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GERARD CHRISTIAN ZACHER'S "STAR WARS" SITE

ANAKIN SKYWALKER / DARTH VADER / JAKE LLOYD / HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN / DAVID PROWSE / JAMES EARL JONES

Home | HOLLYWOOD LUKE SKYWALKER - A SMALL SAMPLE; - GERARD CHRISTIAN ZACHER AS LUKE | . | . | . | THE VADER / LEIA CONNECTION | "EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE" | "EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES" | "EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH" | "EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE" | "EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK" | "EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI" | SHMI SKYWALKER / PERNILLA AUGUST | RUWEE NABERRIE / GRAEME BLUNDELL | JOBAL NABERRIE / TRISHA NOBLE | SOLA NABERRIE / CLAUDIA KARVAN | POOJA NABERRIE / HAYLEY MOOY | RYOO NABERRIE / KIERRA WINGATE | ANAKIN SKYWALKER / DARTH VADER / JAKE LLOYD / HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN / DAVID PROWSE / JAMES EARL JONES | QUEEN / SENATOR PADME NABERRIE AMIDALA | LUKE SKYWALKER / MARK HAMILL | PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA SKYWALKER SOLO / CARRIE FISHER | HAN SOLO / HARRISON FORD | SEE-THREEPIO (C-3PO) / ANTHONY DANIELS | ARTOO-DEETO (R2-D2) / KENNY BAKER | CHEWBACCA / PETER MAYHEW | QUI-GON JINN / LIAM NEESON | OBI-WAN KENOBI / EWAN MCGREGOR / SIR ALEC GUINNESS | YODA / FRANK OZ | MACE WINDU / SAMUEL L. JACKSON | KI ADI MUNDI / NUTE GUNRAY / REPUBLIC FIRST MATE / SILOS CARSON | VICEROY / SENATOR BAIL ORGANA / JIMMY SMITS | OWEN LARS / JOEL EDGERTON / PHIL BROWN | BERU WHITESUN LARS / BONNIE PIESSE / SHALEGH FRASER | LANDO CALRISSIAN / BILLY DEE WILLIAMS | MON MOTHMA / GENIEVE O'REILLY / CAROLINE BLAKISTON | JAR JAR BINKS / AHMED BEST | WICKET / WALD / WARWICK DAVIS | SENATOR / SUPREME CHANCELLOR / EMPEROR PALPATINE / DARTH SIDIOUS / IAN MCDIARMID | DARTH MAUL / RAY PARK | COUNT DOOKU / DARTH TYRANNUS / CHRISTOPHER LEE | GRAND MOFF TARKIN / PETER CUSHING | JABBA THE HUTT | GENERAL GRIEVOUS | JANGO FETT / CLONE TROOPERS / TEMUERA MORRISON | BOBA FETT / LOGAN / JEREMY BULLOCH | About Me | Favorite Links

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CHARACTER HISTORY SUMMARY BORROWED FROM www.starwars.com:

A child born of prophecy, possibly conceived by the will of the Force itself, Anakin Skywalker has left an indelible mark on the history of the galaxy, leading it through periods of lightness and dark.

A child slave on Tatooine, Anakin and his mother Shmi were sold by their owner, Gardulla the Hutt, to the unscrupulous Toydarian junk dealer Watto. While in Watto's employ, Anakin learned valuable mechanical and technical skills. He earned the reputation of being able to fix anything. So technically inclined was he that at the young age of nine, he cobbled together a working protocol droid -- C-3PO -- to help his mother.

Anakin was a kind, selfless child. He had no thoughts of greed or malice in him. Though that is not to say the boy was docile. When his adrenaline surged, Anakin had an aggressive competitive streak. Anakin's participation in the foolhardy sport of Podracing is testament to this.

Anakin Skywalker was the only known human capable of handling the extreme speeds of Podracing. His small frame allowed him to sit in the tiny cockpit, and his superhuman reflexes gave him the advantage he needed to keep up with alien competitors better suited to the sport. Anakin's reflexes were actually the product of Force-intuition -- the boy could see events before they happened, and respond to them in kind.

