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Note: This page is mainly for Vader's life in Star Wars Canon. Vader's life in Star Wars Legends & non-canonical sequences is not excepted. For Vader's Legends counterpart, please go to here

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace


Young Anakin

The home planet of young Anakin Skywalker is Tatooine, a remote desert planet controlled by the Hutts. Anakin and his mother are poor slaves owned by Watto, a Toydarian junk dealer.

During the battle between the Galactic Republic and the Trade Federation, a Naboo cruiser's hyperdrive had been damaged, and it is forced to land on the planet. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn searches for a replacement, and finds the nine-year old boy. He sensed that the Force was very strong with Anakin, and sent a blood sample to his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The result came back as a reading higher than Yoda's midi-chlorian count. This suggested that Skywalker was the one who could bring balance to the Force.

Since Qui-Gon didn't have credits that were worth anything in Tatooine, he placed a bet with Watto in an attempt to win the needed hyperdrive, involving the pod race which Anakin was going to participate in. Before the race, Qui-Gon gave the boy advice about using his instincts, and to feel, not think. Anakin won, and he made the Jedi proud, as well as his mother, Shmi.

As soon as Qui-Gon acquired the needed parts for his ship, and as soon as Anakin brought home the winnings, the boy was freed. His new destiny was to become a Jedi. It was very difficult for him to leave his mother, and he knew there was much ahead of him.

Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones

Anakin Skywalker Padawan Jedi

Anakin as Jedi padawan

Since Skywalker was a young Padawan he had been trained in the ways of the Jedi. But as he grew stronger and more powerful, he wanted more, yet he knew it was wrong. Anakin gotten to see Padme again. His crush for her turned into love. Anakin was assigned to protect Padme from Jango Fett (a bounty hunter trying to kill her). Meanwhile, they hid in Naboo until Anakin had a dream of his mother, Shmi Skywalker, in pain. Anakin and Padme went to Tatooine to find Shmi.

The two came across Watto, Anakin's old owner, who told him that he sold Shmi to a man named Cliegg Lars, who then married her. Anakin soon met his stepfather Cliegg Lars and his stepbrother Owen Lars. They learned that Shmi had been kidnapped by Tusken Raiders a month before, so Anakin headed off and eventually found her at the Tusken Raider camp. Unfortunately, Shmi died in her son's arms, having been starved and terribly beaten by the Tusken Raiders. Consumed with grief and rage, Anakin slaughtered all the Tuskens; men, women and even children. After Shmi's funeral, they got a message from Obi-Wan that said to save him so that's where they reunited only to get stuck in the arena with scary creatures.

When Count Dooku attacked with his supporting droids from the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which he led alongside Palpatine, by striking at planet Geonosis, the Jedi Order plunged into war with Dooku using the army of clones made from the DNA of mercenary Jango Fett. Anakin and Obi-Wan chased after Dooku as he tried to escape Geonosis, and in the battle, Obi-Wan was slightly injured while Anakin's right forearm was cut off. Yoda fought Dooku and overpowered him, but the latter got away when Yoda had to prevent a pillar from flattening the wounded Anakin and Obi-Wan.

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become ..The boy you trained gone he is, consumed by Darth Vader.
~ Yoda to Obi-Wan, talking about Anakin's transformation

Anakin Skywalker before turning to the Dark Side

Chancellor Palpatine was one day kidnapped by General Grevious. Obi-Wan and Anakin went to rescue him. They came across Count Dooku and the two Jedi battled him once again. In the middle of the fight, Dooku knocked Obi-Wan unconscious and Anakin had to fight him alone. Using his anger and hatred, Anakin brutally overpowered Dooku and sliced off both of the Sith Lord's hands, leaving him helpless. Palpatine then encouraged Anakin to kill Dooku; after initial hesitation, Anakin decapitated Dooku with both his and Dooku's lightsabers. Anakin then freed the Chancellor.

