6'6" (2.00 m)
Brown, later grey
Revan (alleged ancestor)
- "There is no justifying... my actions. Yet your brother saved me from darkness."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Born in 40 BBY to Jedi Master Kane Skywalker and Nellith Skywalker, Skywalker spent the first years of his life on Alderaan until the age eleven when the Jedi Order was abolished and he and his family were forced to move to Tatooine where he was raised for the rest of his informative years.
From a young age, Skywalker had a reputation for being able to build or repair anything, evidenced by his reconstruction of wireless routers at the age of twelve.
Return to Alderaan
Skywalker was entranced by the girl and thought that she was beautiful.
Joining the Empire
Battle between brothers
- "When I saw what had become of him, I tried to dissuade him, to draw him back from the dark side. We fought, your father and I, and he was badly wounded. Dead, I thought. But the change had been burned into him forever. Irredeemably dark. And shortly thereafter he was Darth Vader, without a trace of Anakin Skywalker."
- ―Ben Kenobi to Luke Skywalker, about he and Anakin's fateful duel
Upon meeting with his former student, Kenobi tried to reason with his former pupil, but Skywalker refused to listen and attacked his former friend. Skywalker and Kenobi fought an intense duel throughout the mining complex, where Kenobi continued to plead with Skywalker to concede defeat and return from the dark path. The battle ended when Skywalker was immobilized after a nearby explosion forced him off the balcony the two stood on to the ground below. After he exchanged his parting words, Kenobi left his former student for dead.
Hego Damask, alongside an Imperial garrison, soon arrived and found his injured apprentice. He returned Skywalker to the Surgical Reconstruction Center. The Emperor ordered the medical droids to keep him awake during the agonizing surgery so the pain would fuel his rage, and therefore his power. After recovering from his great physical injuries, though his psychological damage remained, Skywalker bestowed upon himself with the new name of Darth Vader. Although he was still guilt-ridden for his actions, Skywalker, now as Darth Vader, became a powerful asset to the Empire, serving as an enforcer, Jedi hunter, and eventually Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.
Serving the Emperor
Now in possession of a great amount of power, Vader began settling into his position as Palpatine's enforcer. Also in possession of great wealth, Vader maintained his personal retreat on Coruscant and Bast Castle on Vjun. The 501st Legion, a stormtrooper division, became his personal guard. The actions they undertook in Vader's name over the course of the Civil War earned them the nickname of "Vader's Fist". Vader's personal command ship during this time was the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Exactor.
One of his first missions following his duel with Kenobi was to the planet Honoghr, which had been devastated by a toxin years earlier. He promised the native Sith that the Empire would restore Honoghr's ecosystem, in exchange for their service to the Empire as assassins. Some Sith priests believed him to be the Sith'ari of legend. However, at the same time, Vader ordered his own staff to continue poisoning the planetary environment in order to ensure the slavery of the Sith who were honor bound to serve him. Thus, under the guise of "helping" the planet recover from the ecological disaster, he received the homage of the Sith, who bestowed upon him the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, the first in over two-thousand years.
At an unknown point, he also briefly encountered C-3PO at the Emperor's Ball, although the latter initially mistook Vader for a new line of guard droid. Despite this mistake, Vader did not destroy C-3PO and instead sentenced him to a year of labor as a preschool attendant at the Imperial Palace.
The Gentis coup
- "But when Lord Vader came to our aid in the courtyard, I realized that serving him could earn an officer the only two things that mattered... fear and respect."
- ―Laurita Tohm, recounting his first impression of Darth Vader
Over the next few years, Darth Vader's reputation had spread through the military ranks. Aside from crushing local insurrections, tracking down missing Star Destroyers and hunting down wanted fugitives, the Dark Lord of the Sith was also known for his impatience with the Imperial officers under his command. In c. 17 BBY, Vader stood at Emperor Palpatine's side as they presided over an Imperial Academy graduation ceremony, composed of cadets trained by Headmaster Gentis at the military institute on Raithal.
