Anakin Skywalker (portrayed most notably by Hayden Christensen) is the central character of the Star Wars Saga, and the main character of the Skywalker Saga overall, with all six live-action films chronicling his rise, fall to the dark side of the Force, and ultimate redemption. He is first introduced as Anakin Skywalker in as Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope as the film's primary antagonist, and he appears in the rest of the original trilogy. His fall to the dark side is chronicled in the prequel trilogy, where is one of the primary protagonists. George Lucas, the creator of the character and the entire saga, has dubbed the six films "The Tragedy of Darth Vader."
Chronologically, Anakin is introduced as a nine year old save living with his mother on Tatooine. He is discovered by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who believes that Anakin is the Chosen One and will fulfill an ancient prophecy to destroy the evil Sith Lords and bring balance to the Force. Qui-Gon helps secure Anakin's freedom and takes him to the Jedi Order to be tested, where the Jedi will determine if Anakin should be trained as a Jedi. After Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul, Anakin becomes the apprentice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon's former apprentice. The two train together for the next ten years, going on a number of adventures. As a young adult, Anakin falls in love with Senator Padmé Amidala, whom he knew as a boy, and the two marry in secret after the outbreak of the Clone Wars. During the war, Anakin takes on an apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, and they—along with Obi-Wan—fight in numerous engagements during the war, before Ahsoka leaves the Jedi Order towards the end of the war.
As the war comes to a close, Anakin is seduced to the dark side of the Force by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Anakin, now known as Darth Vader, aides his new master in destroying the Jedi Order and replacing the Galactic Republic with a new Galactic Empire. During a duel with Obi-Wan, Vader is brutally injured and burned, requiring him to live within a suit of armor for the rest of his life. Unknown to Vader, Padmé secretly gave birth to twins—Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
Twenty years later, Vader is tasked with retrieving stolen plans to the Death Star, a planet-destroying space station that the Rebel Alliance is able to destroy. The killing blow was made by Luke, who Vader learns is his son and hunts throughout the galaxy. During their final confrontation, Vader learns that Leia is his daughter. As Emperor Palpatine attempts to kill Luke, Vader kills the Emperor to save Luke, sacrificing himself in the process. A redeemed Anakin appears as a ghost, along with Obi-Wan and Yoda, during celebration marking the end of the Empire.
Involvement in upcoming projects
Star Wars Rebels (rumored)
- Main article: Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels is a series set to premiere in Fall 2014. The show is set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, approximately five years prior to the latter, and will explore the era where the Galactic Empire is ruling the galaxy with an iron-fist and the Rebel Alliance is first being formed. Because of the era it is set in, it is possible that Darth Vader could make an appearance on the show. At New York Comic-Con 2013, Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo previewed the series and was asked whether villains such as Vader could appear on the show. Hidalgo reviewed that the show will start out in local space around the planet Lothal, but that as the main heroes become more successful at rebelling against the Empire, more powerful villains could appear—including Vader. To begin with, the central villain will be the Inquisitor, described as the "new face of evil" tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.
Star Wars Episode VIII
Darth Vader appeared in the books Star Wars: Tarkin and Star Wars: Lords of the Sith, which were released in November 2014 and March 2015, respectively. The novels were written in conjunction with the Lucasfilm story department. As such, they are considered official canon stories and part of the unified canonical universe.
Official canon appearances
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Clone Wars
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: Lords of the Sith
- Star Wars: Tarkin
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (First canon appearance)
- Rogue One
- Star Wars
- Star Wars: Darth Vader
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi