We don't need to introduce you to Darth Vader, the antagonist of the first trilogy. He has become a true icon of popular culture, undeniably contributing to the success of Star Wars. Dressed in cybernetic armor, a black cape and helmet, he has the look of the ideal villain. His red lightsaber adds an aggressive touch to the Sith Lord's panoply.
Despite the fact that every fan of the saga has seen Darth Vader's lightsaber at least once, people who know its history are rare. Indeed, the weapon is brandished several times but its past remains as dark as its owner.
The origins of Vader's lightsaber are not easy to find, you'll have to look beyond the movies and the related animation series. So we invite you to rediscover Darth Vader's saber with us. In addition to being terribly destructive, the Sith's weapon has a more interesting history than it seems.
APPEARANCE OF THE LIGHTSABER OF DARTH VADER
The hilt of Darth Vader's lightsaber is mostly chrome and is composed of several black parts. These include the lower edges, the Kyber crystal chamber and the blade's emitter sheath. Vader's weapon was built based on his lightsaber design when he was Anakin Skywalker, before he became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. This explains some similarities between the 2 lightsabers. As for Darth Vader's lightsaber, his scarlet blade is powered by a corrupted red Kyber crystal.
In addition, Vader's lightsaber can change the length of its plasma blade, like his previous weapon. We also notice that the handle and buttons are thick enough to allow Vader's robotic hands to grip it well. Finally, the Sith Lord's lightsaber will evolve over time as his wielder decides to modify it and thus improve it more and more.
HOW DID DARK VADER GET HIS RED LIGHTSABER?
Between Star Wars Episode III and IV, Anakin became Darth Vader and now wields this new red lightsaber. However, no information is given in the movies about how to obtain this weapon. In fact, you'll have to delve into the comic book Darth Vader - Dark Lord of the Sith to find out how the character got this lightsaber. The comic begins with Darth Vader as an apprentice to Darth Sidious following his rescue on Mustafar.
Palpatine explains that he now needs a new saber, a red Sith lightsaber. He then leads him to a ceremony conducted by Mas Amedda that condemns many Jedi lightsabers to be incinerated. In particular, we see Master Yoda's green lightsaber being thrown into the fire, explaining how it ended up... As the Grand Vizier makes his speech, Sidious will tell him how a Sith gets his red lightsaber:
"You must, through the dark side, imbue your crystal with your suffering. When this agony is too much for it, it will turn a beautiful scarlet color reflecting that of your rage."
Following this, Vader's new mentor will send him to find a Jedi in order to get his Kyber crystal to "bleed" him. The bleeding ritual consists of corrupting a crystal using negative emotions such as pain or hatred to give it a red tint. Darth Vader is accompanied by a droid who will research the few remaining Jedi after Order 66 to determine a potential target. The Jedi being hunted is Kirak Infil'a, who has taken a vow of Barash, meaning he is on the outs with the Jedi Order. The Jedi Master is known to specialize in lightsaber combat.
Darth Vader will first fight the Jedi's training droid named Arex and retrieve his lightsaber to confront Kirak Infil'a. Although determined to get his red lightsaber, Vader suffered his first setback against the Jedi... Shortly thereafter, the Sith will return to face the enemy who defeated him, relying on his weakness: his great benevolence. As Darth Vader endangers many innocent people, Kirak Infil'a will be forced to protect them. This jeopardizes the defense of the Jedi who will be killed by Vader. The latter retrieving his lightsaber to bleed his crystal as he had planned.
In addition to being an evil place, Mustafar is the place where Vader experienced a pure moment of hatred. This is why Sidious has programmed his student's ship to go to this planet. He relies on the fact that Mustafar has great significance to Vader in order to perform his bleeding ritual. He succeeds in bleeding the Kyber crystal of Kirak Infil'a, allowing him to wield a gleaming red blade... Later, Darth Vader will replace the Jedi hilt with a new one that he built himself. It is the one we presented above.
DARTH VADER'S MAIN LIGHTSABER BATTLES
Darth Vader not only has excellent mastery of the Force, he is also a very good lightsaber fighter. The antagonist has proven this through several remarkable battles against powerful characters. The following battles are presented in the chronological order of the Star Wars universe.
DARK VADER AGAINST HIS FORMER STUDENT AHSOKA TANO
In this duel starting in the last episode of the season 2 of Star Wars Rebels, we can appreciate Ahsoka Tano fighting against Darth Vader. She had considered him as her master once, when he was still Anakin Skywalker. She will discover Vader's identity after breaking his mask with her 2 white lightsabers. Although shocked by the revelation, Ahsoka does not flee with Ezra Bridger and continues to fight Vader. The confrontation finally finding no real way out...
DARTH VADER VERSUS HIS FORMER MENTOR OBI-WAN KENOBI
Towards the end of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, Darth Vader can finally take his revenge against the one who had beaten him on Mustafar, Obi-Wan. Indeed, while he was no longer his Padawan for a short time, Anakin lost 2 legs and an arm against Obi-Wan who left him in a state close to death. However, in this opus, Darth Vader will win the duel against Obi-Wan's blue lightsaber just after Luke Skywalker's arrival. Ben Kenobi's attitude before disappearing suggests that he may have allowed himself to be overpowered in order to give Luke the strength to overcome in the future. Also, it is the fact that Obi-Wan slips away in this way that will allow him to reappear as a wraith to help Luke later on.
DARK VADER VERSUS HIS SON LUKE SKYWALKER
FIRST CONFRONTATION ON THE CITY OF CLOUDS
Vader fights Luke for the first time in Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Moreover, Luke fights here with his father's old weapon, the one he built when he was Anakin Skywalker. The young Jedi Luke is clearly no match for Darth Vader who disarms him by cutting off his right hand. The Sith will finally confess their relationship, giving way to the most famous sentence of the saga "I am your father". Darth Vader will not be able to give him the coup de grâce because Luke will manage to escape on board the Millennium Falcon. This is what will allow a second and last fight between Darth Vader and Luke in the next movie.
SECOND CONFRONTATION ON THE DEATH STAR
George Lucas concludes the first trilogy with Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi with the second fight between Luke and his father. This time Luke will fight with his green lightsaber, the weapon he built himself. The young Skywalker has progressed a lot since their first duel and it shows! As Darth Sidious contemplates the final battle, he will ask Luke to kill Vader after he has gained the upper hand and (in turn) cut off his right hand. However, Luke will not give in to the dark side and will enjoy the last moments with his father Vader before he passes away...
To summarize, Vader first had to get a Kyber crystal to bleed to have a Sith sword. The design of his hilt will then have allowed him to have a personalized and more adapted weapon. Finally, Darth Vader's lightsaber will be used against great opponents to offer us epic confrontations!
Disney has scheduled many series for the future of the Star Wars license. We could very well see Vader's lightsaber on screen again, for our greatest pleasure. It would not be unrealistic to learn more about the fictional weapon...
If you also want to be a Sith, you can now do so. Take a look at our real aluminum lightsabers. They feature all the blade colors from the saga. This includes the red used by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader.