In the Pre-Disney Star Wars canon did Darth Vader - who spent his childhood in slavery as Anakin Skywalker - express any opinions on the Empire's use of either slaves or indentured labor, in any animations, novels, comics, video games, or other related media?

I'm solely interested in material that was released prior to Disney purchasing the franchise (The Extended Universe), and not anything post-Disney.

  • 1
    The legitimacy of this answer depends on if you recognize anakin and darth vader as the same person, but the three part episode of the clone wars "Kidnapped" (S4E11), "Slaves of the Republic" (S4E12), "Escape from Kadavo" (S4E13) features Slavery and Anakin expresses some pretty exact distaste for it.
    – Sidney
    Sep 16, 2022 at 15:04
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    @Sidney - Vader has Anakin's memories and life experience, so regardless of whether or not Vader personally considers himself to be Anakin Skywalker Anakin Skywalker's past is his past. Sep 16, 2022 at 15:34
  • Where did 'born into slavery…' come from, please? Sep 16, 2022 at 19:04
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    @Robbie Goodwin: It was in the Phantom Menace. Sep 17, 2022 at 7:16
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    @RobbieGoodwin - Anakin was born a slave; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/187603/20774
    – Valorum
    Sep 17, 2022 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


This comes up in the 2006 Dark Times comic series, set shortly after Revenge of the Sith. In Issue 2, Vader learns that the Empire is selling civilians into slavery as part of their occupation of New Plympto:

Clone Commander Vill: Our transport was re-tasked, by order of the Emperor.

Darth Vader: Where was it sent? Has new fighting broken out somewhere?

Vill: No, sir. The ship is transporting captured Nosaurian civilians to the slave market on Orvax IV.

This causes Vader to flash back to his childhood, and the narration notes that "there will be no sleep for Vader this night."

Panels from Dark Times Issue #2. Panel 1 shows a flashback to The Phantom Menace, with young Anakin saying "I had a dream that I became a Jedi—and I came back and freed all the slaves." Panel 2 shows present-day Vader walking out onto a balcony, with the narration "Slaves." Panel 3 shows a skyscraper on coruscant, with the narration "There will be no sleep for Vader this night."

In Issue 3, he raises the subject with the Emperor, who tells him that slavery under the Empire is "merciful" compared to "what would otherwise be necessary" (implied to be mass executions) and leaves Vader standing alone. It's implied that Vader doesn't approve of what the Empire is doing, but over the rest of the series, he doesn't go as far as openly disagreeing or countermanding the Emperor's orders.

Panels from Dark Times Issue #3

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    I'm pretty sure that the Emperor is actually saying that it's merciful compared to the widespread executions that would otherwise have been required. Being a slave might be bad, but it beats being dead!
    – nick012000
    Sep 15, 2022 at 7:27
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    By the way: Nice visual narration. Sep 15, 2022 at 8:41
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    @nick012000 - yeah, he's clearly saying "slavery is merciful compared to the outright genocide that would otherwise be necessary to deal with these people". I don't think he's implying in any way that this slavery is somehow different to slavery in OR. It's just the purpose that is different.
    – Davor
    Sep 15, 2022 at 11:39
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    Orson Scott Card portrayed a similar opinion in an early chapter of his Pastwatch, suggesting that slavery was an improvement over human sacrifice. I dunno, which would you prefer? Sep 15, 2022 at 13:09
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    @nick012000 Fixed, thanks! That's what I get for skimming the text...
    – Milo P
    Sep 15, 2022 at 16:45

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