Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Star Wars Darth Vader and Servants

Go To

All spoilers regarding the Skywalker Saga and The Clone Wars are unmarked. Examples relating to Disney's EU and the new movies can be spoiler-tagged if deemed necessary.

Tropes specifically applying to the characters based on their appearances in Star Wars Legends can be found here.

To return to the Character page for Star Wars, go here.

    open/close all folders 

Darth Vader (formerly Anakin Skywalker)
"I find your lack of faith disturbing."

Species: Human (Cyborg)

Portrayed by: David Prowse (1977–1983), Bob Anderson (1980–1983)note , Sebastian Shaw (1983)note , C. Andrew Nelson (1997) note , Hayden Christensen (2005, 2022), Spencer Wilding (2016), Daniel Naprous (2016)note 
Voiced by: James Earl Jones (movies, Rebels), Matt Sloan (Commander; Battlefront 2015; LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures), Matt Lanter (Rebels)note , Scott Lawrence (Jedi: Fallen Order)
Voiced by (Latin American Spanish dub): Federico Romano (1997–2005), Blas García (Rebels), Juan Carlos Tinoco (Rebels and Battlefront 2015), Sebastián Llapur (Rebels)
Voiced by (European Spanish dub): Constantino Romero (1977-2005), Pedro Tena (Rebels and Rogue One)
Voiced by (Japanese dub): Koji Nanbara, Mizuho Suzuki, Toru Ohira, Taiten Kusunoki (Rebels and Rogue One), Yoshisada Sakaguchi, Taro Ishida, Ryuzaburo Otomo, Takaya Hashi
Voiced in by (European French dub): François Chaumette (1977), Georges Aminel (1980–2005), Philippe Catoire (2013-)
Voiced by (Canadian French dub): Denis Mercier (2005–)
Voiced by (Brazilian dub): Silvio Navas (Original Trilogy, first dub), Pádua Moreira (Original Trilogy, second dub, Revenge of The Sith), Sérgio Fortuna (Original Trilogy, third dub, Rogue One, Rebels)

Darth Vader was the Sith identity of Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight and father of Luke Skywalker who was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force in addition to helping the Galactic Empire eradicate the Jedi Order and put an end to the Galactic Republic. While he was the evil Emperor's top enforcer and Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces, he sought to crush the fledgling Rebel Alliance by any means necessary while pursuing goals of his own.

For info on Anakin Skywalker, see his page. For the Self-Demonstrating Article on the Darth Wiki, go here.

