Follow TV Tropes

Following

Darth Vader Clone

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gbz_2179.png
Comes with his own Imperial March and Cool Helmet; similarities only grow bigger as the game progresses. spoilers 

"Of course I'm serious. Why else would I be dressed like Darth Vader?"
Lelouch vi Britannia/Zero, Code Geass: The Abridged Series

The Darth Vader Clone is a character archetype inspired by the eponymous Star Wars character. Characters traits include:

Many characters of this type are found in Star Wars canon.

A Sister Trope to Char Clone.

Compare Obviously Evil, Tin Tyrant.

See also May the Farce Be with You.

A Sub-Trope of Fountain of Expies.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Star Wars 
The original Darth Vader from the Star Wars films is the Trope Namer, but several other characters in the franchise evoke the man himself in some way.

Feature Films

  • All three of Palpatine's Dragons in the prequels are "proto-Vaders," portraying one aspect of his character as a Call-Forward.
    • Darth Maul is Palpatine's Dragon in The Phantom Menace, a much more present and physical threat than Darth Sidious and his machinations. He acts as an enforcer of Palpatine's will, working with the Trade Federation but not beholden to them, which parallels Vader on the first Death Star. He doesn't even get more than a single line in the movie, to keep from distracting from his role as The Heavy. This is subverted after he returns in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as Character Development plus being abandoned by Palpatine forces him to forge a new identity. If anything, he becomes the evil Obi-Wan Kenobi with a bit of Sidious thrown in once he takes on an apprentice in the form of his younger brother Savage Opress, who does fulfill the Vader role.
    • Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus from Attack of the Clones is a powerful Jedi who fell from grace and is a much more public face than Darth Sidious. He is also known for a slow and powerful lightsaber style that mirrors Vader's.
    • Grievous from Revenge of the Sith is a tortured, half-mad cyborg who is ultimately undone by his reliance on his machines. He even has a breathing problem like Vader, though it is nowhere near as distinctive.
  • In The Force Awakens Kylo Ren is a Heavy that uses the Dark Side and wears black robes and a metallic black mask with a re-breather wielding a red lightsaber. Ren also holds a position of power in the First Order, as Vader did in the Empire. The kicker is though, that it is actually an In-Universe example: Ren is obsessed with Vader and consciously models himself on the man, to the point of retrieving his battered helmet and talking to it for guidance. The root of this becomes clear when you learn he's Han and Leia's son, and therefore Vader's grandson. Further analysis of Ren's character reveals that he's a deconstruction of the trope: the Darth Vader Clone is such a ubiquitous archetype, and Vader himself is such a famous and influential character, that the creators basically asked themselves what would happen if Vader's image had that sort of influence in the actual Star Wars universe — where he was a very real tyrant rather than an actor in a suit.

    The similarities are ramped up in The Last Jedi, where Ren has a new mask/helmet which more closely resembles Vader's (especially the back of it) even though he abandons it rather quickly and goes without for the rest of the film, but he also has a very Vader-like cape and in some scenes looks almost exactly like Vader except for his head because of it. He ditches it for practical reasons in battle, but of course Ren still has full mobility while Vader didn't. To top it all off, he's started using Vader's trademark Force-chokes as well. It's actually noted in-universe, with Snoke making fun of him for it and calling the mask ridiculous. His ascension from a bratty Vader wannabe to a serious power player is symbolized by his ditching the helmet.
  • Symbolizing the extent to which he has fallen into He Who Fights Monsters, the extremist Rebel leader Saw Gerrera has become a Vader Clone by the time of Rogue One. In the intervening years since his appearance in The Clone Wars, he's ended up with a largely cybernetic body and has a breathing problem which gives him a raspy voice and necessitates occasional use of an inhaler, resulting in Vader Breath.
  • Solo: Enfys Nest seems to be styled after Darth Vader himself, with dark, caped armor, an elaborate helmet and a design on the chest that evokes Vader's control panel. She's actually an altruistic freedom fighter who's allied against the Empire and oppressive criminal organizations.

Star Wars Legends

  • Star Wars: Legacy
    • Cade refuses to let his childhood love Azlyn die, even though she asks him to, accepting her fate and the will of the Force. When all other options fail, he gets her to people who put her in a Vader-esque life support armor. After waking up, she was really pissed at him. Fortunately for her, she managed to avoid slipping to the Dark Side and managed to get the scary black suit replaced with something much more elegant. One of the doctors was reluctant to put Azlyn in the armor out of fear of creating another Vader. Someone else pointed out that Vader turned evil before he was put in the suit.
    • Darth Krayt also has several Vader-esque qualities, most obviously his appearance (he's big and imposing, and his armor is dark, spiky and includes a face-concealing helmet) his backstory (fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord), the fact that he's suffering from a crippling physical condition which his armor helps abate, and his interest in turning the protagonist. However, he's the Big Bad, not The Dragon (and ironically, his Dragon, Darth Wyyrlok, is in many ways more like Palpatine than Vader).
  • Lumiya from Marvel Star Wars was trained by the man himself and is practically a Distaff Counterpart.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a lot of books taking place after Vader's death, and a number of villains who call back to him, even if they'd never met him.
    • Kueller of The New Rebellion is one of the most notable ones, though he also has callbacks to the Emperor. There's even a point where Luke, fighting him, decides to have an Obi-Wan Moment and let himself get killed so he can guide his sister — but his sister interrupts by just shooting Kueller.
    • In the New Jedi Order, Nom Anor knows about Vader's reputation and deliberately invokes this trope in his dress and mannerisms when confronting Leia in the first book. Subverted in that as we get to know him better it becomes obvious that, apart from both being villains, he's not really much like Vader at all.
    • Galaxy of Fear has a literal clone of Vader, dressed in what's described as a cheap knockoff of Vader's armor. He's more petulant and unskilled than the real thing, too.
    • Jacen Solo in Legacy of the Force is constantly compared to Vader, for several reasons: the obvious one (he's Vader's grandson); he deliberately adopts several of Vader's practices once he assumes command of the Galactic Alliance Guard (which has many similarities itself to the 501st Stormtrooper Legion, aka Vader's Fist), such as fighting on the front lines; he dresses almost exactly like him, in black armor, later with a black cape, more than one person notes "all he needs is a black helmet" and he'd be the spitting image of Anakin Skywalker; and finally their personalities, philosophies, driving motivations and so on are identical in almost every aspect. Later on, he also adopts Vader's "signature "force choke the failure/source of my displeasure" attitude, culminating in him accidentally killing a subordinate in anger. It really doesn't help that his character arc in the novels was meant to mirror his grandfather's.
  • A non-canon example is in The Force Unleashed's dark side ending, which has Galen Marek in a similar situation to Darth Vader by being made a cyborg.
  • Darth Malgus in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Also, most Sith Warrior PCs can give it a decent go, especially with some of the late game helmets like this. Indeed, it's quite common for Sith Lords to wear dark robes, armor, and full masks/helmets.
  • Both Darth Revan and Darth Malak in Knights of the Old Republic possess different aspects of Vader. Revan has the dark armor/robes and face concealing mask, while Malak is a cyborg with a deep metallic voice (but wears red instead of black). Both are fallen heroes, and are later revealed to have strong connections to the player character: the player character is actually a brainwashed Revan, and Malak was his/her apprentice.
    • In the sequel, this trope is deconstructed with Darth Nihilus. With his dark robes and face-concealing mask, he looks like he could be a Vader Clone but he's actually just an empty shell, with no personality and very little back-story that we know of.
  • The bosses of the 1987 Star Wars Licensed Game for the Famicom are a long line of Darth Vader knockoffs, such as Scorpion Vader and Wampa Vader, who drop their masks and cloaks soon into the Boss Battle. The actual Darth Vader is defeated before the assault on the Death Star.