Hours after the event, Gentis and his students initiated a secret insurrection against the Emperor's rule. Hundreds of strategically-placed explosives were suddenly detonated across Imperial City, destroying key targets such as the officers' club, a communications tower, the supply depot and several military garrisons. As fire swept through much of the city, Darth Vader and a squadron of stormtroopers defended the Imperial Plaza from a group of rebellious cadets. Frightened by the Dark Lord's Force powers and combat skills, the students pulled back, though not before a few were crushed by a large piece of rubble that Vader telekinetically threw at them. As the troopers secured the Plaza, Cadet Laurita Tohm discovered that one of the dying insurrectionists was Peter Shens, his friend and fellow student from Raithal. Vader watched as Shens was executed for treason by Tohm, whom he recognized to be the valedictorian from the graduation ceremony. After Tohm declared his allegiance to the Emperor and the Dark Lord, Vader ordered the cadet to accompany him to the Imperial Palace.
Rescuing the Emperor
- "We will do as you suggest and spirit the Emperor away before Gentis can find us. But we will do so under my command."
- ―Darth Vader, to Moff Trachta
By the time Darth Vader and Laurita Tohm arrived at the Imperial Palace's front entrance, a large explosion erupted in the higher levels of the building, followed by the contamination of the entire residence by poisonous fumes known as Aorth-6. Protected by his armor's respiratory system, Vader entered the palace, accompanied by Tohm who equipped his own breathing device, while many Imperial officers fell victim to the gas's lethal effects. Luckily, Palpatine and his family managed to escape the building unscathed. Upon reaching the Emperor's private chambers, the Dark Lord did not find the Emperor, instead locating his Master in a weak condition. Plagueis was infected by the virus and his condition was critical enough that only the Force managed to keep him alive until he could be treated. Another survivor that Vader discovered was Moff Trachta, also unaffected by Aroth-6 because of his implanted respiration system. Though initially resistant to the Moff's recommendation of retreat, believing it to be a sign of weakness, Vader grudgingly complied when Plagueis agreed that he needed to be removed to a safe location for the time being.
Together with Trachta and Tohm, Darth Vader brought the transferred Plagueis to an advanced stealth transport that was hidden in a secret hangar known as the "Crypt." With Plagueis' condition temporarily stabilized by the starship's stasis chamber, and the Emperor safe for the time being, Vader and Trachta debated on their next course of action, between remaining on Coruscant or retreating to an off-world location. At the same time, Trachta aimed his sidearm at Tohm, whom he did not trust because of the cadet's former ties to Gentis. Darth Vader immediately disarmed the Moff and agreed to take the Emperor away from the capital. Once Trachta acknowledged Vader's greater authority, Tohm advised that any Imperial location was not safe. Given the scale of Gentis's revolution, Tohm believed that the entire military wing could not be trusted since they could not account for the exact number of those who sided with the Headmaster's cause. Vader concurred with the cadet.
Galactic Civil War
The Heinsnake plot
Evading assassination attempts
Some time later, Vader ended up finding himself under the vengeful watch of a wealthy industrialist, due to killing the industrialist's son when the latter tried to disrupt an Empire-enforced business deal. As such, he killed eight assassins that were hired by the industrialist to kill him, and eventually was tailed by a ninth. By this point, Emperor Palpatine had died and Atha Prime had mysteriously disappeared. Rumors had spread that the Emperor's eldest son and inheritor to the throne, Cosimo II, was behind both events. As such, Vader immediately grew a distrust for the man.
Vader was eventually summoned by the newly crowned Emperor himself. However, shortly after arriving, he then unexpectedly Force Pushed the Emperor away and hurled the throne out of the window. Vader's reason soon became clear when the throne exploded due to a bomb being placed underneath. Vader then executed two of the royal guards by hurling them out of the window, citing lack of time as his reason (as they would normally have been punished by a slow and painful death for their failure to protect the Emperor). He then berated the remaining five royal guards for being incompetent or otherwise conspiring against both the Emperor and the Empire. He then executed the two guards who failed to kneel in guilt, and spared the remaining five when they accepted responsibility for the failure, and assigned two of them to protect the Emperor, two of them to accompany Vader, and the remaining one to cover up the attempted assassination. He eventually learned that the Heinsnake Cult was responsible after an encounter with a cultist who blew himself up during their investigation. Upon learning from the Emperor the history of the Heinsnake Cult, he then was dispatched to wipe out the cult of dark side sorcerers, all while the ninth assassin stalked him.
