Anakin Skywalker’s life and death(s) might sound complicated to an outsider, but to a Star Wars fan, it’s all as clear as day. He “died” as Anakin, came back as Darth Vader, then died again, but lived after becoming one with the Force. Simple, right? Well, not quite, it seems, as there are still many that wonder, how old was Anakin (Darth Vader) when he died?
When Anakin Skywalker first “died” metaphorically in the Revenge of the Sith, he was only 22 years old. After coming back as Darth Vader, he lived for 23 more years and eventually died in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi when he was 45 years old.
Of course, the first time Anakin had died, he didn’t actually die – the person he once was metaphorically died when he turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader. However, he eventually redeemed himself and became one with the Force after his actual death. Let’s break down the life and death(s) of Anakin Skywalker.
How Old Was Anakin Skywalker When He Died?
Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are the same person. However, Anakin Skywalker died many years before Darth Vader – according to his own words and the understanding of many Star Wars fans.
You see, Anakin had died the moment he turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader. He wasn’t the same person anymore. Even he was aware of it, as he said to Ahsoka Tano in the animated TV show Star Wars Rebels. He was once her Jedi Master, but once they met as Ahsoka and Vader, he told her that “Anakin Skywalker died many years ago.”
He fell to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader near the end of the Revenge of the Sith movie, which took place in 19 BBY. Seeing that Anakin was born in 41 BBY, that would mean he was around 22 years old when Anakin Skywalker died and turned into Darth Vader. In fact, many consider that he died long before his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Everybody thought Kenobi had killed Anakin in the duel, leaving him almost with no limbs. As it turns out, his body survived, but Anakin died as a person the moment he turned to the Dark Side.
How Old Was Darth Vader When He Died?
Unbeknownst to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin’s body survived their duel, and he became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. He lived for 23 more years before his eventual demise in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. He was 45 years old when he finally passed away for good. However, he didn’t die before resurrecting the old Anakin, even if for a brief moment.
As the Emperor attacked Luke Skywalker (Darth Vader’s son) with the Dark Side of the Force, Darth Vader turned against him and decided to abandon the Dark Side, killing his Sith Master and restoring balance to the Force. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the injuries that were caused by the Emperor before his death.
As Anakin returned to the Light Side and restored balance to the Force, his spirit became one with the Force. We see him, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Master Yoda overlooking the victory celebration after Luke Skywalker organized a funeral for his redeemed father. Darth Vader may have died at the age of 45, but the legend of Anakin Skywalker will live forever!
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader Complete Age Timeline
If it’s still all mumble-jumble for you, don’t worry. I’ve created a complete age timeline of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader’s life from his birth to his eventual demise:
- 41 BBY: Anakin Skywalker is born on the planet of Tatooine
- 32 BBY: Anakin Skywalker is 9 years old (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace takes place)
- 22 BBY: Anakin Skywalker is 19 years old (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones takes place. In Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, a 14-year-old Ahsoka Tano becomes Anakin’s Padawan)
- 19 BBY: Anakin Skywalker is 22 years old (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith takes place. Near the end of the film, Anakin metaphorically dies and becomes Darth Vader)
- 12 BBY: Darth Vader is 29 years old (Solo: A Star Wars Story Takes Place)
- 9 BBY: Darth Vader is 32 years old (Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series takes place. The two meet and duel once again)
- 3 BBY: Darth Vader is 38 years old (Star Wars Rebels animated series takes place. Darth Vader duels his former padawan, Ahsoka Tano, and tells her Anakin is dead)
- Year 0: Darth Vader is 41 years old (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story & Star Wars: A New Hope take place)
- 3 ABY: Darth Vader is 44 years old (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back takes place)
- 4 ABY: Darth Vader is 45 years old (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi takes place. Darth Vader dies after becoming Anakin again, succumbs to his injuries, and becomes one with the Force)