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The Entire Darth Vader Story Finally Explained

In 1977, movie audiences everywhere were awestruck when a cape-clad, black-helmeted villain strutted into the corridor of a starship and earned his spot in movie history. Darth Vader quickly became the ultimate symbol of evil in pop culture and one of the most popular villains in movie history, but as we all know now, there turned out to be much more to his story than a red laser sword and creepy breathing. 

For one thing, we all know that Darth Vader wasn't always an evil presence. He was once a young boy, possessed of tremendous talents and a deep love for those closest to him, and it was only through extraordinary circumstance the he became the Dark Lord we love to fear. As time has gone on and Vader has been incorporated into more and more Star Wars films, shows, comics, and books, we've also learned that even his darkest moments were not without nuance. Now, it's time to chart his entire course from slave boy on Tatooine to the inspiration for the galaxy's current reigning big bad. This is Darth Vader's story, explained.

Darth Vader is a child of the Force

Darth Vader first appeared in 1977's "Star Wars," but he was actually born four decades before the events of that film as Anakin Skywalker, the child of a slave woman named Shmi Skywalker. Years after his birth, Shmi told the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn that "there was no father" in Anakin's conception, leading Qui-Gon to deduce that Anakin had been conceived by the Force entities known as midi-chlorians. Though it hasn't been conclusively stated, it's heavily implied that Anakin's conception was in some way caused by the Dark Side Force manipulations of the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis and his apprentice, Darth Sidious

Young Anakin showed tremendous intelligence and skill from a very young age, and was so adept at mechanics and repairs that he began working for his mother's master, Watto, in his shop on Tatooine. Anakin's mechanical skills were so advanced that he began building the protocol droid C-3PO for his mother before he'd turned ten. He was also a skilled podracer, making him a rarity as human reflexes were usually too slow to allow them to survive in the sport. 

However, Anakin's quiet life of slavery was disrupted when, at the age of nine, he met a pair of Jedi Knights for the first time.

Anakin is the Chosen One

While on a mission to escort Queen Padme Amidala of Naboo from her homeworld to the Republic capital of Coruscant, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, encountered Anakin in Watto's shop while searching for parts for their starship. Qui-Gon took an immediate interest in Anakin and tested his midi-chlorian count, revealing his midi-chlorian level was off the charts. Convinced of Anakin's potential as a Jedi, Qui-Gon made a wager with Watto that the boy could win his own freedom in a podrace. Anakin won the race and accompanied Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to Coruscant, but he mourned having to leave his mother behind. 

Qui-Gon took Anakin before the Jedi High Council, convinced that the boy could be the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force, but Masters Yoda and Mace Windu were wary of Anakin's age and his fearful demeanor after having been separated from his mother. Qui-Gon pleaded for the opportunity to train him anyway. 

In the Battle of Naboo, Anakin piloted a starfighter against the Trade Federation, proving that his skills extended beyond podracing. After the battle was over, he discovered that Qui-Gon had been killed at the hands of Darth Maul, and Obi-Wan made a vow to train Anakin himself, in keeping with his lost master's wishes. The High Council consented, and Anakin became a Jedi Padawan.

Fear leads to anger, and the story starts getting dark

Anakin spent the next decade training as Obi-Wan's apprentice, and proved himself an immensely skilled Jedi who also had a tendency towards recklessness. On top of that, he continued to harbor fear over what had become of his mother in his absence. As a young man, he reconnected with then-Senator Padme Amidala on Coruscant, when he and Obi-Wan were tasked with guarding her life after an assassination attempt.

While Obi-Wan sought to track down the people behind the attempt on Padme's life, Anakin stayed behind as her personal bodyguard and escorted her back to Naboo. The senator and the Jedi soon fell in love, but Anakin's darker tendencies intruded as he became tormented by visions of his mother. With Padme at his side, Anakin traveled to Tatooine, where he learned that a now-married-and-freed Shmi Skywalker had been abducted by Tusken raiders. 

Anakin tracked down the Tusken tribe and his mother, who died in his arms after seeing him one last time. In a rage, Skywalker slaughtered the entire tribe, and vowed to Padme that he would become powerful enough to prevent the people he loved from dying. It was the beginning of a descent into darkness that he wouldn't recover from for decades.

Begun the Clone War has

After the whole Tusken raider incident, Anakin and Padme left Tatooine and traveled to Geonosis, hoping to rescue Obi-Wan who'd been taken prisoner by Separatists after discovering who'd hired Padme's assassin. Unfortunately, the new couple was soon captured by Separatist leader and Sith Lord Count Dooku, and sentenced to death, but as they began trying to fight their way out of a Geonosian arena, reinforcements arrived in the form a clone army. These clone soldiers had recently been discovered by Obi-Wan, and under the leadership of Yoda and Mace Windu, they defeated the Separatists in what would become the first battle of the Clone Wars.

With the battle still raging, Anakin and Obi-Wan engaged Dooku in a lightsaber duel, but Anakin's recklessness got the better of him when he tried to fight Dooku alone. The Sith defeated Anakin, cutting of his right arm, only to then be beaten back by Yoda. 

In the days that followed, Anakin was given a new synthetic arm, and he then retreated to Naboo with Padme. They were married in secret — with the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 serving as witnesses — because the Jedi Order forbade such romantic attachments. Anakin's increased fear of losing those he loved, coupled with his brushing off of Jedi rules, would soon create further friction between the young Jedi and his superiors.

Anakin's apprentice

As the Clone Wars gained intensity, Anakin was promoted to Jedi Knight and became a key general for the Republic. His abilities and confidence grew, but so too did his recklessness and, by extension, his fear of losing those he loved. In an effort to help, Yoda suggested Anakin could learn how to let go of people by taking on an apprentice of his own who would one day ascend beyond his training. He was paired with a young Padawan named Ahsoka Tano, and while the two initially had friction due to Ahsoka's feisty nature, the two ultimately became friends. 

Ahsoka rose in prominence alongside her master as the wars went on, becoming a respected military leader and Force user in her own right, until she was framed and arrested for a bombing at the Jedi Temple that was actually carried out by one of her friends. Ahsoka was expelled from the Jedi Order, but Anakin and Padme believed in her innocence, and were ultimately able to gain evidence that led to her acquittal at trial. 

Though she was offered re-admission to the Jedi Order, Ahsoka was disillusioned after her trial, and she chose to leave the Jedi behind. Witnessing the treatment of his former apprentice only served to further frustrate Anakin, who was himself beginning to lose faith in the wisdom of the Jedi High Council.

The rise of Darth Vader

Anakin's growing abilities and his purported status as the Chosen One had, by the end of the Clone Wars, caught the attention of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who was manipulating the entire war from behind the scenes via his dual roles as a Sith and as Sheev Palpatine, the chancellor of the Republic. Palpatine, who'd amassed great power via emergency wartime legislation, finally made his move on Skywalker in the waning days of the war, urging him to kill Dooku in cold blood in the midst of space battle above Coruscant. 

Anakin complied, decapitating Dooku, and Palpatine continued grooming Anakin as his agent by appointing him as his emissary to the Jedi Council. The council submitted to the chancellor's wishes, but they refused to grant Anakin the rank of Master, further inflaming his frustrations. This, coupled with Anakin's frequent visions of Padme — who was then pregnant — dying in despair, led Palpatine to finally reveal himself to Anakin by convincing him that he could stop the death of his loved ones by using the Dark Side of the Force. 

Conflicted, Anakin first revealed to the Jedi Council that Palpatine was a Sith Lord ... and then helped Palpatine kill Mace Windu in the hopes that Palpatine would teach him how to save Padme. Though distressed by his betrayal of Windu, Anakin submitted himself to his new master, who in turn dubbed him Darth Vader.

Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Consumed by fear of losing Padme and hatred of the Jedi Council, who he felt had held him back, the newly christened Darth Vader was willing to do anything for his new master if it meant he could learn how to save Padme. So Palpatine dispatched Vader to the Jedi Temple as part of his Great Jedi Purge, where Vader brutally slaughtered any Force user in his path, including the younglings in the Temple. 

Vader then journeyed to Mustafar to kill the last Separatists and end Palpatine's engineered war. Obi-Wan and Padme, learning of his betrayal, followed him there to stop him. Enraged by the idea that his old master and his wife were working together to betray him, he used the Force to choke Padme into unconsciousness, then engaged Obi-Wan in a duel. Ultimately, Obi-Wan gained the high ground in the fight, severed both of Vader's legs, and left him near a lava ditch to die. 

