Did Darth Vader ever return to Tatooine for any reason? (For example: to hunt Jedi?)

I know mention is made in a couple of the EU books that Tatooine would make a good place to hide Luke because it was such a painful place for Vader, but I never heard whether or not that actually stopped him from ever returning there.

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    Do you consider returning to being in the Tatoo system, or actually on the surface of Tatooine. I recall him tracking down a ship with a set of Death star plans, that was close enough to Tattooine for a life pod with droids to reach the surface...
    – Zoredache
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 8:19
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    Why would he want to? The sand is coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. What if it got into his suit?
    – chewie
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


Unless further stories altering this are written in the future, Darth Vader does not return to Tatooine after the events of Revenge of the Sith and before the events of A New Hope.

  • @MiloPrice: Short of new material, he definitely doesn't go there between the third and fourth films. Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 2:33
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    @MiloPrice: I am aware of the current inaccuracy of my answer. I'm not going to edit something after more than a year however, so this conversation will fill everyone in on my stuff-up. Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 2:36
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    @JamesSheridan - Given the recent changes to the canon (and the events of Star Wars : Darth Vader), this answer is now 100% incorrect. Rather than giving people incorrect info, you should probably consider either deleting or at least amending it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 17:20

Main Canon

Within the main canon of Star Wars (the 6 theatrical movies, Clone Wars TV series and film and Rebels TV series) there was no account of Anakin returning to Tatooine after becoming Darth Vader however in the latest Marvel comic series Star Wars : Darth Vader, we learn that he did indeed travel to Tatooine to converse with Jabba the Hutt and hire bounty hunters to search out the identity of the "mysterious pilot".

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"Legends" canon

The main EU novel dealing with Darth's rise to power is Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader. This book was written in consultation with LucasArts and contains a considerable amount of information about the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. In it, Obi-Wan learns (from Qui-Gon's force ghost) that Vader will never set foot on Tatooine again, supposedly making it an ideal place to hide young Luke:

“Qui-Gon!” he said. “Master!” Realizing that the locals were quickly going to brand him a madman if they heard him talking to himself, he ducked into the narrow alley between two stores. “Master, is Darth Vader Anakin?” he asked after a moment.

Yes. Although the Anakin you and I knew is imprisoned by the dark side.

“I was wrong to leave him on Mustafar. I should have made sure he was dead.”

The Force will determine Anakin’s future. Obi-Wan: Luke must not be told that Vader is his father until the time is right. “Should I take further steps to hide Luke?”

The core of Anakin that resides in Vader grasps that Tatooine is the source of nearly everything that causes him pain. Vader will never set foot on Tatooine, if only out of fear of reawakening Anakin.

Obi-Wan exhaled in relief. “Then my obligation is unchanged. But from what Yoda told me, I know that I have much to learn, Master.”

You were always that way, Obi-Wan.

Obviously in light of the recent canon changes, this assurance now seems rather more hollow.

  • This answer should be updated eventually. In the new Marvel comic, Star Wars: Darth Vader, Vader does return to Tatooine. Unless I am mistaken, this comic is Disney Cannon.
    – jliv902
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 17:07
  • @jliv902 - Yes indeed. I've updated accordingly. Good eyes, that man.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 17:22
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    Seems rather out of character for Darth Vader to revisit Tatooine. I thought he said that he doesn't like sand...
    – Wolfie Inu
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 9:38

Vader returned to Tatooine at least once between 19BBY and 0BBY. He was an ally of Jabba the Hutt, and a canon Star Wars comic shows Vader inside of Jabba’s Palace with several Stormtroopers. At the beginning of Episode IV, Vader was very near Tatooine during his incursion of the Rebel ship Tantive IV, the vessel that C3PO and R2-D2 escaped from. I believe that Vader chose not to pursue the droids on Tatooine himself because he didn’t particularly care about the Death Star battle station or its success.

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” — Darth Vader, Episode IV.

Vader had no compelling reason to go to Tatooine during the events of Episodes IV, V, and VI.

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    There's very little in this answer that isn't already in the accepted answer above.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 18:42

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