When it comes to Star Wars, Darth Vader has always been one of the most iconic figures because he brought a sense of mystique and badassery to the entire storyline. Of course, there’s no doubt that he was one of the strongest users of the Force in the entire Skywalker Saga of Star Wars and had one of the most tragic storylines in the world of fiction. Nevertheless, his power was still one of the highlights of his entire character. So, how strong was Darth Vader?
Darth Vader was an extremely skilled lightsaber duelist who could rival some of the strongest in the storyline. However, he was also incredibly gifted in the Force because he could easily use it to choke people remotely and crush entire rooms with his telekinetic abilities.
The very presence of Darth Vader changed the flow of a battle because that was how strong he was. Whenever he appeared, the Rebels lost all hope as he was a powerful figure. Then again, he was supposed to be much stronger than what the Star Wars storyline allowed us to see. Now, let’s look at just how strong Darth Vader is and how he compares to some of the strongest Force users in Star Wars.
How Strong Was Darth Vader?
The fictional world of Star Wars may have been built on the heroics of Luke Skywalker and the other prominent figures on the side of the good guys, but Darth Vader’s story and presence made it a lot more entertaining and intriguing. Of course, we know that Vader was a tragic figure that fell from the light side to become a dangerous Sith Lord that enforced the will of Emperor Palpatine. And we also saw how Vader was one of the figures responsible for destroying the Jedi Order during the events of the Clone Wars.
The fact that Emperor Palpatine needed to tempt Anakin to the dark side of the Force to complete the destruction of the Jedi Order proved just how powerful he was. There were also hints that Palpatine pulled Skywalker to the dark side so that he could eventually take over his body. And the reason why he wanted Darth Vader to become his apprentice was the fact that the former Anakin Skywalker had the highest potential in the Force.
That all means that Darth Vader was incredibly powerful during his time. Even though he may have gotten weaker when Obi-Wan Kenobi injured him in their fateful duel on Mustafar, he was still one of the strongest figures in the entire galaxy. So, just how strong was Darth Vader?
As mentioned, Anakin Skywalker had the highest potential in the Force in the history of the Jedi. That was because he was the Chosen One that was supposed to bring balance back to the Force. That was why his potential as a user of the Force and a lightsaber combatant seemingly had no ceiling.
Regarding using the lightsaber, Vader was always gifted as a duelist and was already one of the top lightsaber combatants in the Jedi Order back when he was still Anakin. He mastered Form V: Shien and Djem So and used his lightsaber skills to defeat the likes of Count Dooku when he gave into his dark side.
After he fell to the dark side, Vader ended up using his saber skills to defeat all of the Jedi that he faced in the Jedi Temple during the events of Order 66. He also killed a lot of different Jedi Knights and Masters in the years that followed the destruction of the Jedi Order. And one of his most prominent kills during the height of the Empire’s power was Jedi Master Cere Junda.
Initially, Vader was a faster lightsaber duelist that used flashy moves in conjunction with the principles of Form V. However, after he got his cybernetic limbs, he became more of a powerhouse duelist that focused more on the strength-based strikes and direct attacks of Form V while still incorporating the basics of the form, such as quick counterattacks after parries. While he was no longer as quick and flashy as before he got permanently injured, Vader’s more direct style of lightsaber combat allowed him to use a no-nonsense way of dealing with Jedi and other Force users.
As strong as Vader was as a lightsaber duelist, he was an equally dangerous user of the Force. During his years as a Jedi, Anakin somewhat lagged behind in his training in the Force because he preferred to fight using a lightsaber. But after tapping into his inner darkness, he became one of the strongest Force users in the galaxy.
His potential diminished due to his cybernetic body, but he was still stronger than most Jedi Knights and Masters in the ways of the Force when he finally gave into his dark side. Vader was so powerful in the Force that he could easily crush an entire room using his telekinetic abilities. Blasters were also basically useless against him because he could use the Force to deflect and absorb blaster bolts.
In the events of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, he displayed his incredible gifts and powers in the Force when he pulled an entire shuttle down to the ground when the members and refugees of the Hidden Path tried to escape the Empire. After that, Reva betrayed Vader and tried to kill him. But the Sith Lord easily toyed with her by blocking her lightsaber strikes with the Force, as he initially didn’t even need to use his lightsaber to deal with her offense.
Of course, he eventually tended to use Force choke after falling to the dark side. It was his go-to attack when killing people that couldn’t use the Force. He was so adept at using Force choke that he could use it from a remote distance as long as he could see the person, as was the case when he used it to kill an Imperial officer through a monitor.
But the fact that Vader had a cybernetic body that deteriorated his overall potential was what weakened him. He was unable to use the full power of the dark side, especially Force Lightning, which would have also damaged him.
Still, from an overall perspective, Darth Vader was so strong as a duelist and a Force user that none of the surviving Jedi were able to defeat him during the reign of the Empire. It was only when his son, Luke Skywalker, could master the ways of the Force that he finally saw a real match.
How Vader Compares to Other Sith and Jedi?
Let’s see how Darth Vader compares to the other Sith and Jedi to truly see just how strong he was:
In canon, Vader and Kenobi faced each other in a true duel three times, and Obi-Wan won the first two fights with his former Padawan. Of course, we know that he spared Vader in those two battles even though he could have easily killed him. But while Kenobi did indeed defeat Vader twice, the Sith Lord was supposedly stronger.
During their first fight, Kenobi was on the defensive the entire time and was merely waiting for his opportunity to counter, as that arrived when he got the high ground. The only reason he could defeat Anakin in that fight was due to the fallen Jedi’s hubris, as he thought he was powerful enough to negate the effects of the high ground. Then, in their second duel, Obi-Wan found harmony in the Force and caught his former Padawan off-guard. However, from an overall standpoint, Vader was always stronger than Kenobi.
There’s a reason Darth Vader could never overthrow Palpatine, as it was clear that his master was stronger than him. Potential-wise, Anakin was supposed to be stronger than Darth Sidious. But the fact that he became weaker due to his injuries held him back from surpassing his master.
Of course, there’s the fact that Sidious has Force Lightning, which could easily kill Vader because it would mess up his cybernetics. As such, when Vader betrayed Palpatine in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the lightning that coursed through his body eventually destroyed his suit and caused him to die.
In their battle in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious told Yoda that Darth Vader was growing more powerful and would eventually surpass them. That means that, at that point, Yoda was still stronger than Vader. And because Vader never reached his true potential, there’s a good chance that Yoda was still stronger than him.
Of course, we also saw that Yoda was slightly weaker than Darth Sidious, as the Jedi Grand Master admitted in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith that he couldn’t keep up with Palpatine’s Force powers. As such, there’s a good chance that Vader could contend with Yoda’s skills.