Palpatine journeyed to Mustafar to save his apprentice, then outfitted him in a life-preserving suit of armor, transforming him into the half-machine Vader we all know and love. Palpatine also told Vader that he'd accidentally killed Padme and their unborn children back on Mustafar with that Force choke. In truth, Padme had died of a broken heart, but not before secretly giving birth to Anakin's twin children, Luke and Leia, who were hidden away from him as they grew up. Vader then took his place at Palpatine's side as the Republic became the Galactic Empire, although he still harbored a desire to bring Padme back at all costs.

Journey as a Dark Lord of the Sith

Immediately after receiving his new robotic body armor, Darth Vader was tasked by Palpatine with his first lesson as a Sith: building a new lightsaber. But this wasn't as easy as Vader had hoped. As it turned out, he was to retrieve the lightsaber of a Jedi and corrupt its kyber crystal, turning it blood red. Eventually, Vader found Master Infil'a who had escaped Order 66's Jedi Purge due to his vow to remove himself from society as penance. After an intense battle, Vader killed the Jedi master, stole his lightsaber, and destroyed Am'balaar City in the process, though the battle nearly destroyed his new armor.

After bending the kyber crystal to his will — which proved to be a true feat as it almost turned him back to the Light Side first — Vader presented his new red lightsaber to his master, who was pleased with the results. Using his engineering skills, Vader reconstructed and enhanced his own armor to further insulate himself from any potential weakness. After this, Vader was introduced to the Grand Inquisitor and his Inquisitors, former Jedi tasked by the Empire with hunting down and destroying any trace of the Jedi Order.

Palpatine then assigned their training to Lord Vader, who began using his own pain to fuel their hatred. As they scoured the galaxy in search of lost Jedi, Vader's power only grew and he strayed further and further from his life as Anakin Skywalker.

The power of the Dark Side

Perhaps the most important development of this era came when Palpatine gifted Vader a mask belonging to Momin, an ancient Sith Lord and artist, whose spirit still possessed the relic. After years of hunting Jedi with his Inquisitors and enforcing the law of the Empire on countless worlds, Darth Vader returned once more to Mustafar — the planet where he had once lost to Obi-Wan Kenobi and where he had built his red lightsaber — to build his own fortress.

While there, Momin communed with Vader as he attempted to build his home over an ancient locus of the dark side. Momin himself schemed to use the locus to harness dark side energy and resurrect his own body, but his plan was foiled when he chided Vader for his own dark side practices. Vader responded by crushing Momin's resurrected form before using the gateway opened by Momin to search for Padmé's spirit and bring her back to life. Instead, he found only darkness as her form disintegrated before his eyes.

Vader came out of the experience convinced that both Padmé and Anakin Skywalker were officially dead, and that his past no longer mattered. As dark and heartless as ever, Darth Vader became even more enraged in his pursuits of former Jedi and Empire conquests alike. However, Vader's vision showed him one other thing — a beacon of hope in the form of an unidentified young man who he'd soon meet.

Hunting his former master

Nearly 10 years after their last encounter, Darth Vader got wind of the location of his former Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, now going by "Ben." Under intelligence from the Third Sister — an Inquisitor and former Jedi youngling named Reva Sevander — Vader and his Inquisitors finally found Kenobi on the planet of Mapuzo. Vader tormented the small mining colony, killing everyone in his path until the Jedi revealed himself. Once he did, their rematch immediately commenced.

This duel wasn't as elegant as their previous battle, as Kenobi was a bit out of practice and didn't put up much of a fight. In retaliation, Vader burned his former master in the same way that he himself had been burned on Mustafar nearly a decade earlier. Still, the Rebellion helped Kenobi escape, and Vader pursued. In the chaos, Vader was betrayed by the Third Sister, thirsty for revenge after Anakin Skywalker's massacre at the Jedi Temple during Order 66. Vader quickly overpowered the former youngling and left her to die so that he might continue after Kenobi.

Eventually Darth Vader caught up with the Jedi and they dueled once more, this time both at full power. Although Vader first overpowered Kenobi — finally gaining the high ground — the Jedi found new strength to defeat the Sith Lord. Here, Vader acknowledged that Obi-Wan didn't kill Anakin, he did it himself. As Kenobi left, believing Anakin was truly dead, Vader was called back by the Emperor, forced to abandon his revenge.

Reuniting with his former apprentice

A few years later, after the Grand Inquisitor failed to capture a group of rebels who worked aboard a ship called Ghost, Darth Vader was tasked with finding them. After a fierce battle against the Jedi Kanan Jarrus and his apprentice Ezra Bridger on the planet Lothal, Lord Vader failed to capture this group, who would later meet up with Anakin Skywalker's former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. As the Ghost crew continued working with Ahsoka and the Rebellion, Vader continued to send Inquisitors after them, and would occasionally pursue them himself.