Investigating the Heinsnake Cult's moon
While investigating the location of the Heinsnake Cult, he eventually found a derelict Venator-class Star Destroyer over a moon. Despite protests by the Emperor's Royal Guard to not investigate the derelict vessel due to dangers, Vader opened up the shuttle's airlock and exited into the vacuum of space to personally investigate. He noted that the ship had apparently been taken out by a single blast, yet there were surprisingly few corpses on board the vessel, indicating that most of the crew had evacuated. Vader, during his search, then managed to find the ship's datalogs, and after transferring the logs to the Royal Guards, requested for them to pick him off where he had left. Vader and the Emperor's Royal Guards deduced the point of origin of the energy beam that doomed the vessel was a nearby moon. They also learned that the captain had encountered a saboteur with a homing device who was apparently a member of the Heinsnake Cult. They then went to locate the area that the surviving crew had evacuated to, in the hopes of finding the captain and learning more about the cult's plot against the Emperor, although they only found abandoned vessels at the evacuation site, with Vader speculating that the survivors were most likely eaten by the wildlife. Vader then killed one of the monsters on the planet, although not before the monster squashed one of the Royal Guards to death. He and the surviving guard eventually located the suspected source of the beam were several ancient ruins. However, Vader upon entering the temple started suspecting that he was being stalked.
Vader eventually entered the temple, and was guided to the basis by an elderly cultist. Upon being instructed by one of the cultists that it was only necessary to look inside the basis, he did so, only for vines to encapsulate Vader, overwhelming himself to the extent that he was unable to breath. He then knelt down with his helmet and mask removed, and then watched as he saw himself dueling Kenobi before cutting him down. He then witnessed Emperor Palpatine torturing Vader with Force Lightning, only for Vader to gradually resist Force Lightning and have Palpatine collapse. Vader then looked up, and saw himself among the stars, only instead of his chest box, he was adorning the Heinsnake insignia in its place. However, he refused to follow the Heinsnake Cult and wiped them out, also taking the Basis's power source, an energy crystal, with him.
He later departed from the doomed moon, due to his earlier actions. Upon making it back to the ship, he eventually fought against the Ninth Assassin when the latter ambushed him, but he killed him effortlessly. He then made a trek over to the Ninth Assassin's abode and located his associate, killing him and presumably learning who hired the assassin from him. He then went to deliver the crystal to Tarkin to complete the preparations of the Death Star. He then left for the industrialist's home, although he discovered that the industrialist had already committed suicide. He then met up with Palpatine, who admitted that he had actually orchestrated the events that transpired, even the Heinsnake Cult's attempted assassination of him, as a test of loyalty for Darth Vader.
Searching for the Death Star plans
- "Don't play games with me, Your Highness. You weren't on any mercy mission this time. You passed directly through a restricted system. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by Rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan."
"You are a part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"
- ―Darth Vader and Leia Organa
With the Kalakar VI mission deemed a wild bantha chase, Vader returned to his twofold priority of both locating the Death Star plans as well as the hidden Rebel base. After a failed attempt to recover the Death Star plans, Imperials were able to track that they were sent to the Tantive IV, a corvette belonging to Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. Vader chased after the corvette personally. Organa was able to load the Death Star plans aboard R2-D2 and send the droid to Tatooine. Vader once more lost the plans, but gained a partial victory in capturing the Princess. Taking the Alderaanian senator to the Death Star, Vader utilized an IT-O interrogation droid to question Organa about the location of the secret Alliance base.
Afterwards, Vader participated in a meeting aboard the Death Star regarding its operability and the current status of the missing plans. Vader commented that they were currently working on retrieving the plans, but warned one of the staff at the meeting, Admiral Motti, that the battle station's capabilities are still inferior compared to the Force. He then demonstrated the validity of his claim when he attempted to Force choke Motti after the latter insubordinately retorted, only stopping when Grand Moff Tarkin verbally intervened.
When Organa refused to surrender the location of the Alliance's base, Vader brought her to the Death Star's command bridge. There, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin gave her an ultimatum; either she would reveal the location of the Rebel base, or she would watch as the Death Star obliterated her home. With no way out, Organa attempted to deceive Tarkin by falsely claiming that the Rebel base was on Dantooine. Though Tarkin accepted the lie without pause, he ordered the destruction of Aldera regardless, as he believed Dantooine was too remote to serve as an effective demonstration of the Death Star's power. Vader stood silently behind his daughter and watched as the Death Star destroyed Aldera, killing his former in-laws Breha and Bail Organa as well as over two million others.
