"He's more machine now than man... twisted and evil."
Obi-Wan Kenobi[src]
Darth Vader
Darth Vader 001
Name Darth Vader
Aliases Darth Vader; Ani
Continuity Star Wars
Category Main character
Type Cyborg
Race Tatooinian
Gender Male
Base of Operations Coruscant; formerly Tatooine
Known relatives Shmi Skywalker (mother, deceased); Padmé Naberrie Amidala Skywalker (wife, deceased); Ruwee Naberrie (father-in-law); Jobal Thule Naberrie (mother-in-law); Sola Naberrie (sister-in-law); Owen Lars (stepbrother); Luke Skywalker (son); Leia Organa (daughter); Mara Jade (daughter-in-law); Ben Skywalker (grandson); Jaina Solo (granddaughter); Jacen Solo (grandson, deceased); Anakin Solo (grandson, deceased); Allana Solo (great-granddaughter); Cade Skywalker (descendant); Kylo Ren (grandson)
Status Deceased
Born 41 BBY
Died 4 ABY
First Appearance Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Played by David Prowse; James Earl Jones; Sebastian Shaw; Jake Lloyd; Hayden Christensen; Bob Anderson; Matt Lanter; C. Andrew Nelson; Matt Sloan

Anakin Skywalker, better known by his Sith name Darth Vader is one of the most infamous and influential pop culture villains of all time. As Vader, he is the central antagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy and as Anakin is the main protagonist from the prequel trilogy. Introduced in the 1977 film Star Wars, Darth Vader was played by British weight trainer David Prowse with American actor James Earl Jones providing the booming voice of the character. Prowse and Jones returned to the character in the 1980 sequel Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In the sixth chapter of the Star Wars story, Sebastian Shaw played the redeemed Anakin Skywalker at the climax of the film. In the prequel trilogy, Anakin Skywalker was played by nine-year-old Jake Lloyd in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In the second part of the trilogy, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which takes place ten years later, Anakin was played by Hayden Christensen. Christensen reprised the role for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where the character evolved into the Darth Vader role for the first time. For the 2004 DVD release of Return of the Jedi, Christensen was edited in to replace Sebastian Shaw as the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker. Professional swordsman Bob Anderson filled in for Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi during Vader's lightsaber duals. In the Star Wars: Clone Wars film and television series, Anakin Skywalker is voiced by actor Matt Lanter. Another individual to fill the boots of Vader is C. Andrew Nelson. Nelson is an actor, visual effects artist and animator associated with LucasArts. He assumed the role of Vader for several of LucasArts' video game projects including Star Wars: Dark Forces and Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire games, the Special Edition of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, commercials, print ads, TV shows, and magazine covers. Brock Peters provided the voice for Darth Vader in the 1981 Star Wars radio drama as well as the 1983 The Empire Strikes Back radio drama and the 1996 Return of the Jedi radio drama.

Biography Edit

The Phantom Menace

Jedi Quest

Attack of the Clones

The Clone Wars

Revenge of the Sith

The Purge

A New Hope

"A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct."
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Vader on the Tantive IV

Vader boards the Tantive IV.

The Galactic Empire had completed construction on its greatest super-weapon to date - a moon-sized battle station known as the Death Star. He had placed Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin in command of the station, but before long, he began to recognize Tarkin's zealous ambition and felt as if he might one day be a threat to him. He assigned Darth Vader to serve aboard the Death Star as his personal spy, hoping that he might ferret out any possible treachery that Tarkin might have in mind. To allay suspicion, Tarkin had Vader placed under Tarkin's direct command. Vader disliked Tarkin, but recognized his merits as an officer of the Imperial Empire.

Sometime after the completion of the Death Star's super-laser, members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic succeeded in stealing the Death Star's technical blueprints and were on their way to the planet Alderaan in the hopes that they could use them to determine a weakness in the station's defenses. Vader was then placed in charge of recovering the stolen plans. Using his personal flagship, the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator, Vader pursued and captured a CR90 corvette called the Tantive IV. He personally led the boarding party onto the ship and interrogated the ship's captain, Raymus Antilles. Antilles did not give up any information and Vader killed him by breaking his neck then slamming his body against a bulkhead. By this point, the Death Star plans were in the possession of his own daughter, Leia Organa (though Vader had yet to learn of her relationship to him). Leia uploaded the Death Star plans into the memory circuits of an astromech droid named R2-D2 then had the droids jettison themselves to the nearby planet of Tatooine. Vader's men captured Leia soon after and brought her before him. Vader deduced that Leia must have hidden the stolen plans in an escape pod and sent a detachment of Imperial Stormtroopers to Tatooine to recover them. Vader then had Princess Leia taken back to the Death Star where she was interrogated at length.

