Star Wars: 11 Characters Darth Vader Is Close To (And 9 He Can’t Stand)

Luke Skywalker with Darth Vader Return of the Jedi

Darth Vader is probably the closest thing we're going to get to a main character in Star Wars. Throughout the many films, we get to know this character very well and he's one of the greatest villains ever conceived in cinematic history. Everyone wanted to know what was underneath that iconic mask. The sense of mystery was overwhelming. We started to discover more and more about this character's backstory and it was truly surprising. The revelation that Vader was actually Luke's father was the first of many clues to this villain's past. In the prequels, Vader's past was fully revealed. We saw him as a young boy and we watched him grow into a Jedi Knight. Slowly but surely, cracks started to show in his character. Violent, turbulent emotions were always bubbling underneath the surface with Master Skywalker. Above all else, his interactions with other characters showed this. It was clear that there were some characters that Anakin couldn't stand.

After Anakin put on the mask and became Darth Vader, he became much colder with those around him. It was very rare indeed to see him become friendly with others. It seemed like the closest bond he could form was one of professional respect. However, there are some notable exceptions. Some of these relationships come from Vader's activities in the expanded universs, but others are plain to see within the films themselves. Here are Star Wars: 11 Characters Darth Vader Is Close To And 8 He Can’t Stand.

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20 Close To - Grand Moff Tarkin

While it's clear that Darth Vader and Tarkin aren't exactly friends, there is a strong sense of respect between these two. Some have commented that Vader seems to be obedient to Grand Moff Tarkin and follows his every command. While it's true that he doesn't rebel against Tarkin, there's much more to it than simply a relationship of master and servant.

In reality, both these individuals actually respect each other, and have formed a highly professional relationship. They both know where they stand and Vader realizes that Grand Moff Tarkin is a skilled and highly intelligent commanding officer. In turn, Grand Moff Tarkin recognizes Vader's exceptional abilities and does not mock him for his belief in the Force.

19 Can't Stand - Mace Windu

Some say that Mace Windu is one of the biggest reasons why Vader turned to the dark side in the first place. Mace Windu was Anakin's first true act of aggression as a Sith, and with the fall of this Jedi Master, he truly started to become Darth Vader. It was not long after Windu's passing that Palpatine gave the Sith his famous name. While it might have seemed like the passing of Windu came from nowhere, the truth is that hatred and bitterness had been bubbling under the surface between him and Anakin for some time.

Mace Windu represents an element of the Jedi Order that ultimately failed. Windu was cold, unfeeling, and totally unsympathetic towards the inner turmoil that was consuming Anakin. In his mind, the only way to move forward was to do things "by the book." This meant keeping giving Anakin little respect and ordering him to stay put while he dealt with Palpatine. If this master was more understanding, perhaps Anakin would never have turned to the dark side.

18 Close To - His Troops (Vader's Fist)

In his later years, Darth Vader became more machine than man. Not just physically, but mentally as well. He plunged himself into conflict as a highly tuned instrument of war and battle became one of the few things which he felt passionate about. If there was one thing he could understand, it was warfare and skill in battle. And when it came to his allies, Vader was more than willing to give respect where it was due.

One group of soldiers that won enormous praise from Lord Vader was his personal legion of Stormtroopers. These soldiers were collectively known as the 501st Legion, or informally as "Vader's Fist." Vader respected his soldiers and although he was careless with their lives at times, he valued their contribution to the glory of the Empire. In his later years, these soldiers perhaps felt closer to Vader than anyone else in the galaxy.

17 Can't Stand - Emperor Palpatine 

Some would say that Palpatine represented Vader's only friend and companion, but real fans know that this is anything but the case. In many ways, Palpatine enslaved Vader and, over the years, Vader undoubtedly grew to resent his master. Because with any Sith duo, the relationship is always one of master and servant. And due to the history of the Sith, both these Dark Lords were probably constantly paranoid about being betrayed by one another.

Palpatine valued Vader's strength and usefulness, but he was just a means to an end for the Emperor. Before donning the iconic black armor, Vader could've probably overthrown his master. However, Anakin was weakened by his cyborg augmentation and he was destined for a life of servitude after the "procedure." In the end, Vader finally got revenge on his master and destroyed the Emperor once and for all.

16 Close To - Ahsoka Tano

Vader's history with Ahsoka Tano stretches back long before he ever became a Sith Lord. During the Clone Wars, these two fought side by side and Ahsoka was Anakin's padawan. Over the years, they grey incredibly close and they learned a lot about each other. After countless battles, they established an understanding and a rapport that went beyond a typical soldier's camaraderie.

Even though Ahsoka left the Jedi Order, she never really gave up on her master. Vader himself definitely had some lingering feelings of attachment to his old Padawan, even when he was tasked with hunting down the rebel groups that she was a part of. He never managed to finally bring her down. Could this be due the fact that he still cared about her?