Showdown on the Death Star
- "I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the Master."
"Only a master of evil, Darth."
- ―Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi
When the ship carrying Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Ben Kenobi was seized by a tractor beam and brought aboard the Death Star, Vader sensed the presence of his former master for the first time since being left to die on Coruscant. Quietly stalking him through the hallways of the battlestation, he finally confronted Kenobi just outside the hangar. Challenging him to a second lightsaber duel, the two engaged one another. Ignoring Obi-Wan's vague warning that killing him would make him "more powerful than you can possibly imagine", Vader viciously struck him down. However, instead of dying, Kenobi became a spirit in the Force who continued to guide Luke Skywalker.
Despite the curious disappearance of Kenobi's body, Vader felt he had finally killed the man that had been the focus for most of his rage for almost two decades. In addition, Vader got a brief glimpse of Skywalker, although he was unable to pursue him due to Luke shooting out controls, sealing Vader inside. Before leaving the hanger doorway, he retrieved his former master's lightsaber as a keepsake.
Battle of Yavin
- "I'll take them myself. Cover me."
- ―Darth Vader at the Battle of Yavin
To determine the location of the Rebel base, Vader allowed Luke and Han Solo to rescue Princess Leia and escape with the technical readouts of the Death Star. During the Battle of Yavin, he learned about the progress of the battle from lieutenant Tanbris. Realizing that the station's point defense systems were not tight enough to effectively counter the Rebel's snubfighters, he also learned of Tarkin's refusal to launch any of the station's fighter squadrons. Understanding that the Rebel fighters posed a real threat to the station, Vader judged Tarkin's decision to be foolhardy and immediately scrambled his personal TIE Fighter squadron, Black Squadron. While leading Black Squadron, he piloted a distinctive TIE Advanced x1 fighter. During this time, he also discovered an unauthorized deployment of a Lambda-class shuttle from the station. He then attempted to shoot it down, although he later learned that a pilot had managed to go to the trench, forcing him to let the shuttle escape. Vader sensed that the young pilot in his sights was Force-sensitive, putting into motion a series of future events that culminated in the death of the Empire. Just before he could destroy his quarry, the Millennium Falcon suddenly appeared and shot down one of his two support craft. Seeing this, his other wingman panicked and veered into Vader's fighter, sending him spinning away from the battle station just before it exploded.
Aftermath and Suspicion
Vader limped to Vaal, where he abandoned his wrecked TIE Advanced. During his journey to the Imperial communications outpost there, he was attacked by a pack of hyenax. He killed several of the attacking predators, including their leader, earning the creatures' respect. Without understanding or intending to to do so, he assumed the fallen leader's position in the pack hierarchy and the creatures followed him. Along with the pack, he continued his travel to the relay station. There, he boarded a Lambda-class shuttle without a word to the shocked crew, leaving them to be slaughtered by the hyenax.
After the exchange, Vader decided not to immediately return to Imperial Center, instead making reports to Palpatine via hologram. The Emperor would be furious, but Vader wanted to track down the Force-sensitive pilot who had destroyed the Death Star first. Vader had sensed a strong Force connection in the pilot. Vader believed that if such a being was serving the Rebel Alliance then the balance could tip in their favor, and so this pilot had to be hunted down and destroyed. And yet, after his duel with Kenobi on the Death Star, Vader had spotted a young man among those who escaped, one who had been distraught at the death of the old Jedi Master. And the ship on which they had arrived had come from Tatooine. All circumstantial evidence, certainly, but it was enough to give Vader an inkling of the pilot's possible heritage.
Uncovering the identity of the Rebel pilot before the Emperor's agents could do so became Vader's top priority. His second would be the ousting of the Imperials who would act against him, as Vellam had done. There were many ambitious men in the Empire who wished to take Vader's place, and the incident with Vellam may have convinced Vader that the power-hungry beings could be a direct threat to him. The Dark Lord began formulating a plan that would eliminate them, starting with the Fleet Admirals of the Imperial Navy. Eventually, Vader planned to finish dealing with the more powerful Tagge family and the crime lord Prince Xizor.
Vader also had a command role in the Blockade of Kashyyyk, intending to root out the Rebels directly responsible for the destruction of the Death Star, as the Imperials knew that Han Solo was a friend of Chewbacca, a Wookiee from Kashyyyk and thus would spend time with the Wookiees for Life Day. Ultimately, the operation failed due to quick thinking by Chewbacca's relatives.
Vader found the Emperor in a bacta tank, recovering from an adventure on Korriban. Palpatine assigned Vader the task of recovering Admiral Termo, who had gone missing in the Yavin system months before. The Admiral, who had sent a distress signal from the planet Malagarr, had in his possession data tapes detailing a final plan of Grand Moff Tarkin's. Vader retrieved the tapes, killed the Admiral, and returned to Imperial Center. Vader presented the data tapes to the Emperor, however, Palpatine was not pleased with Vader's failure at the Battle of Yavin. As punishment, Vader was instructed to head to Fondor to oversee the construction of the Executor while the task of developing Tarkin's project was assigned to others. After a member of that team was imprisoned, Vader had to hire a bounty hunter for a rescue mission, and then a Rebel droid destroyed the project headquarters on Malagarr. En route to Fondor, Vader contacted the Emperor to inform him of these new developments.
The project underway at Fondor was the Empire's largest undertaking since the Death Star. The Imperial military objected to this concentration of resources, claiming that it was little better than the Death Star. They also suspected that the Dark Lord was using his position with the Emperor to increase his own personal power, though few fully grasped the distrust between the two. Vader cared little for the thoughts of Admirals, but he resumed command of the Devastator and conducted a fleet test near Fondor to settle the issue in his own mind.
Once the test was completed, Vader moved on to Jovan Station, headquarters of the Imperial blockade. He informed the admirals gathered there that he had decided the course that would be taken against the Rebels, and that the Fondor project would go through. He also staged a confrontation between himself and Admiral Griff, hoping to draw out those who would act against him.
Griff convinced the admirals to allow for a Rebel spy to infiltrate the construction yards of Fondor to sabotage Vader's project. Vader returned to Fondor, where he was informed by Admiral Griff that the Rebel spy had arrived. Griff escalated the plans of the traitorous Admirals, arranging for them to meet with the Rebel spy in the tunnels below Fondor's surface. The Admirals were unwilling to risk more involvement with the spy with Vader present, but Griff told them that Vader was leaving temporarily. In fact, Vader slipped off Devastator before its departure, and joined Griff in the tunnels to trap the traitors.
But as Vader prepared to strike, he sensed something unexpected—the Rebel spy was Force-sensitive. Not only that, but Vader could clearly sense that this boy was a disciple of Kenobi. Incidents since the Death Star's destruction had caused Vader to suspect that there was such a man serving the Rebels—the mind-touch near Ultaar, the flash of pain at the Wheel, and certain comments made by Valance on Centares—but now he was sure of it. He was getting closer to discovering the pilot's identity. But the Rebel could sense Vader as well. He warned the Admirals, who scattered. Vader was unconcerned, however. He ordered Griff to forget the traitors and find the spy, but it was too late. The Rebel succeeded in escaping the system.
While Vader failed to capture the Rebel, Griff's men managed to round up the traitorous Imperials. And although the spy could have gained valuable information on the systems of Executor, what Vader learned was far more valuable. He had been unprepared for the Rebel's interference, but no more. The pilot may have been a student of Kenobi's, but Vader was sure that his own power was stronger. Admiral Griff soon departed Fondor to return to his duties as system blockade commander, while Vader stayed behind to oversee the Fondor project. Before long, Griff contacted Vader, informing him that the Rebels were gathering allies, such as the Freeholders pirates, to their base at Yavin. The Admiral deemed the Interdictors ineffective; the pirate fleet had managed to slip past their blockade. Griff pleaded with Vader to launch a full scale attack, but Vader wouldn't hear of it. He would not authorize an attack on the Rebel base until Executor was ready, and certain other events put in motion.