Non-Film Star Wars Canon

  • Savage Opress, Darth Maul's younger brother, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars fits all the criteria. A once noble warrior who is corrupted and twisted physically and mentally, but who willingly submits to the corruption to protect a loved one, only to kill said loved one due to their being twisted by the dark side, losing an arm to Obi-Wan Kenobi, and subsequently serving as The Dragon to a powerful Sith Lord (in this case, as mentioned above, Maul himself). Their appearances and demeanors are even quite similar: powerfully built, extremely strong, dressed in black armor, typically stoic, yet short-tempered, and having a deep, intimidating voice. Finally, much like Vader, Savage reverts to his pre-dark side self as he is dying.
  • The Inquisitors of Star Wars Rebels were trained by Vader himself and answer directly to him, and their master's influence is clear simply from a glance.

    Advertising 
  • One advertising campaign for E. Wedel's chocolate features an obvious Darth Vader expy coming to Earth for (what else?) E. Wedel's chocolate, taking along a Robot Buddy in vein of R2-D2.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Alma Jinnai from Jewelpet Twinkle. Not only she is among rare female example of this trope, she has both Prequel-Trilogy and Original-Trilogy aspects of Anakin/Vader. She was born as the greatest magic user, with magic potential never seen before in Jewelland. Losing her mother at early age, and separation from her twin brother, Yuuma thereafter leads to her embracing the "Dark Side". Like Prequel Anakin, she is impulsive, always insisting that she can do everything herself, and narrow-minded in her attempt to revive her mother. For a good chunk of the series, she hides behind the "mask" of her brother lookalike face, dressed in all-black outfit, and speak in rather intimidating tone. Her appearances are almost always make the situation more tense than usual. To make similiarities more apparent, despite of her extreme magical power, she's still nothing more than pawn of greater evil.
  • Char Aznable and his many clones from the Gundam franchise. Yes, a Fountain of Expies squared. The biggest though is Iron Mask Carozzo from Mobile Suit Gundam F91, which makes sense given the number of Star Wars references in that film.
  • Gendo Ikari of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The tallest human in the show, dresses in all black, is an Archnemesis Dad to the protagonist, has a deep (natural) voice, and is a tactical genius and a Dragon with an Agenda who plans to take over from the true Big Bad. He's retroactively even more of one thanks to the Star Wars prequels, because he became evil due to a tragic accident involving his wife in his younger years.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Doom, designed by Jack Kirby, may appear to be this, but predates Vader by over a decade, and in fact Vader was partly based on him. Darkseid, created by Kirby for his New Gods book, also preceded Vader and had both thematic and visual similarities in common with him. Ironically this is the first reverse of the role with Darkseid as Big Bad and not The Dragon while Desaad has more in common with Palpatine but is The Dragon and not the Big Bad just like the Darth Krayt and Darth Wyyrlok example below.
  • Bucky Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier is a fairly textbook example prior to his Heel–Face Turn, particularly in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where his Domino Mask is swapped out for a pair of opaque goggles and a cyclist's mask that covers the lower half of his face. He's a ridiculously dangerous cyborg and widely feared (for excellent reason), he's The Heavy for a less physically imposing villain, and he's got a close personal connection with the hero. Thereafter, he's still got all the skills and danger factor - when he's temporarily reverted to his Winter Soldier self, it takes both Hawkeye and Wolverine to bring him in, with Wolverine noting that he'd forgotten "how good he [Barnes] was when he was bad."
  • Micronauts' own Baron Karza, in both the toy and the comic.
  • And Baron Sunder from Marvel's Air Raiders. The rebel protagonist even turned out to be his son. Licensed series based on toylines from the 80s seem to owe a lot to Vader.
  • There's also Dirk Raider from Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!. He has his own stormtroopers and a giant sphere, the Death Moon (that's no moon). Not only is he similar in appearance to Darth Vader (although his helmet is more similar to Boba Fett), he even has a similar backstory to Vader's Start of Darkness in Revenge of the Sith. A notable difference, however, is that Dirk Raider's more of a Card-Carrying Villain instead of a complex character.
  • The Enlighteneds from Valérian album, The Empire of a Thousand Planets are another example that actually predates Star Wars and may have played a part in inspiring it. They are a mysterious sect of seers who hide behind ominous metallic masks and their leader has a dramatic unmasking scene where he reveals himself to be a human being scarred and deformed by cosmic radiation.
  • Emplate, the main villain of the Generation X series, comes complete with a cape and a respirator that alters his voice to intimidating levels. Along with being tall, dark and scary, he brings this trope home once it is revealed that he is the older sibling to some of the titular team's members.
  • Even though Aquaman's arch-nemesis Black Manta predates Darth Vader by a decade, he shared some superficial characteristics with him such as wearing black armor. It wasn't until recent years that he would emulate Vader more closely by having antagonizing his heroic son Aqualad thanks to influence from Young Justice.
  • Crimson: While he doesn't look the part, the vampire lord/corrupt politician Victor Van Fleet fits every other aspect of this archetype: he dresses in black when not wearing his suit, uses dark magic along with being a physical fighter due to being a vampire, works with the Big Bad (he doesn't consider himself The Dragon though, more like an equal partner), displays sympathetic and noble qualities like being a Benevolent Boss and its ultimately revealed that he was the Hero's Evil Predecessor, a vampire savior trained by Ekimus to destroy Lisseth until he turned evil and joined her. And during the final battle, he switches sides once agan and helps the heroes defeat her.