Anakin's sensitivity to the Force and his racing talents caused him to cross paths with the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and the young Naboo royal, Queen Amidala. They were fugitives from the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo that desperately needed passage to Coruscant. In order to win the needed parts for their damaged vessel, Anakin figured into a cleverly crafted wager that depended on the outcome of the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace.

Anakin pitted his racing talents against the scheming Dug Podracer, Sebulba. The young boy ultimately bested the treacherous alien, winning not only the race and the needed starship parts, but also his freedom. He also garnered the attention and admiration of Queen Amidala, who was disguised as a simple handmaiden at the time. Despite their age difference -- she was fourteen and he, nine -- he professed someday that they would marry and he carried a devoted crush on her.

Unfortunately, Anakin was unable to win his mother's freedom. Qui-Gon sensed incredible Force potential in the boy, and Anakin's bloodstream held a record number of midi-chlorians. When he departed with Qui-Gon to proceed with his Jedi training, Anakin was forced to leave his mother behind. Although a new life of adventure awaited him offworld, his thoughts dwelled on the kind and quiet Shmi.

Qui-Gon Jinn believed Anakin to be the Chosen One spoken of in an ancient prophecy, the one who would bring balance to the Force. The Jedi Council was reluctant to train the boy, feeling his future to be clouded and that Anakin was too old to begin Jedi training.

After the liberation of Naboo -- wherein Anakin bravely piloted a starfighter into the heart of the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship -- the Council rescinded its original decision, and allowed Obi-Wan Kenobi to take Anakin as his Padawan learner.

[ Skywalker, Anakin ]

Over the next decade, the two forged a strong bond. Under Obi-Wan's careful guidance, Anakin became a confident, headstrong 20-year old with an impulsive nature and a flair for adventure. His reckless ways would often wear down even Obi-Wan's patience, but the two were close friends. In many ways, Anakin looked to Obi-Wan as the father figure he never had.

Anakin and Obi-Wan were assigned to protect Padmé Amidala, who was now Senator of Naboo, from assassination attempts possibly linked to Separatists threatening the Republic. It was the first time Anakin and Padmé had seen each other in a decade. He had thought of her every day since their last parting, but she seemed aloof and far too occupied with the more important matters at hand.

This was a challenge to Anakin. Had he been schooled in the Jedi ways from infancy, he would have had a tighter rein on his emotions. Instead, his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of Padmé or thoughts of his mother. He had not mastered the detachment so necessary to the Jedi order.

When he was assigned to escort Senator Amidala to Naboo, where she would be sequestered from further attacks while the Jedi investigated the situation, Anakin could barely contain his emotions. In the quiet solitude amid the beautiful surroundings of a hidden Naboo lake retreat, the affectionate friendship and deeper emotions shared by Padmé and Anakin began to grow.

It was Padmé who remained pragmatic in the face of rising emotions. The two had other, larger commitments -- he to the Jedi order, she to the Republic. There was simply no time to indulge their desires.

One night, Anakin was overcome with nightmares about his mother. Defying the strict orders given him by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin left Naboo to return to Tatooine and seek out Shmi Skywalker. Padmé accompanied him to Mos Espa, where he discovered that his mother had been freed by a moisture farmer named Cliegg Lars. Visiting the Lars Homestead, Anakin also learned terrible news. His mother had been attacked by Sand People, and she had been missing for a month.

Anakin searched the desert for Shmi, finding her in a Tusken encampment. Sneaking into her guarded hut, Anakin freed her broken form and cradled her body as she died. Again Anakin's emotions boiled out of control. He was possessed with a dark rage that controlled his very actions. Anakin brandished his lightsaber and emerged from the tent.

[ Skywalker, Anakin ]

He slaughtered the entire encampment. Every single Tusken Raider man, woman and child died by his hand. But even that did not sate his rage. He still felt a deep hatred toward all of them.