Vader was present for a meeting of the Death Star's administrative staff and it was at this time that he learned that the Emperor had dissolved the Galactic Senate. Tarkin was confident that fear of the Death Star would be enough of a deterrent to keep neighboring star systems in line. Vader appreciated the power that the Death Star presented, but felt that even this "technological terror" was insignificant next to the power of the Force. High Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, scoffed at Vader's devotion to the Force, angering the Dark Lord. Vader demonstrated his power by using the Force to choke Admiral Motti. He likely would have killed him had Tarkin not ordered him to stand down.

Vader soon found more elements of his past coming back to haunt him. The Imperials captured a spice freighter known as the Millennium Falcon and brought it aboard the station. The crew of the freighter, which consisted of pilot Han Solo, co-pilot Chewbacca, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, his old mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi and his own son Luke Skywalker, managed to sneak off the ship undetected and rescue Princess Leia. Vader felt a powerful presence in the Force and knew that his old master was on the station.

Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi came face to face with one another at Hanger Bay 327. It had been the first time either of them had seen each other in nearly two decades. As they ignited their lightsabers, Vader reminded Obi-Wan that he had long since ceased to be his Padawan learner and was now the master. The two fought against one another, but Obi-Wan had one last trick to play - one that Vader could have never expected. He cryptically warned him, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine". Obi-Wan ceased fighting and stood solemnly at attention. Vader swung his blade and cut through Obi-Wan's robes. Kenobi's body disappeared, leaving behind nothing more than the empty remnants of his Jedi attire. What Vader didn't know was that Obi-Wan had learned how to transcend corporeal death and become a Force spirit. As far as the Sith Lord was concerned however, his old enemy was finally dead.

Obi-Wan's friends had succeeded in rescuing Princess Leia and escaping aboard the Millennium Falcon. The Empire tracked the Falcon back to the Rebels' secret base on Yavin IV. The Death Star set course for the forest moon with the intent of putting a swift and final end to the Rebellion. In a skirmish that came to be known as the Battle of Yavin, Darth Vader led a contingent of TIE fighters against the Rebel X-Wing fighters in the battle trenches that stretched across the surface of the Death Star. To distinguish himself from the others, Vader piloted his own TIE Advanced x1 Starfighter. Vader personally shot down several Rebel pilots including Red Leader Garvin Dreis and Luke's childhood friend Biggs Darklighter. When the field was cleared, only one Rebel ship remained - the one piloted by Luke Skywalker himself. Vader sensed the Force in him, but was unaware of the pilot's identity. His ship targeted Luke's fighter and he likely would have blasted him to pieces but for the eleventh hour arrival of Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon. Solo fired on Vader's ship, crippling it. The ship spun away from the Death Star's orbital path into the reaches of outer space. Vader's ship was a safe distance away when Skywalker fired the critical shot that destroyed the Death Star. [1]

After the Death Star

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

The Empire Strikes Back

Shadow of the Empire

Return of the Jedi

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Darth Vader was placed third in the American Film Institute's list of Greatest Movie Villains following Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.
  • The name Darth Vader serves as a word play meaning "Dark Father". Vader is the Dutch word for father.
  • Due to the extensive injuries that he suffered on Mustafar, Darth Vader was incapable of reaching his full potential as a Force user. One notable side effect of this was his inability to project Force Lightning, an effect which required the use of actual hands. According to George Lucas, had Vader not been injured, he would have eventually become twice as powerful as the Emperor. [2]
  • The facial scar that Anakin has during most of Episode III is absent when he reveals his face at the end of Episode VI. No explanation is ever provided for this incongruity.
  • James Earl Jones was not credited for providing Darth Vader's voice in the theatrical release of Episode III.
  • There have been numerous pastiches and homages to Darth Vader done over the years. In the 1975-1979 two-part episode of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman called "Mind Stealers from Outer Space", there is a character known as the Sardor. The physical image of the Sardor bore a strong resemblance to Darth Vader. Both characters have metallic masks that completely enshroud their faces, black clothing, boots and capes. The Sardor even made artificial respiration sounds from his mask, similar to those made by Darth Vader.

Continuity discrepancies Edit

  • In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is made a member of the Jedi Council, but is not promoted to the rank of Jedi Master. Anakin was offended by this, citing that never before has a Jedi been made a member of the council without holding the rank of Master. If one takes the Expanded Universe into consideration, the statement is actually false. Ki-Adi-Mundi, who was present was Anakin was made a member of the council, was actually the first Jedi to sit on the council without being a Jedi Master. By the time of Episode III however, Mundi had since been promoted to the rank of Master.

Appearances Edit

As Anakin Edit

As Darth Vader Edit

See also Edit


The World of Star Wars

Star Wars miscellaneous

Internal Links Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

Galactic Empire logo

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