From his black mask and artificial breathing to his deep iconic voice (voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones), Lord Vader has been one of the most iconic villains in all of cinematic history since he first appeared in A New Hope in the original trilogy in 1977.
Here, I’ve collected Darth Vader’s most famous lines in one place. They span A New Hope to the Phantom Menace and even Revenge of the Sith.
Without further ado, here are Darth Vader’s most famous quotes. May the force be with you:
1. “No. I am your father.”
While the scene needs no introduction, for completion’s sake, we’ll remind you that this scene comes right as Darth Vader has bested Luke, and as far as Luke (or the audience) knows, Vader is more or less about to finish him off.
But actually, Vader has other plans…
Here’s the quote in context:
Darth Vader: Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.
Darth Vader: You are beaten. It is useless to resist. Don’t let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did.
Darth Vader: There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you.
Darth Vader: Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
Luke: I’ll never join you!
Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me *you* killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke: No. No. That’s not true. That’s impossible!
Darth Vader: Search your feelings, you *know* it to be true!
Luke: No! No!
Darth Vader: Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.
Of course, at this point, neither of them knows about Luke’s twin sister, Leia. That had to wait until the next movie because, let’s face it, that would be too much information for one film to take in.
It’s much better the way George Lucas slowly revealed it all.
But in case you forgot, Luke doesn’t join Vader and instead throws himself down a giant air shaft, presumably to his death. This leaves Vader to leave empty-handed.
Darth Vader: “Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival.”
Yeah. You can tell he’s pissed. This might be why the opening of Return of the Jedi goes a little like this…
Moff Jerjerrod: Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence…
Darth Vader: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I’m here to put you back on schedule.
Moff Jerjerrod: I assure you, Lord Vader. My men are working as fast as they can.
Darth Vader: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.
Moff Jerjerrod: I tell you, this station will be operational as planned.
Darth Vader: The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.
Moff Jerjerrod: But he asks the impossible. I need more men.
Darth Vader: Then perhaps you can tell him when he arrives.
Moff Jerjerrod: The Emperor’s coming here?
Darth Vader: That is correct, Commander. And he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
Moff Jerjerrod: We shall double our efforts.
Darth Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
Before we go, we can’t complete this round-up of iconic quotes and scenes without the final battle between Luke and Darth Vader on the Death Star.
The Emperor has been taunting the young Skywalker into battle, telling him to “see with your own eyes” as his friends are defeated.
Another cool thing about this scene is when Darth Vader says, “Obi-Wan has taught you well,” when Luke has the high ground (around 0:49).
This ties nicely with the battle scene on Mustafar, where Obi-Wan gets the high ground and warns Anakin not to attack. Of course, Anakin, in his blind rage, does so and is – literally – cut down to size.
2. “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
From: Star Wars
After we first meet Darth Vader, we’re intrigued to see more of him. But this scene turned him from a unique character design with an epic voice actor into the most famous villain in cinematic history (at the time, at least).
Darth Vader says this on the Death Star at a meeting with the generals of the Imperial military. Let’s just say they disagree… and Darth Vader needs a show of force to put his comrades in their place.
Here’s the full scene in context:
General Tagge: And what of the Rebellion? If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical reading of this station, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it.
Darth Vader: The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.
Admiral Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!
Darth Vader: Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet, or even a whole system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Admiral Motti: Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebels’ hidden fort…
Darth Vader begins to choke him
Darth Vader: …I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Enough of this! Vader, release him!
Darth Vader: As you wish.
Grand Moff Tarkin: This bickering is pointless! Lord Vader will provide us with the location of the Rebel fortress by the time this station is operational. We will then crush the Rebellion with one swift stroke!
And we all know how that worked out…
3. “Don’t underestimate the force.”
From: A New Hope
This quote comes after Darth Vader feels the presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Death Star. Right before this scene, there’s a short but important clip of Darth Vader recognizing Obi-Wan through the force.