When the rebels arrived on the planet Malachor, an ancient Sith homeworld, they encountered the long disgraced Sith Lord Maul, who initially helped them recover a Sith holocron. After Maul's inevitable betrayal, Ezra and Kanan eventually found the Sith Temple where they encountered Darth Vader, who became aware of their activities. As the Sith Lord fought the young Jedi master and his apprentice, Ahsoka arrived just in time to help. It's here that she finally learned the dark truth: Anakin Skywalker didn't die at the end of the Clone Wars, he became Darth Vader.

Vader attempted to convert Ahsoka, believing that the Emperor would forgive her "treason" if she gave up other Jedi and the rebels. Of course, "Snips" refused and engaged in combat against her former master. As the Sith Temple collapsed around them, Vader and Ahsoka continued to duel until Ahsoka miraculously escaped, leaving Vader defeated and alone once more.

Pursuing the rebellion

Over the 19 years after Emperor Palpatine took over the Republic and made it into his new Empire, Imperial scientists and engineers — including Galen Erso and Orson Krennic — worked hard to build a super weapon capable of destroying entire planets. This weapon, of course, was the Death Star, which was powered by kyber crystals just like a lightsaber. As it turned out, Erso was a Rebel sympathizer who leaked the Death Star's weakness to his daughter Jyn Erso and a group of Rebels. This forced Krennic to use the Death Star on the planet of Jedha.

This caught the Emperor's attention, which meant that Krennic was sent to Darth Vader's Fortress on Mustafar to explain himself. Here, Vader reminded Krennic that the Death Star was not "officially" supposed to exist, and that he should be careful. It wasn't long before the rebels attacked the planet Scarif — which held the plans to the Death Star itself — forcing the Empire to act swiftly. Though they used the Death Star to destroy the rebels on the ground (and Krennic, who perished in the blast), the plans were transmitted to a nearby rebel ship, which Vader had secretly invaded.

Unfortunately for the Sith Lord, the Death Star plans escaped on the Tantive IV, which unbeknownst to Vader also housed his own long-lost daughter Princess Leia Organa, as well as his former protocol droid C-3PO and astromech droid R2-D2 from the Clone Wars.

The rise of the Rebellion

The rebellion's unexpected advantage forced Vader to pursue the rebels. He managed to capture Princess Leia, who sent a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine before her capture. Grand Moff Tarkin, the Death Star's commander, had Vader torture Leia (who he did not know was his daughter) and even used the space station to destroy her adoptive home world of Alderaan as they tried to gain the location of the Rebel Alliance's secret base. Stubborn like her biological father, Leia refused to give up her friends.

It wouldn't be long before allies came to rescue Leia, which meant Vader had an unexpected encounter with an old friend. When this small group — which included Vader's long-lost son Luke Skywalker (who he was also unaware of) and his former Jedi master Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi — infiltrated the Death Star to rescue Leia, Vader and Kenobi fought for the final time. Vader killed his old teacher, but the rescue was successful and the Rebels were clear to use the Death Star plans. Unfortunately, in all the commotion, Tarkin discovered the Rebel base on Yavin IV...

In an epic space battle, Vader nearly killed Luke, but the young Skywalker was saved at the last moment by Han Solo, and Vader's starfighter was sent hurtling into space after taking a couple of shots from Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon. Guided by the ghost of Ben Kenobi, Luke blew up the Death Star for good.

The story takes a turn when Vader learns a secret

The destruction of the Death Star was a major victory for the rebellion, but it also a huge blow to the Empire. This set Vader on a journey of self-discovery. After the attack, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo went on a mission to blow up an Imperial facility when they encountered Vader once more. Luke attempted to duel the Sith Lord, and in the process, Vader recognized Luke's lightsaber as his former weapon of choice — the same one he'd lost to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar 20 years earlier.

After learning that the Emperor hoped to possibly replace him, Vader put his own team together — including bounty hunters Boba Fett and Black Krrsantan, and the archaeologist Doctor Aphra — to learn more about the boy who blew up the Death Star. Aphra learned that Padmé had given birth before her death, while Fett learned that the boy who'd dueled Darth Vader was named "Skywalker."