Anakin returned to the Lars Homestead with his mother's body. In private, he confessed his actions to Padmé. Shamed at his actions and inability to save his mother, Anakin collapsed, sobbing at what he did. Padmé comforted him as much as she could.

A quiet funeral was held at the Lars Homestead. Anakin said his final farewell to Shmi, promising that he would never fail her again. Someday, he knew, he would be powerful enough to not fail the ones he loved. Perhaps someday, he could even stop people from dying.

Anakin and Padmé next voyaged to Geonosis, where Obi-Wan's investigations had taken him. Kenobi had been captured by Separatist forces, and Anakin sought to rescue him. Sneaking into a droid foundry on the planet, Anakin barely escaped the dangerous machines of the assembly line. He and Padmé were eventually captured, and joined Kenobi in an execution arena. Faced with overwhelming evidence of her mortality, Padmé lowered her emotional guard and professed her love to Anakin, a love he was willing to return regardless of the consequences.

The Jedi and Padmé were able to escape certain death from the dangerous beasts unleashed by their Geonosian executioners. The spectacle was cut short with the arrival of Jedi reinforcements, and then the opening battle of the historic Clone Wars.

Obi-Wan and Anakin attempted to intercept Count Dooku, mastermind of the Separatists, before he escaped to foment even further rebellion against the Republic. In a darkened hangar, the two confronted Dooku. Though Obi-Wan insisted they work together, headstrong Anakin rushed into the fray. Dooku nearly incapacitated him with a powerful blast of dark side lightning.

Obi-Wan was forced to face Dooku alone, but the elder Jedi Master was clearly the more-skilled combatant. He wounded Kenobi, and was ready to deliver the deathblow, but Anakin jumped in to intercept. Dooku and Skywalker dueled with fierce energy, but Dooku proved far too powerful for even the Chosen One. The renegade Jedi slashed through Anakin's parries and severed the youth's arm. Anakin collapsed, but was spared death by the timely arrival of Jedi Master Yoda, who battled Dooku.

After a brief convalescence wherein Anakin's severed arm was replaced with a mechanical one, he accompanied Senator Amidala back to Naboo. There, at a secluded lake retreat, the two were secretly wed by a Naboo holyman in a ceremony witnessed only by C-3PO and R2-D2. It may have been the start of a new life, but it was another step to Anakin's eventual destruction.

[ Skywalker, Anakin ]

If Anakin felt his time as a Padawan was a trying exercise in restraint, the Clone Wars would prove to be an ever greater challenge that would mold his character. Apprenticed to Obi-Wan in the thick of the fiercest fighting the Republic had faced in centuries, Anakin became a man against the backdrop of seemingly ceaseless war.

Despite Jedi platitudes about peace and patience, Anakin found the battles of the Clone Wars invigorating. He felt alive in combat, and his incredible Force abilities were further honed. It was Anakin who single-handedly transformed inevitable defeat into victory on numerous occasions. Encounters on worlds such as Cato Neimoidia and elsewhere cemented Anakin and Obi-Wan's legendary reputations. Throughout the Republic, citizens would spread tales of the two Jedi heroes -- Anakin's hologenic features and daring exploits earned him the moniker of "The Hero With No Fear." Skywalker became a celebrity of the state, despite Jedi ascetics frowning upon such accolades.

That is not to suggest the war was without its difficulties. Time and again, the Separatists pushed, and Anakin would find himself restrained by his oaths to the Jedi. He couldn't share his darker thoughts with his fellow Jedi -- the thoughts that overwhelmed him that night in the Tusken Raider village. He knew that such a path was a gateway to more power, but it also led to the dark side. The only person he felt comfortable confiding such troubles to was a friend he had since his days as a child hero on Naboo: Chancellor Palpatine.

Palpatine encouraged Anakin's talents. In many ways, Anakin felt Palpatine was the only one not asking anything from him. He was simply letting Anakin be, and appreciating him for his efforts and talents -- he wasn't imposing boundaries nor begging for aid.

