Ever since his debut in 1977, Darth Vader has been one of the most feared and iconic villains in cinema. The character was given a backstory in the Star Wars prequel trilogy where viewers got to see the rise of Darth Vader and the fall of Anakin Skywalker.
He was also featured prominently as the main antagonist in A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi but has also been the inspiration for Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy.
Darth Vader may have passed way in Return of the Jedi, but filmmakers and animators were able to bring him back for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Rebels since these tales take place in between Episode 3 and 4.
Since Rogue One and A New Hope are set 19 years after Revenge of the Sith, many may wonder what happened between Episode 3 and 4, or more specifically, what Darth Vader did during this stretch of time.
Thankfully, there have been numerous books (The Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader), comic books (Star Wars: Darth Vader), and video games (The Force Unleashed) about Darth Vader to quench people’s never-ending thirst for more Star Wars.
So buckle up as we take a look at a galaxy far, far away and explore the 15 Things You Had No Idea Darth Vader Did Between Star Wars Episode 3 and 4.
15 He Trained An Apprentice
Many fans may not know, but Darth Vader had a Sith apprentice in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The apprentice’s name was Galen Marek, aka Starkiller, who was the main character in The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed II.
Galen Marek was rescued by Darth Vader after the battle on Kashyyyk and was trained in the ways of the Dark Side soon after.
Training an apprentice may seem like common practice in the Star Wars world, but not for the Sith.
Darth Vader training an apprentice not only breaks the Rule of Two, but also shows Darth Vader’s disloyalty to Emperor Palpatine. By secretly training Galen Marek, it reveals that Vader was attempting to overthrow Darth Sidious with the help of Starkiller.
14 He Befriended Lieutenant Erv Lekauf
Darth Vader was never really portrayed to have many emotions besides anger until the end of Return of the Jedi. In the short story called A Two-Edged Sword, Darth Vader seemed to have befriended a lieutenant in the Imperial Army.
After continually impressing Darth Vader with his commendable service, Vader appointed Erv Lekauf as his personal aide.
While searching for troopers who were more loyal to the Empire, Erv Lekauf’s DNA was duplicated, which created six clones of Lekauf.
Soon after, a battle broke out between Darth Vader and a dark Jedi named Sheyvan. Lekauf attempted to save Vader with a flame thrower, but Sheyvan’s force sensitive clones deflected the fire and Vader was almost burned until Lekauf jumped in front of the flames.
Vader then used the force to ease his pain, gave him medical treatment in a bacta tank, and let him retire with his family on Coruscant.
13 He Dueled With Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano is part of the Togruta species much like Jedi Master Shaak Ti from the live-action prequel trilogy. Ahsoka’s first role was in Star Wars: The Clone Wars back in 2008 and she continued to be a main character throughout The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels TV shows.
What makes her special to Darth Vader is that she was the apprentice to Anakin Skywalker before he fell to the Dark Side.
Darth Vader comes face to face with Ahsoka Tano for the first time in the season two finale of Star Wars: Rebels.
An epic lightsaber battle quickly breaks out, which results in Ahsoka slashing Vader in the face with her lightsaber. A sliver of Vader’s scarred face is shown and the battle ends when the Malachor Sith Temple is destroyed.
12 He Confronted Palpatine About Padmé’s Death
Star Wars: Darth Vader is the newest Marvel comic book series focusing on the rise of Darth Vader following Revenge of the Sith. The first issue picks up seconds after Vader’s famous “NOOOO!” line, and he actually confronts Darth Sidious about Padmé’s death.
Anakin Skywalker helped the Empire overthrow the Jedi Order and ultimately bring chaos to the Galaxy. Skywalker went through all of this because he had a premonition that Padmé would die in childbirth. Palpatine promised Anakin that learning the dark side of the force could save her life.
He tells Darth Vader that because of his rage, Padmé is dead and not even the Dark Side can bring her back. Palpatine goes on to explain that Padmé’s death has given him the gift of pain, which he can use to live, otherwise he would die.
