Star Wars: Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s top 15 moments

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Photo Credit: Marvel, Lucasfilm

1. Anakin Skywalker Dies

Stories gain their meaning from their endings. It’s only in putting the final period on the last sentence that the truth of everything that came before it becomes clear. The life of Anakin Skywalker, more widely known as Darth Vader, is a perfect example of that truth.

Anakin began his life as a slave. He later became a Knight for a prestigious and benevolent order and later Lord for an obscure and depraved one. His wish to create order and peace led him to commit mass murder on an imaginable scale. At the time of his death, he was one of the most feared men in the galaxy. However, his final act was one of profound love.

At the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader finds himself in an odd position. The Empire he helped build is crumbling all around him. His surrogate father, now revealed as a cruel user, is in the process of killing the son he never knew he had.

Breaking with 20 years of ingrained behavior, Vader turns on his Master to save Luke. The effort costs him his life, but he doesn’t regret it. In his last moments, he removes the armor that sustained and imprisoned him and begs his son to tell his daughter that he died a Jedi. Afterward, it is revealed that Anakin received grace in finally turning into the dark side.

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Anakin Skywalker’s death isn’t the character’s greatest moment because he redeems himself. It’s because, after a lifetime of self-interested evil, he died selflessly to do good.