Darth Vader is perhaps the most intimidating villain in all of popular culture. His menacing stature and booming voice strike fear into all manner of characters in the Star Wars universe, and even real life fans, too. Darth Vader’s path down the dark side is paved with bloodshed, violence and tragedy. Many of his loved ones died, and this resulted in Anakin Skywalker having great pain and anguish that he simply could not overcome. The death toll of Darth Vader is in the tens of thousands, perhaps even millions or billions if you count Alderaan being destroyed by the first Death Star. His one true love, Padme, even died from a broken heart after Anakin turned to the dark side of the force.
Few of Vader’s enemies have escaped his wrath. He has killed X-wing pilots with his TIE fighter, he has mowed down enemies with his light saber, and he has used his force powers to choke the life out of those who disobey him. While Vader eventually redeems himself and does bring order to the galaxy, his carnage is still unequaled. His murders are sometimes quick, but they are always extremely brutal. Here’s a look at the 15 most brutal murders committed by Darth Vader. What do you think is the most savage attack Vader has carried out?
15. Killing The Jedi Younglings
Quickly after becoming Darth Sidious’ apprentice, Vader began a brutal killing spree. On the order of Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader killed all the remaining Jedi in the Jedi temple on Coruscant. This was the beginning of Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader, but it certainly wasn’t the last time he would commit unspeakable acts. These Jedi once fought alongside Anakin and even trained with him, but they didn’t stand a chance against the power of Darth Vader and his light saber. Vader’s eyes were glowing yellow and there was rage filling his body as he wiped out anyone who stood in his way. He didn’t just kill Padawans and Jedi Knights – he even killed the younglings. The younglings were not even ten years old and Anakin killed them all. This truly chilling moment showed just how brutal Darth Vader could be and how badly Sidious wanted to wipe out any future threats to the Empire. It was a chilling start to Vader’s days as a lord of the Sith.
14. Killing His Former Master Obi Wan Kenobi
When Obi Wan encountered his old apprentice on the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope, he knew that Darth Vader would very likely end his life. Obi Wan fought valiantly in a duel of light saber skills, but Vader delivered a swift blow and Obi Wan vanished into thin air. Obi Wan’s death served as a catalyst in Luke becoming a Jedi and training with Yoda to defeat Darth Vader. Obi Wan likely knew that he couldn’t defeat his former pupil like he did that last time, so he sacrificed himself in hopes that one day Luke would be powerful enough to take on Darth Vader. His plan worked, but that doesn’t mean that Darth Vader killing his former master, friend and surrogate brother is any less brutal.
13. Killing Rebel Battalion In Rogue One
Darth Vader’s moments in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were few and far between, but during the short time he was on screen he stole the show. Darth Vader’s brutality was on full display in this Star Wars spin-off film. Vader used his powerful force choke ability to show Imperial Director Orson Krennic who was boss, and he intimidated the Imperial director to fall in line and obey orders. However, it was the final scene in which Darth Vader kills a battalion of Rebel officers that showed how visceral and violent Vader is at times. He used his light saber to maim, and he used his force powers to hurl rebels against the wall and ceiling as he traveled down the corridor in his hunt for the stolen data tapes.
12. Killing The Emperor
The prophecy was that Anakin would bring balance to the force, and that’s why Yoda agreed to let Obi Wan train Anakin as per the last wish of Qui Gon Jinn. Even though Anakin turned to the dark side of the force, the prophecy did still come true. Despite the countless lives that he ended as Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker turned back to the light side with the help of his son Luke. Luke saw that there was still good in his father. Killing the Emperor was the most noble thing Darth Vader did in his entire life, but it was still a grisly and brutal death for the Emperor. Being thrown down the ventilation shaft of the second Death Star was a horrible way to go. One of Vader’s most brutal murders turned out to be the defining moment in his path back to the light side.
11. Murdering Tusken Raiders
One of the main reasons Anakin turned to the dark side was the fact that he couldn’t handle the death of his mother, Shimi. He was very close to his mother when they were slaves, and he regretted that he couldn’t take her with him when he went to Coruscant to become a Jedi. He was having nightmares about her death, and this resulted in him traveling back to Tatooine in a quest to find out what happened to her. When he arrived home, he found out from Cliegg Owen, Shimi’s husband, that Shimi had been captured by Tusken Raiders and that she was most likely dead. This did not deter Anakin one bit, and he went out in search of his mother. When he arrived at a Tusken Raider camp he found his mother chained and nearly dead. He was too late to save her as she died in his arms. This sent Anakin into a white hot rage, and he murdered the entire Tusken Raider settlement. No one was spared, not even the women and children.
10. Decapitating Count Dooku
Just like his son Luke, Anakin lost one of his hands in a fierce battle. Before he became Darth Vader, Anakin went up against the apprentice of Darth Sidious that preceded him – Count Dooku, aka Darth Tyrannus. Dooku was far too powerful for a Jedi knight like Anakin Skywalker, and during the battle Anakin lost his hand. He had to be saved by Yoda, who was Dooku’s former master before he turned to the dark side. By the events of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin was much more powerful than he was during the events of Attack of the Clones, so when he faced Dooku again it was a one-sided match in his favor. After rescuing Palpatine, Anakin used his light saber and Dooku’s like a pair of scissors and decapitated him. Palpatine was pleased, and soon Anakin would become his new apprentice under the name Darth Vader.
9. Destroying Alderaan
Technically it was Grand Moff Tarkin who gave the order to destroy Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, but Darth Vader simply stood by and did nothing as an entire planet of billions was wiped out in an instant by the Empire’s deadly super weapon the Death Star. If Darth Vader had a change of heart he could have stopped this terrible act by the Empire, but a wide scale genocide like this means that Vader is responsible, as is the rest of the Empire. The death count of this was higher than anything else Darth Vader was a part of, and that makes it the worst thing Vader did during his time as a lord of the Sith and top ranking official in the Empire.
8. Choking Admiral Ozzel To Death
Darth Vader does not suffer fools, so if any of his subordinates do not live up to the high standards he has then he will usually do far more than just reprimand them. Director Orson Krennic got more than a stern talking to when Darth Vader choked him at his palace on Mustafar following Krennic’s failure to capture the rebels after stealing the Death Star plans in Rogue One. In Empire Strikes Back, Admiral Ozzel didn’t even survive Vader’s force choke. After Ozzel left hyperspace too quickly, and alerted the rebels on Hoth to the presence of the Empire, Vader took out his frustration on Ozzel by choking him to death with the force. “You have failed me for the last time,” Darth Vader famously says.
7. Killing Karbin
In Marvel’s Darth Vader #15, Vader killed a force sensitive Mon Calamari called Karbin. This force wielding cyborg was looking to take Darth Vader’s place alongside Darth Sidious as his apprentice. If you thought Darth Sidious and Darth Vader had a relationship where they always got along, you were wrong. Long before Vader killed Sidious, Sidious was looking to betray Vader, if Vader didn’t live up to his expectations. Vader sliced Karbin’s throat with his light saber, but only after Karbin was knocked off of a cliff by a spaceship piloted by Vader’s secret confidant Dr. Aphra. After being nearly crushed by a huge spaceship, Vader killing Karbin was almost a mercy killing.
6. Killing An Entire Mining Crew
The Empire had many dastardly dealings throughout the galaxy, and it was common for them to install some sort of puppet government on any number of planets throughout the galaxy. On the volcanic mining colony of Shu-Torun, Vader helped make Princess Trios the new Queen following the death of her father. The King would not be loyal to the Empire, so he was killed along with his two other children. Trios, the lone survivor in the family, was named the new Queen. The execution was ordered by Darth Vader and carried out by his assassin droids 000 and BT-1 – (think of them as sadistic and maniacal version of C-3P0 and R2-D2). However, the killing on Shu-Torun didn’t end there. When the miners of Shu-Torun began to rebel and disobey the new Queen, Darth Vader came to the planet and showed off his true power. He took out an entire mining operation and killed everyone in it. The death toll could have been in the thousands or even tens of thousands. He used the force to tear down the machinery, send the caves crumbling and pour molten lava over all of the workers. The queen was displeased because the mine would never be operational again, but Vader gave her a stern warning that she could be next.
5. Strangling Captain Antilles
Vader loves to choke those who disobey and act insubordinate. He usually uses his force choke power to give them a stern warning, as he did with Krennic and Piett, but sometimes he simply grabs a person by the neck and strangles the life out of them. When Darth Vader encounters Captain Antilles, while he was pursing the stolen data tapes, he had no time for nonsense. He saw right through Antilles’ lies that he was on a diplomatic mission, and when Antilles wouldn’t give him the answers he wanted, he wrapped his hand around his neck, lifted him high in the air, and choked him until the last breath or air escaped his gasping mouth. I suppose Darth Vader didn’t even think a rebel was worthy of using the force on. He preferred to use his brute strength when choking Antilles.
4. Probably Killing Former Apprentice, Ahsoka
Darth Vader encountered his old padawan, Ahsoka Tano, on the Sith planet Malachor when Ezra was looking for the Sith holocron. Ezra looked like he was about to meet his end at the hands of Darth Vader, who menacingly entered the Sith temple standing atop his TIE advanced x1. Vader and Ahsoka engaged in an epic battle, and Ahsoka pushed Ezra out of the way, which allowed him to escape. We never found out what happened to Ahsoka for sure. Vader is seen limping out of the temple, but Ahsoka is nowhere to be found. It is likely that she was killed by her former master, and this would be a tragic but fitting end to her story. Still, her fate is ambiguous, and she might have survived. Maybe she got through to Anakin and he let her live. Her fate could be revealed in an upcoming episode of Star Wars Rebels. Do you think Ahsoka is alive or dead?
3. Destroying X-wing Pilots In Trench Run
In the climax of Star Wars: A New Hope, Vader goes up against Luke Skywalker in the trenches of the Death Star. The battle of Yavin was an epic galactic space battle that resulted in the destruction of the first Death Star, and Darth Vader killed many, many rebel pilots from Gold Squadron and Red Squadron during this battle. He took out almost the entire fleet. Darth Vader is quick and precise taking out the other X-wing pilots and Y-wing pilots. His skills as a pilot are unmatched and he easily makes work of the rebel pilots. However, Luke shows that he is strong in the force, evades Vader’s attempts to take him out and ends up destroying the Death Star. It was a much needed win for the rebels, but they still paid a heavy price.
2. Killing Separatists On Mustafar
Anakin’s path to the dark side began with him killing hundreds at the order of Darth Sidious. It began with Count Dooku and then when he was crowned Darth Vader he killed all the remaining Jedi (knights, padawans, and younglings) in the Jedi temple on Coruscant. However, it didn’t end there. Anakin’s path of destruction continued as he killed the separatist council who were hiding out on Mustafar. The horrific massacre was shown in Revenge of the Sith. The council begged for their lives and wanted to make a deal, but Anakin was only interested in killing them all. This was Anakin’s last killing spree before he was nearly melted by molten lava and killed by Obi Wan.
1. Killing An Entire Rebel Squadron
If you thought Darth Vader taking out Gold and Red Squadron during the Battle of Yavin was impressive, just wait until you hear about what happened on the planet of Vrogas Vas. Darth Vader showed up against a huge fleet of X-wings and Y-wings. It certainly looked like he was outmatched, and the rebels thought they had the upper hand, He was alone in his TIE fighter and the rebels were feeling mighty cocky. After all, there were hundreds of them and only a single TIE fighter. They assumed he was just a TIE fighter pilot that got lost, but soon they began to drop like flies. Darth Vader took out all of them –except for Luke Skywalker of course. Darth Vader against hundreds of rebel soldiers still isn’t an even match.