Anakin Skywalker is the most iconic character in the storyline of Star Wars because he was the man that started the entire Skywalker Saga, as all of the main characters in the main Star Wars movies can trace their heritage back to him. And that means that he has appeared both as Anakin and as Darth Vader in a lot of different movies and series in the entire Star Wars narrative.
Of course, Anakin was first introduced as a young boy in the Star Wars chronological timeline as he eventually grew up into a fine Jedi Knight before he fell to the dark side due to the manipulative nature of Sheev Palpatine, who was the Sith Lord named Darth Sidious. As such, many years went by in the many different stories involving Anakin and Darth Vader. So, with that said, let’s look at how old Anakin Skywalker was in all of the Star Wars movies and series that feature him.
Anakin’s age in the movies
‘The Phantom Menace’
Chronologically speaking, Anakin Skywalker’s first appearance was in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which revolved more around the events that were happening on Naboo and how Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, helped Padmé Amidala, free her people from the wrath of the Trade Federation.
Anakin first appeared when the ship carrying Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Padmé had to make an emergency landing on Tatooine to fix the ship’s hyperdrive.
Qui-Gon met Anakin when he was out looking for the parts he needed for the ship. Anakin was still just a slave for Watto at that time.
Qui-Gon sensed Anakin’s unusual strength in the Force, and that was when he jumped to the conclusion that he was the Chosen One. Anakin was still just nine years old at that time but was already an excellent pilot, especially after he proved himself when he destroyed the ship that was controlling the droids on Naboo.
‘Attack of the Clones’
After the events of ‘The Phantom Menace,’ which featured the death of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi decided to train Anakin in the ways of the Force because this was his master’s dying wish. In that regard, after becoming a Jedi Knight, Kenobi immediately took Anakin in as his Padawan learner as he acted as Anakin’s master and older brother figure.
And they spent years together traveling the galaxy before they had to return to Coruscant for a special mission involving Senator Padmé Amidala.
Anakin said it had been ten years since he last saw Padmé. ‘The Phantom Menace’ took place on 32 BBY, whereas ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ took place on 22 BBY. That means that Anakin aged ten years between the two movies and was already 19 years old during the events of ‘Attack of the Clones.’
‘Revenge of the Sith’
‘Attack of the Clones’ sparked the Clone Wars, a three-year war between the Republic and the Separatists. During those three years, Anakin and Obi-Wan continued to fight their enemies together as two of the most active battlefield Jedi Generals that fought during the Clone Wars.
And the conclusion of the Clone Wars was featured in ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.’
In ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ Anakin becomes stronger due to the three years between the start of the Clone Wars and its conclusion. In fact, he proved his strength in the duel with Count Dooku as he defeated and killed the Sith Lord. Anakin was already 22 during the events of ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ which also allowed us to see him falling to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader in his early 20s.
‘A New Hope’
The events of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ paved the way for the rise of the Empire, as Emperor Palpatine ruled uncontested for many years. His Imperial forces were tyrants that abused the different people of the galaxy. That was why there were rebel forces that worked together to try to oppose the Empire, and we saw such forces during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.’
In ‘A New Hope,’ we finally got to see both Luke and Leia all grown up as they were only just infants born to Padmé Amidala during the final portion of ‘Revenge of the Sith.’ They were 19 years old at the time of ‘A New Hope,’ meaning 19 years went by since Anakin fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. As such, Anakin, in his Darth Vader persona, was already 41 years old during the events of ‘A New Hope.’
‘The Empire Strikes Back’
After Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star in ‘A New Hope,’ he became the target of the Empire’s wrath, as Darth Vader tried to learn more about him, only for him to find out that the boy that destroyed the Death Star was named Skywalker. That was when he learned that this boy was his own son. As such, during the events between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,’ Vader tries to find a way to corrupt his son and convince him to join their side.
Three years passed between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ as Luke had yet to complete his training as a Jedi. This led to his loss to Vader on Bespin and to the revelation that Darth Vader was actually Anakin Skywalker, his own father. Since three years went by, Anakin Skywalker was already 44 years old and had lived half of his life as Darth Vader.
‘Return of the Jedi’
After discovering that Vader was his father, Luke returned to Dagobah to continue his training under Jedi Master Yoda before the events of ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.’ He spent one year training under Yoda to finally complete his training and become a true Jedi Knight.
Luke eventually confronted his father, who took him to see Emperor Palpatine. This led to a confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, as the younger Skywalker finally defeated his father. When the emperor was about to kill Luke, Vader’s fatherly instincts kicked in as he sacrificed himself by absorbing the full power of Palpatine’s Force Lightning to throw him down the shaft of the Death Star II. Now redeemed, Anakin Skywalker died as a hero at the age of 45 years old.
Anakin’s age in the shows
‘The Clone Wars’
As mentioned, the events between ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ showcased the Clone Wars, the war between the Republic and the Separatists. These events were shown in the ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ series, which introduced Ahsoka Tano as Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. Of course, many other things happened during the events of ‘The Clone Wars,’ and that’s why seven seasons were needed to tell the story of this huge war.
Anakin was just 19 years old when the Clone Wars broke out. However, since three years went by during the events of the Clone Wars, Anakin was around 19 to 22 years old during the seven seasons of ‘The Clone Wars.’ But we can’t be precise in terms of how old he was in each of the seven seasons of this series.
Ten years went by since Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar and left him for dead. He firmly believed that the flames of Mustafar had killed Anakin, and that was why he felt guilt and self-pity during the ten-year gap between the rise of the Empire and the events of the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series.
However, while he was on a mission to rescue the young Leia Organa from kidnappers, Kenobi found himself on the radar of the Inquisitors. That was when he learned from Reva, one of the Inquisitors, that Anakin Skywalker lived. Since ten years had gone by since their duel on Mustafar, Anakin was already 32 years old during the events of the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series.
‘Star Wars: Rebels’ is an animated series featuring a group of Rebels called the Spectres as they operate under the radar in an attempt to oppose the Empire and find a way to group together to defeat the Imperial forces. Darth Vader first appeared in this series during the earlier part, which took place on 5 BBY. That means that he was around 36 years old during the first season of ‘Rebels.’
Darth Vader eventually returned as the primary antagonist of season 2 of ‘Rebels.’ The second season of this series took place somewhere between 4 and 3 BBY. That means that Anakin Skywalker was between 37 and 38 years old during the events of the second season of ‘Rebels.’
Have something to add? Let us know in the comments!