Darth Vader is one of the most prominent movie villains of all time. He has influenced countless characters since his seminal debut in 1977, both with his intimidating presence and his ultimately tragic arc.
Vader is the cornerstone of the first six Star Wars movies. He is the character who ties it all together.
If watching in chronological order, the viewer is able to follow him from childhood in The Phantom Menace all the way up to his redemptive end in Return of the Jedi.
Even now in the midst of a new trilogy establishing brand new characters, Vader remains one of the most beloved Star Wars villains and one of the most influential villains ever.
Because he has permeated pop culture so much, fans tend to have assumptions about him that may or may not be true.
With that said, we’re breaking down the 25 Things Wrong With Darth Vader Everyone Chooses To Ignore.
25 His Absent Father
When audiences are introduced to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, it is revealed that the boy does not have a father.
While his lack of a father is mostly meant to be a reference to the almost biblical nature of Anakin’s overall story, it makes virtually no sense within the Star Wars universe.
If fans are led to believe that Anakin’s birth is truly an immaculate conception, it would be the first in Star Wars history and would also suggest that the boy was either conceived by a previously unknown deity or truly conceived be the Force itself.
24 He Introduced Midi-Chlorians to Star Wars
The Phantom Menace was one of the most hyped movies of all time prior to its release. It had been over a decade since the last Star Wars movie and everyone wanted to know the previously undiscovered story of Vader’s rise and fall.
However, the movie tossed out a lot of curve balls and surprises that people weren’t expecting.
These days, people like to try and forget that the character they were most excited to see in the prequels was also the one that introduced Midi-Chlorians to the Star Wars universe, putting an explicitly sci-fi bent on the Force, which had been completely mystical up to that point.
23 He’s Constantly Disloyal
Darth Vader is one of the most notorious figures in the Galactic Empire, second only to the Emperor himself.
On some level, though, that notoriety is surprising. While Vader is prone to great displays of power, he’s actually worked against the Emperor several times over the course of the movies and dozens more in the comics and novels.
Even in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader is tasked with taking out Luke by the Emperor.
However, the moment he reveals the truth to Luke, he also presents Luke with the notion of taking down Palpatine so that they can rule the galaxy together.
22 He Took On An Apprentice Way Before He Was Ready
Star Wars: The Clone Wars focuses on Anakin’s time as a Jedi between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, mostly so that his Jedi career is more believable and so that his turn to the dark side doesn’t feel as abrupt.
The main core relationship of the show is between Anakin and his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano.
This happens immediately when the series begins, but Anakin was far from ready to take on apprentice by the end of Attack of the Clones and still had a great deal to learn.
As good as the show was, it’s hard to accept that he was actually ready for that at the beginning.
21 He Should Not Have Survived Mustafar
While Anakin Skywalker had been christened Darth Vader before his battle with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, this fight truly marks when he became Darth Vader in the eyes of most fans.
Though their duel went on for some time, Vader lost horribly. It cost him an arm and a leg, forcing him to eventually be placed into his now iconic black armor, becoming a horrible blend of man and machine.
However, Vader’s wounds could and should have ended him within minutes.
Unless the Emperor had found him the moment he collapsed onto the ground, there’s no way that he should have survived.
20 Why Did Obi-Wan Keep His Lightsaber?
If the plan had always been to keep Luke away from the fight, initially and to keep him out of the hands of the Empire, why would Obi-Wan have even kept Anakin’s lightsaber?
Even if he never planned to give it away, it seems like the weapon would have held too many bad memories.
After all, this was Obi-Wan’s best friend, who had succumbed to a terrible internal darkness and had gone on to do absolutely terrible things. Over the years, Vader’s reputation in the galaxy would only grow worse and worse.
One would think that the saber would just prove to be a horrible reminder of his failure to save his friend.
19 He Never Tried Looking For Obi-Wan Despite Wanting Revenge
In the movies, despite Obi-Wan being the man responsible for Vader becoming a cyborg on life support, he never attempted to seek out his old master and make him pay.
The movies actually do a good job of explaining why he never sought out Luke and Leia— he didn’t even know that they existed.
However, when it comes to Kenobi, there’s really no reason why he would not have gone to look for him.
There's definitely no reason why he would not have thought to search for Kenobi on his own home planet of Tatooine.
18 Why Did He Not Return to Save His Mother?
Anakin was raised as a slave, as fans learn in Episode I. When he is rescued by the Jedi to follow a new path, his mother remains a slave and he promises that he will return for her.
However, in Episode II, it’s revealed that even all these years later, Anakin never returned to Tatooine to free her.