    open/close all folders 
  • 0% Approval Rating: As the enforcer of the Emperor's tyranny, Vader is perhaps one of the most reviled and feared beings in the Galaxy. Also invoked as Vader deliberately gives the pettiest reasons for just about anyone to fear him, even amongst all the Imperial ranks. It should also be noted that the zero percent includes Vader himself: he's aware how far he's fallen and hates himself for it as much as anyone. Decades after his death the only person who admires him is his grandson Ben Solo, who became Kylo Ren and does everything he could to emulate Vader, but even then Ben only admires what he wants to see about Vader and interprets his return to the light side as Anakin Skywalker to save his son as the one failing of an otherwise great man.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Vader's armor holds all his life support systems, and if removed outside of a special chamber he will die rather quickly. Somewhat lessened in a departure from Legends, where it is shown that he can also be in a relaxing bacta tank, where in Legends he explicitly could not.
  • Abusive Parent:
    • He lops off his son Luke's hand in a lightsaber duel — doing to Luke what Count Dooku had done to Anakin 25 years before — and then has the audacity to ask him to join the Dark Side so they can rule the galaxy together. What makes this so disturbing is how nonchalant Vader is about the anguish he causes Luke and how sincerely he implores his son to join him.
    • He also tortured his daughter, Leia, though he didn't know she was his daughter at the time. He showed remorse for his actions towards her later, though.
  • Affably Evil: While he's not exactly a pleasant person ever, he is rather cordial with his troops, and unlike his master, does not enjoy the horrible things he does, openly admitting it. He, unlike Palpatine, also has genuine respect for stronger adversaries.
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Due to his occasional brutal slaughter of Sand People, the remaining Raiders have started to think of him as their death god, as seen in the Coda to the Darth Vader comic.
  • Ace Pilot: A holdover skill from his days as a Jedi. If anything, the years have made him an even better pilot, and he's described as one of the greatest fighter pilots in the galaxy. Despite being outnumbered, he and his handpicked Black Squadron shoot down many rebels during the Final Battle of A New Hope, and would have done the same to Luke Skywalker if not for Han Solo's Big Damn Heroes moment. In Rebels he single-handedly curbstomps the fledgling Phoenix Squadron, putting the rebel cells in Lothal's vicinity in complete disarray.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • He is a terrifying, unstoppable, experienced fighter, but his life support system is not as resilient as he is, and it greatly limits his mobility.
    • This very weakness is why he could never openly challenge Palpatine; his master's command of Force Lightning would short out his life support systems and kill him in minutes, as it eventually does in Return Of The Jedi.
  • Action Dad: His paternal instincts kick in just in time to save his son from Palpatine.
  • Act of True Love: Saving his son at the end of Return of the Jedi.
  • Actually, I Am Him: His most famous reveal is one of these.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Zig-zagged. The amount of trauma and angst is the same but Vader approaches and handles it differently between Legends and Canon.
    • In Legends, Vader lived tormented by his tragedies to the point of holding his own power down unconsciously from guilt, and Sidious spent time inventing new tortures and limitations for Vader to prevent him from regaining his power and becoming a menace. While full of rage, it was primarily self-loathing.
    • In canon, while Vader remains pained by the events of his life, it is much less intense, and Sidious now acts more like a twistedly benevolent teacher than a cruel jailmaster, allowing him to improve himself as he sees fit. Here, while Vader does have Death Seeker tendencies, the Ninth Sister implies that he is completely unaware of this, and his self-loathing is subconscious; Vader is full of rage at his circumstances and hates everything around him, his wrath directed outward rather than inward. It's implied that this is a result of doing everything he can to not have to face his past.
  • Adaptational Badass: The new canon managed to make Vader more destructive and badass than he ever was in the old EU: while in Legends Darth Vader was described as having lost a lot of his Force potential, his canonical counterpart is said to have only strengthened under the premise that the pain of his physical crippling allowed him to better channel the power of the Dark Side. In Legends, Vader regularly suffered The Worf Effect and Badass Decay, with several characters other than the Emperor defeating him, like Galen Marek, a revived Darth Maul and a well-prepared Sandperson. In the new Disney canon, however, it is repeatedly made clear that Vader is second only to the Emperor in Force power and the greatest lightsaber duelist of his time. Star Wars Rebels showed him destroying half of Phoenix Squadron along with a frigate, while the Star Wars: Darth Vader comics depict him capable of such feats as destroying an entire Rebel battalion backed by tanks and bombers, tearing apart an AT-AT, single-handedly killing a Kaiju-sized opponent, besting an ancient Sith Lord that had come Back from the Dead even after being critically injured, and, through an elaborate ritual, ripping open a gate to the afterlife.
  • Affably Evil:
    • To his wife Padmé after his initial turn to the Dark Side. The very first thing he does after committing a massacre at the Jedi Temple is rush to her to "make sure she and the baby are safe". Although he lies to her (or at least bends the truth), he is genuinely affectionate and protective towards her, reassuring her and entrusting her with the knowledge of his mission to Mustafar. Even when she confronts him with her knowledge of his crimes, Vader still tries to reassure her and sincerely asks her to rule the galaxy with him (although in this case it comes across as rather disturbing more so than heartwarming, due to how unhinged and out-of-touch with reality he's becoming). Eventually though, he starts losing his temper with Padmé and his compassion towards her goes completely out the window when he (falsely) thinks she's plotting to kill him. Even after strangling her however, Vader regrets harming her and the first thing he asks Palpatine after his operation is if Padmé is safe. When Palpatine lies that he killed her in his anger, his initial response is complete shock and denial, before he starts smashing up the room around him in rage and grief.
    • He is also this towards Luke. Normally Vader is permanently pissed off and feels at best mild irritation towards everyone and everything and at worst loathes existence and everything in it, EXCEPT for Luke when he learns that the young hero is his son. Vader since then stopped at nothing to find and capture him, justifying to the Emperor and perhaps to himself that the boy would be a useful tool when in actuality it's because deep down, Even Evil Has Loved Ones. After finally meeting Luke on Bespin and challenging him to a duel, Vader's demeanor was uncharacteristic for him. Where he would normally show only contempt for his adversaries while sarcastically mocking or belittling them, there was a distinct lack of fury and aggression in Vader's fighting style. More than that he continuously praises Luke whenever he does something unexpected or shows off what he's learned. At the end Vader beats him and instead of threatening his life, tries to reason with Luke and have him come in willingly. Seriously, Vader had never treated anyone with that much concern or respect since the tragedy on Mustafar.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: His redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi elicits sympathy from Luke, in spite of the terrible things he did up until that point.
  • All-Encompassing Mantle: His armor comes with a black cloak draped around him.
  • Almighty Janitor: Ultimately despite being The Chosen One of a prophecy, and having great power and ability, Darth Vader never amounts to anything more than a lackey of Darth Sidious, and before that occupying a middling position among the Jedi, and before that, a slave at Tatooine. As noted by Lucas in an interview, this makes his life "even more tragic, because he’s not even an all-powerful bad guy, he’s kind of a flunky" and affirming the views of his interviewer:
    Gavin Edwards: He’s not Satan, he just goes down to the corner and gets Satan’s cigarettes.
    Lucas: You got it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: By the time of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Anakin has signs of this. It's unclear exactly what it is, but seems like a combination of narcissism, borderline, and paranoia. Unfortunately, there isn't much in the way of mental healthcare in a galaxy far, far away, which is a part of why he turned evil in the first place.
    • As Vader, he displays symptoms of several other severe mental illnesses. He could be considered the poster child for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, understandably so, given he's been on the frontlines of bloody wars since the age of 19, was manipulated into murdering his friends, accidentally played a part in the death of his pregnant wife (and supposedly their children), only to minutes after be dismembered, burned to a crisp, then kept awake for an agonizing, days-long surgery process to put him in his suit. He displays several symptoms, like flashbacks that prevent him from sleeping, a general numbness to the outside world, and his extreme avoidance of anything that even remotely reminds him of Anakin Skywalker.
    • Vader also seems to have a severe case of clinical depression. In the few instances one gets a look inside his head, he's filled to the brim with self-hatred and despair, to the point that he's pretty obviously suicidal, or at least wishes for death.
  • Ambiguously Human: Within the Star Wars Canon, most people aren't sure if he's even a human being; some think that he might have been an alien or a droid. It isn't until he is unmasked as Anakin Skywalker after the Emperor is killed that it's discovered he IS human, but a tired, old (or at least old-looking) human with a mostly cybernetic body.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: When Luke won't give in to his rage during their final duel, Vader cheekily threatens to go after Leia. This causes his son, who was utterly composed for the entire film up until that point, to snap and wrathfully disarm him in both senses of the word.
  • Anti-Villain: He essentially became one by Return of the Jedi. For one thing, it is hinted that his attempts to turn Luke to the Dark Side were as a means of protecting him (the only alternative was to kill him), and when mentioning that it's too late for him to redeem himself, he seems to say it with a tinge of remorse. This, combined with the fact that he even breaks his general rule of You Have Failed Me when Luke and co escape from him at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, shows that the Dark Side has begun to lose its grip on him.
  • Arch-Enemy: He has several of these:
    • Luke Skywalker: His estranged son. For years, Luke believed that Darth Vader was the one who killed Luke's father, not knowing they were one and the same. In addition, Luke personally witnessed him killing his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his friend, Biggs Darklighter. On the flip side, Vader believed Luke never existed due to his mother and Vader's wife Padmé Amidala supposedly dying accidentally by Vader's hand, not knowing Luke WAS born and was brought to the Alliance by Kenobi, Han Solo, and Leia. After learning about Luke's existence and realizing the truth about what happened with Padmé (partially), Vader spent years attempting to capture and convert Luke, and harms Luke's friends to do so. Vader eventually cuts off Luke's hand and tells Luke the truth about his heritage, severely traumatizing him. After accepting the truth, Luke is determined to redeem Vader, despite the fact that he was told that he must defeat him in order to become a Jedi Knight.
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi: His former mentor and friend. After a fateful duel on Mustafar, Kenobi severely injured and crippled him, forcing him to spend the rest of his life in his trademark suit. Kenobi spent the following years watching over Luke and preparing him for the day that Luke would be ready to confront Vader. Vader eventually killed him during their rematch, but his spirit continued to guide Luke in his journey to become a hero capable of defeating Vader.
    • Princess Leia Organa: An important member of the Rebel Alliance. Vader exposed her as a rebel, captured her, tortured her for information, and forced her to watch Vader's superior, Grand Moff Tarkin, destroy Alderaan, Leia's homeworld. He later allowed her to escape in an effort to lead the Death Star to the Rebel Base, but this backfired when the information that Leia escaped with led to the destruction of the Death Star. Years later, Vader captured her again on Bespin, and once again she escaped. Unbeknownst to either of them, Leia was his daughter, hidden from him by Obi-Wan Kenobi as a backup in case Luke failed to defeat Vader. It's only in his final battle with Luke that Vader deduces that Luke had a sister and Padmé had twins, though it's not stated if Vader realized that Leia, who he had tortured on the first Death Star, was Luke's sister before Vader died.
    • Ahsoka Tano: Vader's former Padawan was one of his most prominent enemies during the early days of the Rebellion. Ahsoka coordinated the Rebels on Lothal, who proved to be enough of a problem that Vader was forced to step in personally. Vader sent multiple Inquisitors to hunt down Ahsoka and her Jedi allies, culminating in a duel between the two on Malachor, where she would have been killed if not for future Ezra's extradimensional intervention.
    • Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Despite being his master, Sidious has been the most negative external person in Vader´s life, and the one who pushed him into becoming Vader.
    • But none of the people above can hold a candle to Vader´s truest enemy: Himself. And he knows it. For it was himself, and his own actions, the ones that destroyed his life and of all those around him (and ruined the galaxy as a whole). He only overcomes his own darkness at the climax of ROTJ.
  • Archnemesis Dad: An archetypal example to Luke and Leia, following the big reveal. This is Played With, as Luke only considers him an Arch-nemesis before the big reveal. Once Luke is made aware of their lineage, he goes out of his way to redeem him.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He shows many of these qualities: lacks respect for authority, resorts to violence with minimal provocation, etc.
  • Artificial Limbs: All of them, three of which he lost during the duel that left him in his mechanized suit.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Vader's appearance at the end of The Clone Wars is very similar to his appearance in the films, while his appearance in Rebels has a narrower, longer helmet with larger eyes, fitting with the general art style of the show.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Joins Obi-Wan and Yoda as a Force ghost after he dies in Return of the Jedi.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: His official title in the Empire is Supreme Commander of the military, the sort of job that, in Real Life armies, typically entails stamping a lot of paperwork. Vader, however, prefers to be down in the trenches with the Mooks, stamping a lot of Rebels.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Vader's armor is one of the most bizarre, albeit famous, examples in fiction, yet also Zig-Zags the trope. His armor enhances his strength, durability and senses while looking pretty intimidating. However, rather than being a straight-up upgrade, it mostly serves as life support and has several faults that limit his capabilities. The armor is heavy and limits his speed and agility, forcing him to adopt a Mighty Glacier fighting style. Furthermore, the cybernetic nature of his suit renders Vader vulnerable to electric overloads and prevents him from using Force Lightning. In Star Wars: Darth Vader, the one who designed the armour in the first place even has an off-switch that he can use to incapacitate Vader should the need arise. Finally, the armor is far from enjoyable to wear, it keeps Vader under constant physical pain (the helmet even has needles that puncture his brain which allow Vader to use his Artificial Limbs), which is why he needs occasional rejuvenation sessions. At the same time, however, the isolation and pain provided by the armor allow Vader to call upon the Dark Side of the Force with greater ease than he would otherwise.
    • Furthermore, as he found it "acceptable" and he personally maintains it (with Sidious' permission), he didn't see any point to further upgrade it as he exploits any "advantages" to tap in the dark side of the Force. With time, he fully embraces it.
      • Some of these "flaws" are actually on purpose. Being kept in a constant state of pain allows him to focus his abilities.
  • Awesome McCoolname: All Sith Lords come with this.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed. While Vader is very calm, cool, and professional in service to the Empire, there is no doubt under the bluster lies a violent, dangerous man fueled by hatred and grief and willing to massacre dozens of enemies or kill his own subordinates. He has a disturbing penchant for torture as well.
  • Back for the Finale: After a fashion, he gets a very small part in The Rise of Skywalker. Darth Sidious reveals that he used Snoke as a proxy and impersonated the false voice of Darth Vader to corrupt Ben Solo and keep him trapped as Kylo Ren. The first third is delivered by Darth Sidious, the second third is delivered by Snoke, and the last third is delivered by Darth Vader.
  • Badass Boast:
    • While under attack from an army of rebels:
      Rebel: Darth Vader! Lay down your weapons! You are surrounded!
      Vader: All I am surrounded by is fear. And dead men.
    • When dueling Ezra on Malachor:
      Ezra: I don't fear you!
      Vader: Then you will die braver than most.
  • Badass Cape: Wears a long black cape as part of his garb.
  • Bad Boss:
  • Baddie Flattery:
    Darth Vader: Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: While him using his signature Force-Choke back when he was Anakin Skywalker was Bad Powers, Good People, after turning to the Dark Side he starts it using it more liberally along with other telekenetic abilities.
  • Bald of Evil: Due to the burn tissue on his scalp preventing hair regrowth, although it's usually covered by his mask.
  • Basso Profundo: James Earl Jones provides the deep, booming voice of Darth Vader.
  • Bastard Understudy: As a Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious AKA Emperor Palpatine, Vader is the heir to both the Sith Order and the Galactic Empire. Since Palpatine hasn't found the path to immortality (that we know of), he sincerely grooms Vader to be his successor to ensure that his Villainous Legacy will live on. But Vader doesn't consider taking the classical Sith route of betraying his master and taking over the throne for himself until he learns that Luke is his long-lost son.
  • Batman Gambit: In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader wants Luke but has no idea where to start looking for him after the Hoth evacuation. Instead, he pursues and captures Han and the others, correctly anticipating Luke sensing their suffering through the Force and racing to the rescue.
  • Benevolent Boss:
    • Very rarely, wholly Depending on the Writer, and mostly in regards to Stormtroopers. It's noted Vader actually engages in rapport with many of his Stormtroopers (mirroring his relationship with the Clones under his command when he was Jedi) and is generally more understanding with them than Imperial officers (likely because Storntroppers are mostly meant to point their guns at people and shoot them, whereas officers are generally supposed to be smart enough to not make mistakes). However, in many Legends and canon stories, he's not above indiscriminately abusing or massacring his Stormtroopers if he simply feels like it. He also has little to no tolerance for failure all the same.
    • Vader is also much more practical and doesn't give a rat's ass about looking good or the perceptions of other save for Palpatine but Palpatine makes it clear that so long as Vader follows his orders or at the least adheres to the path of the Sith, he doesn't care what Vader does so long as it doesn't negatively affect Palpatine personally or the Empire as a whole. This means that Vader only cares about doing his job and completing his goals. If you work for Vader and are respectful, competent and dedicated then he will be more tolerant of failure (provided it's small and a rare event) and look out for you. Best example is when Vader and Inspector Thanoth disobeyed orders to catch an elusive rebel cell at Thanoth's suggestion which Vader OK'd. Later, while Thanoth takes resposibilty for the action, Vader backs him up 100% causing Thanoth to remark that other higher ups would have easily and gladly thrown him under the bus.
      Thanoth: Strictly speaking, I gave the suggestion so if there is blame to be assigned, I...
      Vader: The decision was mine. Chasing after a few coins or crushing the rebels? That is not a choice.
      Thanoth: Thank you lord Vader. I have had commanders who would have thown their subborinate into the trash compactor in such a situation.
      Vader: I do not fear any of these fools.
  • Being Evil Sucks: When Luke insists he can be turned from the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi, the way that Vader says "It is too late for me" implies that he despises what he's become on a fundamental level, but he sticks around largely because he believes it's too late to back out.
  • Beyond Redemption: Obi-Wan witnessed Anakin's fall to the Dark Side and becoming Darth Vader, and has completely given up on turning Vader back to the Light Side. It's to the extent that in A New Hope, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Vader killed Anakin Skywalker. Luke disagrees, however, and it's he who ultimately proves to be right.
  • Big Bad: While he is usually The Heavy with Palpatine being the Man Behind the Man or Big Bad, there are a few instances where Vader is the central villain.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, he commands all of the Imperial officers in the film, hires the bounty hunters to hunt after Han Solo, and sets a trap for Luke at Cloud City by luring him in with Leia and Han held hostage, with the goal of turning Luke to the Dark Side. Empire is the one film out of Vader's cinematic appearances where he is the definitive main antagonist.
    • In the second season of Rebels, he takes over the operation to hunt down the Ghost following the Inquisitor's failure, cueing a truly grand Oh, Crap! from the heroes, and is the primary threat they deal with throughout the season.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The big guy to Palpatine's little guy.
  • Big "NO!":
  • Big "WHAT?!": In A New Hope when one of his TIE Fighter escorts is destroyed by Han Solo, preventing him from shooting Luke's X-Wing.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
  • Black Cloak: Originally omits the cloak from his personalized leather Jedi attire, but as he gets darker, he starts donning it as well. He upgrades to the signature black cape and life-support system of Darth Vader after losing to Obi-Wan.
  • Black Knight: His appearance was modeled after the archetype, albeit in such a way where it would fit in a futuristic setting.
  • Blood Knight: Whether before or after his transformation, he loves a good fight. In Rogue One, Tarkin remarks with utter certainty that Vader will handle any business which requires going toe to toe with the Rebels. This earns him the respect of most of the Stormtroopers as they appreciate the fact that he's a top ranking member of the military who's willing to fight in the trenches alongside the grunts.
  • Body Language: Lacking of facial expressions, Darth Vader uses hand gestures to express himself.
  • Body Horror: Underneath his armor, his body consists of a horrifically scarred head and torso, with virtually every part of him damaged in some way, to the point where his suit is necessary for him to hear because his eardrums melted. Even worse in behind the scenes pictures, where one realizes his Jedi robes are fused into his skin.
  • Bond One-Liner: Usually when he Force-chokes someone, whether lethally or not.
    • "I find your lack of faith disturbing." — Admiral Motti, right after the latter dismissed Vader's Force powers in A New Hope.
    • "Apology accepted, Captain Needa." — The Empire Strikes Back.
    • "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director." — Krennic in Rogue One.
    • "Then you will die braver than most." — Ezra Bridger in Rebels after the latter declared he did not fear Vader.
  • Bookends: Palpatine begins his corruption of Anakin into becoming his Sith apprentice by goading him into killing his current apprentice Count Dooku, an act which accelerates Anakin's slide into the dark side. He later tries to repeat this scenario with Luke and Vader. But Luke proves to be incorruptible and Vader, who has been through this exact situation before already, loses any reason to value his master's life over his son's.
  • Boomerang Bigot: He considers Cylo's cyborg creations to be abominations but he himself is already half-man and half-machine. Palpatine even calls Vader out on this and says that if he didn't have a more open mind and didn't save Vader by turning him into a cyborg, then Vader would be dead on Mustafar.
  • Breakout Villain: He only has nine minutes of screentime in the first film, and when he does, he's usually being subordinate to Grand Moff Tarkin. He was even slated to be killed in the Death Star trench run, and was never intended to be Luke's father. However, it became clear that he was the most memorable villain in the film, and so George Lucas decided to insert a shot of him escaping as a Sequel Hook. From there, he ended up becoming the iconic villain of the series, enough to warrant a three-movie-long Start of Darkness arc and appear in a spinoff film. He's also one of the few villains in fiction to become the Series Mascot.
  • Broken Ace: By the time Luke confronts him again, he's given up on ever defeating the Emperor and tells his son to likewise submit to Palpatine.
  • Broken Pedestal: His son, Luke, used to think he was a noble Jedi Knight that died years ago at the hands of Darth Vader. Now he knows not only did he not die at Vader's hands; he is Vader.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Played Straight in Legends and Downplayed in Canon.
    • In Legends, before he was critically injured on Mustafar, Vader had the potential to become the most powerful Force-user in the galaxy. After his injuries and the psychological trauma he suffered on Mustafar, his force potential was seriously diminished. After, recovering somewhat and getting used to his new existence as a Sith Lord, he regained much of the power he lost but was at best only capable of being 80% of what Palpatine was. Still not someone to trifle with as in Legends, Palpatine was the strongest Force user and capable of Physical God level feats.
    • In Canon, Vader didn't seem to experience as large of an immediate loss in power; mere moments after awakening in his suit, he was able to send Palpatine flying when he found out Padmé was dead and soon afterward was still strong enough to kill a Jedi Master whose only job was to fight while not using a lightsaber as he had to claim the Jedi Master's saber to make his own, although he did lose an earlier battle with him. From there, Vader grows far more powerful than he ever was a Jedi, as the isolation and pain caused by his suit and trauma let him more deeply tap into The Dark Side. However, his injuries ultimately still place a cap on his potential and prevent him from reaching the heights he could have if not for them; Dark Side powers such as Force Lightning are destructive and take a toll on a healthy body, which Vader no longer has, thus pushing his powers to the max would kill him .
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: This exchange from the comics, complete with a delicious serving of Dramatic Irony:
    Luke Skywalker: You killed my father.
    Darth Vader: I've killed very many fathers, you'll have to be more specific.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Fully and proudly embraces The Dark Side of the Force, regardless of whatever good intentions he may have had at first. However, as seen above, by Return of the Jedi he's become rather disillusioned with the Dark Side and all that he's sacrificed to it.
  • The Chessmaster: Vader is good at manipulating in order to get what he wants, and regularly plays rebels, Imperial officers, and third parties alike like a fiddle. Unfortunatley for Vader his Master, the Emperor/Darth Sidious, is even better at it than he is.
  • Classic Villain: Fits all of the criteria of a Wrath villain: brought to the Dark Side through his anger, clad from head to toe in black armor, and has a very personal relationship with The Hero. He even has a classic death scene.
  • Clingy Costume: His armor is also his life-support system, and cannot be removed outside a special chamber. And his Jedi tunic was burnt into his skin on Mustafar.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: His Cool Helmet and Black Cloak are so iconic that just their silhouette in the first teaser posters for The Phantom Menace was enough to let everyone know just who the cute kid in the picture would become.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He tortures Leia in A New Hope, then again in The Empire Strikes Back, where he tortures her and Luke's friends in Cloud City, knowing that Luke would sense them through the Force.
  • Cool Helmet: The most noticeable piece of his "clothing". In-universe, it's Awesome, yet Impractical like the rest of his armor; while it looks sleek and scary and heightens his senses, its main purpose is as life support, and it has needles on the inside that puncture his brain.
  • Cool Mask: If he's not the most powerful villain in the galaxy, his full mask certainly ranks him amongst the scariest.
  • Cool Starship: The Devastator, the Executor, and the TIE Advanced x1.
  • Covered with Scars: His remaining human body beneath his armor is completely covered by severe burns. Being lit on fire from being near lava will do that to you.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The fight between Luke and him in The Empire Strikes Back. As the fight goes on, it's clear Luke is hopelessly outmatched especially after Vader cuts his hand off. Worse, Vader is beating up Luke spiritually, taunting Luke to use his anger to defeat him and then, just as Luke is clinging for dear life over an abyss, reveals that he is Luke's father. By the time Luke is rescued by his friends fleeing Cloud City, he's a physical, emotional and mental wreck.
    • Their canonical first duel in the Star Wars comic is even more one-sided — Luke clashes lightsabers with him once before effortlessly being knocked down and having Vader yank his lightsaber from his hands using the Force.
    • Dave Filoni said that if Kanan and the crew of the Ghost are "Level 4" by the end of the first season of Rebels, Vader is "Level 80". Sure enough, he seems pretty bored when handily defeating Kanan and Ezra in "The Siege of Lothal".
    • Inflicts this on the soldiers on the Rebel capital ship in Rogue One.
    • At the end of Jedi: Fallen Order, he delivers a brutal one to Cal Kestis (who just defeated Trilla Suduri), effortlessly defeating him in mere seconds. Cere Junda also receives one when they clash lightsabers: the Sith Lord sends her flying to the ground after only a few exchanges (and Vader fights Cere one-handed by the way). Cere even tries to use the Dark Side and after that a Force bubble to protect her and Cal but all of this just slows Vader. They barely escapes with their lives by flooding the corridor they are in, forcing Vader to deal with that instead of them.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: The few times Vader is directly confronted by Palpatine, he does a much better job than damn near anyone else could hope to but is ultimately still whipped back into subservience. He actually has the power in the Force required to push Palpatine back and resist Palpatine's own telekinesis to the degree where the latter has to put in visible effort, and impressively manages to defend himself against a barrage of Force Lightning for an extended duration, but during their final confrontation seeing his Masters power makes him realise there is still more for him to gain by staying on the Emperor's good side.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Obi-Wan calls Vader "more machine now than man; twisted and evil", but the prequels reveal that Vader is actually a subversion — his fall to the dark side happened before he was confined to his cyborg exoskeleton.
  • Cyborg: Vader has lost all of his limbs and receives extensive damage to his internal organs, particularly his lungs, hence the Cool Mask and the Vader Breath.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He had no choice but to "abandon" Luke and Leia because he didn't even know that they were still alive, or that Padmé was having twins to begin with. As soon as he learned that he had a son, he planned a nice family bonding experience so that they could get to know each other.
  • Dark Is Evil: His dark costume compliments his use of The Dark Side. In the end, though, Luke proves that there is still good buried deep within his twisted and evil form.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support:
    • The trope codifier and certainly the most famous example; he can't live without his suit for more than a few minutes.
    • As Rogue One visualizes, Vader needs his suit just to walk, and a bacta tank to stay alive outside it. It's no coincidence that everything about his lair on Mustafar is designed to make him seem superhumanly imposing to visitors.
  • David Versus Goliath: Luke vs. Vader. Not only is Vader taller and bigger, he's also much more skilled and experienced with the Force.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Kylo Ren keeps his cremated helmet on display in his quarters.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This is one of the few personality traits that Anakin retained after his transformation into Vader; "We would be honored if you would join us" and "I find your lack of faith disturbing" are some particularly notable examples. Rogue One ups the ante a bit and gives him some Black Comedy in his dialogue.
    Darth Vader: Director Krennic.
    Orson Krennic: ...Lord Vader.
    Vader: You seem unsettled.
    Krennic: No, just... pressed for time, there's a great many things to attend to—
    Vader: My apologies. You do have a great many things to explain.

    Krennic: I delivered the weapon the Emperor requested. I deserve an audience to make certain he understands its remarkable ... potential.
    Vader: Its potential to create problems has certainly been confirmed. A city destroyed. An Imperial facility openly attacked.

