Darth Vader
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Biography for
Darth Vader (Character)
from Star Wars (1977)

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Contents [hideshow]

As Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker is the central character in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The original and prequel trilogies follow Anakin's rise as a vessel of The Force, his fall to the dark side, and his ultimate redemption. In the begining Anakin is a Jedi Padawan, and later a Jedi Knight of legend.

Anakin first appears as a selfless nine-year-old boy. Anakin and his mother, Shmi, are slaves in the service of Watto, a junk dealer. Anakin can build or repair nearly anything, evidenced by the creation of his own protocol droid, C-3PO, and podracer, each from salvaged parts. He is also a remarkable pilot with quick reflexes.

Anakin is found on the planet Tatooine by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who is convinced that he is the "Chosen One" foretold by the Jedi prophecy to bring balance to the Force. Shmi says that he has no father, and that she simply became pregnant with him. Over the course of the narrative, Qui-Gon Jinn goes on to discover that Anakin has the highest known number of midi-chlorians, a measure of Force-aptitude. Anakin forms a strong bond with Queen Padm Amidala, whom Qui-Gon and his padawan apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, are guarding.

After winning Anakin's freedom in a podrace, Qui-Gon brings the boy to Coruscant and requests that the Jedi Council allow him to train Anakin. This request is denied, as the Council thinks that Anakin's future is clouded by the fear he exhibits. Ultimately, Anakin helps win the final battle against the villainous Trade Federation. A dying Qui-Gon, slain by Darth Maul, urges Obi-Wan to train Anakin, and Council leader Yoda reluctantly approves. The Republic's newly-elected Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine, befriends the boy, promising to "watch his career with great interest."

10 years later, Anakin, now twenty, is Obi-Wan's padawan. Because his natural abilities place him far above his peers, he has developed into an arrogant loner during his years of Jedi training, and has begun to chafe against Obi-Wan's authority.

He is assigned to guard Padm, and eventually falls in love with her, even though such emotional attachments are forbidden to Jedi. In conversation with Padm, he reveals his affection for her, as well as his distrust of the political process and the need he perceives for there to be one strong leader.

While guarding Padm, Anakin senses that his mother is in danger. Upon returning to Tatooine, he finds his mother in a village of Tusken Raiders, but arrives too late; she has been tortured and beaten beyond help, and she dies in his arms. Seized by a blind rage, he slaughters the entire village, even the women and children. He returns with his mother's body, and tearfully confesses to Padm, who forgives him.

Anakin and Padm learn that Obi-Wan has been taken hostage by the droid forces of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a faction of star systems that want to secede from the Republic. They rush to to the planet Geonosis to rescue him where they are also captured. Faced with their impending demise in a gladiatorial arena, they profess their love to one another. Escaping the fray with the help of a cadre of Jedi and the clone army, Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda engage Separatist leader and fallen Jedi Count Dooku in a lightsaber battle. Obi-Wan is injured in the battle and Anakin is forced to fight him alone. He is easily defeated by the older, more experienced warrior, who severs his lower right arm. Back on Naboo, Anakin's arm is replaced with a mechanical prosthetic, and he marries Padm in a secret ceremony with only C-3PO and his counterpart, R2-D2, to witness.

Some years later, Anakin and Obi-Wan return from the Outer Rim to rescue a kidnapped Palpatine. They board the Invisible Hand, flagship of the Separatist fleet and its cyborg leader, General Grievous. Tracking the captive Chancellor to the observation deck, they encounter Count Dooku. A brief battle ensues, in which Dooku renders Obi-Wan unconscious. Once again, Anakin is set to duel with the Count alone. Wanting revenge for his earlier defeat on Geonosis, Anakin overpowers Dooku and neatly sears off both of his hands. Palpatine then commands Anakin to behead the shocked Count. Anakin gives in to his anger and complies, but instantly regrets it, as killing a defenseless prisoner is not the Jedi way.

After rescuing the Chancellor, Anakin finds that the flagship is in critical condition, and, with some help from Obi-Wan, barely lands its front half safely on an airstrip.

Anakin returns to Coruscant, where Padm tells him she is pregnant. He is initially overjoyed, but that night has a horrible nightmare of Padm dying in childbirth. He is extremely afraid this vision will come true, as it is similar to the one he had of his mother just before she died.

Palpatine, who by now has amassed near-dictatorial power in the Senate, makes Anakin his representative on the Jedi Council. The suspicious Council accepts Anakin, but denies him the rank of Jedi Master, and tell him to spy on Palpatine. His pride wounded, Anakin loses all faith in the Council. Ultimately, the Chancellor offers him the chance to learn the dark side, which he claims holds the power to prevent death. Anakin realizes that Palpatine is the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and reports Palpatine's secret to Jedi Master Mace Windu. He soon follows Windu to the Chancellor's office to make sure Palpatine is taken alive.