11 He Met Boba Fett (Again)
While Anakin Skywalker and Boba Fett may have run into each other during the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones, they would later cross paths in between Episode 3 and 4.
Possibly not even recognizing each other, Darth Vader gave Boba Fett the task of capturing Juno Eclipse in The Force Unleashed II. His plan was to use Juno Eclipse to flush out Starkiller after he was redeemed by the Light Side of the Force.
In Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vader also sends Fett on a mission to find a young man who boarded the Millennium Falcon with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While Boba Fett fails his mission, he came back with the name “Skywalker.” This has become canon for the Star Wars universe and it explains how Vader found out that his son was alive and a threat to the Empire.
10 He Hunted Down Jedi Who Avoided Order 66
No matter how much you hate the prequels, Emperor Palpatine executing Order 66 was a chilling moment in the climax of Revenge of the Sith. For most of the Jedi, Order 66 meant an untimely death, but there were a few who were able to outrun or hide from the Galactic Empire.
In the book Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine finds out that a group of Clone troopers on Murkhana refused to betray the Jedi. Palpatine sends Darth Vader to investigate the matter and to hunt down Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak, two Jedi Masters, and Padawan Olee Starstone.
After hunting them down, Vader ends up decapitating Bol Chatak. Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone escape for the time being, but Vader again finds them and duels with Shryne. Roan Shryne's life comes to an end, but not before he gives Starstone enough time to escape with Chewbacca.
9 He Invaded Kashyyyk
The Force Unleashed video game from 2008 opens with Darth Vader landing on Kashyyyk-- the homeland of the Wookies.
War has already begun on the planet, but the attack has not been going to plan, which causes Darth Vader to intervene in the matter. While invading the planet, Vader encounters and takes the life of Kento Marek.
Kento Marek was a rogue Jedi who was fighting to protect the Wookies on Kashyyyk.
During the duel, Kento’s son named Galen uses the force to take Vader’s lightsaber. Imperial officers and Stormtroopers come to Darth Vader’s aid, but Vader ends them before they can shoot down Galen.
Galen would later grow to become Darth Vader’s apprentice and be the main character of The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed II.
8 He Trained The Inquisitors
After Emperor Palpatine executed Order 66, he sent Darth Vader to wipe out any remaining Jedi. Eventually, Darth Vader had more important roles in the Galactic Empire, which spawned the Inquisitorius project.
The Imperial Inquisitors were a group of assassins who were given the task to find and end the lives of any surviving Jedi or force sensitive children.
The Fifth Brother, Sixth Brother, Seventh Sister, Eighth Brother, Ninth Sister, and the Grand Inquisitor were all affiliated with the Jedi Order before its downfall and Darth Vader trained them in the ways of the Dark Side of the Force soon after.
Having the teachings of a Jedi and the teachings of The Dark Lord made The Inquisitors a deadly team that wreaked havoc on the Rebellion before A New Hope.
7 He Constantly Had To Prove His Loyalty To Palpatine
It was revealed in the expanded universe that Darth Vader was merely a pawn for Palpatine-- nothing more, nothing less. Despite this cruel relationship between master and apprentice, Darth Vader constantly had to prove his loyalty to Darth Sidious.
On multiple occasions, Palpatine would send assassins and dark Jedi to try and take the life of Vader to see if he was still strong enough to be his apprentice or if he needed to be replaced.
In the comic Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin, Palpatine sets up an elaborate scheme called the “Heinsnake Plot.”
Emperor Palpatine hired someone to assassinate himself to see if Vader would save him, and then told Vader to track down the assassin.
This led Vader to a cult that offered to help him overthrow Darth Sidious but Vader refused to betray his master and destroyed all of the Heinsnake cultists.
6 He Fought Alongside Palpatine On Ryloth
We usually do not see Darth Sidious in very many battles after Revenge of the Sith, but he was forced to fight alongside Darth Vader in the novel Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp.
Based on the planet Ryloth, Lords of the Sith revolved around a resistance uprising that had begun. The Empire had been forcing the people on Ryloth, mainly the Twi-lek species, to harvest an addictive drug called “spice.”