    Fan Works 
  • The eponymous Villain Protagonist in The Rise of Darth Vulcan specifically designed his costume as "Darth Vader cranked up to eleven".
  • Child of the Storm:
    • It has the canonical example of the Winter Soldier, with both the danger factor and the comparisons dialled Up to Eleven.
    • The sequel, Ghosts of the Past, has the Red Son, who was explicitly designed to be the successor to the Winter Soldier, and therefore hits many of the same beats.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Margaret Weis is a huge fan of the Vader character, so it's no surprise she borrowed his general aesthetic for several of the Dragon Highlords from the Dragonlance Chronicles, which she co-wrote. The closest to Vader in terms of both appearance and character, though, is not a Highlord at all, but rather the undead knight Lord Soth. The direction of Raistlin's story arc also paralells Vader's in some ways, though the two characters aren't very alike in terms of personality, appearance, or abilities. Weis also borrowed heavily from Star Wars for The Star of the Guardians, in which Derek Sagan has a cape, a really deep voice, betrayed his order and his loved ones due to pride, overthrew the old authority, and you can probably fill in most of the rest of his character arc just from the name of this page.
  • The Red Haired assassin in The 15 Keys has a very Darth Vader feel about her, even wearing the right armour for the job. The 15 Keys author is a huge fan of Star Wars, with Darth Vader as his favourite character and so wanted to make one of the Darth Vader clones. Another character who fits this description in The 15 Keys is Toby, but he is not villainous.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire doesn't really have Dark Lords anywhere in the story, but Lady Stoneheart in addition to being a female example of this trope, ticks more than a few boxes. She was formerly Catelyn Stark, a wise and compassionate woman who in response to grief over losing her family and children becomes a cold and vengeful being. She wears black and since her throat was cut, speaks with a vocal distortion, wears a hood and is regarded by the few who see and recognize her as a Fallen Hero who strayed from her earlier self.
  • The Horned King in The Book of Three — though he precedes Vader.
  • Glen Cook tells a story about when he was trying to sell the first Black Company book early in the late 1970s. Publishers did not want it. Along with the manuscript, he had some character paintings a friend of his had prepared, although Cook did not use them in his proposals. One pictured Soulcatcher dressed in black leather and a mask and morion. At a SF convention, an editor happened to see that particular illustration and thought "Darth Vader!" He bought the book based solely on the picture and offered a contract to Cook's painter friend to paint book covers. Other than this superficial resemblance (and the common trope of both being Dragons who plot against their Big Bad), the character of Soulcatcher has no resemblance to DV.
  • Nefrai-keshnote , leader and most powerful of the sullanciri from The Dragon Crown War series is a definite example, fitting almost all of the criteria. He's the Big Bad's Dragon, a Fallen Hero, related to The Hero (grandfather rather than father, though), a Magic Knight (always a powerful warrior, and acquired powerful magic after becoming a sullanciri), wears a cloak and a succession of creepy masks (actually a sign of prestige in his homeland; his non-villainous countrymen wear them too, though Nefrai-kesh's tend to be especially sinister) and has something of a Noble Demon streak, with the implication that he was deliberately holding back so as to sabotage the Big Bad's forces without her knowledge. He also has something of a "Vader and Obi-wan" relationship with the supporting character and mentor Tarrant Hawkins/Crow, with the twist that he was Crow's Big Brother Mentor, rather than the other way around, before his Heel–Face Turn. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the series' author, Michael Stackpole, has written many works for Star Wars.
  • Harry Potter: The Dragon ( or so it seems) to a Black Cloak-wearing, pale-skinned Evil Sorcerer. Wears a Black Cloak and wields Black Magic himself, his Signature Move being a spell that slashes like a sword. Has a deep, commanding voice. Frequently antagonizes The Hero. Gives a Curb-Stomp Battle to The Hero before revealing some shocking information; he's the Half Blood Prince. His corruption tragically caused the death of the woman he loved since childhood, who was The Hero's mother. Later kills The Hero's (and his own) mentor. Severus Snape does not need Vader Breath to qualify. Although he turns out to be a subversion, working for the good side in secret.
  • The Forgotten Realms novel Thornhold gives us Dag Zoreth. Lack of helmet aside, he's a dark priest of the god Cyric, bent on reclaiming his family's legacy. He comes from a family of paladins, was separated from this family at a young age along with his sister Bronwyn, said sister is the main protagonist, and he ends up killing his own father shortly after Bronwyn meets their father for the first time. He's also The Dragon to a more senior cleric of Cyric, who is manipulating both him and his sister in order to seize their family legacy for himself. And finally it turns out that, despite being nasty, he does have a soft spot in the form of his own daughter, a half-elven girl who Bronwyn adopts and that he will do anything to protect, even if it means letting Bronwyn win out over him (which he does).
  • The Supervillainy Saga has an interesting variant in its lead; Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless the Supervillain without Mercy is an Anakin Skywalker Clone. In-universe, the two are frequently compared since Gary is an angry and vindictive wizard with an obsessive attachment to his loved ones as well as inability to let them go. It's lampshaded in-universe with the Star Wars-obsessed Gary resenting the idea he has any similarities to a character from the Prequels.
