We rank the 50 most memorable Star Wars deaths ever

51 of 51

1. Anakin Skywalker

When Did They Die: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Who Were They: Powerful Jedi Knight, apprentice of Obi-wan Kenobi, Chosen One

How Did They Die: Turning to the Dark Side

More symbolic than anything else, it is nonetheless Anakin Skywalker’s death, and the birth of Darth Vader, that serve as the lynchpin of the entire story George Lucas was trying to tell.

The murders of the Tusken Raiders and the Jedi younglings, his defiance of the Jedi Order and his betrayal of both Padme and Obi-wan all led to Anakin Skywalker’s figurative death. While we know its causes, it’s still hard to say when exactly Anakin “died”. Was it when Obi-wan left him on the banks of the Mustafar lava river? Was it earlier, when he killed the younglings?

Perhaps Anakin was still alive within Darth Vader’s suit when they revived him, only to die upon hearing the (false) news that his wife had died by his hand?

There’s no firm way to tell, but really it doesn’t matter which of these did it. They were all symptoms and ailments related to the same disease. What matters is that we know that there was once an Anakin Skywalker, and now there is a Darth Vader. That is the primary arch running through all Star Wars games, books, TV shows and movies.