28

Really, why did he?

We see in the prequels (and even more so in Legends) how whenever a Sith becomes weak, he gets killed off by his own kind. One example is the Apprentice who becomes more powerful than the Master. Or as we can see in SWTOR trailers, Darth Malgus kills his badly injured master.

While the situation may be reversed here (it's the apprentice injured, not the master), we saw how Palpatine easily gave up Count Dooku simply because of this age, although he was a very powerful Sith.

And now it becomes clear that Darth Vader would no longer be able to become as powerful as the Emperor predicted because of his injuries (which indeed is the case: although foretold by a prophecy to be an extremely powerful Force user, losing his limbs cuts off of Vader's powers and abilities).

Doesn't it make a lot more sense for Palpatine to give up on Vader and find a new, more powerful apprentice?

  • 26
    “Doesn't it make a lot more sense for Palpatine to give up on Vader and find a new, more powerful apprentice?” He had just murdered virtually every Jedi in existence, so finding a new, more powerful apprentice might have been a bit tricky. – Paul D. Waite Aug 13 '14 at 15:27
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    He invested a hell of a lot of time and energy into Anakin. He wanted some sort of return on the investment, however meager it might have been. – Wad Cheber Jun 15 '15 at 6:28
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    Palpatine gave up on Dooku when he realised that it was Vader whom he should be investing in. – Möoz Nov 30 '15 at 20:18
20

Adding to DVKs point that an injured Vader might still be powerful:

While the situation may be reversed here (it's the apprentice injured, not the master), we saw how Palpatine easily gave up Count Dooku simply because of this age, although he was a very powerful Sith.

Injuries may be healed (even so with the advanced technology of the SW universe), but so far age cannot be reversed. So, helping Vader was an investment that could still pay off for many years. Dooku was just past his due date.

And now it becomes clear that Darth Vader would no longer be able to become as powerful as the Emperor predicted because of his injuries (which indeed is the case: although foretold by a prophecy to be an extremely powerful Force user, losing his limbs cuts off of Vader's powers and abilities).

Which might be indeed a good thing, given the work relationships Siths usually have. Anyway, Luke's prosthetic arm does not seem to cause him any trouble, so maybe you can assume that Vader's prosthetics do not weaken him much.

Doesn't it make a lot more sense for Palpatine to give up on Vader and find a new, more powerful apprentice?

Healing Vader appears to take a few weeks/months. If Palpatine had none ready, training a new Sith even to the rank of apprentice could take years.

Also, the Jedis were exterminated or in hiding, so even if Vader was weakened he was unlikely to be in the position of having to fight for his life with a lightsaber. Against non Jedis, Vader was almost as invulnerable as ever.

Note that in the original trilogy, Vader is more a representant of the Emperor than a true warrior (except in the final battle). Palpatine was holding his control of the Empire through the military, the Force was used to ensure that the military were kept in check. For this role, Vader's most important attribute were his "mind tricks" and his experience as a Jedi agent and officer.

Of course, these arguments could be countered by "but then Palpatine would have saved Dooku too". Against this, I would point that when Dooku was killed Palpatine still had Vader in reserve as a more valious agent, and the Rule of Two.

  • 2
    Wut. Vader was responsible for tracking down and killing all of the surviving Jedi. He was the king of the warriors, son. – Josh Schwarzzeskywalker Aug 16 '15 at 20:35
  • @JoshSchwarzzeskywalker- Not all of them. Starkiller was at least partly responsible for that. – PointlessSpike Apr 13 '16 at 12:48
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    what IS dumb is that the emperor kills off all the little Jedi. I mean, why would you? You can sit and train them up and turn them and kill the ones who are going to be all edgy and 'good'. Instead, he just kills a source of future sith! What a numb nuts the emperor is. – bharal Dec 12 '16 at 17:31
18

I don't have a canon cite, BUT:

  • Even with injuries, Anakin Skywalker is still a Chosen One, with the highest known Midichlorian count among Force Sensitives and borne of the Force iself (which Sidous knows of as per "Darth Palgueis" novel); and thus the most powerful Apprentice that the Emperor has at hand.

    • He DID try to find more powerful apprentices (e.g. the whole Starkiller saga) when he had the chance. But during the events of ROTS, none were found.

    • Remember that Vader easily finished off ALL the Jedi that were left alive after Order 66 whom he crossed paths with.

  • Especially in light of the fact that Obi-Wan inflicted them and Sidious saved him, Vader is now super deeply beholden to the Emperor, both psychologically, AND physiologically.