After Palpatine was saved, Padme told Anakin she was pregnant. When he saw in a dream that Padmé was going to die in childbirth, he swore that he would do everything he could to save her. He talked to Yoda and told him of his feelings of loss and pain. If the Jedi Council knew he had a wife which was strictly forbidden by the Jedi code, then he would be expelled from the Jedi Order.

Anakin found security and refuge in talking to Palpatine. The chancellor had been like a father to him and had made him a member of the Jedi Council. But while talking to his dear friend one day, Palpatine revealed to Anakin that he knew the ways of the dark side of the Force, and it was clear that he was indeed the Sith Lord. Anakin was nearly brought to kill him on the spot, but Anakin realized that the evil chancellor was the only person who might be able to help him save Padmé.

The Choice and Transforming Darth Vader

The Force is strong with you....a powerful Sith you will become. Henceforth you shall be known as "Darth... Vader"!.
~ The scarred paled Chancellor Palpatine giving Anakin the title of Darth Vader to him

Mace Windu, before he attempts to destroy the Sith once and for all.

 Shortly after Obi-Wan Kenobi had dealt with General Grievous on Utapau, Anakin delivered the message to the chancellor. Palpatine began to talk calmly with Anakin, about how he was being excluded from the Council, and that they distrusted him. It was then that Palpatine revealed the truth about himself--he was Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. Anakin pulled out his lightsaber to kill him, but he knew that since he was a Sith, he had the power to save his wife. In despair, he told Jedi Master Mace Windu about the news. In great shock, Mace needed to move quickly to make sure the Jedi Order survived. Ordering Anakin to stay at the Jedi Temple, he took various members of the Jedi Council, including Kit Fisto, to arrest the Chancellor. Anakin stared at the building which contained Palpatine's office, and his thoughts and emotions took control of his decisions. Anakin heard the Sith Lord's voice in his head: "If the Jedi destroy me, any chance of saving her will be lost." Anakin did not want to lose Padmé the way he lost his mother. He hurried as fast as he could to the Chancellor's Suite.

After going to the palace of Palpatine, the young Jedi found the Sith Lord on the ground, with Mace's lightsaber blade pointed at his chest. Mace told Anakin the only way to bring peace was to destroy the Sith Lord, but Anakin said it should not be done; it was not the Jedi way. Anakin had to make the choice, Jedi or Sith. As soon as the purple laser started its way to kill the Sith, Anakin's blue blade cut off Mace's hand. A smirking Palpatine yelled with power and threw the Jedi Master out the window with devastating Sith lightning. After helping the Sith Lord, Anakin realized that he had nowhere left to go and pledged himself to Palpatine's teachings. At this point, Palpatine then christened him as Darth Vader.

Knightfall and Duel of the Brothers

Anakin vs Obiwan

Anakin dueling his former master on Mustafar.

Palpatine convinced Vader that the Jedi were the enemy of the universe, including Obi-Wan. Vader then led Clone Troopers in Operation Knightfall and assaulted the Jedi Temple, killing even younglings in the process. However, Vader had no real regard for Palpatine and secretly planned to overthrow him.  He then was sent to Mustafar and then killed the Separatist leaders, including Nute Gunray, and deactivated the battle droids.  The CIS was no more and then Padme arrived. Vader then met her for the last time and offered her half the power that he would have after he overthrew Palpatine. Padme could not believe what she was hearing and realized that the Anakin Skywalker she knew was no more. Obi-Wan, having stowed away on Padme's ship, appeared and Vader accused his wife of bringing his former master to kill him, lashing out at her with the Force and choking into unconsciousness. The Sith apprentice accused Obi-Wan of turning her against him, when it was his own anger and lust for power that did that. Vader then attacked his former friend and mentor, and the two men engaged in a vicious and brutal lightsaber duel that ripped across the Seperatist stronghold, eventually causing it to deactivate and fall into the molten lava rivers of the planet. The duel came to a climactic end when when Obi-Wan claimed the high ground and warned Vader not to attack. In a mixture of anger and pride, Vader attempted to continue the duel, only to have his legs and left arm severed by his former master's blade. Obi-Wan could only express his regret and disappointment in Vader's ways before the Sith Lord slid too close to a lava flow and was burned alive. Obi-Wan retrieved his former pupil's lightsaber and departed, leaving Vader to die.

