In the 3rd episode of the series ("The Revenge of the Sith"), in the ending we see that Anakin kills Padme. Then he fights Obi-Wan, loses, and the Emperor saves him. When Vader asks if Padme's alright, Palpatine explains that he "killed her in his anger".

At this moment, for Anakin, it should be clear that the Dark Side was the wrong thing to follow, that the Sith way of living (in short: emotions) did not provide anything good and the Jedi way (in short: reason) was better.

However, in one of the last scenes we see both of them watching the construction of the Death Star, and of course we know that Palpatine was Vader's master ("The New Hope" and so on) for the next 20 years.

I can't realize that for 20 years Vader could not realize that following the Dark Side made him kill Padmé and he was somewhat betrayed by Palpatine. Is there any explanation for this?

(I saw only six Star Wars movies, no books, nor have I watched "Clone Wars".)

  • 1
    Related question on Science Fiction & Fantasy.
    – Null
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 18:46
  • Wouldn't utter despair, guilt, self-loathing be the very emotions that feed the "dark side"? Wouldn't, hating himself for what he has done, he assess himself as truly being a denizen of the dark side? Commented May 15, 2023 at 20:35

6 Answers 6


When Vader killed Padme in anger he lost his reason to live, he'd betrayed the Jedi order (using Palpatine's fictitious uprising as an excuse) and committed murder to increase his power and gain the Sith Lord's trust.

No doubt up until this point he had ambitions of saving Padme, reforming the republic with them at it's head and giving her everything. A dark and twisted devotion to her.

After her death he no longer had these motivations, I believe the fall to the dark side is very much about self deception and finding justification for your actions - after all everyone is the hero of their own story! He blamed Padme's death on the fact she'd betrayed him (bringing Obi Wan to kill him), the betrayal was then cemented when Obi Wan crippled him and left him for dead.

In his mind he'd gone to great lengths for the people he loved, these very people had then betrayed him. He'd been left alone with a crippled body and nowhere to turn... except to the man who'd rescued him and who had tried to help him save Padme - Palpatine.

  • At first I'd accepted System Down's answer, but I was thinking and I find your answer as more probable. The transformation into machine is not the reason, as he became evil after killing all from Trade Federation (his eyes became yellow). So your answer is better, however SD's one is also very good, thank you both.
    – Voitcus
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:33
  • Much appreciated, I tried to write a complimentary answer - as SD has already written he's been twisted and destroyed, I tried to give my reasoning for how he'd reached that point.
    – Liath
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 12:41

The best way to put it, I think, is that Vader's spirit had been broken. The combination of succumbing to the Dark Side (and doing unspeakably evil deeds in its name), the destruction of his human body, and Padme's death all contributed in pushing Vader so far into the Darkness that he was barely human anymore. In Episode IV, Obi Wan describes Vader thus:

"He's more machine now than man. Twisted and evil."

Except for a tiny sliver that resurfaces at the end of the original trilogy, all humanity and goodness had been squeezed out of Vader, and all that was left was pure evil that the Emperor used to great effect.


Vader had nowhere else to go, and no one else to turn to.



He didn't know who his father was, or if he even had a father.


His mother, the only real family he ever knew, was dead.


He had only met his step-father and step-brother once, for a few minutes, and hadn't left on very good terms with them.

He had no family left, aside from a step-brother and step-father he had only met once for a day or so, and he didn't seem to care for either of them.


Anakin had very few friends.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan was certainly his best friend, but Obi-Wan had just chopped off both Anakin's legs and one of his arms, then left him to die on a volcano. That bridge had clearly been burned.


Padme was also his friend, but she was dead.

The other Jedi

The other Jedi had been allies and acquaintances, but he had personally killed dozens of younlings, participated in the murder of Mace Windu, and abetted the Emperor's plan to murder all the rest. The only survivors we know of are Yoda and Obi-Wan. We've already dealt with Obi-Wan; it is unlikely that Yoda would be any more conciliatory than Kenobi was.

Jar-Jar Binks

He might also have considered Jar-Jar a friend, but we don't know whether Jar-Jar would accept Anakin after all the atrocities he'd committed, or even how Anakin would have felt about turning to Jar-Jar after Padme's death. Speaking for myself, however, I'd rather die than spend five minutes with that infuriatingly annoying, blithering amphibious idiot.

He had murdered dozens of his friends, helped kill another, been mutilated by his best friend, participated in the plot to kill all the others - which was so successful that only two survived - and contributed to the death of his wife.



Anakin had spent most of his life as a slave on Tatooine, and grew to despise it.

