Why Did Darth Vader Turn to the Dark Side of the Force?

A New Hope opened with a thrilling assault on a rebel ship and as the Storm troopers gained access, Darth Vader famously stepped in, his black figure large and menacing.

Since that moment fans have wondered who this Vader guy was and how he came to be.

The original trilogy films added small iterations to the back story of Vader but it was a back story we hardly knew much of. A New Hope told us he was a pupil of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who during this time was seduced by the dark side who killed Luke's father.

The Empire Strikes Back later revealed Vader was Luke's father and Return of the Jedi confirmed he was indeed the chosen one, but the full back story of who Vader really was and how he had ended up as the most feared person in the galaxy was never explored.

Enter the prequel trilogies.

In a weird kind of way, you could think of Darth Vader as having a similar plight as King Kong for it was beauty that killed the beast. But what do we mean by that?

Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a powerful Jedi Knight who fell in love with Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo and it was his love for her that was ultimately his undoing.

Anakin had a vision that plagued him of Padmé dying and he wished to prevent that – when this was made known to Palpatine, the then-undercover Sith Lord seized an opportunity to use Anakin's need to save her to finally turn Anakin against the Jedi and so succeed in his goal of gaining ultimate unlimited power!

1 sith eyes 2BStar2BWars2BEpisode2BIII2BRevenge2Bof2Bthe2BSith
Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm

While Anakin's motives for his actions in Revenge of the Sith were initially pure, his fear and anger lead to the Dark Side (as Yoda predicted).

A key turning point for Anakin was when he went to rescue his mother from the Sand People on Tatooine in Attack of the Clones. When she died, he plumbed the deeps of the dark side of the Force by killing everyone in the camp, women and children included.

He went even closer in Revenge of the Sith when he led the assault on the Jedi temple and slaughtered the defenseless younglings in Yoda's classroom.

Following his final encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustapha where he was left for dead and having fatally wounded Padmé (or possibly simply caused her to lose her will to live…), Vader had no choice but to continue the path set before him by his seduction by the Sith Lord.

He literally had no way to save himself, Palpatine was the only way to save him.

Locked into that path, he then pretty much had no choice but to set about furthering the Emperor's rule by seeking out and exterminating the remaining Jedi.

By the time that “work” was finished Vader was wholly a part of the dark side of the Force.

Vader's story came to an end in Return of the Jedi when he killed the Emperor out of love for his son Luke, thus fulfilling the so-called prophecy that he would bring balance to the Force. He had come from the darkest of places so that his son may live and not also be turned to the Dark Side or killed by Palpatine.

Fun Fact? Vader's costume design echoes Nazi Office uniforms.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Editor in Chief at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Paul Rose Jr is the Editor in Chief of Wealth of Geeks & manages the Associated Press program for The Insiders network. He has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.