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- "His past as mysterious as the black helmet he wears, Darth Vader is the Emperor's foremost agent."
- — A Moff cannot answer a question about the dark figure's history, only his endowment.
The Supreme Commander of the Imperial war-machine, Darth Vader is the preeminent enforcer of the Emperor's New Order.
Do What Must Be Done
Darth Vader first rose to prominence during the final days of the Clone Wars when he single-handedly defeated the treasonous Jedi Order and thereby played an instrumental role in the formation of the first Galactic Empire, piercing the heart of the corruption infesting the bureaucracy of the Republic. Many on Coruscant testify that the fires had barely cooled at the crucible of the smoking Jedi Temple before they started to hear the name of the hero that had risen to defend them. In destroying these enemies of the state, Darth Vader had prevented the possibility of civil war, which would have only deepened the darkness the galaxy had been subjected to over the course of the conflict with the droid armies of the Confederacy.
In further decisive action, Vader then traveled to Mustafar to put an end to the Seperatist Council on Palpatine's order, bringing years of conflict to a close and a measure of peace to the galaxy. It is for these reasons that Lord Vader became the Supreme Commander of the Imperial army, bringing swift resolution to any other challenges to the order and stability that the Emperor had dedicated himself to providing.
Purging the Galaxy
Many times over the proceeding years Vader's imposing silhouette caught up with Jedi fugitives throughout the galaxy and dispatched them. One immediate example of particular significance was a repeat of his victory at the Jedi Temple when he personally faced off against an entire Jedi enclave on Kessel. This event came to be one of the earliest examples to those fleeing Imperial justice that gathering in numbers was not necessarily a good idea, despite the strength it might afford. Word spread quickly amongst those remaining that Darth Vader was a force to be reckoned with.
Kashyyyk, Tarkin and Kachirho
- "HoloNet News has learned that he is known in the highest circles as Lord Vader. Beyond that, almost nothing is known, save for the fact that he led the action on Kashyyyk."
- — A HoloNet commentator makes the first public announcement.
It was in the pursuit of Jedi that Vader first started to work with Wilhuff Tarkin, who had discovered a suspicious vessel traveling to Kashyyyk that they both deduced was carrying fugitives. Tarkin convinced Vader to let the craft land as it would give them reason to invade the planet. As keen to follow Jedi on the surface as Tarkin was to enslave the population, an orbital bombardment was called off initially, until the ingenuity of the wookiees proved to be hard to overcome. After losses, Vader then begrudgingly permitted an orbital assault on the planet's cities, leaving Kachirho till last since he would be on the ground. He and the 501st began to decimate the wookiees despite heavy resistance, and it was in light of the native casualties that the Jedi that had landed revealed themselves. The combat that followed was punctuated by an orbital bombardment, and unfortunately resulted in some jedi fleeing the scene despite some heavy losses from their ranks. In the wake of these events, Darth Vader was announced publicly as the Emperor's enforcer.
Darth Vader was to return to Kashyyyk in another large scale battle against the wookiee population over a year later. Again in the pursuit of a Jedi presence Vader fought on the surface of the planet, this time turning the tide for the Imperial forces, which were pulling back before the dark figure waded in to start weilding his considerable power. It was perhaps in light of the wookiees fierce attempts to overcome subjugation that Lord Vader was known to visit the planet regularly in the years to follow, taking residence in the lower levels of the Imperial base on the outskirts of Kachirho. Another was to intercept members of the growing Rebellion against the Empire.
Rebellion and the Death Star
- "The Rebels know only terror and injustice. It is the duty of all loyal Imperials to show them the error of their ways."
- — Darth Vader speaks to the assembled crowds in Antioch.
It was with a particular brutality that Vader was to set about pursuing the agents of the Rebel Alliance. To many Imperials that served with him it was noted that he took a particular grievance to a movement which threatened the stability of the Empire he'd sacrificed so much to bring into realization. What started with something that served as an annoyance that needed to be cleaned up, over the years it became a constant source of growing frustration. When it was learnt that a full technical readout for the Empire's Death Star had been obtained by the Alliance, the Emperor tasked Vader with retrieving it. Palpatine knew that Darth Vader's need to crush the opposition, having been sharpened over the years by his failure to stamp out the dissident flame, would provide him the perfect edge.
Unfortunately, when Vader caught up with the plans aboard the Corellian Corvette Tantive IV, Princess Leia, revealed then as part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor, had already dispatched them. He took her prisoner in order to try and learn the location of the Rebel base, which she lied about, thereby putting Dantooine in danger. Soon after, Alderaan was destroyed. Unfortunately, this action served to galvanize the Rebels, and with knowledge of the Death Star's technical layout the terrorists struck, taking the lives of almost three million Imperial servicemen and women, citizens and officers, in one of the most horrific incidents since the destruction of Alderaan itself. Miraculously, Lord Vader survived, but the ongoing Galactic Civil War had taken an unconscionable turn for the worst. One that would require not just a strike back - but as decisive a completion as Darth Vader had made at the end of the Clone Wars.