Another ache for Anakin was the absence from his wife. Long weeks would stretch into months wherein Anakin would not see Padmé. As a devoted Senator, she kept a watchful eye on the war, but much of her interest on the scattered reports of the ongoing conflict was deeply personal. The five months they were apart during the Outer Rim Sieges tore at their hearts.

In the last yearof the Clone Wars, Anakin and Obi-Wan were stationed in the Outer Rim when word came of a shocking development. Coruscant was under attack. Not only was the planet that held his beloved wife targeted, but also his close friend the Chancellor had been kidnapped by the merciless General Grievous and his droid forces.

[ Skywalker, Anakin ] It was with a fierce determination that Obi-Wan, Anakin, and their Republic forces launched towards Coruscant, to parry the blow to the Republic's heart. Infiltrating General Grievous' flagship, Obi-Wan and Anakin worked their way into what was surely a trap. Aboard the vessel, they found the captive Palpatine and were confronted once again by Count Dooku.

In the lightsaber duel that ensued, Obi-Wan was knocked unconscious by a withering telekinetic blow delivered by the Sith Lord. Anakin continued to hold his own alone, urged to the offensive by Palpatine's goading. Anakin sliced off Dooku's hands, rendering the Sith Lord harmless. At Palpatine's insistence, Anakin killed Dooku, decapitating the Separatist leader. He instantly regretted the decision, despite the surge of power he felt in doing it. Palpatine tried to reassure Anakin that it was necessary -- Dooku was too dangerous to be taken alive.

Kenobi, Skywalker and Palpatine then attempted to make their way off the starship, only to be captured by General Grievous' droid forces. Marched before the General within the ship's bridge, it was Anakin who surprisingly recommended patience as a tactic. Sure enough, his reliable astromech droid, R2-D2, provided a mechanical distraction that allowed Anakin and Obi-Wan to overpower their guards and reclaim their weapons.

Grievous escaped the encounter, but the flagship sustained far too much damage during the Battle of Coruscant to remain in flight. The planet's gravity pulled the ship further down into the atmosphere, and it was up to Anakin to pilot the splintering craft to safety. True to his reputation, he succeeded. He once again proved to be a hero -- having rescued Palpatine, defeated Dooku, and returned home safely.

Finally back on Coruscant, Anakin was reunited with Padmé. The reunion was bittersweet, for while Padmé brought Anakin the news that she was pregnant, this only complicated matters. They wondered how they could continue to keep their relationship a secret with this new development. Anakin tried to focus on the positive, but was soon plagued with nightmares that he deeply feared were prophetic. He kept dreaming that Padmé would die in childbirth.

In addition to this heavy burden, even more weight was put on young Anakin's shoulders. He found himself in the middle of a political power struggle between the Jedi Council and the Chancellor. Throughout the Clone Wars, Chancellor Palpatine was gaining increased executive powers in the name of security. Those in the Jedi Council, including Mace Windu, grew increasingly suspicious of Palpatine's motives. They suspected Palpatine would soon attempt to make the Council an exclusive instrument of the Chancellor's office.

Palpatine trusted Anakin. Their friendship caused the Chancellor to appoint Skywalker to the Council, as his special representative. Ordinarily, the Jedi Council would not allow such an outside influence to dictate their appointments, but the Jedi had a plan. They would use Anakin to report on the Chancellor's activities. Though not documented in any official records, Anakin was asked by the Council to spy on the Chancellor. Specifically, Obi-Wan Kenobi made the request personally.

Anakin was outraged. Bad enough the Jedi Council should involve itself in such treason, but to ask in such an unorthodox fashion -- and to have it be his former mentor nonetheless! Further angering Skywalker was that the Council accepted his appointment, but refused to grant him the rank of Master. Such an insult was unheard of. Deep down he believed he was more powerful than these outdated Jedi Masters. Anakin imagined that they feared his power, notions that Palpatine helped nurture with his advice.