Personality and traits
- "It's been both a gift and a curse to be remembered so well."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker was thoughtful, intelligent, friendly, but also impatient, impulsive, cocky, reckless and had a thirst for power. Anakin was known for his independent nature, and like his son Luke, often looked ahead to the future and had little regard for his own personal safety in his youth, much to his parent's chagrin. And although they frequently chided him over his adventurousness, he had a very special place in his heart for them as well as his younger brother Deak. Though a generally decent person, Skywalker was also one to carry grudges and was vengeful, but he commonly held these two traits in check. He was naturally honest and despised lying and deception, though hypocritically he was not above trickery himself. He also held a hatred politics, correctly considering most politicians to be greedy and self-conceited. He also hated being treated unjustly or being wrongly accused. He was fiercely loyal, doing anything to keep those he was close to from harm, at any cost. His only price for this dedication was loyalty in return.
Shaken after sustaining injuries in his duel with Ben Kenobi, Skywalker became Darth Vader, and his personality changed remarkably. He was now a rattled man in light of the perceived betrayal of his dearest friend and mentor, and because of these chain of events, he now saw his marriage as officially over. Upon donning his new armor, Vader initially remained uncertain because of it's claustrophobic feeling, but eventually came to admire his suit for it's very appearance induced fear into many, enemy and ally alike. Vader had an extremely low tolerance of failure, and did not get on well at all with many of the higher-ups in the Imperial military, nearly choking Moff Zigmund Motti to death when he challenged the power of the Force, though Moff Motti survived due to the intervention of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Both Admiral Kendal Ozzel and Captain Lorth Needa were not so fortunate, as Vader telekinetically strangled both men to death following blunders they had committed, though it was known that he held a grudge against both of them. For their part, many higher-ranking Imperial officials despised the Dark Lord and his "sorcerer's ways."
Despite his rather rocky relationship with higher-ranking officers in the military, Vader got along quite well with his troopers. One reason Vader was popular with the troops that served under him was his willingness to fight in the front line, and did not expect anyone to do anything he was not willing to do himself. One officer who looked up to him because of this was Erv Lekauf, who often spoke highly of Vader to his grandson Jori Lekauf. Another military officer to be taken under Vader's wing was Firmus Piett, who succeeded Ozzel as Admiral of Death Squadron, and notably survived being under the Dark Lord's command having erred not once, but twice during his tenure under Vader. This was due to the fact that both of these failures were caused by unforeseeable factors, not errors in Piett's judgment. By the end of Piett's life, it appeared that he and Vader had struck up somewhat of a friendship as evidenced by Piett's loyalty to the Dark Lord during his power struggle with the Emperor. One other friendship he had was with that of General Maximilian Veers, whom he met very early on in their service to the Empire. Veers was one of a handful that Vader would consistently seek tactical advice about and let him give his opinion even if it clashed with his own. Much like Piett, Veers also showed loyalty to his friend during his power struggle with the Emperor, secretly aiding Vader when asked. In addition, although he did occasionally execute officers when they failed him, he also promoted military, such as officer Daine Jir, for traits he was personally impressed with. In Jir's case, it was his brutal honesty to Vader. He also retained his former identity's distaste for dishonesty and deception, holding some disgust towards individuals who were willing to betray their own worlds for power, even when such actions were to the benefit of the Galactic Empire. This was especially evident with his interactions with the Gecktl soldier Stafuv Rahz during the seizure of Harix, where he made no effort to hide his opinion of Rahz due to the latter's betrayal of the Gecktl to the Empire, and made it clear that should they have to rescue him, the rescue transport would lead to his death.
Despite his actions, Vader said that he believed he was doing what was good for the galaxy. He expressed the belief that the Empire was the only way the galaxy could attain peace, justifying his actions and those of the Empire as necessary to accomplish this. In addition, he also made it clear to Dengar at one point that, while he did kill when he felt it needed to be done, he did not take amusement at it like Cosmino II and Dantius Palpatine. Shortly after saving Luke from the Emperor, he admitted that Luke was indeed right about his still having good in him.
Powers and abilities
- "One can do some interesting things with a saber, you know. I'll do my best to show them all to you if you'll cooperate by not passing out."
