Darth Vader was everything a great Sith lord should be. He was ruthless, callous, and an outstanding warrior.
Furthermore, Darth Vader was racked with guilt, self-loathing, depression, seething rage, burning hatred, and a thirst for power. These all worked together, creating the perfect cocktail to push the Sith Lord deeper into the dark side of the Force.
Darth Vader was so powerful and dedicated to his dark side cause that he had a kill count in the hundreds. With all this said, Darth Vader is unbelievably strong, which raises the question of who is stronger than him.
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Darth Vader was an exceptional Sith Lord, but he wasn’t without weaknesses.
He was severely injured and had to depend on his life support suit and mask for survival. Even though Lord Vader did outstanding things while injured, his wounds still barred him from reaching his full potential.
With the Dark Lord operating at half capacity, this opened the door for some individuals to surpass him in strength (and even defeat him).
So without further ado, let’s dive into the top six individuals who are stronger than Darth Vader.
1. Darth Plagueis
Darth Plagueis was arguably one of the more interesting Sith Lords.
He was a visionary who was not interested in something as superficial as power. Instead, Darth Plagueis lusted for knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the dark side of the Force.
This Sith Lord spent many years studying and experimenting, specifically wanting to crack the code for immortality. Although he ultimately could not create immortality, Darth Plagueis coined a method to use midi-chlorians to create life, known as Midi-chlorian Manipulation.
Given how much insight Darth Plagueis had into the dark side of the Force, it’s safe to say he was stronger than a lot of the other Sith Lords that existed.
Plagueis survived multiple attempts on his life, aside from the final attempt. Darth Plagueis was betrayed by his protege, who brutally murdered him.
Darth Plagueis trained the infamous Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious), who betrayed his master, killing him in his sleep.
It can be argued that without Plagueis, Palpatine would not have been as well trained as he was. Thus, Darth Vader would not have been created.
To that end, if Darth Plagueis had survived and entered into battle with Vader, it’s more than likely that Lord Vader would not have stood a chance.
2. Darth Bane
When the Sith Order first fell apart, Darth Bane was the only Sith left standing. He became so embarrassed by the failure that was the former Brotherhood of Darkness, that he wiped them out.
From there, he created the Rule of Two, which was put in place to stop future Sith from suffering the same fate as the Brotherhood. This allowed the Sith to covertly train until they were strong enough to unleash their full wrath on the Jedi (and by extension, the Galactic Republic).
Darth Bane survived many attempts on his life from the Jedi and continued to rule with an iron fist until the day of his ultimate demise. What made Darth Bane’s end stand out from other Sith Lords’ was that his death was by his own design.
As per his Rule of Two, when Darth Bane became too weak to continue ruling, he was to be murdered by his apprentice, which is exactly what took place.
Despite no longer being around, Darth Bane continued to influence the Sith Order for generations to come, making him a dark side legend.
With all the training Darth Bane undoubtedly had, coupled with the fact that he outlived every other Sith in his generation, he could have easily defeated Darth Vader.
Not to mention, Darth Bane only died when it was his time to go and essentially could not be killed otherwise (not for lack of trying). Besides, without Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, there possibly would have been no more Sith after him.
3. Galen Marek
Galen Marek (also known as Starkiller), was a young Force-sensitive human male who was mentored in secret by Darth Vader himself.
Marek was born to two Jedi Knights who were slaughtered following the events of Order 66. Darth Vader took the child and raised him in the ways of the dark side.
Forgetting his true roots and connection to the light side of the Force, Starkiller was trained to be an assassin for the Empire.
Galen Marek was an exceptional assassin who annihilated targets far more experienced than he was. Still, he was not considered a Sith, which was something he truly wanted, thinking that was his destiny.
Darth Vader was aware of Starkiller’s potential for greatness and, as a result, made many attempts on his apprentice’s life.
This was a mistake, as Galen Marek later switched sides and joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic (Rebel Alliance).
By then, Marek had amassed knowledge of the Rule of Two, Lord Vader’s fighting style, and other secrets the dark side may have had.
This led to Marek being the only Jedi (outside of Obi-Wan Kenobi) to hold his own against Darth Vader in battle, coming dangerously close to destroying the Sith Lord.
Galen Marek was talented beyond his years and only met his end when he selflessly sacrificed himself to save other Rebels from Darth Sidious.
4. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi was Darth Vader’s mentor (and one of his closest friends) when he was the Jedi Anakin Skywalker.
Kenobi always saw the good in Anakin when others, such as Mace Windu, felt uneasy and didn’t trust the young Jedi.
This is exactly why, when he heard of Anakin’s descent into darkness, he wanted to reason with him, thinking he could save his old friend.
Thus kicked off one of the most intense battles in Star Wars history, the Duel on Mustafar.
It was in this fight that we truly saw the power dynamic between the two. Darth Vader was giving it all he had as he now saw Kenobi as the enemy, whereas Kenobi was holding back because he still had hope of saving Anakin.
Even so, Kenobi cut off the newly initiated Sith Lord’s last organic limbs, which led to Vader falling close to lava and becoming engulfed in flames. The anguish could be seen on Kenobi’s face as he heard the heartbreaking screams of his former friend.
Lord Vader did finally defeat Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope. However, the strength of Kenobi should not be underestimated, as he let Darth Vader end his life.
Add to that the fact that Kenobi defeated the likes of General Grievous and Darth Maul, it’s clear that he was talented.
Ergo, it is theoretically possible that if Kenobi had separated the way he felt about Anakin from the task at hand, he could have easily killed Darth Vader. This proved that he was ultimately stronger than the Sith Lord.
5. Darth Sidious
Darth Sidious took Darth Vader under his wing as an apprentice after he murdered Plagueis.
The Emperor has always been an exceptional puppet master, manipulating every scenario so he could get the outcome he desired. But Palpatine wasn’t only a man of wits; the few times he fought, it appeared that he was completely untouchable.
As a master manipulator, Palpatine knew exactly what to say and do to ensure Darth Vader was completely broken and subservient to him.
This worked for a significant amount of time until Darth Vader finally eliminated his mentor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Don’t let this loss fool you, however. Darth Sidious was stronger than his apprentice, even more so after the injuries Vader sustained on Mustafar.
Palpatine was much older at the time of his defeat, and with age comes a slowing of motor skills and a loss of strength. Chances are, if the pair had fought when they were both at full strength, Palpatine would have been the victor.
6. Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker, son of Darth Vader and mentee of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda, was already showing signs of being more powerful than his father.
Luke trained tirelessly and achieved feats that many before him had only dreamt of. He was the Jedi who destroyed the Empire’s infamous superweapon, the Death Star. From that point, he continued to gain victory after victory for the Galactic Republic.
As the years rolled by, Luke Skywalker and his father fought each other on occasion, and each time, Lord Vader came out on top. That was until their final battle in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi when Luke was more powerful than he had ever been before.
In this final battle, Luke embraced his true power and unleashed the full extent of the Force on his father, ultimately eradicating the great Sith Lord Darth Vader in an act that would make him the strongest Jedi in galactic history.
Even though Luke Skywalker is the only one who can truly say he defeated Darth Vader, there are honorable mentions who have proven themselves to be stronger than the Sith Lord.