|“||Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough. He told me you killed him.
Vader: No. I am your father.
|~ Darth Vader and Luke|
Anakin Skywalker, better known as Darth Vader, is the central antagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy, serving as the secondary antagonist of Episode IV A New Hope, the main antagonist of The Empire Strikes Back and the titular secondary antagonist of Return of the Jedi. He is Luke and Leia's father, Padmé's husband, and a former Jedi who becomes the Sith apprentice of Emperor Palpatine.
Found on Tatoonie
He was born into slavery on Tatoonie, until Jedi Masters Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, alongside Queen Padme Amidala, bought him out, as Qui-Gon predicted he is the Chosen One to one day bring peace to the galaxy, and brought him to Naboo, Amidala's planet, to defeat the evil Sith apprentice Darth Maul and the Trade Federation. Anakin accidentally boarded a ship, and alongside trusty droid R2-D2, accidentally destroyed the main ship, winning the battle. However, with Qui-Gon's tragic death, he became Kenobi's Jedi apprentice. Over the next decade, they grew close together as Anakin and Padme slowly fell in love with each other. The duo travelled to Tatoonie to meet Anakin's mother, Shmi, but watched her murdered by scavengers. Struck with grief, Anakin mourned when he found out Kenobi was in danger and travelled to Geonosis to save him with Padme, only for them to be captured alongside him by Sith apprentice Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. When the Jedi and the Clone Army arrived and a full-scale battle began, Anakin and Kenobi confronted Dooku, only to overpowered. Anakin's arm was severed, and he was saved by Grand Master Yoda. Anakin gained a robotic hand, and secretly married Padme.
The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars began, and Anakin found an apprentice of his own, Ahsoka Tano. Alongside Kenobi, the trio faced many adventures battling Dooku and the Separatists. He helped save Jabba the Hutt's nephew, was forced to alongside Dooku to escape the cunning pirate Hondo Ohnaka, and liberated the planet of Ryloth. When Cad Bane enacted scheme after scheme against the Republic, it took the combined might of Anakin, Ahsoka, Kenobi and Mace Windu to dispatch him. He saved Kenobi's love interest, Duchess Satine, from her assassination, and took part in the long and brutal battle to destroy the droid factory of Geonosis. When Kenobi was assassinated, Anakin and Ahsoka relentlessly hunt his killed Rako Hardeen, who seeks to kill Chancellor Palpatine, who shares a close relationship with Anakin and is essentially his father figure, until they realise Kenobi faked his death and help save Palpatine. However, Ahsoka was framed of a horrendous crime and accused by the Jedi Council. Although Anakin proved her innocence, she was heartbroken and left the Order.
Arise, Lord Vader
When Count Dooku kidnapped Palpatine, Kenobi and Anakin pursued him to his ship. Anakin duelled Dooku, and on Palpatine's orders, finally executed the villain. He and Kenobi took the Chancellor to safety, and Anakin was appointed as the Chancellor's representative. Palpatine started manipulating Anakin, who had dreams of a pregnant Padme dying in childbirth, until he revealed he was in fact Darth Sidious, the ultimate Sith Lord behind every threat and all darkness. When Mace Windu duelled Sidious, Anakin arrives and Sidious feigned to be defeated. Sidious had told Anakin that the dark side could save her, and, turning to the dark side, he wounds Windu and allows Sidious to finish him. Sidious makes Anakin his new Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, and has him massacre the Jedi Temple. Order 66 is executed, and clones turn on their Jedi Masters all over the galaxy. The Republic is destroyed, and the Galactic Empire is put in power with Sidious as the Emperor. After massacring the remaining Separatists on Mustafar, no longer needing them, Vader was confronted by Kenobi, his old master. Kenobi eventually overpowered him, and left him mortally wounded to burn in lava. Sidious arrived and saved him, by replacing his body with robotic parts. Now fully evil and mechanical, Darth Vader finally arose.
The Galactic Empire
Years and years later, the Galactic Empire cruelly ruled the galaxy. However, on one mission, Vader disappointed Sidious, who temporarily made Grand Moff Tarkin his superior. The Death Star, the powerful ultimate weapon of the Empire was constructed, but the Rebel Alliance formed to repel the Empire. It's leader, Princess Leia Organa stole the plans to the Death Star, and got them to safety as Vader massacred her ship and imprisoned her on the Death Star. To save Leia, an elderly Kenobi leads a group of Rebels including young Force-sensitive boy Luke and smuggler Han Solo to save Leia. They succeed, but Vader faces his old master one more time and destroys him. Later the Rebels attack, and Vader almost diminishes the fleet when Han sends him spiralling away, allowing Luke to destroy the Death Star and all those aboard it, including Tarkin. Vader was returned to his position, and battled the Rebels on many occasions. Darth Sidious contacts Vader and tells him that Luke is non other than Vader's son, who a dying Padme bore in her last moments, and that she also bore Vader's daughter, who is actually Princess Leia. The Rebels were separated during the ensuing battle of Hoth, and Vader relentlessly hunted them aboard the Millennium Falcon across the galaxy, hiring many bounty hunters including Boba Fett. Eventually, he and Boba found them and attacked Cloud City with Vader's forces, forcing Lando Calrissian, the ruler, to help them. He freezes Han in carbonite, and allows Boba to take him away to do whatever he wants with him. He tells Lando to take the rest of the Rebels to his ship when he senses something in the force: his son. Luke Skywalker arrives and duels Vader who quickly overpowers him, destroys his lightsabre, severs his arm and leaves him dangling off a vent. Vader reveals the terrible truth to him: he is his father. Vader tells Luke to join him as his apprentice so they can complete Luke's training, kill Sidious, and rule the galaxy together. Horrified, Luke throws himself off the vent but is rescued by Lando, who betrayed Vader, and the remaining rebels in Han's ship.