The uprising was led by a man named Cham Syndulla, who attempted to claim the lives of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader during their visit to Ryloth, but of course, failed.
Cham Syndulla escapes, but not before the Dark Lords ends the lives of everyone who may have witnessed the battle. Syndulla clearly underestimated the power of the Dark Side.
5 He Battled The Leaders Of The Rebellion
Star Wars: Rebels ended a few weeks ago, but fans will never forget when Darth Vader first officially appeared on the show at the end of season one.
Darth Vader returned for the season two premiere and in typical Star Wars fashion, had an epic showdown with two of the leaders of the Rebellion-- Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus.
Vader had been sent to investigate rumors of an uprising and ran into Ezra and Kanan in the process.
Vader easily fought off the two Jedi and even tried to take down Ezra with his own lightsaber.
Fortunately for the rebels, Vader purposely let them live so that they could lead him back to the rebel fleet. This was the first time that Darth Vader battled with the rebel leaders, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
4 He Tracked Down And Ended The Life Of Jocasta Nu
The “Dying Light” storyline from the Star Wars: Darth Vader comic series brings Jocasta Nu into the spotlight. In case you don’t remember, Jocasta Nu was first introduced during Star Wars Episode II and was the librarian of the Jedi Archives.
Unfortunately, this sweet yet powerful old lady was ended by Darth Vader sometime after Revenge of the Sith. Darth Vader and the Inquisitors were sent on a mission to find Jocasta Nu and bring her back alive for Emperor Palpatine.
Usually, the Sith are ruthless and just take the lives of their enemies, but Palpatine wanted to extract pertinent knowledge from her-- mainly the locations of young force sensitive children.
Darth Vader finds and claims the life of Nu after she reveals to a group of clone troopers that he is actually Anakin Skywalker. Vader then destroys the memory crystal that contained the children’s locations so that Palpatine could never replace him.
3 He Ended The Life Of Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a... But it wasn't an easy battle
After confronting Emperor Palpatine about Padmé’s death, Palpatine sends Vader to find a Jedi, whom he can destroy and take the lightsaber of.
Darth Vader sets his sights on Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a, who has been in hiding ever since Order 66 was carried out.
You may think that the strong Sith Lord would easily be able to overpower Kirak Infil’a, but Darth Vader’s robotic leg was damaged during battle which allowed Infil’a to take the high ground and force push Vader off the side of a cliff.
Jedi Master Infil’a attempts to leave the city and make plans to take down the Emperor, but it was too late. Darth Vader returned and force choked Kirak Infil’a, stole the Jedi’s lightsaber, and drowned an entire city.
2 He Forged His Red Lightsaber
Darth Vader is known for his robotic suit, his terrorizing voice, and of course, his red lightsaber. All Sith have red sabers, but Darth Vader was not simply given a new blade after Revenge of Sith.
Palpatine explains that a crimson kyber crystal is made when a Sith takes one from a Jedi and makes it “bleed” by putting all of their agony into the crystal. This leads Vader to Kirak Infil’a on the moon Al’doleem in order to take the Jedi’s lightsaber.
After he takes the life of Kirak Infil’a, he travels back to Mustafar to turn the green kyber crystal red. Vader pours all of his hate, anger, and agony into the crystal and turns it crimson. He returned to his master with his new red saber and continued to spill blood with it ever since.
1 He Forced Down Liquid Food
It has long been questioned how and if Darth Vader eats food. While we see that he does still have teeth when he gets electrocuted in Return of the Jedi, it is probably extremely difficult and painful for Vader to eat solid foods.
This leads many to believe that Darth Vader has learned to force down (pun most definitely intended) liquid foods for his diet.
Many people believe that his breathing problems and injuries are the cause for this and he either eats some type of nutritional paste or is injected with nutrients in his meditation chamber.
Regardless of the real answer, it would make Vader seem a lot less menacing if we saw him chowing down on a Big Mac in the middle of a movie or sitting down with Boba Fett to eat at Cloud City.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Darth Vader that took place between Star Wars Episode 3 and 4? Leave it in the comment section!