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Unlike Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader never seems to laugh. Have there been any offical works, including canon, non-canon, and Legends material, where (post-Episode III) Vader is shown or described as laughing?

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  • 1
    Very related
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 16:56
  • Anakin laughs a few times in the prequels but I'm pretty confident we don't see Vader laugh. However, I'm going off of my memory so I could be wildly mistaken.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 17:09
  • 4
    Where does Darth eat? At the Admiral Snackbar.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 17:53
  • 1
    ”As you know, I am a Sith, and jokes are beyond me.” Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 7:18
  • 1
    @Valorum I thought he eats at the Death Star cantine and has the spaghetti al arabiatta. Mister Stephens told me.
    – Marakai
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 8:38

4 Answers 4

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According to canon, Vader doesn't laugh. He's not above making dad jokes, but he doesn't even crack a chuckle at his own antics.

Vader does not laugh with him. Vader never laughs. Has never laughed. Not since he was Anakin. And that is a time he dares not remember.

Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!


Moving waaaay down the canon scale, his clone is positively manic.

She never had a chance to find out. A dark figure suddenly stepped out of the shadows. The figure had broad shoulders and carried a stone ax. Tash recognized him immediately.

“Offworlder!” Maga bellowed. “Free my people!”

Vader laughed. “Another primitive savage for my labor camps.”

Galaxy of Fear: Clones

As is Darth in Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles - Escape from the Jedi Temple

C-3PO: Well, you're pulling on my tummy wires.

Darth Vader: [Laughs evilly]

As so is Darth (pig) Vader from the Angry Birds game.

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  • Does he smile though? I don't think he does either. In legends, he smiled when the Death Star was destroyed, but I think that was one of, if not the only time, except when Luke removed his mask, but then he was Anakin, not Vader.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 9:10
  • does his not laughing stem from his physiology? that is, perhaps he can no longer laugh? villains laugh in fiction but not from humor, more from scorn or triumph.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 4:26
  • "another primitive savage for my labor camps" -- every time MY dad would say this at dinner, I wanted to crawl under the table. yeah, frigging dad jokes...
    – releseabe
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 5:43
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As a guest character in Soulcalibur IV:

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  • Wow, good find!
    – Milo P
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 22:43
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Legends: Yes

He laughs in Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows:

Sing tensed. She had no weapons, but that did not mean she was unarmed. "Are you calling me a fool— Lord Vader?"

He laughed.

Few people had heard the Dark Lord of the Sith laugh. When amused, his reaction as promulgated by the specialized respiratory equipment that enveloped him inclined more toward a hissing sound. But this was a real laugh, as genuine as it was humorless.

"You amuse me." He leaned slightly forward. "A rare occurrence, one that by itself justifies a portion of what the Imperial government is paying you."

(Source: Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows, page 146-147 of paperback edition)

And again in the novelization of The Force Unleashed:

There was no blood. Instead of pressing the attack, the apprentice stood his ground. Despite himself, he was as surprised as his former Master clearly was.

For a moment, the only sounds were the twin humming of the lightsabers and the wheezing of Darth Vader's respirator.

Then the Dark Lord laughed.

It was an awful sound, empty of humor and full of mockery. In it, the apprentice heard a decade and a half of torture and abuse.

(Source: The Force Unleashed (novel), page 309 of hardcover edition)

He also smiles in Death Star:

"We are approaching the drop back into realspace."

Vader turned and regarded the man. "And?"

Captain Pychor swallowed. "N-nothing else, my lord. I just thought to inform you."

"Thank you, Captain. I am already aware of it."

"Yes, my lord." The captain bowed, and backed away.

Inside the helmet, Vader smiled, though it caused him pain to make the expression. But pain was always with him; a little more meant nothing. It wasn't even necessary to call upon the dark side to deal with it. It was purely a matter of will.

(Source: Death Star (novel), page 50-51 of paperback edition)

I found these thanks to a thread of the same name on r/MawInstallation, and confirmed them in my copies of the cited novels.

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Darth Vader does not laugh. He laughs when he is Anakin and he laughs in Star Wars the Yoda Chronicles, which is Legends, but Darth Vader never laughs in canon. He may false laugh (ha ha ha) in canon, but I cannot remember whether he does or not. But the other question is: does Darth Vader smile. Darth Vader has a mask, and so we will never actually know if he smiles. He smiles when he is Anakin, and he smiles when Luke takes off his mask, but by that point he is Anakin again.

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  • Welcome to SciFi.SE! If you have a separate question (i.e. whether Darth Vader ever smiled), please post it as a new question.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 10:48

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