Background: Anakin Skywalker, a Force-sensitive human male, was a Jedi Knight of the Galactic Republic, a hero of the Clone Wars and the Chosen One of the Jedi Order. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, he was known as Darth Vader, Sith Lord and apprentice to Emperor Darth Sidious. Skywalker was born in 41 BBY, forty-one years before the Battle of Yavin, on the planet Tatooine in the Outer Rim Territories of the galaxy. Although he had a mother, Shmi Skywalker, there was no father involved in Skywalker’s conception. This revelation led Qui-Gon Jinn—the Jedi Master who discovered Skywalker and liberated him from slavery—to suspect that Skywalker had been conceived by the midi-chlorians. The Jedi High Council initially rejected Jinn’s request to train Skywalker, deeming him too emotional and too old to become a Jedi, but later reversed their decision following the Battle of Naboo where they discovered that the Sith had returned.
Following the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, Skywalker completed his apprenticeship under Obi-Wan Kenobi and was assigned his own apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, by the time of the Battle of Christophsis. Throughout the conflict, Skywalker led the Grand Army of the Republic alongside his fellow Jedi Generals, all the while maintaining a secret relationship with the Naboo senator Padmé Amidala in violation of the Jedi Code which forbade personal attachments and romantic relationships. Skywalker was elated by his wife’s pregnancy, yet also fearful of losing her as he foresaw Amidala’s death in childbirth. As a result, Darth Sidious seduced Skywalker to the dark side of the Force with promises of saving Amidala as well as bringing peace and order to the galaxy. Embracing his new identity as Darth Vader, the fallen Jedi Knight marched on the Jedi Temple at the head of the 501st Legion, killing his former comrades on Coruscant while the rest of the Jedi were betrayed by their clone troopers across the galaxy. However, rather than saving his wife, Vader’s actions caused Amidala to die of a broken heart. Her death—in addition to severe injuries Vader sustained in his duel with Kenobi on Mustafar, rendering him more machine than man—caused the Sith Lord to all but completely bury Anakin Skywalker beneath the persona of Darth Vader.
Vader served his Sith Master for decades; together they consolidated the Empire’s control over the galaxy and simultaneously hunted the few surviving Jedi until the Order was all but extinct. Despite his involvement in the galactic war against the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Vader failed to prevent the destruction of the Death Star. Upon learning that the pilot responsible for destroying the superweapon was his son, Luke Skywalker—the child he assumed had died with Amidala—Vader formulated a plot to overthrow the Emperor by turning the nascent Jedi to the dark side. Following the Battle of Hoth, the two directly confronted each other on Bespin with Vader emerging as the victor of their duel. He beseeched Skywalker to rule the galaxy with him as a family, but the young Jedi rejected his father’s offer and rejoined his allies in their fight against the Empire.
They confronted each other once more, this time in the presence of the Emperor, during the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY. Skywalker was ultimately victorious, but refused to kill his father or take his place at Sidious’ side. The Dark Lord of the Sith unleashed his fury against Skywalker, torturing him slowly with torrents of Force lightning. The sight of his son in agony caused the dormant persona of Anakin Skywalker to awaken within Darth Vader and, in a final act of redemption, the apprentice killed the Master at the cost of his own life. Despite Luke’s efforts to keep his father alive, at that point all Anakin wanted was to share one last moment with his son before peacefully accepting his death. Having re-embraced the light side of the Force at the time of his demise, Anakin’s consciousness was preserved in the form of a Force spirit by his former mentors, Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda, both of whom had already become one with the Force. During the Rebel celebration on Endor, the immortal souls of Anakin, Kenobi, and Yoda watched over Luke as he celebrated with his friends.
Although Anakin Skywalker fulfilled his destiny as the prophesied Chosen One, restoring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith, the prophecy never predicted the end of the dark side of the Force. In the decades following the fall of the Empire, Ben Solo—the son of Anakin’s daughter, Princess Leia Organa—was seduced to the dark side like his grandfather before him. After destroying Luke’s efforts to rebuild the Jedi Order, Solo adopted the identity of Kylo Ren, becoming the master of the Knights of Ren as well as the apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke. While both Snoke and Ren were strong with the dark side, neither of them were Sith, the Order which ended with the deaths of Sidious and Vader. Ren desired to complete Vader’s legacy by killing his uncle Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi. Unlike his grandfather, Ren succeeded in overthrowing his Master, and therefore became the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, a hermetic state on the verge of conquering the galaxy in the wake of the New Republic’s collapse.
