15 greatest Star Wars rivalries of all time

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(Photo by Mike Klimo/StarWars.com)
(Photo by Mike Klimo/StarWars.com) /

1. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker

Sure, it may be the most obvious rivalry in the galaxy, but the dark-side rift between Darth Vader and his son Luke is also the most iconic in Star Wars history.

Family quarrels are one thing, but the Skywalkers take it to a whole new level, making your tense Christmas dinner look like Saturday at Disneyland. Not only is Darth Vader continuously trying to corner his son and manipulate him to abandon his morals, his training and his friends and turn to “The Dark Side,” Darth Vader also repeatedly tries to kill Luke, his very existence being a threat to Vader’s plans to take control of the whole galaxy.

But what makes this rivalry so iconic is that it’s the first rivalry in history that Vader loses. Even when Padme is pleading with Anakin to stop his wave of terror in Revenger of the Sith, Anakin — soon to be Darth Vader — actually chokes his own wife, nearly killing her. Anakin also kills his Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Basically, anyone who opposed Vader was ripe for saber slicing. But Luke was the only one who flipped the switch in Vader’s own manipulated, twisted brain, bringing Anakin back from the dead and back to being a father.

Vader saves his son from the true villain of Episodes I through VI: Darth Sidious, and Anakin is seen with the ghosts of Yoda and Obi-Wan by the fire during his funeral. Luke is also the only character in his time, other than Obi-Wan, to see Darth Vader as his true self, Anakin. While Leah and Luke are twins and both children of Anakin and Padme, Luke has a particularly strong connection with his father, making for a fierce rivalry and a passionate redemption.