- "You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Darth Vader
Anakin Skywalker was a legendary Human male Jedi Knight who served the Galactic Republic in its final years, and later became Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. He was the son of Shmi Skywalker. Later in his life, he became the secret husband of Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo, and became the father of the legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo. He was also the grandfather of Ben Skywalker, and Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo. He was the great-grandfather of Allana, and an ancestor of Nat, Kol, and Cade Skywalker.
Although one of the most important people in the galaxy, Skywalker came from humble origins. He spent the first years of his life on Tatooine as a slave along with his mother. In 32 BBY, Skywalker met a Jedi by the name of Qui-Gon Jinn. After obtaining his freedom, Jinn took Skywalker and departed from Tatooine, though they had to leave Shmi Skywalker behind, something her son always resented. Skywalker took part in the Battle of Naboo, destroying the Droid Control Station despite his young age. Soon after, he joined the Jedi Order, becoming a Padawan to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Skywalker was believed to be the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy, one who would bring balance to The Force by destroying the Sith, which was why the Jedi Council chose to bend the Jedi Code and permit his training.
In 22 BBY, Skywalker was reunited with Padmé Amidala, the former queen of Naboo and new Senator of the Chommell Sector. They fell in love and married soon after the Battle of Geonosis, despite the Jedi Order's restrictions of Jedi, which kept them from making their marriage public. In the midst of these events, Skywalker also endured the violent death of his mother.
Skywalker fought in the Clone Wars with his master and became a Jedi Knight in 20 BBY. Throughout the conflict, Skywalker became an icon to the public, known as the "Hero With No Fear". Despite this, however, he carried with him a great sense of loss in addition to great anger. His inability to control these traits led to his downfall when, in 19 BBY, he turned to the dark side. Apprenticing to Darth Sidious, better known as his friend Chancellor Palpatine, he became Darth Vader. The Galactic Empire was founded, with Palpatine at the helm as emperor. The Jedi were exterminated by Order 66, with fewer than a hundred surviving. Two who did live were Grand Master Yoda and Skywalker’s old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. His children, Luke and Leia, were born at this time, though Skywalker remained unaware of their existence.
As a master of the dark side, Vader became the scourge of the Jedi, continuing the Great Jedi Purge which would last until 0 BBY. An extension of the Emperor’s will, the Dark Lord was constantly on the move, traveling throughout the galaxy to defeat rebel uprisings or arrest corrupt Imperials. In 0 BBY the Empire’s great superweapon, the Death Star was destroyed by a young Rebel pilot. Vader became obsessed with discovering the identity of this pilot, and spent the next several years searching. Vader eventually learned that the pilot’s name was Luke Skywalker, and he deduced that the boy was his son, born before the death of Amidala. Vader fought the Rebel Alliance while concocting a plan to turn his son to the dark side.
Palpatine, however, was aware of his plans, and initiated his own plot to make Skywalker his apprentice. In 4 ABY the two sides came together at Endor for one great battle to decide the fate of the galaxy. Skywalker surrendered to the Emperor, and in the throne room of the second Death Star, Palpatine attempted to turn the young Jedi to the dark side by having him duel Vader. Skywalker defeated Vader, but refused to give himself to the darkness, proclaiming himself a Jedi, like his father before him. When Palpatine attempted to kill Skywalker using Force lightning, Vader came to his son’s defense, saving him and killing Palpatine by throwing him down the main reactor core. Mortally wounded by the Force lightning, Vader died soon after. However, he died as Anakin Skywalker once more, having redeemed himself by saving his son.
- "I'm a person and my name is Anakin!"
- ―Anakin Skywalker to Padmé Amidala
Anakin Skywalker was born in 41.9 BBY. According to the seminal historical work of Voren Na'al, the planet of his birth was Tatooine, but Anakin himself may have implied that he was only raised on the arid planet from around the age of three. Skywalker's mother, Shmi Skywalker, claimed that her son was conceived without a father, but could not explain how that had happened. It was the theory of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn that the will of the Force caused his birth. At that time, Skywalker and his mother became slaves to Gardulla the Hutt. Years later, Gardulla lost the boy and his mother in a podracing bet to a Toydarian junk dealer named Watto.
Even at a young age, Skywalker had a reputation for being able to build or repair anything. This was evidenced by his creation of a protocol droid named C-3PO as well as a podracer. Both were constructed from salvaged parts and nearly completed by the age of nine.
A child prodigy, Skywalker excelled at mathematics and engineering, but he was also daring and adventurous. He would often risk his own well being to help others, with little forethought or regard for the consequences of his actions. When he was only five years old, Skywalker scaled an immense dune to chase a herd of banthas away from hunters, despite almost collapsing from heat and exhaustion several times. Sometime later, while bartering with Jawas, Skywalker came across a wounded Tusken Raider and took care of it until the Tusken was taken away by his own people. A short time before the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace, Skywalker , his friend Kitster Banai, and several other youths narrowly avoided a run-in with Gardulla. After hearing of children who had been captured and imprisoned by Sebulba in hopes of selling them to Gardulla, Skywalker and his friends disguised themselves as Jawas and sneaked into Gardulla's estate to free the Ghostling children.[source?]
At about eight years of age, Skywalker had his first experience with the Sith. While rummaging through Watto's junk heap, he located an ancient war droid. Hoping to recover a holoprojector for Watto, Skywalker incidentally activated a disturbing hologram, drowned in cries and screams and the strange mention of the word "Sith." Perplexed, Skywalker rushed to the stranded Republic Fighter Corps member who had told him earlier of the angels on the moons of Iego. The spacer, in shock, told him of the 4,000-year-old wrath of the Sith and how they eventually turned inward and fought each other, bringing about their own doom. He spoke of the belief that one Sith Lord had survived and extended the order's existence to this day. Little did Skywalker know that such rumors would soon play a major part in his life.
- "Anakin, this path has been placed before you. The choice is yours alone."
- ―Shmi Skywalker
In 32 BBY, Skywalker life changed forever. By happenstance, while working in Watto's shop, Skywalker met Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks, R2-D2 and a young woman named Padmé Amidala. The young woman fascinated Skywalker so much that he asked if she was an angel. Amidala was not an angel, but a queen - Her Majesty Queen Amidala of Naboo in disguise as a simple handmaiden.
When a sandstorm began brewing, Skywalker offered his newfound friends shelter in the simple home he shared with his mother. There, Jinn and Amidala recounted their plight of how they ended up being stranded on Tatooine on their way to Coruscant because of a leak in their hyperdrive to the Skywalkers. Overwhelmed with compassion, Skywalker volunteered to enter a podrace, a daring and extremely dangerous contest. The prize money for winning would enable Skywalker's companions to purchase the parts needed to repair their starship. Though Shmi initially objected to the plan, Skywalker recalled her words that "the biggest problem in the universe [was that] nobody [helped] each other." Convinced, Shmi reluctantly agreed to let her son race.
Just before the race, Jinn made a bet with Watto that, if Skywalker won, the boy would be freed. However, Watto specified one condition—that he roll a chance cube. If it was blue, Skywalker would be freed; red, Shmi would be freed instead. The die was weighted to land on red, but Jinn used the Force to make the cube flip to blue. The Toydarian, positive the boy would lose, accepted the results anyway. The reason for his assumption was obvious: normally, humans lacked the fast reactions needed to operate such a tremendously high-speed land vehicle. However, Skywalker's latent Force sensitivity, manifested in the form of limited prescience, gave the impression that the boy had lightning-fast reflexes. At the time, Skywalker, who dreamed of being a Jedi but lacked knowledge of the Force, believed his Force sensitivity was only his instinct that told him what he needed to do.
Because Skywalker won the race, Jinn was able to free him. However, the Jedi Master was unable to secure Shmi's release, and Skywalker was forced to choose between staying with his mother and becoming a Jedi. Skywalker chose to go with Qui-Gon, though he promised he would come back to free her. Even after the Battle of Naboo, in which Skywalker and his new companions were entangled, ended victoriously, neither the Jedi nor the Republic made any effort to emancipate her. Skywalker duties as a Jedi prevented him from freeing his mother himself, though she eventually obtained her freedom from Watto through the aid of a moisture farmer named Cliegg Lars.
He would receive several fan letters due to the success of his podrace. 
After departing to Mos Espa, Jinn and Skywalker approached the Naboo Royal Starship, but were attacked by Sith Lord Darth Maul, who sought to capture Queen Amidala. While Jinn engaged the Sith in battle, Skywalker rushed ahead and warned those already onboard. The ship lifted off and after rescuing Jinn, they left Tatooine behind.
Upon arriving at Coruscant, Skywalker faced the Jedi High Council and was tested concerning Jinn's belief that Skywalker was the Chosen One and should be trained as a Jedi. Skywalker's gifts cemented Jinn's belief on the matter, but the Council remained skeptical. Jinn requested to train Skywalker after his current apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, completed his trials, but his request was denied. Skywalker was much older than the usual Padawan, and the Council was concerned that his prior experiences would interfere with his training. In particular, he exhibited much fear and anger, leftovers from his days as a slave; emotions that were further compounded by his separation from his mother and home. They believed he would simply not be able to master the level of emotional detachment required by a member of the Jedi Order. Kenobi, while also amazed at Skywalker's unprecedented midi-chlorian count--over twenty thousand--and strong potential, initially agreed with the Council's decision. With nowhere to go on Coruscant, and no way to return to Tatooine, Skywalker followed his new friends on their mission to free Naboo.
Ultimately, Skywalker fought in the Battle of Naboo in a vicious starfighter battle above the planet. After accidentally joining the battle in orbit, Skywalker single-handedly destroying the orbital Droid Control Ship, thus rendering the Trade Federation's ground forces inactive and saving the Gungan Grand Army from destruction.
However, the celebration was tainted with the death of Jinn, slain by Darth Maul. The Master's dying wish was for Kenobi to take up Skywalker's training, which Kenobi promised to fulfill. The Council reluctantly agreed for Obi-Wan to begin Skywalker's training, though they were concerned that Skywalker would be too difficult a student for young Kenobi to handle.
Meanwhile, Palpatine, the Republic's newly-appointed Supreme Chancellor, promised Skywalker that he would watch the young Jedi's career with great interest. This would be the beginning of a long friendship between the young Jedi and the new ruler of the Republic.
- "The boy has exceptional skills."
"But he still has much to learn, Master. His abilities have made him … well, arrogant."
- ―Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi
As a young adult, Anakin developed as an arrogant and somewhat socially awkward boy, doubtless in part because of his rapid transition from a scrapyard slave to rising star of the Jedi Order. His natural abilities placed him leaps and bounds above his peers, and this fed his ego as well as caused him to distance himself from other learners of his age. He frequently showed off, chafed against authority, and displayed little respect for Obi-Wan, whom he partially viewed as inferior. Despite this perception, he did state that Obi-Wan was like a father to him, and he claimed he had the wisdom of Master Yoda and the power of Master Windu—but this praise may have been just another expression of Anakin's own arrogance, as he amended that he himself was "beyond" Kenobi in many ways, and felt Kenobi was holding him back. His relationship with his master was complicated and contradictory, due partially because Obi-Wan himself had doubts about whether he had the ability to train Anakin, something the boy did not need, especially during that critical time in his life. Frustrated, he would turn to another mentor for advice: Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
- "Perhaps he reminds me too much of myself at the same age. Arrogant. Impulsive. Proud. I realize humility is high among the enforced virtues, the ones no one acquires by choice; but that being said, if Fate is looking for something to humble Skywalker, I confess myself willing to volunteer."
- ―Count Dooku
As Anakin's early friendship with Palpatine continued, the Chancellor lent Anakin a sympathetic ear, saying things to further fuel his pride. It is likely that Palpatine's reassurances also had the effect of perpetuating Anakin's lack of control—whenever he was chided or reprimanded by Obi-Wan, Palpatine would reassure Anakin that he had done right, hence Anakin never quite had the impetus to change his behavior.
- "Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word. I will train Anakin... without the approval of the Council if I must."
"[…] Agree with you, the Council does. Your apprentice, Skywalker will be."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda
Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship had a rocky start. Obi-Wan was not the one to see the potential in the boy, and even considered him dangerous. The only reason he continued to train the boy was because of Qui-Gon's dying wish for him to do so. He felt it a duty, though he did not feel he had the ability to train him properly. Anakin, on the other hand, knew he was just different. Because of how different he was, Anakin tended to keep to himself, not branching out and not really wanting to do so. He did, however, feel a special attachment to Obi-Wan, since he was like the father he never had. Slowly but surely, Master and apprentice began to form a special bond throughout Anakin's adolescence.
While on Coruscant, Anakin did not give up his love of tinkering with machines, and the halls of the Jedi Temple were said to be littered with his droid creations. Still craving thrills and adventure at the age of twelve, he salvaged a pair of race wings and secretly participated in the highly dangerous and illegal garbage pit races held in the lower levels of Galactic City. During one such race he was nearly killed by a Blood Carver named Ke Daiv before Obi-Wan reached him.
About three years into his training, Anakin and Obi-Wan had their first mission together to investigate cult leader Kad Chun. Chun, calling himself Uni, was co-leader of disenchanted idealists and refugees who wanted to flee their bureaucracy-flooded worlds. Kad's father, Vox Chun, the leader of the cult, was killed when Obi-Wan and Anakin came to investigate. Later on, Kad forgave Obi-Wan and his scheming father for what they had done.
The next mission they took was to the living planet of Zonama Sekot to find Jedi Knight Vergere, who had recently vanished on a mission there. Unbeknownst to them, Wilhuff Tarkin and Raith Sienar had followed them to exploit Zonama Sekot's ability to fuse organic and high technology into starfighters, creating them at an astonishing rate and at an extremely high quality. On the planet, the colonists sold "seed-partners", which bonded with their hosts and allowed the planet to customize a starfighter for the individual. Anakin attracted many more seed-partners than anyone, and thus, he had a bigger and more intricate ship. He named this new biological ship Jabitha. When Tarkin and Sienar arrived, the planet revealed its sentient consciousness to the Jedi, explaining that Vergere had left with the mysterious "Far Outsiders" in order to protect Zonama Sekot. Anakin and Obi-Wan could not rescue the Fosh Jedi, but they could halt Tarkin's attack. When Ke Daiv, Tarkin's bodyguard, attempted to kill Anakin, the boy, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, telekinetically burned the Blood Carver from the inside out. This was later proven to not have been the case. Unfortunately, Anakin was captured, and brought before Tarkin; however, Obi-Wan managed to destroy Tarkin's flagship and rescue the boy. During this, Zonama Sekot was able to activate its planetary hyperdrive, causing the planet to vanish, bound for the Unknown Regions. Afterwards, Sienar and Tarkin returned to the Republic. Unfortunately, Anakin's organic ship died away from her creator. After the conclusion of this mission, Obi-Wan and Anakin returned to Coruscant.
Becoming a Jedi
- "Remember, Obi-Wan, if the prophecy is true, your apprentice is the only one who can bring the Force back into balance."
- ―Mace Windu
In 28 BBY, Anakin constructed his first lightsaber in the caves of Ilum. While he was constructing it, however, he had a dark vision of Darth Maul, the Sith who had killed Qui-Gon. After Anakin managed to defeat this specter, he awoke to find he had finished construction on his lightsaber, its blade a shining blue.
On a mission to Nar Shaddaa when Anakin was 13, he killed the T'surr slave trader named Krayn by burning a hole in his chest. This allowed all the slaves of Krayn to be freed, as well as ended Jedi Knight Siri Tachi's undercover mission there.
Not long after, the young Jedi and his Master were called upon, along with Tachi (who was now a Knight), Soara Antana, Ry-Gaul, and their Padawans, Ferus Olin, Darra Thel-Tanis, and Tru Veld, respectively, on a mission to Radnor to help with the evacuation of the planet. The evacuation was due to a deadly toxin that had spread throughout the planet because of a chemical leak. He and the other Jedi and their Padawans later discovered that the toxic leak was connected with the Avoni raiders. The path of guilt led to Galen, a traitorous Radnoran, who was taken into custody for his crimes. However, the Avoni did not pay for their crime and were not forced to make amends. To Anakin, it almost seemed as if the planet was worse off than when they had found it.
Obi-Wan and Anakin were later sent on a mission to find out what had happened to the Consular-class space cruiser, the Radiant IX, which was carrying the Jedi Et Rex and Alysun Celz back to Coruscant to be punished for falling to the dark side. They discovered that, while on their flight, a large group of mynocks had fed on energy from the ships electrical couplings, causing the ship to plummet into the gravity well in the Hoth system, and crash landed on an asteroid known as the Poison Moon. The distress signal was sent even as Celz killed everyone on the ship. Rex managed to escape Celz and befriend a group of mynocks. When the Jedi found Celz on the bridge of the ship, he insisted that it was Rex who did it. Obi-Wan went to find Rex, leaving Anakin with Celz. When Obi-Wan found Rex, Rex convinced him that Celz was framing him, and the two hurried back to save Anakin. In the meantime, Celz tried to convince Anakin to leave his master, but failed. Celz angrily knocked out Anakin with his Force Lightning, revealing to the Jedi as they entered that she had killed everyone on board. Obi-Wan engaged her with his lightsaber, only to be knocked back by a dose of force lightning. Rex sent his mynocks after her lightning, feeding on it like they would electricity. The Jedi left the moon on Obi-Wan and Anakin's ship, with Celz as their new prisoner, and headed back to Coruscant.
Later on, a simple Jedi training mission to Ragoon-6 caused Anakin and Obi-Wan to get tangled up with a mysterious man whose mission in life seemed to be to kill them. Further research on him revealed that he was from Nierport VII, collected Sith artifacts, and was extremely wealthy—though he had no tangible source of income. Anakin and Obi-Wan were then dispatched to the Galactic Games in order to ensure the peace. Anakin found out about an illegal podrace being set up, and, instead of reporting it, he decided to join. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan, with the help of Siri Tachi and apprentice Ferus Olin, unraveled a huge plan to ruin several senators' careers by framing them in a plot to rig some of the games. The plan was orchestrated by Maxo Vista, and Obi-Wan learned from him that the podrace was also rigged so that the lead podracer would lose control of his brakesand possibly kill hundreds. Too late, Obi-Wan set out to warn Anakin, but his Padawan had already started racing and eventually took the lead. Obi-Wan could only watch helplessly as Anakin's brakes malfunctioned. However, using the Force and his piloting skills, Anakin managed to gain control of his craft and avert a tragedy. After a this event, further investigation was done on the man who previously tried to kill them, and it was revealed that the man was trying to take over the marketing of bacta through a mining venture. Anakin, after being captured by him, found out, with the aid of Obi-Wan, that the man's name was Granta Omega. He also discovered that he was trying to impress a Sith Lord by killing Anakin. Master and apprentice were able to escape, halting Omega's mining of titanite in the process. Omega himself, however, escaped their grasp.
- "Sometimes a Jedi's most important duty is to stand and wait. I presume you've mentioned that to Anakin on occasion?"
"Not more than twice a day."
- ―Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Before this, Anakin and Obi-Wan were sent to Barlok to monitor the overbearing Jedi Knight Jorus C'baoth and his timid Padawan, Lorana Jinzler, in their negotiation mission between the Corporate Alliance and the Barlok. Unbeknownst to them, Kinman Doriana, on behalf of Darth Sidious, had planned for the negotiation to work splendidly in Jorus's favor, gaining him enough prestige to go ahead with his pet project, Outbound Flight.
Anakin and his master were again sent to observe the self-acclaimed Jedi Master C'baoth on this project, at least until its last stop within the known galaxy. Obi-Wan did not approve of Jorus's overseeing of the project, butting heads with the Jedi Master on numerous occasions. However, the hardheaded and arrogant C'baoth would not listen, and was glad when they disembarked the venture on Outbound Flight's last stop, Roxuli. Despite the problems his master and Jorus had had, Anakin greatly admired C'baoth, whom he saw as an example of a great leader. These views would also shift his view of a better galaxy under the harsh rule of Palpatine.
