I know there are several questions on the stack about how long Anakin survived on Mustafar, or how does Vader's suit help keep him alive.

But I am wondering, considering that wounds from a lightsaber are almost immediately cauterized, and Anakin already had survived losing one limb, could he have been able to live outside of the Vader suit if he had not been engulfed in flames?

To me it has always seemed like this was what really sealed his fate as far as the full disfigurement and the inability to live without constant life support of his suit.

So if he had not been burned, would this have changed anything for Anakin?

I mean he would still would have needed prosthetics, but would he have been able to move and live without the constant life support?

  • 1
    You might find this interesting What if Darth Vader never burned
    – Longshanks
    Jan 9, 2019 at 20:27
  • yes, imagine a fit agile Darth Vader capable of force lightning - then you get into the discussion about whether Palpatine 'intended' for him to be badly injured at Mustufar so that he could be contained & controlled. He had already killed younglings, so he was already well on the road to bad before he was burnt.
    – Andrew
    Jan 9, 2019 at 20:43
  • @Andrew Annakin reached the destination of bad and evil by the time he killed younglings and even earlier by the time when he killed Tuskan children. Annikan reached the end of the road to evil sometime at least as early as Attack of the Clones and was not still on it. Jan 10, 2019 at 20:39
  • 1
    No, he had not - he never fully completed the journey to evil, because it was a journey, not a destination - hence Luke being able to redeem him - When he killed Tusken'lings that was not full evil, just a step along the way. He was at his most evil when he fully gave in to the dark side - as he did with the Tusken, but more so once he gave himself to Sideous, resulting in killing jedi. The Tusken event was a foreshadowing if you will.
    – Andrew
    Jan 19, 2019 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


Probably not

According to Wookieepedia (citing the Lords of the Sith novel), the suit's major functions were life support related. Therefore, the suit would not be required had he not been burned since countless characters in the Star Wars universe lose limbs and never need anything beyond a prosthetic replacement.

One caveat, however, is that Vader's condition left him unable to use his prosthetics on his own:

The helmet created Vader's menacing growl due to his natural voice being very weak from vocal-cord damage, and contained neural needles that painfully connected with the top of Vader's skull and spine, to form one interconnected unit. Without these, Vader could not use his artificial limbs.

Wookieepedia: Vader's Armor (emphasis mine)

I suppose it's technically possible that this is due to the lightsaber attack (making the suit necessary without being burned) but to my knowledge, there's nothing in canon that would lead one to believe this inability to use his prosthetics is related to anything other than being burned.

  • 2
    Anakin seemed to have decent use of his prosthetic right hand before he was burned, so that's evidence against the lightsaber wounds preventing control.
    – Nolimon
    Jan 14, 2019 at 19:22

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