I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.
- Attack of the Clones


After that, he lived at the Temple on Coruscant. The Jedi who ran the temple were now dead, some by his hand, and the Temple had become Palpatine's palace. Coruscant is actually where he set up his primary residence as Lord Vader.


His happiest days were spent on Naboo with Padme; returning to Naboo after her death would have been agonizing for him.

Of the places Anakin had spent a significant amount of time, none were particularly inviting now. He despised his true home - Tatooine, and he was too grief-stricken to revisit the place he'd been happiest - Naboo. On top of this, if he had chosen to abandon Palpatine after all that had happened, there wouldn't be a safe place for him to go - Imperial agents would hound his every step, an eventually kill him.


Before his treacherous switch to the Dark Side, Anakin had shunned material wealth, as was expected of all members of the Jedi Order. The Jedi were supposed to own only some clothing, a lightsaber, and, perhaps a few small personal items. Anakin was somewhat unique in that he also owned two droids.

Real Estate

He had none.


He had none.

He had no home to go to, and no money or valuable property with which he might obtain a home. He was faced with the choice of being penniless and homeless on his own, or being incredibly wealthy and powerful with Palpatine.

As per Wookieepedia:

Overwhelmed by his despair in the belief he had killed Amidala and their unborn child, which fulfilled his prophetic dreams of her death, Vader destroyed the medical droids and severely damaged the facility through the Force. He broke his bindings on the operating table and struggled to walk under the sheer weight of his new prostheses and armor. The only purpose that remained in Vader's life was his service to the new Emperor.


If he left Palpatine:

He would have no one to turn to, nowhere to go, and nothing to support himself; Palpatine would presumably hunt him down and kill him for his disloyalty.

If he stayed with Palpatine:

He would become rich, powerful, have ample opportunities to use his skills for evil, and eventually, he would have a chance to avenge what his new master had done by killing Palpatine.


First, you got your facts wrong Anakin didn't kill Padme, when she gave birth she lost the will to live entirely, her whole world fell apart. Her husband, left her and the senate and everything she worked for was gone. Anyways, the reason Vader stayed with Sidious is because he had nothing left, to fight for on the light side of the force.(I know this is a short answer.)


My feelings are that Anikan had mamy emotional issues. The death of his Mother. Not being accepted to the council, being married against Jedi order.

He was easily manipulated because of his emotional instability. And Sidious knew this.

He stayed as Vader because her had nothing left. Think about it. Did he ever have a true fight with his light saber? Did he use the force, other than a few chokes? Did he ever discuss things and feelings with Sidious as he did as Anikan?

Yeah, he knew the force, but never used it to its potential. Yeah, he could fight. ....but no one with skill. He became a wussy, who may be frightening, and knew the force, but never did anything to move himself forward, because he lost everything that was important to him.

A man with huge potential, but never capitalized on it.


He wasn't given much of a choice...

As per 2017 Marvel Comic Series, Star Wars: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, Palpatine gives his new apprentice an ultimatum: Join him, or die.

In the Grand Republic Medical Facility on Coruscant, Darth Vader repeats the word "No" as he remembers choking Padmé Amidala on Mustafar. As his new master, Darth Sidious, smirks, Vader lashes out with the Force, destroying the medical droids and even throwing the Emperor against the wall. Vader asks why Palpatine cannot bring her back as he said he could, and he replies that in his rage, Vader chose a different path, and even the dark side of the Force cannot bring her back. However, in her death, Padmé has given Vader a gift of pain, which he must accept or die. Vader agrees to live, and Palpatine says "Good." then shocks his apprentice with bolts of Force lightning. As Vader struggles in agony, Palpatine tells him to defend himself with his lightsaber. Vader retorts he has lost it in the duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and that the Jedi took it with him. Palpatine tells him that particular blade belonged to another—a Jedi—and he is a Sith. Acknowledging it has been a traumatic time for Vader, he warns if he touches him again with the Force, he will finish what Kenobi could not. He advises Vader to rise and follow as he has something to show him.

In the following arcs in this particular series (2017 Darth Vader), Darth Vader is sent on a series of tasks from hunting down Jedi, to bleeding a Jedi's lightsaber to take for his own, to fight an ancient Sith Lord (Momin) come alive, and finding a portal to some kind of dark spirit world on Mustafar, which Vader then makes his home base, despite experiencing loosing Padme` again!

Darth Vader #1

Everything Darth Vader experiences immediately after being put in the suit, conditions him more and more towards the twisted or "unnatural" ways of the dark side, along with occasional broken promises on finding ways to get Padme` back, as Sidious is constantly working on securing his own immortality, until around the time of the original trilogy where Luke AND Padme's handmaids show up...and that is when he begins to change!

Darth Vader #36

Sabe, Vader

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