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Villain Overview
I find your lack of faith disturbing.
~ Darth Vader to Admiral
Luke, you can destroy the emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!
~ Darth Vader to Luke

Darth Vader (born as Anakin Skywalker) was a high ranking Jedi Knight turned powerful Sith Lord and is a main character in the Star Wars saga. He stands as one of the most iconic and greatest villains in fiction in general.

He was portrayed by David Prowse and by Sebastian Shaw and voiced by James Earl Jones in the original film trilogy. In the prequel trilogy, Anakin Skywalker, Vader's previous identity, was portrayed by Hayden Christensen as a young apprentice in Attack of the Clones & Revenge of the Sith and by Jake Lloyd as a child in The Phantom Menace.

Personality

After finally embracing the Dark side of the Force, Vader's personality changed completely. He was now terrifying and driven by rage, though after his defeat on Mustafar by Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was no longer as arrogant and overconfident as he previously was. Although he regained confidence in himself, it was never to the point of being outwardly cocky or conceited.

Unlike most members of the Sith Order, Vader acknowledged his mistakes and learned from them as well, due to the events of Mustafar; he was emotionally traumatized by the experience.

Vader was very calm, level-headed and patient, as he rarely lost his temper and usually had good control over his emotions, something he was not able to do in his early twenties. He had an extremely low tolerance for failure and he did not get along at all with higher-ranking officers in the Imperial military. He had little to no tolerance for incompetence or for those who disrespected him, nearly choking Admiral Conan Antonio Motti to death when he disrespected Vader and challenge his powers of the Force. Many higher-ranking officers disliked the Sith Lord and his "sorcerer's ways" for no apparent reason. Despite his bad relationship with higher-ranking officers in the military, Vader did get along quite well with the clone troopers because of his front line leadership.

As a general within the ranks of the Imperial Army of the Empire, Vader was renowned for his leadership skills and admired by clones, middle-ranking/low-ranking officers, Sith, and politicians alike.

Because of his former status as a slave, Vader also had distress when the concept of slavery was brought up. Despite his actions, Vader apparently believed he was doing what was good for the galaxy. Deep down, however, he felt enormous guilt and shame for his actions, whether he wanted to admit it or not. So much that he developed a deep self-loathing and even nearly committed suicide at one point.

Upon his fateful reunion with his former apprentice and friend Ahsoka Tano, Vader expressed no desire to rekindle the bond he once shared with her and even told her that he had killed Anakin Skywalker, when he was in fact Anakin himself (though he may have been speaking ironically). Though he did offer to spare her if she told him where the other lost Jedi were hiding, he cruelly resolved to kill her when she refused and even when she found out he was indeed her former mentor and offered him compassion.

Vader was cold, brutal and ruthless towards his enemies, as he was perfectly willing to terrorize, torture and even murder them in cold-blood. He was seemingly unfailingly loyal to his master Palpatine; the latter was the closest thing Vader had to a friend. However, in truth, he secretly hated his master for deceiving him and ruining his life, as he secretly planned to overthrow him one day with his own apprentice. The only reason Vader continued to serve Palpatine after losing his wife was because the Emperor was all he had left; he was the only one that would accept him. All-in-all, Vader was only truly loyal to people he still cared about, like his son Luke, as he did everything possible to protect him from Palpatine.

Upon discovering the existence of his son Luke, Vader became emotionally conflicted and displayed a sense of compassion for his son, revealing that some hint of him still held an attachment towards his family. This attachment ultimately led to his redemption.

Nearing the end of his life, Vader strongly believed he was irredeemable and there was no good left in him. However, when his son Luke was being tortured by Palpatine, he broke finally away from the dark side of the force, becoming the good person he once was, sacrificed himself to save his son from Palpatine. Redeemed by his Luke's love, Anakin made peace with his son before became one with the Force and was reunited with his loved ones.

