Star Wars: How did Darth Vader die?

Photo: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

In the third installment of the original trilogy, Darth Vader met his end in Return of the Jedi. Need a refresher? We have all the details.

The infamous Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker, to this day is still one of the most iconic villains in movie history. From his downfall to the dark side shown in the prequels, to shocking revelations and battles in Episodes IV, V, and VI, he was ultimately brought down by Emperor Palpatine after being his apprentice for many years and ruling the galaxy together.

How did Darth Vader Die?

After the shocking revelation of Luke being Anakin’s son, much like Luke, we too saw a glimmer of light being peaked through that heavy black suit of terror. It was only a matter of time until Darth Vader turned back to the Light Side because of the connection with his children.

And that’s exactly what he did. In Return of the Jedi, when the Emperor tried to get Luke to kill his father to take his place and Luke refused, Palpatine started to use his force lightning on Luke, torturing him. Unable to see his son get killed, Vader steps in and throws Palpatine down the reactor shaft, to his apparent death.

While this is happening though, Darth Vader gets fatally electrocuted. Luke, at his father’s request, takes off his helmet so he can look at his son one last time, with his real face.

In his last final moments and with the courageous act of saving his son and turning on his former master, Vader turns back to the Light Side and dies as Anakin Skywalker. He then becomes a Force ghost, which you would then see at the end of the movie with his former friend Obi-Wan Kenobi.

While Darth Vader’s death may have been bittersweet, by saving Luke and “killing” the Emperor, he fulfilled his prophecy of being the chosen one. His wrath as Vader and his turn to the Light for his son will always be some of the highlights of the Star Wars universe.

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