Inquiries from the Retreat
- "The strongest lingering of the Force that you find is clearly from Obi-wan, but there is another that remains unidentified. For now..."
- — Darth Vader receives confirmation that a force-sensitive from Tatooine who had been in the company of Obi-Wan Kenobi had been the pilot ultimately responsible for the Death Star's destruction.
Immediately following the Death Star's destruction and the crash-landing of the fighter in which he had escaped, Darth Vader was known to have briefly returned to Coruscant before valiantly returning to Yavin IV on recommendation of Sate Pestage in an immediate attempt to find the Rebels still lingering in the system. Despite attacking the moon, it was discovered that the Alliance had in fact fled despite reports to the contrary. Unsuccessful, and impeded temporarily by the renegade governor Nox Vellam, Vader then reported to the Emperor by hologram to relay everything that had transpired, and to communicate his new aim of hunting down the terrorist responsible for the shot that had resulted in the catastrophic loss of life aboard the Death Star.
After exhausting various avenues, Vader eventually took residence in the Emperor's Retreat on Naboo. The Supreme Commander had deduced that the Empire's newest public enemy had come from Tatooine, but the actual identity of his foe still eluded him. When information came to him on Naboo that two Rebel leaders were still on Yavin IV with information concerning a boy from Tatooine racing up the Rebel command structure, he immediately dispatched an Imperial agent to confirm this detail. The two Rebels were killed, but not before they confirmed that a Force sensitive individual had been present, a fact then confirmed when the agent took a fragment of the Death Star to a Dark Jedi sanctum to be examined by Magus Jocle. This did not satisfy Lord Vader though, who had already felt this. He asked for further confirmation. Reluctant to set foot in the home of the vanquished Obi-Wan on Tatooine, the agent was sent again instead to confirm that it was not just Kenobi's Force imprint that lingered, and that another powerful individual had been present both in the hermit's dusty hut and in the corridors of the Empire's space station.
Invasion of Bestine
Vader usually inspired troops with his indefatiguable presence as he took charge of any situation. Not the sort to give orders from a safe distance, the Supreme Commander preferred to instead lead from the frontlines, marching into almost any situation personally to assure the decisive resolution he'd become renown for, and to provide an exemplar of Imperial authority. Due to the resultant popularity and esteem among the ranks there were always militia ready to support their leader in the field, particularly the 501st Legion that earned the title of 'Vader's Fist'. With his visits to the capitals of Bestine, Theed and Coronet during the combined Operations Molecular Clamp, Sieve, Take Down and Green Light, Vader took the initiative of approaching agents loyal to the Empire amongst the general public to assist in hunting down Rebel agents. Despite Vader demonstrating on many occasions he was more than capable of defending himself, an there were many prepared to come to his aide, there were security concerns during this time that prompted the assignment of a cadre of the best results of the ongoing Dark Trooper Project to his side in close escort. The decision proved to be provident.
Of all planets Tatooine was always one that Darth Vader showed uncharacteristic unwillingness to set foot on. Many officers put this down to it being an inhospitable backwater populated by refuse, though this was exactly the reason that terrorist elements took refuge there. While he had dispatched agents whenever possible in the past, it was his eagerness to quell the Rebel threat that proved the singular motivation to have him visit the Imperial capital of Bestine. As a center of operations, it presented an attractive target to the Alliance, and it was during one of Vader's impromptu visits that he found himself embroiled in an invasion by Rebel troops. Thanks to his intervention, many threats to Imperial safety were swiftly cut down during the battle that followed by Vader or his new assignment of Dark Troopers.
Echo Base on Hoth
Lord Vader's continued offensive against the Alliance continued resulted in many successes despite misguided support for the effort in the wake of Alderaan. While these patrons seemed indifferent to the comparable losses suffered aboard the Death Star, Vader made it a personal mission to ensure that the leaders responsible for the destruction of the space station would never forget their transgression. When Viper probe droids managed to find a base burrowed into the ice of the remote arctic world of Hoth, it was the astute analysis of Lord Vader that identified it as the Rebels stronghold, and the opportunity to catch up with those criminal leaders he'd been seeking.
Within moments the Imperial fleet was mobilized, and after Veers had used AT-AT walkers to take out the shielding of Echo Base, activated after Ozzel's incompetence alerted the Rebels to the Empire's arrival, Vader strode into the field once more to take the enemy by the throat. The Battle of Hoth proved to be a resounding success for the might of the Empire, and while Vader had missed his prey by moments, the blow would stymie the Alliance to a significant degree, leaving them dispersed and weakened. In the victory's wake, Darth Vader was only expected to achieve further success in his efforts to crush the Rebellion, helping the Emperor to bring peace and holding his ideal aloft for the entire galaxy to witness.
- Wookieepedia (Primarily Anakin Skywalker)
- SWG Wiki (Primarily Imperial Themepark - Darth Vader's Inquiries and Darth Vader)
- The novel Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader
- The movies Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope
- The game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
- Antioch's 1st Anniversary Celebration
- Star Wars Galaxies in-game loading screens and promotional material.