  • Shrike from the Mortal Engines series has several similarities to Vader. First of all, he's a Cyborg... specifically, a Stalker, a human corpse resurrected by technology, heavily armoured and built for combat. He's initially presented as a ruthless killing machine in the employ of the villains, but late in the series he undergoes enough Character Development to undergo a Heel–Face Turn of sorts. Also, he has a complicated father/daughter relationship with Hester Shaw, one of the protagonists; he adopted her after the death of her mother, and wants to resurrect her as a Stalker like himself when she dies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Super Sentai / Power Rangers:
    • Tetsumenpi Chouryou/Iron Face Xiang Lao from Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Fallen Hero and father of Ryou, the series' Red Ranger. He is by far the most blatant. His boss amongst the villains is a ripoff of the Emperor when in human guise, he dies saving his son from said boss's Electric Torture, and the spirits of his friends appear to forgive him when he passes. Curiously, this series also has a Suspiciously Similar Song based on...the Imperial March, which is associated with Vader. However, Chouryou is only around for 9 episodes in the beginning and the song is still used for the villains for the remainder of the series.
    • Hakumenrou from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger appears to be one in his first few appearances, as he fits the mold of mysterious armored, masked warrior with a familial bond to one of the heroes (in this case being the father of the white ranger) pretty well. Ultimately, he subverts this trope, by actually being a Fake Defector all along.
    • Astronema, the Big Bad from Power Rangers in Space can be seen as a rare female version of this trope. She is a black armored villainess with a Magic Knight skill set. She also turns out to be Karone, the long lost sister of the Red Ranger Andros and redeems herself after discovering this. The only things that prevent her from being this trope fully are a lack of a helmet/mask and deep voice.
    • Black Knight Bullblack from Seijuu Sentai Gingaman also has many of the traits of the checklist on top of this page. He wears a suit of dark armor, a Badass Cape, speaks in a deep voice and is somewhat of a revenge-filled Fallen Hero. The only big difference is that Bullblack isn't a villain, but rather an Anti-Hero whose desire for revenge clouds his judgment. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy adapted this character into the Magna Defender without any real changes.
    • Zeltrax from Power Rangers Dino Thunder. He is a black armored cyborg, speaks with a deep voice, is revealed to be a human who wears said armor as a form of life support, whose real identity is an old friend of Tommy Oliver. His inspiration in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger averts this trope, as it is a cursed suit of black armor worn by multiple characters.
    • Wolzard from Mahou Sentai Magiranger. Heavily-armored, deep-voiced, sword-wielding black-magician dragon to the Eldritch Abomination N.Ma — and secretly the team's brainwashed missing father. His Mystic Force counterpart Koragg also counts, although he's only the Red Ranger's dad.
  • Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (1978) looked like Darth Vader got himself chrome-plated, enough so that there was a lawsuit over the matter.
  • Scorpius from Farscape is a super-strong, deep (natural) voiced high-ranking enforcer for The Empire who wears a black outfit with life support functions.
  • The Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files is The Dragon to the higher ranking members of the conspiracy, is in ill health, wears dark clothing, and is trying to bring Mulder over to his side. He also claims to be Mulder's father.
  • The Muppet Show had Dearth Nadir, who was Gonzo wearing dark armor and a mask that doesn't disguise his Gag Nose. Rather than the real Vader's legitimately scary and dangerous techniques, Nadir's torture tactic of choice is the musical stylings of a purple gargling Scotsman - which is treated as if it's just as horrifying.
  • Khan Digifer from Denkou Choujin Gridman (known as Kilokahn in the American adaptation, Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.) Black-clad, check. Cool cape, check. Deep baritone with little but just enough emotion, check. A terrifying opponent when he breaks out a sword, VERY much check. The mask is debatable; as a toku villain it’s his actual face, but it’s metallic-looking and motionless (except for the red LE Ds that light up when he speaks) and carries the same vibe as any actually-masked character.
  • An episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda ('The Dark Backward') featured a completely unexplained villain who was basically this, down to the armor. The episode was considered so badly and lazily written by fans that they took to calling him 'Dark Invader' or 'Darth Backwards', after the episode's title.
  • Arrowverse:
  • Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane becomes this in Game of Thrones after his resurrection. Already an impossibly tall, muscular and horrifying Black Knight, he almost permanently wears his dark armor and cape with full dark helmet (which is superficially the same shape as Vader's), serves as The Dragon to evil ruler Cersei, and has Vader Breath.
  • Sense8: The Series Finale reveals the chairman of BPO to be one — a high-ranking villain who was horribly burned as a result of a betrayal in the past, and now wears a black biomask and uses a voice changer to hide his identity.