15 Close To - Boba Fett

In many ways, these two soldiers are the ultimate brothers in arms. They definitely have a strong understanding of one another. Based on their interactions in the films, we can assume that these two have probably been working together for many years and they respect each other's skills and abilities. Darth Vader has probably employed the services of Boba Fett plenty of times in the past and we get the feeling that the bounty hunter has never let Vader down. It's actually Fett who informs Vader that there's another 'Skywalker' running around in the galaxy.

Sure, there are some moments where the two disagree. Boba Fett famously protests when Vader freezes Han Solo in Carbonite, uttering his famous line "He's no good to me dead!" But to his credit, Vader offers to compensate Boba Fett fully for any inconveniences on his part.

14 Can't Stand - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader definitely have a very complicated relationship. From the very beginning, these two never seemed to bond in a natural and fluid way. When Qui-Gon Jinn first finds Anakin on Tatooine, it seems as though the Jedi Knight is the only one who has faith in Anakin. The Jedi Council says that Anakin is too old to begin training. It's only due to Obi-Wan's loyalty to his master that he takes Anakin on as a Padawan. Qui-Gon made him promise to train the boy.

Because of this, Obi-Wan never really wanted to train the boy in the first place. Yes, they developed a strong relationship during the Clone Wars, but there was always friction between these two. And in the end, when Anakin became Vader, he blamed Obi-Wan for the passing of his wife and tried to take him out. Because Obi-Wan was the one who injured Vader so badly, the Sith Lord will always feel a strong sense of resentment towards his old master.

13 Close To - Luke Skywalker

Some would say that Luke and Vader are the most obvious enemies in the original trilogy, but by the end of the last movie, this is revealed to be very far from the truth. Even from the very beginning, Vader shows an interest in "young Luke," rather than a blind hatred. He seems intrigued by the boy's strength with the force, even if he doesn't realize that Luke is actually his son.

When he does finally realize the truth, everything changes. In the third film, Luke and Vader's interactions with each other are mostly cordial and respectful, with Luke still holding onto hope that his father can become good again. In the end, Luke refuses to strike down his father and this ultimate act of submission to the will of the force inspires Vader to take out his old master.

12 Can't Stand - Princess Leia 

Star Wars: Leia Tarkin and Darth Vader

For some reason, Vader never quite realizes that Leia is actually his daughter. Some have theorized that because Leia is not strong with the force, Vader can't pick up on her "signature". He couldn't truly sense her presence and her connection to his bloodline. Or maybe he does realize the truth, and he just doesn't care.

Whatever the case, Vader actually willingly harms Leia and treats her quite terribly when he has her captive. This is an unthinkable act for a father to do to his own daughter. Vader's connection to the dark side is fully illustrated with this horrific act and it's clear that he has no problem with unleashing his evil desires on Princess Leia.

11 Close To - Padmé Amidala 

Even though Padmé is long gone by the time Darth Vader puts on his iconic mask, he undoubtedly still thinks about her. If you think about it, it was his love and deep attachment to his wife that ultimately drove him to the dark side. He only saved Palpatine's life because the Dark Lord said he was able to save Padmé's life. In the end, he lost Padmé and ruined his own life.

Would it have been different if Padmé had lived? Was Anakin always destined to fall to the dark side? It's interesting to think about. Padmé was probably the one person in the galaxy that understood Vader best and she might've had the best chance of saving him from the dark side. One thing's for sure, Vader definitely spends a lot of time thinking about Padmé.

10 Can't Stand - Yoda

In many ways, Yoda is the polar opposite of Darth Vader. Both Jedi were born with an unbelievably high connection the force and, if there was one person who was capable of besting Vader, it was Yoda. But like Mace Windu, Yoda represented many of the failures of the Jedi Order and he failed to recognize Anakin's intense inner turmoil.

He also failed to help Anakin when he needed it most. Furthermore, Yoda was dismissive of Anakin on more than one occasion. First, he was reluctant to even allow Anakin to train with the Jedi Order as a young boy. Secondly, he was never very supportive of Anakin's role on the Jedi council. All these things created something of a rift between the two Jedi and Vader undoubtedly still harbors some resentment towards the famous Jedi.

9 Close To - Galen Marek

Galen Marek was the main character of the video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. This Sith fighter was actually Darth Vader's secret apprentice, and his life was very interesting indeed. While Vader was a cruel and brutal master to this young student, he also showed rare moments of compassion towards Galen. This was perhaps more emotion than he showed anyone else in the galaxy.

Darth Vader took on Galen as a student because he needed help to overthrow Darth Sidious. He knew he wasn't powerful enough to do it on his own and he needed help. Galen was committed to helping Vader in this mission and pushed himself to the absolute limit. In the end, he ultimately became a Jedi.

8 Close To - Lt. Lekauf 

Lt. Lekauf represents a rare case in Vader's life, where a lone Imperial Officer actually won the respect and friendship of the legendary Sith Lord. Erv Lekauf was assigned to Darth Vader as his personal aide and quickly impressed his master after proving his bravery, skill and intelligence. Lt. Lekauf even risked his life to protect Vader from his enemies, some of which had been sent by Emperor Palpatine to test Darth Vader's strength.