As he says, “I sense something; a presence I’ve not felt since…” and then trails off, thinking. A genius editor on YouTube put together a clip of what Darth Vader might be remembered as he takes a brief pause… check it out here:
When Vader walks away, he goes straight to General Tarkin and tries to tell him that if Obi-Wan is on board, something must be up, but Tarkin seems to dismiss him.
However, Darth Vader knows Kenobi is there. And maybe he senses such a strong sensation because his son (spoiler alert!) is also on the ship, although he doesn’t know who that would be yet. Here’s the full scene:
Darth Vader: He is here.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Obi-Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so?
Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now.
Darth Vader: Don’t underestimate the Force.
Grand Moff Tarkin: The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that’s left of their religion.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Yes?
Voice: We have an emergency alert in detention block AA-23.
Grand Moff Tarkin: The Princess? Put all sections on alert.
Darth Vader: Obi-wan is here. The Force is with him.
Grand Moff Tarkin: If you’re right, he must not be allowed to escape.
Darth Vader: Escape is not his plan. I must face him, alone.
4. “He will join us or die.”
From: The Empire Strikes Back
When we first meet the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, it’s one of the coolest scenes in the franchise, and it’s the first moment we realize that Darth Vader is not the series’ ultimate villain. He’s essentially a pawn of the emperor, which gives him more nuance.
We also learn important information in this scene with a completely different meaning when you get to the end of the movie and learn the truth about Vader and Luke. Here’s the quote in context:
Captain Needa: And that, Lord Vader, was the last time they appeared in any of our scopes. Considering the amount of damage we’ve sustained, they must’ve been destroyed.
Darth Vader: No, Captain. They’re alive. I want every ship available to sweep the asteroid field until they are found.
Admiral Piett: Lord Vader?
Darth Vader: Yes, Admiral, what is it?
Admiral Piett: The Emperor commands you to make contact with him.
Darth Vader: Move the ship out of the asteroid field so that we can send a clear transmission.
Admiral Piett: Yes, my Lord.Darth Vader : What is thy bidding, my Master?
Emperor Palpatine: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Darth Vader: I have felt it.
Emperor Palpatine: We have a new enemy. Luke Skywalker.
Darth Vader: Yes, my master.
Emperor Palpatine: He could destroy us.
Darth Vader: He is just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him.
Emperor Palpatine: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
Darth Vader: If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.
Emperor Palpatine: Yes. He would be a great asset. Can it be done?
Darth Vader: He will join us or die, Master.
5. “We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, but now I am the master.”
Of course, Darth Vader does confront Obi-Wan in one of the most epic moments of the original film. This quote comes from when Darth Vader sees Obi-Wan for the first time in what we presume to be decades, as Obi-Wan is an old man.
Here’s the quote scene in context:
Darth Vader: I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, but now I am the master.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only a master of evil, Darth.
Darth Vader: Your powers are weak, old man.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
Darth Vader: You should not have come back.
Now, while this scene was epic in its day and set the stage for many amazing and epic lightsaber battles, it isn’t exactly the coolest choreographed fight ever seen.
It was the first time they tried to create lightsabers, and Alec Guinness (who plays Old Ben Kenobi) was an old man and couldn’t do any crazy stunts.
So, over time, fans have tried to create their version of what that fight would look like if it could have been choreographed like the prequels and other following Star Wars films. Here’s one example:
Outstanding editing, excellent CGI, and over 43 million views (and 1.5 million likes) validate that the fans would have LOVED to see this fight.
6. “Anakin is gone. I am what remains.”
From: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Luckily, we got the closest thing to seeing Old Ben and Vader duel it out with a cinema-level budget thanks to the Obi-Wan prequel series, which gave us this epic fight scene.
The series re-imagines a plot line between Revenge of the Sith and New Hope, where Obi-Wan and Vader duel again between their fight on Mustafar and their last duel on the Death Star. For the end of the fight scene (and this quote in context), you read the scene below:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Anakin.
Darth Vader: Anakin is gone. I am what remains.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Anakin. For all of it.