Powers and Abilities

  • The Force: As the Chosen One, Vader was immensely powerful and had an amazingly strong connection to the Force, stronger than any Force user ever in existence. He also possessed the potential to become the most powerful Force user in the history of the galaxy. However, after being burned alive on Mustafar and forced to become a cyborg, he never reached his full potential, as the physical and emotional trauma caused by his transformation greatly limited his ability to access and control the Force. Nevertheless, Vader still became one of the most powerful Force users in the history of the galaxy.
    • Telekinesis: Vader was a master of Telekinesis, which he used either as offense or defense.
    • Force choke: Vader was a well known user of the Force choke, which he often used to either weaken his enemies or execute his Naval officers for incompetence. He could also do this from a great distance and seemingly only needs to be in sight of his target to choke him, as he choked Admiral Ozzel several kilometres away.
    • Mind probe: Vader utilized mind probe to sift through the thoughts of a sentient being.
    • Force sense: Vader utilized Force sense, to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, or impending danger and the presence of the light side.
    • Force rage: Vader utilized Force rage to channel his anger to increase his speed, strength and ferocity.
    • Tutaminis: Vader utilized Tutaminis to dissipate concentrated energy such as blasterbolts or lightsaber blades.
    • Force deflection: Vader utilized Force deflection, to deflect incoming attacks with or without his lightsaber.
    • Kinetite: Vader utilized Kinetite to subdue his opponents.
    • Force Destruction: Vader utilized Force destruction to immobilize his opponents.
    • Force barrier: Vader utilized Force barrier, to created a barrier or wall of force energy around himself or his allies.
  • Cyborg Strength: As a cyborg, Vader was physically stronger then most other sentient beings. Vader uses this to his advantage in lightsaber combat; he uses his immense strength to easily overpower his opponents. He can hold the pressure of several tons. With his cybernetic legs, he can leap great long distances.

Abilities

  • Lightsaber Skills: Vader was extremely skilled in lightsaber combat and an exceptionally formidable duelist. He also possessed the potential to become the greatest lightsaber duelist in the history of the galaxy. However, after being burned alive on Mustafar and forced to become a cyborg, he never reached his full potential, as his armored suit greatly limited his mobility. Nevertheless, Vader still became one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. He specialized in using his skills, weight, endurance and sheer brute strength to overwhelm his opponents into confusion or exhaustion. Vader also regained some of his old agility, and his bladework became brutally effective.
    • Form I: Vader was very skilled in Shii-Cho.
    • Form II: After becoming a cyborg, Vader studied Makashi and became very skilled at it.
    • Form III: After becoming a cyborg, Vader studied Soresu and became very skilled at it.
    • Form IV: Vader was extremely skilled in Ataru.
    • Form V: Vader was a master of Shien/Djem So, considered by many to be the most proficient practitioner of the form. After becoming a cyborg, he created a personal varient that included elements of all seven forms.
    • Form VI: Vader was highly skilled in Niman.
    • Form VII: After becoming a cyborg, Vader studied Juyo/Vaapad and became very skilled at it.
    • Jar'Kai: Thanks to his skills in Ataru and Niman, Vader was highly skilled in Jar'Kai.
  • Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant: Vader was highly skilled in unarmed combat.
  • Master Pilot: Even before his fall to the Dark side, Vader was praised as the most skilled star-pilot in the history of galaxy, a reputation he lived up to when he single-handedly almost destroyed Phoenix Squadron in a lone Tie Fighter, easily out-flying their entire fleet and forcing their command to abandon ship. Vader's only equal was his son, Luke Skywalker.
  • Master Engineer: Even before his fall to the Dark side, Vader was amazingly skilled in engineering. He was able to successfully construct his red bladed lightsaber in his first try.
  • Genius-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader: Even before his fall to the Dark side, Vader was amazingly intelligent; his intelligence rivaled that of even Yoda. As a Sith General, Vader was a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader.
  • Multilingual: Vader was capable of fluently speaking English, Huttese, Bitt, and Sith tongue.

History

For the further info, see Darth Vader/Synopsis.

