When Anakin turned to the Dark Side Darth Sidious obviously saw fit to give him a new name:

PALPATINE: Henceforth you shall be known as Darth...Vader.

ANAKIN: Thank you, my master.

I've seen the question that's already been asked about the out-of-universe reason why George Lucas landed on the name Vader. I'm interested in whether there's an in-universe explanation for why Palpatine decided to call him what he did.

Was it just a random name plucked out of thin air? Did Palpatine pick it because he knew that Padmé was shortly due to give birth? Is there any preexisting connection between the name 'Vader' and the Dark Side of the Force?

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    He had to think of a negative word beginning with "in" -- so he could then remove the "in" from it. – user40790 Jan 18 '17 at 16:45
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    Are you picking a name for your apprentice? – void_ptr Jan 18 '17 at 16:50
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    @Valorum - Vader = father. To mock Anakin for being of questionable parentage ("Your father is a midichlorian!") – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 18 '17 at 17:52
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    @Terriblefan Now I'm imagining if he had named him Darth Credible. – Devsman Jan 18 '17 at 21:29
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    Because Darth Bobo does not instill fear. – NZKshatriya Jan 19 '17 at 1:44

Per the Matthew Stover novelization, the name "Vader" was plucked from the Force itself (emphasis mine):

Darth Sidious laid a pale hand on Anakin's brow. "Then it is done. You are now one with the Order of the Dark Lords of the Sith. From this day forward, the truth of you, my apprentice, now and forevermore, will be Darth ..."

A pause; a questioning in the Force - An answer, dark as the gap between galaxies - He heard Sidious say it: his new name.


Revenge of the Sith: The Official Novelization Chapter 17: "The Face of the Dark"

But there's no indication of what it means, or why the Force chose it for him.

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    @Alistair86 My working (headcanon) theory is that the Force chose a name meaning "Father", because prophecy – Jason Baker Jan 18 '17 at 17:20
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    @JasonBaker vader is the Dutch word for father. – Glorfindel Jan 18 '17 at 18:00
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    @Glorfindel i.stack.imgur.com/6NNcS.jpg – Jason Baker Jan 18 '17 at 18:05
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    Darth Skippy was already taken. – user100464 Jan 18 '17 at 20:08
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    Ah yes, the good ol' Force Come Up With Sith Lord Names power. An often overlooked yet integral part of one's Dark Side training. – Thomas Jacobs Jan 19 '17 at 7:23

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