- ―Darth Vader
Anakin Skywalker was trained by his father, the former Jedi Knight Kane Skywalker as well as Ben Kenobi. Through them, Skywalker would inherit a rich tradition of lightsaber training. Skywalker's style featured elements of many masters, making him outstandingly talented, even at a very young age. His aggressive and strength-oriented fighting methods fit well with his arrogant, confrontational personality type. Due to his natural talent for lightsaber combat, he advanced quickly, an achievement which fed his ego. His style stood him in good stead during heated engagements with blaster-wielding foes, and he became a formidable lightsaber duelist.
As his training as Kenobi's student progressed, Skywalker spent the following months of the conflict developing his skills in many pitched battles across the galaxy. He used brute strength to overwhelm his opponents, and was also known to attack his opponents by lunging at them. Relying on both strength and agility, Skywalker proved able to adequately fend off or evade enemy attacks while immediately offering counters. However, as he attempted to dominate his foes, Skywalker drew more and more on his anger and rage, sliding ever closer to the Dark side of the Force.
When Skywalker embraced the dark side, he utilized his size in an even more brutal fashion, becoming a frightening opponent. However, his aggression became his fatal flaw, as he would become so controlled by it that it would give way to his rage. Though young, strong, athletic, and a master swordsman gifted with more raw power than the average Force adept, he still lacked the experience, calm, and focus that his father and his former master possessed. Though Skywalker could, and would call on the dark side to overpower his opponents, his mounting emotions distracted him, clouding his judgment and preventing him from executing his form as well as Kenobi executed his during their first duel. Whereas Skywalker's strength lay in his offensive barrage, Kenobi's strength resided in his staunch defense, and his absolute dedication to it would prove vital to his victory. Anakin, frustrated by his inability to break through this defense, began making mistakes and leaving openings that he otherwise would have avoided had he remained focused and patient. This, along with some tactically questionable decisions, resulted in Anakin's defeat.
After recovering from his wounds in his duel with his former mentor, Skywalker began wearing an armored covered suit while in combat that was comprised of fifteen different pieces and weighed about thirty pounds. Because of this, Vader was forced to rely on his strength to batter his opponents, utilizing a clumsy method that utilized stiffly executed vertical strikes to wear down his opponent as any energetic movement would quickly tire him. However, Vader was able to overcome this limitation fairly quickly for the most part. Rather than attempting to fight through the bulky and heavy armor, Vader fought with it, utilizing the armor's weight and his own impressive strength to provide his blows with incredible force. With this new form, Vader regained some of his old agility, and his bladework was brutally effective. He never utilized anything less than a killing blow, and his swordplay demonstrated crispness and unpredictability, notwithstanding the two-handed grip he favored. Even the most simplistic moves contained enough strength to nearly disarm his opponents.
While he utilized his customized style to great effect, even against multiple opponents, Vader occasionally fell back on the clumsy and stiff vertical strikes that he used during his first weeks in the suit, unleashing a relentless, offensive barrage, as demonstrated during his duel against Luke Skywalker on Bespin. Vader apparently learned his lesson from his duel with Kenobi, learning how to control his emotions when in combat and finding a way to call upon calculated bursts of the dark side while not being blinded by emotions running amok, fighting with determination and relentlessness rather than rage. Vader also trained frequently with combat droids to keep his skills sharp. As his finesse and skill improved, Vader found that they became too easy to defeat, so much so that he took to battling them in two-on-one matches.
However, despite his skill, Vader's method was not perfect. Particularly during situations where he believed himself to be facing an inferior opponent, Vader could be taken off-guard or frustrated, causing lapses in his usually staunch defense. For example, a duelist who proved able to stand against Vader was his own son, Luke Skywalker. In their initial engagements, Vader proved superior, though it still took some effort to defeat Skywalker, who displayed a great deal of skill despite his minimal level of training. However, at the Imperial Palace, Luke managed to defeat Vader. Mirroring Darth Vader's own technique, Skywalker responded with his own furious demonstration of raw power. Luke proved able to meet Vader strength-to-strength, his marked increase in skill and sudden display of aggression and power toward the end of their bout caught Vader off guard, allowing Luke to drive back and overwhelm the experienced Dark Lord.
- "Don't underestimate the Force."