At that moment, Vader realized that he'd been deceived. He tore his own starship apart upon hearing the news that he had a son, though he wasn't yet aware that Padmé had delivered twins. In keeping with the Sith "Rule of Two," in which apprentices kill their masters to ascend to masterhood themselves, Vader began plans to convert his son to the Dark Side, kill the Emperor, and rule the galaxy.

In search of Luke Skywalker

After learning the truth about his son, Darth Vader continued to search for his heir, that he might join forces with him in order to usurp the Emperor. Doctor Aphra learned of Luke's location on the world of Vrogas Vas — which was also home to a long-lost Jedi Temple — and shared this with the Sith Lord, who swiftly arrived on the planet to retrieve his prize.

Though he destroyed nearly two whole Rebel Squadrons, Vader was quickly defeated after Luke sacrificed himself by ramming his X-Wing directly into Vader's TIE Fighter, sending both father and son hurtling to the planet below. There, Vader fended off rebel troops — including a brief reunion with Leia — while Aphra attempted to abduct Luke. Unfortunately for the Dark Lord, Luke's friends Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO all fought back, saving him and kidnapping Aphra for information on the Empire.

Although he had failed to attain his son, Darth Vader wouldn't quit, though he'd have to put his plan on pause for a while after the Emperor sent him on various "diplomatic" missions to maintain order throughout the Empire after the Death Star's destruction. Eventually, Vader caught up with Aphra and sent her to her grave by releasing her into open space. But little did the Dark Lord know she survived with the help of her loyal (and homicidal) droids...

Darth Vader reveals the truth to Luke

It wouldn't be much longer before Vader tracked Luke, and by extension the rebels, down to their hidden base on the icy planet Hoth. The Empire invaded the planet while the Rebels evacuated, and Luke once again escaped Vader's clutches (but just barely). Shortly after this failure, Palpatine revealed his knowledge of Luke to Vader, and the two began working to bring the younger Skywalker over to the Dark Side.

To achieve this, Vader launched a campaign to find Luke's friends on board the Millennium Falcon at all costs. With the help of bounty hunter Boba Fett, he eventually captured Han and Leia on Bespin and used them as bait to lure Luke, who'd been training to become a Jedi Knight with an exiled Yoda and the ghost of Ben Kenobi on the swamp planet Dagobah. The plan worked, and Luke arrived on Bespin to battle Vader and save his friends. Vader defeated the young Jedi in a lightsaber duel, severing Luke's right hand in the process — only to reveal to Luke that he was his true father. 

Vader pleaded with Luke, hoping that he would join him in overthrowing the Emperor, but Luke refused. Instead, the young Skywalker chose to fall to his death. Fortunately, he dropped through the bowels of a Bespin mining facility where he was rescued by Leia in the Millennium Falcon, leaving Darth Vader alone once more.

Rebuilding himself from the ground up

After Luke's rejection and a visit to his childhood home of Tatooine, Darth Vader began an investigation into the death of his wife Padmé and the birth of his son. During this investigation, he met a woman who looked almost exactly like the former Queen of Naboo: Padmé's former handmaiden Sabé. They worked together for a while, searching Naboo for more evidence of who killed Padmé, until Vader eventually confessed to the crime. Sabé and her team fought Vader, but they were no match for his raw power.

Upon entering Padmé's tomb and scanning her corpse, he discovered a medical implant that lead him to the Polis Massa asteroid field — and the same facility where Padmé gave birth to Luke and Leia. Vader was able to scan the records and find a final recording of Padmé speaking with his former master Obi-Wan, reminding him that there was still good in Anakin.

Disappointed in his apprentice's mourning, the Emperor tortured and left Vader for dead on Mustafar, instructing him to rebuild himself. He did, and was eventually led to the Sith world of Exegol, where he was given a glimpse of the Emperor's true power as well as the Sith cloning programs he'd implemented, which would continue long after the Empire. After initially hoping to regain some agency, Darth Vader once again surrendered to his master Darth Sidious, and Emperor Palpatine took his apprentice back with open arms.

The Empire's enforcer

After seeing the Emperor's true power on Exegol, Darth Vader abandoned his dreams of Luke becoming his apprentice, believing Palpatine was too powerful to overcome. Instead, Vader decided to kill his son and continued to pursue him as he enforced the Empire's will across the universe. After a frozen-in-carbonite Han Solo was stolen from the Empire, Vader sought to retrieve Solo, believing that Luke would eventually return for his friend. Arriving at an auction for Solo, Vader learned that Crimson Dawn — a criminal organization once run by Maul himself, now Solo's old flame Qi'ra — was selling the Rebel smuggler.