    Video Games 
  • Sepulchure from AdventureQuest Worlds and DragonFable. He wears armor and a helm that covers his face, wields a sword, has a Badass Cape, is a Fallen Hero who was once the greatest knight. Especially the case in AQW, where he serves as an Archnemesis Dad to his daughter Gravelyn during "Adventure Quest Worlds Zombies", and ends up sacrificing himself to save his daughter's life from a greater evil.
  • Hakumen from BlazBlue is an eastern styled version of this trope. He wears large, samurai-styled armor, although its color scheme is mainly white instead of black. Uses a BFS that's clearly too large to fit in his sheathe. Speaks in both Badass Baritone and Guttural Growler, and his idle stance during gameplay is the classic Vader Breath. He opposes the main character and has a significant relationship to him being the Alternate Self of his younger brother. Although he is not The Dragon, in fact Hakumen is one of the legendary figures within the series that saved the world about a century before the first game, and is actively opposing the villains in the present. The reasons for his antagonism are...complicated.
  • Death's Hand in Jade Empire takes this trope back to the East Asian armor Darth Vader's mask was based off of.
  • Grahf THE SEEKER OF POWER of Xenogears was specifically designed to resemble Darth Vader, and is revealed to be Fei's father taken over by Fei's past self. His theme is also an impressive march.
  • There's no shortage of these characters in Final Fantasy:
    • Leon from Final Fantasy II. High enforcer of the Empire and second in command to the Big Bad Emperor, has former ties to the Main Protagonists by familial relations (although in Leon's case, the term "familial" is used loosely, as the main protagonist was adopted by Leon and his sister Maria's parents), wears dark armor, and eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn with implied guilt towards his atrocities beforehand to take down the Emperor.
    • Golbez from Final Fantasy IV, the Trope Image, is a more fantasy-themed version, complete with a Cecil I Am Your Brother moment. He wears black armor, is a Badass Baritone when he's voiced, he pops up multiple times during the saga, a wise old sage confronts him mano-a-mano in a hi-tech stronghold, he loses his gloved hand at one point (or, more accurately, his hand skitters across the floor and steals a crystal even after you beat him), he runs the show in Castle Baron in a manner not unlike Cloud City, has a rather ominous and rather badass theme whenever he is nearby, used to be good but was corrupted and brainwashed by Zemus, and once he comes to his senses he helps the heroes destroy him. In the English versions of the DS remake of the game as well as Dissidia, his English voice actors even voiced him in a similar manner to Vader.
      • As two more Shout Outs, in Dissidia: Final Fantasy he has an attack called "Cosmic Ray", which fires blasts of electricity from his hands in a manner heavily resembling Force Lightning (ironically, the original Darth Vader could not learn this attack because of cybernetics and in fact was killed by it), and he calls the CPU boss from IV to fire lasers, the CPU greatly resembling the Death Star as a large black metal Attack Drone.
      • Cecil, the Player Character, begins the game as one. The faceless, black-armored dark knight who serves as The Dragon to the power-hungry king of Baron. The game kicks off with his Heel Realization as he begins to seek redemption.
    • Seifer fills this role in Final Fantasy VIII, released the same year as The Phantom Menace. Not coincidentally, this game is more interested in exploring Seifer's seduction by the Dark Side and downfall. Seifer is an over-ambitious and cocky ace, while his rival Squall is a silent, strict follower of duty. Both are skilled in using their bladed weapons, but Seifer's temper often leaves him losing to Squall. (Note that their duel in the prologue echoes what eventually happened to Anakin in Attack of the Clones/Revenge of the Sith, with Seifer walking away with a scarred face.) Under the command of Sorceress Edea, he defects to the militaristic nation of Galbadia and becomes their champion, hunting down his fellow SeeDs.
    • Gabranth in Final Fantasy XII is The Dragon to The Emperor, Vayne, is revealed to be Basch's Evil Twin and is a Fallen Hero who is pretty much single-handedly responsible for the fall of Dalmasca and the Empire's reign in the region. Clad in dark silver armor with a black cape and having a metallic echo to his voice due to his helmet, Gabranth is actually a broken man who feels he has nothing to live for except his servitude to Vayne, his home and family having been taken from him or given up. By the end of the game he helps the heroes defeat Vayne, but is mortally wounded for his heroism and dies soon after.
    • Gaius van Baelsar from Final Fantasy XIV is unsurprisingly a Black Knight Tin Tyrant with a Gas Mask, Longcoat who was the Parental Substitute for Cid Garlond. He even plays The Dragon for The Emperor a wicked old man.
    • General Glauca in the Final Fantasy XV universe. Clad in a very advanced suit of Instant Armor which looks incredibly alien and puts most of the setting's technology to shame, he is The Heavy for the Empire of Niflheim, serving as the supreme commander of their armed forces. He does not appear in the game, but in the Kingsglaive film, he is the one who murders King Regis and Councilor Clarus, who are the fathers of the game's main characters Noctis and Gladio. His true identity is actually Captain Titus Drautos, the commander of the Kingsglaive, and he was also The Mentor to the movie's main character Nyx Ulric, who he duels to the death in the ending.
  • King K. Rool behaves this way in Donkey Kong 64. He speaks like the Vader and has Vader Breath. He also has a ship with a huge gun (the Blast-O-Matic, not the Death Star), and he threatens his minions (with Klaptraps, not the Force choke).
  • Meta Knight from the Kirby series, particularly in his more antagonistic roles. He has the Cool Mask, Cool Sword, Badass Cape, Badass Baritone (especially in Super Smash Bros.), Cool Ship (the Halberd), and sometimes serves as The Dragon or a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • The Darkshine Knight from Seiken Densetsu 3 wears bulky dark armor, is a formidable swordsman and is second in command to the Big Bad. Later he is revealed to be working for the Dragon Emperor, which actually makes him third in command. Oh, and he's also Duran's (one of the protagonists) father
  • In the arcade game Xaind Sleena (also known as Solar Warrior and Soldier of Light), one finds on the top of a temple located in the planet (named Cleedos Soa/Jupiter note  respectively) a flying dark head that looks suspiciously similar to Darth Vader's helmet and that must be destroyed in order to follow on the level. If one skips the planet, it will appear in spacenote  chasing your ship from behind. Worse, it cannot be killed since your ship just fires to the front, so you must just dodge its bullets until it retires.
