In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker lost near-fatally in a duel against Obi-Wan Kenobi, marking his full transformation into Darth Vader. Vader had many functions in the Galaxy and the Empire that ruled it. But what were the functions of his suit in his day-to-day life? What did these functions do to hold him back from his full potential?
How did they make him stronger in some ways or weaker in others? What specific gadgets could he control? What was it about this suit that fostered and sealed in the constant rage that trapped Anakin Skywalker in the evil that was Darth Vader? These ten interesting facts about Darth Vader's suit can answer those questions.
10 The Functions Of The Suit Itself
While it is undeniably a massive slab of armor, it also has a much more crucial function. As is commonly known, the suit allowed him to keep on living due to its wide variety of life-support systems.
Chief among these systems was the complex breathing apparatus housed in the suit's center, which allowed him relatively free movement. His armor was made mostly of an impenetrable metal alloy called durasteel.
9 The Suit Was Obsolete On Purpose
To wear the suit was painful for Vader, from the itchy synthetic skin, to the loud sound of the respiratory, to all of the needles and pins penetrating his body. This pain kept him awake when he tried to sleep and detrimentally affected his sanity. This is exactly what Darth Sidious intended rather than a far-more upgraded suit akin to General Grievous' cybernetics, which would have been perfectly possible.
The less calm and comfortable Vader was, the angrier and closer he was to the Dark Side and the rage-filled powers it instilled in him. To escape the armor's claustrophobia and pain, Vader had several meditation chambers built where he could survive without the mask and the suit. He also had bacta tanks without the armor or his cybernetic limbs, allowing him to meditate in a quieter environment. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story showed one of these tanks.
8 The Boots Held Hidden Utility
While Vader's boots were aesthetically pleasing and combat-ready, they also had many unseen purposes. They contained Durasteel hinging on the sides of the feet that allowed him to walk. The soles of the boots also contained a ferromagnetic core that could be activated by Vader's mouth-operated controls to generate poignant magnetic fields which allowed him to cling to starship hulls. Eat your heart out, Spider-Man.
7 Heavy Shoulder Pads
Vader's armor was obviously heavy. However, the shoulder pieces weighed over twenty-five pounds, able to hold off blaster bolts and lightsaber strikes. The caveat was that when it came to Vader's lightsaber, the Dark Lord of the Sith had a hard time getting it up.
Coupled with the design of his robotic arms after his grievous injuries on Mustafar, this made it very difficult to raise his arms above his head.
6 The Constant Itch
The fires of Mustafar completely destroyed Darth Vader's skin. To fix this problem, he had a type of synthetic skin to replace the skin seared from his bones. Said artificial skin itched so badly that he was driven insane with discomfort, his body needing to be regularly cleansed and scrubbed of dead flesh by droids.
5 The Function Of The Mask
The mask was one of the most painful parts of the suit, but also one of the most useful. There were multiple displays present in the lenses, supplying him with a steady stream of data and amplifying his already considerable connection to the Force.
During his slaughter of the helpless Rebel troopers in Rogue One, his vision was perfect. His lenses allow him to see infrared and ultraviolet vision on a whim. The canon comics have also shown this.
4 Magic Gloves
Vader's right glove covering his cybernetic hand was a Mandalorian Crushgaunt fitted around an indestructible Sith amulet that once belonged to Lord Skere Kaan of Darth Bane's time. The other glove had this same micronized Mandalorian iron weave which protected him against lightsaber strikes and helped him to deflect a direct hit from a blaster like in The Empire Strikes Back against Han Solo.
3 It Regulated Homeostasis
Vader's suit can help to regulate bodily temperature just as the human body can. The armor gets hot and sweaty, but its sensitive temperature regulation system controlled by a function box on the belt take care of that problem.
This unit was powerful enough to allow Vader to walk the surface of both Hoth and Tatooine, preventing that rough and course sand on the latter planet from getting everywhere.
2 There Is A Unitard Underneath
This giant one-piece body glove covered everything below Vader's neck. The unitard was blast-dampening, fire-proof (not the high ground way, but still), flexible, and quilted. There was also a small pocket inside the suit allowing access to a cartridge. This cartridge containing chemicals that lessened Vader's perception of pain in times of need.
1 It Gives Darth Vader Strength
For all of the suit's drawbacks, it gave Darth Vader incredibly inhuman strength. With the suit and his considerable abilities with the Force, Vader was an unstoppable force (Get it?), even able to tweak the mechanics in his suit and limbs to give him more or less physical strength as needed. In the novel The Rise of Darth Vader, he speaks about tweaking his forearms and hands so that they are able to crush the otherwise impenetrable hilt of his lightsaber. And if he had anything massively heavy fall on him, he would not only easily survive, but be able to lift the object off himself, as demonstrated in Star Wars: Rebels when an AT-AT Walker was knocked onto him. And when it comes to lifting a fully-grown human over his head, as his Sith master can attest to, that is no problem for him.