Personality and traits
As a child, Anakin Skywalker showed kindness and generosity, as exemplified by his willingness to risk his life in a podrace to help Qui-Gon Jinn and Padmé Amidala depart Tatooine at a time of need. He was not shy to express how he felt, and showed a reluctance to leave those he loved behind. Indeed, Skywalker had a deep-seated fear of loss, especially in regards to his mother, which Master Yoda sensed when he was being tested by the Jedi Council. This fear of loss would follow Skywalker throughout his life and eventually led him down the path of the dark side, particularly so after the death of his mother Shmi, carrying sadness ,anger and guilt in his heart for years to come. Similarly, his experiences as a slave would leave him with a deep resentment towards slavers. Skywalker would mostly keep these feelings to himself, very rarely talking about them, even with those on whom he placed his trust, as he struggled to put his past behind, making an effort not to think about it.
As he grew older, Skywalker became arrogant, reckless, impatient, willful, and cavalier, despite Kenobi’s efforts to train him as best as he could. Confident and bold, he demonstrated a lack of subtlety, which Plo Koon once noted, was one of the many traits his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, had adopted from him during her younger years. Another was his tendency to disobey orders, which he did whenever he thought they weren’t the best way to solve problems, and his cockiness. Despite his many failings, Skywalker remained selfless, willing to lay down his life for others, and showed commitment to things greater than himself—the Jedi, the Republic, his friends, and his wife. Similarly, his relentless determination was rivaled by none, except perhaps by that of his Padawan. In some aspects, his journey as a mentor to Tano allowed him to mature and become more responsible. His emotional balance, however, was disrupted by the High Council’s decision to expel Tano, when she was suspected of treachery, and her subsequent decision not to return to the Order when invited back.
With a penchant to “show off,” Skywalker was a something of a maverick, though not in a way like his late informal Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, among the Jedi, known for being passionate and impulsive. Most of his peers nevertheless trusted him, and his ingenuity, although some Jedi did consider him to have a simplistic approach to logic. The 501st Legion and its captain, Rex, would consider his tactics reckless and unorthodox, but appreciated the fact that he would never risk their lives without risking his as well. Skywalker would also show eagerness and dedication to end the Clone War, which he believed, by its final days, was destroying the principles of the Republic.
Though he was committed to the Jedi Order ever since he joined, Skywalker was deeply conflicted about it, wanting to walk away from the Order at several points before and during the Clone Wars, particularly so because of his love and secret marriage to Padmé Amidala, whom he believed he couldn’t live without. Over-protective and prone to jealousy, Skywalker’s affection for her was suspected by some of his peers and, at least, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano and Rush Clovis knew for certain that he was attracted to her. Another source of conflict was his dwindling trust and increasing resentment toward the Jedi High Council, which he believed-not without justification-distrusted him and was not treating him with enough respect. These fears and resentments were further fomented by Palpatine’s manipulations, and some of the Council’s (and Kenobi’s) questionable decisions, as well as his friendship with Chancellor Palpatine, of whom the Council was justifiably wary and kept secrets from.
Skywalker struggled to keep his emotions in check—especially his anger. He cared deeply about his friends, and according to Ahsoka Tano, “looked out for them until the end.” Loyal to a fault, Skywalker was willing to do anything to protect those whom he cared about, often resorting to the dark side of the Force to do so. Throughout the Clone Wars, Skywalker’s anger would push him ever closer to the dark side, but his fall was ultimately triggered by his fear of loss after experiencing visions of Amidala dying in childbirth and his desire to obtain enough power to save his loved ones. He would justify his immoral and ruthless actions as all being necessary to bring peace, justice and order to the galaxy.