He returns to save her after having a vision of seeing her in danger, learning that she was freed by a man named Lars, who she also fell in love with.
Even though he could have broken from his training to rescue her at any point, he never did.
17 He Is Often At Odds With the Empire’s Values
Darth Vader is seen by many as a figurehead for the Empire, but this is constantly proven to not be the case.
Even in the original movie, there are high ranking officers who don’t even take Vader seriously because of his commitment to the Force.
They see his views as archaic, outdated, and completely at odds with the Empire’s overall mission of a sterile and ordered universe free from any faith except faith in the Empire itself.
Vader is often much more emotional than one would think, especially for a man who’s mostly a robot.
16 People Aren’t As Afraid of Him As He Thinks
Most high ranking officials in the Empire believe Vader to be outdated, but they also don’t really take him seriously.
This is evidenced in A New Hope, when Vader has to actually demonstrate his power by choking someone simply for them to even believe in his mastery of the Force.
As notorious as he might be, Vader is seen throughout the Empire as something of a lapdog to the Emperor.
He even serves that role for Grand Moff Tarkin somewhat, as he does whatever the officer tells him to do.
People do often fear Vader, but usually only after he puts his incredible power on display.
15 He Eliminated Young Jedi While His Wife Was Pregnant
If there’s one terrible act that people want to overlook in Darth Vader’s life, it’s that he destroyed all of the young Jedi in training during the execution of Order 66.
It’s easily the most disturbing thing he ever did, especially after just having become Darth Vader.
However, it’s even more disturbing in the fact that his wife Padmé— who he was still keeping his turn to the dark side a secret from— was pregnant with twins at that point in time.
14 Vader Being Luke’s Father Was Not Originally Planned
The reveal that Darth Vader is actually Luke’s father is one of the most important twist in the franchise’s history.
However, even if this is maybe the single story point that most defines the Star Wars saga, it was not originally planned.
The original script for the sequel saw no mention of the twist, but it was also very different from what would become The Empire Strikes Back, as the studio was not sure if Star Wars was actually going to make any money.
Once it became a huge hit, the story ballooned in scope and the iconic twist was conceived.
13 He’s Actually The Main Character of the First Six Movies
Some people miss this or choose to ignore this because Darth Vader is most often seen as the villain, but he truly is the main character of what fans consider to be the original saga.
Going by chronological order, the first three movies tell the story of Anakin Skywalker being drawn to the dark side and his tragic downfall into becoming Darth Vader.
The original trilogy of A New Hope to Return of the Jedi then tell the story of Vader being saved from the dark side by his son and are an overall story of redemption.
The two trilogies balance each other very well, thematically speaking.
12 His Fall From Grace Was Originally Going to Stem From Paranoia
While most fans agree that his turn was not perfectly executed, Vader’s reasons for turning to the dark side are empathetic and even understandable.
He wanted to keep the people he loved from losing their lives, something that he was especially terrified about after the loss of his mother.
However, the original script saw Anakin go mad more abruptly, growing increasingly paranoid that the Jedi were actually planning to take over the senate and overthrow the government— something that he himself would obviously wind up doing simply by standing at Palpatine’s side as he turned the senate into the Empire.
11 His Relationship With Ahsoka Is Just as Tragic As Obi-Wan's
While Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith do their best to establish the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin, Clone Wars does an even better job of portraying Anakin’s close relationship with his padawan, Ahsoka.
At first, she is reckless and impulsive, which allows Anakin to mature as a Jedi. It helps him to grow more introspective and we soon realize just how embarrassing his behavior had been before that.
The series handles their relationship with care and the amount of trust and faith that Ahsoka puts in Anakin makes his turn all the more tragic.
10 He Just Wanted to Use the Dark Side to Keep His Family Safe
Anakin found a surrogate father in Qui Gon Jinn, who saved him from slavery and introduced him to the ways of the Jedi. He lost Qui Gon almost immediately.
When he was older, he had a vision that his mother was in danger and arrived too late to save her from a terrible fate at the hands of a tribe of Tusken Raiders.
After seeing visions of losing Padmé as well, Anakin wanted nothing more than to keep the people he loved safe.
He was corrupted by his own need as well as Palpatine’s exploitation of that need.
9 The Suit Was Originally Designed So Vader Could Survive in Space
Darth Vader’s outfit is incredibly practical, all things considered. It does what it needs to do, which is to keep him alive.
With all of its cybernetic enhancements, it’s really just for keeping Vader mobile and active instead of seeing him confined to a chair.