    Vader: I expect you not to rest until you can assure the Emperor that Galen Erso has not compromised this weapon in any way. [walks away]
    Krennic: I'm... still in command? [Vader stops moving] You'll speak to the Emperor about —
    [Krennic's voice cuts off — after a second's confusion, he clutches his throat and collapses]
    Darth Vader: [while Force-choking Krennic] Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director. [releases Krennic and walks away]
  • Deal with the Devil: He made a deal with Palpatine to save Padme in exchange for aligning with him. It didn't even well. George Lucas flat out calls him "a sad man who made a deal with the Devil... and lost."
  • Deathly Unmasking: Having been mortally wounded by the Emperor, Darth Vader asks Luke to help him remove his mask so he can see him "with my own eyes." In this case, he's not just revealing his true face and finally reclaiming his former identity, but also cutting short what little remains of his life: without his mask's life-support functions, he will die - though, as Vader points out, this would have happened anyway sooner or later thanks to the Emperor. Luke obliges. Though of course, this trope would not be the case anymore if someone watched the Star Wars films in the chronological order as the man who became Darth Vader's face is shown plenty throughout the prequel trilogy and even his mangled appearance before the mask stays on his head gets shown.
  • Death by Irony: He had a low opinion of Death Stars, but ended up dying on one.
  • Death of Personality: In Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan explains that this is why he told Luke that Vader killed Anakin back in A New Hope; as far as he was considered, Anakin is dead, and all that's left is Darth Vader. Interestingly, this is one of the few things Vader and Obi-Wan agree on, with Vader telling Luke when they meet again that the name "Anakin Skywalker" means nothing to him now. However, in his final moments, Vader admits he was lying to himself all along, and he really was still Anakin.
  • Death Seeker: Whenever Vader's innermost thoughts have been revealed, it's shown that he wants to die, both out of shame for his crimes as well as a desire to be freed from his torturous existence. Much of his hatred of Obi-Wan stems from the latter not killing Vader on Mustafar and condemning him to the life of constant torment he's known since.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Vader himself is deconstructed in Revenge of the Sith. After years of admiring him as a symbol of evil, viewers finally get to see the tragic circumstances that would lead Anakin to betray the Jedi and give himself to the dark side, namely manipulation from Palpatine, distrust towards the Jedi and fear of losing his wife. By the end of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is so ashamed of himself that he feels being Vader is the punishment he deserves.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • The news of Padmé's death, coupled with the belief that he was the one who killed her and his natural assumption that their child died with her, crushes whatever humanity he had until that point in Revenge of the Sith.
    • Being rejected by Luke at the end of The Empire Strikes Back makes him visibly crushed, especially after the Millennium Falcon enters lightspeed at the end. His body language is slack and he walks past his crew who are shocked by his total silence and refusal to punish anyone. By the time, Luke meets him again in Return of the Jedi, Vader has lost most of his swagger, and gives up tempting Luke to join the Dark Side, more or less telling his son that he's Palpatine's slave and soon he will be too.
  • Determinator: One of the most persistent and determined characters in the Canon. Vader was utterly determined to get his own son to turn to The Dark Side and join him so that they could rule the galaxy together as father and son.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Ironic, for a man who became a Sith out of the fear of death, Vader is content to let death take him after saving Luke from Sidious. And for extra bonus, his spirit (showcasing him at his prime) returns before his son to confirm that his efforts to redeem him were not in vain.
  • Disability Superpower: While his brutal defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan, and the suit he was subsequently placed in definitely robbed him of a lot of potential, and gave him a host of new weaknesses, the suit does give him an extreme physical advantage. His hulking stature and general presence is terrifying, both to friends and to foes, and his cybernetic limbs make him strong beyond any human standard, Force-sensitive or not, not to mention the suit is extremely durable, and lets him survive in space for a time.
  • Disappeared Dad: He is to his twin children, Luke and Leia. Obi-Wan decides to conceal their lives from Vader back in Revenge of the Sith. Vader doesn't learn the truth until his self-titled comic, and Luke doesn't find out until The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: His blunt dismissal of Moff Jerjerrod's flattery in Return of the Jedi provides the trope name.
  • The Dog Bites Back: At the end of Revenge of the Sith, he lashes out with the Force in an attempt to kill Palpatine after learning his wife died, but is too weakened to do anything more than destroy the surgical equipment. Darth Vader shows that he became increasingly furious with Palpatine for treating him like a lackey and secretly grooming his replacements for twenty years, i.e. ever since they first teamed up. Discovering via Boba Fett's information that he has a son, and realizing that Palpatine lied at least partly about the circumstances of Padmé's death, is the straw that breaks the camel's back, leading Vader to decide to overthrow his master and claim both the Empire and his son for himself, ruling with Luke at his side. He finally gets back at Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, but for different reasons.
  • Domestic Abuse: In Revenge Of The Sith, he Force-Chokes his wife Padmé, and the resulting injuries combined with emotional trauma lead to her death.
  • Don't Look at Me!: If the comics are any indication, Vader does not like to be seen without his mask and helmet on, unless absolutely necessary, such as during medical/maintenance procedures. When two stormtroopers saw him accidentally without the helmet, he telekinetically lifted them and then twisted their heads around backwards. Then there's the nutty nurse in Star Wars Vader Dark Visions, who entered Vader's quarters while he was inside his meditation chamber unmasked in order to confess her love to him. Vader casually stabbed her in the chest with his lightsaber.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You:
    • The Trope Namer, during his famous conversation with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. The reason that he doesn't want to destroy Luke is because he's his dad.
    • Implied when he offers Ahsoka mercy in exchange for information. This is a subversion, however, as Word of God confirms that this was a lie on Vader's part and he had no intention of sparing her.
  • The Dragon: He is Emperor Palpatine's main enforcer who personally dispatches any major threats to the Empire. The Emperor can also lend him to Grand Moff Tarkin, as shown in A New Hope, and Season 2 of Rebels.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Word of George Lucas is that Vader was intended to be this early on (possibly sharing the spot with other Imperial officers). Traces of this remain as late in the game as the novelization of A New Hope, which describes the Emperor as a weak-willed man controlled by ambitious underlings. The actual movies as released, however, make it plain that while Vader is incredibly powerful and evil, the Emperor is worse on every imaginable scale. In the prequel trilogy, it was strongly implied that Vader was initially well on his way to becoming this when he first joined the dark side: his powers were growing so rapidly that even The Emperor himself theorized that Vader would soon eclipse his own abilities and potentially overthrow him. However, after Vader suffered his near-fatal injuries on Mustafar (including having all of his natural limbs amputated), his powers with the Force were greatly reduced and he was never able to exceed the Emperor's raw power. Even then, he's still this in A New Hope. Despite being subordinate to Tarkin, he's much more of a threat, not only because Tarkin is a Non-Action Big Bad, but because he's also far more competent.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He's implied to be concocting a plot to overthrow the Emperor via his offer for Luke to rule by his side in The Empire Strikes Back, which would be confirmed decades later in Darth Vader #6.
  • The Dreaded: A six-and-a-half-foot-tall, caped black knight with magical powers and super strength. He makes a triumphant entrance to the film's famous soundtrack, cape swirling, and lifts a captive soldier up and snaps his neck with one hand as an Establishing Character Moment. It just goes from there.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In France he's known as "Dark Vador" (pronounced "Vah-dohr"), and while the awkward name changes in A New Hope (such as "Yan Solo" or "Princess Leila") were corrected later on, his has stuck even to these days, to the point that future Sith Lords would also have "Darth" translated as "Dark", such as "Dark Maul". Except in French Canada; despite the original trilogy not getting a local redub, he's officially known as "Darth Vader" and is called such in Revenge of the Sith and later material. Funnily enough, both French versions translate "Lord Vader" differently: France uses "Lord Vador" while Canada uses "Seigneur Vader".
    • In Italy, he's known as "Dart Fener". A poll was held for the Italian release of Revenge of the Sith to decide whether the dub would use his original name or Italian translated name, and "Fener" won out by a slight margin.
    • Most drastically, his name is changed to "Svarthöfði" in Icelandic, which translates to the utterly unmenacing "black-head".
  • Dying as Yourself: Killing Palpatine to save Luke reverts him back to Anakin Skywalker, but also ends up costing him his life. Reflecting this, Luke removes Vader's mask in his father's final moments alive.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Picks up the Emperor (despite missing a hand) and tosses him into the Death Star's bowels while Force Lightning surges through his body. While he doesn't survive, his spirit becomes one with the light side of the Force and is finally at peace.
  • Dying Vocal Change: After having his mask removed in his dying moments, he loses his electronically-enhanced Basso Profundo, allowing us to hear the aged, whispering voice of the real Anakin Skywalker for the first time in the original trilogy.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Darth Vader, the most iconic and imposing villain in the franchise, is sometimes depicted in this pose.
  • Elite Agents Above the Law: Vader derives his authority in the Empire not from his official rank, but from his Master-Apprentice relationship with the Emperor. By default this puts the Sith order above any Imperial body. He appears to defer to Grand Moff Tarkin out of respect in A New Hope, but it's doubtful that Tarkin could really do anything about it if Vader decided to ignore him or even challenge his command.
  • Emergency Transformation: After his duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, Anakin's body is injured so badly that Darth Sidious immediately brings him to Coruscant and has him outfitted in his iconic armor from the Original Trilogy.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Although idiocy in Vader's eyes can merely amount to any failure. A straighter example is when partying with Jabba, Salacious B. Crumb cackles his Signature Laugh. Vader's response to this is warning Jabba to never have him do that again in his vicinity.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Vader shows his ferocity by marching into the Tantive IV, along with the sinister music heralding his arrival, interrogating Captain Antilles by holding him up by the throat and with one hand, and choking the life out of the good captain and throwing his corpse to the floor when he makes a futile attempt to dissuade Vader's accusations.
    • In the Rebels special that brought him on the show, Vader completely destroys everything the Ghost crew has managed to attain on Lothal. On another level, Kanan and Ezra have the dubious honor of having their first encounter with a Sith Lord with him.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Played with. He is a seemingly soulless monster who is "more machine than man", but a few of the heroic characters still love the man he used to be, Anakin Skywalker. His wife Padmé loves him and believes he still has good in him right up to the moment Vader Force-chokes her in rage for trying to help him. Obi-Wan tells Vader he loves him like a brother, though it doesn't stop them from trying to kill each other — unlike Padmé, Obi-Wan believes Anakin is lost forever. Former apprentice Ahsoka, who was like a sister to him, has a similar attitude to Obi-Wan — she loves Anakin but hates what he's become and treats killing Vader as avenging Anakin's 'death'. Vader's son Luke never knew his father, but he grew up hearing stories about Anakin and loves him all the same, being convinced that he's simply forgotten who he really is. Turns out, Luke is right.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Padmé, for whom he turned to the dark side in an attempt to protect. It's telling that, in spite of how monstrous he became in Revenge of the Sith, the first thing he asks about is if she's safe... Which makes the fact that he was responsible for her death all the more saddening.
    • His son, Luke; you can tell by his hesitance to kill him or force him into a Face–Heel Turn that he really cares. This ends up being what ultimately causes Vader's redemption in Return of the Jedi.
    • Ahsoka Tano, his old apprentice. The last scene of The Clone Wars is Vader travelling to the moon where Ahsoka was last seen and taking her lightsaber as a Tragic Keepsake. Come Rebels, fifteen years after their last encounter, he's visibly hesitant to attack her when she appears to fight him and offers to spare her if she reveals the location of the remaining Jedi, clearly hoping she'll take the offer and in complete defiance to his attitude towards any Jedi not named Luke. When she refuses, however, he attempts to kill her with little hesitation, at first. Near the end of the duel, after being unmasked, and Ahsoka declaring she won't leave him again, Vader's face contorts for a few seconds to be highly conflicted and then downright anguished, before hardening. It seems a small part of Vader really didn't want to kill her, which is more than can be said about a lot of Vader's other former allies.
    • It’s implied he loves his daughter Leia, though he only found out they were related not long before his death. As he’s dying, he asks Luke to tell Leia that “you were right about me”, indicating he wanted her to know he regretted his evil actions in the end.
    • He also loved his mother Shmi deeply, with her death actually pushing him closer to the dark side.
    • While "love" is a very strong word, as he wasn't above the occasional killing, Vader had a great deal of respect for the Stormtroopers under his command, specifically the remaining Jango Clones. Between his transformation and finding out about Luke, most of his somewhat humanizing moments have been with his soldiers.
  • Extreme Doormat: While he is unflinchingly subservient to Palpatine to the point of seeming like this, it is actually subverted in that Vader does cautiously object to or talk back to his Master. There is also the fact Vader deeply resents Palpatine deep down and sometimes even undermines him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even as Vader he despised slavery and called the Emperor out for using slave labour.
    • He was against the destruction of Alderaan and the Death Star in general, though why depends on the adaptation.
    • Despite his Bad Boss tendencies, he points out to Moff Jerjerrod that the Emperor isn't as forgiving as he is. Coming from the guy that spent the last film Force Choking officers to death, that's saying something.
    • Unlike his master, Vader clearly does not take pleasure in violence. Despite the countless atrocities his name is tied to, Vader does not enjoy hurting others, but does so out of anger, or necessity. In fact, the contrast between his pragmatic violence and Palpatine's unabashed sadism was a point of contention between the two.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: While talking with Padmé on Mustafar, Vader suggests that he should betray and murder Palpatine so that he and Padmé can rule the galaxy. Judging from his tone, he's so far gone as to believe she would actually want this. She is, in fact, horrified.
  • Evil Counterpart: Darth Vader is naturally the evil counterpart to Luke Skywalker (a living incarnation of the evil that Luke is perfectly capable of).
  • Evil Cripple: He is a severe burn victim and was repeatedly mutilated, so he has to rely on his suit to survive, let alone move around. Given his slow descent into villainy, the deformities were more icing on the cake than the direct cause. In Rogue One, it is shown that he needs to remain in a bacta tank to rest when not in his armor.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Obi-Wan (his Jedi Master) and Ahsoka (his Jedi apprentice).
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humour: When he's not the striding, merciless force of death incarnate he can be, he's delivering insults and snark to the people he's bullying and/or murdering in the name of the Empire. In one case, he went so far as to deliver an obvious pun while forcing a bureaucrat to suffocate at his feet.
    Vader: [Force-choking an ambitious underling] Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Vader stands over two meters (though the good guys have Chewbacca, and in Rogue One Kaytoo, both of whom are even taller).
  • Evil Is Hammy: Definitely not as much as the Emperor. Vader can come off overly expressive because he wears a mask.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Anakin's plan after converting to the Sith seems to have been to live with Padme and raise his children to be his heirs, and then supplant Palpatine and make the Skywalkers the royal family of the galaxy, with himself and Padmé as the Ruling Couple. Even after that backfired spectacularly, he hasn't let go of that ambition by the time of The Empire Strikes Back, where his plot to get Luke to join him as "father and son". Only after being rejected a second time by his family, does Vader give up on it completely, and by the time of Return of the Jedi, he admits that Palpatine will always be master, and Luke will only amount to being his slave in the Empire. Vader's dream of a Skywalker dynasty to reign supreme is finally picked up and brought to fruition by his grandson Kylo Ren when he usurps Snoke and becomes Supreme Leader of the First Order.
  • Evil Is Petty: Played Straight on a specific level but averted in the general sense. He's normally too disciplined to indulge in this on an individual, person by person basis but on the other hand, Vader is extremely petty in an It's All About Me sense when it comes to his own pain and suffering and how he takes it out on the rest of the universe.
    • In the general sense, Vader is in constant pain from his injuries and cybernetics. He has also lost everything that he ever cared about and loved while becoming the lackey of a twisted old goblin that arranged Vader's downfall in the first place. To say that Vader is unhappy with his current state would be to say that the ocean is damp. Vader constantly punishes people and the galaxy overall as a way to take his personal crap out on others the way someone might literally Kick the Dog after a bad day. However, every day is a bad day for Vader. This is most prevalent early on just after he becomes Vader though he mellows out to a degree over the years.
    • On the specific level:
      • Rogue One shows that Vader has taken up residence in a castle rising several stories above Mustafar's soil, apparently his response to Obi-Wan's line of "I have the high ground" from their duel on the planet. He also taunts Obi-Wan in his follow-up battle at the Death Star, calling him an "old man" (when Vader isn't especially young himself at that point), and in The Empire Strikes Back, for all his fondness for Luke, he does let in a snide, "too easy" when he initially seems to entrap Luke in the carbonite chamber.
      • In Star Wars Annual 4 he sabotages a human podracer (possibly killing the man) because he is on the verge of becoming the supposedly first human podracing champion. Vader was simply jealous because his own victory as a child was never made public to the galaxy as a whole.
  • Evil Makeover: Goes from a heroic Jedi to a merciless, frightening Sith Lord covered in armor after being severely burned and injured.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: He got all his flesh burned off and earned a black skull-faced suit.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Vader (Anakin at the time) wouldn't have lost the rest of his limbs and gotten his horrific burns if he hadn't turned evil. Even before the duel on Mustafar, Vader (Anakin) experienced slight changes in appearance (the glowing yellow eyes in particular).
  • Evil Overlooker: Vader does this a lot so much that he could be the Trope Codifier.
  • Evil Overlord: Despite being The Dragon, Vader still maintains a position of high command (second only to his master) and has his own set of troops (the 501st Legion, AKA "Vader's Fist") and Cool Starship (the Executor).
  • Evil Sounds Deep: An archetypal film example, courtesy of his voice synthesizer. In fact, David Prowse's voice needed to be overdubbed with that of James Earl Jones to get the desired effect. Without the synthesizer, Vader's voice is weak and raspy by the time his helmet comes off at the end of Return of the Jedi.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: He owns an obsidian castle on Mustafar, the planet where he lost his humanity.
  • Evil Wears Black: Once he officially becomes Darth Vader, he wears black robes that cover his head — all before he dons his iconic black armor.
  • Eye Colour Change: After killing the Separatist leaders on Mustafar, Vader's eyes are shown to have changed from blue to red-rimmed yellow, signifying his complete fall to the dark side.
  • The Faceless: Spends almost the entire original trilogy as this, until he is finally unmasked at the end of Return of the Jedi.
  • Facial Horror: Due to suffering severe burns, his real face is pale-skinned from lack of sunlight and completely ravaged.
  • Fallen Hero: He's not just a former Jedi; he was also The Chosen One prophesied to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force.
  • Family-Values Villain: Once Vader realizes that Luke is his son, he places the latter's safety above all else. When the Emperor attempts to kill Luke with his Force Lightning, he redeems himself by killing his former master.
  • Fatal Flaw: Guilt. He channels it for rage, thus empowering himself with the dark side, but he still suffers immense guilt for his many many crimes, the death of his wife being the worst of those. Dr. Aphra ends up exploiting this by luring him into an ancient Jedi confessional on Tython. Vader could sense the guilt of millennia of confessions, which nearly broke him.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • The operation that placed him into his suit was extremely painful, and left him stuck in an elaborate iron lung in constant physical pain, as well as emotional torment from believing he killed his wife and child. Lords of the Sith reveals that he actually uses this to his advantage by letting his pain and anger guide and strengthen him.
    • In issue 24 of Star Wars: Darth Vader, he has a vision of his fateful duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar. The vision breaks with what actually happened when Vader utters this response to Obi-Wan saying he loved Anakin like a brother:
      Anakin: If you'd loved me Obi-Wan, you would have killed me.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He has his moments. His famous line to Motti (while choking him) is delivered like a mild scolding.
    • "Apology accepted, Captain Needa."
    • "We would be honored if you would join us."
  • Foil: He and the Emperor are this for each other:
    • The Emperor is only the dark side, with no hint of Light in him, while Vader has the light buried deep within himself under years of anger and regret.
    • The Emperor is only out for himself, despite being a schemer, manipulating from the shadows; while Vader is more of an action type, and an enforcer/believer in law and order.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: He encourages his son to join The Dark Side along with him. Luke refuses to ever do so.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: By the time of The Force Awakens, Leia has accepted Anakin's redemption, but she's still unnerved by his horrific deeds as Darth Vader, seeking Luke's help when she saw similar signs of darkness in her son Ben, the future Kylo Ren. Even in The Last Jedi, Luke still calls him "the most hated man in the galaxy" and given his regret over the Jedi and his legacy, and that "mighty Skywalker blood", he has mixed feelings about his Dad too. Kylo Ren and the First Order's activity likewise ensures that most in the galaxy in the period of the Sequel Trilogy will remember him as Darth Vader and not as the reformed Anakin Skywalker.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: One of the best examples in popular culture. He was once just a slave on Tattooine who ended up becoming one of the most powerful and feared people in all of the Galaxy. He even serves as the image for the trope.
  • Frontline General: Vader only feels alive when he's in the thick of danger and the heat of battle. Unlike most other high ranking members of the imperial military, Vader leads from the front and will jump at the chance to get down in the trenches with the other soldiers and slay the enemies of the empire. Due to this, many of the rank and file soldiers, especially the stormtrooper corps, practically worship and revere Vader as they have the utmost respect for a high ranking officer who isn't afraid to risk his own life alongside his men nor put on airs of superiority like so many other officers who view those underneath them as cannon fodder.