  • Xemnas from the Kingdom Hearts series in terms of appearance and backstory. He wears a black cloak, has a deep voice, wields "ethereal blades" that resemble red lightsabers, occasionally shoots lightning and no longer responds to his old name. The parallels run even deeper when you connect him to Birth By Sleep. Terra is an Anakin Skywalker clone, following Anakin's fall to darkness in Episode 3 pretty much step for step, diverging from Anakin when Master Xehanort reveals his true colors, fighting him instead of joining him. However it's too late, his heart is consumed in darkess and Master Xehanort bodyjacks him, creating a younger Xehanort. Xehanort battles Terra's friend Aqua, but when defeated he resorts to sealing his own heart to prevent Terra from Fighting from the Inside. This seals his memories, and eventually the reborn Xehanort is split into Ansem and Xemnas, bringing the Darth Vader parallels full circle with Xemnas.
  • Epsilon from Mega Man X: Command Mission is a physically imposing antagonist with a black cape, spiky armor and deep voice.
  • The Gamecube game Custom Robo has Sergei, who not only possessed a baritone voice (well, it's implied due to the eight-bit speech sounds being deep), a face mask obscuring all but his right eye, being a high-executive to the Z-Syndicate, and The Dragon to Oboru, but is also the older brother of Marcei. Likewise, he also pulls a Heel–Face Turn late into the game.
  • The Magic Emperor Ghaleon in Lunar: The Silver Star, being a Fallen Hero on a Knight Templar quest to return the world to divine rule, and clad in black armor and robes with an enclosing helmet that makes his voice sound much deeper than it does otherwise.
  • Von Bolt from Advance Wars Dual Strike was a man clad in black who is on life support, although his overall personality traits are closer to Voldemort or Palpatine. Nintendo Power even lampshaded this by stating that his need for a life-support suit reminds some players of a certain Skywalker. Sturm from the first two games, meanwhile, is Darth Vader with a different colour scheme and a Commissar Cap.
  • The Masked Man in MOTHER 3. Dressed mainly in black, wears a Cool Mask, is a cyborg, he has his own Laser Blade, and he's The Dragon to King P. And is revealed to be Lucas's brother, Claus. Ironically, his outfit/helmet more resembles a Rebel pilot uniform. This is taken further with the similarities that King P has with Emperor Palpatine.
  • The Black Knight from the Fire Emblem Tellius duology, complete with being a former student of Ike's father/mentor and the one who kills said father/mentor and having an ominous march theme.
  • The Sorcerer Validar from Fire Emblem Awakening. While he may not use a sword, he uses dark magic, has a Badass Cape (as is common in Fire Emblem games), and of course the obligatory black/purple color scheme. Most of all, he is in fact the father of Robin/The Avatar, the Player Character and Deutragonist, and serves as The Dragon to the fell dragon Grima. Not to mention his namenote . This has not gone unnoticed by the fans.
  • Colonel Mael Radec in Killzone 2 is The Dragon and has a distinctive metallic-sounding voice (due to his mask) as well as a formal, stoic demeanor and a sense of honor. Though his black armor is standard-issue, it comes with a lot of decoration to denote his rank. On another note, despite the life-support qualities associated with the Helghast Empire's uniform it has since become Stylish Protection Gear, as they no longer need it to survive and wear it as a symbol of pride.
  • Bilstein from Star Gladiator, with his dark armor, long coat and plasma blade. Appropriate considering the entire game is an homage to Star Wars with many of its characters mirroring the film's cast.
  • The rabbit Marquis de Hoto from The Night of the Rabbit has become one at some point after the Face–Heel Turn.
  • Solidus Snake from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. He arrives on scene wearing a long dark cloak, underneath which is a suit of darkly colored Powered Armor, which includes a partial face-shield. He is later revealed to be a former henchman for The Patriots, the brother of Solid Snake and the adopted "father" of Raiden. Later, he reveals his intentions to break away from the more-evil Patriots, commands a super weapon with city-destroying weaponry and "father" and "son" have a final sword duel on top of Federal Hall.
  • The Warcraft franchise has some contenders.
    • Arthas's character arc in Warcraft III shapes him as a similar figure to Anakin Skywalker as he was in the prequel trilogy. He starts out as the most promising young member of a holy Magic Knight order, whose mentor always warns him against becoming as vile as those he fights against. As he clashes with the forces of darkness, his apparent enemy, the dreadlord Mal'Ganis starts baiting him into giving into his rage and thirst for vengeance. Arthas loses his morals entirely when he sees slaughtering innocents as the only way to achieve his otherwise noble goals. Even as he defeats Mal'Ganis, he is urged by the Lich King to violently kill him. It turns out that Arthas' corruption at the hands of the evil mastermind was from the beginning a plot to get rid of his adversary and gain Arthas as a disciple. In the end, Arthas, originally with the intent of saving his kingdom, ends up destroying it in the service of the Lich King and becoming his chief enforcer. He also has a moment of confronting his old mentor and killing him, and later slaughters the entire order.
    • World of Warcraft deals with the transformation into the Lich King proper, resulting into a more classical take on the trope in terms of appearance. When he dons the helmet at the end of The Frozen Throne, Arthas completes the process of detaching from his former self and assuming command as a supreme leader of the Scourge. Until his death, he always is present as an armored caped warrior with a face-concealing helmet and an unnaturally reverberating voice, who wields a sword in concert with Black Magic. Later he dies in the presence of a loved one, revealing that some of his original self remained. Unlike Vader, however, Arthas does not get redeemed.
  • StarCraft:
    • According to Blizzard, the character of Zeratul was created with a Darth Vader Expy in mind, down to giving him dark-based powers and a lightsaber... except they made him a good guy instead of a villain. Ironically, in Starcraft II Zeratul acts as The Mentor to the main characters of all three campaigns down to disappearing after his death.
    • Legacy of the Void introduces another Vader expy with Alarak. Who has black armor, red psy-blades, and sallow pasty skin. And unlike Zeratul he's the Token Evil Teammate and he makes it clear repeatedly that he's only working with you as a means to further his revenge against the Big Bad. Artanis even remarks "This bargain grows less appealing by the moment" after speaking to him once.
