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50 Greatest Darth Vader Moments

Disarming Han

Most Impressive: Han Solo discovers that Darth Vader is on Cloud City and unleashes an instinctive blaster bolt, which Vader casually deflects before disarming Han from across the room [in The Empire Strikes Back ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: A superb dramatic reveal, as Vader demonstrates he has the upper hand – literally so. Only Vader could out-cool Han.

Disturbing Lack Of Faith

Most Impressive: Vader loses his composure under Admiral Motti’s jibes against the Force, so decides to teach him a lesson [in A New Hope ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: The ultra-chilly “I find your lack of faith disturbing” underlines Vader’s credentials as a powerful but crazy zealot. Presumably, Motti finds being mentally choked somewhat disturbing, too.

Vader vs Kenobi, The Rematch

Most Impressive: A long-awaited rematch, as Vader takes revenge on Kenobi aboard the Death Star... little realising that Obi-Wan is sacrificing himself to facilitate Vader’s eventual defeat and redemption [in A New Hope ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: We’ll let Vader explain this one: "I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master."

A New Look

Most Impressive: Nearly dead, Vader undergoes surgery and is fitted with his new protective armour [in Revenge Of The Sith ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: The less said about Vader's subsequent howl of anguish, the better... but the actual reveal of the birth of Vader as we know and love him is spine-tingling.

Strong TIEs

Most Impressive: Vader flies into the battle for the Death Star, and clocks Luke’s potential: “the Force is strong with this one” [in A New Hope ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: Not only the first hint of a bond between Skywalkers, but check out Vader’s ride – a pimped-up TIE fighter. It's well bling.

Duel Above The Clouds

Most Impressive: Vader and Luke clash in Cloud City, in a fierce duel punctuated by Vader's attempts to lure Luke to the Dark Side [in The Empire Strikes Back ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: Notwithstanding the false dawn on Dagobah, this is the first on-screen meeting between Skywalkers... Fire up the lightsabers.

Making An Entrance

Most Impressive: Stormtroopers blast open a door to gain access to an escaping Rebel ship; through the smoke, Vader makes his first appearance on a cinema screen [in A New Hope ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: George Lucas needed something pretty awesome to follow his opening gambit with the overhead Star Destroyer. How about introducing his greatest character?

Vader vs Kenobi, Round 1

Most Impressive: Obi-Wan fights Vader in a vicious duel across the flaming hell of lava-filled Mustafar, which culminates in Vader a burnt, legless wreck [in Revenge Of The Sith ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: We all knew Vader needed a reason for his protective armour; what we didn’t expect was that he’d get it via the saga’s most intense, emotional action set-piece.

Sackable Offence

Most Impressive: Vader finally chooses between family and career by chucking Emperor Palpatine over a precipice towards certain death [in Return Of The Jedi ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: He took his precious time about it, but the villain has been redeemed and - finally - brought balance to the Force. Just don't tell Hooper X from Chasing Amy we voted the scene this high.

Dad Issues

Most Impressive: Vader reveals the truth to Luke – he didn’t kill Anakin. He is Anakin! [in The Empire Strikes Back ].

Why The Force Is Strong With This One: The moment on which the original trilogy hinges and, without which, there would be no prequels. But mainly it's #1 because standing on a catwalk, dangling over a massive chasm, is an amazing place to deliver a bombshell.