  • Genius Bruiser: His cybernetics may make him one of the physically strongest characters in the series, but he also displays a cold and calculating nature and attacks at a surprisingly high speed. Case in point, the plot of The Empire Strikes Back is his personal Batman Gambit to trap Luke and get him to convert to the Dark Side, and possibly even to help him overthrow the Emperor. He also retains the piloting and technological skills he's had since childhood. In addition, he is a brilliant battlefield tactician and a highly skilled warrior with decades of experience.
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: His fists are clenched all the time, except when he's blocking lasers with his hands.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Beneath his mask, Vader's eyes are a intimidating shade of yellow in order to signify his corruption by the Dark Side.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Vader is (supposedly) so scarred and mutilated he can't survive long without being encased in a pressurized suit of life support systems and has four artificial limbs. He chooses to armor this suit and uses it to make himself more intimidating. Before Anakin became Darth Vader and was made of scar tissue and mechanical replacement parts, he had a scar on the right side of his face near his eye and had already lost one arm.
  • Guest Fighter: Vader stars as this for SoulCalibur IV alongside Yoda and Starkiller, his apprentice in Legends.
  • Handicapped Badass: His ability to fight is stunted due to his injuries and cybernetic suit, forcing him to adopt a combat style based around brute force and proper swordsmanship. The "handicap" in question is dubious at best for 99% of the galaxy's population. The intense heat and toxic gases of Mustafar has melted his eardrums, heavily damaged his cornea and retina and ravaged his vocal cords. While he can see without his helmet, any sufficiently bright light could make him blind. He is otherwise practically deaf and mute without his cybernetics.
  • Head Bob: David Prowse does this very well, making Vader an emotive character despite being perpetually masked.
  • Heartbroken Badass: He is revealed to be this trope in the Prequel Trilogy. Sure, he was pretty badass during the Clone Wars as Anakin Skywalker, but as soon as his wife died by his own hand, well, Rogue One, A New Hope, and The Empire Strikes Back can testify to just how more threatening he became.
  • The Heavy: The most prominent villain in the Canon, although he is always subservient to Palpatine, the true Big Bad. In A New Hope, he and Tarkin are somewhat equals, save that Tarkin is the one actually in charge of the Death Star, thus making him Vader's superior; however, later works reveal that Vader outranks any Moff, meaning that he likely listened to Tarkin more out of respect than an actual need to. Indeed, the moment Vader and Tarkin disagree on anything (Tarkin's order to not scramble fighters against the Rebel attack during the Battle of Yavin), Vader simply ignores Tarkin and does his own thing anyway.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Turns back to the light side of the Force as Anakin Skywalker in order to protect his son.
  • Heel Realization: Vader's conversation with Luke in Return of the Jedi, before they depart for the Death Star, suggests that Vader underwent a Heel Realization at some point, or at least enough of one to realize what he had become, and to convince him that he was beyond redemption. He managed to prove himself wrong when, while watching Palpatine torture Luke, Anakin overcomes the Dark Side and kills his Sith Master.
  • Hell Is That Noise: His asthmatic, mechanical breathing noise. Whenever unsuspecting people hear it, they instantly know they are done for.
  • Hero Killer: He was already infamous for killing several Jedi during Order 66 and the decades afterwards, but he truly establishes himself as one to the audience in A New Hope when he kills Obi-Wan. To a lesser extent, he is indirectly responsible for the death of Padmé Amidala in Revenge of the Sith, although he didn't intend for this to happen and it's one of his greatest regrets.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices his life to save his son from Darth Sidious, effectively turning him back to the light side of the Force.
  • Hidden Depths: Dark Lord of the Sith reveals that Vader, deep down, still believes himself to be The Chosen One, the one who bring balance to the Force, which adds a rather complicated layer to his extreme self loathing.
    • Expanded universe materials also reveal Vader had an interest in modifying his suit, and personal starfighters, a holdover from his life as Anakin, and one of very few things that he did for fun.
  • High-Voltage Death: One of Vader's armor's biggest flaws is its vulnerability to electricity. Indeed, his armor is shorted out by Sidious's Force lightning, and he dies soon after killing his master.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: All of the pain, horror, and loss that Anakin has suffered is his fault and he knows it which feeds his rage and dark-side powers.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: By the time of The Force Awakens, the First Order's propaganda paints him as a fallen hero for the Empire. Only Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke know the true circumstances of Vader's death, and Kylo Ren, for his part, sees it as the only way that Vader could have been made weak enough to be killed. Looked at as Metaphorically True, he's right.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, he is the last enemy Cal confronts. Cal is so completely beyond outclassed by the Sith Lord that all he can do is Run or Die; Vader doesn't even have a health bar.
  • Hot-Blooded: Initially. Shortly after his transformation, Vader was just as openly aggressive and hot-tempered as when he'd been Anakin. This resulted in him losing his remaining organic limbs and almost being dunked in lava, and he subsequently masked his rage with stoicism and Tranquil Fury.
  • Hypocrite: Actually averted. In Darth Vader #6, he calls the experimental cyborg soldiers developed and trained by Cylo "abominations". Palpatine mentions it seems hypocritical coming from someone who himself is "more machine than man". Given Vader hates his hastily-constructed body and was made a cyborg not by choice, but because it was the only way save his life, this is very true to his character.
  • Iconic Attribute Adoption Moment: In Revenge of the Sith, after being brutally injured and left for dead on Mustafar, Anakin Skywalker receives his iconic Darth Vader armor at the end of the film.
  • Is That What He Told You?: Tells Luke that he's his father in The Empire Strikes Back, contradicting what Obi-Wan had told Luke about Vader killing his father in A New Hope.
  • Immune to Bullets: He can stop blaster shots with his bare cybernetic hand combined with the Force.
  • Implacable Man: It's almost impossible to beat him and if you do, he will come back and hunt you down with determination. Vader never backs down.
  • I Hate Past Me: To cope with the immense trauma he experienced in his first days as a Sith, Vader completely dissociated himself from Anakin Skywalker, viewing Skywalker as a different person, specifically someone he held a great deal of contempt for, a weak person killed, then usurped by Darth Vader.
  • Informed Ability: Vader appears to have a reputation as a great general and formidable opponent. While a formidable and terrifying physical combatant and warrior, his actual record as general, commander, and enforcer during the Original Trilogy however is pretty spotty and more or less a series of failures:
    • In A New Hope, he fails to find the stolen blueprints of the Death Star. His plan to recover it at Tatooine fails, his torture of Princess Leia fails to provide information about the Rebel Base, and his plan to finally find it ends up compromising the Death Star's security, leading to its destruction.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, he wins the Battle of Hoth, but the rebels evacuate with the bulk of their forces, allowing him a minor victory of capturing an empty military base. He fails to accomplish Palpatine's order of capturing Luke Skywalker, and his own secret plan to convert him to the Dark Side and pull a coup. As military governor, he ends up alienating Cloud City, a neutral territory into the Rebel Alliance due to his poor handling of the Occupation, granting the rebels another great pilot like Lando Calrissian to replace the decommissioned Han Solo.
    • By the time of Return of the Jedi, Vader is assigned a minor position as an overseer and Palpatine takes a more active and hands-on role, with Vader given no command of the ground forces. But it's not made clear in the final film if this is because of Vader's failures, because Palpatine distrusts him, or simply that the Emperor wants to trade him in for a younger apprentice (Luke).
    • This only applies to the original trilogy, though. In the comics and Rebels he very much proves himself to be a deadly commander and tactician.
  • In the Back: This is how he killed Eeth Koth.
  • I Reject Your Reality: In Revenge of the Sith, he goes completely into denial about Palpatine's evil nature and his own atrocities, and ignorant about the fact he is Palpatine's servant:
    "I have brought peace, freedom, justice and security to my new empire!"
    And the classic: "From my point of view the Jedi are evil!"
  • Irony:
    • His personal fortress is located on Mustafar, the same planet where he received life-threatening injuries (life-support suit for the rest of his life) and he accidentally killed his wife. Specifically, he himself chose this, and even chose to have the fortress built overlooking the lava bank where he was dismembered and burned.
    • He chose the Dark Side to find the personal strength to protect loved ones, establish justice, and earn the respect of his fellow Jedi. Now he doesn't have the strength to function without cybernetics, he's lost all his loved ones, he's the pawn of a totalitarian dictatorship, and the few remaining Jedi remember him as their greatest betrayer.
  • I've Come Too Far: The only reason he sticks around with Palpatine and the Empire after learning about his wife's death is because he believes that it is too late to redeem himself — and given that he murdered many of his former allies personally (some of whom were children), this perspective makes a degree of sense. Highlighted in the 2020 comic series where Vader is shown flashing back to reporting to Sidious about killing the Younglings, which implies the act sincerely traumatized him and he still doesn't forgive himself for it.
    Vader: [to Luke in a sad tone] It is too late for me, son.
  • I Want Them Alive!: He prefers to take his prisoners be alive – he says this verbatim as one of his first lines in Return of the Jedi.
    • Once he learns that Luke is his son (or more specifically that he has a son), he does everything he can to have his son brought to him. He even places a bounty on him to ensure that he doesn't get killed.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader explicitly says this to the gathered bounty hunters aboard the Executor in regards to the pursuit of the crew of the Millennium Falcon, making a point to tell Boba Fett "no disintegrations".
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He was a Mr. Fanservice before he got completely mutilated.
  • Jerkass: Of the highest order. Though how cruel he is has historically zigzagged with who is writing him, the one constant is Darth Vader is a deeply unpleasant and unfriendly man.
Vader: I've killed many fathers. You'll have to be more specific.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • In Rogue One, the audience sees just how unstoppable Darth Vader is when he effortlessly massacres a group of Rebel troopers in pursuit of the Death Star plans.
    • It shows in Rebels as well when he duels Ahsoka. Throughout the duel he's constantly advancing and gaining ground while Ahsoka can barely keep up.
      • Earlier in that same season, the crew of the Ghost barely manages to hold him off long enough to escape. Even setting off a bunch of detonators and burying him under collapsing AT-AT walkers buys them precious little time.
    • In the original prequels and the sequels though, this is a little downplayed. He canonically lost the only duel he had with a capable opponent at the height of his powers at Mustafar. After that his opponents are mostly non-Force sensitive soldiers, under-trained novices like Luke at Bespin, and his final triumph over his master amounts to attacking him while his back is turned. That being said, it is also worth remembering that on Mustafar, Obi-Wan was in his prime - an extraordinarily powerful Living Legend Jedi Master, who was described by none other than Mace Windu (who invented Vaapad) as "the master of the classical form", the defensive Form III, Soresu. Not a master. The master. And much like in his duel with Ahsoka, Vader has Obi-Wan on the back foot for most of the fight.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: His fall to the Dark Side is pretty quick. He goes from wanting simply to save Padmé to slaughtering younglings, then even force choking Padmé when she confronts him regarding his actions, eventually resulting in her death. Hell, he pretty much turns on a dime when he hacks Mace Windu's arm off.
  • Just Toying with Them: When he and Luke clash in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader due to knowing their true relation isn't actually fighting to kill and seems to be spending most of the fight testing Luke's abilities, even throwing out a few compliments here and there. It's only near the end when Luke lands a direct hit that Vader gets more aggressive and forcibly disarms Luke.
  • Kick the Dog: Constantly in supporting material, for example when he deliberately has Dr. Aphra thrown out of the airlock instead of swiftly executing her via lightsaber per her request.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: The little Tatooine slave boy who was The Chosen One grew up! ...And became a murderous, cybernetic evil wizard.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Vader seeks to destroy anything and anyone he once cherished as Anakin Skywalker, as their very being reminds him of how he destroyed his own life and of all he lost as a result. The sole exception is his son, Luke, whom he intends to turn to the Dark Side and become his Sith apprentice in a twisted attempt to "rebuild" his family.
  • The Kingslayer: In Jedi he throws Emperor Palpatine down the reactor shaft to his doom to stop him from killing Luke.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Any sort of levity or goofiness stops whenever he shows up, and characters often die. Case in point: the Rebel operation in the first issue of Star Wars was going swimmingly. And then he showed up. This is played up very heavily in Rogue One, where his scenes are among the most tense and gruesome in the saga. Vader, after receiving the suit, never shares a direct scene with comic relief C-3PO and R2-D2 in the movies (except for scenes on Bespin with Threepio in the freezing chamber, but they never see each other directly and editing ensures neither are sharing a major shot), which helps drive his seriousness home.
    • Vader shoots and nearly destroys Artoo (his old co-pilot) with space fighter fire as soon as he comes within range of Luke's X-Wing during the climactic space battle in A New Hope. Threepio (the droid he built as a child) is already severely disabled by the time he barely encounters him again for the first time in decades in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Knight Templar: Genuinely believes instilling order through fear and tyranny is a necessary evil for the greater good.
  • Large and in Charge: Vader is by far the tallest human in the Canon, played by the 1.98m (6'6") actor David Prowse in the original trilogy; later suit actors were either as tall as Prowse (in Spencer Wilding's case) or wore inserts and lifts to appear as tall (in Hayden Christensen's case). He would have been even taller had Prowse and the 2.10m (7'3") Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) not mutually agreed on which parts they would play.
  • Large Ham: As Prowse (or whoever else is in the suit) gestures plentifully and Jones speaks bombastically, the result is simply glorious. Justified since his face is rarely visible and as such he needs to emote in other ways.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader cuts Luke's hand off. In Return of the Jedi, Luke repays the favor and cuts his hand off.
  • Leitmotif: The Imperial March. Major and minor key versions of it are all over the place during his key scenes.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Rogue One shows that, just like many video game Final Bosses, he has a castle located in one — on Mustafar more precisely, the very planet where his near-lethal injuries took place and where his Anakin self symbolically died.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: He hates Emperor Palpatine deeply (the man he's working for) who is also evil and wants to kill him just as badly as the other one wants to kill him. However, unlike the Emperor, Vader's motivation for destruction is for the greater good and he deeply loves his family.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Vader would have died from his wounds on Mustafar had Palpatine not saved him by putting him in a life-support suit. And because the wounds crippled his potential to overthrow his master and take over the Empire for himself, Vader only lives as long as the Emperor isn't thinking about replacing him. Thus, when Vader suggests to the Emperor that the young and healthy Luke Skywalker could be turned (in an attempt to spare his son) in The Empire Strikes Back, he knows that he has to quickly turn Luke to his side or suffer the same fate as Count Dooku.
  • Logical Weakness: His injuries on Mustafar gave Vader two devastating weaknesses, which is good because if he wasn't injured, he'd be so powerful that Sidious expects Vader to easily surpass both him and Yoda, two of the strongest Force users in the history of the galaxy.
    • His first weakness is his injuries sustained from his duel with Obi Wan. He lost all of his limbs, had third degree burns over most of his body with his sense of hearing, eyesight and respiratory system being so damaged it couldn't long function unaided. All of this meant that there is no way he could survive without his bionic life-support, and its irreparable even with a bacta tank. And since extensive use of the Dark Side is damaging to the user, Vader cannot fully exploit it without risking his life in the process.
    • His second weakness is that his life-support cybernetics could be exploited against him. Anything that could compromise them would immobilize or even kill him. And since he's mostly made of wires and metal, water and electricity are his greatest obstacles, which is not ideal when the boss he wants to overthrow happens to be a master of Force Lightning.
  • Love Redeems: His love for Luke, his son, redeems him in the end and reverts Darth Vader back into Anakin Skywalker.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Trope Namer, derived from the climactic scene in The Empire Strikes Back wherein he tells Luke he is his father (though not with those exact words).
    "No. I am your father."
  • Luke, You Are My Father:
    • In the DVD/Blu-Ray Special Edition of The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine tells him that "the offspring of Anakin Skywalker" survived. He feigns surprise at this and it's implied he knew already. Given that the opening crawl already announces that he's looking for Luke, and after the rebels evacuate at Hoth, he specifically targets Luke's friends, and the fact that he wants to topple and pull a coup on Palpatine, means he has to put a façade of covering his activities.
    • Issue 6 of the Darth Vader comic reveals how Vader learned the truth: he had Boba Fett try to track the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, but all he learned was his name. His name was "Skywalker." It also confirms that his reaction to the Emperor's news about Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is just an act, an attempt to prevent Sidious from learning that he has been searching for young Skywalker behind his master's back for nearly three years. And Palpatine calling Vader in the first place might be his way of telling his apprentice, "I know exactly what you are up to and you can hide nothing from me."