It was at these moments of Skywalker's greatest confusion that Palpatine opened up to him. During a quiet conversation at the Galaxies Opera House, Palpatine recounted an old Sith legend of Darth Plagueis the Wise. Palpatine explained that Plagueis, a Sith Lord, had abilities that some would describe as unnatural. Like an ancient alchemist, he could coax life out of midi-chlorians, either for the purpose of creating new life, or staving off death in others. This was the promised power of the Sith, suggested Palpatine. Anakin, who had been searching for a way to prevent Padmé from dying, listened intently.

Anakin confronted Palpatine about this arcane knowledge, accusing the Chancellor to be a Sith Lord. The Chancellor did nothing to dissuade Anakin of this idea. He instead offered Anakin the knowledge and power that the dark side promised. He promised Skywalker a path to the Force that had no rules, no code, no boundaries.

Anakin reported the Chancellor to Mace Windu, earning the Jedi Master's trust. Windu brought a team of capable Jedi warriors to arrest the Chancellor, but he refused to let Anakin come along. Left alone to stew in his tempestuous thoughts, Anakin realized that Palpatine could be his only chance at saving Padmé. He rushed to the Chancellor's office, to discover that Mace Windu was about to kill the Sith Lord.

Palpatine cried out for help, calling Mace a traitor, and explaining how the Jedi had engineered a coup to topple the Republic's leadership. Mace denied this loudly, identifying Palpatine as the traitor. With these shrill arguments vying for his loyalty, Anakin felt torn. He snatched his lightsaber, and brought an end to the standoff.

Skywalker's blade neatly cleaved through Mace Windu's arm. With his defenses stripped, Windu was easily overpowered by Chancellor Palpatine. The Sith Lord -- now revealed to be Darth Sidious -- killed the Jedi Councilor with a massive burst of Sith lightning that propelled Mace Windu out the shattered window of the Chancellor's office.

With the death of Mace Windu, Anakin had committed himself to the dark path. He knelt before Darth Sidious, proclaiming himself to be a servant of the Sith. Pleased, Sidious granted Anakin a Sith name: Darth Vader. With the promise of newfound powers, Sidious dispatched Vader to destroy the Jedi Temple.

On that terrible night on Coruscant, Darth Vader became the scourge of the Jedi. He led a column of clone troopers into the heart of the Jedi Temple. They killed all those within. His eyes burning with Sith intensity, it became clear that Anakin was no longer the same hero he once was. He was firmly entrenched in darkness, even bringing his blade to snuff out the bright lives of the Jedi younglings.

[ Skywalker, Anakin ] Skywalker was no more. He could not hear the entreaties of his friends and loved ones to return from the darkness. As Darth Vader, he killed the leadership of the Separatists, bringing an end to the Clone Wars. In his rage, he would bring about the death of his wife, fulfilling the terrifying vision that prompted his turn to forbidden knowledge. When his former mentor tried to stop his spree of destruction, Vader suffered grievous injuries in the lightsaber duel on Mustafar that followed.

Vader required cybernetic enhancements and replacements to sustain him. His pure innocent self seemingly lost forever, Darth Vader cast a dark pall over the galaxy, as he was one of the foremost agents responsible for the spread of the Emperor's draconian New Order.

Obi-Wan survived long enough to begin the training of Luke Skywalker -- Anakin's son -- in the path of the Jedi. The young Skywalker sought to turn his father away from the grip of the dark side. In the end, Luke stirred the spirit of Anakin that dwelled deep within the black armor, and Anakin turned against his master. Anakin killed Emperor Palpatine, but was mortally wounded in the attempt.

Aboard the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor, Anakin Skywalker lay dying. He asked his son to remove his life-sustaining helmet, so that he could look upon his long lost son with his own eyes. Having saved his son's life, and reclaimed his soul from the dark side, Anakin died and became one with the Force. As he shed his corporeal form, he found the spectral forms of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda ready for his return. Through compassion and selflessness, Anakin discovered the secret knowledge of the Shaman of the Whills, a technique that allowed him to retain his identity in the netherworld of the Force.

Anakin's spectral form looked upon his two children -- the twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa -- during the celebration at Endor.