Mission to Andara
- "You had a responsibility! Just as I had one to Siri. You betrayed me and the Order by your actions. And your inability to see that troubles me the worst of all."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, berating Anakin
Not long after, in 27 BBY, fourteen-year-old Anakin and his Master were given a mission to investigate a senator's son's disappearance, which they presumed to have much to do with an elite school for senators' children. In order to investigate a band of renegade students and the school itself, the Jedi council gave Anakin and Ferus Olin the task of penetrating the school, which was located on Andara, by posing to be senators' sons. Soon, Anakin had located the students and aqcuired their trust. He decided to join them on a mock attack on a Senator's ship, which in Anakin's view would be helping those who were unrepresented under the Senator's jurisdiction. Ferus did not like the plan and warned Anakin of its problems; however, Anakin dismissed his caution due to his rivalry with Ferus. Later, Ferus suddenly disappeared, but Anakin neglected to inform his master. Before the "mock" attack could begin, he found out that the attack would actually be real, and it threatened to start an war. Before he could leave and inform Obi-Wan, the leader of the group, revealed as Gillam Tarturi, the Senator's missing son, informed Anakin that the Padawan would have to die in order for Gillam's plan to proceed. Left with no choice, Anakin disarmed Gallam and the rest of the members, shut down the lasers of the starfighter the group was planning to use, and, at the same time, destroyed ten attack droids. At this point, Obi Wan, along with Siri Tachi and Ferus Olin, had arrived to Anakin's aid, but he had finished the fight before they could help him. Anakin's level of skill, nearly equal to some great Jedi Masters, left Obi-Wan unnerved. However, Anakin's master was also furious that Anakin had not told Obi-Wan that Ferus was missing, and for the first time, Obi-Wan shouted at his Padawan. This incident widened the gap between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
When Anakin was fifteen, he, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Yaddle were sent on a negotiation mission to Mawan to settle a devastating gang war, in which three criminal organizations fought one another. These gangs, led by Decca the Hutt, Feena Shaan, and Striker, caused the remainder of the population to take refuge underground. During the mission, Anakin was kidnapped by Striker's men. Striker, revealed to be Granta Omega, tried tempting Anakin to leave the Jedi Order and come with him, offering visions of freeing the slaves and his mother on Tatooine. When he saw that Anakin would not yield, he made Anakin arrange a meeting with himself and Yaddle. Unbeknownst to her and the rest of the Jedi, the chaotic planet was a trap set for the Jedi by Omega. He released a fatal chemical weapon that killed Yaddle when she absorbed it through the Force. However, through her sacrifice, she saved the city of Naatan. The weapon was intended by its vengeful maker to kill Anakin and Obi-Wan, but it failed because of what Yaddle had done. Anakin and Obi-Wan managed to bring peace to Mawan, but Anakin still felt responsible for the death of the Jedi High Council member.
Anakin's guilt about Yaddle's death caused friction between him and Obi-Wan, who felt that he was less than capable of teaching the mischievous Anakin properly. When sent on a rescue mission in the Uziel system to a planet called Vanqor, the two were forced to try and reconcile their differences. They were forced through several tribulations, including a run-in with a nest of gundarks. Anakin was then placed under the influence of a drug called the Zone of Self-Containment, and taken prisoner by the insane and fanatical scientist Jenna Zan Arbor. Siri Tachi, Ferus Olin, Garen Muln, and Clee Rhara, who were also sent on another mission entirely, received the distress signal from Obi-Wan while en route to their own destination and picked him up together with Obi-Wan on Vanqor.
Trailing Jenna Zan Arbor and Roy Teda
Jenna escaped, however, and did not resurface again until Anakin was seventeen. From information given them by Tyro Caladian, they discovered that she had reappeared on Romin, a focus of corruption and villainy and a shelter for criminals. In order to infiltrate the planet, he, his Master, Siri, and Ferus disguised themselves as a band of thieves looking for refuge on the planet. They discovered that Jenna had allied herself with Roy Teda—the ruler of Romin—and Granta Omega, Obi-Wan and Anakin’s old adversary. The Jedi were about to be captured when civil war erupted. The underworld was trying to overthrow Teda, and, in the midst of it, Roy and Jenna fled. The two criminals contacted the Jedi—thinking they were actually criminals—to try to find a way offworld. Unfortunately, Jenna recognized Anakin from their previous encounter, and Roy ordered his men to seize the Jedi. Before they could do so, Mace Windu and a team of Jedi arrived, arresting Roy and Jenna. In spite of this, since the Jedi were trying to get to Omega, and they knew the two would lead them to him, they set the two captives free.
Only a few weeks later, Obi-Wan and his apprentice trailed Jenna and Roy to Falleen, where the rogues had managed to set up the Blackwater Systems facility to mass-produce her drug, the Zone of Self-Containment. When they were found, Jenna was forced to destroy the facility and they once more fled.
Anakin and Ferus were again paired when the trail of Jenna and Roy led back to Coruscant. Sano Sauro—a friend of Granta Omega—and Bog Divinian started to make anti-Jedi accusations in order to convince the Galactic Senate to lessen or completely dissolve its support of the Order. This vote, which was about whether or not the Jedi should be involved in the Senate's activities, was all a part of Sauro and Omega's plan to leak the Zone of Self-Containment drug into the Senate's vents and assassinate Chancellor Palpatine. Anakin and Ferus, who were learning to forget their rivalry and understand each other, managed to prevent the assassination attempt on the Supreme Chancellor. Omega's plan was uncovered, but not in time to save twenty-one Senators and several other Senate employees from being killed by seeker droids programmed by Teda. Unbeknownst to the renegade, since Jenna and Granta had no more use for the man, a seeker droid killed him, as well. Afterwards, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Siri set off to find Omega, leaving Ferus to protect the Senators and Palpatine.
Confronting old adversaries
Tracking Omega and Zan Arbor to Korriban, four Jedi pairs—Anakin and Obi-Wan, Siri and Ferus, Ry-Gaul and Tru Veld, and Soara and Darra—journeyed there to confront and stop them. During the course of the hunt, the apprentices were split up from the Masters to better accomplish the mission. The investigation of Dreshdae led them to the Valley of the Dark Lords. Because of the dark side power of the planet, the Padawans, instead of working as a team, started fighting amongst themselves. When Anakin found out about Ferus's advanced training, he was extremely jealous of him, and, because of all of the friction, their journey to find Omega was catastrophic. They were caught and halted by numerous traps that they would have been able to avoid were they able to function as a team. Because of this, the confrontation with Omega was a complete and utter disaster.
Previously, during the fighting, Veld's lightsaber was damaged, and Olin decided to repair it. Skywalker, who was more mechanically adept than Olin, noticed that the repair job would not work. Instead of speaking out and properly repairing the saber himself, he kept quiet, hoping to humiliate Olin. During a battle in one of the tombs, Tru's lightsaber began to fail. Olin switched lightsabers with Tru in order to protect him. Darra noticed the faulty lightsaber and leaped to protect Ferus. However, she was riddled with blaster fire and killed. This caused friction between Tru Veld and Anakin, her death being partly Anakin's fault. Obi-Wan, who showed up just in time, was forced to kill Granta Omega with a stroke of his blade. Zan Arbor managed to elude capture once more, and was not seen again by the Jedi or the Republic.
Ferus, blaming himself for Darra's death, resigned from the Jedi Order.
Some time later, Anakin and his Master were sent on a diplomatic mission to a planet wishing to join the Galactic Republic. They soon found out, however, that the planet's indigenous population considered thievery an important social asset. During their stay, Anakin's lightsaber was stolen. The Padawan searched for it, ashamed to tell Obi-Wan that he lost it, but soon had to admit defeat. Asking Obi-Wan for help, he found that the Jedi Knight knew the lightsaber had been stolen, and, using a trick of the Force, had "acquired" it from the thief. Obi-Wan had merely been waiting for Anakin to admit that he had lost it.
Obi-Wan and his apprentice, who was then sixteen, were then assigned to the task of protecting Senator Simon Greyshade from assassination. Greyshade had recently filled the station of Senator of the Commonality; a Senatorial seat left by his assassinated cousin. Simon's cousin, Jheramahd Greyshade, had been thrown off of the roof of 500 Republica in an attempt to stall the passage of the Financial Reform Act, which the Senator had supported. The act was a bill that addressed and was meant to reduce the amount of corruption that was causing the Senate, and, through them, the Republic, to disintegrate.
Senator Greyshade, who had received a death threat for his stand, was now under protection by the Jedi duo. Commander Zalin Bey of the Senate Guard and her unit were assigned to investigate Jheramahd's assassination. Anakin and Obi-Wan had their hands full protecting Simon from myriad assassins: droids; Keluda, a Dug; and Princess Tsian, whom they could not seriously investigate because of her diplomatic immunity. Despite these hurdles, Tsian was arrested and Keluda was killed.
Sagoro Autem and Isaru Omin continued the investigation of the Senator's murder, turning up several disturbing facts. Sagoro's brother, Venco, had assassinated Jheramahd, and convinced Reymet Autem, Sagoro's son, to unwittingly help him in another assassination, this time an attempt on Simon's life, but this second attempt failed. Sagoro managed to let his son escape, but, unfortunately, when Omin discovered his obstruction of justice, too late for him to arrest Reymet, he arrested Sagoro. The man took the blame and disgrace for what his son had done, and was removed from the office of Senate Guard. Simon Greyshade was safe once more.
Because it was found that the assassination and attempted assassination was because of the Financial Reform Act, it never got a vote. Some say that this was the cause of a good portion of the seceding planets that would soon make the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and could have prevented the Clone Wars had it been passed.
- "Ani?… My goodness, you've grown."
- ―Padmé Amidala to Skywalker
At the age of nineteen, in 22 BBY, Skywalker and Kenobi, along with Luminara Unduli and her apprentice, Barriss Offee, were sent to Ansion to settle a border dispute that had the potential to cause the extremely strategic planet to secede to the Confederacy. If Ansion fell, so would countless other worlds. The Jedi had to influence two constantly feuding armies to settle their dispute and come to an agreement. They were unaware that Presidente Shu Mai of the Commerce Guild was behind the scenes, pulling the strings for Ansion to secede. However, the Jedi foiled her plot, moving the Ansionian clans Januul and Borokii to agree to stay in the Republic. Because of her status as Presidente, Shu Mai was not discovered to be a part of the matter.
Reunited with Amidala
- "You're asking me to be rational. That is something that I know I cannot do. Believe me, I wish I could just wish away my feelings, but I can't."
- ―Skywalker to Amidala
Days after his twentieth birthday, there was an attempt on the life of Padmé Amidala, now the Senator of the Chommell sector, by the bounty hunter Zam Wesell. Skywalker was personally assigned to protect and escort Amidala back to her homeworld. To avoid looking conspicuous, the two traveled as refugees. Skywalker had not seen her in ten years, though he had thought about her daily since their parting at Naboo. His childhood fascination with her had turned into a powerful infatuation. In conversation, Skywalker revealed his affection for her, a distrust of the political process, and his view of the need for one strong leader. Over a short time, his infatuation for her blossomed into something more: love. Eventually Amidala began to return his feelings, even dressing provocatively around him to garner his attention.
It was at Amidala's lake retreat where the two lost their inhibitions and shared their first kiss. Both seemed entranced with the other despite their different social castes. However, Amidala eventually came to her senses, and while Skywalker was concerned with his feelings and living in the present moment—even suggesting they could keep their relationship a secret—Amidala was more concerned with duty and obligation. She had enough foresight to know their current situations would not allow for a relationship between them. Skywalker's pursuit of a relationship with her was in violation of Jedi tradition, which held that although Jedi were not required to be celibate, they were to avoid attachment to all but the Force itself.
Return to Tatooine
- "Why'd she have to die? Why couldn't I save her? I know I could have!"
"Sometimes there are things no one can fix. You're not all powerful, Ani."
"Well I should be! Some day I will be. I will be the most powerful Jedi ever! I promise you. I will even learn to stop people from dying!"
"It's all Obi-Wan's fault! He's jealous! He's holding me back!"
- ―Skywalker and Amidala
Skywalker had been suffering from recurring nightmares about his mother, Shmi, for several months prior to meeting Amidala again; and, because of them, went against the spirit of his orders to protect Amidala by bringing her to Tatooine to find Shmi. Upon landing on Tatooine, Skywalker made his way straight for Watto's shop, where he discovered that a moisture farmer named Cliegg Lars had freed and married his mother.
While speaking with Lars, he learned, to his horror, that Shmi had been abducted by Tusken Raiders. He immediately set out in pursuit of her on Owen Lars' swoop bike. That night, the young Jedi discovered the Tusken camp beyond the B'Thazoshe Bridge, and slipped into the tent that contained his mother, most likely locating her with his Jedi senses. He freed her from her bonds, but it was too late. Battered, sleep-deprived, and dehydrated, Shmi Skywalker died in his arms, but not before seeing him for the last time.
Skywalker allowed the shock of her death to catalyze an explosion of his long-nursed anger and selfishness. He flew into a rage, killing everyone present—even, as he confessed to Amidala later, "the women and children." A number of Jedi, including Yoda and the deceased Qui-Gon Jinn, sensed the shock of this massacre as well as Skywalker's powerful Force presence, which bordered on the dark side.
Amidala was clearly troubled by what Skywalker had done, but had invested herself too much in him to be truly repulsed. She tried to soothe him with sympathy and told no one of Skywalker's hideous act. In his anger and sorrow, he rashly claimed that one day he would have the power to stop people from dying.
Battle of Geonosis
- "You're going to pay for all the Jedi that you've killed today, Dooku."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
While still on Tatooine, Skywalker discovered that Kenobi had been taken hostage by the Geonosian-engineered Confederacy of Independent Systems's droid forces. He initially decided to honor Master Windu's order to protect Amidala at all costs and to stay on Tatooine, the episode with his mother having caused him to lose confidence in himself. However, Amidala convinced him that rescuing his mentor was the right thing to do and they traveled to Geonosis. Once on the planet, Skywalker and Amidala infiltrated the droid foundries but were soon captured as well and sentenced to die in a gladiatorial execution arena. Faced with their impending fate, they professed their love to one another. The timely arrival of the Jedi and eventually the clone troopers allowed both of them to escape and fight in the ensuing battle.
Skywalker and Kenobi pursued Count Dooku, the mastermind of the Confederacy and, unbeknownst to them, a Sith Lord. They gave chase across the vast Geonosian sands, where he led them to a CIS-owned hangar. Once they caught up with Dooku, Skywalker, against the better advice of his Master, foolishly rushed the Sith with a headstrong attitude. It was the Padawan's undoing: Dooku unleashed a powerful barrage of Force lightning on Skywalker, knocking the youth unconscious and leaving Kenobi to face Dooku alone. Kenobi put up a valiant fight, however, his skills proved no match for the more powerful and experienced Dooku, and he was soon incapacitated. As Skywalker recovered from the Force lightning, he witnessed Dooku raising his lightsaber to deliver the final blow against the fallen Kenobi.
Skywalker, calling upon the Force, leapt into the path of Dooku's lightsaber, blocking it with his own, saving his Master's life in the process. Taking up his fallen master's weapon, Skywalker unleashed a flurry of attacks, catching Dooku off guard. However, despite the tactical advantage the second blade granted, it was short-lived. Dooku managed to destroy the green blade, leaving Skywalker with only the blue. Despite holding his own for much of the duel, Skywalker lost the battle—and his arm—to Dooku. After being rescued by Yoda, Skywalker's forearm was replaced with a mechno-arm.
Marriage to Padmé
Not long after the Battle of Geonosis, Skywalker married Amidala at Varykino on Naboo in a secret ceremony performed by a Naboo holyman. C-3PO and his counterpart, R2-D2, were the only witnesses. The newly-married couple would later struggle to keep this illicit relationship secret.
- "You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I know, and you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
With the onset of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker started on his way to become a legendary hero. He was an unparalleled starfighter pilot, flying missions over several worlds, including Kamino, Balamak, and Virujansi, solidifying his reputation. He even earned the seldom-heard title of Tan in recognition of his exceptional piloting skills. He custom-modified his Delta-7 Aethersprite starfighter—naming it Azure Angel as a tribute to his wife—into a unique and deadly vessel that time and time again outperformed any ship on the battlefield. He also proved his worth outside the cockpit, destroying the ancient Sith weapon known as the Dark Reaper and helping to drive back a Separatist invasion of Coruscant that even breached the Jedi Temple itself.
Dubbed the "Hero With No Fear", war molded Skywalker into a man and honed his combat ability, but it continued to nourish his ego. It was also a lie. Skywalker had no fear for his own life, but he was terrified for the lives of his Master, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the troops under his authority, and even R2-D2, who accompanied Anakin whenever he could. It was difficult to rein in Skywalker as he increasingly had trouble following the strict doctrine governed by the Jedi Code, especially when the Order itself was complicit in ambiguous moral acts by waging a full-scale war. But, above all else, Skywalker feared for his beloved Padmé Amidala. He wrote to her whenever he could, and also tried to meet with her on several occasions, but because of their duties they saw each other very rarely. And the few times they did, Padmé was usually in danger, which fueled his protectiveness for her and his fear.
Battle of Muunilinst and Duel on Yavin IV
- "I'm going to make you pay for what you've done."
"Come, Padawan. Your fall will be my ascension to the Sith."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress
At the Battle of Muunilinst, Commander Skywalker was charged with orchestrating the aerial assault on the homeworld of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, a pivotal member of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. His piloting talents and leadership of a group of clone pilots led to a victory.
A mysterious vessel caught his eye during the fray, and he was drawn from the battle despite Obi-Wan's admonition. He followed the enigmatic Fanblade starfighter through an intense chase through the streets of Muunilinst's capital city, back to space and through hyperspace to Yavin IV. Beneath the jungle canopy and amongst the remains of ancient Massassi temples, Anakin came face to face with the fanblade pilot, Asajj Ventress and dueled with her. As they fought, the battle progressed into and onto the temples of Yavin IV. In the end, Anakin was disarmed by Asajj, but was able to defeat her by taking one of her curved-hilt lightsabers, and repeatedly striking her, having brief visions of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Yoda deeply troubled by what he was doing. His strikes caused the temple stone beneath her to crumble, and she fell through the ledge into a chasm apparently to her death; but she would later escape. As he stood victorious, Anakin gave a loud yell of rage, knowing that he had won. This had only been accomplished, though, by tapping into his dark side.
Battle of Jabiim
On the rain-drenched world of Jabiim, during the battle that took place there, Skywalker came into his own. As Obi-Wan was thought to have been killed by a Separatist attack, Anakin led a cadre of similarly "orphaned" Padawans. The loss of his Master and the horrors on the battlefield of Jabiim would have lasting effect on his life; and because of it he became even more fiercely independent and more frustrated by his failings. However, in the thick of the battle he received an urgent transmission from Palpatine to personally evacuate the planet. This ploy may have been made to save Anakin from being killed on the battlefront.
Respecting the Chancellor's power and friendship, Anakin had to comply with his wishes, though it was hard for him to desert his friends on the final front. Before leaving, the thirteen-year old Padawan Aubrie Wyn gave Anakin her Master's holocron to return to the temple. Sadly, in the following five days as Anakin left the front, all of the members of the Padawan Pack were killed in action. When the transports arrived, only a few had made it through the storms. Anakin was faced with a hard and painful decision—as the last surviving Jedi on Jabiim, he ordered the evacuation of the planet. Enraged, Captain Orliss Gillmunn pulled a blaster on Anakin, who reacted instinctively with Force choke, strangling the officer. Such horrific acts were becoming far too natural for him; it was the first time he had used the Force in this manner but it would certainly not be the last. Gillmunn, leader of the disenchanted Jabiimi loyalists, swore to never forget this betrayal as the Loyalist Jabiimi were left to their fate. Once again, Anakin had failed and the battle for Jabiim was lost. His actions during the battle would later spark the Second Battle of Jabiim nearly twenty years later, where his children were captured by rogue rebels.
One of the wounded was Master Sora Mobari, who was injured in an explosion by Ithorian terrorists and who was not responding to treatments. Anakin, unable to accept even one more Jedi lost, tried a different method—he used the same Force technique that he used to crushed Gillmunn's windpipe, and used it to massage Mobari's heart. Hett was horrified, so he tried to reason with Anakin, saying that she was suffering needlessly. Anakin insisted she would live, but in spite of his efforts she succumbed to her injuries. Anakin was unable to accept that he could not save people from death; this experience would reinforce his desire to save the people he loved from dying.
Hett later showed Anakin a memorial created for all the Jedi killed since the birth of the Republic. It was comprised of supposedly immortal memory moths that whispered the names of the Jedi over and over again. Anakin released a few moths for all members of the Padawan Pack—Kass Tod, Mak Lotor, Tae Diath, Elora Sund, Vaabesh, Windo Nend, Zule Xiss, and Aubrie Wyn—and his own master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Hett released one for Sora Morbari, he reassured Anakin that she was severed from the Living Force days ago and nothing could have stopped her from dying. Because of his Master’s apparent death, Anakin came under the tutelage of Ki-Adi-Mundi as a campaign began on the world of Aargonar.
