The Clone Wars series explore much about the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and his troopers, the 501st Legion who would later be renamed Vader's Fist. While Darth Vader does not seem to regard a lot of people he works alongside with, the Emperor and Boba Fett being rare exceptions, could it be possible that, despite his forbidding demeanour, he still feels for his troops the same way Anakin did?

In Legends, he does to an extent and shows some appreciation when Commander Appo is killed during the sacking of Kashyyyk. On the other hand, he does not mind executing his own troops when they try to kill Galen Marek. In Battlefront 2, the clone shows a lot of pride and honour being part of the 501st and in its nickname Vader's Fist, meaning that he should have much respect towards Vader as well.

In canon, we even get to see more development between Anakin and his men during the course of the Clone Wars, but the materials to cover what happen between the Clone Wars and the battle of Yavin 4 is scarce at the moment. Sure, Rex leaves the Empire, but I am sure Vader has positive rapports with more people than just him. So, after turning into Darth Vader, does Anakin still regard his troops, particularly the clones, the same way he did in the Clone Wars?


2 Answers 2


From the canon novel Lords of the Sith:

She shook her head, her lekku squirming in agitation. “Not much. Second- and third—hand stories. I’ve heard that the regular officers hate him, but the Stormtrooper Corps almost worships him.”

From the canon novel Tarkin:

Later, observing the rapport the Dark Lord shared with the stormtroopers who supported him... Tarkin grew more and more convinced that his suspicions were right.

Vader might very well be the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker...

That said, in issue #1 of the canon comic Star Wars, we see Vader use his stormtroopers as human shields.

Vader's human shields

In issue #2, he kills a trooper without hesitation after he sees Vader without his helmet.

enter image description here

Based on these, it seems Vader generally treated his stormtroopers well, but valued his life and reputation above all else.

  • Why did Vader need human shields? Can't he block blaster shots?
    – Era
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 22:38
  • @Era It was a sniper shot. Perhaps he couldn't block those.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 22:58
  • 1
    or it was later that he learend to block blaster shots? that aside the "I value my life higher than all others" is typical for a sith.
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 5:40
  • @Era IIRC his gloves were not always special and thus capable of that trick...
    – Zommuter
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 11:49

Judging by most source material, I'd say it's less that he cares about the troops and more that he's trying to keep up morale so that they continue to serve as loyally as they do. We've seen clones turn on account of how they're treated, so it's fair to assume Vader would want to avoid this, though it is possible that old bonds come into play.

  • new canon says that the 501st Vader's Fist are not clones
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:10
  • Yes, many of them were recruits, but at the beginning they were left over republic clones. They were replaced by human recruits over time. It could also be out of habit that Vader treats his troops like he does, as he's used to clones.
    – Ferus Olin
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 23:41

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