One of the most iconic villains in all of cinema has to be Darth Vader. First, from a distance, you hear the heavy, mechanical wheezing of his breathing apparatus. Next, you catch hints of the lights on his jet black suit that are a part of the vital system that keeps his body alive. When he steps into the light, you can see the emotionless, skull-like appearance that his black mask has. The last thing you'll see is the flash from the swing from his ruby red lightsaber cutting you down. You do not reason with Darth Vader and you don't barter with Darth Vader. The sad thing is that he wasn't always evil. We were introduced to young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, and audiences got to watch the young boy go from podracing in the desert to being the right hand man to the Emperor of the Republic.
Some parts of Darth Vader's origins are almost Shakespearian in nature, other parts are kind of confusing. Of course mistakes were going to be made: George Lucas launched the Star Wars series of films by starting in the middle! Star Wars mastermind George Lucas didn't originally intend on having Darth Vader be dad to Luke and Leia, but how did Vader not recognize C-3PO if he made him as a kid? How did he even get the name Vader? Why did he de-age when be became a Force Ghost? Did having a high midichlorian count actually mean anything? What was so awesome about Darth Vader that made him an idol for Kylo Ren? Do you have any fixes of explanations that make some of these nonsensical things about Darth Vader work?
25 WHAT WAS DARTH VADER'S ACTUAL JOB?
Darth Vader. Infamous villain. Sith Lord. What does it actually say on his business card? He's the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet, but did he get that because he was a good podracer? Is this just an example of nepotism? What privileges does being Supreme Commander give you?
Besides carrying out the will of the Emperor, does he just automatically outrank anyone he talks to? In A New Hope, it sometimes seemed like Grand Moff Tarkin talked down to Vader. Even Admiral Motti threw some shade his way. Doesn't seem very Supreme when subordinates are mocking your allegiance to the Force.
24 WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VADER'S HIGH MIDICHLORIAN COUNT?
In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn checked the amount of midichlorians in Anakin's blood. Young Obi-Wan said that the count was over 20,000, which is higher than any Jedi they knew of. So what does that mean? Doesn't this make Anakin the best of the best? Well, let's see what he accomplishes in the next two movies.
In Attack of the Clones, he is beaten by Count Dooku and loses part of his arm in a lightsaber battle. In Revenge of The Sith, Vader is beaten by Obi-Wan while fighting on the volcanic planet Mustafar. So we guess midichlorians really don't amount to anything after all?
23 WAS DARTH VADER A ROBOT?
If you look at cybernetic characters in cinema, you're able to see the line where the machine stops and the organic being starts. The character Cyborg from Justice League clearly is a person enhanced by technology. Even the Borg from Star Trek looks like aliens that have machine parts on them. What about Darth Vader?
All of his limbs were chopped off by Obi-Wan and replaced with mechanical ones. In the books and comics, its mentioned that a lot of his internal structure was rebuilt to handle the weight of his suit. Thanks to his injuries as well as the Dark Side, is there any humanity left in Vader to still consider him human?
22 WHY WAS HIS SUIT SO LOUD?
Star Wars is loaded with fantastic technology. Thanks to hyperspeed, ships can fly faster than the speed of light. There are hundreds if not thousands of different races of aliens wielding weapons ranging from blasters to lightsabers. So what's up with Vader's suit technology?
Comics and novels do a deep dive into how Vader's suit was purposefully designed to cause Vader pain, but what's up with the iron lung-like breathing noises? Sound designer Ben Burtt, Jr. made the sounds with an old Dacor scuba regulator. Although cool for cinematic effect, there wasn't a futuristic muffler to place on his face?
21 WHY THE NAME DARTH VADER?
Anakin Skywalker seals his fate when he takes sides with Senator Palpatine against Mace Windu in Revenge of the Sith. Anakin cuts off Windu's hand and then Palpatine uses Force Lightning to throw Windu out of a building. Anakin pledges loyalty to the Sith Lord as long as he helps him save Padme.
Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, initiates him into the Sith on the spot and gives him a new name: Darth Vader. However, it doesn't seem like Sidious had that name in his back pocket. He came up with it on the spot, but why did he go with that name in particular?
20 DON'T PEOPLE KNOW HIM BY REPUTATION?
At first glance, Darth Vader is kind of weird-looking. He's got a lot of blinking lights on his belt and you can hear him breathing from a mile away. If you think that thing on his head looks like a space helmet, you're right, because that's what it originally was intended to be. Funny looking or not, he's got a rep for being a bad dude.
He does, right? After all, people on the Death Star should know if you look at him the wrong way, he'll Force Choke you into oblivion. So why is it in A New Hope Admiral Motti thinks Vader is some sort of fake sorcerer? Doesn't Vader's reputation precede him?
19 WHY DID A REMATCH WITH OBI-WAN TAKE SO LONG?
Darth Vader has a bone to pick with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and rightfully so. Kenobi left Vader to perish on Mustafar after chopping off his arms and legs. He was found by Darth Sidious at the last minute and saved by technology. Years would go by until Vader and Kenobi would meet again, but why did it take that long?
Why didn't he go after Kenobi to get revenge? It didn't matter because he had to do it! Remember Executive Order 66? It demanded all Jedi be executed, so even if he didn't have personal reasons, he'd have to find him due to the Executive Order.
18 HOW DID HE NOT KNOW LEIA WAS HIS KID?
Star Wars was the brainchild of George Lucas, but some of the most important plot points developed over time. It was not the original intention of George Lucas to have Darth Vader be the father of Luke Skywalker, and it also becomes clear that Lucas didn't intend for Leia to be Vader's daughter.
Vader is able to use the Force to detect Luke when he's nearby. However, Leia was right in front of him in the opening scenes of A New Hope. Why didn't the Force tell him there and then that his daughter was in front of him?
17 WHY COULDN'T VADER GET THE DEATH STAR PLANS FROM THE REBELS?
Some people loved Rogue One because of the backstory it provided, others didn't like the film because it was too dark. However, almost everyone can agree that the end scene revealing Darth Vader cutting a path through Rebel soldiers was one of the best scenes ever in the Star Wars franchise.
As luck would have it, the Rebels are able to flee the scene with the blueprints for the Death Star. Vader couldn't get through the Rebel troops fast enough, but he didn't need to. Couldn't he have just used the Force to grab either the plans or the guy holding the plans?
16 HOW DID HE GROW UP SO FAST?
Scott Kelly is an astronaut, but he also has a twin brother. Why is that important? Because, due to all of his time in outer space, he's 13 milliseconds younger than his twin. Could all of the space travel that Star Wars characters do explain the weird aging that happens between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones?
In Phantom Menace, Anakin was nine and Padme was 14 (yeah, we don't believe that either). The sequel was set 10 years later, meaning Anakin was 19 and Padme was 24 (Both Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman at the time were 21). Why do we look at the actors and still feel like the timeline is off?
15 HOW DID VADER NOT RECOGNIZE C-3PO?
First of all, establishing that Anakin, at age nine, is the actual creator of C-3PO was a little strange to say the least. It's not like Anakin is Tony Stark and we need to show him doing something amazing to show off how much of a genius he is. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Captain Antilles orders Threepio's memory to be wiped.
Do you know whose memory was not wiped? Darth Vader! Why does Vader not recognize C-3PO? Was the protocol droid built from some sort of kit, making the droid unrecognizable from other droids? The again, Vader couldn't even recognize his own children.
14 HOW DID HE SURVIVE LOSING TO OBI-WAN ON MUSTAFAR?
Towards the end of Revenge of the Sith, not only does Obi-Wan cut off the limbs of Darth Vader, he also lets his former friend burst into flames due to Vader's proximity to the lava stream that's right next to him. Vader is limbless and on fire... that has to be the end of him, right?
