I was watching the first Death Star assault again and I noticed that out of all the Imperial fighters sent out against the rebels, Vader's ship was of a different design.

So why didn't any of the Rebels acknowledge that Vader was out on the battlefield at that point i.e. point out that the oddly-shaped fighter flying in formation with the other two fighters was unique and thus probably belonged to Vader himself?

2 Answers 2


Darth Vader was using his TIE Advanced X1, a prototype TIE fighter and while it was the only one present at the Battle of Yavin it was not the only one in existence (though Vader’s was also modified beyond the usual prototype). Therefore the Rebel Alliance couldn't know for sure it was Vader, it might've been one of the other prototypes or one the first of the production models.

It's also worth noting Vader’s specific model of TIE fighter probably wasn't common knowledge to most rebel pilots (the people who actually saw his fighter) but rather only to the few that have fought him in combat (and survived, and found out after the fact it was Vader in that fighter) (the chances of a rebel pilot meeting Vader on the field being so slim there's no point in briefing them all about Vader's specific TIE fighter).

There's also a possibility that if rebel command (Mon-Mothma, Leia etc...) were aware of Vader, they might not have told their troops due to morale concerns. After all, I certainly wouldn't expect not to be scared out of my flight pants if I was told I would be fighting the evil space wizard.


Most likely they already knew, but it didn't matter

Leia met Vader and Tarkin on Death Star, so she probably told Rebel leadership who is in command. Others (Luke, Solo etc ...) also met Vader briefly, so they too could spread the news. But at that point it didn't matter, Death Star had to be attacked, Vader or no Vader.

Note that Rebels already met Vader's TIE Advanced in a Rebels cartoon. Everything in that show is somewhat over the top, so while Rebels almost effortlessly destroy Imperials, Vader in same matter destroys them. In a New Hope Vader was not so powerful, he did allow himself to be jumped by essentially upgraded freighter (Millennium Falcon) piloted by Han Solo. Anyway, if we take events from Rebels to be canon, Rebels would probably have pretty good picture about Vader's personal fighter and his crack piloting skills. Combining with information that he is on Death Star, it simply reinforces the notion that Rebel X-wing and Y-wing pilots bravely went to their final mission in order to save their comrades and idea of Rebellion.

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