  • Sludge Vohaul from Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge is hooked up to life-support machines, has a Vader-style breathing mask sans helmet, a leitmotif similar to the Imperial March, and his name starts with V.
  • Ulysses in Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road wears a dark cloak and respirator, speaks in a deep Guttural Growler voice, and is a potential Anti-Villain.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The Pokémon Zekrom resembles a dragon version of Darth Vader, is themed around the color black, and uses blue lightning to attack,note  but the similarities end there. It's more of a True Neutral or heroic figure, and while it does serve as The Dragon (literally, even) in Pokémon Black, it has more of a Cain and Abel-type backstory. Ironically, Ghetsis Harmonia, the main villain of its debut games, is a deep-voiced Evil Cripple Archnemesis Dad (like Vader) who is old, frail, wears long robes, serves as The Chessmaster, and engineered The Heavy's childhood to suit his agenda (like Palpatine).
  • Ninja Gaiden Black/Sigma has Doku, a deep-voiced flaming specter clad in a suit of black samurai armor who is The Dragon to the Vigoorian Emperor. There's also the Dark Disciple, who wears a face-concealing black uniform and talks in a Vader-esque voice, and who reveals himself as Ryu's uncle Murai in the final chapter.
  • Sarevok in Baldur's Gate is a huge, imposing man in spiky armour with a horned helmet that covers everything except his eyes, speaks in a dark evil voice (he is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), fights with a sword, is technically The Dragon to his father Rieltar until he betrays him, and is the main character's brother.
  • Dark Star from No More Heroes, which isn't odd considering he is intended as a parody. He even claims to be Travis's father, though this is a lie, wears a black helmet and cape, and uses an energy sword. He's also The Unfought as he is quickly dispatched by Jean.
  • Saren Arterius from Mass Effect is a rogue member of an elite military order dedicated to safeguarding the galaxy, has got a truckload of cybernetic enhancements and an eerie deep voice, uses "biotics" (essentially Force powers explained with technobabble) in combat, commands an army of faceless mooks and The Reveal shows that he's actually a Fallen Hero corrupted by a malevolent force beyond his understanding, and that he's The Dragon to the true Big Bad, Sovereign. Considering the Mass Effect series' overabundance of Shout Outs to famous sci-fi works, it's unlikely that the similarities are coincidental.
  • Vince from Metal Gear Acid 2 is a physically imposing man who wears a unique black mask, cloak, and Pickelhaube helmet. He is also the Big Bad Wannabe's main enforcer, commands a significant number of soldiers, and has a sense of honor. After being defeated by the heroes, he betrays his master for doing something he didn't approve of and dies shortly thereafter.
  • King Leoric in Heroes of the Storm is not an example (he's a giant skeleton) but his "Space Lord" skin is, as well as a reference to Power Rangers and Sailor Moon villains. He's a giant with a scary black armor and a cape, his weapon (a mace instead of a sword) glows red, his helmet looks like a sci-fi kabuto, and if you look closely you'll see he has pale blue skin and robotic arms. He's the most fearsome warrior of the Eternal Empire, for whom he has conquered many worlds, though he sees himself as the only one who can defend peace and order in the galaxy against rebels and the Star Princess. He answers to Star Lich Kel'Thuzad, who is himself an Emperor Palpatine clone.
  • Reaper a.k.a Gabriel Reyes from Overwatch used to belong to the well-respected titular organization. However, he eventually turned against his allies and fought one of his former comrades, almost dying in the process. He just barely recovered, with the process having some unfortunate side effects, and now terrorizes his enemies as a masked shade. Though he's one of the most prominent villains of the story, it's implied he's working for a bigger bad: specifically, the leader of Talon.
  • Specter Knight from Shovel Knight is a Grim Reaper-like figure clad in a flowing red cloak who has been resurrected by the Enchantress to serve as her right-hand man (though, interestingly, he's one of the first two knights of the Order you have to fight) and along with it has been granted eldritch powers (including apparently telekinesis, if Plague of Shadows' epilogue is anything to go by) and a menacing red weapon. And that's just the main campaign; he also stars as the protagonist of a prequel campaign Specter of Torment which shows even more similarities between him and Darth Vader.
  • <C> from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Wears black armor and a helmet, has a Badass Baritone voice filter, the heroes are outmatched in a fight with him in an early encounter but are able to beat him later, is The Dragon, turns out to be someone significant to the main character (in this case, one of his classmates), has a tragic Start of Darkness and pulls a last-minute Heel–Face Turn and dies in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Witch-King Malekith in Total War: Warhammer bears several eerie similarities with Darth Vader: once a proud and valiant High Elf hero, he was corrupted by ambition and became a Fallen Hero. Now, he is a dark lord clad in armor over the horrific burns he suffered in the past and he can't remove it because it was fused to his flesh. In spite of this, he is a fearsome warrior and sorcerer and remains the top-dog of his kingdom due to his power and skill. He is somewhat related to the High Elf princes Tyrion and Teclis, though not directly, since he is their distant ancestor who tried to take the throne for himself. To further hammer the point, the Dark Elves trailer focusing on Malekith has him slaughtering a group of high elves just like the one of the signature scenes in Rogue One where Vader mows down Rebel soldiers.
  • Sonic Forces has Infinite, who serves as The Dragon to Dr. Eggman. Design-wise, he has quite a few similarities to Vader, like black fur, red-colored powers (including a red sword in the prequel comic), an evil-looking mask, and a deep echoing voice. In addition, he used to be an ordinary Funny Animal who became Drunk on the Dark Side thanks to Eggman offering him the chance to grant his greatest desires, and one of his first scenes in the game depicts him effortlessly killing Resistance soldiers. There's also the fact that he shares a personal connection to the Avatar that ends up being instrumental in their Character Development, similar to Vader's role in Luke Skywalker's character arc.
  • Fe's Silent Ones initially appear to be black-armored cyclopic insectoid aliens with Vader Breath. However, near the end of the storyline, they are revealed to be members of Fe's species in Powered Armor who turned to The Dark Side.

