18. Darth Sidious and Darth Vader
No Star Wars duo list would be complete without the most tragically abusive master and apprentice relationship in the Star Wars canon. Sidious and Vader’s relationship, as revealed by the original trilogy, was one in which Sidious was a vicious taskmaster and Vader his loyal lackey. But Vader’s loyalty is unwavering. When he discovers that Luke is his son, he sees a chance to overthrow Sidious, but Luke refuses to join him. This seemingly steels his resolve to serve the Emperor until the Emperor attempts to kill Luke in front of him. Vader’s compassion for his son wins out, and he tosses Sidious down the Death Star reactor shaft, ending the Emperor’s reign. This is the broad outline of Sidious and Vader’s story as it was originally revealed in the original trilogy, but their story goes back much further than that.
Before Darth Sidious became Emperor of the Galactic Empire, he was Sheev Palpatine, the seemingly good Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and a mentor to Anakin Skywalker. Anakin trusted Palpatine more than most people in his life, and Palpatine manipulated this trust to eventually turn him to the dark side, turning him into Darth Vader. Together, Sidious and Vader subjugated the galaxy under Sidious’s control. Though their relationship was an abusive one, they no doubt stand out as one of the most well-known duos in Star Wars canon.