Anakin, now as Darth Vader suffering severe burns and hits after being defeated on Mustafar by his former master.


Shortly afterwards, the crippled and disfigured Vader was rescued by Palpatine and his clone troopers, and brought to a medical facility. He had prosthetics fitted into his legs and left arm before being outfitted with a life support suit of armor. Vader then inquired Palpatine of Padme's fate and the newly-crowned emperor lied that he killed her in his fit of anger. Anakin's transformation into the Darth Vader that he became as we known today was complete upon Sidious line in his said lie, "It seems in your anger, you killed her (Padmé)." The devastating anger and despair that Vader went through, after he discovered the painful truth, forever bound him to the dark side of the Force, or so it seemed. He lashed out by releasing the powerful Force, and shouts "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!". With his wife gone, his only remaining purpose was to serve Palpatine.

After his recovery, Vader took his place as the Emperor's right hand and chief enforcer, serving as the supreme commander of the Imperial military, as well as a Jedi Hunter.

Sometime after the the fall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Empire, Vader and the Emperor formed a band of Force-Sensitive Imperial Inquisitors to serve as Vader's assistants in hunting down and killing any Jedi that had survived Order 66's strike.

Star Wars Rebels

Fourteen years later, the Emperor sensed a new threat that could rise against him; the children of the Force. Under the command of his Master, Darth Vader tasked "the Grand Inquisitor" with hunting down this new enemy.

Following the escape of a rebel cell consisting of crew members of a VCX-800 light freighter called the Ghost that led to the Grand Inquisitor's death above Mustafar, rumors of what had happened became known, riots and uprisings begun to occur on several worlds. Concerned at the rise in rebel activity, the Emperor sent Vader to Lothal with Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin to end the growing rebellion.

Vader met with Agent Kallus and Minister Maketh Tua to discuss his plans with dealing with rebels. Vader then had Kallus escort the Minister to her shuttle, where she was killed and the incident was blamed on the rebels. When the Rebels tried to steal a ship to make their escape, Vader and his Stormtroopers confronted them. Vader then dueled with the leader of the rebels, a former Jedi trained under Master Depa Billaba named Kanan Jarrus, and his apprentice, Ezra Bridger. Vader was easily able to overpower them and attempted to kill Ezra with his own lightsaber until Kanan intervened. Their fellow rebels Zeb Orrelios and Sabine Wren used thermal detonators to cause an AT-DP to fall on Vader, but he survived and used the Force to lift the burning walker off him. The Rebels fled the scene in a stolen shuttle and instead of pursuing them, Vader let them go.

Vader then allowed the rebels to escape through the blockade, letting them lead him to his true target; the Rebel fleet. Vader took his TIE Advanced x1 fighter to attack the Rebel fleet, destroying most of the fighters and severely damaging the command ship. During the fight, Vader sensed that his former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, was alive and part of the Rebel fleet. Vader tried to capture her, but was unable to get past the Ghost. When two Star Destroyers arrived, Vader tried to stop the Rebels, but lost them when they jumped into hyperspace and he was caught in the tractor beam instead.

Following his victory, Vader contacted the Emperor and informed him that Skywalker's apprentice was still alive and working with the rebels. Both Vader and the Emperor were pleased by this, knowing she could lead them to other Jedi survivors, even Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom Vader was still obsessed with seeking revenge upon for his defeat on Mustafar. The Emperor urged Vader to to be patient when searching for his former master, and then ordered him to send another Inquisitor to hunt the rebels down. As per his master's orders, Vader assigned Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister to the task.

Many months later, Darth Vader arrived at the Lothal Jedi Temple and was impressed of The Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister's work. The Fifth Brother revealed that the Jedi are growing in their power, to which Vader calmly retorted; 'it will be their undoing'.

