Darth Vader is the principal villain of George Lucas's Star Wars saga. Originally, he was Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker who was swayed to the Dark Side of the Force by Emperor Palpatine. The character was ranked as the third greatest villain in American film history by the American Film Institute. With his "skull/samurai" helmet and imposing appearance, the character has entered the English lexicon to refer to anyone perceived as evil or diabolical. In recent times, the character has become synonomous with dictatorial rule.
As Anakin Skywalker
- Jake Lloyd (Episode I)
- Hayden Christensen (Episodes II, III, and VI)
- Sebastian Shaw (Episode VI)
As Darth Vader
- Hayden Christensen (Episode III)
- David Prowse (Episodes IV, V, and VI)
- Bob Anderson (Episode VI; stunt double)
- James Earl Jones (Voice) (Episodes III, IV, V, and VI)
In the prequel trilogy, Vader starts as an innocent young child of about nine, named Anakin Skywalker. As he grows up under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he becomes impulsive and headstrong. This causes Kenobi great concern, as he believes Anakin is becoming arrogant. Meeting Padme Amidala again, he begins to develop romantic feelings for her. Initially, she resists him. However, she comes to accept that she has feelings for him as well. When he has a vision that his mother is being tortured, and later when he sees her die, he kills an entire camp of Tusken Raiders. As the Clone Wars are beginning, Anakin and Padme marry on Naboo. Later, when he has a vision about Padme dying in childbirth, he turns to the Dark Side to try to save her. Ironically, his Force choke in Revenge of the Sith, assists in killing her immediately after she gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia.
In the Original Trilogy, Vader serves Emperor Palpatine as an enforcer. Vader searches for the stolen Death Star plans which brings in into contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time in nearly 20 years. Eventually, he discovers he has a son, Luke Skywalker, and tries to sway him to the Dark Side. However, when the Emperor begins sadistically torturing Luke, Vader rebels and throws him down a reactor shaft to his death.
In Episode VII, Vader's burnt helmet is in the possession of his grandson, Ben Solo, who is also known as Kylo Ren.
The Clone Wars
During the Clone Wars, Anakin becomes very well-known. During this time, he gains an apprentice, Ashoka Tano. In the 2003 series Star Wars: Clone Wars, Anakin is voiced by Mat Lucas. In the 2008 CGI series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he is voiced by Matt Lanter.
Star Wars Rebels
In the 2014 series Star Wars Rebels, Vader is a recurring character. James Earl Jones returns to provide Darth Vader's voice.