  • Magic Knight: He's a skilled and very strong swordsman, and is also very proficient in using Force powers, although his injuries prevent him from using them to their fullest.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: His mask and armor are modeled after ancient Sith armor, and make him a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Master Swordsman: The premier master of Form V Djem So lightsaber combat, and an expert in, or possessing advanced knowledge of, all 7 classic styles of lightsaber combat. Combines elements of multiple styles to become a devastatingly effective duelist despite his bulky cybernetics and inability to use Force Lightning. Quite possibly the greatest lightsaber duelist alive (in terms of pure skill at least) at the time of his death, if one considers that Luke only beat him because he was conflicted.
  • Married to the Job: Despite being perhaps the wealthiest man in the galaxy under Palpatine, Vader does not enjoy much comfort or luxuries and would rather be out on the frontlines. This is widely interpreted as Vader punishing himself.
  • Meaningful Name: "Vader" is derived from the word "invader". It's also Dutch for "Father". Though the last was a happy accident, though Lucas later did acknowledge it as serendipitous. Initially, the names were formed because Lucas wanted something that sounded intimidating, and by means of word association "Dark Water" became modified to it current form. While Darth, initially his character's first name, later a title, was intended to combine the sounds of Dark and Death into a Portmanteau.
  • Menacing Stroll: He is pretty much never seen running (though he is capable of running when he needs to), yet he always catches up with his prey.
  • Might Makes Right: Played With in that unlike the Emperor, Vader doesn't see might as an indicator of morality or morality itself, but rather Vader believes that without might one's beliefs or desires are irrelevant as they lack the power to see their desires or ambitions become reality. It's more accurate to say that Vader sees weakness as a sin though he also does somewhat believe that Virtue Is Weakness (somewhat in that he isn't against positive emotions or beliefs but that you shouldn't allow them to get in the way).
    Vader: Power Luke...If only you knew...only power can save.
  • Mighty Glacier: Vader is quite slow (though he is faster than he first appears). However, his attacks are devastating, due both to the strength his cybernetic limbs give him and his strength in the Force.
  • Military Mage: Vader mostly acts as an officer, "motivating" the admirals of the Imperial Fleet with the threat of a Force-choking and commanding starships to hunt down the Rebels. Occasionally, he also takes the field himself and uses his Force powers to act as an elite soldier, as when he pilots a TIE Advanced starfighter in the Battle of Yavin.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: In their lightsaber duel on Bespin, Luke, an amateur duelist, gets a lucky tap on Vader's shoulder. Vader's response is to fly into an Unstoppable Rage, making unflattering noises and wildly swinging his lightsaber around before hacking off Luke's hand.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Exaggerated movement is necessary for a masked character, and Vader is a well-played example.
  • Momma's Boy: He really loved his mother, Shmi, who was tortured and killed by Tusken Raiders. He loved her to the point that, even after turning to the dark side and ceasing to be Anakin Skywalker, Vader retains a hatred of the primitive sand-people and he goes out of his way to massacre them.
  • Mook Horror Show: At the end of Rogue One, he tears through Rebel soldiers trying to retrieve the Death Star's plans. He did this years earlier in Jedi: Fallen Order, except with Cal Kestis as the "mook" alongside his Stormtroopers.
  • Mouth of Sauron: In addition to serving as The Dragon, he also performs this duty for Emperor Palpatine. It's not obvious at first glance, but notice that Vader has frequent contact with Imperial commanders, to whom he frequently gives commands. Palpatine is never shown speaking to any of his other underlings except Vader in the original trilogy (with the exception of "Fire at will, commander!")
  • Mutual Kill: Palpatine obviously wasn't going to survive a fall into the core of the Death Star, but the stray lightning bolts he fired shorted out Vader's life support.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Despite what he presents himself as, Vader does feel remorse and guilt for his attrocities, and there are times where it's brought to the surface. It's just he believes he's gone too far to ever go back.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not being able to save Padmé from dying during childbirth.
  • Mysterious Parent: To Luke and Leia. Luke discovers that he is Vader's son in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Mysterious Past: In Tarkin, it's revealed that to the galaxy-at-large and the center of power, Vader had this, with no one knowing where he had come from. Some suspect he was a secret experiment created by the Emperor as a final trump card for ending the Clone Wars. Tarkin, however, is one of the few to believe that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are the same people.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: As seen when he needs to remove his suit for maintenance or cleaning, Anakin's time as a Sith in his bulky armor turned what's left of his body into a slab of enormous muscles.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Vader displays traits of this with his master Palpatine... when he's not actively trying to subvert him.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His Star Destroyer in A New Hope, the Devastator, and his Super Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the Executor.
  • Necessary Evil: How he views himself and, by extension, the Galactic Empire.
  • Neck Lift: Does this to Captain Antilles in A New Hope. The good captain does not survive the interrogation.
  • Never Bareheaded: He's seen only thrice in the films without his helmet: the first time in a special pressure chamber, the second time in a bacta tank and third and final time while dying.
  • Never My Fault:
    • He blames Obi-Wan for turning Padmé against him, when in reality it was his own turn to the Dark Side that did so.
    • At one point, when contemplating who to blame for his miserable existence, he concludes that it's Obi-Wan and Padmé's fault for not having faith in him.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • He hated imperial officers because he believed they were lazy cowards who got their position through nepotism and money. He only respected those who risked their lives for the war and took responsibility for themselves and for those under their command. He developed this mindset from his experiences as a slave on Tatooine, he also respects the stormtroopers he fights alongside.
    • Captain Needa is a strange example; Needa, more or less, sacrificed himself by taking full responsibility for failing to capture the Millennium Falcon. His face upon discovering his failure shows how Needa knew how Vader responds failure and refused to throw anyone under the bus for his survival. After killing Needa, Vader dryly accepts his apology with a hint of respect towards him for doing this.
    • In Legends, he forms something of a friendship with the Stormtrooper, Hawk, due to his performance in battle. He also respected two imperial officers called Gregg and Erv Lekauf. Gregg's research skills helped Vader hunt Jedi while Lekauf was respected for his battle prowess and refusal to abandon allies during the battle.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Vader is a black cloaked psychic human cyborg sorcerer samurai Sith swordsman with a severe breathing problem.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Invoked by Vader at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, when explaining the significance of the Emperor's arrival to his subordinate. Also, unlike Palpatine, part of Vader's (initial) motivation is to make the galaxy a better place.
    Darth Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
  • Nom de Guerre: Combined with That Man Is Dead; when he became a Sith Lord, he ditched "Anakin Skywalker" in favor of "Darth Vader".
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: His first instinct when dealing with any opponent is to go in as fast and brutally as possible with no room for conversation. If you have information he wants, he chokes it out of you, either with the Force or with his bare hands. If you fail him or disobey his orders, he'll execute you on the spot and replace you with another subordinate. His only soft spot is for his long lost son, Luke Skywalker, and even that has limits. When Luke grazes his armor once during their lightsaber duel in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader's response is to quit toying with him and sever his hand.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: During his meeting with Orson Krennic, he gets up close to Krennic to unnerve him. Then he chokes him with the Force from across the room, seemingly just to remind Krennic that he can.
  • Noodle Incident: It's implied that he may have encountered Maul sometime before the latter's death, but the exact details have yet to be divulged.
  • Not So Stoic: His mask and vocabulator give off the illusion that he is largely emotionless, but his power stems from intense, near-perpetual rage.
  • Obviously Evil: He wears a very large black suit, a menacing cape, and a face-concealing helmet. His name also qualifies, as "Darth" combines the words "dark" and "death," while "Vader" is derived from "invader."
  • Offing the Offspring: Or it was what he believed at least. The first thing he heard when he woke up from his surgery was that he killed his unborn child along with his wife and lived with that grief for nearly two decades. When he found out that his child was alive however he threatened to murder him twice. But when it came to it in the end, his fatherly instincts kicked in and he refused to let his son die.
  • Oh, Crap!: After three films of being The Dreaded personified, he finally loses it when he hits Luke's Relative Button by threatening to find Leia and corrupt her into succumbing to the dark side. When Luke screams and attacks him, he gasps in shock and desperately tries to hold him off, but to no avail.
  • Ominous Opera Cape: He has a large, black cape.
  • One Handed Is Cool: He often wields his lightsaber, a notoriously difficult-to-control weapon, one-handed in order to intimidate enemies. It's worth noting that all of the artificial limbs that were installed on him by the Emperor were outdated, uncomfortable and could be slow to respond. The only limb of his that felt natural was the prosthetic he got as a Jedi, his right hand. So him fighting primarily with his right arm unless absolutely necessary was probably the most comfortable and effective since it's the only limb he could reliably use with any finesse.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Best exemplified when he singlehandedly lays waste to the Phoenix Squadron in Rebels: Vader has one fighter, and he takes on four corvettes, the frigate Phoenix Home, the Ghost, and a squadron of A-Wings. End result? The frigate and most of Phoenix Squadron are destroyed, while the rest are sent running for their lives. Vader isn't even scratched.
    • During the climax in Rogue One, Vader plows down a dozen Rebel soldiers, cutting them down with his lightsaber, deflecting their blaster shots, and sending them flying across the hallway without so much as a singed cape.
    • In the Darth Vader comics, he destroys a Rebel regiment, complete with armor and air support, by himself.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Vader is obsessed with killing Jedi survivors, and Obi-Wan in particular, and will go out of his way if he believes he may get an opportunity to do so. Interestingly, Sidious, who (obviously) has no problem with killing Jedi, doesn't really approve of this obsession, as he believes it not only clouds Vader's judgement, but is a link to Anakin Skywalker that Vader needs to let go.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • In A New Hope, his usual Tranquil Fury is absent when he yells commands at his subordinates during the raid on the Tantive IV. Rogue One contextualizes why this is — he was mere moments away from reclaiming the Death Star plans from a group of rebels that he slaughtered on the Rebel capital ship that they had been transmitted to, only for them to get away from him. He had a reason to be pissed.
    • Anytime Vader is hit hard by reminders of the life he used to have, the wife he lost, and friends/family he sacrificed that lead to becoming what he is now. While he can maintain control if there are only small reminders, if he's overwhelmed by the memories to the point where he can't ignore them or turn away, the good still buried inside will start to surface and he'll, however briefly, be hit with My God, What Have I Done? and all of the rage and resentment will drain from him and give way to deep sorrow and despair.
      • He's hit very hard by this in the Darth Vader (2020) series when he meets up with Sabe, one of Padme's shadows and handmaidens. What follows is Vader having to to continuously face his past culminating when he finally reaches Naboo and is attacked by people once loyal to Padme and who even knew and fought alongside Anakin Skywalker while looking up to him. To say Vader wasn't prepared for this would be an understatement. This is just after his duel with Luke and Vader is in absolute emotional turmoil, not helped by the fact that he keeps meeting people dedicated to his late wife and still having the utmost respect for Jedi Anakin Skywalker. You can tell he probably would be shedding a tear under his helmet.
      • Vader faces a force of militiamen trying to hunt him down.
        Captain Ric Olie: Vader! We sentence you to die for the murder of Queen and senator Padme Amidala and her Jedi protector Anakin Skywalker!
        Vader: You....knew them?
        Captain Olie: We fought by their side when the Trade Federation invaded.
      • Vader kills a militiaman.
        Militiaman: For..Padme and...f-for Anakin.
        Vader looks down at him silently
      • Vader faces the handmaiden of Padme in front of her tomb.
        Sabe: You will not desecrate this grave!
        Vader: (unsure and faltering) If...If you wish to live...leave now or...
      • Vader opens Padme's tomb and finds the little sculpture he made for her when he had just met her.
        Vader: (Internally) I made this...for you.
  • One-Man Army: He's extremely dangerous, even against multiple opponents. Best shown in Star Wars: Vader Down, where he was forced to face a small army of Rebel soldiers alone and has no reason to hold back... And routs them. Easily.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • This is ultimately what causes him to redeem himself. Unable to stand by and watch while his son is tortured to death by the Emperor's lightning, he finally breaks the dark side's hold and throws the bastard to his doom.
    • Shows shades of this even before his Heel–Face Turn. He rescued his son on multiple occasions during the Vader Down arc and would also go out of his way to eliminate potential threats to Luke. While it would seem at first glance that this might only be Pragmatic Villainy as he needs Luke's help if he's going to beat Palpatine, his internal monologues when he searches for the people who had hidden Luke from him all these years, shows he feels a twisted kind of protectiveness by hating the people that hid his son because they "made him [Luke] weak".
  • The Paranoiac: Vader fits this personality type quite well, as years of war, the deaths of his mother, wife, and — so he believes — his child, and mountains of shame and guilt over the atrocities he committed turned him into a ruthless Control Freak determined to bring order to the galaxy at any cost, and who rarely ever shows mercy, even to his own men. It's strongly implied that he wants revenge on the Emperor for manipulating him into being this way, but he is simply too afraid of him to do anything about it, at least until his son comes into play.
  • Parental Favoritism: Even in spite of his injuries and the handicap they put on his potential, Sidious admits that, of his three apprentices, Vader is the one he values the most.
    Sidious: Maul was a regrettable loss, but Tyranus... he was a proton torpedo. He served his purpose and was gone. [puts his hand on Vader's shoulder] I had a superior candidate in mind.
  • The Penance: A part of Vader feels that becoming Palpatine's lackey and a Sith Lord is what he deserves for destroying everything he cared about. He knows that while it was his own hand responsible for all of his misfortunes, Palpatine was also largely to blame for his manipulations. Anakin decided to become a monster and serve a man he despises partly as a way to punish himself.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Incredibly downplayed, but even if it was unnecessary, Vader agrees to stay for an amiable party with Jabba after half a day of great hostilities with the Hutt.
    • He rewards Firmus Piett for finding the rebel base, by promoting him to admiral. After Force choking the incompetent and arrogant Admiral Ozzel to death.
    • His Affably Evil behavior toward Luke after he learns that he's his son. Throughout his duel with Luke on Bespin, he never insults the young Jedi, but simply challenges him to fight more effectively — or surrender before he would endanger himself any more. He sincerely proposes that they overthrow the Emperor and rule as a family (in spite of his decision to chop Luke's hand off moments before), and addresses him as "son" after the revelation. He also was impressed by Luke building his own lightsaber, and actually listens when Luke says there is still good in him (even though he disagrees at the time).
    • He allows Chewbacca to rebuild C-3PO shortly after the latter's capture, explaining why Chewbacca was seen repairing C-3PO without too much fear of being caught in The Empire Strikes Back. This is taken further when he forces Boba Fett to lower his rifle when Chewie flies off the handle, even though it would have saved the both of them a lot of trouble if Boba had just killed the Wookiee then and there. The fact that Anakin was C-3PO's creator wasn't established until about 20 years later, when The Phantom Menace came out.
    • In Darth Vader, his Bad Boss tendencies are clearly being dialled back for Aphra.
    • Also in Darth Vader, the Pragmatic Villainy of it aside, he has a moment of this when he pulls out and mercy kills Aiolin after her own brother throws her into a lava pit.
    • In Lords of the Sith, he demands that a group of Stormtroopers get to their escape pods after they volunteer to stay behind and escort him off the exploding Perilous. He was likely just making sure they didn't get in his way, but it says a lot about how much respect he commands among the Stormtroopers that the men even offered to stay in the first place, especially since he'd already made it clear they were under no obligation to do so.
    • He is, in general, very kind to the Stormtrooper legions, who are trained to think of themselves as expendable. His experience with their predecessors, the Clone Troopers, probably has a lot to do with this.
    • In the Season 2 finale of Rebels, when he encounters his old apprentice Ahsoka Tano for the first time in fifteen years, he's visibly hesitant to attack her and offers to spare her if she reveals the location of the remaining Jedi, clearly hoping she'll take the offer. However, when she refuses, he tries to kill her with little hesitation.
    • He spared Kreel's life despite Kreel failing him and shit talking him to his face as he saw Kreel was loyal to the empire.
  • Post-Final Boss: An interesting example in Jedi: Fallen Order, as he is clearly much stronger than Trilla (or everything else in the game, for that matter), but the "fight" against him is much easier, since you don't really do much besides just running away.
  • Posthumous Character: Following his death, Darth Vader became a hugely influential symbol to people in favor of reinstating the Empire and followers of the dark side. Kylo Ren in particular idolizes him, while Leia has never forgiven him, especially once her status as his daughter ruined her political reputation.
  • Power Limiter: Downplayed in the Canon but played straight in Legends :
    • In the Canon, it's shown that Vader personally maintains and repairs the suit via telekinesis from his Bacta tank. Since Anakin is a first rate engineer and the Emperor allows him to do his own work on the suit, the power limiting aspect is just a natural result of him wearing a heavy life support system/full body armor, mixed with him missing large portions of his body and being in constant physical agony. He might be a scary space wizard but if you took away his Force powers and suit then Vader would really be the same as a severe trauma patient lying in a bed on life support.
    • In Legends, his suit is fully this: it was made using extremely obsolete technology compared to what was available, making him and his movements heavy, cumbersome and sluggish when existing robotics could have given him near-human (or even super-human) dexterity. The only enhancement was in raw strength, giving the effect of making his combat style much more reliant on heavy battering blows and minimal movement, as opposed to Anakin's acrobatic elan. This was done intentionally by Palpatine as a means of keeping Vader under his thumb. It has never been explored whether the Emperor had any other killswitches or safeguards built into Vader's armor as insurance to his compliance. Also, many of its design features are specifically designed to be cumbersome even when it would have no effect on the suit's performance: The rasping breathing mechanism is automatic, involuntary, and far louder than it needs to be, the lights and diodes on the breastplate are superfluous, the vision through his helmet is basically a red-tinted low-res video feed to his brain, and so on. All these little touches go towards inspiring constant, almost subconscious frustration and aggravation, making Vader that much more slanted toward the dark side while making it nearly impossible for him to ever fully cope or come to terms with the need to wear the suit.
  • The Power of Hate: How Sith in general get their powers, though Vader is possibly the most notable example. What makes this a truly interesting case is the fact that most of the hatred he feels is directed towards himself.
  • The Power of Love: While his love for his wife and fear of losing her is what drew him to the dark side, the love for his own son was what allowed him to break free of its grasp and redeem himself.
  • Powered Armor: Vader's black suit is essentially a mobile iron lung, but is made out of extremely durable material and augments his damaged senses.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • In Rogue One, Vader seems to disapprove of Director Krennic's attack on Jedha city, if only because it creates unrest when the Empire's is not yet ready to reveal the existence of the Death Star.
    • During the trench run finale in A New Hope, Vader lets Wedge go after his ship gets crippled. Why waste valuable time chasing a neutralized ship?
    • Outright tells Aphra that as long as she continues to serve him loyally and without failure, she has the protection of the second-most powerful being in the galaxy.
  • Pride: A recurring element of his personality all his life. Even as a child, he boasted of his skills at podracing. Come A New Hope, and he's casually choking officers who question his abilities. Palpatine lampshades this, right to his face no less, in Revenge of the Sith.
    Palpatine: Ever since I've known you, you've been searching for a life greater than that of an ordinary Jedi. A life of significance.
  • Propaganda Hero: A dark example. The Empire used him as a icon of intimidation in propaganda, reporting every battlefield victory and brutal Jedi killing he did as a way of discouraging further opposition.
  • Progressively Prettier: Inverted; His burn scarring is way worse in Revenge of the Sith than when he will chronologically be unmasked in Return of the Jedi. It’s likely because his injuries in Revenge of the Sith were fresh whilst his injuries in Return of the Jedi had healed (though not completely) over the course of two decades.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Vader make use of this frequently:
    • In Jedi: Fallen Order, he nearly kills Cal with his own lighsaber by jabbing it into his chest. Cal only survives thanks to Cere's intervention.
    • In Rebels, he reattempts this feat on Ezra by having him decapitate himself by his own lightsaber and nearly succeed. Again, Vader is interrupted by someone else, this time by Kanan.
    • In Darth Vader, he orders Cylo's giant space whale to fly into a star (with Cylo onboard). Third time's the charm, this succeed perfectly without any interruptions.
  • Psychic Powers: His most frequent uses of the Force involve telekinesis and choking.
  • Psychic Strangle: Trope Codifier, having first done this to Admiral Motti in A New Hope. That time he was stopped by Tarkin, but in The Empire Strikes Back he executes two of his officers this way.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His behavior on Mustafar towards Padmé and Obi-Wan has shades of this, as he's clearly not in his right mind. This was likely a temporary effect of his initial turn, as he's clearly regained most of his wits by the time he starts serving as the Emperor's enforcer.
  • Rage Helm: His iconic helmet has a chillingly penetrating stare.
  • Rated M for Manly: One of the most iconic examples for Star Wars, sci-fi, and film as a whole, with his deep voice, hulking build, sleek armor, and overwhelming strength and intelligence. Vader's masculine power is a major factor behind his success as an iconic villain.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Vader tends to be this on a day-to-day basis with his men like the stormtroopers and regular soldiers so long as they're performing their duties to the best of their abilities. He will even be understanding of situations that his people could not reasonably be expected to handle and engages in rapport with the people he works with routinely. He will also tolerate higher ranked officers, despite his dislike of military brass, provided they're competent and good at their jobs (he showed great respect for inspector Thanoth due to the inspector being a first rate investigator and also unfailingly polite to Vader but not in a suck-up kind of way). That said, he won't tolerate people making excuses or passing blame for screw-ups and failures that could have been prevented.
    • Vader also has a soft spot for any subordinate who turns out to be The Reliable One. While he later ends up killing Inspector Thanoth because He Knows Too Much, they had a great relationship (well, a good of one you can have with someone like Vader). Vader was continously impressed with Thanoth's compitence, skill, and genuine respect shown (Vader hates suckups and people blatantly brown-nosing but seems to acutally like genuine humility from others) while they worked together.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Or afterlife, in this case. After his Heroic Sacrifice, he is able to become a Force Spirit — making him the only former Sith in existence to actually Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sacrifices himself to save Luke and kill the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.
  • Redemption Rejection:
    • When bleeding his Kyber crystal in the first arc of Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, he experiences a vision where he returns to the Light, kills Palpatine, finds Obi-Wan then begs his old friend to kill him, but Obi-Wan refuses. At that point, Vader snaps out of the vision, rejects the vision, and completes the bleeding of the crystal, sealing his commitment to the Sith.
    • A very brief, unspoken one in Rebels; after Ahsoka realizes that Vader is indeed her former master, she proclaims that she won't abandon Anakin again. Vader's reaction (his face is partially visible due to Ahsoka slicing off a chunk of his mask) indicates he's surprised and touched by her words, and almost considering joining with her... unfortunately, the "Vader" half of Anakin quickly reasserts himself, declaring Ahsoka will die as a result of her gesture, and their duel promptly resumes.
    • His initial response to Luke's attempts to turn him back to the light as well:
      Vader: Obi-Wan once thought as you do... it is too late for me, son.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He wears mostly black armor and he wields a red lightsaber.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In A New Hope, his helmet's goggles have a subtle reddish tint to them. His design in Rebels goes with this version of the suit and exaggerates the red eyes a little more (but very exaggerated in promotional artwork). All subsequent depictions set before A New Hope (Rogue One, Jedi: Fallen Order, and The Clone Wars) do this as well.
  • Resistance Is Futile: "You are beaten. It is useless to resist. Don't let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did."
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Vader simmered under Palpatine's control for twenty years, confined to his suit and little more than a blunt instrument for the Emperor. Then he finds out Palpatine commissioned Dr. Cylo to create new apprentices for him, dating from the moment Vader agreed to serve him — effectively preparing his replacements ever since they teamed up. What seals the deal is his learning about Luke's existence, realizing that Palpatine lied about what happened to his wife and child and that he played him like a fiddle to get what he wanted. Vader has finally had enough, and plans to overthrow Palpatine and take his place.
  • Rousseau Was Right: He wasn't born evil, and Padmé; believed that there was still good in him, even after he had killed dozens of Jedi and strangled her. She was right.
  • Run or Die: Anyone less than a Jedi Master in skill would have no chance against Vader, leaving escape as the only alternative to death. This is best shown when Cal Kestis "fights" him, as the newly minted Jedi Knight can only run for his life as Vader casually tears apart the facility they were in with the Force.