Later, Vader arrived on Malachor on top of his TIE Advanced x1 and confronted Ezra. He questioned the boy as to how did he open the path to the Malachor Sith Temple; Ezra told him to find out himself and engaged Vader in battle, but the Sith Lord was too strong and easily destroyed Ezra's lightsaber. But before he could finish the boy off, Ahsoka arrived and engaged Vader. He eventually managed to knock Ahsoka out of the Temple and attempted to stop Ezra and a blinded Kanan from escaping with a Sith Holocron. A recovered Ahsoka charged up behind Vader and slashed half of his mask off, knocking him down to the floor and exposing a considerable amount of his disfigured face, including his yellow right eye. Seeing that he really was her former master, Ahsoka refused to leave him again. For a moment, Ahsoka's compassion appeared to have reached Vader, but he then shrugged it off; coldly declaring that she would die, he ignited his lightsaber and moved to attack her again. As the pair resumed their battle, the temple collapsed and exploded around them, with Kanan and Ezra barely managing to escape.

Vader survived the collapse and later limped away from the ruins.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


Darth Vader is set to appear in the upcoming spin-off film Rogue One, set between A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith. The film will be about Rebel fighters stealing the plans for the Death Star, so naturally, Vader would likely appear to stop them and set in motion the opening to A New Hope. James Earl Jones will reprise his voicing role as Vader once again.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope

In A New Hope, Vader is charged with recovering the stolen plans of the Death Star and finding the Rebel Alliance's secret base. He captures and "interrogates" Princess Leia and, along with Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin, destroys her home world of Alderaan. Shortly afterward, he duels his former master, the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has arrived at the Death Star to rescue Leia, and cuts him down, turning him into a spirit in the Force. He then encounters his son, Luke, during the Battle of Yavin, and senses in him a great strength in the Force; this is confirmed moments later when the boy destroys the battle station. He was about to shoot Luke down using his TIE-Fighter, but Han Solo disabled his ship using the guns on the Millennium Falcon, and sent Vader spinning into space. The Death Star was then destroyed by Luke's torpedo, forcing construction of a second one.

When Obi-Wan told Luke about Darth Vader and his father, instead of revealing Anakin's fall from grace, Obi-Wan instead saying that Anakin and Darth Vader was separate entities: Anakin was said to be his friend whilst Darth Vader was used to be his apprentice until when Vader seduced to the Dark Side of the Force, all three battles and Anakin was killed during the fight. This was the half-truth however, though in some ways, it was true through Obi-Wan's point of view: The statement where Vader killed Luke's father actually refers Anakin's fall from grace where the good inside him almost gone, and Vader do was his apprentice right when he was Anakin.

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back

In The Empire Strikes Back, three years after the last film, Vader leads an assault on a rebel base on planet Hoth, dispatching probe droids to confirm this. Though the Empire takes the base after a while, they fail to stop Leia, Han, C-3PO and Chewbacca from escaping in the ship, the Millenium Falcon. In the second and third acts of the film, he captures Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and C-3PO on the planet Bespin to lure Luke into a confrontation. One scene shows Vader speaking with Emperor Palpatine via hologram, when Palpatine senses a feel in the Force that confirms the rebel Luke Skywalker to be Vader's son. In Cloud City, Bespin, he strikes a deal with the administrator of Cloud City, Lando Calrissian to give Han over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett, and has Solo frozen in carbonite. Luke, who has been partially trained by Yoda, confronts the Sith Lord in the Carbonite chamber, and ignites his lightsaber. Vader does likewise, and Luke attacks him. An increasingly one-sided duel broke out, in which Luke was overwhelmed by lightsaber, Force and strategy time and again, all the while Vader calmly fended off every single attack. Eventually, Luke managed to land a blow on Vader's shoulder. Then, deciding that the duel had gone on long enough, Vader resorted to unleashing the full breadth of his lightsaber skills and brutally overpowers Luke, ending the duel abruptly by cutting off his right hand. Vader then reveals his true identity as Luke's father and offers Luke the chance to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy as father and son. (Note that Vader never says the now famous line, "Luke, I am your father" but rather, "No, I am your father".) Luke refuses, throwing himself down a mine shaft. He is sucked into a garbage chute and rescued by Leia, C-3PO, Chewbacca and Lando. He is fitted with a robotic hand to replace the one Vader had cut off.

Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi

You already... have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right.
~ Anakin's famous last words

In Return of the Jedi, Vader was charged with overseeing the completion of the second Death Star. He met with Palpatine on board the half-constructed station to plan Luke's turn to the dark side.

Final Battle

By this time, Luke had nearly completed his Jedi training, and had learned from a dying Yoda that Vader is indeed his father. He learned about his father's past from Obi-Wan's spirit, and also learned that Leia is his sister. On a mission to the forest moon of Endor, Luke surrendered to Imperial troops and is brought to Vader. Aboard the Death Star, Luke resisted the Emperor's appeals to his anger and fear for his friends, but eventually tried to attack the Emperor. Vader stepped in and defended his master, and the two engaged in a fierce lightsaber duel. This time, they seemed to be evenly matched, but Luke calmly resisted Vader's lulling him to the Dark Side. However, when Vader telepathically probed his mind, learned of Leia's existence, and threatens to turn her instead, Luke snapped. Enraged, Luke violently attacked and very nearly killed Vader, severing his father's mechanical right hand. He controlled his anger at the last minute, however, as he looked at Vader's cybernetic hand and then at his own; he realized that he was perilously close to suffering his father's fate.

Redemption and Death

As the Emperor approached, encouraging Luke to kill Vader and take his place, Luke threw down his lightsaber, refusing to strike the final blow. Angered, the Emperor viciously attacked Luke with Force lightning. Luke writhed in agony under the Emperor's lightning, begging his father for help. Unable to bear the sight of his son in pain, Vader spiritually ceased to exist and the Anakin Skywalker persona returned. Anakin turned on his master who was really the true enemy of the Galactic Republic and in the Clone Wars and threw him into the very core of the Death Star, where Palpatine's body exploded into a wave of dark side energy.

Darth Vader unmasked

Anakin Skywalker unmasked

After regaining enough strength Luke dragged his father from the throne room to the docking bay holding Vader's shuttle. Moments from death, Anakin realized that he would die whether or not his son got him into the shuttle. He begged his son to take off his breath-mask so he could look at Luke "with (his) own eyes". Luke complied and for the first (and as it turned out, the only) time, father and son truly see each other. In his dying breaths, Anakin Skywalker is redeemed, finally admitting to Luke that the good within him wasn't destroyed after all and fulfilling the prophecy as the chosen one before Anakin/Vader dies of his wounds, forcing Luke to mourn for the loss of his father. Luke escapes with his father's body as the Death Star explodes, destroyed by the Rebel Alliance (thus Palpatine did twice as much in vain).

That night, Luke burned his father's Sith armor in the manner of a Jedi's funeral. During the victory celebration on the forest moon of Endor, Luke saw the redeemed spirit of Anakin Skywalker, standing once again with Obi-Wan and Yoda.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Force Awakens Vader Mask

Darth Vader's charred mask 30 years after his death

Though the character is long dead by this point, Darth Vader's damaged mask has appeared in trailers for the upcoming Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, directed by J.J. Abrams.

Instead of Vader, the new villain Kylo Ren took Vader's place. Taking Vader's damaged mask aboard his flagship, Ren vowed to Vader that he would finish what Vader had started. It is revealed later in the film that Kylo (Ben) is the son of Han and Leia, thus making him Vader's grandson.

The events of The Force Awakens reveals an unfortunate fact where the impact of Anakin's evil actions as Vader proved to be greater than either he, Luke, Leia, and Han Solo expected: Ben, Luke's nephew and apprentice as well as Han Solo and Leia's son, whom upon learned Anakin's dark past as Darth Vader, decided to embraces the dark side and became Kylo Ren, causes major setback on Luke's dream to restore Jedi Order to the point that he went to exile until Rey discovered him and give him a hope. Worse, Ben ultimately become Kylo Ren, the frightening Sith Warrior whom responsible for terrorize and killed possibly millions of innocent people, and the means to brought him back to the good side proved to be more difficult.

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