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Darth Vader Clone

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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 the 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.



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    Star Wars 
The original Darth Vader that’s featured in Star Wars is the Trope Namer, but several other characters in the franchise evoke the man himself in some way. It must be noted that the Vader has numerous Unbuilt Trope in that he's actually never more than one among many henchmen for the Emperor, and later Palpatine citing his failures in the earlier films, actually downgrades him to a lower position.

Theatrical Films

  • All three of Palpatine's Dragons in the Prequel Trilogy 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 theatrical film in order to keep from distracting from his role as The Heavy. This is subverted after he makes his return in The Clone Wars since his fleshed out Ascended Extra role, Character Development, and feeling of being abandoned by Palpatine forces him to forge a new identity. If anything, he becomes an evil counterpart to Obi-Wan Kenobi with a bit of Sidious thrown in once he takes on an apprentice in the form of his brother Savage Opress, who does fulfill the Vader role.
    • Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus (who first appeared in 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, and even cuts off Anakin's hand in combat similarly to how Vader later did to Luke.
    • Grievous (who appears in The Clone Wars and 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. Unlike Vader, however, Grievous gradually became a cyborg by choice in order to make himself a stronger warrior, as revealed in The Clone Wars.
  • 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, invoked example and a somewhat deconstruction of this trope: Anakin's grandson, with influence from his dark master Supreme Leader Snoke, attaches himself to the Vader aesthetic, as the only member of his family he still acknowledges.
    • In The Last Jedi, Ren abandons the mask rather quickly and goes without for the rest of the film, but he also has a very Vader-like cape. He also succeeds where his grandfather never did, overthrowing his master and replacing him as Supreme Leader of the latest version of The Empire.
  • 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.
  • Enfys Nest from Solo is a dangerous hand-to-hand combatant and warrior leader relentlessly stalking the protagonists in dark, caped armor with an elaborate helmet/mask, a design on the front of the armor that resembles Vader's control panel, a unique melee weapon, and a deep, filtered mechanical voice. She's deliberately set up as one of these to disguise the truth from the audience: she and the Cloud-Riders are actually a cell of Rebel freedom fighters striking against the Empire.
    • Also in Solo, Dryden Vos uses them as Mooks. His Hylobon enforcers fit the look when their helmets are closed.
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 less skilled 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.
    • The Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion introduces Arcann, the force wielding, cybernetic enforcer of the Eternal Empire, who is arguably more Vader-ish than Malgus. He hides his disfigured face behind a mask, he killed a loved one in a blind rage (his brother in this case), is secretly plotting against his master, and can potentially be redeemed through the love of a family member. The big difference between him and Vader is that Arcann actually succeeds in overthrowing Valkorian pretty early on and takes his place as Emperor.
    • On a smaller scale, the last act of the Bounty Hunter storyline features Darth Tormen. Since the Bounty Hunter is partially inspired by Boba Fett, Tormen is meant to fill Vader's role as the Hunter's cybernetic Sith employer.
  • 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. However, the same game plays it straight with Darth Sion, a disfigured Sith Lord kept alive through the Dark Side and is responsible for exterminating most of the surviving Jedi.
  • 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.