Darth Vader: I am not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did. The same way I will destroy you!
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Then my friend is truly dead. Goodbye, Darth.
Darth Vader: Obi-Wan! OBI-WAN!
It’s a great line from a series with plenty of great ideas and scenes. While it doesn’t hold up to the original Star Wars movies, it gives the fans exactly what they always wanted: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan fighting Darth Vader, both in their prime.
7. “I am what you made me.”
From: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Before we leave the Obi-Wan prequels, there’s one other great line – before Kenobi sees Anakin as Darth Vader for the first time, they have a tense stand-off as Anakin views his former friend and student, now more machine than man.
Anakin: What have you become?
Obi-Wan Kenobi: I am what you made me
Excellent delivery by James Earl Jones, and in a way, it gives us something we didn’t even know we wanted: by showing us the scene where these two see each other again for the first time, we get all the drama of the realizations of the consequences of the past.
Obi-Wan has to confront the consequences of not killing Anakin, and Darth Vader gets to show Obi-Wan those consequences and relish the look of horror on Obi-Wan’s face.
8. “You will try.”
From: Revenge of the Sith
Some of the best quotes from the series come from Vader confronting Obi-Wan. This scene is the first time the pair dueled in Revenge of the Sith from the prequel trilogy.
At this point, the evil Emperor Palpatine has already got his hooks into Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and has warped his mind to turn against the Jedi and everyone he loves.
His transformation into Darth Vader is nearly complete – there’s just one last step: duel Obi-wan and defeat his former master. Here’s the quote in context:
Anakin: You turned her against me!
Obi-Wan Kenobi: You have done that yourself!
Anakin: You will not take her from me.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Your anger and your lust for power have already done that.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: You have allowed this dark lord to twist your mind, until now, until now you’ve become the very thing you swore to destroy.
Anakin Skywalker: Don’t lecture me, Obi-Wan! I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do. I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new Empire.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Your new Empire?
Anakin Skywalker: Don’t make me kill you.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy!
Anakin Skywalker: If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
Obi-Wan draws his lightsaber.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: I will do what I must.
Anakin Skywalker: You will try.
And then you know it pops off! Check out the scene above for the first part of the fight.
9. “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.”
From: Revenge of the Sith
As the two Jedi knights battle it out on Mustafar, they have a moment of respite floating down the lava streams of the planet. They pause just long enough to have one last conversation, which is where this quote comes from:
Anakin Skywalker: I should have known the Jedi were plotting to take over!
Obi-Wan: I have failed you, Anakin. I have failed you.
Obi-Wan: Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!
Anakin Skywalker: From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!
Obi-Wan: Well, then you are lost!
Anakin Skywalker: This is the end for you, my master.
And now, here’s the second part of the fight – the scene that started it all and transformed Anakin into Darth Vader!
10. “This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion.”
From: A New Hope
Now, let’s cut back to the original Star Wars. Darth Vader thought he was about to win. He just vanquished the heroic Jedi knight Obi-Wan (as we’ve read, he had a tumultuous history with) and nearly captured Princess Leia with the rest of the main characters on the ropes.
Now, they’ve got the moon with the hidden rebel base in the sights of the Death Star, and Vader and Tarkin are about to blow it to smithereens like Alderaan… at least until…
11. “You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.”
This quote has an interesting double meaning. In Return of the Jedi, while the rest of the team is working on disabling the shield generator on Endor, Luke surrenders himself to the Imperials to confront his father and try to change him back from the dark side.
He is marched over to Vader by a battalion of stormtroopers and delivered to Vader. Read how the scene plays out, and then we’ll explain the quote:
Darth Vader: The Emperor has been expecting you.
Luke Skywalker: I know, father.
Darth Vader: So, you have accepted the truth?
Luke: I have accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.
Darth Vader: That name no longer has any meaning for me!
Luke: It is name of your true self, you’ve only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn’t driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn’t destroy me. That’s why you won’t bring me to your Emperor now.
Darth Vader: I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen.
Luke: Come with me.