No! Darth Sidious arrives just in time to put him into a medical capsule, but it did take him some time to get there. Just how did Darth Vader survive the physical trauma as well as the heat from the lava? Let's not forget, he was also on fire!
13 WHY DOES VADER DE-AGE WHEN HE TURNED INTO A FORCE GHOST?
Ok, we get it. When you watch Return of the Jedi when it was originally released, it ends with Force Ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin standing together and looking at Luke. In the re-release of the film, the ghost of Anakin, played by Sebastian Shaw, was digitally replaced by Hayden Christensen.
This was clearly done to create a cinematic bridge between the first and second trilogies. However, there's no in-universe explanation as to why Anakin de-ages but Obi-Wan does not. Does Yoda de-age? We can't tell... the guy ages very well!
12 WHY DOES VADER SOUND SO DIFFERENT WHEN HE WEARS THE SUIT?
Would you believe us if we told you James Earl Jones stuttered as a child? He overcame his speech disorder and is now famous for having an eloquent, rich-sounding voice. We wonder: is there anything in-universe that explains why Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker sounds nothing like Vader, voiced by James Earl Jones?
We can buy that his voice may have been modulated due to whatever cybernetic implants they put into his voicebox, but even his cadence and speech patterns are completely different. What cybernetic implant makes you talk and use words like a different person?
11 VADER DIDN'T FOLLOW THE RULE OF TWO
It seems like the Jedi have a long list of rules they have to follow. According to the Jedi Code, Jedi aren't supposed to have personal relationships, defend only and not attack, and be in the present and not dwell on the past. The Sith don't have as many rules, but they do have a few that are important.
The Sith Rule of Two stated that you could only have two Sith Lords at any time: a master and an apprentice. This was started by the first Sith Lord named Darth Bane. If Vader is apprentice to Darth Sidious, then how could they recruit Luke to the Dark Side? One of them would have to... uh... retire.
10 HOW LONG WAS VADER IN SPACE AFTER THE DEATH STAR BLEW UP?
During the trench run scene of A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is about to be shot down by Darth Vader. Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon rescue Luke in the nick of time. Solo shoots down one Tie Fighter, and the other one gets freaked out and crashes into Vader's ship. Vader's vessel is disabled and tumbles into space.
Luke blows up the Death Star and everyone celebrates! However, what happened to Vader? How long was he tumbling around in space for? With the Death Star destroyed, where is it that exactly that Vader went to? So many questions!
9 HOW DID HE NOT KNOW ABOUT LUKE?
Sometimes the best way to avoid someone finding you is hiding in plain sight (Clark Kent kind of does this). Or, maybe the person pursuing you has perceptual blindness, meaning they are just unable to see things that are right in front of them. Which one explains why Darth Vader didn't know about Luke?
Darth Vader's former name was Anakin Skywalker. His son is Luke Skywalker. Do you get where we're going with this? Isn't there some sort of galactic phone book Vader can look up? There can't be too many people named Skywalker in the galaxy!
8 HOW DID VADER GET SO EVIL SO FAST?
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a race! From The Dark Knight, we have Harvey Dent, who became the evil Two-Face after a five-minute conversation with the Joker in a hospital. We also have Cyclops from the X-Men, who became a villain after eliminating Professor X. Then we have Darth Vader, who got real evil after Sidious gave Vader his Sith name.
The winner for the character that became evil the fastest is Darth Vader! After cutting off Mace Windu's hand, he then proceeded to slaughter Jedi Younglings and almost everyone he encountered on Mustafar. How did the turn to the Dark Side happen so fast? Perhaps blame the midichlorians!
7 HOW DID KYLO REN GET VADER'S MASK?
Could Kylo Ren be Darth Vader's biggest fan? In The Force Awakens, we see Ren looking adoringly at the remains of Darth Vader's helmet. Why is it damaged? When audiences last saw it, it was being burned along with the body of Darth Vader on a funeral pyre on Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi.
How did Vader's helmet wind up in the possession of Kylo Ren? Was there an Ewok on Endor that put it up for sale on eBay? There's definitely a number of possibilities of how it got to Kylo, it would just be great if the correct one was shared with audiences!
6 WHAT'S UP WITH THE HIGH GROUND?
At the end of Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are engaged in an epic battle with Sith Lord Darth Maul. Maul dispatches Jinn and has Kenobi on the ropes. Kenobi is dangling over a pit and Maul is standing over him, but Obi-Wan uses the force to jump over him, grab his lightsaber, and cut Maul in half.
Ok, so if this act of Force-jumping over someone worked for Obi-Wan, why couldn't it work for Vader on Mustafar? Obi-Wan literally disproved that having the high ground gives you an advantage, so why couldn't Vader do what Obi-Wan did to Darth Maul?
5 WHY IS VADER ACCEPTED BY THE FORCE GHOSTS OF YODA AND OBI-WAN?
The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith gave us a great depiction of the corruption of Anakin Skywalker and the creation of Darth Vader. In that transformation, we saw many, many people lose their lives due to the hatred and anger that flowed through him.
The comics, books and animated shows go into even more depth into the villainy of Darth Vader. So why is it that Yoda and Obi-Wan happily hang out with him as ghosts at the end of Return of the Jedi? Why would they accept Vader but not Qui-Gon?
4 HOW COULD VADER HAVE NO FATHER?
Some people are desperate to be a Jedi. Did we say some? We meant a lot. In 2001, 70,000 Australians identified themselves as being Jedi. The same year, around 390,000 people in England and Wales wrote down as Jedi under religious affiliation. The Jedi faith even effects people IRL, but how much of being a Jedi relates to actual religion?
By saying that Anakin Skywalker had no actual father makes him a literal Christ-like figure. It was rumored that the father could be Darth Plagueis, or possibly produced by midicholorians. To say that Vader has no actual Dad doesn't really work, considering the drama that goes on between fathers and sons all throughout the series.
3 WHAT WAS UP WITH THE VADER THAT HAD LUKE'S FACE?
There are some very trippy moments in the Star Wars series. In The Last Jedi, Rey travels to a cavern that's beneath the island that Luke Skywalker is staying on. In it, she interacts with the Dark Side of the Force and has powerful visions, including one where infinite copies of Rey move about in an endless void. What did it all mean?
Something similar happened in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke travels into the Dagobah swamps and encounters Darth Vader. When Luke strikes him with his lightsaber, his mask comes off and it's revealed to have Luke's face! What the heck was that all about? When did the Force decide to use symbolism instead of just being clear?
2 WHY DID KYLO REN IDOLIZE VADER?
When Kylo Ren was introduced, fans were intrigued but still had lots of questions about his origins. After two sequels, we still don't know fully know about the Knights of Ren, or even backstory to Kylo's gnarly red-raging crossguard lightsaber. Another thing we don't know: why does Kylo idolize Darth Vader?
Sure, there were rumors about Vader and his actions, but Kylo's teacher was Luke, so wouldn't Luke set Kylo straight about Luke's own father? Also, Vader let the Death Star blow up and he betrayed the Emperor. What is it about his actions make Ben Solo want to switch to the Dark Side?
1 WHY WASN'T VADER'S SABOTAGE OF THE MILLENNIUM FALCON MORE THOROUGH?
In Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader ambushes Han Solo in Cloud City and then sets a trap for Luke Skywalker. While the Millennium Falcon was on Cloud City, Darth Vader had the ship's hyperdrive sabotaged so that they couldn't escape. These were Vader's orders, and this is someone who is the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet and has precognitive abilities thanks to the Force.
R2-D2 was able to re-activate the hyperdrive, allowing the ship to escape. Why did Vader just ask for the hyperdrive to be deactivated? Why not the whole propulsion system? Why not plant a giant bomb on the ship? C'mon, Vader, you're more evil than that!