  • 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 her extreme magical power, she's still nothing more than a pawn of a 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. Ironically, in a Fantastic Four comic released shortly after the premiere of the original Star Wars, Ben Grimm mocked Doom by calling him a 'Darth Vader wannabe'.
  • 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."
  • 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 (he misses the mask and disfigurement), 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 again and helps the heroes defeat her.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Darth Vader's own appearance is often thought to be inspired by the Film Serial character The Lightning from The Fighting Devil Dogs.
    • This gets a Shout-Out in J-Men Forever, a Gag Dub of old Republic Serials like The Fighting Devil Dogs., as the antagonist Lightning Bug's Darth Vader costume.
  • Dark Helmet from Spaceballs is a blatant parody, with nerdy Rick Moranis hiding behind the visor of his oversized helmet.
  • Lord Graal is a pretty blatant one from The Humanoid.
  • The Doctor AKA Cobra Commander is this in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. G.I. Joe: Retaliation had him closer to his original cartoon incarnation.
  • TRON: Legacy has the masked, black-clad bad guy Rinzler who actually is former good guy Tron, who returns to the light side and tries to kill his evil master at the end.
  • Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, according to Word of God (no relation to Darth Bane, however). He has his voice altered by a mask he has to wear due to an injury. And he (possibly) serves as The Dragon for Talia, and even has a backstory involving how his love for Talia compelled him to become her protector. Ironically, it's Batman who, being Batman, superficially resembles Vader more closely than Bane does due to his dark armor and Badass Cape.
  • General Kael from Willow is an obvious version though not everything is present but he does have the death's head mask and Badass Cape and is brutally hard to kill.
  • Back to the Future: Marty McFly invokes this trope to scare George into asking out Lorraine by clever use of a radiation suit and a Walkman. He even refers to himself as "Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan".
  • Luther Voz, the Big Bad of Machete Kills, becomes one near the end. After getting his face burned, he wears a metal mask that distorts his voice. He can also see into the future. The trailer for Machete Kills Again... In Space! shows him in a suit of armor, a cape, and a lightsaber.
  • Klytus from Flash Gordon has the look, if not all the other badassery.
  • Word of God says that Azog the Defiler from The Hobbit was modeled after Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back. This shows too, with his deep, sinister voice, a scarred body with a large muscle-bound physique, a prosthetic limb, a high intellect, a bloodthirsty, warlike personality, a personal vendetta against one of the heroes, and a habit of executing incompetent Mook Lieutenants.
  • The robotic Elle takes this form in the Star Wars-inspired posters for Starcrash. In the film itself, he's a comic sidekick.
  • Adventures in Dinosaur City introduces a rather unique and unusual example. The Vader clone is an anthropomorphic Dinosaur...yes you read that correctly.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Sauron is never shown without his helmet and full armor; bulky, spiky black armor with a three-pronged helmet that has two black, empty holes for eyes. His physical form underneath is more informed than anything else, since when he's killed the first time, his body seems to crumble into dust. The armored look was based on the description of his former master Melkor/Morgoth, who was The Paragon until he rebelled.
    • The Nazgul also count; they too wear all-black, full-body armor and helmets, and their true appearances as the undead kings of men can only be seen when wearing the Ring.
    • Their leader, the Witch-King of Angmar, is especially notable in the film as he wears a sinister-looking helmet and wields a Flaming Sword. He also has something akin to a Vader Breath.
  • Turbo Kid: Two of Zeus' soldiers share Vader's traits. Skeletron is Zeus' mute right hand man, leads his armies and wears a scary black armor, while the man who captured Apple wears a gasmask and an Asian-inspired hat (though less Japanese Kabuto than Chinese, Three Storms' conical straw hat) and has a Vader Breath.
  • From the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier — If the title villain wasn't one in the comics, he fits the bill here. Ridiculously dangerous cyborg? Check. The Heavy for a less physically-imposing villain? Check. Ominous black mask? Check. Fallen Hero? It's an eight-year-old spoiler to anyone familiar with the comics. In fact, with his wild, unkempt hair and evil eye shadow, his single robot arm, his tragic character arc, and his acrobatic duel with his best friend at the end of the film, he's in the rare position of being a clone of prequel-era Vader.
    • Ronan the Accuser dresses in black robes complete with a hood and carries a signature weapon empowered by a cosmic force. He also serves an even greater threat than himself, whom he attempts to defy and Drax hates him for killing his loved ones.
    • Malekith the Accursed is pale, wears dark armour, has a deep voice and a signature red weapon (the Aether). He wishes to plunge the universe in darkness and commands an army of faceless soldiers.
    • Hela wears dark clothing, has a signature headpiece and is related to the heroes.
    • Killmonger wears a mask, has a body covered in scars, wields a sword, is related to T'Challa and murders T'Challa's mentor Zuri. Interestingly, his Hair-Trigger Temper and iconoclastic views also make him an expy of Kylo Ren, who himself is also a Darth Vader clone.
  • Skeletor's mooks in Masters of the Universe all dress in black armour and Vader shaped helmets.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • This franchise's take on Batman is possibly the most Vader-esque one so far, with his synthesized voice and complex motivations for antagonising Superman. It's noted in-universe that he used to be more idealistic, but was turned to the dark side after experiencing too much grief. He was also slyly manipulated by Lex Luthor much like Vader was manipulated by the Emperor, but teams up with Superman after realising the error of his ways.
    • Ares in Wonder Woman (2017) dresses in a black and spiked armour and helmet and he is revealed to have more complex reasons for his plans than simply For the Evulz. In addition, he is also the heroine's older brother and his real form is that of an aging, frail man inside his scary outfit.
    • Steppenwolf, the Big Bad in Justice League (2017) also fits the mold by wearing dark armor (which is very similar to Ares, incidentally) and serves as The Heavy to an even greater evil.
    • Black Manta and Ocean Master. Black Manta has the dark armour, iconic helmet and red plasma weapon, but ironically his vendetta against Aquaman makes him more like the typical enemy of a Darth Vader clone. Ocean Master is a straighter example, with his dark armour, cape, helmet and relation to the hero.
  • Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra: Caesar's second-in-command Caius Ceplus is a Roman soldier with a very Vader-like helmet and cape. This seems like a coincidence at first, until the final battle where he suddenly starts talking with Vader Breath.
  • Dracula: The Dark Prince has Wraith, a death knight in service to Count Dracula that wears full-obscuring armor bears a demonic visage. He is even introduced slaughtering the female heroine's Crusader allies the same way that Darth Vader attacks Princess Leia's rebels at the start of A New Hope.
  • Although coming out four years before Star Wars, The Phantom from Phantom of the Paradise fits this trope perfectly, with black costume, helmet and Vader Breath.
  • Darph Nader was the obvious lampoon of Vader in the spoof Hardware Wars. His voice was so muffled nobody could understand what he said.