Vader was so impressed with Lekauf that he had him cloned. His value to the Empire was clear enough that even Palpatine endorsed a cloning project where several versions of Lekauf were born. With his own personal clone squadron, Lekauf fought some of the galaxy's toughest enemies, all while continuing to risk his life for Vader. In certain situations, Vader even comforted Lekauf when he was injured and made sure that he had access to Bacta Tanks to recover from his wounds.

7 Can't Stand - Count Dooku  

Count Dooku was one of Sidious' many Sith apprentices and he was the last one before Darth Vader took his place beside the Emperor. Throughout a couple of the movies, he was the main villain and the Jedi Order were constantly chasing him down. Obi-Wan and Anakin definitely had a history with this villain, and Dooku succeeded in taking Anakin's hand clean off.

In the end, Dooku was the one who fell at the hands of Anakin and this was the beginning of the Jedi's true path to the dark side. Immediately after he takes out Dooku, he realizes that it was the wrong thing to do and that the villain probably deserved a fair trial. However, it's clear that Anakin's intense hatred of the villain got the better of him.

6 Close To - Shmi

It's clear that Anakin has intense feelings for his mother. These feelings continue well into his adult life and they're evidence of his strong emotions. Shmi was the only person who really cared about Anakin in his early years and she did everything she could to ensure that he had a good life. When Shmi passes at the hands of the sand people, Anakin goes into a violent rage. It's one of the first times we see the real Vader coming out.

Even though Shmi passes away, she's obviously still in Anakin's thoughts. Even when the Jedi becomes Vader, the villain probably still thinks about his long lost mother. Along with Padmé, she was one of the most important people in his life.

5 Can't Stand - Admiral Motti

One of the most famous scenes in Star Wars: A New Hope is when Admiral Motti makes the mistakes of insulting Vader. It gives rise to one of the most iconic exchanges of dialogue in Science Fiction history. When Admiral Motti implies that Vader's devotion to the "religion" of the Force is ridiculous, Vader interrupts him mid-sentence.

Then he utter the famous line, "I find your lack of faith disturbing." It's clear that this isn't the first time Vader has dealt with mouthy Imperial Officers and it won't be the last either. It's safe to say that Vader just can't stand Admiral Motti or anyone like him. As Star Wars fans know, this becomes a recurring theme...

4 Close To - Wrenga Jixton

Wrenga Jixton is another memorable character that some fans might recognize from the Expanded Universe. This man is actually an Imperial Agent who works directly under Darth Vader. Throughout their time together, it becomes clear that Darth Vader and Wrenga Jixton have a pretty close relationship. Wrenga Jixton even saved Vader's life once.

Fans of the Expanded Universe might even remember that Wrenga Jixton once called Vader "Uncle D" and got away with it. The fact that Vader let that go speaks volumes about the level of respect between these two. In the end, Wrenga Jixton remains a pretty minor character in the grand scheme of things, but he definitely had a close relationship to Vader.

3 Can't Stand - Director Krennic 

We all know that Vader doesn't respect some of the highest-ranking Imperial Officers. However, while most officers know not to disturb Vader, others just don't get the message. One of these officers was none other than Director Krennic, who disturbed Vader during his moment of solitude. Vader didn't waste any time in using the force to make him understand the grave mistake he made. As he lay on the floor, Vader reminded Krennic just how insignificant he really was.

However, many fans have pointed out an interesting reason for Vader's hatred towards Krennic. It could be because Krennic represents the creation of the Death Star and we all know how Vader feels about the Death Star. "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force." Those were words spoken by Lord Vader himself.

2 Close To - Black Eight Squadron

If there was one thing that Vader remained passionate about even after he lost most of his humanity, it was flying. Vader remained one of the best pilots in the galaxy, and this was one thing that no one could ever take from him. Because he understood what it meant to be a great pilot, he had enormous respect for skilled Imperial Pilots that served by his side.

Most of these pilots were transferred to the Black Eight Squadron, which was Vader's personal command. This unit under the Imperial Navy was known for having some of the best pilots around. Vader was very careful to monitor the progress of his pilots. He was also very careful to select the best lead pilot available. It's safe to say that the pilots of Black Eight Squadron enjoyed a relatively close relationship with Lord Vader.

1 Can't Stand - Himself

Perhaps the person Darth Vader hates most is himself. Throughout the years, he must be filled with all kinds of painful regrets, and he must relive them every single day. His sad and twisted existence is a direct result of the choices he made as a young man.

Does he hate himself for inadvertently causing the loss of Padme's life? Does he hate himself for ruining his friendship with Anakin? What about slaying the younglings? We can guess that he regrets all of these things and more. He definitely thinks about them every single day. He hates his life and what he's done to it, because at the very end, we see that he is still a good person inside.


Which of these surprised you most? Let us know in the comments!

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