Darth Vader's TIE fighter was spun out into space at the end of Ep.IV and I always wondered how long it took him to limp into a space station or back to some civilization. I imagined his suit being the only thing that kept him alive in the cold dark of space - where others might perish. Anyone know what happened to him after Han Solo blasted him and the Death Star blew up?

Earlier in the episode when they chase a tiny Imperial fighter near the Death Star they say the following:

LUKE: It followed us!

BEN: No. It's a short range fighter.

HAN: There aren't any bases around here. Where did it come from?

. . .

BEN: A fighter that size couldn't get this deep into space on its own.

I know that Vader's ship isn't identical to the little TIE fighter they chased to the Death Star, but it seems that these types of spacecraft are dependant upon larger vessels to carry them deep into space. So...

What happened to Vader when he was on his own at the end of Ep.IV?

Vader's TIE Advanced

  • 2
    The Death Star had moved and was close (relatively speaking) to Yavin rather than in the middle of space. Nov 12, 2015 at 3:45

4 Answers 4


According to C-canon, Vader made it in his damaged TIE Advanced/x1 fighter (which posessed hyperdrive) to Imperial Relay Outpost V-798 (nearest Imperial post to Yavin).

Once there, he commandeered the outpost's Lambda Shuttle to fly back to Empire.

The events are described in Star Wars: Empire 14: The Savage Heart comic.

According to Wookieepedia, the events of that comic happened 0 BBY–0 ABY (35:3 GrS)

Battle of Yavin was 0 BBY (Between 35:3:5 and 35:3:21) (referenced on Wookieepedia)

Therefore, the only thing that can be said was that Vader was in space at most between 9 and 25 days, but could be as little as 1. No further canon info to narrow it down exists AFIK

  • 3
    (for those curious: GrS is Great Resynchronization, a time system used by Wookiepedia: starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_ReSynchronization) Sep 11, 2012 at 5:08
  • I won't bother recapping the comic - it's fully recapped in the linked Wikia article and seems tangential to your question. If you want me to add to the answer, please comment to that effect Sep 11, 2012 at 5:11
  • 12
    He must have smelled like feet wrapped in leathery burnt bacon...
    – Monty129
    Sep 11, 2012 at 9:43
  • Thanks for the link+1. Loved reading about the outpost and its critters! Sep 12, 2012 at 13:06
  • Good thing his suit recycles air & waste. Ewww.
    – Omegacron
    May 29, 2015 at 20:39

Vader was flying a prototype of the TIE-Advanced fighter - note the solar panels are arranged different (angled planes rather than flat).

The ship shows up in a few publications in the EU, and it is shown to have modest hyperdrive capabilities - although you don't see Vader use this at the end of the movie.


The canon novel Lost Stars indicates that an Imperial freighter was dispatched to pick him up only a few hours after the destruction of the Death Star:

After a few hours at her post, Ciena’s ears rang with the squeals of badly filtered transmissions.


Shortly after Ciena had sent this information to command, she received a message to report to docking bay forty-seven. Nash shot her a look as she walked out, clearly as curious as she was about what could possibly be going on. She hoped to be able to fill him in soon.

Instead, she found she had a new assignment.

A stone-faced commander told her and the other pilot, "Lieutenant Ree, Lieutenant Sai, you're to take a Gozanti class freighter to the Yavin system to rendezvous with Lord Vader and bring him back to the Devastator."

Lost Stars Chapter 10

Since the Devastator was parked around the remains of Alderaan at the time, not tremendously far from Yavin, he was likely only adrift in space for no more than a standard day.


The NavComp application on the d6holocron website gives Vader's travel time from Yavin to Vaal within the 'D6 Star Wars RPG' universe.

The TIE Advanced has a Class 4 hyperdrive and Vader was in space for 196 Hours (8.17 days).

  • 2
    He must have smelled like... feet wrapped in leathery, burnt bacon. Minus the issues wieth whether an RPG is canon, this is a direct answer. I'm going to vote up.
    – John O
    Mar 31, 2014 at 21:28

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