  • 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 parallels 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.
    • It also has another (albeit relatively minor) villain who once belonged to the organization sworn to protect the peace of the realm, but turned to evil and broke his oath to it, abandoning the organization and gaining a position that afforded more personal power. He is now that organization's sworn enemy and commands an army against it. Oh, and we learn all this from an old man who was and is a leading member of that organization and who was once a friend of this now-villain, who tells the story of his fall to his young protege. The villain's name? Mance Rayder. He may not quite have the visual aesthetic, but that backstory certainly seemed very familiar to some readers...
  • 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. Like Vader, Snape despite his great skills is never more than a lackey to more powerful figures like Dumbledore and Voldemort.
  • 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.
    • Ecliptor, also from In Space, fits the mold too: Sword-wielding dark-colored servant of a greater villain? Check. Uses a cape (at least at first)? Check. Is at least partially cybernetic? Check. Has hidden depths which shows that he cares for a character who is either his child or (in this case) like a child to him? Check. Yugande, his counterpart in Denji Sentai Megaranger doesn't really fit this trope, as he's only an enemy general without any connections to any of the heroic characters.
    • 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.
    • Barizorg from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has shades from this. He's a sword wielding cyborg serving as the bodyguard to the Big Bad and is revealed to have been the blue ranger's best friend Sid. Contrary to most depictions of this trope, Barizorg's previous personality has been erased irreversibly and had to be killed to end his suffering. Argus, his counterpart in Power Rangers Super Megaforce averts this trope, as he's just a simple lackey to the Big Bad without any depth, though his rivalry with the blue ranger is inexplicably still kept in.
  • 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. Malcolm even calls him the trope name in one episode.
  • 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.
  • Doctor Who: The Cyberleader from "Earthshock" to "Silver Nemesis," always played to the hilt by David Banks. The 'Leader only needed a cape to complete the effect.
  • One of the main antagonists of Riverdale is the Black Hood, a tall, masked killer dressed all in black. He eventually turns out to be Betty's father, Hal, and was influenced by the Riverdale Reaper, similar to how Emperor Palpatine influenced Vader.
  • Much like his portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is portrayed as a Darth Vader Clone in Gotham: he's the hero's former friend who turned to the dark side, only to be grievously injured by said former friend and then revived by malevolent forces. He is then turned into a powerful cyborg with dark armor and a life-support mask that deepens his voice.