Battle on Skye
Obi-Wan temporarily took Halagad Ventor as a Padawan in addition to Anakin, following the demise of Ventor's former master. He and Anakin soon became friends and as a sign of their trust, they engaged in the Concordance of Fealty, a Jedi tradition where they temporarily swapped lightsabers as a sign of trust. They travelled to the planet of Skye, where they fought against an Unidentified genetic terrorist. They foiled the terrorist's plot that threatened the planet with total destruction. Following the battle, Skywalker discovered the 13 year old S'kytri Kharys, who proved to be strong in the Force. He wished to take her back with them for training, but Kenobi and Ventor believed she was too old to start on the path of a Jedi and refused to take her. However, Anakin promised Kharys that he would return one day to train her.
Battle of Aargonar
On the desert world of Aargonar, an unimportant world, the Republic and Confederacy fought; the lines were drawn. During one of the skirmishes, Anakin, Hett, and his apprentice, Bhat, were lost behind enemy lines.
Bhat had been seriously injured from a crash, and as he lay dying, Anakin tried to use the Force to heal him, but it was to no avail; Bhat died from the fatal wounds. Anakin, frustrated with the Nikto's death, chastised Hett, saying that had they been with him, they might have been able to save him. Hett replied that he had felt Bhat become one with the Force, arguing that Bhat had known that he was there with him in the Force, and that his physical presence would have made no difference.
As Skywalker and Hett began to work their way back to their army, Anakin's prejudice against the Tuskens for killing his mother was beginning to demonstrate itself against the Tusken Jedi. He was insulted and angered when Hett spoke of the similarities between them: coming to Coruscant later in their lives, being raised on a desert planet, and having known only one parent. Anakin's fury was intensified when Hett commented that Anakin would have made a good Tusken.
When they reached a Separatist station, they began working on transport to return to their own base. So they could hijack a transport, Hett gave Anakin the power cells from his and the Tusken Jedi's father's lightsaber to get the transport moving. That completed, they started the search for weapons to arm themselves. As the hours rolled by, Anakin began to relive the memories surrounding his mother's death. When Separatist guards located the Padawan, who was slipping towards the dark side, he mistook them for Tuskens, and, in a fit of rage, slaughtered them all. In a blood haze, Anakin turned on Hett, but the Tusken Jedi managed to disarm him and talk some sense into him.
A'Sharad told Anakin that, as a Tusken, he understood the vehement desire to take revenge, but because of his training as a Jedi he had learned that vengeance was not theirs to take. The Tusken Jedi also knew the lure of the dark side, knowing it needed to be avoided. After recounting to Hett his painful memories of his mother's death, Anakin remembered that his mother's death and the slaughter that had followed it was something he had never told his old master, Obi-Wan.
Seeing the turmoil the boy was in, Hett concluded that if they were to survive and get along together, Anakin must see him as a Jedi, and not a Tusken Raider. Hett removed his mask, surprising Anakin, who saw that he was totally Human. He insisted that he was Tusken at heart, but also wholly a Jedi. Anakin apologized to him, finally seeing Hett as an ally instead of an old foe. The two survived the trip back to the Republic lines.
Hett, contemplating the episode, decided to have people see him first as a Jedi, then as a Tusken. He also never told anyone else of Anakin's secret, insisting that it was his burden and that Anakin would have to face the repercussions of what he had done, believing that Anakin would tell his master about the massacre, himself. Anakin never did.
Not long afterwards, Anakin discovered that his master was indeed alive and had only been captured by Asajj, and was soon joyfully reunited with Kenobi, who had escaped from captivity.
- "Step forward, Padawan. Anakin Skywalker, by the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, dub thee I do… Jedi… Knight of the Republic."
After his heroic actions at the Battle of Praesitlyn and upon returning from the Mission to Vjun, Anakin was endowed with the title of Jedi Knight, despite the fact that he never went through the traditional Jedi Trials before being Knighted. It was a controversial decision; Kit Fisto and Ki-Adi-Mundi openly and zealously supported him, while Oppo Rancisis and Adi Gallia questioned whether Skywalker was mature enough. But in the end, the decision fell to Yoda, who decided to have him Knighted in a secret ceremony. Anakin later sent his Padawan braid, which had been ritualistically severed by Yoda, to Padmé as a late devotion gift.
A Hutt rescue
While Skywalker fought alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi to defeat Separatist General Whorm Loathsom on the planet Christophsis , a ship arrived with a young Togruta Jedi named Ahsoka Tano. She had a message from the Jedi Council, and had been assigned as Skywalker's new Padawan.
The Separatists on Christophsis eventually surrendered to Kenobi. Skywalker and Tano were reassigned on another vital mission - to rescue Jabba the Hutt's son Rotta from the planet Teth. Along with Captain Rex and Torrent Company, Skywalker scaled a high mesa under Separatist fire to reach a clifftop monastery. The pair escaped from Asajj Ventress, who had been holding the Huttling captive, and returned Rotta to Tatooine. The pair split up, with Skywalker acting as a decoy for his young apprentice. Dooku, who had been negotiating with Jabba, intercepted Skywalker and sent droids to intercept Tano so that they would not reach the Hutt and reveal Dooku's Sith deceptions.
After a short duel, Skywalker stole Dooku's speeder and flew to Jabba's palace to save Tano from his wrath. While Jabba was pleased to see his son returned, he still ordered both Tano and Skywalker to be killed. The intervention of Senator Amidala, who had found that Dooku had been working with Jabba's uncle Ziro, saved the negotiations. Furious that Dooku had deceived him, Jabba permitted the Republic to use Hutt hyperspace routes into the Outer Rim.
Battle of Rendili and aftermath
Shortly after his knighthood, Anakin participated in the Battle of Rendili. His idea was to use his starfighter to place concussion charges on critical weak points of the Rendili Dreadnaught-class cruisers. Although Jedi Master Saesee Tiin objected to it, Anakin's pride could not let him pass up any chance for a victory. Without permission, he proceeded to carry out his plan during the battle. It was a success, and helped achieve a Republic victory, fueling his ego and self-importance. After the battle, Anakin returned to Coruscant, where he testified before the council regarding Quinlan Vos's involvement in the battle, helping the former Jedi regain his position in the order.
Immediately afterward, he journeyed to the Senate Building to meet Padmé, but as she wasn't there, he gratefully received a holographic message from one of her handmaidens. Traveling to the Galactic City's industrial sector to listen to the recording privately, he was ambushed by the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress.
Asajj eavesdropped on Anakin as he listened to the secret holodisc recording, thus discovering his relationship with Padmé. She destroyed the holodisc, and taunted Anakin with threats to kill Padmé, after which the two engaged in a vicious lightsaber duel. It was during this battle that Anakin received a vertical scar which ran above and below his right eye, and two small scars on his left cheek, from her lightsaber.
Despite being painfully blemished, Skywalker persevered. Ventress had made the mistake of underestimating the young Jedi Knight's fierce desire to protect the ones he loved from harm, and, during the battle, Anakin used the Force to entangle her in electrical cables and send her plummeting to the depths of Coruscant. As on Yavin IV, she survived the fall, but was too weak to pursue Anakin.
Sometime after becoming a Knight, Anakin and Obi-Wan were confronted by bounty hunters on an unknown planet. The two managed to escape on a swoop thanks to Anakin's piloting and ingenuity, as he used the lightsaber's battery to give the swoop more speed.
During the Outer Rim Sieges, Obi-Wan and Anakin were only occasionally removed from one another, being dispatched as a team to various battlefronts, commanding the Open Circle Fleet. Shortly before the Battle of Coruscant, Obi-Wan and Anakin were sent to the icy planet of Nelvaan to seek out Grievous. The Nelvaanians hailed Anakin as "Ghost Hand", and the shaman of Rokrul village sent him on a quest to save their people from a threat that had vanquished all their champions. Anakin agreed, and entered a cave where he experienced visions of a great hunter, who lost his arm in battle. However, he fought back, and continued to slay monsters with a new black, spiky arm. As he slew the monsters, his power grew until it was out of control, the spiky black arm turning into a spiky black labyrinth that encompassed and destroyed everything the warrior held dear.
Padmé's voice was screaming as the sinister black labyrinth of evil that had once been the great warrior's arm turned back upon the source and morphed what remained of the great hunter into an eerie face—the face of Darth Vader, whom Anakin would soon become.
When Anakin recovered from this vision, he happened upon a Techno Union laboratory where they were experimenting on the Nelvaanian warriors, developing them into brutish drones with cybernetic blaster cannons in their arms. With the help of a Nelvaanian who was not completely transformed by the scientists, he convinced the drones to assist him in destroying the factory, an act that cost him his robotic arm. Many of the scientists tried to escape, but Anakin caught up to and killed them in rage. In a show of support, the Nelvaanian men tore off their artificial arms as well.
Transformation to Vader (19 BBY)
- "Soon I will have a new apprentice… one far younger and more powerful."
- ―Darth Sidious
Shortly before the war's end, the First Battle of Cato Neimoidia handed Skywalker and Kenobi a valuable clue to the identity of the mysterious Darth Sidious: Nute Gunray's mechno-chair. This device carried a unique holotransceiver that bore intelligence capable of leading the Republic forces to their ultimate quarry, the ever-elusive Sidious. Mace Windu took up the lead on Coruscant, while Skywalker and Kenobi tracked the lead in the Outer Rim Territories. Adventures for both teams waited as the trail in the Outer Rim led back to the Works on Coruscant, just in time for an attack on Coruscant by the Confederacy, causing Skywalker and Kenobi to rush back to Coruscant after their visit to Tythe. Back on Coruscant, just as the identity of Darth Sidious loomed ever closer, the battle overhead delayed and dissolved the investigation. Windu joined the battle, clashing with General Grievous, who eventually escaped, though injured, and captured Chancellor Palpatine, taking him to his flagship, the Invisible Hand.
Before the Separatist armada was able to flee Coruscant, however, Skywalker and Kenobi finally returned from the Outer Rim in an attempt to rescue the "captive" Chancellor. Moving into the thick of the battle, they stormed the Confederacy's flagship in their Eta-2 Actis-class interceptors. The two Jedi fought their way through the ship until they reached the General's Quarters atop the command tower, where Palpatine was being held hostage. As the two Jedi attempted to free him, Count Dooku entered the room escorted by two super battle droids to confront the two Jedi.
Unlike their first encounter with Dooku, Skywalker and Kenobi fought together against him in a coordinated duel, until the Sith Lord used the Force to choke Kenobi. He then simultaneously back-kicked Skywalker and threw Kenobi across the room, rendering the Jedi Master unconscious and pinning him with a piece of a walkway dislodged by the Force. Skywalker fought on, eventually losing control of his emotions as Dooku taunted him. He began to unleash all his fear, anger and hatred, beating away at Dooku's Makashi with his own Djem So mastery. The short duel ended abruptly when Skywalker sliced off Dooku's hands, rendering the Sith Lord helpless; an act of vengeance from their previous duel.
Pleased with the outcome, Palpatine urged Anakin to kill Dooku. After hesitating to give in to the Chancellor's wishes, Skywalker beheaded the shocked Count with his two lightsabers (including Dooku's own curved, red-bladed lightsaber) crossing at Dooku's neck, killing him instantly. Anakin did not yet know that Palpatine was also Darth Sidious, nor did he know that he was being used to betray Dooku so that Palpatine could train the young Jedi in the ways of the dark side. Nonetheless, Anakin immediately regretted his actions, citing that it is not the way of the Jedi to kill a defenseless foe. Palpatine, however, eased Skywalker's conscience by claiming that such an action of violence was "only natural" in such a situation.
Anakin then freed Palpatine from his bonds and escaped the Quarters, carrying an unconscious Obi-Wan on his back, ignoring the Chancellor's orders to leave the Jedi Master behind. However, their escape was short lived as they were soon captured and brought before General Grievous on the bridge of the vessel. At Skywalker's command, R2-D2 created a distraction, allowing Skywalker and Kenobi to regain their lightsabers, escape from their bonds and attack the general's bodyguards and droids. Unfortunately, Grievous was able to escape the Jedi and deploy all the escape pods as his flagship began to break apart and plummet to the galactic capital below, drawn by the planet's gravity. Skywalker managed to pilot what was left of the ship to a crash landing on a platform in an abandoned industrial area on Coruscant.
Fall to the dark side
- "You die in childbirth."
"And the baby?"
"I don't know."
"It was only a dream."
"I won't let this one become real."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala
Upon his return to Coruscant, Skywalker was reunited with his wife where she informed him of her pregnancy, which he was overjoyed to hear. However, he was later troubled by visions of Amidala dying in childbirth. To save his wife, Skywalker desired to look upon and research holocrons of learned Masters, holocrons that were restricted by all but the Jedi Masters. When Palpatine made Skywalker his representative on the Jedi Council, he naturally assumed that made him a Master, thus giving him access to the restricted holocrons. However, though the other Jedi reluctantly accepted Anakin's placement on the Council, they denied him the rank of Jedi Master, infuriating and frustrating him. After the session a tense Skywalker expressed his incensed opinion to Kenobi on the matter, working around the fact he needed to be a Master to save Amidala.
Further severing his trust in them, the Council urged Skywalker to keep tabs on Palpatine, although Kenobi was against this decision. This led Skywalker to lose his respect for the members of the governing body, a mistrust and plaguing uncertainty that he revealed to his wife. It was shortly after this time that Skywalker was met by Iguni who, after sharing a brief conversation with him, had a Force vision of Anakin's fall to the dark side; what Iguni did with this vision is unknown. Skywalker sought Yoda's counsel about his intense, prophetic visions that someone close to him would die, though he did not reveal the identity of the person in question. Yoda, unaware of the intensity of Skywalker's love for Amidala, told him to "Train yourself to let go... of everything you fear to lose." Anakin was unsatisfied with this response.
As he continued to meet with Palpatine, the Chancellor slowly began to plant the seeds of the dark side in Skywalker. Playing to his fear of Amidala's death, he told Skywalker the story of a Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis, who was powerful enough to stop others from dying, which caught Skywalker's attention. Eventually Palpatine revealed his true self, and offered Skywalker the chance to learn the ways of the dark side and use its power to save Amidala. Skywalker promptly reported Palpatine's identity to Windu, though he regretted his choice as Palpatine’s words tortured his mind. Windu, after instructing Skywalker to remain at the Jedi Temple, went, with three other Jedi—Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Kit Fisto—to arrest the Chancellor. Palpatine fought with the Jedi, slaying three of them almost immediately and leaving only Windu. He and Palpatine continued to fight until the Jedi Master gained the advantage, pointing his weapon at the throat of the cowering Sith (although Palpatine appeared to have lost, this may have been intentional on his part for the purpose of gaining sympathy from Skywalker, his hoped-for protégé). Back at the Jedi Temple, meanwhile, Skywalker brooded over an overwhelming thought: with Palpatine's death, he would lose the chance to save his wife from the fate in his dreams.
A fateful choice
- "Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is… consumed by Darth Vader."
- ―Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Tormented by thoughts of Amidala dying without the benefit of Palpatine's knowledge, Skywalker rushed out of the Temple, grabbing an airspeeder and hurrying to Palpatine’s location. He was uncertain what he was going to do, all he knew was he had to do something. Coincidentally, Skywalker arrived just in time to see Windu preparing to kill Palpatine.
As if on cue, Palpatine attacked Windu with Force lightning while pleading to Skywalker for help. Barely managing to deflect Palpatine's lightning, Windu shouted at Anakin not to listen. During the self-inflicted onslaught, Palpatine went through a physical transformation as he struggled to intensify his dark side powers with his own life force, his face becoming hideously deformed and his eyes turning yellow. Windu prevailed and expressed a desire to kill Palpatine and end the Sith; however, Skywalker confronted him, stating that Palpatine must stand trial, and that to execute him was not the way of the Jedi. This was likely out of his regret for killing Dooku before in a similar situation, but clearly also out of his fear for losing the chance to save his wife from death. Windu ignored Skywalker and prepared to kill Palpatine, but in haste and rashness, the panicked Skywalker drew his lightsaber and severed Windu's right hand. Before Windu could respond, Palpatine used Force lightning to send the Jedi Master through the shattered window to his death.
Upon realizing the full significance of what he had just done, Anakin was stricken with guilt and questioned his actions, but was too emotionally drained and dazed to resist Palpatine, who stated that he was fulfilling his destiny. He further encouraged Skywalker to embrace the dark side and become his apprentice. Anakin agreed to do anything Palpatine desired; all he wanted was to save Amidala's life and his help to do so. Palpatine promised Skywalker that, together, they could find the secret, tacitly admitting that he did not have the ability to hold back death. Anakin Skywalker then pledged himself to the Sith Order, and Sidious endowed him with a new name: Darth Vader.
Rise of Darth Vader
- "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."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Raid on the Jedi Temple
- "Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?"
- ―A Jedi youngling to Vader
Palpatine assured Vader that every Jedi was an enemy of the state, including Kenobi, and it would be endless civil war unless the Jedi were destroyed. Vader was ordered by the Sith Master that, if he wanted to gain enough power in the dark side to save Amidala, he was to lead the 501st Legion into the Jedi Temple and kill every Jedi inside. Vader did this without question, slaughtering venerable Jedi and younglings alike. Some of the Jedi children even approached him, unaware that he was to be their destroyer. The atrocities committed by Vader and the 501st Legion resulted in smoke rising from the pillars of the Jedi Temple, easily visible from the Senate building. This would be the start of the Great Jedi Purge.
Mission to Mustafar
- "The war is over! Lord Sidious promised us peace! We only want—"
- ―Nute Gunray's last words
Soon after the completion of Vader's assault on the Jedi Temple, he returned to his master for further instruction. Sidious then commanded Vader to travel to the nearby planet of Mustafar, where he was to kill the Separatist Council and bring peace to the soon-to-be-founded Empire. Vader obeyed, embracing his hatred and anger. Before he left, he briefly visited Amidala and informed her of his new mission to end the war for good. As he moved to leave, Vader assured her that all would be well and asked her to wait for him.
Vader traveled to Mustafar and used Sidious' codes to pass through the Separatists' security. Vader left R2-D2 with his fighter so that his actions were neither witnessed nor recorded. He entered the room in which the Separatist leaders were and closed all of the doors, preventing any council member from escaping. At first, several of the leaders warmly welcomed him, before they recognized his overly publicized face. In their surprise, the corrupted Vader then began his massacre of the Separatist Council.
After callously dismembering all the members, he turned to the last one left—Nute Gunray, Sidious's former ally who had invaded and occupied Naboo before being defeated by Skywalker thirteen years before. Before he died, Gunray pleaded with Vader, claiming that Lord Sidious had promised they would be left in peace; however, Vader killed him, replying that the Dark Lord had meant him to be left in pieces. His mission accomplished, the Sith Lord silently exited the room.
Outside, overlooking the turbulent volcanic terrain, Vader contemplated his transformation and convinced himself that all he had done was for the benefit of the Republic. While doing so, he remembered his Master's order to communicate with him as soon as the enemy was defeated. During this communication, he thought of how soon he planned for their positions to be changed, and how soon he would kill the Dark Lord—just as soon as he discovered a way to preserve Amidala's life. Darth Sidious warned Vader of danger before he cut off communication. Thinking him only joking, as the only thing arriving was his wife's ship, he left the bunker to meet her.
Duel on Mustafar and aftermath
- "Love won't save you, Padme. Only my new powers can do that."
"But at what cost? You're a good person. Don't do this!"
"I won't lose you the way I lost my mother. I am becoming more powerful than any Jedi has ever dreamed of. And I'm doing it for you, to protect you."
- ―Darth Vader and Padmé Amidala
Upon reuniting with Amidala, Vader discovered that Kenobi had revealed Vader's dark deeds in the Jedi Temple to her. Though he did not deny the accusation, Vader maintained that Kenobi was only attempting to turn her against him. Amidala tried to reason with him, convince him to retire from public service with her to raise their child, but Vader countered with the idea to overthrow Palpatine and set the both of them up in his place. Shocked and horrified, Amidala refused, stating that he was going down a path she could not follow. She pleaded with him to come back, promising she loved him. However, unbeknownst to Amidala, Kenobi had stowed away on her ship to find Vader, and at that moment he appeared from the ship.
Upon seeing his former master, Vader thought that Amidala had betrayed him and brought Kenobi to kill him. Overwhelmed by his anger and rage, he lashed out with the Force, choking his wife into unconsciousness. Kenobi also tried to reason with his former pupil, but Vader refused to listen, too corrupt to be turned from the dark side.
- "Anakin, my allegience is to the Republic, to democracy!"
"If you're not with me, then you're my enemy."
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must."
"You will try."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader
Vader and Kenobi fought an intense battle throughout the mining complex and down the river of lava outside. The battle ended on the banks of a lava river, where Kenobi leaped to safety in order to claim the high ground, pleading with Vader to concede defeat and return from the dark path. Because of his overwhelming pride and seething rage, Vader ignored his fatal tactical disadvantage and attempted to make the same jump so to continue the duel, only to be severely maimed and immobilized by Kenobi's blade, which severed both of his legs and his left arm.
With his body disfigured and his ability to use the Force grievously reduced, Vader tried to claw his way up the talus using only his remaining prosthetic limb. As he did this, Obi-Wan and Vader exchanged their parting words.
- "I hate you!"
"You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you!"
- ―Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Shortly after, the heat of the lava ignited Vader's clothing, burning his body severely. He was nearly immolated as he slid down to the edge of the burning lava riverbank. Kenobi retrieved Skywalker's lightsaber from nearby and left Vader for dead. He would keep this lightsaber until 0 BBY. As the flames began to subside, Vader kept himself alive with the Force and his unbreakable will, clawing his way back up the bank with his still-intact mechanical arm, struggling against his extreme injuries.
Darth Sidious, now the newly-declared Emperor of the Galactic Empire, soon arrived and found his injured apprentice. He returned Vader to Coruscant via shuttle and repaired the damage to his body through intensive cybernetic enhancements at the Emperor Palpatine Surgical Reconstruction Center. He ordered the medical droids to keep him awake during the process so the pain would fuel his rage, and therefore his power. His new robotic extremities were updated versions of the same technology that transformed General Grievous into a cyborg. Though he would still remain extremely powerful, Sidious knew that the injuries Vader had sustained had robbed him of much of his potential. Upon his revival as a cyborg, Vader questioned his Master about Amidala. Sidious told him that he had killed his wife in his anger.
Overwhelmed by his despair in the belief he had killed Amidala and their unborn child, which fulfilled his prophetic dreams of her death, Vader destroyed the medical droids and severely damaged the facility through the Force. He broke his bindings on the operating table and struggled to walk under the sheer weight of his new prosthetics and armor. The only purpose that remained in Vader's life was his service to the new Emperor.
- "He's more machine now than man; twisted and evil."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The personality of Darth Vader became even more distinctive from Anakin Skywalker's due to the great physical and psychological damage that completely changed both his appearance and his character. His armor limited his vision, restrained his movement, and caused extreme frustration for Vader (in the early years, at least), but he would eventually retool his entire fighting style to make up for the lack of mobility that his armor imposed on him. As Darth Vader, Skywalker became a powerful asset to the Empire, serving as an enforcer, Jedi hunter, and Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet of Palpatine's New Order.
Serving the Emperor
- "You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my Master."
- ―Vader to his son
Shortly after the Empire's birth, Vader was on the trail of an ancient Sith artifact known as the Muur Talisman. After interrogating a sentient named Janks, he learned of a mysterious crate that his ship, the Uhumele, was carying. Vader intercepted the trade by contacting Fane Peturri, a well known historian. Vader sought an oubliette, containing the Muur Talisman and the Jedi who wore it. When she found out the Sith were in control of the galaxy, she immediately attacked him. Vader taunted her to embrace the dark side and become his apprentice. But unwilling to let him be possessed by the Talisman, Celeste turned all humans within the vicinity into rakghouls, forcing him to flee.
A year later, while recovering from his wounds, Vader was forced to return to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He arrived to find Inquisitor Malorum having difficulties with intruders. Vader ridiculed Malorum for having difficulty in capturing the reported intruders, much to the chagrin of the Inquisitor, who had plans of replacing Vader as the Emperor's crony. Vader even went as far as to suggest that Malorum blow up the Temple to ensure the intruders' deaths, though he knew very well that the Inquisitor would not even attempt to. The two also quarreled about Malorum's lack of dealing with the secret resistance group, the Erased. When Malorum mentioned to Vader his findings on Polis Massa, the Sith Lord held him in a Force choke and his anger started to cave-in the walls of the room, exposing Ferus Olin, a former rival of his, and his companion Trever Flume. As a result of Malorum's failure to capture the intruders, Vader let the pair escape.
In the same year, Vader secretly trained an apprentice, whom he would assign to hunt down and destroy fugitive Jedi. This apprentice was part of a secret plot to overthrow Palpatine.
A short time afterwards, Vader was ordered by the Emperor to go to the planet Samaria, where sabotage of the computer systems had caused the planet to go into chaos. While searching for the saboteur, he again ran into Ferus Olin. This time, however, Olin had the protection of the Emperor and could not be arrested. After this meeting, though, Vader had plenty to think about.
Some time later, Vader was assigned to the Imperial garrison on Bellassa. However, after cutting down Roan Lands—one of The Eleven resistance members—and once more exposing Olin's treachery, the Emperor intervened on Olin's behalf and reassigned Vader to a troublesome garrison under construction in the Bellassan mountains.
Many of Vader's early missions were ordered by the Emperor himself. These early missions included punishing the clone commandos who prevented the execution of Order 66 on Murkhana, slaying a group of Jedi Knights who had tried to set a trap for him on Kessel, apprehending the dissident Senator Fang Zar on Alderaan, and a trip to the planet Kashyyyk to oversee the enslavement of the Wookiees after Vader tracked a group of Jedi there. A notable mission was to the planet Honoghr, devastated by the Separatist toxin Trihexalophine1138 during the Clone Wars. He promised the native Noghri that the Empire would restore Honoghr's ecosystem in exchange for their service to the Empire as assassins.
Vader piloted a black-hued Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor during some of his early missions for Palpatine as the Great Jedi Purge continued, sometimes flanked by Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters. His personal command ship during this time was the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Exactor.
Vader's most personal tasks were to find and eliminate survivors of Order 66. Among them were Empatojayos Brand, who was forced to live out the remainder of his life inside a pressure suit; An'ya Kuro, whom he knew from the Jedi Temple as "the Dark Woman"; Echuu Shen-Jon, thought to be dead but merely in self-imposed exile following his use of the dark side to defeat Separatist General Sev'rance Tann during the early days of the Clone Wars; and Halagad Ventor, from whom Vader learned the location of other Jedi survivors, including Qu Rahn. He later tracked down three missing Jedi from the planet Murkhana: Jedi Masters Roan Shryne, Bol Chatak, and Chatak's Padawan Olee Starstone, who managed to escape into hiding, Shaak Ti, who survived the Raid on the Jedi Temple and went into hiding at Felucia, but later confronted Vader and his apprentice. However, the object of his most intense wrath, Obi-Wan Kenobi, managed to elude him, as Vader did not return to Tatooine out of fear of reawakening the buried persona of Anakin Skywalker.
Although in possession of great wealth and power, Vader allowed himself few comforts. Among those were his personal retreat on Coruscant and Bast Castle on Vjun. The 501st Legion, the stormtrooper division he led in the extermination of the Jedi at the Jedi Temple, 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". In addition to these possessions, Vader took an apprentice to train in the ways of the Sith from a group of Jedi whom he had personally slaughtered on the planet Shumari. Having sensed anger in a young Tao, Vader chose to let him live and hid him from the Emperor in order to both protect him and have his own apprentice.
In 7 BBY, Vader led a research project on Falleen. His intent was to conduct tests for the construction of a biological weapon. However, there was an accident, which infected all areas surrounding the testing facility. As a precaution, Vader had the circumference of the area "sterilized," which included the destruction of around 200,000 Falleen, including the family of Prince Xizor. In the eyes of the Empire, the death of these Falleen was but a small price to pay, as it prevented the death of millions on the rest of the planet, and prevented a possible multi-planet epidemic.
In 1 BBY, Vader and Palpatine were the targets of a group of treacherous Imperial officers led by Grand Moff Trachta. Trachta saw the Sith as foolish and archaic, and believed that the Empire should not be ruled by a two-man cult. They planned to use a batch of altered stormtroopers loyal only to them to destroy the two Sith Lords. While the Emperor was dealing with the conspirators, Vader set out on a mission on his own to a distant world to locate a mysterious, powerful Jedi. But, instead of a Jedi Knight, he was confronted by a cadre of bounty hunters who had come to the conclusion that ganging up on—and defeating—the Sith Lord would bring them fame and fortune. With the help of another bounty hunter, Boba Fett, Vader quickly disposed of them and returned to find the conspirators' plot dismantled, in part because of internal fighting between the coconspirators.
An old enemy
- "Palpatine's mailed fist, Dooku's successor, Maul's inheritor."
- ―Shadday Potkin
With the loss of the stolen Death Star plans during a prison break in 0 BBY, Vader was charged by the Emperor himself with retrieving the missing schematics. When word reached him of a possible Rebel Alliance courier en route to the volcanic Sith moon of Kalakar VI with the plans in tow, the Dark Lord investigated, shadowed by his Master. What greeted Vader was unthinkable: a splinter group of Sith fanatics who had managed through their Sith alchemy to resurrect Darth Maul.
It is unknown whether this Maul was created by cloning, by using Sith alchemy to restore and reanimate Maul's actual corpse (which was destroyed in the Naboo reactor core room), or through other means. Whatever the case, the Zabrak was no longer a mere specter like the one Vader had encountered as Anakin Skywalker, and thus Vader was pressed into combat with Maul, who sought to supplant him as Palpatine's new apprentice. In Maul's and the fanatics' eyes, Vader's time as a Jedi had "tainted" him, and only a pure Sith should rule by Sidious's side. Both Sith Lords seemed to be equals in combat, until Vader cut Darth Maul's lightsaber in two, followed by Maul switching to the Jar'Kai style—a style Vader had little defense against. Having the advantage of two lightsabers, Maul held off Vader's lightsaber with one of his blades, and cut into his helmet with the other. Feeling assured of a victory, Maul prepared to deliver the final blow and kill Vader. Maul paid for his overconfidence with his life, as Vader took his lightsaber and stabbed it through his own body and into Maul's.
- "What could you hate enough to destroy me?"
- ―Darth Maul and Vader
As Vader met up once more with a suspiciously unsurprised Palpatine, the badly damaged Dark Lord could not help but suspect that the encounter was yet another test. The distrust between mentor and student, fed by years of such trials, grew.
Searching for the Death Star plans
- "Several transmissions were beamed aboard 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!"
- ―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 the 501st Legion's failed attempt to recover the Death Star plans on Polis Massa, Imperials were able to track where they were sent—Tantive IV, a corvette belonging to Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. Vader chased after the corvette personally.
The first time he captured what he thought to be Tantive IV, it turned out instead to be a ruse set up by Abso Bar Binks. Abso, in order to buy time for the Princess to escape, let himself be captured aboard Tantive V and even fought against Vader himself. Though Vader was able to easily defeat Abso, the Gungan was able to save his life by mentioning his father. Vader ordered that Tantive V be left adrift in space. An hour later, he captured the real Tantive IV with Leia Organa aboard.
Because of this setback, however, 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, not realizing he was torturing his own daughter. At the same time, Vader ordered the execution of Owen and Beru Lars after the couple refused to give any details about the missing droids.
- "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 Obi-Wan Kenobi
When the ship carrying Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Obi-Wan 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 Mustafar. 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.
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 piloted a distinctive TIE Advanced x1 fighter and almost prevented Luke's attack on the Death Star from being successful. Vader sensed that the young pilot in his sights was Force-sensitive, putting into motion a series of events that culminated in the death of the Empire. When the Millennium Falcon shot down one of his two support craft, the other panicked and veered into Vader's fighter, sending him spinning away from the battle station.
Crash landing on Vaal
Vader limped to Vaal, where he abandoned his wrecked TIE Advanced and journeyed to the Imperial communications outpost there. Boarding a Lambda-class shuttle, he left for Coruscant, where he expected to dispatch a team to recover the TIE and meet with the Emperor. Instead, Sate Pestage ordered Vader to join Captain Sodarra in retrieving the fighter.[source?]
Vader's team recovered the fighter, but only made it as far as the Bright Jewel system. The system was ruled by Governor-General Nox Vellam, one of Vader's many rivals in the Empire. Vellam nearly destroyed the Sith Lord, but Captain Sodarra rescued the remains of the fighter and Vader's comatose body. He fled the system in a corvette, planning to take Vader to an Imperial base on Shador. Their flight was interrupted when Vellam's flagship caught up with them. Sodarra's ship was destroyed, but he and Vader were rescued by a most unlikely person—Han Solo, who was chasing Alfreda Goot, a bounty hunter who was holding Leia Organa captive on Tatooine. Vader's life was placed in jeopardy once again when Han and Chewbacca decided to place a bomb on the crate, but after Solo discovered that Goot was one of Vader's agents, he had no choice but to travel to Tatooine and exchange Vader's life for Leia's.[source?]
After the exchange, Vader decided not to return to Coruscant, 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 ability in the pilot, one unmatched by any living person in the galaxy, save for himself and his Master. If such a being was serving the Rebel Alliance, the balance could tip in their favor, and so this pilot had to be hunted down and destroyed.
And yet, after his duel with Obi-Wan 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 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 at the Emperor's side, and the recent incident with Vellam may have convinced Vader that these power-hungry beings could be a direct threat to him. The Sith 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.
Construction of the Executor
However, this plan would require time to come to fruition. In the meantime, the Rebels on Yavin could not be ignored. Vader contacted a spy who had infiltrated the Yavin base as Lieutenant Rogor. Rogor worked to confuse, frustrate, and demoralize the Rebels on Yavin, and then recommended a surprise strike to Vader. Rogor was found out, however, and the Rebels quickly abandoned Yavin before the Imperial fleet could arrive, leaving much of their heavy equipment behind, along with the traitorous spy. Disgusted, Vader killed Rogor with his lightsaber, and Vader and his fleet departed Yavin, although the Dark Lord left the Sith ruins intact. Following a series of Rebel strikes, the Alliance once again began operating out of Yavin.[source?]
Darth Vader knew now that he would have to deal with the Rebels carefully. He didn't want them to escape, as they had recently, or pull a victory out of the void, as they had at the Battle of Yavin. Vader thought that perhaps the key to defeating the Rebels would be Executor, which was underway at the shipyards of Fondor. With this in mind, he ordered a blockade of the Gordian Reach, the sector containing the Yavin system. This would keep the Rebels in place until Vader could return to deal with them. In the meantime, Vader resumed his search for the pilot.
The fleet was assigned to the command of General Ulric Tagge, who would maintain the blockade, while Vader charged Captain Bzorn with the task of persecuting Rebel worlds. Now free to search for the Rebel pilot, Vader took Devastator to the Ultaar, where the Sith Lord had learned of a Rebel information retrieval outpost. He hoped to interrogate the Rebels there and learn the identity of that elusive X-wing pilot.
En route to Ultaar, Vader detected the passing presence of a Force-sensitive. This new lead was fortunate, for Vader discovered that the retrieval team on Ultaar had been wiped out by a bounty hunter named Beilert Valance, who was seeking information on a boy with two droids—apparently the pilot Vader was also hunting. Far from being distressed, Vader found the concept of a rival interesting.
On Devastator, Captain Wermis and his crew discovered the Force-sensitive's destination: the Wheel. Devastator raced to the system, where Vader found his prey escaping the station in a yacht. The Sith Lord directed his attention toward capturing the vessel, only to be attacked from behind by a familiar smuggling ship—the same ship that had ruined his defense of the Death Star. Vader gave orders for the ship to be destroyed at once, but his firing command was interrupted by a flash of pain emanating from the Force user on the yacht. The pain itself passed quickly, but the surprise gave both ships time to escape into hyperspace.
Although his quarry had eluded him for the time being, Vader had gained valuable information. He knew that the Rebel pilot was part of a group aiding Princess Leia Organa, a group that included the smugglers who had attacked him at the Death Star.
The next lead turned up when a Rebel spy was discovered, a spy who knew the name of another Rebel, one who had been at Yavin just before the battle, and who in turn knew the name of the elusive pilot. Vader tortured a name and location out of the Rebel: Tyler Lucian, hiding at Rubyflame Lake, a former resort on the planet Centares. Vader rushed to the location, only to find that his rival Valance had arrived first. The bounty hunter had apparently had a change of heart after wiping out the Rebels at Ultaar. Valance was now convinced that the boy Vader pursued was the galaxy's only hope for a better tomorrow. The bounty hunter perished after a short battle, but not before convincing Tyler Lucian to commit suicide. The pilot's identity remained a mystery.
Later, the forces of General Ulric Tagge's blockade engaged a Rebel fleet in battle in the Junction system. Tagge's flagship was destroyed during the skirmish, as was a House of Tagge mining explorer containing family members Silas and Baron Orman Tagge. General Tagge escaped the destruction of his ship, and with the apparent death of his older siblings, the title of Baron fell to him. The new Baron claimed that the battle arose as part of a standard blockade action, but Darth Vader's spies informed him that it was something more. The spies also rescued Silas and Orman Tagge from the wreckage around Junction. Both were barely alive, but Darth Vader ordered Devastator's medical droids to begin restoring the life functions of the Tagge brothers. The Sith Lord saw this as his opportunity to end the Tagge family's constant scheming against him.
Vader also wished to continue hunting for the Rebel pilot, but after a fruitless month of searching, he had no choice but to return to Coruscant and face the Emperor. Leaving Devastator, the Sith Lord commandeered a Carrack-class cruiser for his voyage to Coruscant, taking with him the salvaged fighter.
Vader found the Emperor in a bacta tank, recovering from an adventure on Korriban. Lord Sidious 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 Coruscant.
Vader presented the data tapes to the Emperor. Palpatine was not pleased with Vader's failure at the Battle of Yavin, however, and Darth Vader was punished by losing his hand, perhaps as a reminder of an earlier failure at Geonosis.
Vader was then instructed to head to Fondor to oversee the construction of 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 Sith Lord was using his position with the Emperor to increase his own personal power, though few fully grasped the relationship between the two. Vader cared little for the thoughts of Admirals, but he resumed command of 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 Obi-Wan. 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 Obi-Wan'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.
The son of Skywalker
- "The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi…"
"If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally…"
- ―Palpatine and Darth Vader
Vader's spies had learned of a Rebel pilot who had returned to his homeworld of Centares bringing with him a first hand account of the Battle of Yavin. Vader hired a team of bounty hunters and Ban Papeega to bring the man in. On Centares, the Rebel finally revealed the last name of the pilot who had destroyed the Death Star—Skywalker.
Vader had gone for months without knowing the name of the one he had sought, but he now knew that Padmé had given birth before she died. He had a son, unlike what Palpatine had told him. This knowledge succeeded in touching a side of Vader that had long lain dormant.
The Sith Lord quickly dismissed these emotions, however. Obi-Wan had gotten to the boy first, and he was serving the enemy now. Skywalker would have to be turned, or he would have to be destroyed. With his son at his side, Vader would have no need of Sidious.
But for his plan to succeed, Vader knew his Master could not discover his true intentions. He quickly set about slaughtering the bounty hunters who had captured the Rebel. While the Sith Lord was busy executing mercenaries and bounty hunters, the Rebel pilot who had betrayed the name to him was killed by Mala Mala, preventing Vader from discovering anything more.
In the Emperor's throne room at Imperial City, Darth Vader came before Palpatine in person for the first time after the destruction of the first Death Star. The Emperor inquired after Vader's apparent loss at Fondor, as well as the destruction of Tarkin's project. Vader made no reference to Skywalker, stating instead that he pursued the pilot who destroyed the Death Star for revenge. After his meeting with the Emperor, Vader received notice that Skywalker had been given a diplomatic assignment on Jazbina, and set out immediately to capture his son.
Vader ordered the ruler of Jazbina, Prepredenko, to hold Skywalker until he arrived. The young man managed to escape custody, but Vader cornered him before he could leave the planet. The Sith Lord came face to face with his son for the first time. Skywalker was protected by the Rebels of Jazbina, but surrendered himself when Vader threatened to have his Interdictor bomb the cities of the planet. It seemed that Vader's quest had come to an end.
But a single Rebel pilot, Jal Te Gniev, managed to destroy the Interdictor in a suicide run, and a crowd of angry Jazbinans neutralized Vader's stormtroopers. Skywalker had managed to sway the entire planet to the Rebel cause. Faced with the prospect of having to battle the massive populace protecting his son on his own, Vader returned to Coruscant without his prize. When he visited Palpatine to inform him of his failure to capture the pilot, he was addressed to by the Emperor, who in fact knew of the Rebel's identity as well, as "Skywalker."
Now that Luke Skywalker was known to his Master, Vader would have to work quickly. He departed Coruscant in the Devastator, searching for Rebel bases. The Sith Lord's forces decimated a Rebel refueling station, where the torture of a Rebel officer revealed Skywalker's full name—Luke Skywalker.