Despite being naturally extremely talented, Anakin Skywalker was initially lax with his lightsaber training, though he believed that he could rival the Jedi Masters. Despite his relative laziness, when the Clone Wars began Anakin was still a skilled enough duelist to hold his own against Count Dooku for a time, lasting longer than Kenobi did. During the war, his frequent engagement in duels with individuals such as the informal Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress, Savage Opress, Count Dooku, and fallen Jedi Barriss Offee. allowed him to greatly improve on his capabilities with a lightsaber. His skill by the end of the war was such that he was able to single handedly defeat Dooku in single combat, despite the fact that the Count was one of very few duelists who could hold his own against Yoda himself, although it should be noted that Dooku’s taunts angered Anakin, which unintentionally resulted in Anakin tapping upon the Dark Side, which also contributed to his victory. During his duel with his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin proved to be equally matched with him, and was defeated only when his hubris and blinding rage allowed Kenobi to dismember him. Skywalker was considered by some amongst the Jedi, such as Kanan Jarrus, to have been the greatest warrior the Order had during the Clone Wars, with the only possible exceptions being Yoda and Mace Windu, and his former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, once acknowledged Skywalker as someone powerful who rarely lost his battles.
On numerous occasions, Anakin demonstrated remarkable skill in Form V, being able to deflect blaster fire with ease, but also shots from freighters. He had some skill in Jar’Kai, though he greatly preferred to make use of a single lightsaber. A practitioner of Form IV, and well aware that the key to deflecting the fire of multiple adversaries were fluid motions, Skywalker made adjustments to the classic techniques—which he demonstrated in a holographic recording, later found in Kanan Jarrus’ holocron.
A pragmatic combatant, Skywalker had the skill to throw his activated lightsaber to attack, guiding it with the Force, or would resort to activate to lethal results when being held by unsuspecting enemies, once impressing Kenobi by telekinetically activating their lightsabers (both in Chong’s possession) and cutting apart the Sugi before pulling the lightsabers to his hands.
Blessed with impressive reflexes that were typical of a Jedi, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn saw enormous potential in the 9-year-old Skywalker, and believed him to have been conceived by the Force itself. Indeed, when his blood was tested, Skywalker’s midi-chlorian count was above 20,000, reportedly even greater than Yoda’s. The total amount was, however, unknown, for the reading was off the scale.
In his teen years, Skywalker’s Force training progressed to the point where he was able to manifest various abilities, and Kenobi thought of him as being “advanced for his age”. Using the Force, Skywalker was able to sense what was happening in another room, and to sense when Amidala was in mortal danger from poisonous kouhuns, but also other people’s feelings, and disturbances in the Force. Skywalker also showed aptitude for precognitive dreams, as was the case when he foresaw the deaths of both his mother and his wife in dreams, but also of himself becoming a Jedi, back when he lived with his mother on Tatooine. However, Skywalker struggled in using the Force to control and befriend animals, noting that Kenobi was much better at it than he was.
Skywalker was skilled in telekinesis: even as a late beginner, by his own admission, he was very good at it, better than any Padawan his age, and most of the older ones as well. He could lift lightsabers in the air and ignite them with ease, as he did once to scare a pair of Padawans who had called him a “slave to his emotions.” Despite having an exceptionally strong connection to the Force, Skywalker tended not to use it very often during lightsaber duels and focused instead on the physical aspects of combat. This tendency held even when facing opponents who made liberal use of the Force during duels, such as Count Dooku.
Even at a young age, Skywalker demonstrated a great aptitude for piloting, mechanics, and engineering—he rebuilt the protocol droid C-3PO, an advanced droid fluent in over six million forms of communication, as well as a functional podracer. Although during his adulthood he would rarely use his talent as a mechanic, he would remain skilled at repairing technology.
s a pilot, Skywalker showed an amazing ability that few were able to surpass, and Kenobi would later describe him to his son Luke as “the best star pilot in the galaxy.” He once managed to land the Invisible Hand when it was half-destroyed and breaking up in the atmosphere. After becoming Vader, he remained an exceptionally skilled pilot, as shown when he single-handedly almost destroyed Phoenix Squadron in a lone TIE Advanced x1, easily out-flying their entire fleet and forcing their command to abandon ship, and when he almost obliterated several Alliance squadrons during the Battle of Vrogas Vas. Despite this, Skywalker would be shot down on a regular basis during his combat piloting career.
Although he mainly used lightsabers, Skywalker was extremely proficient at the use of blaster pistols. He also had some training on the use of staves, a skill he once taught to a Felucian village so that they could defend themselves. Skywalker spoke Galactic Basic and Huttese, and understood the Bith language. As Vader, he learned the ancient Sith tongue, and could speak it along with his master, Darth Sidious.