5. Darth Vader and Darth Sidious
The death of Darth Sidious also leads to the symbolic death of Darth Vader, making this rivalry one of the most important in the franchise, and one of the most satisfying.
Darth Sidious, also known as Sheev Palpatine, was after Anakin from the start, beginning with the end of Episode I where he tells a young Anakin, “We will be watching your career with great interest.” While Palpatine’s interactions with Anakin didn’t raise any major red flags, Episode III sends alarms flying all over the place, with Palpatine seducing Anakin to The Dark Side by promising power that will allow him to prevent those he loves from dying.
Anakin’s manipulation is hard to watch and Darth Sidious spends years twisting Anakin’s mind to the point that he even forgets his original goal: to save those he loves. Anakin ends up being a murderer of children and almost becomes responsible for the death of both Padme and Luke.
But that all turns around in Episode VI, when Darth Sidious begins electrocuting Luke mercilessly as Vader watches. Heartbreakingly, Luke starts crying out to his father for help. It’s almost as if Anakin wakes up from a trance because he doesn’t try to ask Darth Sidious to stop, he just picks him up and throws the Sith down a space shaft. He’d clearly had enough.