In the first three films, we see Anakin get stronger, fight better, and at the end of Revenge of the Sith, nearly kill Obi-Wan. Originally he joined the Emperor so that he could gain power from the Dark Side to save his family.

However, after these events, it seems as though the new Vader never got any stronger. We never see him using new or stronger Force powers, never see a bolt of Force lightning, and he even gets damaged by Luke (who was barely trained and should have never come close). Sure, he blocks a blaster bolt with his hand, but that wouldn't be enough to convince anyone he was "stronger", not to mention the rematch with Luke put an end to Vader.

Was Anakin/Vader at his strongest during the final Obi-Wan fight in Revenge of the Sith? Did he ever grow in power after that?

  • 2
    Anakin's greatly weakened after the fight with Kenobi. This is covered elsewhere, and will probably end up making this question a dupe.
    – user40790
    Sep 26, 2016 at 19:09
  • I think you've misread my question. I'm not asking about the Kenobi fight, i'm asking about Anakin's power over the rest of the series Sep 26, 2016 at 19:12
  • No; Anakin was weakened. He can't do what he used to because he is weakened. As Lucas described it, he was at 80% of the Emperor's power when he should have been twice as powerful. Moreover, the emperor sabotaged him through part choices that would further hamper him.
    – user40790
    Sep 26, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
  • He couldn't manipulate the force to create lightning because he had no natural appendages after Mustafar.
    – Theyna
    Sep 26, 2016 at 19:47

4 Answers 4


it seems as though the new Vader never got any stronger

I would be careful in saying something like this when it comes to Star Wars. Strength in Star Wars comes in many forms, from the pure brute strength of Darth Bane and the manipulation tactics of Palpatine, to the wisdom of Yoda and the intelligence of Mace Windu.

In the same vein, power comes in many different forms.

Vader is certainly several magnitudes more powerful in the original trilogy. He has an army at his disposal, his reputation and appearance striking fear in those around him without him even doing anything, he is more proficient in the force, and above all is more in control of his emotions. Where Anakin was a brazing wildfire of emotion that would flare up uncontrollably, Vader is a blowtorch, directing his rage and emotions in a controlled and far more effective fashion.

He is physically disabled and does not have the brute strength and lightsaber skill of Episode III Anakin, but I would say that Darth Vader is definitely more powerful than he ever was as a Jedi.

I would take his defeat at the hands of Luke with a grain of salt, seeing as Palpatine was likely interfering with the fight, since he wanted Luke to win.


Apart from the fact that the prequels were made after the original 3 Star wars episodes. Out of universe, special effects and other advancements clearly show that Darth Vader seemed to be more powerful in Episode III. We see this by Darth Vader's last fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi,

He shows many times that he was clearly more powerful thaan Obi-Wan Kenobi, only to be beaten by his own stupidity. Comparing this to his fight with Luke, he was sluggish and did not move very well.

But, that being said, as with most things , experience brings more power which was demonstrated with this in this scene from Count Dooku,

Only more experienced dark force users are able to use Force lightning.

So getting back to the question, Darth Vader would have been his most powerful right before he died, due to all the experience he has amassed over the years.


It could be concluded that he was at his height in Episode 3 however his emotional state was chaotic and unfocused. He acted recklessly with his abilities and therefore wasn't as refined as his Vader appearance he seemed more controlled and skilled in using the force.

(Also on a side note please remember that the choreography of the time when the film was made was not the best compared to when Episode 3 was made.)


Regardless of ability, even ninjas have to continually practice to just maintain their skills. Who did Vader practice against? I would submit that not only did Vader not get better, he probably got worse as a force wielder. You can argue that the Emperor also lost power. My evidence is to compare a young Sadam Hussein when he was running around with his group of trouble makers and the Fat tired man he was just prior to the US invasion.

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