- ―Darth Vader
Anakin Skywalker was skilled in the use of telekinesis, able to lift heavy objects with minimal effort. In combat, Vader was extremely adept at utilizing telekinetic attacks, and often made liberal use of his telekinetic abilities during duels. He was capable of performing incredibly powerful Force Pushes and Grips. He was also capable of telekinetically griping and hurling objects without the need to utilize the "throwing" motion that nearly all Force sensitives were seen to use. This was most evident during his fight with Luke on Bespin, where he was able to surprise his son by telekinetically throwing a metal box at his head while maintaining a two-handed bladelock. Skywalker was also capable of a powerful Force Push. He was also skilled at Jedi Mind Tricks. However, Skywalker also had a habit of using the Force Choke power, a sign of who and what he would later become. He also possessed a keen Force sense, such as when he sensed the assassination attempt on his future wife.
After joining the Empire, he was known as Darth Vader and became one of the most powerful Dark Lords in galactic history. However, the Prophets of the Dark Side saw Vader as too much of a Jedi to truly embrace the Dark side. As Vader, he made extensive use of both the Force Choke and Force Crush abilities, as he demonstrated numerous times throughout his life. He was also capable of both blocking and redirecting Force Lightning with the Force. The Dark Lord could also use Telepathy, such as when he communicated with his son shortly after their duel on Bespin. Vader demonstrated the ability to Drain Knowledge from his victims, such as when he discovered that Leia was Luke's twin sister as he had long suspected. Vader was also adept at Saber throw, which he would often utilize in combat to make up for his relative lack of mobility.
Vader also appeared to have great physical strength. He showcased on multiple occasions the ability to both lift and hold a grown man off the ground at arm's length with no apparent effort. As he demonstrated on Captain Colton Antilles and Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod among others, he also had the ability to crush a human throat bare-handed. Vader also demonstrated remarkable physical durability and resistance to pain throughout his entire adult life. On at least two occasions, he was stabbed straight through the chest with both a lightsaber and a vibroblade, and hardly reacted in either case. Additionally, his armor allowed him to survive deadly environmental hazards such as explosions, toxins, diseases, and even the vacuum of space. However, the suit was only moderately insulated, and thus its life-support systems were vulnerable to electrical discharges.
Vader's armor also offered limited protection against the blades of lightsabers. In a climactic duel with his son in the depths of Cloud City, a quick blow from Luke's lightsaber appeared to cut the armor only shallowly, although this was enough to draw a surprised cry from the Dark Lord. However, most of the armor was purposely made out of non-lightsaber resistant material, as Vader worried that he might grow sloppy if he relied too much on his armor to protect him in duels. Because of his decreased mobility, he was at a disadvantage when dueling against powerful Force adepts using fast-paced combat styles. To counter these opponents, he would use the Force to pull out anything from his surroundings that he could and fling the improvised missiles at his opponent. Darth Vader most famously used this tactic on Luke Skywalker in their first duel on Bespin.
Anakin Skywalker was a man of many talents. He was well known for his exceptional piloting skills, skills that gave him a reputation that some would go so far as to argue he was the best star pilot in the galaxy. Skywalker was also known to be an exceptional mechanic. He could fix anything from reconstructing wireless routers to a malfunctioning repulsorlift. From a young age, Skywalker understood how things worked, and his strong knowledge of mechanical systems coupled with his closeness to the Force allowed him to pilot most vehicles and starfighters.
Darth Vader was a brilliant strategist and was still one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy. His precognition ability he possessed since childhood was unchanged as Vader and he was able to predict the movements of his targets during dogfights with pinpoint precision. He still possessed his former persona's amazing engineering skills, having personally overseen the design of both of his TIE Advanced x1 fighters. In addition, he also possessed his former persona's exceptional piloting skills
Skywalker was also proficient in hand-to-hand combat, in part because of his rigorous training regime since his younger days. In testament to this, during both his Jedi and Imperial days he was known to be a powerful weightlifter. Skywalker was also fluent in Galactic Basic Standard, understood to a certain degree the verbal form of the droid language Binary and was also fluent in the Sith as Darth Vader.
- Star Wars: A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye
- Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Flashback)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Notes and references
- ↑ Star Wars: Ghost Prison
- ↑ Star Wars: Ghost Prison
- ↑ Star Wars: The Ninth Assassin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Ninth Assassin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Ninth Assassin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Ninth Assassin
- ↑ Star Wars: Holiday Special
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire