Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise.
Let’s find out some fun facts about him!
1. The character was created by George Lucas and has been portrayed by numerous actors. His appearances span the first six Star Wars films, as well as Rogue One, and his character is heavily referenced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He is also an important character in the Star Wars expanded universe of television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books.
2. Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, he falls to the dark side of the Force and serves the evil Galactic Empire at the right hand of his Sith master, Emperor Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious).
3. He is also the father of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, grandfather of Kylo Ren, and secret husband of Padmé Amidala.
4. Darth Vader has become one of the most iconic villains in popular culture, and has been listed among the greatest villains and fictional characters ever.
5. The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history on 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains, behind Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.
6. Other critics consider him a tragic hero, citing his original motivations for the greater good before his fall to the dark side.
7. Despite being the main villain of the first movie, Darth Vader only appears on screen for 12 minutes. He was also originally going to be killed off in the trench scene.
8. David Prowse, the actor in the Darth Vader suit, had his voice dubbed over because of his thick Bristol accent. Prowse was furious, believing he was a victim of ‘reverse racism’ because they had no black actors in the cast and the studio didn’t want to look bad, although James Earl Jones, who ended up voicing Darth Vader, wasn’t credited.
9. Darth Vader is known for his iconic helmet, but this was not part of the original design – George Lucas originally imagined the Sith Lord as wearing a black silk scarf over his face.
10. The sound of Vader’s helmet being lowered onto his body was the sound of someone putting their hand over a vacuum tube while it was still sucking in dust.
11. The original Star Wars movie is the only movie where Darth Vader’s signature theme “The Imperial March” is not played in some form or another, as it had not been written at the time.
12. Darth Vader being Luke’s father was not a plot point when they made the first Star Wars movie. It was added in while writing the script for The Empire Strikes Back. This is why there’s some plot holes in the dialogue when rewatching the first movie.
13. The secret that Vader was Luke’s father was such a secret that only five people knew about it: George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Hamill, and James Earl Jones.
14. Darth Vader mask had to be padded with foam because it was much too large to fit over David Prowse’s face properly.
15. Darth Vader’s mother, Shmi Skywalker, claims that there was no father. If she is telling the truth to Qui-Gon Jinn, as The Phantom Menace leads its audience to believe, then Anakin Skywalker was conceived purely by the Force, or by midi-chlorians. This would explain his extraordinary powers, his notable high midi-chlorian count, and would further cement his status as “The Chosen One” who would go on to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force.
15. Lucasfilm has said that Darth Vader is the most popular and profitable character in all of the Star Wars universe. Immediately recognizable, his likeness has inspired a variety of popular Star Wars merchandise, including some outlandish items from burgers to toasters to luxury watches.
16. His classic helmet appears as a gargoyle on the exterior of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. While he is difficult to spot, he can be seen (with the help of binoculars) looking down from the northwest tower.In the 1980’s, the National Cathedral held a contest with National Geographic World where children could submit ideas for decorative sculptures. One boy, Christopher Rader, submitted a picture of Darth Vader, and he was selected as the 3rd place winner of the contest.