Darth VaderAnakin Skywalker's true identity was a closely guarded secret, and only a handful of people knew that he was really Anakin Skywalker. Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker was a celebrated hero of the Clone Wars, and the galaxy believed he was killed duringorder 66along with the rest of the Jedi. Darth Vader was seen as a mysterious and enigmatic force, a powerful being who suddenly entered the scene as the Emperor's enforcer. No doubt Palpatine quite liked the mystique, which would ensure people would focus on Vader as the Dark Lord of the Sith rather than thinking too much of his Master.
According to the novel Tarkin by James Luceno, there were numerous rumors about Darth Vader's true identity. Some believed he was a counterpart to the Confederacy.general grave, held in reserve by Palpatine in case the Jedi betrayed him; others considered him an artificial monster created in a laboratory. "The Emperor's willingness to grant such authority to such a being was considered by many to be a harbinger of the shape of things to come," writes Luceno, "because it was beyond question that Vader was the Empire's first terrorist weapon." The secret was kept even after the events of Return of the Jedi, with Luke only sharing the knowledge with his immediate family; Han, Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2. They kept it to themselves, though some of Leia's more observant political allies, such as Mon Mothma, were suspicious. The truth eventually came out in Claudia Gray's novel Bloodline, destroying Leia's political career.shaking your son Ben Solodeeply, because even he didn't know he was Darth Vader's grandson.
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As closely guarded as this secret may have been, there were a handful of people who knew the truth. Here are all the confirmed ones so far in the various Star Wars tie-ins.
It was Palpatine who turned Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and gave him the name Darth Vader. The Emperor has always known the truth, and he seems to have decided that it should remain a closely guarded secret. The interesting question is whetherPalpatine revelou Darth Vaderthe true identity of his closest advisers, or whether he took great pleasure in cultivating an air of mystery even among the highest echelons of the Empire. It is possible that Mas Amedda knew, but this has not been confirmed.
What remains to be revealed is just how much influence the Emperor has over the Inquisitors, who answer directly to Vader himself. As Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ showed that the Inquisitors know Darth Vader's history as Anakin and his ties to Obi-Wan, it means that Palpatine chose to let his apprentice's apprentices learn about the mysterious past of their master, or Vader. He mocked the emperor. wishes and told his trusted inquisitors of his time as the Jedi Anakin Skywalker.
obi wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi was the most obvious person in the secret, but in theDisney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi Series, it is revealed that he did not know about his shared past with Vader until many years after the events ofStar Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan first gains this knowledge when he is taunted by Reva, the Third Sister, meaning he has gone a decade without knowing that his Padawan survived their encounter on Mustafar.
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While Obi-Wan Kenobi sent a warning message to the other Jedi telling them to run and hide after Order 66 in Episode III, he did not tell them about Anakin Skywalker's fall to the Dark Side. He probably thought back to Anakin's story, naively believing that the charred, limbless creature he wasMust be the Chosen One from Star Warshe died shortly after crawling out of Mustafar's lava flows, which explains why he was so horrified when he first heard that Darth Vader was alive.
While Obi-Wan Kenobi explains why Obi-Wan hasn't told everyone that Anakin is Darth Vader, it raises some new questions. Obi-Wan was aware of the Inquisitors, so he presumably also knew Vader, their leader. Who did he think this previously unknown Sith powerhouse was if not Anakin, and why didn't he wait to feel Anakin's presence leave the Force before assuming he didn't survive? Hopefully, Obi-Wan Kenobi will shed light on these questions when the six-episode series concludes on Disney+.
Lucas, Han and Leia
NoThe Empire Strikes Back,Darth Vader Revealed the Shocking Truth to Luke; that he was really Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father. It wasn't until Return of the Jedi that Luke told Leia, but strangely his focus seems to have been more on the fact that Luke was his brother than Darth Vader was his father. In Claudia Gray's novel Bloodline, Leia reflects on how uncomfortable she feels about being Darth Vader's daughter. He had encountered the Dark Lord of the Sith several times during his political career, but his lasting memory of Vader was as his executioner on the Death Star.
It wasn't until Bloodline that she began to truly understand Anakin Skywalker, in a situation where she was also tempted. She's always wondered what drove her father to turn to the dark side, Leia mused, to become Darth Vader. She guessed it came from ambition or greed or some other venal weakness. She had never considered it. the turn can start in a better place, by the desire to save someone or avenge a great evil. Even if it leads to harm, that first impulse can be born out of loyalty, a sense of justice or even love."
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Leia appears to have told Han Solothe story ends quickly and it's reasonable to assume that Han told Chewie in turn, but there's actually no evidence of this.
R2-D2 e C-3PO
Unlike C-3PO, R2-D2 never had a memory wipe in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Instead, the diminutive droid appears to have kept its own counsel, perhaps afraid of interfering too much with Luke's personal journey. C-3PO lost these memories, but remained with Han and Leia's family after Return of the Jedi, so it can be assumed that they learned the truth through spying. Fortunately, although the protocol droid is not discreet, he wouldn't have seen the need to tell anyone unless it came up in conversation. C-3PO's memories were fully restored by R2-D2 inStar Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, younow remember the whole saga.