    • And, Vader's injuries actually help here - while he is less powerful due to them, that makes the Emperor see it as a positive; as a weakened Anakin (the only one ever with the power to kill Darth Sidious) is - in his imagination - no longer a match for him.
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    Plus, he would have even more rage if kept alive, which would make him a more powerful sith also – ZenLogic Jul 30 '14 at 19:40
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    Pretty good summary. I would add that a Sith master has a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, an apprentice who is too powerful may overthrow him; on the other, a strong apprentice is extremely useful. The apprentice can be sent on missions which require a capable Sith but are too dangerous for the master to risk personally, or be sacrificed in pursuit of some larger goal. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 30 '14 at 21:43
  • Only one with the power or only one with the power and opportunity and the willingness to take it? – The Fallen Jul 30 '14 at 23:38
  • @SSumner - he was presumably more powerful than any Jedi. If he was trained enough he could have taken OB1 – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 31 '14 at 1:14
  • At least according to the old Canon, Luke was as powerful as Vader pre-injuries (and had the opportunity, but did not take it to avoid falling to the dark side). And remember Mace Windu (maybe; it's possible he could have been bluffing) would have defeated him if not for Anakin. Also, we don't know if a Jedi from another time could have killed him. – The Fallen Jul 31 '14 at 1:18
9

Adding to the excellent answers above, in the excellent The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, Ian McDiarmid discussed Palpatine's relationship with Anakin.

After lunch, Sidious's scene is quickly but poignantly completed. "There is a moment-just one moment," McDiarmid remembers. "It's just after Anakin's been almost destroyed and he's got a little life in him. Palpatine has sent for the medical team and he's waiting for them to arrive - and he just very gently touches Anakin's forehead. Sidious doesn't have any of the qualities we normally associate with humanity, except he does have a master-servant relationship with Anakin. Anakin means something to him."

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  • 1
    This was my thought as well. Watching Palpatine in the movies, I got the impression that, although opportunistic, scheming, domineering, a control freak, a bully, etc., he wasn't evil just for the sake of devil worship. Every worthwhile villain believes his cause is just, after all. Ultimately, Palpatine just wanted peace, right? :) Anyway, his relationship with Anakin was paternal. He was fond of him. He understands that people love, and he embraces emotional attachments (in stark contrast to Yoda's camp). – rojo May 10 '16 at 13:22
5

It isn't unfathomable for the Emperor to have grown attached to the young Jedi who he has groomed to be his apprentice. Though, he would have been better to have left Anakin to die.

After watching ROTS, it is clear the Emperor believes that Anakin has the power to destroy him. Rather than destroying that threat, Palpatine wanted to neurtralise it. It's pretty obvious elements of the fight with Windu were staged by Palpatine to set Anakin up. The only time we see Palpatine look truly afraid is when Mace is JUST about to strike him down. Cue Anakin.

Palpatine trusts Anakin. Not the trust that we might have with a friend, but the type of trust where you know how a person will respond or react. You know their buttons and when to press them. Except, the Emperor didn't understand love. Not truly.

The Emperor saved Anakin because he needed him. Trusted him. Was attached to him.

  • I agree with this. He trusts Anakin the way you trust a favored tool. You know the feel and the weight of it, you know how it handles, you know what to do with it to get the desired result. It's not "love," but it is "attachment" of a kind. – Wolfie Inu Nov 30 '15 at 11:57
1

Sidious knew Vader was still extremely powerful and had lost everything now. His despair at the death of Padme and his slaughter of the Jedi, at the temple, ensured sidious that Vader could never return to the Jedi order. Until ROTJ, Anakin Skywalker had lost everything. Upon discovering he had a son and the Emperor was trying to take that away also, he rediscovered his humanity and returned to the light. He always knew Sidious had lied to him and destroyed him. He just wouldn't let it happen again.

0

It has also been suggested that Vader still had the power to become very powerful. The emperor held the view that Vader's suit should in principle not limit his power, but that Vader's problems were psychological. See for example the dark lord novel, or the Star Wars wiki on Vader.

-3

Good answers here. I would only add that you also look into the rumor that Palpatine killed Padme while she was birthing Luke and Leia. It kind of wraps around why he saves Anakin.

Here is a link to the youtube of this fan theory:

  • -1, Need to elaborate on "kind of wraps around why he saves Anakin". Would help to summarize the main points of the video. Also, that narrator is going to put me to sleep if I don't punch him first. – DCShannon Mar 2 '16 at 21:31
-4

He saved Vader because he had to. Like, the plot was so bad that that was hy - because Vader is there in the prequel. I suppose you might argue that there was nobody else - everyone else was dead!

I would assume the Emperor, a fairly pragmatic sort, would prefer an apprentice there and then, to run around and do things - the Empire being a pretty big place. And given said Apprentice was pretty weak, he wouldn't be in a place to really subvert the Emperor's plans.

I would have preferred a similar "Emperor electrocutes Anakin like he did Luke, only this time nobody is there to throw the Emperor into a convenient pit, so Vader turns" ending, which would neatly parallel ROTJ, but I would also like a billion dollars, and if you're a wish-giving genie please consider the second wish, not the first.

I don't think it had much to do with Vader's position as the chosen one. The emperor didn't give two figs about jedi principles, so why would he give care about a jedi prophesy?

In the movie, the Emperor is a nurturing fellow, helping Anakin become a better Sith. This doesn't seem to be the Sith way, but who knows!

  • 1
    I zoned out when you started waffling about the Aztecs... this answer is woeful. – Ingu Shama Dec 12 '16 at 9:51
  • @InguShama that's too bad, i really like my answer! – bharal Dec 12 '16 at 17:28

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