Darth Vader - Lord Of The Sith

Darth Vader (played by Matthew Prowse and with a voice provided by James Earl Jones), was the Emperor Palpatine's second in command. A Sith Lord, Vader was a master of the dark side of the Force, feared throughout the Galaxy.

Born Anakin Skywalker, Vader was a slave boy on the planet Tatooine when he was discovered by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon realised that young Anakin was incredibly strong in the Force, and suspected that he might be the Chosen One, the fulfilment of an ancient Jedi prophecy.

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He asked the Jedi Council to grant him permission to train the nine year old boy. Seeing an uncertain future the Council refused, and it was not until after Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul, a Sith Lord, that the Council finally relented and grudgingly allowed Anakin to become the Padawan learner of Qui-Gon's own former apprentice, a young Jedi called Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Over the next ten years Obi-Wan became increasingly concerned at Anakin's growing arrogance. Finally, already seduced and tainted by the dark side, Anakin challenged Obi-Wan to a duel, only to be terribly injured in the fight.

His wounds were so critical that Anakin required extensive cybernetic implants to remain alive. These implants were inextricably linked to his costume, a mirror-black suit of armour, cloak and the terrifying helmet he needed to breathe. The donning of this costume completed his turn to the dark side, and Anakin Skywalker was transformed into Darth Vader.

During the fall of the Old Republic and the rise of the Empire Darth Vader hunted down and exterminated the last remnants of the Jedi Order, thus securing his position on the right hand of the Emperor.
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Unaware at the time that he was the father of twins, Vader would later discover that he had a son, Luke. It was not until much later however, during a lightsaber duel with his son in Cloud City on Bespin, that he found out about his daughter, Leia. Obi-Wan Kenobi had hidden the children from Vader; Luke on Tatooine with Owen and Beru Lars, and Leia on Alderaan under the protection of Viceroy Bail Organa.

While trying to discover the secret location of the Rebel base Vader captured and tortured Princess Leia Organa aboard the Death Star, unaware that she was his daughter. It was while Leia was being rescued by her brother Luke, together with smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, that Vader again met his old master Obi-Wan. The two fought a duel which culminated in Obi-Wan deactivating his lightsaber, and allowing Vader to strike him down.

Following Leia's escape from Vader's clutches the Rebel Alliance launched an attack on the mighty battle station, hoping to exploit a weakness they had discovered in some stolen plans. During the starfighter assault Darth Vader, flying his own modified Advanced TIE fighter, downed many Rebel pilots, but was unable to prevent the destruction of the Death Star by his son Luke. Vader's fighter was damaged by Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, and he was forced to withdraw from the battle.

In the years following the destruction of the Death Star Darth Vader pursued the Rebels throughout the Galaxy, leading a squadron of Imperial Star Destroyers from his flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor. After discovering a new Rebel base on the ice world Hoth, Vader was ordered by the Emperor to find his son and turn him to the dark side.

Vader hired a band of bounty hunters to locate Luke Skywalker's friends, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Leia, and used them to lure Luke to Cloud City on the planet Bespin. There he defeated his son in a duel, severing his hand and revealing that he was Luke's father. Vader attempted to turn the young man to the dark side, but Luke shamed his father, choosing death over the dark side, and barely escaped with his life.

This encounter with his son began a change in Darth Vader that was to lead to his eventual renouncement of the dark side. When Luke Skywalker appeared before the Emperor on the new Death Star, Vader and his son duelled again, and this time it was Luke who cut off his father's hand. But rather than killing Vader as the Emperor hoped Luke deactivated his lightsaber. The Emperor was furious that his plan to turn Luke to the dark side had failed, and attacked him with powerful bursts of dark side lightning. Just as Luke was about to die Darth Vader intervened, hurling the Emperor to his death down a reactor shaft.

Vader was fatally injured, and in his final moments of life turned his back on the dark side and became Anakin Skywalker once more. He asked Luke to remove his helmet, and gazed on his son with his own eyes before he died. Luke built a funeral pyre on Endor, and burned his father's costume.

The Rebel Alliance were victorious, and the spirit of Anakin Skywalker was reunited with his old master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda, appearing to Luke at the celebration on the forest moon of Endor.

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