However, it was originally going to be even more resilient, to the point that it was designed so that Vader would be able to survive in space.
As he is sent careening into space at the end of the original movie, this makes sense, though even there he is at least still safe inside his TIE-Fighter.
8 His Respirator is Actually the Sound of a Scuba Tank
Sometimes the most memorable aspect of a character is a relatively mundane one.
This maybe best exemplified by Darth Vader. As great as his design is, as many great lines as he’s had, as many great moments he’s been a part of, the most iconic thing about Vader will always be the sound of his breathing.
This sound itself comes from a fairly mundane source. As distinctive as it is, the sound is actually only a slightly modified recording of someone breathing through a scuba tank.
Hearing them both, it’s easy to pick up on the heavy similarities.
7 His Actions Are Completely Driven by Emotion
From the beginning, the Empire has always been about keeping level head and maintaining a cold and hard-set sense of order across the galaxy.
Yet nearly everything that Darth Vader has ever done on screen has been driven by his emotions.
In this fact, the Vader of the later movies actually bears many similarities to his prequel counterpart, at least in Episode III.
Vader gives in so deeply to fear and anger in the movie that he almost destroys the people closest to him.
In Return of the Jedi, his change of heart causes him to destroy the Emperor to save his son.
Overall, there’s a reason why people try their best not to make him angry.
6 He Never Looked for His Children Because He Didn’t Know They Were Alive
While the prequels are full of plot holes and inconsistencies when stacked up against the original trilogy, fans love to talk about why Vader never sought out his children even though this is one of the few details that’s actually explained very well.
So much of the finale of Revenge of the Sith hinges on the fact that Vader never even knew that his children were born.
Even though Luke was raised on Vader’s home planet, he never had a reason to go back there to look for him because he didn’t know he even existed.
The Emperor had told Vader that both Padmé and the kids were lost in childbirth and he’d believed him, adding another tragic layer to his story.
5 He’s Never Been Beaten By Luke In A Fight
Not counting Luke’s fight with Vader during his unique vision quest on Dagobah, Luke has had two lightsaber battles with his father.
While he survives both of them, he really doesn’t win either. Even though Luke is a much better, more level-headed fighter in Return of the Jedi, he ultimately loses the battle.
In fact, he suffers heavy losses both times, as the first time he loses a hand and the second time he loses his father.
It’s the very fact that Luke is in such imminent mortal danger that causes Vader to act against the Emperor and save his son’s life.
4 He Chose Luke Over the Emperor From the Beginning
Between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Vader learns the truth about Luke. He knows that the boy survived and therefore realizes that the Emperor has been lying to him about that fact for twenty years.
When he is ordered to destroy Luke, he suggests that they might be able to use the boy.
As soon as he comes face to face with Luke, he offers him the chance to double-cross the Emperor so that the two of them can rule the galaxy as father and son.
These moments make Vader’s eventual turn easy to swallow, as it’s clear that even when he was fully on the dark side, he wanted to side with his son.
3 The Emperor Blamed Him For the Destruction of the Death Star
One of the things that gets explored more deeply in the Marvel Star Wars comics, particularly the Darth Vader series, is the fact that tensions were pretty high between Vader and the Emperor between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
The Emperor blamed Vader for the loss of the Death Star, partially because it was a project that Vader had been helping to oversee.
It was also something the Empire had invested all its time and resources in.
However, the Emperor mostly blamed Vader there were no other survivors of the Death Star for the Emperor to place his blame on.
2 Most of the Empire View Him As Outdated
To most people within the Empire, those who haven’t had the chance to witness his power first hand, Darth Vader is simply a relic of days gone by.
He hails from a more mystical time. In an era without Jedi, there’s really no place for a Sith, either.
Many officers aboard the Death Star comment on this in A New Hope. This is a structured Empire, every building is designed almost exactly the same and everyone wears the same matching uniform.
Vader definitely stands out when he walks into a room and his devotion to the Force causes skepticism amongst the more practical-minded high ranking officers of the Empire.
1 His Armor Is Just a Life Support System
If there’s one thing that people love to overlook about Darth Vader, it’s that his armor is not just meant to be cool or even meant to look that intimidating. It is not something he would be wearing if he didn’t have to be.
Inside is a small and shriveled old man who is barely alive.
Vader is a tragic character and because of this, which makes him a somewhat pathetic character. As powerful as he is, he’s holding by a thread at every moment.
The one thing people immediately recognize about this character is his incredibly labored breathing.
Can you think of any other facts about Darth Vader in Star Wars that everyone chooses to ignore? Let us know in the comments!