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December 17, 2017

Character Spotlight: Darth Vader

One of the ultimate cautionary tales. The tragedy of a bright star fallen from grace. Where once was a well known hero, now stands a terrifying villain. Darth Vader may be one of the most recognizable villains from film and he’s been seen in just about every other medium since then. Despite his world fame, there are still some stories of his that remain missed by many merely because his story has been told over all those mediums beyond film. So how did Darth Vader come to be? Let’s find out!

How Anakin Skywalker was born a virgin birth to Shmi Skywalker, a slave on the planet Tatooine. It is believed he could be created by the Force itself having made a child or that Sith Lords manipulated the Force to create him. Either way, he would spend his youth building machines, something he had a knack for, even building a protocol droid to help his mother. Everything changed when the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and the royal handmaiden/Queen in disguise, Padmé, came to his master Watto’s shop to repair their ship. Sensing a strong connection to the Force with Anakin, Qui-Gon would make a bet for the part they needed as well as for the boy’s freedom. Anakin would win his freedom through a podrace competition but learn that while he was freed, his mother was not. He would be taken away, with a future of training with the Jedi ahead of him.

The Jedi Order were concerned with the fact that Anakin was too old for their training, they took Force-sensitive babies away from their families as young as they could find them. They also sensed in him a lot of fear, again, this was a former slave being taken away from his mother and then traveling vast distances to be judged by strangers on what his future would be. They saw that he was powerful in the Force, the likes of which they’d never seen before but told Qui-Gon he wouldn’t be allowed to train Anakin. Life would prove this true as a battle with a Sith Lord would be the death of Qui-Gon but mean that his dying wish of training Anakin would be granted to Qui-Gon’s apprentince, Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Training with Kenobi was difficult as Anakin was a latecomer to the Jedi teaching methods so he was often having to play a lot of catch up at first and this would further isolate him from students who had been friends since they were children. He’d find himself missing his mother and harboring feelings for Padmé still for years. The Jedi believed attachment and emotion were dangerous so Anakin was continuously told he was wrong for his natural emotional needs. Around the age of 19, Anakin would be reunited with Padmé given the mission to act as her bodyguard. They would grow closer together during this time and return to Tatooine when Anakin’s nightmares gave him visions of his mother in danger. Anakin would arrive too late to save his mother, who had been kidnapped and tortured, she’d die in his arms and he’d kill her captors in a rage. He’d also lose his arm in a fight with a Sith Lord and return to Padmé and get married in secret, love of any kind was forbidden to the Jedi.

The Clone Wars would see Anakin becoming a Jedi Knight and working often with Obi-Wan now as a partner instead of as a mentor. When the war was over, Anakin found himself being stopped from getting promoted to Jedi Master which upset him greatly. He’d also find that Padmé was pregnant but worried that she would die due to visions he kept having. He’d find friendship with Chancellor Palpatine of the Galactic Senate, not knowing Palpatine was a Sith Lord who had been playing a long con on the entire galaxy. He’d corrupt Anakin to the Dark Side, using his frustrations with the corruptions of the Jedi Order and his fears of his wife and child dying to bring him to fall. Anakin would begin to commit atrocities for Palpatine immediately. Killing Jedi Master Windu and helping kill off the children at the Jedi Temple and then proceeding to wipe out any political threats to Palpatine who would soon become Emperor. All while this was happening, Clone Troopers began wiping out Jedi, a task Anakin would take on as time went on. Obi-Wan would face off with Anakin, right after Anakin had Force choked Padmé in anger, and in the fight Anakin would lose his other limbs and become horribly burned from the volcanic planet they were on. Left for dead, having lost his wife, children, and dearest friend, Palpatine would revive him as a cyborg, Darth Vader was truly born.

Darth Vader would begin a campaign of terror and death as he wiped out the remaining Jedi and any who opposed the rise of the Galactic Empire. For years, Vader created his reputation has the devastating right hand of the Emperor. Quite literally crushing some of his opponents with the Dark Side of the Force, Vader’s work would make the Jedi a myth at best to the galaxy at large. It wouldn’t be until Princess of Alderaan, Leia Organa was able to get a hold of the plans to the new space station, the Death Star, that Vader’s world began to unravel once again. He’d find that the Rebel Alliance’s newest ace pilot, who would be responsible for shooting down the Death Star, was Luke Skywalker, the son of Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine had lied to Vader, he had made him feel despair when there was still hope of his child still living. A new plan was forming and Palpatine was not going to be a part of it for long. Finding assistants he could keep secret, he’d have agents find out where young Skywalker was so he could bring him over to the Dark Side, like his father before him.


He’d trap his son’s friends and allies on Bespin, the Cloud City, and use them to lure Luke to confront him. They would do battle each using one of his lightsabers, testing to see how powerful his son now was. He would take his son’s hand with his lightsaber, much like he’d lost his own. He’d find out that Obi-Wan Kenobi had lied to his son, claiming that Darth Vader had killed his father, but he made sure to clear up the lies and reveal his true connection to Luke and how they could work together to become the new Sith Lords of the galaxy. Luke refused and Vader would work harder to gain his son back by his side.

They’d meet again later on board the second Death Star that was still under construction, fighting for Palpatine’s amusement. All the while, Vader refused to believe Luke’s delusions that there was any good in him left. He’d discover that Leia Organa was his daughter and tried to use this to bring Luke to the Dark Side. Their fight would have Luke slice off Vader’s arm, much to the pleasure of Palpatine. Vader would realize that both he and Palpatine wanted Luke at their side and the other dead. When Luke proved to be unswayed by the Dark Side, Palpatine would begin to kill his son with Force Lightning. Finally fed up with all the evils Palpatine had done and he’d done in the name of Palpatine, he took the man and tossed him off the platform they were on, causing him to plummet to his death. While doing so, Vader had taken a huge blast of Force Lightning from Palpatine, weakening him when he was already extremely ill due to his prior injuries. His last breaths had him tell Luke that he was right about their still being some good still inside him and was able to see his son for the first time without his mask’s lens. He died and became one with the Force and was united with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda as Force ghosts wishing Luke well at the party of the destruction of the second Death Star. While he was dead, his legacy would live on, many knew of the terrors of Darth Vader, especially his own grandson.

There you have it! Darth Vader wasn’t always the giant in the black armor with the iconic breathing apparatus sounds. Once just a brilliant child who was trapped in slavery with his mom, he would get caught up in a system that didn’t care about what he thought but only in what he could do. He’d become a nightmare due to being unable to process anything he was dealing with. Maybe the greatest tragedy is he could have been prevented but from becoming the monster if he’d been given some real guidance. Instead he took every wrong choice and billions suffered for it for years to come because Anakin refused to accept life as it happened. Even his death may not be the end of his influence on the galaxy. Time will tell. See you next time.

Suggested Reading
Darth Vader
Star Wars
Obi-Wan and Anakin
Star Wars: Darth Vader

Dr. Bustos



One Comment

  1. Klue

    I hate Anakin but love Darth Vader. Does that make any sense?

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