Upon discovering this information, Vader let his apprentice, Tao, go free. Tao had been unable to display the anger and hatred necessary to embrace the dark side anyway, and Vader planned to train his newly-found son in his place. It was only then that Tao displayed his anger towards Vader but, upon leaving, was captured by the Emperor himself. While Palpatine officially conferred upon Vader the newly-christened Executor, he also brought Tao before Vader and ordered him to strike Tao down to prove his loyalty. Though he did not want to, Vader was unable to control his body and soon slashed his lightsaber through Tao's torso.
Vader, distraught at what he had been forced to do, took the near-dead Tao to his home planet of Shumari to die where he had been born. While there, Vader was attacked by a Tusken Raider who had been tracking him ever since Vader had destroyed his village and killed his family. The Tusken quickly gained an advantage over Vader, damaging his armor and revealing the lightsabers which he had built into his gaderfii. Just as the Tusken was about to strike Vader down, Tao rose from the brink of death and struck it down, saving Vader's life. Just before he died, Tao pleaded with Vader to let go of his hatred and not let the Emperor control him; Tao still sensed some good within his master. After carving a small monument to Tao, Vader returned to his former home on Tatooine briefly to contemplate the fact that he now had a son.
Subjugation of the Tagge family
Now Vader moved to bring the Tagge family to heel. Vader confronted the new Baron, using the Force to extract a confession: Tagge revealed that he and his brothers had planned to destroy the Rebels at Junction with a new invention, in an attempt to win the favor of the Emperor from Vader. The General also disclosed the fact that the Tagge family had known of Skywalker for weeks. Enraged, Vader revealed to the General the survival of his older siblings, and threatened to bring the entire family before Palpatine if Ulric continued to oppose him.
Now satisfied that the House of Tagge was no longer a threat, Vader traveled to the ringed world of Monastery, home of the Order of the Sacred Circle, to which the youngest Tagge family member, Domina Tagge, belonged. Vader forced the young woman into cooperating with him, promising power and prestige in the Order, as well as revenge on Luke Skywalker, for Domina believed her brother dead. Domina hated Vader, but she also despised Skywalker.
The Order had remained carefully neutral in the Galactic Civil War, but Vader, in hopes of capturing Skywalker, made overtures on behalf of the Empire. The Order wished to hear both sides, and Domina Tagge journeyed to Yavin, where she convinced the Alliance to send Skywalker as their representative.
When Luke Skywalker arrived on Monastery, Vader confronted him once more, insulting the Rebel and using every opportunity to diminish him in the eyes of the Order's elders. Vader succeeded in goading Skywalker into a lightsaber duel, but before their blades could cross, Domina intervened. She took advantage of the situation, and now schemed to eliminate both the Rebel and the Sith Lord. Luke and Vader were forced to take their duel to the deadly Crystal Valley.
Vader did not intend to engage Skywalker in combat just yet. First he wished to test the young man's abilities. He had arranged for Orman Tagge to escape from the Devastator, and when the former baron arrived, Vader took his vengeance upon Tagge. He knew that, above all else, Tagge had valued the innocence of his younger sister. Vader showed him that he had corrupted Domina, and then forced Tagge to battle Luke Skywalker, disguising him with the Force so that Orman appeared to Luke as Vader, until the illusion was shattered by the death of Tagge.
At the Wheel, Fondor, and Jazbina, Luke and his abilities with the Force had been an unknown factor, but now, after this thorough test, Vader knew the limitations of the young Rebel. Vader intended to capture his son, but Luke escaped, and it would be years before they would meet face-to-face again.
Incompetence and Pursuit
Vader received word from Sebastian Parnell that his son had been captured on Tol Ado, and was being held for the Sith Lord. Skywalker managed to escape, however, and Vader executed Parnell for his incompetence.
Luke managed to disappear after these events, and Vader's many spies could not locate the boy. Vader chose to travel throughout the galaxy, setting hundreds of traps on planets Skywalker might visit. One of these worlds was Dantooine. Dantooine was once home to a Rebel base, and, centuries before, the Jedi Enclave.
Also on Dantooine, Vader was surprised by an ancient trap in the Jedi ruins. The trap killed his escort of stormtroopers, but Vader survived with only a small wound. Vader chose to investigate further, but the discovery of a Rebel outpost by one of the Devastator's scout ships forced him to change his plans. He departed the ruins, leaving only his shed blood behind.
Revision of Methods
Vader decided to adopt a hands-off approach to capturing Skywalker. He was sure that the Force would lead Skywalker to his destiny eventually. Moreover, the man he had charged with hunting Rebels, Captain Bzorn, had been killed over Kessel. Vader began to take care of Rebel bases himself, such as the outpost discovered earlier. Vader ordered the Emperor's Hand Blackhole to infiltrate the Rebel headquarters to learn the latest of the Alliance's plans.
When the Sith Lord received word of a new Alliance base operating near the Panna system, he decided to utilize Boba Fett to locate the base. Fett befriended Luke Skywalker on Panna, and nearly got the location of the new Rebel base out of him, but he was forced to retreat, and failed even to capture the young Jedi.
While in battle with an Alliance space fleet, Vader learned from Blackhole that the Alliance's new plan was to fail in all direct confrontations with the Empire, while their main efforts would be in gathering new allies, such as the pirates Griff had spotted near Yavin, to the Rebel cause. Vader instructed Blackhole to capture those Rebels. Blackhole attempted to kidnap Luke and Leia on Vorzyd 5, but he and his stormtroopers failed.
Still later, while investigating the disappearance of valuable megonite near Phelarion, Devastator's scouts encountered a Rebel shuttle, which they shot down over Phelarion, home to an Imperial labor camp run by Lady Tarkin, the widow of Grand Moff Tarkin. Vader's men managed to back track a message sent from the planet's surface, and pinpointed the location of the Rebel from the shuttle. Darth Vader crashed the Thirteenth Imperial Diplomatic Conclave being held at Port Tarkin, where he found that the Rebel was none other than Leia Organa herself. Vader's stormtroopers trapped her on a landing pad, but she was rescued by the Millennium Falcon. Vader held Lady Tarkin personally responsible for Leia's escape and the missing megonite.
Deception and Ambush
Having failed to capture Rebels at Phelarion, Vader prepared a trap for the Alliance. Upon hearing that a school on Harix had been using illegal material for its curriculum, Vader ordered that the teacher and her students be captured. He transmitted his plan to execute them galaxywide, hoping to draw out the Rebels. Skywalker himself led the mission to rescue the children, and beyond all odds, he succeeded. The Star Destroyers waiting at Harix were tricked by a faux fleet, while the real Rebel rescue force whisked the teacher and the students away.
Before the Harix incident, Vader had chosen to allow others to deal with Skywalker. On Harix, as on Panna, Tol Ardo, Kashyyyk, and Vorzyd, Skywalker had continually foiled his plans to deal with the Rebellion at large, while eluding capture from even the most skilled of operatives. Vader now decided that it was time to give his personal attention to Luke Skywalker.
Soon after, Vader learned from one of his spies that six flights of Rebel X-wings were planetside for re-work on Arda-2. Following up this new lead, Vader discovered that Skywalker was among the pilots. When the Devastator arrived, its TIE fighters were attacked by a mere six snubfighters. Before the battle could truly begin, two ships rammed Devastator in a suicide run, leaving the Star Destroyer vulnerable. Vader chose to retreat, promising that he would find Luke Skywalker another day.
And find him he would. Tiring of chasing Skywalker from planet to planet, Vader had already set a plan in motion that would be sure to lure the boy into his grasp. The Sith Lord hired a skilled actor, and had Imperial surgeons alter his appearance to become the spitting image of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Lord Vader himself trained the doppelgänger to imitate his old master, and cutting-edge technology allowed the impersonator to appear to call upon the Force.
The actor traveled to Aridus, where he drew the attention of Luke Skywalker, who soon came to Aridus in search of his trainer. The actor succeeded in fooling the young Jedi, and under Vader's orders, lured Skywalker to the Iron Tower. Vader was already waiting inside the tower when the actor and the youth arrived. But the scheme failed; the Sith Lord never even saw his son at Aridus. The old actor had become so enamored with the role of a Jedi Master that he activated an overload spiral in the upper levels of the Iron Tower, a move designed to kill Vader and save Luke. Skywalker escaped once again, and the actor was killed in the explosion. Vader survived, but he was seriously injured in the explosion. The last thing he saw before passing out was Skywalker fleeing the planet in his ship.
Bargain and Recovery
When Vader awoke, he found himself in a ship headed for Coruscant. The pilot was Wrenga Jixton, a former Imperial agent who had been involved with Vader's experiments on Falleen years before. Jixton had been sentenced to Kessel after the Falleen debacle, but he had escaped to Aridus, where he had befriended the natives. Jixton struck a deal with the Sith Lord: if the Empire would leave Aridus alone, Jixton would serve Vader.
The Sith Lord spent the next several months recovering on Coruscant. He received word from an informant that Lexhannen Torlock, governor of Corulag, was planning to defect to the Rebel Alliance. Vader sent his new agent Jixton to assassinate the traitorous governor, and to implicate the Alliance in the deed. Jixton uncovered the true traitor on Corulag: Admiral Droon, who had forced Torlock to leave the planet. Jixton dragged Droon back to Coruscant, where the admiral was dispatched by Vader's lightsaber.
After leaving Coruscant once more, Vader had to contend with the machinations of Prince Xizor. Although the Sith Lord had eliminated Baron Tagge and the hubris admirals of the fleet, Xizor retained the Emperor's favor, and Vader could not attack him directly. In a conference on Coruscant (which Vader attended via hologram from the Devastator), the Dark Prince proposed a scheme that would shatter the powerful Bounty Hunters Guild, leaving only the strongest bounty hunters for the Empire to use against the Rebellion. Vader strongly opposed this plan, but Palpatine gave his blessing. The Emperor also assigned Mara Jade to the task of monitoring Vader.
Completion of the Executor
At Fondor, the Executor was finally completed, and ready for a shakedown cruise. Darth Vader ordered that the ship be taken to the nearest Rebel installation—a depot on Laakteen, where Vader officially christened his new ship by obliterating the depot.
Now Vader's long wait had paid off, and the Executor traveled to Yavin to smash the Rebel command, eliminating several small Alliance strike forces on the way. Finally the Rebels seemed to have given up all hope of stopping Executor, but Vader knew better. Sure enough, one last ship, a tiny attack craft, assaulted his Star Dreadnought just outside of the Yavin system.
And this was no ordinary ship. The craft carried a power gem, a rare mineral formation that could shatter any energy shield. Vader also sensed that someone on board the tiny ship was sensitive to the Force. He suspected that Luke Skywalker, hero of the Death Star battle, had been sent to stop Executor. The Imperial battle plan did not account for detours, but Vader was determined to capture Skywalker who had evaded him enough times already, and so the massive ship swung around to pursue the Rebel ship. Vader soon sensed through the Force that, somehow, Skywalker had left the smaller vessel. As the Rebel ship turned around to attack the Executor head on, all shielding on the Star Dreadnought was transferred forward, smashing the small craft and negating the effects of the power gem.
But the Executor was then attacked from behind by Skywalker on board the Millennium Falcon. With no aft shields in place, the Rebel was able to damage Executor's gyro-control systems. With the gyro systems disabled, the mammoth Star Dreadnought was unable to maneuver, and Vader was forced to turn command of the Imperial assault over to blockade commander Admiral Griff while repairs were carried.
Thanks to Griff's incompetence, Luke Skywalker, the Millennium Falcon, and the Rebel fleet managed to flee the Yavin system, but Darth Vader chose not to pursue. He had learned that General Jan Dodonna, the Rebel leader who had masterminded the attack on the Death Star, had remained behind at the Rebel base, and was leading a group of stranded Rebels against Imperial forces. Vader decided to take revenge for the Death Star's destruction by capturing Dodonna, a traitor to the Empire, and led a squad of stormtroopers against the Rebels. Vader and his troops took out the anti-air turrets protecting the main Rebel base. This allowed a flight of Griff's TIE bombers to attack the Massassi base directly. But Dodonna had rigged the main base and the surrounding temples with explosives, which he used to wipe out the Imperial ships.
Dodonna's body was recovered from the wreckage by Vader's search teams. A quick mind probe revealed a Rebel operation geared against the planet Reytha, but gave no useful information on the whereabouts of the Rebel fleet.
Vader also contacted a spy who had infiltrated the Yavin base as Lieutenant Rogor. Rogor worked to confuse, frustrate, and demoralize the Rebels on Yavin, and then recommended a surprise strike to Vader. Rogor was found out, however, and the Rebels quickly abandoned Yavin . Disgusted, Vader killed Rogor with his lightsaber, and Vader and his fleet departed Yavin.
With the general captured, Vader waited for Executor to be repaired, allowing Griff to continue directing the Imperial pursuit of the Rebel fleet, even after an attack by the Mon Calamari on the blockade. Vader's inaction was a clever plot to capture both the fleet and Skywalker. If Griff threatened the Rebels, Skywalker would use the Force to aid them. Vader waited in his meditation pod, searching for any disturbance in the Force. When at last Skywalker opened himself to the Force, Vader was able to locate him, and brought the fleet under the guns of the Executor.
Vader underestimated the ambitious Admiral Griff, however. In a last-ditch attempt to corner the Rebels before Vader, Griff attempted a blind hyperspace jump, smashing his own Star Destroyer and two others into the Executor's shields. This allowed the Rebels and Skywalker to escape, bound for parts unknown. Once again, Vader was thwarted, but he knew that his inevitable encounter with Skywalker was only delayed.
Culling the Military
Vader, now aboard Admiral Quist's Star Destroyer Conqueror, began monitoring reports from the abandoned Rebel base. When the Falcon returned to Yavin with Skywalker aboard, the incompetent Quist failed to capture her, and soon joined the ranks of late Imperial commanders. Not long after, while revisiting the abandoned base on Dantooine, Luke fell into the trap Vader had set there. Using his agents, the Fairfolk, Vader tempted Luke into using the dark side, and even projected a mental image of himself to Dantooine for Luke to battle. Skywalker was saved when R2-D2 broke the trance, but Vader promised that next time Luke wouldn't be so lucky.
Vader then set about punishing Imperial officials, and locking down on Rebel attempts to gain food and supplies. He followed up on the information stripped from Dodonna's mind and led an Imperial effort to retake Reytha from the Rebellion. He killed Moff Beladar for allowing the Rebels to thrive on the planet and drove the Alliance from Reytha. Vader also executed Overlord Ghorin for dealing with the Alliance, and visited Kiva to put pressure on Borborygmus Gog to complete Project Starscream.
Search for Information
Hoping to uncover more information on the whereabouts of the Rebel fleet, Vader visited Void Station, and demanded that Jib Kopatha gain information on Alliance activities. Afterwards, Vader was set upon by Falleen assassins seeking vengeance for the devastation Vader had brought upon their world. After defeating them, Vader returned to Coruscant, where he monitored possible Rebel activity in the Shelsha sector and searched the Emperor's databases for more information about Luke Skywalker. There, he again crossed paths with Mara Jade.
Not long after, Vader blockaded the Kashyyyk system in an attempt to capture a Rebel group that included Skywalker and Organa, but they somehow managed to slip in and out of the system while evading capture.
Vader was also dispatched to quell Rebellion in the Zaloriis system, where the governor boldly approached Vader and declared independence. Vader Force-choked him to death, callously stating, "Request denied, governor." Vader then proceeded to lead Imperial forces to destroy the ill-fated independence movement. He also rescued then-Colonel Maximilian Veers from imprisonment. Veers then put his knowledge to work and deployed the next generation of AT-AT walkers, which would be used to great effect in the Battle of Hoth. It was on Zaloriis that Vader learned of possible Rebel contacts on Elrood.
When Governor Bin Essada learned that Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia were on Mimban in 2 ABY searching for a powerful Force relic known as the Kaiburr crystal, he contacted the Dark Lord. Vader traveled to the jungle world hoping both to capture Skywalker and get hold of the powerful crystal. He tracked the Rebels to the abandoned Temple of Pomojema deep in one of Mimban's jungles. Luke, Leia and Halla, a Force-sensitive local Human with whom they had undertaken the search for the crystal, had left C-3PO and R2-D2 outside the temple while they went in to look for the crystal.
Vader coldly deactivated the droid he had created and the droid that had been his faithful companion in the Clone Wars, apparently without even recognizing them. He then entered the temple to face Skywalker and the Princess. Leia briefly dueled with Vader using Luke's lightsaber but the Dark Lord quickly subdued her and slashed her body repeatedly with his blade as a form a torture, until Luke intervened. Father and son crossed sabers for the first time, but Luke's actions were guided by Obi-Wan Kenobi. This guidance coupled with the fact that Luke was in possession of the crystal, were enough to slice Vader's arm off. However, this act drained Obi-Wan's spirit to the point that he could no longer aid Luke, and Vader simply shrugged off the injury. Unfortunately for him, as he advanced on the two siblings, he toppled into a sacrificial well, allowing the Rebels to escape.
In 3 ABY, Vader was the target of bounty hunter Awarru Tark's rage aboard Avenger that nearly took his life. As the two combatants faced each other, Vader reached out into the very mind of Awarru and sensed the source for Awarru's hatred. Vader and Awarru both became paralyzed and shocked due to Vader's telepathic attempt. However, Vader struck first, ending Awarru's suffering. Vader, now with a deep scar across his face caused by one of Tark's lightsaber daggers and his circuits damaged, barely managed to escape. Never before had Vader faced a fearsome warrior that was worthy of a fight.
Hoth and aftermath
Now that the Alliance had escaped Yavin 4, Vader dispatched probe droids to remote regions of the galaxy to locate the location of its new base. One such probe eventually detected Echo Base on Hoth. Admiral Kendal Ozzel incurred Vader's wrath when he ruined Death Squadron's stealth attack by exiting hyperspace too close to the planet, allowing the Rebels to detect the attack and project shields against planetary bombardment. Vader was forced to wage a terrestrial campaign; its deployment giving some of the Rebel forces time to flee. Vader himself entered Echo Base and reached a hangar just in time to see the Millennium Falcon escape. When the Falcon's hyperdrive failed, Vader ordered pursuit and followed the Falcon and her apparently unstable pilot into an equally unstable asteroid field. He would not allow that ship to escape him again. Renegade Squadron was tasked to stall Vader in a series of assaults, leading to a skirmish in orbit.
While his fighters searched the asteroids for the Falcon, Vader received a new mission from the Emperor—to capture Luke Skywalker, his own son and the pilot who had destroyed the Death Star. As far as Vader knew, Sidious was ignorant to his plot, already in motion, to do just that. To deceive the Emperor, and thus allow him to continue making motions towards his own plan, Vader suggested that Luke could be turned to the dark side of the Force. The Emperor agreed, noting that Luke would be a "great asset." Meanwhile, as was the pattern with Sith Lords, Palpatine also began planning to eliminate Vader in order to take Luke as his apprentice.
Vader continued pursuing the Falcon, and resorted to hiring bounty hunters to complete the task. Ultimately, the Falcon appeared and then quickly disappeared by hiding in a blind spot on the back of the bridge tower of Captain Needa's Star Destroyer Avenger. Captain Needa paid for losing the vehicle with his life. Death Squadron dispersed into hyperspace, each ship dumping its garbage before jumping. The Falcon, released from its perch, floated away amid the debris and then set a sub-light course to Bespin. Boba Fett, one of the bounty hunters hired by Vader, deduced Solo's strategy, alerted Vader to his destination, and followed the Falcon to Cloud City, a mining colony located on the gas giant.
Conflict on Bespin and aftermath
Vader landed on Cloud City and threatened its Baron Administrator, Lando Calrissian, a friend of Han's, into an agreement while waiting for the Falcon's arrival. When the Falcon arrived, Vader captured, with Calrissian's cooperation, and tortured Solo. Luke, training under Yoda on Dagobah, after seeing a vision of his friend's torture, rushed to Cloud City to save his friends, despite the sternest warnings from both Yoda and the dead Obi-Wan that by doing so, he would risk falling to the dark side. Meanwhile, Vader froze Solo in carbonite as a test subject to see if the method would be viable for the younger Skywalker, much to the chagrin of Boba Fett, who was already seeking Solo for Jabba the Hutt. Luke arrived at Cloud City, just in time to take the bait of the trap set for him by his father.
When Luke found Vader, they fought, the boy not knowing his opponent's true identity. Despite Luke's lack of training, he was able to hold his own for much of the duel without Obi-Wan's help as had happened on Mimban the previous year, much to Vader's surprise. Ultimately, however, as Yoda and Obi-Wan had warned, the inadequately trained Luke was no match for the powerful and experienced Vader, who ultimately defeated him and cut off his right hand. It was now time for the Sith Lord to close the lid of this trap.
- "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father."