A year later, the second Death Star is almost complete, and Darth Sidious has arrived on it. He and Vader send intel to the Rebels where the Death Star is to lure Luke and the others into a trap. When Luke, Han and Leia lead the Rebels and attack, Luke is imprisoned, and Sidious has Vader take him to him. Sidious secretly plans for Luke to kill Vader and become his new apprentice, and has the two duel. However, Luke refuses to fight, and claims he is a Jedi like his father before him. Angry, Sidious badly wounds Luke with lightning and prepares to kill him, but Vader not bearing to see his son in pain and realising he still has some good left in him, manages to take the lightning meant for Luke on himself, and pushes Sidious backwards into the reactor shaft, destroying him. Fatally wounded, Vader collapses in his son's arms, Anakin Skywalker once more, and takes of his mask before dying, sacrificing himself to fulfil his destiny as the Chosen One.
While as Anakin Skywalker, Anakin was creative and kind from a young boy, which is commendable since he grew up alongside his mother into slavery. He was willing to give his life to assist Qui-Gon, and created a useful, talented protocol droid known as C-3PO. He also grew confident, as he secretly stole parts from his master, Watto, but he had a deep fear of loss. This was firstly overshadowed when he left Shmi Skywalker on Tatooine, and after Qui-Gon's death during the Battle of Naboo, which Anakin had won for the heroes. As he became Kenobi's apprentice, he turned willful, impatient and reckless, despite having a good heart. He showed commitment to his role as a Jedi apprentice, and full with determination, a trait shared by his apprentice Ahsoka Tano. He formed a close bond with her and was shown to worry whenever she was in danger. He was heroic and passionate, and praised as the most powerful Jedi of all time. He also put his trust deeply in his friends: such as his master, Obi-Wan, his seeming mentor Chancellor Palpatine, his apprentice Ahsoka and his friend Captain Rex. However, he was conflicted about his feelings about the Jedi Order at times, and was prompted to leave it at several times, which he later confided in Ahsoka. He was also angry when the Council did not stand by Ahsoka in her trial, and fell further down the path of his turn to the dark side when she left. He had a great deal of love for Padme, and was consistently overprotective for her. The turmoil finally ended as he grew hate for the Jedi, and ruthlessly slaughtered many of them, the younglings of the Jedi Temple, the Separatists, choked his love Padme and furiously fought Obi-Wan.
As Darth Vader, he fully embraced the power of the dark side. He was utterly ruthless and vicious, and had no good in him until learning Luke was his son. He sometimes wanted to murder Sidious and usurp his throne, and at other times considered him the closest thing to a friend. He had no qualms in destroying anyone who stood in his path. He deemed Anakin Skywalker weak, and a different being altogether. As mentioned prior, however, he became emotionally conflicted once more when he discovered Luke was his son. This further took control when he learned Princess Leia was also his daughter. After his moments and brutal duels with Luke, including the final one on the Death Star, he was unable to bear Sidious torturing Luke and sacrificed himself to throw Sidious into the core of the Death Star. As he died in his son's arms, he proved that there was still good in him, as Padme uttered in her dying moments, and he was the true one and only Chosen One.
Powers and Abilities
To be added
- It is heavily rumoured that George Lucas based Vader on The Lightning from the 1938 serial The Fighting Devil Dogs.
- Psychiatrists Eric Bui and Rachel Rodgers from the University of Toulouse Hospital claimed that Vader had borderline personality disorder, as he qualifies for six of the nine symptoms of the disease, and found him a good example to teach medical students about the disorder.
- Three Inquisitors lost their lives at the hand of Vader, the Second Sister, an unnamed Inquisitor and a Twi'lek Inquisitor. The Grand Inquisitor committed suicide as he failed his job, like the other three Inquisitors and feared he would meet their same fate at Vader's hands.
- "Vader" is Dutch for "Father", overshadowing the reveal of him being the father of Luke and Leia. Interestingly, Vader was not meant to be their father in the original script of The Empire Strikes Back.
- When Return of the Jedi was originally released on Blu-ray, Vader saying "No" during his redemption scene was added.