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In A New Hope, Darth Vader is seen as extremely tall. He is perhaps close to 7' tall, although other sources cite his height closer to 6'8.

In episodes 2 and 3, we see Anakin is the height of a normal sized man. Why would he be so much taller as Darth Vader?

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  • 18
    Why not? Anakin had all of his limbs chopped off.
    – phantom42
    Jan 12, 2015 at 18:59
  • 29
    Why be rebuilt at 5'11" when you can be rebuilt at 7'?
    – Thien
    Jan 12, 2015 at 19:00
  • 23
    Because Darth Vader is an imposing, indimidating badass, and young Anakin is a whiny little bitch.
    – KSmarts
    Jan 12, 2015 at 21:20
  • 6
    He uses Gene Simmons' KISS platform shoes. Apr 16, 2015 at 2:06
  • 15
    For reference, Hayden Christensen is 6'2". As @phantom42 notes, Vader is 6'8" (including armored boots and tall helmet?). So, it's really only 6 inches we're looking at, and what guy wouldn't want 6 more inches?
    – user31178
    Apr 16, 2015 at 4:41

5 Answers 5

37

Keep in mind that the being we know as Darth Vader is not simply Anakin Skywalker in a suit. Anakin's physical body was used as the foundation, true, but Darth Vader is much more:

  • Both of Anakin's legs were removed and replaced with robotic prostheses.
  • Vader's armor is quite thick and likely adds an inch or more to both his height AND overall girth (torso, legs, arms, etc.), thus making him appear both taller and bulkier
  • Vader's overall look is designed to be large and intimidating, thus making him a more effective symbol of the Emperor's power

Given these facts, it's not difficult to see how a 6'1" Anakin could become a 6'8" Vader. There are approximately 5-6 inches added at the feet and helmet alone, so the remaining inch or two could easily be dispersed throughout the shins & legs.

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  • 2
    Armoring the soles may be necessary in order to protect the circuitry from fire or other environmental conditions. Regardless, the soles alone - even unarmored - are quite thick and would add height. As anyone who's worn thick boots and/or armor would tell you - it all adds up to make you a few inches taller.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 30, 2015 at 16:52
  • 4
    @Oldcat I've worn work/steel toe boots that have at least 1 inch soles, and my boots don't need to hide or protect mechanical apparatuses. Also, if you look at the pics of Vader getting electrocuted by the Emperor, you can see that his helmet is at least an inch higher than the top of his head. There's 2-4 inches accounted for there. The rest could easily be distributed among his shins, thighs, and lower spine/waist.
    – user31178
    Apr 16, 2015 at 4:47
  • 2
    If his legs were removed, the replacements could be slightly longer. Apr 16, 2015 at 12:37
  • 4
    @Oldcat - He has no legs. His lower half is all mechanical.
    – Wad Cheber
    Apr 23, 2015 at 4:08
  • 4
    Extra couple of inches makes all the difference
    – user46509
    Apr 13, 2016 at 15:45
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Based on everything I've read, Hayden Christensen is 6 feet even or 6'1". Prowse, at the time of the filming of the original Star Wars, was 6'6". Anakin Skywalker is roughly nineteen at the beginning of Episode 2 and roughly 24 by the end of Episode 3.

Human males can grow into their mid twenties, so the idea that Vader as he stands by the end of Episode 3 is taller than Anakin at the beginning of Episode 2 is perfectly reasonable. Both of my sons grew substantially after eighteen and into their early twenties.

Most importantly, the actor's height is not the character's height. Darth Vader was played by three different people in the original trilogy, only one of which was six and half feet tall. Most of his fighting was done by Bob Anderson in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, who was only 6'1. Anderson wore lifts, but was probably not as tall as Prowse even so. The 6'10" soccer player in Invictus played by Matt Damon was not short because he was played by the sub-six foot Damon. Camera tricks were used throughout to make him appear taller.

Christensen, at 6'1, is also substantially taller than many of his castmates. He did not look short in either Episodes 2 or 3. He was visibly taller than Obi-Wan and Palpatine, more than the less-than-three-inch height difference of the actors would suggest (Guinness, MacGregor, and McDiarmid are all 5'10). Christensen still towered over the 5'3" Portman, and scenes with them walking together certainly made him look very tall.

Finally, Skywalker's height on Wookieepedia is 1.88 meters (roughly 6'2), while Vader's is 2.02 meters, but Vader's height includes his helmet and boots, which he is never without, and 2.02 meters comes out to 6'6" roughly, making Vader in the helmet and boots as tall as Prowse without. That would put a fully grown Anakin with proportional limbs (Vader's limbs are proportional; his torso is that of a very large and tall man, which Prowse was, and he is always drawn as such, so the idea that they used longer limbs to make him so tall does not fit, as it would render a taller, narrower figure). Realistically, Vader without his helmet and boots would be about six three (an inch and a half for the boots and an inch and a half for the helmet, which sat atop an under-helmet/mask), so you're looking at only an inch difference at most.

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  • and also there's Sebastian Shaw, who's about 6' 2" and who played the redeemed Anakin Skywalker in ROTJ
    – Kirby
    Jan 22, 2016 at 7:33
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Hayden Christensen is 6'2". David Prowse is 6'5". That's only a 3" difference.

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  • One which we assume is mostly given by the helmet height
    – Mikasa
    Apr 22, 2017 at 11:45
  • Yeah, so? (I think the conclusion is missing here).
    – SQB
    Jul 2, 2017 at 16:09
  • According to IMDB and GossipGist Hayden's height is exactly 6' and not 6'2". imdb.com/name/nm0159789 and gossipgist.com/….
    – Caltor
    Sep 19, 2020 at 10:58
0

Darth Vader's height is listed at 2.02 meters which is 6'7.5". Since the first actor in the Vader suit was David Prowse, then 6'6", it's wholly believable that Vader is 6'7.5" (at most). Hayden Christensen's height is between 6'0" and 6'1" depending on the source. Not only do Vader's artificial parts make him taller, they give him a "straighter spine", and prevent him from shrinking. So Vader is the same height when he wakes up, as he is throughout the rest of the day.

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    Where are these numbers sources from?
    – Möoz
    Sep 18, 2016 at 22:34
-2

Well he got almost all his limbs cut off so the emperor use that to his advantage and made darth Vader taller so he would be more intimidating

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  • 4
    Makes sense but could you find proof. Apr 13, 2016 at 15:59

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