The first six Star Wars movies revolved around the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, later known as Darth Vader. Darth Vader was one of the most powerful Sith to ever live, but he was previously a promising Jedi knight.
Despite his humble beginnings on Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker quickly became a skilled Jedi, growing under the teachings of his masters Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was Qui-Gon who thought that Anakin would fulfill an ancient prophecy and become the one who would bring balance to the Force.
Even though Anakin eventually fell to the dark side of the Force and helped eliminate the Jedi order, he was still fulfilling his destiny. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Anakin finally defeated Emperor Palpatine and brought balance to the Force.
Does that mean that Darth Vader returned to the light side of the Force? Was there good in him all along?
To give a quick answer, yes, Darth Vader turned good at the end of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga. He fulfilled his destiny by bringing balance to the Force.
Keep reading to learn more about Anakin’s life, Darth Vader’s redemption, and the prophecy he fulfilled.
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Does Darth Vader Return to the Light Side?
Despite living as a Sith Lord for decades, Darth Vader was still Anakin Skywalker on the inside. Even though he was hurt, filled with hatred, and suffering under the weight of his past mistakes, Darth Vader was running from his true destiny.
In the end, his love for his family and his connection to the light side of the Force are what brought him back to fulfill his prophecy.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker surrendered to his father in order to save the Rebel Alliance. In doing so, he tried to sway his father back to the light.
Vader evaded Luke’s pleading and brought him to the Emperor. When Palpatine extended an invitation for Luke to join them and rule the galaxy, Luke refused.
Eventually, this resulted in a fight between Darth Vader and Luke in which Luke cut off one of Vader’s hands. Luke then put his weapon away, terrified of the anger (and the dark side) welling up inside him.
When Luke refused to finish the job and kill his father, the Emperor stepped in to kill Luke.
Palpatine used his Force lightning to send electricity through Luke’s body, slowly killing him. Vader watched as his master tortured his son and Luke pleaded for help.
In that moment Vader realized the pure evil of the Emperor and the goodness inside himself. He stepped into the fight, lifted Palpatine in the air, and threw him down a shaft in the Death Star.
Ultimately, Darth Vader killed Palpatine to save his son, but he also killed him for the years of betrayal and devastation that the dark side had caused him. In doing so, he brought balance to the Force, eliminated the Sith Lord, and fulfilled his destiny.
Even though killing Palpatine left Vader near death, Luke still tried to save him. However, Vader made his last request to look at Luke with his own eyes.
In one of the most powerful movie scenes in history, Luke removed Vader’s mask to reveal his father, Anakin Skywalker, underneath.
Instead of the harsh Sith Lord the universe knew, Anakin had become his true self again. He had finally turned back to the light side of the Force.
Does Darth Vader Still Love Padme?
In Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker pledged his allegiance to Darth Sidious (Sheev Palpatine) in order to save Padme from her imminent death. Anakin had been having nightmares about Padme dying, and he was fearful that those dreams would come true.
Anakin thought that studying the dark side of the Force would give him the powers he needed to keep her alive. He decided to become Palpatine’s apprentice to save Padme.
In doing this, Anakin also took on a new Sith name: Darth Vader. He instantly began carrying out duties as Palpatine’s apprentice.
However, Darth Sidious had had his eye on Anakin from the start of his Jedi training. Throughout the prequels, Palpatine used his position in the Senate to grow closer to Anakin and mislead his thoughts about the Jedi.
Palpatine told Anakin the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise, a story that claimed that Sith possess the power to stop death. Palpatine knowingly told Anakin this tale to manipulate his fears of Padme dying.
By telling Anakin he could learn to stop death, a skill that Palpatine himself didn’t even have, he was trying to seduce Anakin to the dark side. Ultimately, he succeeded.
However, Palpatine had no intention of actually saving Padme. He just wanted to conquer the galaxy with his new powerful apprentice by any means necessary.
After all, Sith are selfish by nature and would lie to achieve their goals. Palpatine was full of deception and hid amongst the Jedi for years before carefully making his moves.
After Obi-Wan and Padme confronted Anakin on Mustafar, Anakin used the Force to choke her. Padme lost consciousness and Obi-Wan stepped in to fight Anakin and keep him from destroying what was left of the Jedi.
In the end of the tear-jerking battle between master and padawan, Obi-Wan defeated Anakin and left his mangled body on the ground. The Emperor eventually came to rescue him and heal him.
Anakin’s healing operations ended up placing him in his iconic suit and helmet to help him survive. After he was revived, Anakin asked Palpatine about Padme.
After being choked, Padme was rushed to a medical facility and gave an emergency birth to her two children with Anakin: Luke and Leia. Soon after that she died, having lost the will to live.
When Anakin asked Palpatine about Padme, he lied and said, “it seems in your anger, you killed her.” Anakin was devastated, but Palpatine was thrilled at his apprentice’s newfound suffering and anger, which made him an even more powerful disciple of the dark side.
Even though Anakin never got to see Padme again, he still loved her after becoming Darth Vader. After all, he turned to the dark side of the Force in order to save her.
His plan ultimately failed due to the lies of the Sith and his reckless passion. However, his love for Padme never went away.
Even though the Skywalker Saga is full of heartbreak, trauma, and death, in the end it tells a tale of redemption and love. Love is what fueled Anakin’s downward spiral into the dark side, and love for his son is what brought him back to the light.
Luke was right when he said, “I know there is good in you.”
Mitchell Layton is a freelance writer and touring musician living in Philadelphia. When he’s not playing guitar or writing for clients, he enjoys rewatching cult classics like Star Wars, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and more. Mitchell has been published by sites like HM Magazine, Glassworks Literary Magazine, GameRevolution, Pif Magazine, and others.