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Why Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker Are NOT the Same Person

Why Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker Are NOT the Same Person

You may have taken part in the ongoing debate on whether Darth Vader and Anakin are the same people.

And regardless of which side you believe to be true, there is plenty of evidence in the comics, TV shows, and movies that Vader and Anakin are not the same individuals.

When he lost his limbs, burned on Mustafar, and was forced to rely on his trademark black life support suit, Anakin Skywalker was officially killed and reborn as Darth Vader. Unlike Anakin, Vader had little emotional attachments and was a ruthless Sith Lord between 19 BBY and 4 ABY.

Who Is Anakin Skywalker?

To better understand why Anakin and Vader are not the same people, we need context regarding who Anakin Skywalker is, why he turned to the dark side, and who Darth Vader is.

Why Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker Are NOT the Same Person - Star Wars Explained
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Anakin Skywalker was a Force-sensitive whose midi-chlorian count was so high, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn believed the boy was the subject spoken of in the Chosen One Prophecy that would bring balance to the Force.

Qui-Gon insisted on training Anakin, even if he already had a Padawan in Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, this never materialized as Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon during the Battle of Naboo, leaving Anakin to train under Obi-Wan.

Maul and Qui Gon's Death | Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Obi-Wan never related well with Anakin, and the two often clashed. This was something we often saw in Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

For example, Obi-Wan told Padme that Anakin and he were sent to protect her, as opposed to starting an investigation into her assassin. Anakin, however, said they would try to find the culprit, leading to a verbal confrontation between the two.

Later, the two chased Zam Wesell, and Obi-Wan wasn’t shy about voicing his discontent with his Padawan.

Obi-Wan & Anakin Chase Zam Wesell (Part 2) | Star Wars Attack of the Clones (2002) Movie Clip HD 4K

Anakin, who wasn’t raised in the Jedi Temple, felt emotions, which made him an outlier among the Jedi. Obi-Wan, raised in the Jedi Temple with vague memories of his family, never understood Anakin’s emotions.

Because of these emotions, Anakin fell in love with and married Padme Amidala. In Revenge of the Sith, Padme revealed she was pregnant, and Anakin, while elated, started having nightmares about his wife dying while she gave birth.

Why Did Anakin Skywalker Turn to the Dark Side?

Chancellor Palpatine knew Anakin’s strong emotions could lead to the dark side. This, coupled with the fact Anakin was often at odds with the Jedi, allowed Palpatine to swoop in and serve as Anakin’s father figure.

Slowly, Palpatine manipulated Anakin. First, he ordered the Jedi Knight to kill Count Dooku, then, he told Anakin about Darth Plagueis, and how the Sith Lord learned to save others from dying.

Once the Chancellor believed he earned Anakin’s trust, Palpatine revealed himself as the Sith Lord. He also claimed that through the dark side, Anakin could save Padme.

Palpatine Reveals Himself To Anakin Scene | Star Wars Revenge of the Sith (2005) Movie Clip HD 4K

While Anakin reported Palpatine as the Sith Lord to the Jedi Council, he had a change of heart when Mace Windu was about to kill the Chancellor.

This led to Windu’s death, and Anakin, because of his strong emotional connection to Padme, fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader.

Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader

Anakin cut off Windu’s hand before the Jedi Master could strike down Palpatine. This let the Sith Lord strike Mace Windu with Force lightning and launch him out the window to his death.

Though Anakin panicked over what he’d done, Palpatine assured the new Sith Lord that he was embracing his destiny. In that same scene, Anakin pledged himself to the Sith and Palpatine christened him as Darth Vader.

Who is Darth Vader?

Darth Vader is the Sith Lord whose turn to the dark side led to Palpatine issuing Order 66. Palpatine also ordered Vader to kill the younglings at the Jedi Temple and the remaining Separatist leaders on Mustafar.

Vader’s ultimate duel and subsequent loss to Obi-Wan Kenobi cost him the rest of his limbs. hat remained of his body caught fire, and his severe injuries forced him into the trademark black suit that often pops into our minds when we hear someone utter, “Darth Vader.”

Unlike Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader is ruthless, unafraid to “slaughter anyone who gets in his way.” We saw this during the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi. When pursuing his old master, Vader had no problem killing random people to lure Obi-Wan.

Darth Vader kills Civilians HD

Vader also implied to Emperor Palpatine shortly after his climactic battle with Obi-Wan during the series finale the lengths he was willing to go to destroy the former Jedi Master, showing us how little regard for life the Sith Lord has.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi | Darth Vader Speaks To The Emperor | Disney+

Darth Vader Is Not the Same Person as Anakin Skywalker

Although Darth Vader spent over a decade as a Jedi known as Anakin Skywalker, they are not the same person. Once he was forced to rely on his black suit, Vader no longer saw himself as Anakin. From his point of view, Anakin was a previous form of himself.

In the comics, Vader even saw himself as killing Anakin on Mustafar As opposed to Obi-Wan leaving his former apprentice to die, the Sith Lord convinced Kenobi to toss him into the lava river.

From the lava, Darth Vader saw himself emerging as a new person. You can call this a metaphor, with the lava representing intense pain, while a hardened, new version of himself emerged.

In live action, this was confirmed when, after losing to Obi-Wan in 9 BBY, he even admitted that he killed Anakin Skywalker. This admission led Obi-Wan to realize that his former apprentice was dead, even going as far as to refer to the Sith Lord as “Darth.”

"You didn't kill Anakin Skywalker... I did" | Obi-Wan Kenobi - Episode 6 [HD]

In 0 BBY, during the events of A New Hope, Obi-Wan told Luke Skywalker that Darth Vader killed the boy’s father.

Fast forward to 3 ABY in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when Emperor Palpatine informed Vader about Luke and postulated that the boy was Anakin Skywalker’s son. The Emperor basically refers to Anakin as a separate person from Vader.

Vader finds out Luke is his son - Empire Strikes Back (1980)

How Did Vader Become Anakin Skywalker Once Again?

Despite seeing himself as a different person, Darth Vader returned to identifying as Anakin in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

This stemmed from Luke Skywalker, who loved and respected Vader, despite the Sith Lord’s cruelty between 19 BBY and 4 ABY.

When Luke refused to join forces with the Emperor and became the subject of relentless torture, the emotional connection between Luke and Vader was enough for the Sith Lord to cease being Darth Vader.

Vader didn’t feel the same emotional attachment that Anakin had, so when Luke showed that same emotion, Anakin, not Vader, reciprocated it. This led him to intervene in Palpatine’s torture, saving Luke.

Darth Vader saves Luke then Dies Scene!! (HD)

It was further symbolized when Anakin told Luke to remove the helmet and mask, effectively shedding any last trace of his now-former identity as Darth Vader.


Anakin Skywalker did not grow up in the Jedi Temple for his entire life, which led him to feel more emotion than most Jedi.

While his emotional attachment and love for Padme caused him to fall to the dark side, Darth Vader showed very little emotion, and he would do anything to advance his own, and the Sith’s agenda, even if it meant slaughtering innocent inhabitants of the Star Wars galaxy.

Once Anakin lost his limbs and his body burned, it symbolically killed the former Jedi. At this point, Darth Vader was truly born, and he had no issues referring to himself as Darth Vader.

Only when he re-established his emotional connection through Luke did he once again turn back into Anakin Skywalker.

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