"He told me enough! He told me you killed him."
"No. I am your father."
- ―Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker
Vader asked Luke to join him so that they could destroy the Emperor and rule the galaxy as father and son, harkening back to what he'd hoped to have with Luke's mother—companionship. He never wanted to rule the galaxy alone. Profoundly shaken by the news that he was Vader's son, Luke refused to join his father and plunged into the gas vents of Cloud City. Luke was able to survive long enough to be rescued by Leia and Lando in the Millennium Falcon. Vader, who had insured that the hyperdrive motivator on the Falcon would malfunction, gave orders to the new Admiral, Piett, to capture the freighter. However, they didn't count on R2-D2, Vader's one-time friend and gift to him from his late wife, would reverse the sabotage, allowing the Falcon to jump into hyperspace. While Vader had previously killed two of his subordinates, he let Admiral Piett live even though he failed to capture Luke in the Millennium Falcon.
In the following months, Lord Vader found himself in a complex game of strategy against the scheming crime lord of Black Sun, Prince Xizor. The Falleen, who had long hated Vader due to the planetary bombardment ordered by the Dark Lord on his homeworld of Falleen, was attempting to discredit Vader in eyes of the Emperor. Xizor had long been a rival of the Dark Lord. He sought to foil Vader's plan to capture Luke Skywalker for the Emperor by having Luke assassinated before Vader could find the Jedi. Vader discovered Xizor's plot and killed him in an assault high over the Imperial Center.
- "With all due respect, Master, is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?"
"So the prophecy says."
"A prophecy that misread, could have been."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Yoda
- "There is still good in him."
- ―Luke Skywalker
In 4 ABY, Vader was sent to the incomplete Death Star II to await the Emperor, who was coming for an inspection tour. After Palpatine's arrival, Vader was sent to command the Imperial Fleet guarding the Death Star, keeping it on the far side of Endor. It was here that he sensed the arrival of his son along with the Rebel strike team coming to destroy the shield generator that protected the Death Star. When he informed the Emperor of this, Palpatine advised him to go to Endor and await Luke.
During his departure to Endor, it is said that he looked back on his life and have the first dream he had in many years. This was following visions that he thought were premonitions of the near future. 
Arriving on the eve of Luke's capture, Vader once again attempted to persuade Luke to join the dark side, but this time Vader's interests were tinged by a desire to protect his son. When this failed, Vader took him to Emperor Palpatine himself on the incomplete Death Star II. Luke reluctantly fought a lightsaber battle with Vader, matching Vader's mastery of Form V with his own display of Form V blade work, all the while attempting to persuade his father into renouncing the dark side of the Force. In allowing this to happen, Luke Skywalker risked everything in order to assure the victory of the Rebel Alliance and the redemption of his father to the light.
- "If you will not be turned, then perhaps she will."
- ―Darth Vader to his son
During this time, Palpatine relentlessly attempted to lure Luke to the dark side, tormenting him with thoughts of the defeat of the Rebel Alliance and the death of his friends. However, Luke continued to attempt to restrain himself from fighting his father. Vader, who had been probing Luke's thoughts, discovered that besides Luke he also had a daughter: Leia Organa, Luke's twin sister. Vader, happy at this new information he had acquired, decided to use this knowledge against Luke, threatening to corrupt Leia. Luke, enraged, ignited his lightsaber and viciously attacked Vader with anger and hatred. Finally, Luke sliced off Vader's mechanical right hand, defeating the Dark Lord. Palpatine, cackling with triumph, urged Luke to fulfill his destiny, and take his father's place at the Dark Lord's side. Vader then realized that he had been betrayed by Darth Sidious, just as Darth Tyranus had been betrayed twenty three years before.
- "It is the name of your true self. You have only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Luke looked down to see his father's right severed arm, and, seeing that it was mechanical like his, he realized that he was about to become Vader's successor. Horrified at what he was about to do, Luke used a combination of Obi-Wan's and Yoda's teachings and the light side of the Force to calm himself down. Luke tossed his lightsaber away, refusing the Emperor's offer to join him as his new apprentice, declaring that he was a Jedi like his father before him. Enraged at the failure of his plans, the Emperor unleashed a barrage of Force lightning attacks upon Luke. Defiant to the end, Luke suffered the wrath of Palpatine, and Vader, in no condition to battle, could do no more than watch as Luke Skywalker lay dying.
But Anakin never forgot the pain Count Dooku had once inflicted upon him with the lethal power of Force lightning, and could not bear to see his son in such agony. He had been unable to save his mother, he had let Mace Windu die under his Master's power many years before, he had murdered hundreds of Jedi, he had lost his best friend, he killed his one true love and beloved wife at his own hands in a burst of Dark Side rage, but he could save his son. Anakin Skywalker would not stand by and let his son fall. From this moment on, Darth Vader was no more, and Anakin Skywalker was reborn.
In a final effort of self-sacrifice, Anakin literally overthrew his Master, lifting him off the ground with his great strength, and casting him down the Death Star's reactor shaft to his death. However, it was at the cost of his own life. Anakin was badly wounded in the process by the Emperor's Force lightning, and his breathing apparatus short-circuited. Yet this single act brought him back to the light side.
Luke, attempting to save his father's life, dragged the dying Anakin to the hangar where his shuttle lay. Anakin, knowing that he would die whether or not Luke managed to get him onto a ship, stopped his son.
Nearing death, Anakin asked Luke to help him remove his mask, so that he could see his son with his own eyes, not through the lens filters of his mask. Luke helped disconnect the mask and saw his father's face for the first time. Beneath, Anakin Skywalker was bald, his hair follicles having been incinerated in Mustafar's flames, and the wounds from Mustafar's heat had not yet healed. However, his eyes were no longer the burning yellow of a Sith Lord, but the shining blue of his former self. Anakin told Luke that he was right about him, there was good still in him; and to tell his sister, Leia, the same. With these last words, Anakin Skywalker died and became one with the Force. His last words behind the mask of Vader were especially telling as well-in response to Luke's protest that he would die without the mask, Vader responded "Nothing can stop that now." These words constituted a final rejection of the lying promises of his master Darth Sidious, and a full embrace of the light side of the Force once again.
- "You were right… you were right about me. Tell your sister… You were right…"
- ―Anakin Skywalker's dying words
Luke escaped the exploding Death Star in a shuttle along with his father's armor and artificial remains, and reached the forest moon of Endor where Darth Vader's armor was cremated in the manner of a Jedi, since Anakin's body had passed into the light. During the celebration, Luke saw a vision of a forgiven Anakin; whole, and without the artificial body of Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were next to him. His destiny fulfilled, Anakin Skywalker had passed on into the embrace of the light side of the Force.
Post mortem (4 ABY and beyond)
When Vader re-embraced the light side of the Force, his organic body dematerialized and became one with the Force; Luke cremated only his father's armor with its prosthetics. Though Anakin did not know about Qui-Gon Jinn's secret of joining the Force, and was surprised when Obi-Wan's body vanished right before he killed him, he was still able to retain his personality when joining the Force. Qui-Gon Jinn had been outspoken in life about the Living Force, and taught Yoda on Dagobah that the secret to eternal life via the Force, was with love. Thus, according to Qui-Gon, a Sith could never truly attain it. As he passed from life, Anakin's love for his son consumed him completely, transforming him into a spirit like his Master had before him.
Anakin Skywalker's specter would continue to appear throughout the years. Shortly after the Battle of Endor, Anakin visited his son once more. He pleaded for Luke to redeem and undo the damage that Vader had done to the young man known as Flint, as he was now unable to do it himself.
During the same period, Anakin appeared before his daughter, Leia Organa, in Salis D'aar, the capital of Bakura. There, he begged his daughter to forgive him. However, Leia had only recently learned of her parentage and was unable to ignore that he had committed gross crimes, including the destruction of Alderaan and her own torture aboard the first Death Star, while serving Emperor Palpatine. After that, Anakin Skywalker never reappeared before Leia again. However, in 8 ABY, upon discovering her grandmother's diary, Leia realized that her father wasn't the evil monster that she thought he was and learned to forgive him. In 10.5 ABY, Leia Organa Solo named her youngest child Anakin in remembrance of her father's redemption.
Shortly afterwards, in 5 ABY, when Qu Rahn was killed by Jerec, Rahn beheld the Force spirits of Anakin Skywalker and Halagad Ventor in his final moments and realized that there was not a single person who was incapable of redemption. Anakin, along with Kenobi, would appear before his son again in order to warn him of the dark side prophet Kadann.
Revelations of the past
- "The Chosen One. The Betrayer. And the biggest reason I can think of for anyone named Skywalker to avoid being a Jedi."
- ―Cade Skywalker
In 35 ABY, while Luke Skywalker was fixing R2-D2, the Jedi Master encountered a hologram of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in which Anakin said to his wife he had a dream of Padmé dying during childbirth.
A year later, Luke also viewed a hologram of Anakin slaughtering Jedi in the Jedi Temple, yet another hologram recorded by the astromech droid. Not long after, during the Swarm War, the shocking revelation behind the death of Luke and Leia's mother, Padmé, was revealed when Luke witnessed his father Force-choking Padmé in another hologram projected by R2-D2.
After Luke had died, in 137 ABY, Anakin appeared in a Force vision to Cade Skywalker, one of his descendants. In that vision, he appeared as he had when he turned to the dark side and fought Mace Windu, then turned into Darth Vader and dueled Cade. After defeating Cade, Vader took off his helmet, showing his burnt face, and warned Cade about the dangers of the dark side. Rather than giving a simple warning about the dark side, Anakin warned his descendant that he had to control his power and his anger, lest it turn against him as Anakin's did when dueling Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar.
- "… A special destiny is not always something joyous, or easy to bear. My father had a special destiny, and see where it took him."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker, being the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy, left behind a great legacy. Since he married and started a family, Anakin openly defied the Jedi Code to follow his heart. His love for his family turned out to be a double-edged sword: Darth Sidious, by preying upon the young Jedi's fear of loss, managed to seduce him over to the dark side. However, in the end, it was Anakin's love for his son, Luke, which redeemed his soul. Even though Anakin was the Chosen One, Luke served indirectly as the catalyst that allowed Anakin to fulfill the Jedi prophecy, and slay Emperor Palpatine—an act which fractured the Galactic Empire. During Anakin's tenure as Darth Vader, he helped Palpatine nearly eradicate the entire Jedi Order. However, this action in the end allowed the Jedi Order to be rebuilt by Anakin's son, Luke Skywalker.
Luke was able to take the little training he received from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi and carry on the Jedi legacy. In the years following the Battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker established the New Jedi Order. In the following years, it would go on to be a major player in galactic affairs, and would serve the New Republic for many years to come. After 28 ABY, the Order served to help defend the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance during the Yuuzhan Vong War, and later the Swarm War and the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War. Anakin's daughter, Leia Organa Solo, would go on to be a key player in the Rebel Alliance, and ultimately serve as the Chief of State of the New Republic from 11 ABY–17 ABY.
However, after his death, the Empire refused to believe Vader murdered Palpatine. They claimed that Luke killed both Sith Lords, and Vader had died heroically defending his master. After Emperor Palpatine's resurrection, the details became clear, and the Imperials saw Vader as a symbol of ultimate treachery. On the rare occasion that his name was spoken by those loyal to the Emperor, "Darth Vader" was said with disgust. In Bast Castle on Vjun, a statue once stood of Vader, which the reborn Palpatine ordered to be destroyed, indicative of Vader's reputation after his death. However, Vader's name was still occasionally used by the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the Imperial Remnant, and even by some of the New Republic's New Jedi Order to symbolize power and to strike fear. Notably, the Empire of the Hand maintained the moniker "Vader's Fist" for its remaining 501st Stormtrooper Legion soldiers.[source?] Even Vader's grandchildren, on his daughter's side, sometimes invoked that legacy during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
While Darth Vader may have been redeemed, he still left a dark legacy in the form of Dark Lady Lumiya. Upon his death and the death of Palpatine, Lumiya assumed the title of Dark Lady of the Sith and eventually contacted Vader's grandson, Jacen Solo, in an effort to corrupt him to the dark side. Later, Jacen flow-walked back to the Raid on the Jedi Temple, witnessing the events that occurred fifty-nine years before, to see his grandfather's reasoning for becoming a Sith Lord. He came to the decision that grandfather Anakin's logic was faulty, and that his own reasons for joining the Sith were superior. Jacen later elevated to the status of Sith Lord himself, as grandfather Anakin did, taking on the name of Darth Caedus.
Little did Vader know, that on Tatooine, A'Sharad Hett had too survived the Purge and was banished from the planet by Obi-Wan after defeating him. Hett at first regretted that he kept the secret of Anakin's Tusken slaughter, for that had caused many Jedi slaughters as well. But later in life, he had learned of Luke, Leia, and the rest of the family that is to appear. Hett traveled to Korriban, learned teachings from the ancient Sith holocrons of XoXaan, Darths Andeddu, Nihilus, Bane, and others to follow, thus creating the Rule of One. A'Sharad Hett was gone and Darth Krayt was born, as Dark Lord of the new Sith Order.
- "For Anakin, there is nothing more important than friendship. He is the most loyal man I've ever met—loyal beyond reason; in fact […] abstractions like peace don't mean much to him. He's loyal to people, not to principles. And he expects loyalty in return. He will stop at nothing to save me, for example, because he thinks I would do the same for him… because he knows I would do the same for him."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
As a young boy, Anakin was thoughtful and intelligent. He was friendly and easily got along with others despite his status as a slave. He also had a special place in his heart for his mother, whom he constantly built inventions to sell or to use to lighten her workload. At the coming of the Jedi, he was both helpful and generous; doing all that he could to help them off-planet, risking his life at the podrace as well as giving them the sizable reward money which he and his mother would have had use for. Though lovable, he also was one to carry grudges and was vengeful, but he commonly held these two traits in check. 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.
His separation from his mother was the hardest thing he'd ever done, and it still hurt him for years. Because of his fear of losing even more friends in such a manner, he kept to himself, fiddling around with his only friends, the Temple droids. During this, however, he grew especially close to Obi-Wan, considering him a father and a role model. Due to his sudden escalation from slave to being known as the "Chosen One" and the rising star of the Jedi Order, pride and arrogance set in. He grew cocky, self-appreciating, and he grew to hate being reprimanded or lectured.
He was naturally honest and despised lying and deception, and especially hated politics, correctly considering most politicians to be greedy and self-conceited. Obi-Wan's continual self-consciousness when it came to Anakin hurt the boy, who at times wasn't sure whether Obi-Wan liked him, something his heart craved. Therefore, he turned to a more complimenting, comforting source: Palpatine.
His yearning to be loved, as well as appreciated, came out in his devotion and secret marriage to Padmé, one of the only three people he ever thought appreciated or cared for him. As his fame grew, he became more and more arrogant, and he knew that he was one of the best Jedi of the Order, believing that he could easily best any Jedi blindfolded with his lightsaber tied behind his back. This coupled with his frustration at his perceived injustice at being kept at the rank of Jedi Knight made him more and more bitter and distrustful of the Jedi Council. His belief in them was shattered more and more as Anakin's closest friend, Palpatine, swayed him from trusting them. Slowly, his bond with everyone except the Chancellor was completely shaken and broken, even that of his wife when he assumed her betrayal of him. Born out of this conflict was the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.
- "Extinction is a way of nature. Weaker species are replaced by stronger ones."
- ―Darth Vader expressing his views
Vader was a rattled man, shaken by the perceived betrayal of his dearest friend, his former comrades-in-arms, and his wife. Upon donning the armor that kept him alive, Vader remained uncertain, but became more self-confident following his killing of Roan Shryne on Kashyyyk. Vader did not suffer fools lightly, and did not get on well at all with many of the higher-ups in the Imperial military, nearly choking Admiral Conan Antonio Motti to death when he challenged the power of the Force, though Admiral 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 telepathically strangled both men to death following blunders they had committed. 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 the clone troopers, once remarking, "I was rather fond of Commander Appo," following the latter's death at the hands of Roan Shryne. One reason Vader was popular with the troops that served under him was his willingness to fight in the front line, and not expect of anyone anything he was not willing to do himself. One officer who looked up to Vader 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 Sith Lord's command having erred not once, but twice during his tenure under Vader. However, both of these failures were caused by unforeseeable factors, not errors in judgment.
Padmé and Shmi
Anakin's life revolved mostly around two women - Shmi, his mother, and Padmé, his wife. Having a very close mother-son relationship with his mother, it broke his heart to leave her on Tatooine while he went to Coruscant to chase his dreams, and he admired her courage she showed throughout her harsh life as a slave, especially the moment he decided to leave Tatooine. Her early death when he was just nineteen shook him, and he vowed never to let anyone he loved be harmed again - namely Obi-Wan Kenobi, his master, and Padmé. Anakin had met the disguised Queen Amidala in his home of Mos Espa, where she passed off as a peasant girl. After parting ways after the Battle of Theed, he continually thought of her, and his fascination grew for his bold and beautiful friend, who was five years his senior. They met again ten years later, and his fascination blossomed into love. After a hairaising series of adventures together, she began to return his affection, and the two married as the Clone Wars begun. Although they saw each other rarely and had to work hard to keep their marriage a secret, Anakin was deeply in love and vowed to protect Padmé from the fate he could not save his mother from. In the end, his fear for Padmé (who he believed would die in childbirth) ultimately turned him to the dark side - however, her memory that lived in Luke helped to redeem him.
Luke and Leia
With Padmé, Anakin had twin children, although he did not know of their existence until at least 20 years after they were born. Both were born at the secret base of Polis Massa, and their mother, Padmé, died shortly after their birth. Luke, the eldest of the two, was raised on the harsh desert planet of Tatooine (which, coincidentally, was also the home of Anakin Skywalker) by his father's step-brother, Owen Lars, and his wife Beru. He was to follow in his father's step and become a respected Jedi. Leia was raised by the Royal Family of Alderaan in it's capital, Aldera. She was given the false name Leia Organa, which later changed to Leia Organa Solo when she married. (Her real name was Leia Amidala Skywalker). She would follow a similar path to her mother's, becoming a respected young Senator serving the galaxy, but also a leading member of the Rebel Alliance, which her mother helped to create. The two children were hidden from the Empire, the Emperor, their father and each other, not knowing of each other's existence until they were in their early twenties, and finding out they were related much later. In the end, both of them played a key role in defeating the Sith and the Empire, but it was Luke who ultimately defeated Darth Vader and redeemed Anakin Skywalker.
- "Ani?… Ani? Is it really you? Oh, you look so handsome."
- ―Shmi Skywalker Lars
As an adult, he stood 1.85 m (6'0") in height. His hair went from straight and blond as a child to wavy and a dark blond as an adult. Anakin also wore his hair slightly long, a trait common among Jedi Knights. After losing the majority of his right arm—from the elbow down—to Count Dooku, he was given a cybernetic prosthetic replacement that was later destroyed, then rebuilt by him and covered with a black leather glove.
His likeness from this period was used, along with that of his master, in a hologram deployed on Republic shooting ranges to train clone sharpshooters in distinguishing between friendly and hostile targets. 
During the Clone Wars, he acquired a vertical scar near his right eye, the result of a lightsaber duel with the Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress. Anakin also appeared to have another less prominent scar more diagonally across his eye earlier in the Clone Wars. Anakin dressed in traditional Jedi garb, though, ominously, he wore darker colors than most Jedi—dark brown and black. The tabards on his tunic were made of synthetic leather, and his lightsaber bore no resemblance to his mentor's weapon, which further separated him from other Jedi.
- "Curse you, Skywalkers, both of you! I'll tell you the truth about your father! The great Darth Vader was a sick man in an iron mask! Yes, that mask inspired terror throughout the galaxy, but the feeble heart within was forever possessed by the impotent side of the Force!"
- ―Palpatine to Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo
As Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader's irises would turn fiery yellow when he immersed himself fully in the dark side and in the passions of hate and anger, but would return to normal in his remorse, and his skin soon grew noticeably pale. At first, Vader continued to dress as a Jedi to hide his new identity from his unsuspecting victims.
After losing an epic duel with his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader was horribly disfigured by injuries and burns suffered on the lava-planet Mustafar. In addition to his horrific scars and maimed torso, Darth Vader's lungs were seared, leaving him barely able to breathe. Much like Darth Sion thousands of years before, only his burning hatred and lust for revenge kept his will to live, and, in the process, his body, intact.
- "He's more machine now than man; twisted and evil."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
When Darth Sidious rescued the charred form of Vader, he realized that a cybernetic life support system would be required to sustain his newest apprentice's life. New mechanical limbs were attached and a breathing modulator was incorporated into an imposing, obsidian, armored suit. He was forced to wear the armor at all times, except for when meditating or healing in his pressurized meditation chamber.
