Darth Vader is known as one of the most powerful Force users in the whole Star Wars universe. He was an immensely powerful character who was both a skilled Force user and a great lightsaber duelist. In the most recent, penultimate episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, Darth Vader is seen stopping a large transport spaceship using only the Force. In this article, we are going to explain how he did it and how Darth Vader is so powerful in the first place.
As seen in The Empire Strikes Back, powerful Force users are able to control even large objects, like spaceships (referring to when Yoda lifted Luke’s ship from the swamp). Darth Vader was undoubtedly one of the most powerful Force users in the franchise and if a near-death old Yoda could lift a spaceship (although Yoda was more powerful than Vader), then a young Vader certainly could, too.
The rest of this article is going to focus on Darth Vader and his powers and abilities. We are going to analyze the scene from the most recent Obi-Wan Kenobi episode, but also talk about Vader’s powers in general. If you haven’t seen all the Star Wars movies, we have to warn you about a lot of spoilers ahead.
How could Darth Vader stop the spaceship in Obi-Wan Kenobi?
If you’ve seen the most recent episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, you’ll know that Darth Vader almost caught Obi-Wan in this episode. Obi-Wan surrendered himself to Reva but then tricked her to escape from Vader. While the Path members were trying to escape, Vader rushed in and stopped their spaceship in flight, bringing it back to the ground.
He could not do it without substantial effort, but it was a large ship and he did manage to land it and rip it open, only to see that it was a decoy. Just as he was realizing that, another spaceship, the real one, flew off and Obi-Wan and the surviving Path members escaped. Vader, of course, did not have enough energy to pull back a second spaceship, as it would’ve completely drained his energy.
Now, stopping a spaceship mid-flight and pulling it back down to the ground is a great feat, even for a Force user. It requires a large amount of power and skill, and before Vader, we’ve seen it happen only once in the story – when Jedi Grand Master Yoda, the most powerful Jedi in history, lifted Luke’s spaceship in The Empire Strikes Back.
This scene, ultimately, goes to show that Darth Vader was extremely powerful at this point, which is not surprising, knowing everything we know about him. We are now going to tell you a bit about his evolution as a character.
How is Darth Vader so powerful?
The unprecedented number of midi-chlorians made Darth Vader one the most powerful members of the Jedi Order, however, this made him arrogant. When he arrived at the Jedi Temple at the age of nine, he began to develop his abilities at a faster rate than his fellow Padawans, to the point of feeding his ego and self-importance to himself.
He also had the ability to use the Force to smother anyone, a sign of his tendency to turn to the dark side. Anakin was also one of the most gifted lightsaber wielders in the Jedi Order. Being a Padawan, Anakin practiced Form V: Shien with a few fleeting Ataru moves. He began mastering Form V’s powerful modality, Djem So, after his defeat at the hands of Count Dooku on Geonosis.
He proved to be more effective: with his mastery of Djem So and his trickery using Shien’s open stance, which allowed him to overcome and defeat Count Dooku during their second duel. Anakin also used Djem So in his fight against his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Although Anakin was able to give Obi-Wan a fair fight in the fierce duel—the two appeared evenly matched—Obi-Wan’s patience and his experience in Soresu along with Sokan were enough to best Anakin.
The defeat made Anakin much weaker in the Force. Darth Vader was a brilliant strategist and despite his weakened powers, he was one of the greatest pilots in the Galaxy. His armor did not interfere with his premonition ability that he possessed since he was a child, and he was able to predict the movements of his targets during chases with pinpoint accuracy.
He continued to retain his amazing personal engineering prowess, overseeing the designs of his two TIE Advanced X1 fighters and the construction of the second Death Star. His mastery of the lightsaber, developed through the many battles and skirmishes of the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Purge, was legendary and further honed through the duels he dueled with the Jedi following the Great Purge.
All of these abilities, however, were secondary compared to his incredible mastery of the Force. Because his limbs had been amputated and his body severely seared on Mustafar, he lost much of his Force potential. From Darth Vader, he was estimated to have roughly eight-tenths of the Emperor’s strength.
But even so, Vader wielded tremendous power. Had he not suffered any of his injuries on Mustafar, he would have been roughly ten times as powerful as the Emperor. The Emperor managed as best he could to keep Anakin alive, taking an alternative point of view. Although it was true that he did not expect much from an apprentice who was “more machine than man”, Palpatine was of the opinion that many of the limitations of Vader’s potential power were not physical but psychological.
He believed that Vader was facing his choices and his disappointments to completely rid himself of his despair and that he would be able to resurface the incredible power latent in him. Still, while Vader made progress in this regard, he was never fully able to accept who and what he had become. One of Vader’s talents in the Force was to block laser blasts with his hands, completely dissipating his energy, converting it into pure Force energy for him to use.
Yoda, Corran Horn, and Jacen Solo were shown to have the ability to channel the energy of exterior attacks into Force power in similar ways. Darth Vader also favored the Choke force ability, demonstrating it numerous times during his lifetime. The fact that Anakin was born endowed with the largest number of midi-chlorians in galactic history, and that he was considered the Chosen One, leads to several conclusions about his potential Force power.
During his lifetime he fell short of his full potential due to his destiny as a tragic hero, but before his fall to the dark side, though very young, Anakin was one of the most powerful Jedi. Had he not suffered the injuries on Mustafar, he might have been the most powerful being who had ever lived before, more powerful than any other Force user in galactic history.
However, after his death, he became one with the Force, thus reaching his full potential; Obi-Wan Kenobi told Darth Vader just before his death that he would become much more powerful than he could ever imagine in the afterlife. If this is true, the conclusion would be that when a Jedi joins the Force, he reaches the peak of its power.