Darth Vader: Obi-wan once thought as you do. You don’t know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.
Luke: I will not turn. And you’ll be forced to kill me.
Darth Vader: If that is your destiny.
Luke: Search your feelings, father. You can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you, let go your hate.
Darth Vader: It is too late for me, son. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the force. He is your master now.
Luke: Then my father is truly dead.
While some might read that quote and think that Darth Vader is trying to sway Luke to the “power” that comes with the dark side, it’s clear, based on the context, that Vader is telling Luke he cannot turn from his master or he’ll be destroyed. He’s bargaining with him.
It’s a great scene full of nuance, especially considering what comes after this.
But let’s take a moment to read the scene right before this, between Darth Vader and his master, the evil Emperor Palpatine.
The Emperor: Rise, my friend.
Darth Vader: The Death Star will be completed on schedule.
The Emperor: You’ve done well, Lord Vader. And now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Skywalker.
Darth Vader: Yes, my Master.
The Emperor: Patience, my friend. In time, he will seek *you* out, and when he does, you must bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the Dark Side of the Force.
Darth Vader: As you wish.
The Emperor: Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
Darth Vader: A small rebel force has penetrated the shield and landed on Endor.
The Emperor: Yes, I know.
Darth Vader: My son is with them.
The Emperor: Are you sure?
Darth Vader: I have *felt* him, my master.
The Emperor: Strange that I have not. I wonder if your feelings on this matter are clear, Lord Vader.
Darth Vader: They are clear, my master.
12. “Someday I will be… I will be the most powerful Jedi ever. I promise you.”
Attack of the Clones
As a Star Wars fan, this quote is powerful because of its foreshadowing. Not only does Anakin become the most powerful Jedi ever, he then becomes a Sith lord and destroys the rest of the Jedi, thus fulfilling his prophecy, but not in the way he thought.
The quote has another interesting element: he mentions the ability to stop people from dying. Here’s the full quote:
“Someday I will be. I will be the most powerful Jedi ever. I promise you. I will even learn how to stop people from dying.”
Unfortunately, Anakin accomplishes his goal only through the destructive conflict of Order 66, the end of the Jedi, and three decades of Imperial rule.
While that’s not exactly something he accomplishes, he can defeat the Emperor, which does stop millions of people who would have died otherwise.
13. “No disintegrations.”
Darth Vader: There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Millennium Falcon. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations.
Boba Fett: As you wish.
14. “I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged.”
From: The Empire Strikes Back
This line is iconic because of its implications. Vader says this when Lando Calrissian shows him the carbon-freezing chamber in preparation for Luke’s arrival.
Famously, Lando double-crossed Han Solo, Leia, and Chewie to save his mining colony, Bespin City. But he immediately has second thoughts, especially after Vader reveals his plan to test the carbon-freezing chamber on Solo before Luke.
Darth Vader: This facility is crude but it should be adequate to freeze Skywalker for his journey to the Emperor.
Some rando: Lord Vader, ship approaching, x-wing class.
Darth Vader: Good. Monitor Skywalker and allow him to land.
Lando: Lord Vader, we only use this facility for carbon freezing. If you put him in there it might kill him.
Darth Vader: I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged. We will test it on Captain Solo.
Darth Vader: You may take Captain Solo to Jabba the Hutt after I have Skywalker.
Boba Fett: He’s no good to me dead.
Darth Vader: He will not be permanently damaged.
Lando: Lord Vader, what about Leia and the Wookiee?
Darth Vader: They must never again leave this city.
Lando: That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter!
Darth Vader: Perhaps you think you’re being treated unfairly?
Darth Vader: Good, it would be unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here.
Lando: This deal is getting worse all the time!
After the carbon freezing, everyone is nervous to hear what happened to Han:
C-3PO: Oh. They’ve encased him in Carbonite. He should be quite well protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is.
Darth Vader: Well, Calrissian, did he survive?
Lando: Yes, he’s alive, and in perfect hibernation.
