Whether you’re new to the Star Wars world or a complete veteran, chances are you’ve heard of Darth Vader. Darth Vader was one character who could truly say that he mastered and gained the respect of both the light and dark sides of the Force.
This Sith Lord is one of the most ruthless characters in Star Wars. He even earned the moniker “the greatest villain in TV history.”
Still, despite how expertly this character was written by George Lucas, there are anomalies to his strength that we’ll take a look at in this article.
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Darth Vader’s Top 10 Weaknesses
Have you ever considered the weaknesses of this mighty Sith Lord?
Most of the time, when thinking about Darth Vader, his faults are subsumed into his many accolades. Even so, some things serve as Darth Vader’s kryptonite. They range from physical attributes to more deep-seated emotional turmoil.
So without further ado, here are ten of Darth Vader’s most pressing weaknesses.
1) He is Ruled by His Emotions
Long before becoming Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker was subservient to his emotions. From the get-go, it was clear that Anakin didn’t have his emotions under control, which was a massive red flag for any aspiring Jedi Master.
It is explicitly stated in the Jedi Code that emotions, and the attachments that come as a result, are a one-way ticket to the dark side. In the case of Anakin, this was right.
Anakin was filled with seething rage, pure hatred, and fear, which were generally kept in check by his overall desire to climb the ranks of the Jedi Order. Of course, these emotions could not stay buried forever.
Eventually, Anakin’s internal darkness was noticed by most of the figureheads of the Jedi Order. Grand Master Yoda could sense the darkness in him, but he could not see his future. Therefore, initially, he feared Anakin. Over time this fear turned into him truly believing that Anakin was the Chosen One.
As we have seen, the darkness inside Anakin made him seem untrustworthy to the Order. This, in addition to the fact that Anakin allowed his emotions to run rampant, made him lose his candidacy for Jedi Master.
2) Force Lighting
After clocking the highest ever midi-chlorian count at 20,000 per cell, it was obvious that the Chosen One would be able to use whatever Force techniques he wanted. That was until he made his switch to the dark side.
When Anakin became Darth Vader, he sustained many injuries that ended up with him being dependent on a life support system. For as many benefits as this system had, there seemed to be far more issues.
One major caveat is that the entire life support system was run by a battery that was powered by electricity. This means that should there be a shortage of electricity, the system could fail.
Naturally, this made Darth Vader vulnerable to certain Force techniques, in particular, Force Lightning. You see, this technique requires such a high amount of electrical energy output that the risk outweighs the benefits for Darth Vader.
Given the sheer volume of electricity that would have to leave him for Force Lightning to be successful, he ran the risk of short-circuiting his life support system.
What’s more, this made him vulnerable to attacks. In theory, if Darth Vader were to be hit with Force Lightning, his life support system could shut down, rendering him severely injured or deceased.
3) He Had a Gullible Side
There were many instances where Anakin showed his younger age and naivete. His inability to control his emotions coupled with his impulsivity created a dangerous cocktail.
Of course, this is exactly what led to Anakin becoming entangled with Emperor Palpatine. At no point during their initial interactions did Palpatine give Anakin a reason to trust him.
Still, Anakin’s one true goal was to save the life of his love, Padme. This caused him to fall for all of the Emperor’s carefully orchestrated scenarios because he had the Jedi convinced that the dark side was the best way to do this.
As a result, Anakin gave up everything he’d ever known and blindly followed Palpatine to the dark side. This didn’t end well for him as he lost everything regardless, but more on that later.
4) Mechanical Limbs
After making the switch to the dark side, Anakin Skywalker suffered multiple injuries that caused him to need mechanical limbs. This didn’t bode well for a Force user, as the Force and its techniques usually need a natural host to be completely effective.
Ergo, it is possible that with every lost limb, a bit of Darth Vader’s Force-sensitivity was also lost. Now, this doesn’t mean that Darth Vader wasn’t insanely powerful. His being able to accomplish all that he did despite all his issues makes him all the more impressive.
Even so, it can be argued that due to his missing limbs, Darth Vader would never be as powerful in the Force as Anakin had had the potential to be.
5) His Entire Suit
The most detrimental weakness of Darth Vader was the same thing that was supposed to be his lifeline. We’ve already established that Darth Vader’s suit is vulnerable to electricity, which is ironically needed for the system to even work.
With all the issues this system had, it’s hard not to wonder why the Empire didn’t upgrade it. I mean, they had access to the Force and a plethora of technological advancements that could surely have created a less faulty suit.
However, there was potentially a method to their madness. Darth Vader’s malfunctioning suit required consistent maintenance, meaning that Vader was more or less dependent on the Empire.
In theory, this could have served as a sort of insurance policy for the Empire, ensuring that Darth Vader could not go rogue.
6) Easily Exploitable
Because of how intensely Anakin felt emotions, those emotions could be easily exploited. Take, for instance, his relationship with Emperor Palpatine. Their entire interaction hinged on the fact that Anakin’s heartbreak and grief were taken advantage of.
Palpatine knew that he could make use of Anakin’s pain along with empty promises about the dark side being able to help him. Anakin’s vulnerability caused him to believe Palpatine and renounce his Jedi affiliation.
Hatred is an important part of the equation for becoming a Sith. Even so, self-hatred is probably not the best thing to have. The Sith are supposed to use their overwhelmingly burning rage to propel them toward gaining power over the galaxy.
Self-hatred isn’t the same thing.
Throughout the franchise, it can be seen that Darth Vader had a copious amount of internal turmoil, with good reason. After all, he most likely felt responsible for all the terrible things that happened in his life.
He failed to protect his mother and wife. He also betrayed his friends, family, and his entire home. Needless to say, there is tremendous guilt attached to this level of introspection.
All in all, this did not bode well for Darth Vader as a Sith Lord. This inner conflict led to more reckless, far less thought-out actions on his part.
A prime example of Darth Vader’s self-loathing is found in the Star Wars Tales comic, where Vader had to face off against a clone of Darth Maul. After emerging victorious, Lord Vader was asked, “What could you hate enough to destroy me?”
Vader’s response was short but packed with heavy emotions, proving his inner struggles. Darth Vader simply replied, “Myself.”
8) A Thirst for Power
From the beginning, Anakin lusted after power. Still, this desire was pretty mundane and worked in tandem with his trajectory as a Jedi. Perhaps this want for control was due to Anakin’s growing up in slavery and wanting a better life for his mom.
While growing up in Jedi training, Anakin thought he wasn’t powerful and made it his mission to become the best Jedi there was.
Whatever the reason, Anakin’s quest for power only intensified after he joined the dark side. Of course, when Palpatine offered him a way to tap into his full potential, he grabbed onto it.
This corrupted the young Jedi’s formerly selfless reasons for seeking power into a more muddied, darker version. As Darth Vader, Anakin saw power as the only way to protect his loved ones. He let all his decisions be ruled by his fear of losing them, which backfired on him in the end.
Although the exact cause of Anakin’s arrogance is a bit difficult to pin down, we can make an educated guess that the pressure of growing up with the moniker of the “Chosen One” had something to do with it.
There’s no doubt that Anakin was an exceptionally talented Force user and an even better swordsman. Still, his being so highly regarded, especially by the Emperor, gave him an inflated sense of self. This, in turn, made him think he was entitled to certain things.
Within the Jedi Order, in particular, after filling in for Palpatine on the Jedi High Council, Anakin thought that his place as a Jedi Master was assured. What he didn’t account for was the fact that Mace Windu did not trust him. Therefore, he was not promoted to the role of Jedi Master.
In what seems to be a tantrum as a result of not getting what he wanted, many in the Star Wars community have accredited this rejection and moment of powerlessness to one of the events that pushed Anakin to the dark side.
10) Inability to Deal with Loss
Grief is one of the most painful feelings that we all must go through in life. Having to deal with the loss of a loved one is never easy, which is something that George Lucas perfectly captured in Darth Vader.
Right from the get-go, Anakin was attached to his mom, Shmi Skywalker Lars. He adored her and found it difficult to leave her for Jedi training. Still, he did it in the hopes of giving her a better life.
Like any of us would be, Anakin was filled with guilt, incredible emotional pain, and self-loathing because he could not stop what was happening with his mother. From that point onward, he dedicated his life to never feeling that helpless again.
Naturally, when he fell in love with Padme, Anakin wanted to do whatever was necessary to protect her. Conveniently, there was a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Palpatine) who was ready to say whatever Anakin needed to hear to get him to the dark side.
Palpatine convinced Anakin that the dark side was the only way to protect the love of his life, and because he did not have a healthy coping mechanism, he easily fell for it. Unfortunately, this was his undoing.
Contrary to popular belief, however, Padme didn’t die from a broken heart after learning of her husband’s switch to the dark side. Rather she died as a result of force manipulation by the emperor himself.
As we can see, Darth Vader, just like every other being, had weaknesses that put him at risk of severe injury or even death. Some weaknesses, such as his poorly constructed suits, had potentially easy fixes.
Whereas others were much deeper-rooted and would require a lot more attention, such as the aforementioned unhealthy coping mechanisms for loss.
Regardless of these flaws, both Anakin Skywalker and his dark side persona, Darth Vader, were forced to reckon with them, and the franchise would not be the same without them.