Darth Vader is one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in the history of film. There's just no doubting that. We know his lines. We know his look. We know the sound of his breath and know really everything else there is to know about the guy. Star Wars is such a cultural phenomenon that almost everyone around the world could tell you at least one thing about him. The die-hard fans could take it much further, telling you all about his past and the behind-the-scenes information. Yet, whenever people start talking about Darth Vader, they always get things wrong. For whatever reason, the things on this list constantly get mixed up or misunderstood, and fans have been passing around this misinformation for years. We're here to clear everything up once and for all.
The stuff on this list isn't just for the casual fans; neither is it just for the fanatics. There's a little bit of everything. Some of the misinformation here is basic stuff. It's just been so distorted over the years that people can't keep the truth straight. There is some more intense information as well—the stuff that the biggest Star Wars fans still get confused by. Since Vader is such a massive character, you would think that most people have their Vader facts on point, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Here are 16 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Darth Vader.
16 His Iconic Line
It's one of the most quotable lines in movie history. It reveals one of the biggest twists we've ever seen or heard. For all its simplicity, it carries an enormous amount of weight. It is all of these things and more. Perhaps most of all, Darth Vader's big line is also one of the most misquoted lines in cinematic history. For years, we've all been running around saying, "Luke, I am your father." While wrong, this is an understandable misquote because it puts Luke's name in the action. It helps to make it more recognizable and includes a subject in the quote. But that's not the line. It's actually, "No, I am your father." Luke had just finished saying, "He [Obi Wan] told me you killed him," referring to the lie Obi Wan told Luke about Darth Vader killing his father. Darth just clears up the confusion with his iconic line.
15 The Useless Control Panel
The giant control panel on Darth Vader's chest has been the subject of much ridicule from fans and haters alike. Why would you ever put a control panel so valuable to the man's life out in the open? Well, the easy answer is, it needed to be accessible. The more complex answer is that it's not as easily accessible as you may think. In order to access it, you have to get close to Vader. That's a hefty task. So what does it all do? Well, the big red button is a "manual override" switch. This is there so Vader can give himself more energy from his suit without it going haywire or shutting down. The blue button above that one returns the suit to an automated system. The other buttons do various things for programming, but the one at the far right–it's red in episodes five and six–resets Vader's life-support systems. It basically immobilizes him and can kill him if left shut off for too long. That's a dangerous one.
14 Vader Should Recognize C3PO
If Anakin knew C3PO, Vader should have recognized him in Cloud City. This one is a bother for plenty of people, but it shouldn't be that big of an issue. There are countless protocol droids that look exactly like C3PO. Hell, there's a similar droid right there in Cloud City. Still, it's also explained that Vader's past traumas have caused him to lose plenty of memories from his previous life. He's also pushed in many memories deep inside to help him in his quest for total Force control. Plus, since C3PO had been wiped, recognizing his outer shell wouldn't mean a whole lot in the end.
13 Vader Is A Worse Fighter Than Anakin
Although most die-hard fans understand the difference between the fighting styles of Vader and Anakin, casual movie fans still criticize the fighting from the original films compared to the prequels. While it is true that lightsaber dueling got much quicker in the prequels compared to the original films, the actual techniques are what we're interested in. At the most basic level, we should be able to conclude that since Anakin lost to Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader beat Obi Wan, Darth Vader is clearly more accomplished than he was as Anakin. But why is that? Sure, Vader is older and more experienced, but it has more to do with his new fighting style and Force powers. Since Anakin had all his limbs cut off and now has a vulnerable control box on his chest that controls his life, Darth Vader needed to change his fighting style to survive. As Anakin, his primary fighting style was called "Form V." This is a technique that is focused on targeted deflections of blaster fire, solid blocks, and counterattacks. Anakin was versatile, but this style was his greatest strength. As Vader, he took this Form V and blended it with a Sith style. He also honed his Force powers and used them much more frequently. This allowed him to defend his vulnerabilities while maintaining a safe distance. He used more powerful and deliberate blows against Obi Wan who was a defensive fighter that tried to outlast his opponents. Since Vader's fighting style doesn't expend great deals of energy, Obi Wan was bound to lose against him.
12 The Engine In The Tie Fighter
The only reason we've included this in a Vader discussion is because it is Vader's Tie Fighter, which best clarifies this confusion. Take a look at the back of a Tie Fighter. See that hexagon-shaped piece in the middle? What is that? You might be thinking that it's an engine outlet where the Fighter generates thrust from. Most people do. In various drawings and recreations, this hexagon has fire or glowing lights coming from it. Well, TIE stands for "Twin Ion Engines." Those two small glowing red lights are actually the two engine outlets. The hexagon is a window. That's it. You can clearly see that this is true when we see inside Vader's cockpit.
11 Where Did Vader Get his Scar?
When we finally see Vader's face revealed to us, it is plain to see that the guy's face has seen some bad days. He's got a few major scars, including one on his cheek. Plenty of people have tried to find the source from what we see happen in the films, specifically in his big fight with Obi Wan; but the actual event took place off-screen. We learn of this scar's origin in The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader novel. In this book, we read of a duel between Anakin and Asajj Ventress. Ventress was a droid trained by Count Dooku. In the fight, Anakin almost defeated Ventress, but was left with a huge gash on his cheek.
10 Darth Vader And Dark Father
We've heard plenty of people mock this choice in name before. The twist was right in front of us the whole time, they say. Of course Darth Vader is Luke's father, the term Darth Vader means Dark Father in Dutch. Even George Lucas confirmed this, saying "'Darth' is a variation of dark. And 'Vader' is a variation of father. So it's basically Dark Father." Well, this isn't necessarily true. In the original scripts, Darth Vader wasn't even Luke's father. These two characters were combined after the name was chosen. Quite simply, Darth is not even a Dutch word. Vader is Dutch for father, yeah, but it's pronounced much differently. So, maybe Lucas had someone else come up with the name or he borrowed it without knowing the connection. It's probably more likely that Darth comes from the Rakata word Daritha, which means "emperor. Or maybe, it is from "darr tah" in Rakata, which means "immortal." Both meanings would fit in well with the Sith mindset.
9 The Wooden Dialogue
It's difficult to defend the cheesy dialogue from the prequels, but when it comes to Anakin, he takes more than his fair share of the flak. Yes, his dialogue is often cringe-worthy and the delivery is pretty wooden, but let's consider his older self for a second. If you can imagine Anakin speaking all of Vader's lines, minus the awesome effects of the breathing apparatus, the muffling from the helmet, and James Earl Jones' steely voice, it's not that far-fetched to say that they speak somewhat similarly. Jones just sounds so natural in his delivery that it sounds infinitely superior. If you close your eyes and imagine the suit changing Anakin's voice to sound like Jones, the line delivery isn't too far off.
8 The Sith Kill For Fun
Since we only see a limited number of Sith on screen, many fans of the films have drawn the conclusion that Sith are killing machines with no compass whatsoever. Not only do they have a plan and purpose, but they also have a code which exonerates their actions—the ones we see as crazed, such as the killing of innocents. The code is: "Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power. Through power I gain victory. Through victory my chains are broken. The Force shall free me."
7 Anakin Must Stay Celibate
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin spouted off the following to Padme, "Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden." This spiraled into a discussion about marriage and celibacy among Star Wars fans. We know that Anakin was forced to hide his relationship with Padme from the others, but was he able to sleep with her? Well, yes. In an interview in London in 2002, George Lucas confirmed this by saying, "Jedi Knights aren't celibate—the thing that is forbidden is attachments—and possessive relationships." So they aren't like monks or priests. They simply cannot have relationships.
6 Punny Darth Vader
When Rogue One came out, it was met with both huge fans and major critics. One of the biggest points of contention among fans was one line in particular. When Vader is speaking to Orson Krennic, Krennic gets a little too pushy for his liking, so he gets Force-choked by the Sith lord. After that, Vader says, "Don’t choke on your aspirations." This caught many an eye roll from fans. Purists claimed that Vader would never speak in puns like this. But wait. Anakin was known to make a bad joke here and there; so was Obi Wan, Vader's teacher. So it's not totally out of the realm of possibility. Let's not pretend that he's completely inhuman.
5 Force Ghost Of Young Anakin
One of the pressing questions for critics of the remastered Star Wars films is the inclusion of Anakin's Force ghost. It's not only that they added Anakin into the mix to accommodate the prequels. Critics were more bothered that Anakin's ghost appeared as the young version of himself, whereas Yoda and Obi Wan are older. While there is no real explanation, we can assume that this has to do with the Light side and the loss of humanity. Obi Wan and Yoda died while they were Jedi. Anakin did not. Sure, he redeemed himself in the end, but he does not automatically become a Jedi again. There's also the fact that Anakin lost his sense of humanity after he was cut into pieces. When he was brought back, he was essentially a robot—more cybernetics than human. It is perfectly reasonable that when he picked his ghost form, he would go back to the last time he was a human Jedi.
4 Losing To Obi Wan
Many people suggest that Anakin should have never lost to Obi Wan in their duel. They point out that Anakin was already a vastly superior fighter and should have easily bettered his master. This is not really true, though. Obi Wan was a master of Soresu (Form III), which was the strongest defensive technique. He would try to outlast his opponents, waiting for them to tire or mentally make mistakes. Once they faltered, he would make his move. Now, obviously, this strategy simply allowed Obi Wan to stay alive against Anakin. It was only when he got the high ground that the scales became totally uneven. Obi Wan also had experience with this mismatch. Years earlier, it was Darth Maul who had the high ground over him. He was able to flip over Maul and cut him in half. He knows this same move is coming from Anakin. He warns him twice not to try it. When Anakin fails to listen, Obi Wan cuts the kid his friggin' legs off.
3 The Sith Are Too Emotional
We are seeing this play out in front of right now with Kylo Ren in the new films. Like Kylo, Darth Vader appeared incredibly emotional. He's been choking people out for small things for a while now. Since this is somewhat of a common trait for the Sith and the Jedi try to control their emotions, people have concluded that anger and emotion equals weakness. But that's wrong. Anger and hatred is fuel for Sith. They use this energy to feed their actions. In one scene, we see that Darth Vader is sitting in his meditation chamber without his helmet. While this chamber does sustain his life-support systems when his helmet is off, what Vader is doing here is honing his Force powers. He is using the pain he feels without his helmet to build his anger and sharpen his control of the Force. Also, notice in his fight with Luke that after Vader is struck, he becomes noticeably angered and his attacks become more deadly and forceful. Anger is a weapon.
2 The Midichlorians
The Midichlorian debate is one of the fiercest among Star Wars fans. There are those who say that the discussion of Midichlorians in the prequels was an unnecessary attempt to explain the Force. Critics say that it made the Force less magical and even contradicted what the Force was. It doesn't. Not at all. People are just confused. Midichlorians are not what makes the Force. They are what allow people to use it. They are basically Force receptors in our bodies. More Midichlorians mean more Force potential. One of the big complaints is how simplistic the explanation was as well. For that, we have to consider the audience. Qui-Gon Jinn was explaining complex biology to Anakin, who was a small boy with virtually no education. Of course, he said it in the most basic of terms.
1 Anakin's Decent Into Madness
Recently, some psychologists have dissected Star Wars–specifically Anakin–to explain how he descended so rapidly to the Dark Side, one of the things that people criticize about the prequels. In this theory, Anakin suffered from mental illness at an early stage. They argue that Anakin displays symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and this could help explain why he does what he does. It just took certain triggers to have it showcased openly. Here's their quote, "He presented impulsivity and difficulty controlling his anger and alternated between idealization and devaluation (of his Jedi mentors). Permanently afraid of losing his wife, he made frantic efforts to avoid her abandonment and went as far as betraying his former Jedi companions. He also experienced two dissociative episodes secondary to stressful events. One occurred after his mother’s death, when he exterminated a whole tribe of Tuskan people, while the other one took place just after he turned to the dark side. He slaughtered all the Jedi younglings before voicing paranoid thoughts concerning his former mentor and his wife. Finally, the films depicted his quest to find himself and his uncertainties about who he was. Turning to the dark side and changing his name could be interpreted as a sign of identity disturbance."
Sources: Wikipedia; Star Wars Wikia; IMDB; Reddit;