    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.
  • Dark Madder from WarpForce.
  • 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. While not directly related to Kirby, defeating him often shatters his mask to reveal a face identical to the pink puffball's except blue, making him one of few known or notable members of the species besides Kirby himself, as well as the earliest major instance of such.
  • The Darkshine Knight from Trials of Mana 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 Lord, 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: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn 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 (notably before Episode III came out, malng the "Anakin Skywalker Clone" subtrope something of an Unbuilt Trope). 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.
  • Spec Ops: The Line somehow creates a version of this in a realistic military third-person shooter. Walker is the closest a soldier protagonist in any FPS game has come to this, resembling in particular the arc of Anakin in the final two prequels. He's a proud soldier of a military order who intends to do well and is plagued by visions and does increasingly questionable things that raise concerns among his squadmates, commits major war crimes, believes he's a hero when it's really his own subjective neurosis and inability to take responsibility that drives him over the edge. He also starts out as a handsome soldier boy before growing uglier and more scarred depending on the choices, he can either atone for his crimes or go fully dark.
  • <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.
  • Believe it or not, Nahyuta Sahdmahi of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice can be considered this, even though he visually looks nothing like Darth Vader (but he is a Pretty Boy like Anakin was). He is a tall, imposing figure who serves as The Dragon to an evil ruler, and was once a champion of a heroic cause. It also turns out he has a personal connection to the hero, and they were like family to one another. All that changed when this his loved ones were threatened, he hit the Despair Event Horizon, and service to the Big Bad as her enforcer was all he had left going for him. Much like Vader, Nahyuta discards any association with his past life, even telling Apollo that the brother he knew is long gone. By the end, the hero (Apollo) ends up bringing him back to the light when he's seen in danger, to the point that Nahyuta reaveals his Defiant Dragon tattoo and risks his own life to save him.
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Frost used to be the star pupil of Sub-Zero before turning against him, cyborgizing herself (bonus points for her voice sounding machine-like), and serving under a major villain (Kronika). Frost forcibly converted many of her former Lin Kuei comrades into robo-ninjas just to spite her former mentor for not making her his successor and Subby's Bash Brothers relationship with Scorpion. She also perceives him to be a Broken Pedestal, who in turn sees her as A Pupil Of Mine Until She Turned To Evil, and betraying her mentor only worsened her sanity issues and drove her to Jump Off The Slippery Slope.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The titular Arkham Knight is one. He's an armor and mask-wearing Dragon to the actual Big Bad whose true identity constitutes a major reveal in the story, and who has a personal connection to the hero. He commands an army and repeatedly berates his inferiors for failing him and their supposed incompetence. He is also a Fallen Hero corrupted by an even greater force of evil, but by end of the story undergoes a Heel–Face Turn just in time to save Batman.

    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) while operating as The Heavy. 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.
  • Noximillen Coxen, the Big Bad of Season 1 of Wakfu, has some noticeable similarities to Vader; he wears armor that covers his entire body, with a mechanical filter applied to his voice, might be disfigured from his experiments with the Eliacube, and he has sympathetic attributes, primarily to go back in time and save his family.
  • Zarès, Big Bad of the 2012 sequel to TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold, is definitely inspired by Vader : he's huge, imposing, deep-voiced and super-strong, and wears a dark red Badass Long Robe with a head-concealing hood and what looks like some sort of respirator in front of his mouth. The respirator turns out to be a voice-changer and Zarès himself a disguise for a very short man, with the robes concealing a Power Armor.

    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.


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