  • Same Language Dub: Vader is one of the most prominent examples in fiction; James Earl Jones always voices him in live-action appearances, while he's had numerous suit actors but was never portrayed physically by Jones. This applies in-universe as well; Jones' legendary voice actually comes from a voice synthesizer that amplifies Vader's speech, and without his helmet his voice is that of the actor portraying him physically (even if it's an actor switch, like in Sebastian Shaw's case).
  • Samurai: Vader's armor was created to evoke the image of a samurai warlord, which is more apparent without his cape.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • After Mustafar, losing Padmé, and the destruction of the Jedi and everything he held dear, Anakin became seriously twisted beyond simple rage and despair at his plight. The trauma is so severe that Vader became a complete inverse of everything Anakin was and aspired to be. While he became more cold and controlled than he was before his fall, he also became unhinged and unstable beyond just being angry and desiring to kill and destroy to impose order.
    • He hunted down two Inquisitors that had started a relationship with each other while claiming he did it because the female was secretly against the Empire for almost allowing a mother and her child to escape, and only capturing the woman when she had been noticed by the other Inquisitors. However, it's also deeply implied that Vader primarily did it out of spite towards the romantic relationship between the two Inquisitors and most likely did it as a form of "If I can't have my love then no one can!", with there being other instances of Vader shunning or even destroying relationships because they remind him of what he has lost.
    • When Ahsoka saw into his mind and realized he was Anakin, she was also deeply traumatized and it's unlikely that the simple revelation that Vader was Anakin would have been enough to do that. She was probably also deeply scarred by the horror and madness Vader keeps contained within himself. Given the things that Vader has seen and done, it's no wonder she screamed.
  • Satanic Archetype: He has a very Luciferian element to his character. Spurred by his own Pride, Lucifer sacrifices all notions of goodness in his heart and consigns himself to evil. Vader is very similar in many ways: he was once a talented, good-looking, intelligent Jedi, a loyal ally of the good guys, but he was blinded by his pride. He also felt that the Jedi-counsel was not giving him the proper respect that he and his powers deserves. Eventually he was tempted by the Sith, turned evil, and ended up becoming one of the greatest threats of the Galaxy. However, he manages to be one of the few examples to subvert this trope, as Luke notices that there is still kindness in his heart and ends up making one of the most iconic heroic sacrifices in film history.
  • Scars are Forever: The scarring Anakin incurred in Revenge of the Sith is what made Darth Vader's iconic appearance and sfx in the Original Trilogy possible — even necessary. Though two decades worth of bacta baths have healed the worst of it come Return of the Jedi.
  • Secret Identity: Very few people know that he was once Anakin Skywalker; the only known exceptions during Vader's lifetime are Palpatine, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Bail Organa, Ahsoka, Tarkin, Inspector Thanoth, possibly Thrawn and eventually Luke. Likewise, the only time he brings up his past is if someone mentions it.
  • Secret Identity Identity: One of the reasons why his identity as Anakin Skywalker is so well hidden is due to the fact that Vader did everything in his power to make his Sith persona his only identity, going out of his way to destroy any connections to his past, from old relics to former friends. But when he realizes that Luke is his long-lost son, Vader begins to suffer an identity crisis. His Vader side wants to corrupt Luke to the Dark Side as a means to destroy Obi-Wan's (and by extension the Jedi's) legacy and overthrow Sidious, while his Anakin side wants to salvage and rebuild what's left of his family. This inner conflict is something Luke exploits to bring his father back to the light.
  • Seeks Another's Resurrection: In Dark Lord of the Sith, one of Vader's driving motivations near the end is to construct a Dark Side portal he hopes will enable him to resurrect his dead wife Padmé. Although he's successful in creating and entering the portal, and does indeed find Padmé there, she refuses to come back with him... and then throws herself off a cliff for good measure. It's strongly implied she's not really Padmé but merely a vision of her and so couldn't come back with him, anyways. Upon realizing this, Vader finally accepts that she is gone.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Obi-Wan and Palpatine were the closest things Anakin Skywalker ever had to a father, and Vader kills both of them.
  • Sensor Character: He can sense when other Force-sensitives — like Obi-Wan and Luke — are nearby. Might have also picked up Leia this way on Echo Base in The Empire Strikes Back, although he seemed to mistake her for Luke.
  • Serial Prostheses: He'd already lost his right arm before the duel on Mustafar, and as a result of that duel wound up with three more prosthetic limbs.
  • Series Mascot: He is the character most often used to represent the Star Wars franchise as a whole. He made the cover of Time magazine twice, in 1980 and 2005.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Luke. Both expert lightsaber duelists, both masters of the Force, both reliant on prosthetics, and the family connection only added to their similarities. The prequel trilogy tried to emphasize them further by giving Anakin's backstory parallels to Luke's. Luke was even offered a chance to turn to The Dark Side; the difference between Vader and Luke was that Luke opted to remain in the light.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: He forcibly gets Admiral Motti to shut his mouth after the latter doubts the effectiveness of the Force.
  • Signature Move: The Force-Choke, though he rarely uses it against enemies, instead preferring to use it against former allies or subordinates who have failed him.
  • Signature Sound Effect: The sound of his respirator is enough to send chills up one's spine.
  • Sinister Geometry: His obsidian-black helmet is designed to evoke a human skull, from angular cheekbones to rictus grin to Black Eyes of Evil.
  • The Slow Walk: Vader does this in his very first scene in A New Hope.
  • Social Darwinist: Vader believes this to a degree though not to the extent of his master Palpatine. Vader still has a vestige of his ideals and beliefs from when he was a Jedi, it's just that now he believes that if you want to bring order or save anything then you need strength. Without strength, what you want is meaningless so he believes that anything that gets in the way of your ambitions is due to a lack of strength on your part. He also saw his past self as weak as part of his self-loathing and extends that anger to anyone he sees to be similar. This has led him to despise anything perceiving weakness in others and himself.
    Vader: I will find him again when the time is right. For now...we will track down anyone who hid [Luke] from me...[internally] Everyone who made him weak..and destroy them.