Upon attaining Solo, Vader encountered his son once more in an aerial battle, one that ended with Vader's TIE Fighter crashed once again. Here, Luke even considered killing his father, ending the threat of Darth Vader for good, but he decided against it, still reeling from their previous encounter. Though he failed to kill his son in combat, Vader continued to faithfully serve the Empire by hunting down and destroying the agents of Crimson Dawn.

On his mission to end Crimson Dawn, he once again encountered Sabé, who led him to a colony of former Tatooine slaves on the world of Gabredor III (which was run by Crimson Dawn), but only after revealing that she knew the truth about Anakin Skywalker. On this world, Vader met two of his childhood friends from Tatooine, Kitster and Wald.

Anakin Skywalker redeemed

Sometime afterward, the second Death Star was completed. Palpatine planned to use the new superweapon as bait to ensnare and defeat the rebellion by making it look more vulnerable than it was, while also using it to lure Luke Skywalker, who'd finally completed his Jedi training. Luke re-emerged on Endor, where he surrendered to Vader. Luke was fully determined to redeem his father, just as Vader was once again determined to convert his son. 

Vader brought Luke before the Emperor, who attempted to provoke anger in him by revealing his plan to trap the rebels. After all, anger leads to the Dark Side. This sparked a final duel between Darth Vader and his son, and during the fight, Vader sensed in his son's mind that he had a sister — Vader's second child. Using this knowledge, Vader drew Luke's anger out, and Luke defeated Vader with force. But seconds before killing his father, Luke realized he was becoming just like Vader, so he tossed his weapon aside, refusing to join the dark side. 

Enraged, Palpatine retaliated with Force lightning. Watching his son die in agony, Vader reclaimed the good part of himself that Padmé once spoke of and threw his master down the core shaft of the Death Star, seemingly killing him. Gravely injured by Palpatine, Darth Vader didn't have much longer to live, but with his dying breath, Anakin Skywalker returned to the light, assuring his son that he was right all along.

Darth Vader's legacy

As Vader, Palpatine, and Luke Skywalker fought on the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance succeeded in their mission to destroy the battle station, and Luke escaped with his father's body just before the space weapon exploded. The victory marked the beginning of the end for the Galactic Empire, and it kicked off a galaxy-wide celebration of the end of Palpatine's reign. 

Though the decades that followed were relatively peaceful, Vader's legacy as a Dark Side legend lived on and took root again in the form of his grandson — Leia and Han's kid, Ben Solo. Ben caught the eye of Snoke, a powerful Dark Side user and scholar who'd taken up leadership of the remnants of the Imperial military in the Outer Rim, forming them into the First Order. Snoke sensed the Dark Side potential in the Skywalker bloodline, and he sought to cultivate it within Ben Solo. He succeeded, and Ben Solo rose up against his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, ending Luke's attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order. 

When he fully turned to the Dark Side, Ben Solo changed his name to Kylo Ren and vowed to "finish" what Darth Vader had started: the eradication of the Jedi. He adopted his own red lightsaber and black helmet, setting himself up as Vader's successor. In fact, Kylo even acquired Vader's old helmet, which had been partially burned in his funeral pyre.

Darth Vader's parallels with Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren's quest to further his grandfather's legacy had dire consequences. Spurred on by Snoke, he helped the Empire-like First Order develop a Death Star-esque superweapon known as Starkiller Base; although it was destroyed by a band of rebels who dubbed themselves the Resistance, that victory came with horrific loss of life — including the death of Han Solo, murdered by Kylo himself. Kylo then pursued the Resistance across the galaxy before a final showdown with his old master, Luke Skywalker — or at least a Force-fueled apparition he believed to be Luke. Their battle was just a ruse meant to give the First Order's enemies time to flee, and although Kylo was unable to defeat Luke in person, the effort it took to project his presence ultimately ended Skywalker's presence on the physical plane.

Kylo's campaign of terror finally ended on Exegol, where he tracked a cloned Palpatine and faced off against him alongside the budding Jedi known as Rey — who, in a last-minute twist, turned out to be the old Emperor's secret granddaughter. Realizing too late that he'd been led horribly astray, Kylo helped Rey defeat Palpatine, sacrificing himself in the process — and adding one final parallel to Vader's portion of the Skywalker Saga.