels. Prior to the destruction of the Death Star, the director Orson Krennic came to visit Vader in his finished fortress to talk about the Death Star.
Eventually, Mustafar's harsh landscape was restored by a descendant of Lady Corvax (an unnamed smuggler) who was trained by Vader in the ways of the Force and lightsaber combat by Vader in the hopes that the smuggler would lead him to the Bright Star so that he could try to resurrect Padme once again. However the smuggler defied him and destroyed the Bright Star, causing Mustafar's ecosystem to begin healing itself once again after centuries.
35 years later, when Darth Sidious revealed to the galaxy that he had come back to life, Darth Vader's grandson Kylo Ren, seeing Sidious as a threat to his position as Supreme Leader, began searching for him. His quest led him to the Mustafar (still healing and restoring its ecosystem), where one of two Sith wayfinders leading to the hidden Sith world of Exegol was located. Ren and his stormtroopers massacred the local Sith cultists and succeeded in taking the wayfinder, which was embedded in the ruins of Vader's castle, leading Ren to Sidious on Exegol.
- The concept of Mustafar dates back to the development of Return of the Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker battles Darth Vader over a lava lake in Palpatine's throne room in the lowest levels of the Imperial homeworld. Even back then, it was rumored that Anakin suffered his grievous injuries at the hands of Obi-Wan during a battle over a lava pit, and the concept became an almost mythical tale among Star Wars fans until finally realized on film twenty years later.
- The novelization for Return of the Jedi, which came out before the film itself, explains that Obi-Wan fought Anakin, who fell in a pool of lava and crawled out as Darth Vader. This brief description would be the foundation for the climax for Revenge of the Sith.
- Mustafar bears a striking resemblance to Io, the fifth moon that orbits Jupiter. Like Mustafar, Io too experiences extreme volcanic activity on the surface. The obvious difference between Mustafar and Io is that Io's volcanic flows are made up of sulfur, whereas Mustafar's are made up of molten silicate rock and iron ore, which are much hotter than molten sulfur.
- A cave alive with the dark side of the Force exists on Mustafar, as revealed in Marvel Comics' Darth Vader: The Chosen One: Part V. Vader later built his fortress over this cave in the story arc Fortress Vader.
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