Trivia

  • Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at University of Toulouse Hospital, argued at the 2007 American Psychiatric Association convention that Anakin meets six of the nine diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD), one more than necessary for a diagnosis. He and a colleague, Rachel Rodgers, published their findings in a 2010 letter to the editor of the journal Psychiatry Research. Bui says he found Anakin Skywalker a useful example to explain BPD to medical students.
  • Darth Vader's iconic status has made the character a synonym for evil in popular culture; psychiatrists have even considered him as a useful example to explain borderline personality disorder to medical students.
  • "Vader" is Dutch for "Father", foreshadowing the reveal of his true relationship with Luke and Leia.
  • As of now, the upcoming sequel trilogy will be the only series to NOT include Anakin at any point, but instead focus on a new villain, Kylo Ren being the main antagonist. The crew considered bringing Anakin back as a force ghost in the seventh film but decided against doing so.
    • Interestingly, Kylo Ren have some similarities where some of them were intentional by Ren himself due to him idolized Vader when he still a Sith Warrior where notable intended similarities includes wearing mask that can amplify and project their voices.
  • Darth Vader's line "No, I am your father!" has become a well known memorable quote ever in Star Wars, receiving many various parodies in many media, fan fiction or merchandise alike. One of the best and most memorable ones would be in Toy Story 2 where Emperor Zurg that he is Buzz's father.
    • Although, most assume the line was, "Luke... I am your father."
  • Many parodies of Darth Vader appeared in many various media such as Dark Laser and Darth Stewie.
  • Darth Vader also made a guest appearance in Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian alongside with Oscar the Grouch as one of the fictional figures who wanted to join Kahmunrah's army, only to be refused due to that the latter can't understand Vader's breathing, thinking it as his language. Angered, he slams the lid of Oscar's trash can and is never seen again in the rest of the movie.
  • Darth Vader, alongside with Galen Marek and Master Yoda made a guest appearance in Soul Calibur IV as playable characters. In the game, Darth Vader was seeking on both the power of the Soul Edge & Soul Calibur where in his ending, he successfully found what he is looking for after he finishes off Algol and took both weapons with him, bringing the Empire to a whole new level of fear. Unfortunately, it received many criticism where many Star Wars fans complained about having Star Wars characters in the Soul Calibur universe being in the game & stated that they "didn't quite fit".
  • Darth Vader makes an appearance in the 2014 Disney special, Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars, where he serves as the master of Darthenshmirtz, the Star Wars version of Heinz Doofenshmirtz. He also serves as the master to Candace's C.O., whom he kills for his failure to bring socks.
  • Darth Vader appears in Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion and is the master of the Inquisitor.
  • Each villain in the Star Wars prequels foreshadows a different aspect of what Anakin will become;
    • Darth Maul - The deadly and merciless apprentice who enforces Sidious's will as well as surviving a terrible injury from Obi-Wan and becoming a cyborg.
    • Count Dooku - The Jedi turned to the Dark Side desiring to bring order to the Galaxy.
    • General Grievous - The wheezing, heavy-breathy, Jedi-hunting Cyborg.
  • Vader shares similarities to Vegeta. They both succeeded in destroying a planet, and tend to kill the ones they work with for failing or disobeying them. However, they're past also consist of losing their family members, and also both served  a villain more evil than themselves. In the end, though, they fight against their leader, along with the heroes, eventually joining them, but they then die by opening up to the protagonist. However, they get brought back to life in two different ways. 
  • WatchMojo.com listed Darth Vader as #1 on their "Top 10 Iconic Movie Villains" list.
  • In the earlier script of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back that was written by Leigh Brackett, Darth Vader and Anakin were supposedly separate entities: Darth Vader was Anakin's murderer and when Luke confronted Vader, Anakin's spirit would guide him in their battle. George Lucas was disappointed with this as this likely wouldn't improve the saga, though unfortunately, Leigh had died before they could discuss this. So, he made the plot twist where Anakin and Vader were one in the same and Vader revealed this to Luke, which not only was enjoyable for Lucas himself, but also became arguably the most memorable event in the franchise.
  • Darth Vader is similar with Nimue from Once Upon A Time, because the individual whom used to have close relationship with them stated to the heroes that they were killed by a villain, only to revealed that the so-called villain turned out to be their own alter-ego as the said individual unable to tell the heroes that they actually turned to the dark side instead of killed (Obi-Wan Kenobi stated to Luke that Anakin was killed by Darth Vader only for Luke himself later learned that Anakin was never killed at all and Darth Vader was actually Anakin's alias as a Sith apprentice after he became evil. In Nimue's case, Merlin claims that Nimue was murdered by the first Dark One to Emma, only to Emma later learned that Nimue actually turned to the dark side and became the first Dark One herself).

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Affiliates: Imperial Navy | COMPNOR

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Benefactor: Emperor Palpatine
Leaders: Supreme Leader Snoke | Kylo Ren
Imperial Officers: General Hux | General Pryde | Captain Candady | Captain Phasma | Datoo | Kaplan | Chesille Sabrond | Elrik Vonreg | Commander Pyre
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Affiliates: Sith Eternal | Guavian Death Gang

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Death Watch: Bo-katan Kryze | Pre Vizsla | Tom Vizsla
Nightsisters: Asajj Ventress | Mother Talzin | Old Daka | Zalem
Other Officials and Operatives: Almec | Rook Kast | Dryden Vos | Tobias Beckett | Gar Saxon

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