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Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, was the scourge of the Jedi, a master of the dark side of the Force, and one of the Emperor's most trusted servants. He wasn't always a fearsome enforcer, however.

He began life as Anakin Skywalker, a young slave from Tatooine skilled in piloting and strong in the Force. Anakin's very origins are mysterious. His mother, Shmi, revealed that there was no biological father. Inexplicably, she became pregnant with the Force-prodigy and carried him to term. Some among the Jedi believed this to be part of an ancient prophecy of a Chosen One, willed into life by the midi-chlorians, who would bring balance to an increasingly darkening Force. There was another possibility, though. The child could have been the creation of sinister Sith manipulations, as the Dark Lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious conspired to bring about the perfect apprentice by coaxing life from lifelessness.

Once discovered by maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin was taken before the Jedi Council to be trained. There was some controversy on the subject -- despite Jinn's adamant assurances that Skywalker was one spoken of in the prophecy, the council was hesitant to allow his training at the age of nine.

Finally, the Council agreed that Anakin should be trained, and he was assigned to Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi recklessly thought that he could be as skillful a master as Yoda. His mistakes had dire consequences for the galaxy.

Skywalker was seduced by the dark side of the Force. His boundless abilities fueled a sense of pride that hastened his fall. He chafed under the rigid strictures of the Jedi Code, and would discreetly transgress from the Jedi teachings to suit his wants. Despite it being forbidden, Skywalker secretly married his love Padmé Amidala. It was his deep-rooted concern for her safety that became his greatest weakness, one that the Sith Lord Darth Sidious was able to exploit.

Skywalker was plagued with prophetic visions of his wife dying in childbirth. His friend and confidant, Chancellor Palpatine, revealed to the troubled young Jedi that a pathway to immortality lay among the teachings of the Sith. Palpatine revealed himself to be the shadowy Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and poisoned Anakin's faculties with well-crafted words of praise and conspiracy. Anakin, who had reason to doubt the Jedi's capabilities and intentions, began to lean more and more to the dark side. When it came time to make the fateful decision, he agreed to follow Sidious' teachings and knelt before the dark master.

Anakin was renamed Darth Vader. The Sith conspiracy, which had been festering in the shadows of the Republic for a thousand years, sprang into action. Palpatine elevated himself to the position of Emperor, and dispatched Vader as his ultimate enforcer. With his unparalled Force abilities, Vader swept through the Jedi Temple. He led his elite clone trooper forces through the polished corridors, cutting a swath of death and destruction through the remaining Jedi on Coruscant.

Vader brought an end to the Clone Wars by slaughtering all the masterminds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Mustafar. In his twisted perception, he was bringing peace and order to the new Empire, wiping away the corruption and chaos of the Republic's twilight.

His wife, Padmé Amidala, followed Anakin to Mustafar, to plead for him to return from the dark side. When Obi-Wan Kenobi emerged from Amidala's ship, Vader was consumed with rage. He saw betrayal at every corner. Distraught, he reached out with his hand and began to telekinetically throttle Padmé. She gasped for air before collapsing, unconscious, on the Mustafar landing platform. Shocked at how far his apprentice had fallen, Kenobi vowed to stop Vader and the two entered into a fierce lightsaber duel that traversed the burning Mustafar landscape.

Despite his newfound power bestowed by the dark side of the Force, Anakin was grievously wounded in the fight. Kenobi's blade sheared from him his lower legs and his left arm, and his crippled body tumbled onto the searing black sands of Mustafar. He caught fire, and Vader was severely burned all over his body. His burning anger kept him alive, and he was forever scarred not only by his wounds but also by betrayal. He abandoned his former identity. Sidious took Vader from Mustafar to an Imperial rehabilitation center where he was rebuilt. When metal coupled with flesh in the form of cyborg implants and enhancements required to sustain him, Skywalker's transformation was complete. He was no longer Anakin. He was Darth Vader.

[ Darth Vader's suit ] At the time of his transformation, Vader never knew that Padmé had given birth to twins. Obi-Wan Kenobi hid the children from the Dark Lord and his master, Emperor Palpatine. Vader somehow discovered that he had a son, Luke Skywalker, but never suspected he had a daughter, Leia, who was secretly taken to be raised by Bail Organa, Viceroy and First Chairman of Alderaan.

In the chaos that accompanied Palpatine's rise to power, Vader became one of the Emperor's most loyal servants. The Emperor entrusted him with the elimination of the Jedi Knights. During these dark times, Vader and his agents destroyed the remnants of Jedi order.

When the Galactic Civil War raged across the Empire, Darth Vader was tasked with discovering the location of the Rebel Alliance's secret base. Vader captured Rebel operative Princess Leia Organa and had her tortured to reveal the location of the hidden fortress. Vader also sought technical plans stolen by the Rebels. These plans carried the complete schematics of the Empire's most powerful weapon, the Death Star battle station. When a rescue team successfully liberated the princess, Vader found himself face to face with his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader defeated the aged Jedi Knight in a lightsaber duel.

Using the stolen plans to pinpoint the Death Star's weakness, Rebel forces launched a starfighter attack on the station. Entering the battle, Vader piloted his own specially modified fighter. He managed to destroy the most Rebel pilots in the battle, but was forced out of the conflict when his own vessel was crippled by the Millennium Falcon.

Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, Vader led an elite squadron of Star Destroyers headed by his flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor. He was to seek out and capture the Rebels responsible for the Death Star's demise. Eventually, Vader tracked the Rebels down to the ice-world of Hoth. There, he launched a ground attack destroying the base. His quarry, the Millennium Falcon, escaped.

During the Hoth campaign, the Emperor commanded Vader to track down the "son of Skywalker," and have Vader turn him to the dark side of the Force. Vader planned to use Skywalker's friends as bait to lure him into a trap. He hired a motley gang of bounty hunters to track down the Falcon, and drew Luke to Bespin's Cloud City. He and Luke clashed in a lightsaber duel that Vader won by ruthlessly severing Luke's sword-hand. Vader then revealed to the broken young Jedi that he was his father, and that they would rule the galaxy as father and son. Luke refused to succumb to the dark side, and escaped his father. Vader was left empty-handed.

After these incidents, Palpatine reassigned Vader from the Imperial fleet, and instead put him in charge of overseeing the new Death Star operation. The Emperor began to distrust his once loyal servant. Vader's contact with his son sparked something within him, something the Emperor did not like.

Palpatine was scheduled to arrive at the second Death Star. The Emperor foresaw that Skywalker would come before the two, and then they would seduce young Luke to the dark side, just as Anakin had been drawn to its power decades earlier.

When Luke surrendered, and was taken before the Emperor, Palpatine pitted father and son in a lightsaber duel. Skywalker refused to fight and give into the temptation of the dark side. Vader, probing his mind, learned of his daughter, Leia Organa. He threatened to turn her to the dark side. At this threat, Luke gave into his hatred and attacked his father. In the ferocious assault that followed, young Skywalker nearly killed Vader.

Horrified by what he had become, Luke abandoned his new found dark side rage, and refused Palpatine's offers of power. "I am a Jedi, like my father before me," Skywalker proudly claimed.

Palpatine unleashed a deadly barrage of dark side energy on the young Jedi. Lightning bolts spawned from pure evil tore into Luke's body with searing pain. Vader stood helplessly, watching his son writhe in agony from torture delivered by his master. Unable to watch anymore, Vader turned against his master. He grabbed a surprised Palpatine from behind, hoisted him above his head, and tossed his evil master down a bottomless reactor shaft. Vader was bombarded by the Emperor's Force lightning, mortally wounding him.

As he lay dying, Vader ceased to be. Anakin Skywalker returned. He asked his son to remove the cumbersome, fearsome mask that had concealed his face for decades. His mask and life support removed, Anakin looked upon Luke for the first and last time. He then died, his body disappearing into the light side of the Force. Luke burned the dark armor that had encased Anakin's crippled body in a quiet funeral pyre on the forest moon of Endor that night.

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