Throughout his illustrious career, the lord of darkness, Darth Vader, sustained multiple intense injuries. These injuries were so severe that any regular human who sustained them would have died.
We know that Lord Vader did not succumb to his injuries, so how was he able to survive? Well, the Galactic Empire outfitted him with multiple mechanical parts to aid the Sith Lord in his everyday life.
These mechanical parts are a topic of interest for many in the Star Wars communities. Keep reading as we pick apart this topic.
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All Cybernetics on Darth Vader
As we have already established, Darth Vader was outfitted with mechanical parts (also known as cybernetics) after his injuries.
The Dark Lord was such an important part of the Empire and their agenda that they could not afford to lose him. Ergo, they constructed an entire suit that had the sole purpose of keeping him alive.
Apart from the suit, Lord Vader had other mechanical parts that played an integral role in his functionality.
It’s almost a running joke among fans that Darth Vader was more machine than human. This raises the question of exactly what parts of the Sith Lord were mechanical.
So without further ado, let’s get into the cybernetics of Darth Vader.
Ever since his days as Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader was no stranger to losing limbs. Still, this was a situation unlike any other.
Freshly initiated into the dark side as Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker faced off against his closest friend and former mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. This battle took place on the Outer Rim planet of Mustafar and is arguably one of the most intense duels to take place in the galaxy.
Now, Obi-Wan did not go to Mustafar to fight the Sith Lord. Rather, he wanted to reason with him, as Obi-Wan believed Emperor Palpatine did not have full control over Vader’s mind just yet.
Unfortunately, Darth Vader no longer cared for Obi-Wan or their previous friendship, and he officially declared them enemies. From there, the battle ensued.
Most likely hurt by what his former apprentice had become, Obi-Wan put his all into the battle. This ended with him severing both of Vader’s legs.
Of course, the Emperor could not have his star pupil go legless, so the Empire created prosthetic legs for the Sith Lord to wear that worked in conjunction with his suit.
During the same battle on Mustafar, Darth Vader lost more than just his legs and a long-time friendship. He also lost his one remaining arm. You may be thinking, his remaining arm? What happened to the other one?
Well, back when the Dark Lord was still fighting for the light side and going by the name Anakin, he faced off against Count Dooku. During their fight on Geonosis, the Sith Lord was able to successfully sever Anakin’s right arm below the elbow.
Anakin survived and was returned to Coruscant, where he rested and oversaw the creation of his new prosthetic arm.
This arm had the same look as a droid’s limbs instead of a synthetic skin prosthetic. What’s more, it gave him a strength that was greater than a regular human’s.
Of course, when Anakin lost his other arm in his fight with Obi-Wan, he received another arm prosthetic along with the cybernetics he got for his legs.
Darth Vader seemingly received the vast majority of his injuries during his fight on Mustafar against Obi-Wan.
It was in the aftermath of that same battle that he sustained what was arguably his most potentially fatal injury: damage to his lungs.
While the climactic battle kept pressing on, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader found themselves fighting on a structure near a pit of lava.
Obi-Wan made the conscious decision to jump onto a high slope away from the lava. Naturally, Darth Vader believed if Obi-Wan could do it, he could do it as well, so he tried to follow the Jedi.
The Sith Lord was so focused on the task at hand that he could not counter Obi-Wan’s attacks, causing him to fall into the fiery pit.
This attack removed the Sith’s limbs, but even worse, Darth Vader was consumed inside and out by the fiery inferno.
Moreover, the cocktail of toxic and blazing gasses obliterated the Sith Lord’s lungs. Aside from a brief moment afterward where Darth Vader took small labored breaths, he was essentially on the brink of death.
To save his life, the Empire had their work cut out for them. Not only did they have to create prosthetics for all of Lord Vader’s missing limbs, but they also had to create a pressurized helmet that would do the breathing for him.
4. Entire Suit
Given the extent of the Dark Lord’s injuries, a mere prosthetic would not have been enough to keep him functional. That’s why the Empire created an entire suit that could handle all of Darth Vader’s needs.
Still, as important as the suit was, it had many pitfalls. For starters, It was incredibly painful. Pins were sticking into the Dark Lord; it was visibly uncomfortable, and the respirator aspect was loud.
This was done purposefully so Darth Vader would remain in a perpetual state of irritability, which would make him a more ruthless Sith Lord.
Furthermore, this suit, which was supposed to be his life support, could have been the same thing that killed Darth Vader.
Because the entire system was powered by electricity, it limited the Force techniques that Lord Vader could use. This is exactly why he opted out of using Force Lightning.
If he had used it, he would have run the risk of short-circuiting his suit, which could have had serious, or even fatal, repercussions. This would be the same result if he were to be hit with an attack of Force Lightning.
Even though some people may not be aware of this, Darth Vader also had to have his vertebrae replaced by cybernetics.
This was evidently another wound sustained in the legendary fight between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar.
Although his spinal injury was the least of what he sustained after that duel, over time it became significant enough to cause severe discomfort. Especially when the arduous amour was thrown into the mix.
As a result, Lord Vader’s helmet had to be reinforced with a specialized collar, and he also had to have his upper vertebrae replaced by cybernetics. Nevertheless, Darth Vader learned to maneuver despite his injuries and the clunky armor.
Even more impressively, the Sith Lord was able to be effectively ruthless, as we saw throughout the series.
Not all of Darth Vader’s prosthetics came while he was on the dark side. He received the first one as a Jedi, during his fight with Count Dooku.
Yet, the Jedi Council believed his prosthetic right arm made him lose a bit of his humanity. In hindsight, they may have been right, as he went on to murder hundreds of his former comrades.
Even so, without all his mechanical parts, we would not have the iconic, strained breathing that the Dark Lord is known for.