Anakin arrives to find Windu holding his lightsaber on a disarmed Palpatine. Windu declares the Dark Lord of the Sith under arrest, but Palpatine defiantly unleashes a torrent of Force lightning at Windu. The Jedi Master deflects the lightning with his lightsaber back at Palpatine, hideously scarring his face. The attack continues unabated until Palpatine seemingly tires, giving Windu a chance to strike a deathblow. Anakin pleads with Windu to spare Palpatine's life, but Windu refuses, insisting that Palpatine is too dangerous to be kept alive. As Windu raises his lightsaber to deliver the final blow, Anakin intervenes, severing Windu's right hand. Palpatine then springs to life, bombarding him with Force lightning and hurling him out the window to his death. Anakin then submits to the dark side, and is dubbed Darth Vader. Vader's first task as a Sith Lord is to assault the Jedi Temple and to kill everyone inside, including the children. Vader is then sent to Mustafar to assassinate the Separatist leaders. After completing this task, he is met by Padm, who pleads with him to flee Palpatine's grasp with her. He refuses, saying that the two of them can overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy together. Obi-Wan, who had hidden himself on Padm's ship, suddenly emerges. Vader accuses Padm of conspiring against him, and uses the dark side to choke her into unconsciousness. Kenobi and Vader then engage in an intense lightsaber duel throughout the mining complex. At the end of the duel, Kenobi severs Vader's left arm and both of his legs. As Vader comes into contact with the molten metal, he catches fire and is nearly immolated. Obi-Wan leaves him to die, but Palpatine comes to Vader's rescue.

Palpatine reconstructs his apprentice's ruined body with the iconic suit of black armor. Once Vader regains consciousness, Palpatine tells him that Padm had died as a result of Vader's anger. (She had in fact died in childbirth after delivering Luke and Leia.) This half-truth breaks what remains of Anakin's spirit, and he screams in torment. He is last seen overseeing the construction of the first Death Star at Palpatine's side

As Darth Vader

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Vader is depicted as the cunning, brutal enforcer of the Galactic Empire's rule across the galaxy. Vader serves as the apprentice of Emperor Palpatine, using the dark side of the Force to mercilessly pursue the Jedi and the Rebel Alliance to the ends of the galaxy. The prequel trilogy recounts the heroic rise and tragic fall of Vader's former self, Anakin Skywalker.

Darth Vader is the primary antagonist: a dark, ruthless figure, out to capture, torture, or kill the films' heroes to prevent them from thwarting the Empire.

In A New Hope, Vader is charged with recovering the stolen plans of the Death Star and finding the Rebel Alliance's secret base. He captures and tortures Princess Leia and, along with Death Star commander Grand Moff Tarkin, destroys her home world of Alderaan. Shortly afterward, he duels his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has arrived at the Death Star to rescue Leia, and cuts him down, turning him into a spirit in the Force. He then encounters Luke Skywalker during a battle over the Death Star, and senses in him a great strength in the Force; this is confirmed moments later when the boy destroys the battle station. He was about to shoot Luke down using his TIE fighter, but Han Solo disables his ship using the guns on the Millennium Falcon, and sends Vader spinning into space.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader captures Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and C-3PO on the planet Bespin to lure Luke into a confrontation. He strikes a deal with the administrator of Cloud City, Lando Calrissian to give Han over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett, and has Solo frozen in carbonite. Luke, who has been partially trained by Yoda, duels Vader, but is eventually defeated, losing his right hand to Vader's lightsaber. Vader then reveals his true identity as Luke's father and offers Luke the chance to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy as father and son. Luke refuses, throwing himself down a mine shaft. He is sucked into a garbage chute and rescued by Leia, Chewbacca, Lando and C-3PO. He is fitted with a robotic hand to replace the one Vader had cut off.

In Return of the Jedi, Vader is charged with overseeing the completion of the second Death Star. He meets with Palpatine on board the half-constructed station to plan Luke's turn to the dark side. Darth Vader escorting Luke Skywalker to Palpatine in an attempt to turn him to the dark sideBy this time, Luke has nearly completed his Jedi training, and has learned from a dying Yoda that Vader is indeed his father. He learns about his father's past from Obi-Wan's spirit, and also learns that Leia is his sister. On a mission to the forest moon of Endor, he surrenders to Imperial troops and is brought to Vader. Aboard the Death Star, Luke resists the Emperor's appeals to his anger and fear for his friends, but snaps when Vader telepathically probes his mind, learns of Leia's existence, and threatens to turn her instead. Enraged, Luke nearly kills Vader, severing his father's right hand. He controls his anger at the last minute, however, as he looks at Vader's cybernetic hand and then at his own; he realizes that he is perilously close to suffering his father's fate.

As the Emperor approaches, encouraging Luke to kill Vader and take his place, Luke throws down his lightsaber, refusing to perform the killing blow. Angered, the Emperor attacks Luke with Force lightning. Luke writhes in agony under the Emperor's torture, begging his father for help. Unable to bear the sight of his son in pain, Vader turns on his master and throws him into the very core of the Death Star, where the evil emperor explodes in a fury of dark energies. However, Vader is mortally wounded by the Force lightning.

Anakin Skywalker in his last few moments of lifeMoments from death, he begs his son to take off his breath-mask so he can look at Luke "with his own eyes". Luke complies and for the first (and as it turns out, the only) time, father and son truly see each other. In his dying breaths, Anakin Skywalker is redeemed, finally admitting to Luke that the good within him was not destroyed after all. Luke escapes with his father's body as the Death Star explodes, destroyed by the Rebel Alliance.

That night, Luke cremates his father in his armor in the manner of a Jedi's funeral. During the victory celebration on the forest moon of Endor, Luke sees the redeemed spirit of Anakin Skywalker, standing once again with Obi-Wan and Yoda.

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