    Droid Zed67: So [Beru and Owen Lars] took the boy in.
    Vader: [Internally] ...And made him weak!...
  • Sole Survivor: Was the only survivor of the destruction of the Death Star in the first movie.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: A lot of his aggression comes from the pain and misery that his Face–Heel Turn brought him in the first place. This is first made apparent in Return of the Jedi, and becomes obvious in hindsight when one considers the events of the Prequel Trilogy.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Though his voice is amplified by his suit, Vader rarely, if ever raises his voice. Most likely because doing so would be extremely painful.
  • Space Fighter:
    • His prototype TIE Advanced x1.
    • As shown in Lords of the Sith, he piloted a customized black Jedi Interceptor during the early years of the Empire.
  • The Speechless: Inhaling hot toxic gases on Mustafar, and the subsequent Meatgrinder Surgery to reconstruct him, have done a number on his vocal cords, making him technically mute, as without a vocoder to produce his deep voice he can barely manage a painful whisper.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    • Towards Luke, which is justified considering that he's looking for his son.
    • He's also pretty obsessed with hunting down his former master Obi-Wan.
  • The Starscream: In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin believes he can overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy with Padmé, likely foreshadowed in Attack of the Clones with his mistrust in senatorial politics. Then he tries it again with his son in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It does not involve the typical Sith MO of killing their masters over power; it seems more like Anakin doesn't like how Palpatine rules, and wants to supplant him and perhaps do it better. Darth Vader #6 features the exact moment Vader decides to overthrow Palpatine, having just learned that his master lied to him about the nature of his wife's death and has been training potential replacements for him for twenty years, and that he has a son who is extremely powerful in the Force.
  • Starter Villain Stays: Vader is the very first villain seen in the franchise's history, though he serves as The Heavy in his introductory film. He remains The Heavy for the rest of the Original Trilogy, and the Prequels explore how he became a villain in the first place.
  • The Stoic: Despite being a Sith Lord, Vader can be eerily calm even during combat. That said, he can slip into Not So Stoic territory whenever he is angry (as mentioned above) such as taking the Rebels hostage and wanting to tear up the Tantive-IV so he could find a copy of the First Death Star plans which are with C-3P0 and R2-D2, unbeknownst to him and the Empire.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Unlike his Legends counterpart, Vader plays this completely straight, as he's presented as a rather terrifying force to deal with, nearly every confrontation he's in, he's either halted or slowed down if he doesn't come out on top. For that reason, there's only very few times where he doesn't succeed in his goals.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Beneath his helmet, his eyes have yellow irises, which appeared after he became a Sith. They're gone by the time of his death, having already performed a Heel–Face Turn and letting go of the Dark Side.
  • Super Strength: His cybernetic enhancements grant him this, even without using the Force. He is strong enough to casually lift adult men several feet into the air and choke them to death.
  • Supporting Protagonist: He has the central role in the series and is its most iconic character, but never has the leading role. In the prequels, he's The Lancer to Obi-Wan's Hero, and in the original trilogy, he is The Dragon to Palpatine's Big Bad.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: He sees himself as having become more powerful than Obi-Wan by embracing the Dark Side, saying to his old teacher that "Now [he is] the master" when the two encounter each other aboard the Death Star. He also believed himself to be more powerful than Palpatine, as stated to his wife on Mustafar. But a few limbs and lava roasting later, he is not able to surpass Sidious due to his injuries.
  • Talking to the Dead: Does this to Obi-Wan throughout the comics. Perhaps he suspects that Obi-Wan's consciousness endures in the Force, due to his experiences in The Clone Wars. Or perhaps he's just that unhinged.
  • Taught by Experience: Losing his three remaining organic limbs and sustaining third and fourth degree burns to his body apparently taught him restraint and caution when dueling in the Original Trilogy, where he uses Breaking Lectures, Psychic Powers, ambushes, and intimidation rather than the berserker tactics that lost him the duel on Mustafar. In particular, when Luke gains the high ground during the fight in Return of the Jedi, Vader throws his lightsaber to cut down the platform instead of jumping up to engage Luke in melee.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • Subverted. Although he and his Master refer to Anakin Skywalker in third person, the comics and novels that actually get into his head make it clear that Vader doesn't really think of his former self as a different individual. Indeed, the use of third person seems to be largely for Sidious' benefit, who sees clinging to the past as a weakness. This continuity of identity is also demonstrated in how he refers to Ahsoka as "my apprentice" in Rebels, refers to Obi-Wan as his former master in A New Hope, and clearly thinks of Luke as his own son. He does, however, try to avoid thinking of himself by his old name, because it makes him remember things he'd rather stay buried. In other words, he doesn't like thinking of or being called by his old name, but he doesn't think of Anakin Skywalker as a separate person.
    • Played straight in a dream sequence in the Darth Vader comic where Vader murders Anakin and Padmé, and declares "Anakin is dead. I killed him."
    • Also played straight when Vader confronts Ahsoka in an episode of Rebels:
      Vader: Anakin Skywalker was weak... I destroyed him.
    • He claims it in Return of the Jedi.
      Vader: So, you have accepted the truth.
      Luke: I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.
      Vader: That name no longer has any meaning to me.
    • In Thrawn: Alliances, Vader refuses to even think the name "Anakin Skywalker," only referring to his old identity as "The Jedi."
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When that sword is a lightsaber and you can control it telekinetically, it actually does.
  • Tin Tyrant: Vader is the most obvious example, if not the Trope Codifier: he was most likely inspired by the Witch-King of Angmar and Sauron, Doctor Doom, and armoured samurai from Japanese films, but he is the most famous example in popular culture. His armor also doubles as a life support system, stemming from injuries he sustained in an old battle with Obi-Wan.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several, in fact, including rising through the Jedi ranks in the prequel trilogy. By A New Hope, he's risen to be one of the principal figures in the Empire, but some of the other Imperial brass are still skeptical and derisive of him. But by The Empire Strikes Back; that's no longer the case; now he appears to have complete command of the Imperial fleet, answers to no one except the Emperor himself, and kills with impunity whenever one of his officers fails in his duty.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Over the course of his time as Vader, he grows more and more disillusioned with Palpatine and the Empire, going from an almost fanatic support of the Empire's ideals, to despising Palpatine and plotting to overthrow him. Given that he spent two decades seeing every injustice and atrocity the Empire had done upon innocents, including the one thing he hated more than anything - slavery, it's no wonder that he he doesn't really have any faith left in the Empire by the time he tries to turn Luke.
  • Torture Technician: His primary duty in A New Hope is to track down the Death Star plans, which makes the torture and interrogation of Leia his responsibility.
  • Tragic Hero:
    • The Prequel Trilogy (along with The Clone Wars) and the Original Trilogy as a whole are ultimately about the story of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side and how his redemption saved the galaxy.
    • The Force Awakens puts a twist on this. From Snoke and Kylo Ren's perspective, Vader, not Anakin, was a tragic hero whose Fatal Flaw was his compassion for his son, which got him killed.
      Snoke: The historians have it all wrong. It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did.
      Ren: Sentiment.
      Snoke: Yes... a momentary lapse, in an otherwise exemplary life. Had Lord Vader not succumbed to emotion at the crucial moment... had the father killed the son, the Empire would have prevailed.
  • Tragic Keepsake: He still has Padmé's old ship from when they first met, all the way back in The Phantom Menace.
  • Tragic Monster: Vader counts in a physical sense. He became a bad guy before that, but his massive injuries and horrific reconstruction made him a monster that could never be fully whole again.
  • Tragic Villain: Knows what he does is evil, and hates himself for it; he must obey his master. In George Lucas's own words, Vader is less a monster and more "a sad man who made a deal with the Devil... and lost."
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • This is Vader's default state. While he's usually stoic, rarely speaks unless necessary, and wears a helmet that covers his head which hides his face, people around him tend to believe he's cold and emotionless. In reality, he's perpetually seething with rage and is never not angry. It's very likely that this is the reason he has such a low tolerance for failure as being in a state of constant fury (and pain) doesn't help with patience.
    • In the short story Time of Death, Obi-Wan can feel Vader's rage through the Force when he confronts him:
      He appears so calm, so controlled, but I can feel his rage, seething like the perdition nebula beneath that heartless faceplate. His fury threatens to overwhelm him, just as it always did, but he keeps it in check. I can't help but be impressed.
    • A major aspect of Vader's scariness is that he is often quiet and no-nonsense when fighting other Jedi or executing officers. He never laughs, and rarely breaks out of his stoic tone. This is exemplified in Darth Vader #6, when he learns of Luke's identity as his son. He doesn't speak or lash out in rage or confusion in light of this news, but remains dead silent while his hand curls into a fist and the window before him acquires a spiderweb of cracks.
    • In Rebels, when he discovers that his old apprentice Ahsoka is alive (and vice versa), he seems quite calm, while Ahsoka is clearly traumatized by the revelation.
  • Trauma Button: Anything that strongly reminds Vader of his life before falling to the darkside and losing everything he cared about. If it's minor things like someone metioning his real name in conversation without being addressed directly, Vader is tense or shows irritation. Being directly confronted with his past sins and the reality of his situation being entirely his fault, will fill Vader with Unstoppable Rage like when Aphra trapped him in a Jedi confessional made of Kyberite where Jedi had spent centuries confessing their deepest sins and regreats which forced Vader to face all of his sins and guilt over the things he's done. The strongest is when he actively retraces his past steps as Anakin and revisits his past on his own terms like when he accompanied Sabe and her allies, people he knew and once fought alongside, who not only still hold Undying Loyalty to Padme, his late wife, but also to Anakin Skywalker. When Sabe, not realizing she's sitting right next to Anakin tells Vader that her inability to rescue Shmi Skywalker, Anakin's mother, as Padme ordered her to, and says that it was the greatest shame or her life, Vader grips his lightsaber so hard it starts to crack. When he hear his wife's last words that she still believed their was good in him, Vader fell into deep sorrow and grief.
  • Ultimate Evil: His mask symbolized not only his evil, but the notion that his face must be so horrifying that concealing it could not make it worse. This was intentionally subverted at the end of Return of the Jedi, which showed that the face behind the mask was that of a pale, tired old man — and that this unfathomably evil being was not as evil as once thought. It also showed that as bad as Vader is, his master is far, far worse.
  • The Undead: While he is not this trope, he certainly does invoke it between his skull-like mask, stoic demeanour, and overall Death of Personality. In-universe, some wonder if he's human at all.
  • Unseen No More: We finally see him unmasked at the end of Return of the Jedi.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If you can believe it, the Dark Lord of the Sith used to be an adorable little Tatooine slave that had dreams of seeing the Galaxy.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Part of Vader genuinely believes that The Empire is the best way to ensure peace and security for the whole galaxy, although by Return of the Jedi he doesn't seem to believe this anymore.
    "I have brought peace, freedom, justice and security to my new Empire!"
  • Vader Breath: The Trope Namer. Especially prominent in The Empire Strikes Back. In Revenge of the Sith, you get to see his first breath.
  • Villain Ball: Provoking Luke into an Unstoppable Rage when dueling him in Return of the Jedi. On the other hand, given his Death Seeker tendencies, it might have been Suicide by Cop.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Vader admonishes Admiral Motti for calling the first Death Star "the ultimate power in the universe", saying that the ability to destroy a planet doesn't compare to the power of the Force. Forces of nature — such as supernovas that can destroy more than one planet at the same time — have proven themselves to be more powerful than anything humanity can create, and the Force is another force of nature.
    • He orders Minister Tua killed for failing to catch the rebels on Lothal despite her claims that she's doing everything in her power to track them down. Seems harsh, but once properly motivated by the fear of death Tua is able to get in contact with the rebels within several hours, which proves she was ignoring valuable information sources like known rebel supporters and contacts.
  • Villainous BSoD: He's in one for the Original Trilogy, as shown by the unenergetic, almost catatonic way he goes about his duties. Contrast that with the fiery passion he had as Anakin for an idea of just how hard Padmé's death hit him. It takes watching his son being brutally tortured by Palpatine to finally snap him back to his senses.
  • Villainous Legacy: Somebody took the trouble to recover his scorched and melted mask from Endor in The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren also consciously models himself after Lord Vader and vows to "finish what [he] started", i.e. destroying the Jedi and/or imposing order upon the galaxy and installing the Skywalker bloodline to the role as leader of the Empire. He's also his grandson who, much like Vader himself, betrayed and murdered his fellow Jedi when lured to the Dark Side, and in the process betrayed his master and uncle, Luke.
  • Villainous Rescue: In Revenge of the Sith, he saves Palpatine from Mace Windu, marking his Face–Heel Turn. It's worth noting, however, that Anakin never intended to kill Mace — he just wanted to keep the Jedi from killing the Chancellor, regardless of whether or not he was a Sith Lord.
  • Villain Protagonist: According to George Lucas, the franchise is fundamentally about Anakin and his progression from innocence to a force of good, his fall to evil, and subsequent redemption. He's also the Villain Protagonist of his own eponymous canonical comic series.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: In Luke, after he learns that the boy is his son.
  • Vocal Evolution: In A New Hope, his voice is noticeably higher-pitched at points, particularly in his introductory scene. Later on, it became deeper and more threatening. This happens unintentionally in Rogue One, because James Earl Jones' own voice had changed with age, making Vader's tone a bit slower and deeper.
  • Walking Spoiler: Him being Luke's (and Leia's) father used to be a huge plot twist, before it became It Was His Sled.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Both due to his life-support system:
    • Electricity, (or anything that can disrupt the electrical systems in his armor) which is why he can't use Force Lightning, lest he risk destroying his own life support system. Logically enough, Palpatine mortally injures Vader from the stray bolts that hit him. In Jedi: Fallen Order, a simple shock from a support droid (which would be a mere annoyance to Stormtroopers) is enough to daze him for a second. While Vader has made alterations and upgrades as needed to his suit, his physical state is so damaged and reliant on his life support that anything which could unbalance the precarious relationship Vader has with his cybernetics is devastating to him regardless of how small the disruption may be. Sonic waves can also be a one hit KO to Vader depending on how powerful the waves are, as powerful vibrations can bypass the suit's protection and damage the sensitive circuitry.
    • Also, water, for the same reason. Still in Jedi: Fallen Order, his "boss fight" is ended when the heroes flood the section of the base they're in, forcing him to stop pursuing them.
  • Weapon of Choice: A red lightsaber.
  • We Can Rule Together: Suggests this to Luke during his Breaking Lecture in The Empire Strikes Back. Prior to that, he suggests this to Padmé in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His reasons for turning to the Dark Side involved trying to prevent Padmé's death. Once that backfires, he rationalizes his crimes as being necessary to bring order to the galaxy. To his mind, the Jedi betrayed their principles, the Republic was corrupt and inefficient, and he's still "fighting the good fight" that he started during the Clone Wars.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Vader suffered from this until the fight with the Rebellion began in earnest. He has no real rank within the Empire but as the Emperor's personal enforcer, he's above everyone else unless Palpatine says otherwise. However, his primary occupation was hunting Jedi who survived Order 66, a task that was finished after the Empire's first few years. Other than that, Palpatine sent him off on missions of political intimidation and assassination, something Vader considered beneath his skills and it became more and more infrequent as Imperial power grew. Tarkin once even accused him of being bitter at the first Death Star's creation, remarking that once it became the greatest weapon and threat of the Empire, Vader would have no real value left to the Empire.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Even when the main focus of Lucasfilm's marketing is an installment that doesn't involve Vader as a Sith Lord, such as the Prequel Trilogy's first two films and The Clone Wars, one can be absolutely sure to see zillions upon zillions of different products featuring Vader in the current merchandising line. Often, the characters in the Original Trilogy are included in the line, or the line itself becomes partly original trilogy-focused, for the sake of including Vader merchandise. His inclusion in Rogue One sent many fans into ecstasies. Ironically, The Force Awakens advertised Vader less than the Prequel Trilogy's first two films and The Clone Wars despite the fact that he has some presence as a Posthumous Character in the movie. This came back to bite fans in the ass upon the Thanksgiving Day TV spot for Jedi: Fallen Order, since his surprise cameo was spoiled by the commercial, ruining his presence for fans who hadn’t reached the end of the game yet.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He was revealed to be one in Return of the Jedi. Anakin's final transformation into Darth Vader is shown to be caused by losing everything and everyone he cares for, albeit due to his own actions.
  • The Worf Effect: Defied. Unlike his Legends counterpart who would be hit constantly with the Worf Barrage, Vader is presented as a nearly unstoppable force in combat and anyone unprepared to fight him is undoubtedly a death wish. Any defeats he suffers is usually only a Pyrrhic Victory at best, as they don't stop him, as much as they delay and escape him.
  • Worshipped for Great Deeds: Or terrible deeds, in this case. The tusken of Tatooine revere Vader as a Destroyer Deity because of that one time he slaughtered an entire tribe in a single night (as well as the subsequent times he did so to vent some frustration). In Tusken mythology, Vader is a dark figure wielding a staff forged from the twin suns, and they sacrifice their own to him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Even when hunting Jedi, the only people who really stand a chance against Vader, he only ever views them with contempt or disgust. None of them are really worthy to face him in his eyes and he merely views them as a nuisance to be eradicated. There are only a few exceptions.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Killed men, women, and children alike in Attack of the Clones in retaliation for his mother's death. He slew dozens of Jedi during Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, among them Shaak Ti and Bene. Vader later Force Chokes his own wife Padmé, causing her demise. Much later, he duels his former apprentice Ahsoka Tano with clear lethal intent.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Anakin wipes out a camp of Tusken Raiders (including women and children) in revenge for his mother's death in Attack of the Clones. Years later, in Revenge of the Sith, as Vader, he butchers a group of Jedi younglings during the assault on the Jedi temple, and even later threatens to forcefully extract information from Ezra Bridger. There's also this harrowing quote:
      Vader: [to an apparition of his past self] You were a child. I am well-accustomed to killing children.
    • Deconstructed in the 2020 comic, where it's all but said Vader was far less okay with killing the Younglings than he let on, and still is.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He initially plans to find, capture and convert Luke Skywalker to his side under the guise of hunting down the Rebels to prevent Emperor Palpatine from finding out his scheme to overthrow him. The Emperor finds out anyway in The Empire Strikes Back and thus orders Luke to be killed as soon as possible. So Vader quickly suggests to his master that Luke can be turned and "become a powerful ally," knowing that it would put his life at risk due to the Sith's Rule of Two. His persuasion works, and now it becomes a race between the Sith Lords as to who will get to Luke first, with Vader having the lead advantage.
  • You Are in Command Now: He promotes Captain Piett to Admiral just after Force-choking Admiral Ozzel, whose body hadn't even hit the floor yet, in the trope-naming scene.
  • You Are What You Hate: If young Anakin came face to face with his future self as Vader, it's very likely he would either try to kill Vader or kill himself so that Vader would never be. In The Clone Wars, Anakin turns to the Dark Side a year early after receiving a vision of his future as Darth Vader to prevent that from coming to pass. Ironically, this is the symbolic conflict within Vader, as Anakin genuinely despises what he's become and only continues on from a combination of I've Come Too Far and penance.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: In a tense argument with an Imperial officer named Pell Baylo, the man openly questions what Darth Vader even is and what his relation to the Emperor is. Vader's response is that he would simply do well to never find out.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • The Trope Namer. He says "You have failed me for the last time" while choking Admiral Ozzel and promoting Captain Piett to replace him before the body hits the floor. True to form, Piett survives a number of failures, once Vader realizes the heroes may actually count as a legitimate challenge. It helps that he didn't take any foolish chances like Ozzel was punished for (Ozzel was already condescending to Vader, second-guessing the Rebels being on Hoth, and then orders the fleet to come in close as a "surprise", which only tips the Rebels off that the Empire and Vader are there). Ozzel's death deserves special mention, as Vader is doing it over the intercom/viewscreen. He's not even in the same room as Ozzel.
    • He does it again to the hapless Captain Needa before the film's even halfway done, even when Needa had the foresight to apologize to Vader for losing track of the Millennium Falcon (there's a reason Vader says "Apology accepted, Captain Needa"). The turnover rate for Imperial officers must be appalling.
    • Subverted by the end of The Empire Strikes Back, when the Falcon escapes to lightspeed. Piett is visibly terrified as Vader strides toward him, only to brush right past, apparently too depressed about losing his son to kill any more underlings.
    • This carries into Rebels as an informed trait. When the Grand Inquisitor fails to capture Ezra and Kanan, he merely says "My master will not be pleased," in a tone that indicates he dreads reporting it. In the season finale, he willingly falls into a burning reactor rather than live to report his defeat by Kanan, believing that the latter would be a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Said word for word when he kills the Second Sister for her failure to defeat Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Gives them out and is threatened to be on the receiving end of it.
    • Vader prefers to extract every bit of useful information out of his enemies and rivals before permanently silencing them to tie up loose ends. The few times he doesn't ends up biting him in the ass, most prominently allowing Lando Calrissian to live enough for him to regret his deal and then betray the Empire by freeing Leia and Chewbacca from their bonds, who then in turn save Luke from Vader's grasp.
    • He is completely aware of the fact that Palpatine views him as an asset only as long as he is useful, and has no qualms about admitting as much to his face, as shown in the Darth Vader comic.
    Palpatine: My true apprentice would frustrate the copies. Eventually, driven by pride and desperation, Cylo would go too far... and then, when he was simply a traitor, we could purge him. Do you understand, Vader?
    Vader: I do. If any of Cylo's toys had succeeded, you would be making this speech to them.
    Palpatine: [Stunned Silence]
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • Vader is 45 years old when he dies, but due to his previous injuries, usage of the Dark Side and twenty-three years on a life support system without sun exposure, when the helmet comes off at the end he's a pale, scarred, exhausted old man.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Vader is 22 years old. This is very obvious before his scarring and transformation, but with his injuries and with his suit, he looks and sounds very similar to his middle-aged original trilogy self.