    Web Animation 
  • The eleventh season of Red vs. Blue features Locus, a dark armored mercenary with a deep filtered voice who abandoned his original name and commands an army of white-armored soldiers. All the more explicit considering the lampshaded similarities to Star Wars. He could also be considered a Composite Character of Vader and Boba Fett, since his armor also features green and grey elements and his mercenary status.

    Web Comics 
  • General Tarquin from The Order of the Stick. He's masked when the heroes first meet him, he's Elan's father (and genuinely cares about his son), and he's ostensibly the second-in-command (and actually the head) of an evil empire. Many, many Star Wars references are made. Unlike Vader, however, Tarquin was never a hero and his love for his sons turns out to be entirely conditional.
  • Jack Thompson in Ctrl+Alt+Del
  • Zalda Len from Space Blood is a rare female example and a combination of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. But turns out to be The Hero and an example of a Dark Is Not Evil version of the trope.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack:
    • Season 5 features a Rare Female Example with the High Priestess of the Daughters of Aku that ticks many of the boxes. She is a tall masked figure who wears dark robes, and serves the dark lord Aku as his loyal would-be dragon (even though he doesn't know she even exists). She is also an Evil Matriarch and a particularly ruthless one, speaking in a intimidating voice with a stoic demeanor and being formidable in combat. While she isn't shown to be disfigured, she does cover her body with burning coal which sounds unpleasant, but its shown that is not an actually harmful experience as a night scrubbing off the ash suit tissue will reveal normal skin underneath. She is far from being an Anti-Villain though, being rather the Hate Sink on the account of being an Abusive Parent to her daughters and by the end she doesn't pull a Heel–Face Turn, as she ends up being killed by her own daughter Ashi, who deserted her and has become Jack's companion. If anything, one might go as far as to say the High Priestess and Ashi are decomposites of the eponymous villain.
    • The Dominator as well. He's a towering villain in armor with a helmet that alters his voice to make it deeper. However, unlike Vader, he is far from being likable though, being rather an unsympathetic, irredeemable monster.
  • Dark Laser from The Fairly OddParents! Some TV guide misprints even refer to him as Vader.
  • Dark Vegan from Johnny Test — though he's probably more of an Expy or parody of the aforementioned Dark Helmet. Both he and Dark Laser are obsessed with destroying the protagonist for their many defeats they've suffered.
  • Duck Vader from Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • Darph Bobo from Tripping the Rift.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
  • Ben 10's Arch-Enemy Vilgax was described by his creators as "Darth Vader, without the sense of humor". However, the similarities are rather limited; other than the deep voice and (in the original show) the life support, Vilgax actually bears more similarities with Darkseid than Darth Vader.
    • Eon from Ben 10: Race Against Time, on the other hand, clearly is one: he bears a dark armor with a helmet that cover his face, has a deep voice, is the Big Bad of the movie and has to an extent sympathetic motivations in the movie (his goal is to help his species escape extinction, which he intends to do by bringing them on Earth). His appearance in Ultimate Alien puts it even further by revealing this version actually is an alternate version of protagonist Ben Tennyson. Not only that, but he also gains lightsaber-wielding Mooks.
    • Darkstar also had shades of Darth Vader, wearing a helmet to cover a disfigured face, and in a greatly weakened state constnantly necessitating him to drain life force. He was also initially believed to be good, but was a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, and was a love-interest for Gwen the main female protagonist.
  • The Mandarin wasn't one in the original Iron Man comic books, but Iron Man: Armored Adventures reimagined him as one... which ended up making him much cooler and deeper than his comic counterpart.
  • G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander might be this in certain incarnations.
  • Black Manta effectively becomes this in season two of Young Justice. Jet-black Powered Armor, a deep voice that gets a sound effect from the suit, and a heroic son who he's a lot more invested in than his comics counterpart.
  • One odd but very notable example is the Legion of Doom's headquarters from Challenge of the SuperFriends: the Hall of Doom itself looks almost exactly like Darth Vader's head. A slightly altered design was used for the Gulag in Kingdom Come, and a much less blatantly Vaderesque version appeared in Justice League Unlimited.
  • Word of God was that the creators of Kim Possible wanted to make Warhok as terrifying as Darth Vader.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Slade, a dark armored, deep voiced, masked villain who physically outmatches Robin and actively tries to make him his apprentice.
    • Baron Ryang from the Trapped in TV Land episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's pilot villain, Nightmare Moon, is the fallen sister of Princess Celestia, with a Start of Darkness backstory similar to Vader's, has a deep (for a female) voice, wears sinister black and dark blue armor, and is redeemed at the episode's conclusion.
  • After regaining consciousness in the end of Voltron: Legendary Defender season 3 thanks to Haggar reviving him, Zarkon gains a new armor that serves as a life support system which also has a helmet that conceals his face (though the visors glow purple when his eyes open at the end of the transformation) and speaking in a deeper, yet robotic voice in season 4, in which he regains his status as Big Bad and Emperor of the Galra Empire from his son Lotor, who took over this position when he was in a coma during the third season.
  • The Spider-Woman episode "Invasion of the Black Hole" featured a villain named Graviton, who was clearly inspired by Darth Vader (the series premiered two years after the release of A New Hope). Like Darth Vader, Graviton wears black armor, a cape, and a helmet concealing his face. He even fights Spider-Woman with a weapon similar to a lightsaber.
  • Wander over Yonder: Lord Dominator, but only while in her armor. She has Spikes of Villainy, a deep voice, and wears a Cool Helmet. Word of God is her gradual involvement in the story as season 2 goes on was done similar to Vader's. Averted with Lord Hater, because despite his name being an obvious Shout-Out, he's more of a King Koopa Copy.
  • The Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Puffynauts" at one point had Ami and Yumi encounter a blatant Darth Vader ersatz.
  • Megatronus, the Fallen of Transformers mythos adopts elements of Darth Vader. Imposing figure, fantastic powers, penchant for torturing minions, and a fall from grace due to the fact that he's also an homage to Judas.
  • Tangled: The Series, of all shows, has one in the form of Varian. He is a gifted, aspiring individual, but not without faults, some of which causes others to lack faith in him. Said lack of faith causes him to take determined, yet questionable acts that only build up to his fall. In addition, his fall is solidified with the loss of a loved one, with said loss contributed to by his own actions. And for added flavor, not only does he fight with a red weapon, and sometimes wears a mask that makes his voice sound robotic, but he is the Evil Former Friend to Rapunzel, Eugene, Cassandra, and so many others in Corona. Time will tell if he will ultimately be redeemed like Vader was. If anything, he's heading more in Kylo Ren's direction, where in spite of all the bad he's done, he clearly doesn't enjoy it, is left a miserable wreck, and feels like he's just gone too far, turning away every chance at redemption.

    Real Life 
  • The Fedayeen Saddam, a military unit created by Uday Hussein, whose troops were designed to invoke the image of Darth Vader, wearing black shirts, black ski masks, and black helmets modeled after Darth Vader's.

Top