Also making him even more intimidating than his ruthless reputation alone, the suited Darth Vader was a towering figure; his height increased to 2.02 meters (6'7") and his increased weight made him all the more imposing. Even amongst his Imperial subordinates, Vader's frightful presence invoked terror. Ahead of his portentous footfalls, Lord Vader's distinctive, raspy breathing sent chills down the spines of his subordinates and enemies as it heralded his villainous presence. Early on as he grew adjusted to wearing the suit, Vader suspected that it intentionally limited his abilities. He found that he had to use the Force as a sort of crutch to walk during the first few weeks in the suit. In addition, it was also incredibly uncomfortable to wear.
As well as maintaining his life, Vader's armor provided him with a constant flow of addictive Sith stimulants which enhanced both his physical strength and his resilience. These substances, coupled with his use of the Force fury technique, enabled Vader to wage war on frontier worlds against Rebel troops for days on end. On occasion he was even able to ignore near fatal wounds during his frenzies. Vader had regular treatments, whether in his chambers or through his suit, with chemicals that were given out as Palpatine saw fit. This venomous concoction was produced by the Emperor's acolytes and was a major factor in maintaining Vader's loyalty.
After his redemption and return to the light side of the Force, when he at last fulfilled the Jedi prophecy and slew the Emperor, Anakin's dying wish was that he should see his son Luke "with his own eyes." Luke complied, and removed the fearsome mask that had caged his father's face for over twenty years. What was revealed was the ghostly pale visage of a sad and withered man in his mid-forties. Anakin's head was bald and browless, and his skin was pasty white from not having been exposed to sunlight for over two decades; a face still bearing the worst scars of the tragic duel. His weary eyes stared out from dark, sunken sockets at his son, and back at a life filled with sorrowful regret. Once more they shined blue, as Anakin Skywalker made peace with the Force and forever joined it.
After Anakin died, he retained his individuality and became a Force ghost. In this form, Anakin appeared in his early twenties, with all of his organic limbs and none of his physical scars from the Clone Wars. The reason for this could partly be that when Anakin fell to the dark, he "died", and Darth Vader was born.
Powers and abilities
Power and Force potential
- "…you are so far less now than what you were, you are more than half machine, you are like a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf, you remember where the power was but the power you can touch is only a memory…"
- ―Anakin's thoughts after the revelation of Padmé's death
The fact that Anakin was born with the highest known midi-chlorian count in galactic history and was considered to be the Chosen One leads to various conclusions about his Force potential and power. During his lifetime he did not achieve his full potential due to his destiny as a tragic hero, but before his fall to the dark side, although extremely young and having less than perfect training (due to his late age joining the Order), Anakin was one of the most powerful living Jedi. If he had reached his full potential, he would have become the most powerful being in both Jedi and Sith history.
However, after his death, he became one with the Force, thus achieving his full potential. Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Darth Vader just before his death: "If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." If that is true, the conclusion would be that when one unites with the Force, a Jedi reaches the peak of his or her power.
- "Powerful Jedi, was he. Powerful Jedi."
Master Pilot: Anakin Skywalker was a man of many talents. He was well known for his exceptional piloting skills, skills that earned him a name as a Jedi ace and a Tan; having such a piloting reputation that some would go so far as to argue he was the best star pilot in the galaxy. During Anakin's tenure as a slave, he made a name for himself by being a podracer. He was one of the few Humans with the reflexes to actually pilot a podracer, thanks to his Force sensitivity. Anakin even won the Boonta Eve Classic race at the age of nine, an act that won him his freedom. Young Anakin also attracted the attention of many in the Republic: during the Battle of Naboo, he piloted a Naboo starfighter and destroyed a Droid Control Ship. His efforts no doubt single-handedly helped win the battle, but it was only a foreshadowing of his skills to come. During the Clone Wars, Anakin was one of the Republic's best and most famous star pilots. He perfected an assortment of strategies; most notable was his skill at opening fire just before passing through enemy formations, leaving little time for evasion. He also displayed relentless tenacity in chasing down his targets as well as shaking off target locks. The latter ability would later be displayed by his son, Luke Skywalker. His abilities garnered the attention of both Chancellor Palpatine and his peers. At the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin was able to safely land the huge cruiser Invisible Hand, despite the fact that he was only flying half a ship, and it was not even built to be able to land.
- "Skywalker is arguably the most powerful Jedi alive, and he is still getting stronger."
- ―Mace Windu
Master Mechanic: Anakin was also known to be an exceptional mechanic. He could fix anything from a damaged droid motivator to a malfunctioning repulsorlift. The young Skywalker quickly 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. He used his droid hydrospanner wrench to reassemble his Otoga 222 and built welding goggles with many settings from scratch to use for precise work and to diagnose mechanical problems. At the age of nine he created, even with limited resources, the protocol droid C-3PO to aid his mother. For the Boonta Eve Classic race, Anakin entered his custom-built podracer made from parts found in Watto's junk shop. When meeting up with this former slave owner, Anakin proved his identity to the Toydarian by fixing a machine Watto was tinkering with. During the Clone Wars Anakin extensively modified a Delta-7 Aethersprite starfighter into a fully customized starship known as Azure Angel; modifications that would pave the way for the Eta-2 Actis interceptor. Anakin also often tinkered with his prosthetic arm as he did his starfighter. The TIE Advanced x1 starfighter was designed to Vader's specifications, having larger angular wings, a considerably longer rear engine, and thicker support struts than the standard TIE. In addition, Anakin was fluent in understanding the electronic language of Binary, the information-dense, low redundancy electronic language of most pit crew and simple droids, thus, allowing him to interface with them.
- "I can fix anything."
- ―Anakin Skywalker
Inherent Force Comprehension: Anakin's unprecedented midi-chlorian count made him one of the most powerful members of the Jedi Order; however, it also made Anakin arrogant. When he came to the Jedi Temple at the age of nine, he began to develop at a much faster and accelerated pace than his fellow Padawans, further feeding his pride and self-importance. He also had the ability to use the Force to asphyxiate people, a sign of his burgeoning dark side proclivities.
- "He is powerful. Potentially more powerful than even myself."
- ―Darth Sidious to Count Dooku
Master Lightsaber Combatant: Anakin was also one of the most talented lightsaber wielders in the Jedi Order. As a Padawan, Anakin practiced Form V: Shien and a few of Ataru's flashier moves. He began to master Form V's powerful subform, Djem So, after his defeat at the hands of Count Dooku on Geonosis. It proved most effective; with his mastery of Djem So, and his feint in using the opening stance of Shien, he was able to overpower and defeat Count Dooku during their second duel, which took place onboard Invisible Hand. Anakin also used Djem So when he fought with his former friend and Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Though Anakin's skill and technique with Djem So outclassed Kenobi's Soresu, Kenobi defeated the newly crowned Lord of the Sith in their fierce duel. Despite Skywalker being a better physical opponent than Kenobi, Kenobi had more skill in strategy than Skywalker had in dueling. Through the duel Kenobi gave ground, used less energy defending himself than by pressing the assault, and won the duel by taking the high ground. Obi-Wan's patience and experience with Soresu, paired with Sokan, was enough to best the overconfident young Sith Lord who, after being duped by Kenobi, arrogantly initiated his own defeat trying to jump to Obi-Wan's hightened position.
- "You will not stop me… Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us."
"Faith in your new apprentice, misplaced may be, as is your faith in the dark side of the Force."
- ―Darth Sidious and Yoda
Vader was a brilliant strategist and was still, despite his weakened powers, one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy. His armor did not dull the precognition ability he possessed since childhood 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 his TIE Advanced x1 fighter and the second Death Star's construction. His skill with the lightsaber, developed during the many battles and skirmishes of the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Purge, was legendary and was even further honed through the Jedi that he dueled following the Purge. All of these abilities, however, were secondary to his incredible mastery of the Force.
Because his limbs were severed and his body severely burned on Mustafar he lost much of his Force potential. As Darth Vader, Anakin was believed to have had roughly eight-tenths of the strength of the Emperor. But even still, Vader wielded tremendous power and skill. Had he sustained none of his injuries on Mustafar, he would have most likely been twice as powerful as the Emperor.
- "Sith power resided not in the flesh but in the will."
- ―Emperor Palpatine
The Emperor, having gone out of his way to keep Vader alive, took an alternative viewpoint. Though it was true to say that he had not bargained for an apprentice that was "more machine than man", Palpatine was of the opinion that most of the limitations on Vader's potential power were not physical but psychological. He believed that, were Vader to fully confront his choices and disappointments to completely shake himself out of his despair, he would have been able to reawaken the incredible power within him. Yet, while Vader made progress in this regard, he was never fully able to accept who, and what, he had become.
Force Absorb: One of Vader's talents in the Force was to be able to block blaster bolts with his hands, completely dissipating the energy, turning it into raw Force power that he could use. Yoda, Corran Horn, and Jacen Solo demonstrated the ability to channel energy from outside attacks into Force power in similar ways.
Force Choke: Darth Vader also seemed to favor the Force choke ability, as he demonstrated it numerous times throughout his life.
Vader also appeared to have great physical strength, able to lift a grown man by the throat with one hand, and picking up the Emperor and hurling him to his death. Whether these feats result from his use of the Force or from the power of his cybernetic limbs is unknown. However, it seems most likely to be a result of his mechanical appendages, as when he choked Obi-Wan in their battle on Mustafar.
Besides the life support it provided his ravaged body, Vader's Sith armor also offered some 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.
In battle, Darth Vader lacked the mobility and ease he once had, but his bionic suit supplied him with additional strength. His blows were forceful even when using only one arm to fight. He was calm when fighting, rarely resorting to feats of acrobatics. He struck to kill and used psychological warfare and his appearance to intimidate his foes. When striking with both hands on the grip of his lightsaber, he was able to pound his enemies with an onslaught of strong yet somewhat slow and stiff strikes. This fighting style contrasted with Anakin's style before his disfigurement, which utilized more speed and acrobatics.
Telekinesis: Because of his decreased mobility, he was at a disadvantage when dueling against beings using faster and quicker combat styles like Ataru. To counter fast-moving opponents, he would use the Force to pull out anything from his surroundings that wasn't nailed to the ground and fling the improvised missiles at his opponent. Without moving a muscle, anything from the venue of the battle could be used as a weapon to crash against Vader's opponents from all directions in a never-ending barrage. Darth Vader first used this tactic in the Duel on Mustafar, slicing shards of metal from the walls and shooting them at Obi-Wan Kenobi. Darth Vader also used this tactic to bring down Jedi Knight Roan Shryne, and most famously Luke Skywalker in their first duel on Bespin.
It should be noted that Darth Vader, despite being a powerful Sith Lord, was unable to generate or deflect Force lightning. This was due to his cybernetic implants, and any attempt by Vader to generate it would cause it to backfire, electrocuting his life-support systems, causing it to short-circuit and kill him. This is ultimately how he was killed, as his act of redemption in saving his son caused him to be bombarded with the Emperor's lightning. Because Vader's Sith powers were limited due to his artificial limbs, Darth Sidious found him less than satisfactory as his heir to the Sith legacy, despite the effort Sidious spent for more than a decade to recruit Skywalker. Upon the discovery of Luke Skywalker, Palpatine concentrated on turning him to the dark side.
- "If you spent as much time practicing your saber techniques as you do your wit, you would rival Master Yoda as a swordsman."
"I thought I already did."
"Only in your mind, my very young apprentice."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker was trained by the Order's most promising Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Through him, Anakin would inherit a rich tradition of lightsaber training. Anakin's style featured elements of many masters, making him outstandingly talented, even at a very young age.
Form V: Shien: Anakin Skywalker was well versed in the classic lightsaber combat style Form V: Shien. He used Shien, an aggressive style that focused on physical strength and sweeping strokes, taking the defensive principles of Soresu, the style practiced by Obi-Wan Kenobi, and converting them to offensive moves. With Anakin's exceptionally high concentration of midi-chlorians, he applied Shien more effectively than any other Padawan in the Order. By the time of the Battle of Geonosis, Anakin began to believe he was one of the best swordsmen in the Order. However, Anakin's frequent application of Form V, a style that tended to foster an inappropriate focus on dominating others, clouded his judgment and pulled him to the edge, and sometimes into the dark side of the Force, frequently during his numerous grueling battles during the course of the Clone Wars.
Form IV: Ultimately, Anakin would learn his lesson against Count Dooku at the Battle of Geonosis. The overconfident Padawan ceased using Shien and switched to the Jar'Kai application of Ataru after receiving an extra lightsaber from Kenobi, though these were not his strongest styles. However, Dooku's skilled swordsmanship deprived Anakin of his second blade and he switched back to his practice of Shien. Despite his skill in the style, even the Chosen One proved no match for the seasoned focus and skills of Dooku's Makashi swordplay, a style of elegance and precision. Anakin lost his right forearm and was only saved by Master Yoda's timely appearance.
- Form V: Djem So: Appreciative at last of how much he had to learn, Anakin spent the next three years of the Clone Wars honing his Form V skills. Apart from Shien, Skywalker mastered Djem So, a sub-form of Form V, during the Clone Wars, a Form V style beyond the classic Shien. According to Count Dooku onboard Invisible Hand, Anakin's mastery of Djem So was the greatest he had ever seen in his life.
In the rematch with Count Dooku at the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin's mastery in Djem So, combined with his young age, better physical condition, impressive strength, and considerable reserve of Force energy, enabled Anakin to tear through the precision and elegance of Makashi and break through Dooku's tenacious defense. By defeating Dooku, Anakin seemed to have proven his mastery of the Force, and established himself as one of the greatest swordsmen in the Order. It also proved to Sidious that Skywalker was ready to become his apprentice.
When he turned to the dark side and was rechristened Darth Vader, he maintained his Form V mastery, but utilized it in a much more brutal fashion, becoming a frightening opponent. However, his aggression became his fatal flaw, he would become so controlled by it that it would give way to his rage. Though younger, more athletic, and a greater swordsman, and gifted with more raw Force power than any Force user, he still lacked the experience, calmness, and focus that his former master possessed. Though Vader could and would call on the dark side to overpower his opponents, his mounting emotions also distracted him from executing his style as well as Obi-Wan executed his.
Whereas Vader's strength lay in his offensive barrage, Kenobi's strength resided in his defense. Obi-Wan was regarded as the greatest master of the defensive style Form III: Soresu in the Jedi Order and his absolute dedication to it would prove vital to his victory. Vader, frustrated by his inability to break this defense, would make mistakes that he wouldn't have made had he been able to remain focused and patient. Kenobi, similar to his duel with Grievous, would rely on his "wait them out" philosophy. This is to rely on Soresu entirely until the opponent became frustrated or fatigued and their offense would grow sloppy, leaving openings that Kenobi could then exploit. In both cases, this resulted in the detachment of his opponent's limbs. This is what became Vader's downfall.
In his mechanical life-support suit, it was extremely difficult to engage in the energetic acrobatics of Ataru, an act that would quickly tire him, defeating the purpose of the acrobatic style. For the remainder of his life, Vader maintained his mastery of Form V, but introduced more elements of Soresu and Ataru swordplay into his customized style, as witnessed by Jedi Master Roan Shryne when Bol Chatak dueled with the Dark Lord. It was noted that he would often employ powerful yet sometimes clumsy and stiffly executed vertical strikes to wear an opponent down, which he utilized both against Bol Chatak and Luke Skywalker.
He 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.
Around 3.5 ABY, Vader had ordered ASP-19 droids, lightsaber combat droids based on the ASP-series droid, to be produced to fight him in sparring matches. They were faster and stronger than an ordinary man, and programmed with the knowledge of a hundred sword masters and a dozen fighting styles. Vader defeated them time and again, and thus ordered new, improved batches of them. As his finesse improved, they became too easy to defeat, even in a two-on-one match.
Vader developed a personalized version of Djem So, battling with one hand only while keeping the other slack at his side, a style that included elements of Ataru and Soresu. It was resoundingly effective, both as a practical fighting style and a psychological weapon.
Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, was able to hold up against the Sith Lord for some time on Bespin, despite having only minimal training in any form of lightsaber combat. Onboard the second Death Star, Luke mirrored Darth Vader's own Form V technique and responded with his own furious demonstration of Form V's raw power. The sudden increase in his son's power caught Vader off guard and overwhelmed the experienced Sith Lord. Finally, Luke was able to defeat the Dark Lord.
- "This weapon is your life."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker
Anakin built and used at least two lightsabers during his time as a Jedi. In 28 BBY, as a young Padawan, Anakin traveled to Ilum as a test of skill to construct his first lightsaber. While constructing his lightsaber deep inside one of the caverns, Anakin encountered a vision of Darth Maul. After a struggle, Anakin managed to defeat this dark incarnation, and, upon awakening, Anakin discovered he had constructed a lightsaber that contained one of the sapphire Adegan crystals that grew in Ilum's caverns, giving the blade a distinct blue glow. The design of the hilt suited his practice of Form V. He did not do what many padawans do and create a lightsaber to look like his master's—instead this lightsaber favored maximum power.
This lightsaber would go on to be used by Anakin up until the Clone Wars, it was first destroyed at the Battle of Geonosis, however it was later repaired after the battle, and used by Skywalker during the Clone Wars. He would use it for a long portion of the Clone Wars, but at an unknown point abandoned it.
At this point, Anakin built a new lightsaber of a slightly different design. This weapon was a powerful creation that portrayed his skill of mechanical engineering; specifically built and designed for a master of Djem So, as Anakin was soon to become.
In 19 BBY, after his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar, this lightsaber was taken by Anakin's former Master, which he kept with him on Tatooine. In 0 BBY, Obi-Wan passed Anakin's lightsaber, the one he'd retrieved from the black shores of Mustafar, down to Anakin's son, Luke, whom Obi-Wan had been watching over. Obi-Wan must have modified the saber while he was on Tatooine since the saber was slightly different at that time. In the hands of Luke Skywalker, Anakin's blade was wielded against numerous foes, even against Anakin himself as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. During his duel on Bespin with Luke, Vader sliced off Luke's right hand, sending both Luke's hand and lightsaber into the depths of Cloud City. The lightsaber, along with Luke's hand, would later be recovered.
- "What is it?"
"Your father's lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi
A few years after Anakin's death at Endor, Joruus C'baoth, a mad clone of Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth, would use Luke's severed right hand to create a clone of the Jedi, Luuke Skywalker. Wielding the blade of Anakin, Luuke went on to duel Luke and Mara Jade. After Luuke was killed by the combined effort of the duo, Luke recovered his father's weapon and presented it to Mara as a gift. The lightsaber would remain in Mara's possession for many years and was passed on to his grandson Ben Skywalker. It would later be displayed in the Skywalkers' home on Ossus.
After suffering his grievous wounds on Mustafar, Vader created a new lightsaber. Vader apparently modified this lightsaber over time. His weapons, though bearing passing resemblance to the blades he had wielded as Anakin Skywalker, had a different, stronger, black alloy material; and an overall more aggressive, brutal appearance to suit his new identity. The light crimson blades in both of his lightsabers were created by synthetic lightsaber crystals supplied by his master.
Vader's lightsaber was lost when it fell down the reactor shaft on the Death Star II along with the remains of his mechanical right hand during the final battle with his son.
It is known that Vader created more than one lightsaber, but due to the modifications Vader made to his weapons, it is impossible to tell which were actually different from the beginning.
At least one of Vader's lightsabers was waterproof.
It's interesting that Vader's hilts bear a resemblances to Anakin's, although he wanted to forget him.
Interpretations of the prophecy
The Chosen One
- "You refer to the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the Force. You believe it's this… boy?"
- ―Mace Windu
George Lucas has stated definitively that Anakin Skywalker is indeed the Chosen One. Any other theories about it are pure speculation. Most of the problem consists of identifying exactly what "bringing balance to the Force" really meant, and, as Yoda clearly stated, if the prophecy was properly read.
Proof also concluded that "bringing balance" meant destruction of the Sith, as the dark side was no more than a twisted version of the Force—as evil is no more than a corrupted good. In which case, "bringing balance" was basically "cleaning" the Force of imperfections.
Another way of interpretation indicated that Anakin fulfilled this prophecy by equaling the total manifestation of the Force. This interpretation advocated that the "balance" in the Force was the balance between positive and negative energy throughout the universe. This implied that the average sentient being contributed a sizable amount of negative energy to the universe throughout their lifetime by means of what would be called normal and natural emotions like anger, jealousy, etc. Multiplied by the trillions of beings, this amounted to a massive dark side shift in the cosmic balance. According to this stand, a relatively small number of beings dedicated to pure good and service of the light side of the Force would be able to balance against all the negative energy contributed by everyone else and maintain relative balance in the universe. The presence of the Sith, it was believed, served to once again tip the cosmic scale in favor of the dark side. Therefore the claim that in order to have "balance" in the Force there should be no Sith was relatively justified based on this particular viewpoint. Another possibility was that through his actions Vader brought balance to the Force through simultaneously fulfilling his destiny as both a Sith, by killing his master, and as a Jedi, by dying on the light side.
