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The ONE Time Darth Vader Refused Emperor Palpatine’s Order

The ONE Time Darth Vader Refused Emperor Palpatine’s Order

In the movies, Darth Vader was loyal to the Emperor..until Vader threw him into the reactor shaft. His service to Palpatine ended there.

That may be the moment Star Wars fans remember Vader not following the Emperor’s orders. Yet, in the Star Wars comics, Vader showed disloyalty earlier. Read more to find out about the one time that Darth Vader refused Emperor Palpatine’s Order.

Vader and the Throne Room

In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader battled Luke Skywalker in the Emperor’s throne room. This duel on Death Star II ended with Luke defeating Vader but refusing to kill him as the Emperor ordered.

As the Emperor shocked Luke with Force lightning, Vader stood by, watching, with his right hand gone from the fight with Luke. But then Vader refused to obey his master any longer. He hoisted the Emperor and threw him down the reactor shaft.

Return of the Jedi | The Emperor's Death
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Indirectly, Vader refused Palpatine’s order. That is, Vader refused to allow the Emperor to kill Luke and instead killed Palpatine…until he came back in The Rise of Skywalker.

We may think that Vader was always loyal to the Emperor until this moment. Yet, that would be incorrect. According to the Rule of Two, only two Sith Lords could exist at one time, a master and an apprentice. The apprentice waited for a chance to take the master’s place, or risk being replaced.

Why Did The Sith Obey The Rule of Two? - Star Wars Explained

That was the situation with Palpatine and Vader, with Luke coming to replace Vader or die, or Vader overtaking the Emperor.

So, the Emperor and Vader’s relationship was always on unsteady ground.

Why Was Darth Vader Loyal to the Emperor?

Given this context, Vader was not the Emperor’s ally, and it makes us wonder why he stayed loyal to him.

As fans indicated, Vader “hates the Emperor” deep down, or even closer to the surface. After all, Palpatine is the one who lured Vader to the dark side and is responsible for Padme’s death.

Yet, Vader had to be strategic. He knew how powerful the Emperor was, and he couldn’t openly defy him. We see this power in action as Palpatine electrocuted Luke.

As Vader also commented to Luke in Return of the Jedi, “You don’t know the power of the dark side.” This dark side compelled Vader to be loyal to the Emperor. Vader admits, “I must obey my master.”

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Luke confront Vader

Vader was trapped between the Emperor’s power and the dark side. He also felt that the Emperor held power over his life. Palpatine is the one that reconstructed him after his battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar.

The TRAGIC Reason Behind Darth Vader's Loyalty To Emperor Palpatine - Star Wars #Shorts

Yet, as the above video reveals, at the moment he became encased in armor, Vader also threw Palpatine across the room. He did this act in a 2017 Darth Vader comic, but he also learns Force lightning can wipe out his life support.

Vader is dependent on Palpatine, but searching for a chance to overthrow him.

When Was the One Time that Darth Vader Refused Emperor Palpatine’s Order?

The comics are also the place to find the one time that Vader refused Palpatine’s order. It happened in Darth Vader Issue #20 (2017) five years after the Empire was established.

Vader was tasked with hunting the Jedi. Afterward, the Emperor ordered Vader to deliver a message to Bail Organa. But Vader refused this order and insisted on being given his own planet for all his work on behalf of the Emperor.

The ONE Time Darth Vader Refused Emperor Palpatine’s Order - Star Wars #Shorts

Further, Vader insisted on the planet Mustafar, not Tatooine or Naboo. So, Vader refused the Emperor twice in this one instance.

Yet, this refusal also prompted a reminder of who was in charge. As fans indicated about this scene, Vader was “a tool” for the Emperor’s schemes. The Emperor punished him, but also toyed favorably with Vader’s emotions to control him.

From this perspective, Vader could only risk defying the Emperor this one time.

However, Vader defied the Emperor one more time in the throne room. This defiance was to save his son Luke from Palpatine. But it was also about stored-up grievances against Darth Sidious.

Why Did Vader Defy the Emperor Again?

Vader suffered from “an inner conflict” that originated from being Anakin Skywalker. With his transformation to Vader, Anakin lost his Jedi identity and his wife Padme. Luke reminded him of how much he had lost.

We must recall that Anakin’s turn to the dark side arose from his desire to protect his loved ones. He tried and failed to protect his mother and his wife. He thought the dark side would have saved both, but ultimately realized the light side would save Luke.

Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - Anakin becomes Darth Vader, Sith Lord - 4K ULTRA HD.

Darth Sidious and Darth Vader played a game with one another. In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor said he wanted Luke to die before Vader indicated that Luke could be turned to the dark side.

Yet, both had hidden motives, with Palpatine seeking a new apprentice to supplant Vader, and Vader trying to make Luke his apprentice.

Vader says as much in The Empire Strikes Back, attempting to convince Luke to rule the galaxy together “as father and son.” Together, they were to push the Emperor aside, and they did.

Vader Refused the Emperor’s Orders

Darth Vader first refused Palpatine’s orders in the comics (two refusals at once). Then he refused him again in the movies. This second (or third) time, Vader turned to the light side before he perished.

Vader refused the Emperor’s orders at least two times then. The final one killed the Emperor, or so we thought.

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