Servants and Allies



Species: Human

Portrayed by: Martin Gordon

Darth Vader's servant, tending to his master's castle on Mustafar.

  • Black Cloak: His Obviously Evil style of clothing, complete with a sinister hood.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: One of his specialities.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is quick with a quip, whether it be casually chatting with Hudd while torturing him or smarmily telling Rersey, a visiting Imperial dignitary, to shut up.
  • Evil Old Folks: He serves one of the greatest evils in the galaxy, and he looks quite old.
  • The Igor: His appearance and manner of talking to Vader fit this archetype.
  • Meaningful Name: His name, Vaneé, suggests that he originated from Naboo, which gives implications to how he came to be placed in service to Vader.
    • In Star Wars Adventures: Shadows of Vader's Castle, it is ultimately revealed that Vaneé was originally an Imperial inspector sent to investigate the insanity of stormtroopers stationed on Mustafar (due to their exposure to toxic gases), but Vader had intended to lure the inspector there so that he would succumb to the effects of the gases himself and become his new servant. At the end of his brainwashing ordeal, the inspector identifies himself as "Vaneé" when Vader asks him his name, but it is left unclear if this was his actual name from the beginning, if it was the name he personally chose after his prolonged descent into insanity, if it was the name Vader psychologically tortured him into accepting, etc.
  • The Story Teller: Likes to tell his victims who he tortures stories that contain elements and horror and madness in an effort to Break Them by Talking.
  • Torture Technician: One of his many jobs at Vader's castle. He spends several issues torturing captured Rebel operative Thom Hudd for information.
  • You Have Failed Me: He gets in big trouble with Vader after Lina Graf rescues Thom Hudd.

    Darth Vader's droid 

Darth Vader's droid

Species: Droid

Appearances: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

"As long as I serve you, I will do both — if I ask a question it is because I believe the answer will enhance my service."

A droid that assists Vader on his journey to find a new lightsaber crystal.

  • Extra Eyes: He resembles an Imperial probe droid
  • Evil Counterpart: To R2-D2.
  • Guy in Back: He comes with a new starship that Palpatine gives Vader.
  • Mr. Fixit: He repairs Vader's ship after Kirak Infil'a shoots it down.
  • No Name Given: Its name or model are never mentioned.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: As a droid, he often suggests the most straightforward and practical solutions, not understanding Vader's need for violence. For example, Vader decides to fight several clone troopers guarding confiscated Jedi inventory when the droid could easily transmit access codes and allow them to access the facility nonviolently

Former Servants

    Crew of the Ark Angel 

Dr. Aphra and Associates

For Dr. Aphra, Triple-Zero, BT-1, and Black Krrsantan, see their entry on the Dr. Aphra and Crew page.



Species: SP-4 ISC Droid

A forensics droid that accompanies Vader in his investigations into Padmé's death and the birth of her son.

  • Innocently Insensitive: Has a tendency to make comments that rub people the wrong way. According to him, he just states facts; the lessons people take away from those facts are entirely up to them.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: More like no spelling guide. He states his name as "Zed-Six-Seven." If he has an Inner Core (British) dialect, that would make his name Z-6-7; if not, it's ZED-6-7.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: When viewing a hologram of Padmé's last moments, he takes note of her mention of Obi Wan and says he must have been very important to her. Vader, who is very touchy on the subject of how Obi Wan "turned her against [him]," happens to be standing right next to the droid as he says this. For a fraction of a second at least, before ZED-6-7 isn't standing at all any more.
  • Super Senses: As a forensics droid, he has very advanced sensors that make him very good at tracking and spotting clues.


Video Example(s):


You Would Be Wise To Surrender

Darth Vader assures Cal Kestis that it'd be best to surrender. Given the "fight" against him, he isn't wrong.

How well does it match the trope?

4.85 (40 votes)

Example of:

Main / HopelessBossFight

Media sources: