The fact that Darth Vader was the most iconic villain in the Star Wars series during the original trilogy was never unquestioned because he enforced the Emperor’s will during the Imperial era. While we know that Vader used to be a kind man named Anakin Skywalker, he fell to the dark side and started killing many people without any remorse. This means that he was evil down to his core before his son redeemed him and pulled him back to the side of good. But how many people did Darth Vader kill in his different appearances in the movies and the series?
Darth Vader was directly responsible for 51 deaths in the five Star Wars movies he appeared in as the dreaded Sith Lord. He was responsible for more deaths as Anakin Skywalker and for the indirect deaths that he caused. Meanwhile, in the shows, he is responsible for ten direct deaths.
The thing about Vader is that he was responsible for a lot of deaths even before he turned into the dreaded Sith Lord. He killed many people when he was still a Jedi, especially during the Clone Wars era. But we are only restricting our count to when he was a Sith Lord because most of the people he killed as Anakin were not out of hatred or evil. That said, let’s look at Vader’s kill count.
Darth Vader’s kill count in the movies
When we talk about Darth Vader as a character, we often look at the black-clad masked villain that struck fear into the hearts of the Rebels during the reign of the Empire because this seemingly robotic man did not feel any sort of remorse when it came to killing people, especially when he needed to do so to enforce the will of Emperor Palpatine.
In that regard, Vader killed many people during his time as the Imperial enforcer that no one in the galaxy could match in terms of power and ferocity. And most of the people he killed could be seen in the movies he appeared in.
The first time Vader was truly a Sith Lord was when Anakin pledged his loyalty to Emperor Palpatine and was rechristened as Darth Vader. This happened during the end of the Clone Wars in ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,’ where he led clone troopers into the Jedi Temple to massacre the Jedi that were there during the events of Order 66.
During that time, Anakin killed a lot of Jedi in the Jedi Temple as he was seen killing a young male youngling that didn’t know that Vader was there to kill him and his friends.
He killed seven more younglings, two Jedi Padawans, and other powerful Jedi. One such powerful Jedi was Cin Drallig, who was called the Battlemaster. In that regard, Anakin killed 11 in the attack on the Jedi Temple, although we can say that he killed more Jedi that were never shown on the screen or weren’t accounted for.
After that, Darth Vader was sent to Mustafar to “take care” of the Separatist leaders that were able to survive the end of the Clone Wars. He did so under the orders of Darth Sidious, who told the Separatists that he was sending his apprentice, Darth Vader, to take care of them. The Separatists that Vader killed on Mustafar included:
- Chief Aide Denaria Kee
- Nank Tun
- Magistrate Passel Argente
- Senator Po Nudo
- Archduke Poggle the Lesser
- Settlement Officer Rune Haako
- Rute Gunnay
- Viceroy Nute Gunray
- Senator Tikkes
- Cat Miin
- Presidente Shu Mai
- Chairman San Hill
- Emir Foreman
- Wat Tambor
- Two Neimoidian guards.
In that regard, Vader killed 16 people in Mustafar. This puts his total to 27 people killed during the events of ‘Revenge of the Sith.’
Of course, we know that Darth Vader eventually ruled the Empire with his master, Darth Sidious. During the 19 years between ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and the Battle of Yavin, Vader killed countless people that were never shown onscreen.
But he did make an appearance in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,’ wherein he made a cameo near the end of the movie to take back the Death Star blueprints that the Rebels were able to successfully acquire.
In that scene, Vader killed 12 soldiers working for the Rebels. None of these soldiers were named, but Vader singlehandedly massacred all of them to try to keep the plans for the Death Star away from the Rebel leaders.
After the events of ‘Rogue One’ came the events of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,’ the first Star Wars movie ever released. Vader’s first kill in Star Wars movie history was Captain Raymus Antilles, who he choked using the Force. The second person Vader kills in the movie is Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom he defeats in a duel as Kenobi sacrifices himself to the will of the Force to allow Luke and the others to escape the Death Star.
During the Battle of Yavin, Darth Vader boarded his TIE Fighter and killed Dex Tiree, Jon “Dutch” Vander, Davish “Pops” Krail, Theron Nett, Puck Naeco, Garvin “Dave” Dreis, and Biggs Darklighter. That means that he killed a total of nine people during the events of ‘A New Hope.’
While there were a lot of different deaths shown in the books and comic books after the events of ‘A New Hope,’ Vader returned to action during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,’ where we saw him choking an Imperial officer named Admiral Ozzel for his mistake of dropping out of lightspeed too close to the base of the Rebels.
Vader eventually killed Captain Needa for failing to track the Millennium Falcon while they were chasing the Rebels. He had a total kill count of only two people during the events of ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’
Finally, during the Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi events, Vader was a bit more passive because he didn’t kill many people in that movie. Instead, he aimed to pull Luke over to the dark side by allowing him to meet Emperor Palpatine, who forced Vader and Luke to fight one another in a father-vs-son duel.
Vader ended up losing that duel but redeemed himself when he decided to save Luke from the power of Emperor Palpatine. He killed the Emperor, the most important kill in Darth Vader’s life, but ended up dying due to the damage he sustained from killing Palpatine.
In that regard, in the five movies he appeared in as Darth Vader, Anakin killed 51 people. This might not seem like a lot, but these are just the direct kills under Vader’s belt. These are also just the kills that we saw onscreen, as we know that he killed a lot more people during the reign of the Empire.
Darth Vader’s kill count in the shows
Of course, we know that Darth Vader appeared as an antagonist in five Star Wars movies. But while that may be true, he was also a recurring character in several more Star Wars projects. He was a notable figure in several different Star Wars TV shows. And according to the Star Wars timeline, his first appearance in a TV show was the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series.
In this series, Vader appeared as the primary antagonist alongside the Inquisitor named Reva. He didn’t waste time killing people in the storyline because he immediately killed two unsuspecting people out of anger while searching for Kenobi. Of course, the other deaths were ordered by Vader but were carried out by his men. In that regard, he was responsible for only two deaths in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ because his primary focus was finding his old master.
Darth Vader returned in ‘Star Wars: Rebels,’ where he was seen ordering the Grand Inquisitor to hunt down the remaining Jedi throughout the galaxy. He returned in season 2, wherein he played the role of a major antagonist that chased after the crew of the Ghost and his old Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. His most notable kill was Minister Maketh Tua. After that, Vader killed five members of the Phoenix Squadron before killing his own Imperial officer, as he totaled seven deaths in the entire series.
Of course, there was also a small scene wherein Vader was seen killing Shaak Ti in the Jedi Temple during the events of Order 66 back in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’ That means that he killed a total of 10 people in the Star Wars TV shows. Of course, we know that he killed more people off-screen, especially because many events were never seen in the movies or TV shows.
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