It is also interesting to note that Anakin's life was balanced between the light side and the dark side for 23 years each.
Another way of viewing the prophecy was that the manipulation of the Force was what caused the imbalance, regardless of one's motivations. Perhaps true balance could be found in trust of the Force and not bending it to one's creative will.
It was commonly held that the Chosen One of the prophecy must be born of a virgin mother—which Anakin was—a stance further cemented by the fact that Yoda, for instance, despite his historical number of midi-chlorians, was never regarded as a candidate for the prophecy.
- "… and in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS."
- ―Journal of the Whills, 3:127
The exact "Chosen One" prophecy was not known, but when a portion of a prophecy found in the Journal of the Whills was held up against the fact that the crowd in Naboo after the defeat of the Trade Federation as well as the crowds celebrating the Emperor's downfall both cried out "The Son of the Suns!" means that this prophecy, as well as being fairly well-known, could have been a portion of the Chosen One prophecy.
The standpoint that this balance was achieved by destroying so many Jedi that there would be an even number of Jedi and Sith is very questionable. From this way of interpreting the prophecy, the Jedi and the Sith metaphorically represented two opposing weights on a scale, with an excess of either disrupting the balance of the Force. Though the Purge left the galaxy with one Grand Master—Yoda and Sidious—and one lesser but still powerful member—Obi-Wan and Vader—there were still loopholes in this understanding. For one thing, in the EU there were some Jedi that survived Order 66 and the Jedi Purge, such as Ikrit, Vima-Da-Boda, Aqinos, and myriad others. Conversely, there were also several Sith splinter factions and other dark side Force users present at the time of the Purge, such as the Nightsisters of Dathomir and the Prophets of the Dark Side. In order for this facet of interpretation to be true, there would have to have been the equivalent amount of "power" on either side of the scale; an outcome that is highly unlikely.
Also, even if such was the case, this plan to destroy the Jedi was put into motion long before Anakin was ever taken off Tatooine, most likely starting at the invasion of Naboo, when he was only a child. However, Anakin still played a pivotal part in Order 66 and the Purge, ranging from his intervention in Windu and Sidious's duel in the Chancellor's office to the enormous influence of his deep involvement in hunting down the remaining Jedi, a pet project of his. Sidious may have simply used what was currently available to him. His plan was always changing.
Until more proof for or against these views is uncovered or the original text is found, the true meaning of the Chosen One prophecy may never be known.
Anakin's possible "father"
- "The Force is unusually strong with him, that much is clear. Who was his father?"
"There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth, I raised him… I can't explain what happened."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn and Shmi Skywalker
In light of information revealed by Palpatine to Anakin, it is distinctly possible that Darth Plagueis may in fact have been Anakin's "father," to whit. It was confirmed that Darth Plagueis had the ability to create or sustain life through manipulation of midi-chlorians, and Anakin's conception bore a notable resemblance to this concept. As if to hint this to Anakin, Palpatine emphasized "life" and turned to Anakin when he was being told the "Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise". As Sidious himself never learned the power to influence midi-chlorians from his master, he could not have been Anakin's "father"; privately, he believed that Anakin had been a creation of the Force itself.
Many Jedi such as Qui-Gon Jinn, believed Anakin was created purely by the will of the Force, with no outside forces involved.
Anakin managed to achieve the Force ghost state as well (which Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi had done too), but without the evolution Qui-Gon had gone through nor the training Yoda and Obi-Wan had. Since Anakin was "created" by the Force, he may have discovered the ability to keep his identity after death without a mentor. Or it could have been the combined efforts of Yoda, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan that allowed his body and spirit to become one with the Force since they were most likely elated at their old friend's redemption.
It is impossible to know for certain what the truth was; yet these remain as distinct possibilities. However, currently it is just speculation.
- "One who has freed themselves from all restrictions has reached perfection, their potential fulfilled. Perfect strength, perfect power, perfect destiny. Imagine it."
- ―Yuthura Ban
Similar to the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One, the ancient Sith Lords also foresaw a savior in the prophecy of the Sith'ari. Inspired by the legendary King Adas of the ancient Sith Empire, this legend foretold the coming of a perfect being, free from all restrictions, who would rise to the ultimate peak of Sith power. The climax of this meteoric rise would be the very destruction of the Sith Order itself—an act which, the ancient Lords felt, would make the Sith stronger than ever.
Like the Sith'ari of legend, Anakin Skywalker was indeed genetically "perfect", having been conceived by the midi-chlorians themselves, as well as being credited with the destruction of the Sith. It could also be viewed that, in the killing of his Master, Vader not only destroyed the Sith but made them more powerful than ever; the deaths of Palpatine and Vader effectively abolished the restrictive Rule of Two, paving the way for the unprecedented reign of a new Sith Order. These Sith, led by Darth Krayt, would be great in number and rise to a level of influence and power unseen since the golden age of the Sith Empire.
Several facts suggested that Darth Vader could have been the Sith'ari, while others facts rejected him. The Sith'ari was said to be the "perfect being", and Darth Vader originally was indeed genetically "perfect" with an unmatched connection to the Force. However, the "free from all restrictions" prophecy clearly contradicted that Vader needed a life support system to stay alive, which further restricted the use of some of his Force powers.
Another interpretation was that the Sith'ari would "rise to the height of Sith power". The Galactic Empire, which was controlled by the Sith, was arguably the peak of Sith power: the complete elimination of the Jedi Order, absolute control of the galaxy, and unrivaled in power and authority. It was led by the Sith, but despite this, the Galactic Empire was not truly a "Sith empire", thus putting some doubts for Vader as the Sith'ari.
The final prophetic interpretation was that "the culmination of this meteoric rise would be the very destruction of the Sith Order itself—an act which, the ancient Lords felt, would make the Sith stronger than ever." For this, it could be assumed that Darth Vader fulfilled this by killing the Emperor and then himself in the process. Further supporting this, it could be seen that the Rule of Two was abandoned by future Sith, which resulted in the Sith power growing to "a level of influence and power not seen since the golden age of the Sith Empire".
Behind the scenes
Anakin uses a blue Lightsaber in the beginning of his time as a Sith Lord, much like Exar Kun, another Sith Lord. This could be a reference.
George Lucas took the name from his friend and fellow film director, Ken Annakin. However, in Sanskrit, the name "Anakin" means "warrior". Additionally, the name could itself refer to him being the Chosen One—splitting into "An Akin" would translate the name as "Peerless" or "Without Equal". The name may also be derived from the name "Anakim", found in the Old Testament. It is one of several names used to identify a race of giants " 'the sons of God saw daughters of men and took them wives of all they chose' [Genesis 6:2]". Another possibility is "ana-" (Greek meaning "against" or "without") and "kin" (meaning "family") could explain Anakin not having a father.
It is also worth noting that "vader", is the Dutch word for "father" (as well as an Old English variant for "father" cf. OED), and it may be tempting to read the character name "Darth Vader" as "Dark Father", a word-play that may well be the root of the Sith title. However, judging by the origin of the other Sith names, Vader may also possibly be a derivative of the word "invader", especially when one considers the first task assigned to the fledgling Sith Lord. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that in the original scripts for A New Hope, the name "Darth Vader" was given to a normal Imperial general.
Anakin's unusual birth, him being the Chosen One, as well as the hints that a Sith Lord engineered this event, can be a reference to the Dune novel, in which the Bene Gesserit order conducts a eugenics—Human cross-breeding—program to create a superhuman, the Kwisatz Haderach, whom they could control. However, when this superhuman is finally born as the protagonist Paul Atreides, he eventually rebels against them.
Anakin also shows symmetry with several people in World War II, a source frequently referenced in the Star Wars saga, most notably the prequel trilogy. Anakin was Palpatine's protégé, with Palpatine mirroring Adolf Hitler. In this way he is an allegory of Hermann Göering, protégé of Hitler and, incidentally, an expert pilot. Because of Anakin's role as Darth Vader, Darth Sidious's enforcer and chief executioner, Anakin mirrors Heinrich Himmler, the commander of the SS and the Gestapo. In Anakin's anger management problems, his secret marriage to Padmé, and the later attempt on Vader's life for the "good of the Empire," he mirrors Hitler, himself. Also, Vader's helmet resembles the helmets worn by Nazi troops during WWII.
- "However, after all of his limbs were severed and he was extremely burned on Mustafar he lost much of his Force potential. As Darth Vader, Anakin was believed to have had roughly 80% of the strength of the Emperor. Had he sustained none of his injuries on Mustafar he would have been twice as powerful."
- ―George Lucas
On both the 2005 DVD cover of Revenge of the Sith and the film's poster, the scar on the right side of Anakin's face is absent.
Hayden Christensen was not the first actor in Star Wars to fight with a lightsaber in each hand. The very first was Time Winters who played the Dark Jedi Boc in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.
The character of Darth Vader was not originally planned to be a suited cyborg. This was created when the concept artist drew the opening scene where Tantive IV was being boarded. It was initially imagined that Darth Vader would fly through space to enter the ship, necessitating a suit and breathing mask. This suit was later made permanent and incorporated in the story.
In order to keep the "big secret" of The Empire Strikes Back under wraps from potential film spies, George Lucas actually used a diversion technique: actor Dave Prowse was instructed to say, "Obi-Wan killed your father" during filming. Later, James Earl Jones's voice was dubbed in, revealing the actual truth of Vader's progeny in the famous line, "I am your father." The only ones who knew this big secret were the writers, Mark Hamill (who was told in secret only moments before shooting the scene), and James Earl Jones.
In Italy and France, Darth Vader's name was changed to "Dart Fener" and "Dark Vador", respectively. However, in Quebec, Canada, he keeps his original name, but it is pronounced "Dart" Vader. During 2004, Italian fans were asked to vote a poll regarding the choice to use Darth Vader's original name instead of "Dart Fener" in the film Revenge of the Sith. "Dart Fener" was approved by roughly 55% of the voters. One of the reasons for this was that the modern Italian language did borrow the word "water" (from "water closet") as a synonym for "lavatory" and "vader" was probably sounded too close to that, so they avoided the chance of embarrassing misunderstandings and wordplays via the name change.
In a Sunday Star Wars comic strip from 1979, Luke is mistakenly referred to by a computer as the son of "Tan Skywalker." This was later retconned to mean that Anakin was an exceptional pilot.
Darth Vader as a cultural figure
Due to his central role in the films, Vader has entered the public consciousness as the quintessential frightening villain; the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movie villains placed him third, after Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates. Lord Vader's powerful, basso profondo voice coupled with his heavy, eerie breathing is easily recognizable to moviegoers—it is symbolic of his transformation from a man of the light to an evil cyborg. He has been parodied by such figures as "Dark Helmet" from Spaceballs and countless other parodies from cartoons, such as "Duck Vader" from Tiny Toon Adventures and "Darth Koopa" from Super Mario Bros. (TV). He was also imitated; one example would be "Death's Hand" from the video game Jade Empire—who was similarly imprisoned in a suit of armor, including a masked helmet, although using magic rather than cybernetics. Also, Darth Vader's name has become a synonym for frightening evil. During the later phase of its construction, Washington National Cathedral held a competition for children to design new gargoyles for the west towers. One winner was a design featuring Darth Vader.
Darth Vader's headgear appears to be modeled on a Japanese kabuto, which is consistent with the samurai-like order of the Jedi and kendo-like lightsaber duels. It also resembles a German World War II-era Stahlhelm.
Many people say that Darth Vader is loosely inspired by the Marvel Universe villain Doctor Doom. Considered by many to be one of the greatest comic-book villains of all time, Doom and Vader share some similarities. Both have a commanding presence, both are physically deformed due to tragic accidents that cause them to wear armor, both are highly intelligent, and both were, in a way, good once. There is also a costume similarity with The Lightning, the first costumed supervillain from the serial Fighting Devil Dogs. However, Lucas himself once mentioned in an interview that he based Darth Vader on the android villain Hakaider from the 1972-73 live action Japanese television series Jinzo Ningen Kikaider, which he watched while visiting Japan in the early 1970s.
- "Finding the right voice for Darth Vader was another challenge. Lucas never intended to use the onset vocal performance of David Prowse."
- ―Narrator Robert Clotworthy
Anakin was played in the films by Jake Lloyd as a child, Hayden Christensen as a young adult, and Sebastian Shaw as a dying, elderly, and redeemed man. Anakin's young age EU illustrations, are usually morphing compositions of the faces of Lloyd and Christensen, as exemplified in the cover of Jedi Quest: Path to Truth. David Prowse portrayed Vader in Episodes IV, V, and VI, except for the fight scenes in V and VI, in which swordsman Bob Anderson wore the suit. The suited Vader's voice in the original trilogy and Revenge of the Sith was performed by James Earl Jones. In new footage shot for the Special Edition of the original trilogy, actor and former Industrial Light & Magic visual effects artist C. Andrew Nelson played the infamous Dark Lord.
In the radio drama adaptations, Brock Peters performed as Vader, with David Birney performing as Anakin on the final episode of the Return of the Jedi radio drama. In the Clone Wars cartoon, Anakin was voiced by Frankie Ryan Manriquez as a child and Mat Lucas as an adult. For many of the Star Wars video games, including Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Force Commander, and Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Vader was voiced by Scott Lawrence.
In Revenge of the Sith, Hayden Christensen wore the suit, which was specifically designed to fit his body. His stand-in for the UK shoot was Christian Simpson, who also played alongside the young Anakin in Episode I as Bravo Six, Lt. Gavyn Sykes. The few lines of the suited Vader speaking are of James Earl Jones, but at one time, there was some debate over this. Some fans believed that Jones didn't participate at all, since his name doesn't appear in the official credits of Revenge of the Sith, and the voice heard in the first trailer for the movie was that of Christensen's, albeit altered digitally. The false claim was settled with the Summer 2005 issue of Starlog, in which producer Rick McCallum stated they had James Earl Jones for a partial day of work on Episode III.
In the original Return of the Jedi, the appearance of Anakin's redeemed Force ghost was a robust, middle-aged man with graying brown hair and a kindly face, but upon release of the Special Edition DVD version of Return of the Jedi, Anakin is in his twenties just before his fall to the dark side. George Lucas stated that redeemed Jedi would revert as a Force ghost in their pre-fall form. It should also be noted that the DVD release has digitally removed Shaw's eyebrows (as the unmasked Vader), presumably motivated by Lucas reasoning that since his baldness was caused by the severe burns sustained on Mustafar, then his eyebrow follicles would have likewise been destroyed. The fact that the unmasked Vader originally did have eyebrows can either be accounted to an oversight in the makeup design, or possibly serves as some evidence that Vader's volcanic fate was not conceived prior to filming Return of the Jedi; thus it should further be pointed out that although horribly scarred, Anakin's face in Return of the Jedi bears no scar tissue that is clearly indicative of severe burns of the sort shown at the end of Revenge of the Sith. An in-universe explanation provided is that Vader had been using bacta to slowly heal his wounds, thus accounting for the missing scars.
Adherence to the Hero Cycle
The Hero Cycle, invented or hypothesized by Joseph Campbell, is the literary code, the "pattern," that many of the greatest mythological heroes followed throughout their lives. He compiled a list of 20 steps that was common among great heroes, a finding that he published in 1936 in his book The Hero: A Study In Tradition, Myth, And Drama. Following Lucas's references from mythology for his saga, both Anakin and his son, Luke, both closely follow this process, though the latter does more so. Because of Anakin's turn to the dark side, his adherence to the Cycle is somewhat twisted since he is not a "true" hero, whereas Luke follows the steps nearly scene for scene. Incidentally, Revenge of the Sith is the only movie that has a complete Hero Cycle within it, though not strictly related to Anakin.
The following are the steps of the Hero Cycle and Anakin's adherence thereof:
1. Unusual conception and/or virgin birth; twins—Palpatine's or Plagueis's possible manipulation of midi-chlorians; Anakin's virgin birth; the birth of Anakin's twin children.
2.1. Assassination attempt by family member—The assassination of Count Dooku; Luke Skywalker duels Vader on Bespin and aboard the second Death Star.
2.2. Hero wounded—Anakin receives scars delivered by Asajj Ventress; loses his hand to Count Dooku on Geonosis; severely wounded by Obi-Wan on Mustafar, cuts off Luke's hand at Bespin.
2.3. But escapes—In order, Takes Asajj's ship as an escape pod off the planet; rescued by Yoda on Geonosis; Is saved by Palpatine and his clone troopers. Luke escapes Bespin with the aid of Leia and their friends.
3. Summons to adventure—Qui-Gon's asking for aid; Anakin's pleasure in combat.
4. Acquisition of helper—Qui-Gon; Obi-Wan; Padmé; R2-D2; Palpatine.
5.1. Brother battle—The Duel on Mustafar with Obi-Wan.
5.2. Dragon battle—Anakin's battle with the "fear dragon" in the Revenge of the Sith novelization.
5.3. Crucifixion—Anakin's and Obi-Wan's lightsabers perfectly crossed above Anakin's chest during their duel on Mustafar.
6.1. Imprisonment in whale's belly—Capture in the "belly" of Invisible Hand and in the "belly" of the Geonosian arena.
6.2. Night sea journey—Anakin's nightmares.
6.3. Petrification—Anakin immolated on Mustafar; electrocuted by Palpatine aboard the second Death Star.
6.4. Dismemberment—Lost arm on Geonosis; loss of arm and legs on Mustafar; loss of hand aboard the second Death Star.
6.5. Hell's gate—Mustafar.
7.1. Labyrinth—The Boonta Eve Classic race course; the Geonosian droid factory; the Techno Union bunker on Mustafar.
7.2. Scylla vs. Charybdis—Decision whether to kill Mace Windu or Palpatine.
8. Passage of riddles, tests; ordeals—Racing the Boonta Eve Classic; the Geonosian arena; Anakin's seduction.
9. Adherence to narrow path—Admission into the Jedi Order; keeping the secret of his marriage to Padmé; following the teachings of the dark side.
10. Illumination—The revelation of Darth Sidious's identity.
11.1. Sacred marriage—Marriage to Padmé and their secrecy thereof.
11.2. Theft of magic elixir—Search for eternal life for Padmé; Anakin kept alive via life support.
11.3. Father atonement—Becoming Darth Sidious's apprentice; saving Luke's life aboard the second Death Star.
12. Summons to return—Returning to Tatooine to find his mother; Luke pleading Vader to return to the light.
13. Magic flight—Racing the Boonta Eve Classic; chasing Zam Wesell via airspeeder; managing to land Invisible Hand.
14. Departure of helper—Qui-Gon; Shmi; Mace; Obi-Wan; Padmé.
15.1. Rout of pretenders—Dooku's assassination on Invisible Hand; murder of the Separatist leaders on Mustafar; death of Palpatine in the reactor shaft of the second Death Star.
15.2. Resurrection—Surviving the injuries of Mustafar; return of Anakin aboard the second Death Star.
15.3. Fame—Winning the Boonta Eve Classic; becoming known as the "Hero with no Fear"; praise for his rescue of Palpatine over Coruscant.
16. Rescue—Found and restored by Palpatine on Mustafar; Luke rescuing Anakin's soul; rescuing Luke from Palpatine's Force lightning.
17.1. Founding of a city—Founding the New Order; Bast Castle.
17.2. Law giving—Reinforcing the law during Order 66
18. Fall from grace—Anakin's fall to the dark side.
19. Exile—Prevented from becoming a Master; leaving the Jedi way.
20. Extraordinary hilltop death—Near-death on Mustafar; death aboard the second Death Star.
Tragic Hero as Defined by Sophocles
Anakin also fits Sophocles' description of a tragic hero. He was of noble birth (conception by the Force or possibly Darth Plagueis) and very virtuous in his early life. His hamartia, or error in judgment stemming from his best characteristic – i.e., his compassion for others – came when he fell to the dark side; which, true to the Greek ideal, came about from a combination of his free will and fate.
As "Anakin Skywalker"
As "Darth Vader"
Notes and references
- Anakin Skywalker's Podracer
- Chosen One
- Darth Vader (clone)
- Darth Vader's armor
- Skywalker epoch
- Skywalker family
- The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster (Popular Fan-Fic)
- Injuries of Lord Vader
- How to be like Darth Vader
- Anakin Skywalker on Wikipedia