Master Yoda knew Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, the boy he was too scared to train in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. For many years, it was assumed Master Yoda knew from the day Vader got his cybernetic enhancements and signature sibilance. However, since it was revealed that Obi-Wan was unaware that Anakin survived for a full ten years, it is no longer a guarantee that Yoda knew the entire time between Episode III and the first.Yoda's appearance inStar Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Yoda never met Darth Vader, not even in the animated shows or the canon comics and novels, although they did cross paths in non-canon Legends material. Who would win in a fight between Yoda and Darth Vader has been one of the most divisive questions among Star Wars fans for decades. Since the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi could mean Disney needs to explain how Yoda found out about Anakin's survival before meeting Luke in Episode V, there's an opportunity for the two to finally meet onscreen. With shows featuring Jedi survivors of Order 66 like Ahsoka in the works, Yoda learning Darth Vader's identity could easily be included as a dramatic scene that precedes one.Yoda contra Darth Vaderconfrontation in a way that doesn't feel forced or contrived.
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Bail Organa was present during the final climax of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and there's no doubt that she was aware of Darth Vader's true identity. This makes Bail particularly impressive because he remained politically active, and any rash reaction, or even deviant thought, could have told Palpatine or Vader that he knew more than he was letting on. Even worse, Bail had a lot to lose if he was found out, as a closer look at his affairs might have led Vader to realize that the orphan in Bail's care was actually his own daughter, Leia.
Disney canon has done wonders for Bail, helping readers understand what motivated this complicated man, encouraging them to appreciate his strategic brilliance as he worked to form the Rebel Alliance while being closely monitored byPalpatine and his forces.
A Padawan to Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, Ahsoka was one of the few survivors of Order 66 and became a key agent of the Rebel Alliance in the years leading up to the Battle of Yavin IV. Ahsoka began to suspect the truth about Darth Vader inStar Wars Rebelsseason 2, and his worst fears were confirmed when he faced the Sith Lord in the dramatic season finale. To his horror, he realized he would never be able to reach Anakin, so he engaged him in what should have been a duel to the death. Ahsoka was rescued by Ezra Bridger usingthe world between worlds, and his actions from then on are a mystery. Clearly, he never told the Rebel Alliance what he discovered, although he may have privately discussed it with Bail Organa.
Star Wars The Clone WarsSeason 7 strongly suggests that Darth Maul has discovered Anakin Skywalker's fate. He had deduced Darth Sidious's plans, learning that the Emperor's goal was to seduce Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, and therefore would have guessed immediately who this mysterious Sith Lord really was. It is unknown if Maul realized that Obi-Wan Kenobi was the one who paralyzed Vader; he would have found a certain dark humor in it.
Related:Darth Vader betrayed the Emperor before Return of the Jedi
Grande Moff Tarkin
James Luceno's novel Tarkin confirms that the Grand Moff deduced who Darth Vader really was.the most accuratehe had worked with Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars and found the Dark Lord of the Sith strangely familiar, even recognizing some of his tactics. Although Vader's face and voice made it nearly impossible to recognize his identity, Tarkin felt that Vader was already familiar with him, meaning he could be someone Tarkin was already familiar with.
Though never fully confirmed, Tarkin had a brilliant tactical mind and recognized Anakin's technique with a lightsaber, his military strategy, and his interaction with the stormtroopers under his command. But Tarkin knew better than to voice his suspicions.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Grand Admiral Thrawn encountered Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars in scouting missions detailed in Thrawn: Alliances and Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising. actually it wasNome Anakin de Thrawnwho initially persuaded Palpatine to allow the Chiss into his presence in the first place.
A strategic, if not political, genius, Thrawn quickly deduced that Darth Vader was, in fact, Anakin Skywalker. He was also wise enough to keep silent about the knowledge, though he did state his suspicions to Vader in Thrawn: Alliances.
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Jocasta Nu was one of the few survivors of Order 66 to discover the truth about Anakin Skywalker, having found out when a medical droid scanned the Sith Lord. She tried to use this knowledge to cause discord in Imperial forces, revealing it to a group of Stormtroopers who arrested her, but Darth Vader killed them all to preserve her secret. He then slashed at Jocasta Nu for good measure.
Ferren Barr was a Jedi Padawanwho served in the Clone Wars and managed to survive Order 66. He fled to the water planet of Mon Cala and spent months trying to uncover the truth about the fall of the Jedi Order. A cutter he hired managed to access the Jedi Temple's security footage, and Ferren Barr was shocked to learn that Anakin Skywalker had killed the Younglings. Ferren Barr trained a group of Force-sensitives on Mon Cala, but his band was attacked by Darth Vader. Barr did not survive his encounter with the Dark Lord of the Sith.
hereshe was the only disciple of Ferren Barr to survive Darth Vader's attack on Mon Cala and spent her entire life on the run before finally meeting Luke Skywalker. Their date was soon afterThe Empire Strikes Back, and Verla used a dark side mind probe to discover that Luke was Vader's son; she tried to kill him in an act of revenge, but luckily Artoo intervened. Verla asked Luke not to approach her again and presumably continued to live as a hermit, hiding from the galaxy.
Reva and the Inquisitors
Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, bringing Obi-Wan and Darth Vader face-to-face once again. The action-packed exploration of this period has enriched the Star Wars canon in many ways. Among these decisive moments was learningReva, the Third Sister, is fully awareDarth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. Later episodes revealed that all Inquisitors, or at least the ones that appear on the show, know about Vader's Jedi past. It could be that Obi-Wan Kenobi marks a new narrative direction for how Darth Vader is portrayed in Disney films.war of the galaxiescanon: If the characters around him are aware of his humanity and treat him less as a dehumanized, malevolent presence, audiences will find him more relatable, even as a six-foot-tall cyborg voiced by James Earl Jones.
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Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently showing on Disney+.