Darth Vader: He’s all yours, bounty hunter. Reset the chamber for Skywalker.
When Luke comes to save his friends, he falls right into Darth Vader’s trap. Vader even thinks Luke fell into the carbon freezing chamber, to which he says the iconic, “All too easy.”
Of course, we know that Luke jumped out of the chamber just in time, and we get the following epic fight scene:
This, of course, leads us to the single most iconic quote in Star Wars history…
15. “You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!”
From: A New Hope
When we first meet Darth Vader, he’s an intimidating presence. He and a fleet of Stormtroopers take out an entire ship of rebels who helplessly try to defend themselves from the most powerful force in the galaxy.
The first quote in our collection comes from the moment after we meet Vader: when he confronts Princess Leia in a direct conversation. But since we’re celebrating the icon that Vader is, take a moment to watch the opening scene from A New Hope below:
And in case you were wondering what happened right before this scene started, check out the end of Rogue One, which depicts the battle Vader faces before he breaks onto Princess Leia’s ship…
Here’s the full quote in context:
Princess Leia Organa: Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold. The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. When they hear you’ve attacked a diplomatic…
Darth Vader: Don’t act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren’t on any mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you.
Princess Leia Organa: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan…
Darth Vader: You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!
Darth Vader and Leia have one more confrontation before Luke, Han, Chewie, 3PO, and R2 come to rescue her. Vader enters Princess Leia’s prison cell and threatens her with a torture droid. “And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden rebel base…”
What Vader doesn’t realize at this time is that he’s threatening his daughter! This scene is great once you know the full context of the series. However, none of the actors knew this twist then, so it seemed like a run-of-the-mill bad guy being bad scene. Okay, on to the next great quote!
16. “You have failed me for the last time…”
From: The Empire Strikes Back
This is something Darth Vader has said a thousand times, though we only really hear it in the films this once. But when you work with an incompetent group of bureaucrats like the Imperial elites, you would probably get as worked up as Vader.
Whether or not you’d force-choke everyone who fails you depends entirely on whether or not you’re a Sith lord. Anyway, here’s the full scene in context:
Darth Vader: What is it, general?
General Veers: My lord, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed. Commscan has detected an energy field protecting an area of the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.
Darth Vader: The rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system.
General Veers: He thought surprise was wiser…
Darth Vader: He’s as clumsy as he is stupid. General, prepare your troops for a surface attack.
Vader calls Ozzel.
Admiral Ozzel: Lord Vader, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed and we’re preparing to…
Darth Vader begins choking Ozzel
Darth Vader: You have failed me for the last time, Admiral! Captain Piett?
Captain Piett: Yes, my lord?
Darth Vader: Make ready to land our troops beyond their energy field, and deploy the fleet, so that nothing gets off the system.
Darth Vader: You are in command now… Admiral Piett.
Admiral Piett: Thank you, Lord Vader. I won’t fail you.
Darth Vader: Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory.
Admiral Piett: Yes, my Lord. We’ll find them.
BONUS: “All I’m surrounded by is fear… and dead men.”
From: Vader Down comic
While not from the series itself, this is one of the most iconic Darth Vader lines that is a canon story. It occurs when Darth Vader is surrounded by an entire squadron of Rebels who notably have him surrounded.
Ever the badass, Darth Vader utters this line right before he arms all their grenades and instantly takes them out.
Since this quote is from a comic and not a film, you can’t exactly watch the scene, but you can listen to the full audio comic here:
The Star Wars films are some of the most iconic films ever. Their enduring success led to the creation of the summer blockbuster trilogy as we know them today.
The original Star Wars trilogy laid the groundwork for some of history’s most successful film franchises. Without Star Wars, we wouldn’t have the Harry Potter film series, the Lord of the Rings (movie) trilogy, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The formidable Sith Lord Darth Vader is the most unforgettable of all the memorable fictional characters in the series.
His transition from the innocent slave boy Anakin, who was supposed to bring balance to the Force but later in life chose to defy the Jedi order and walk the dark path, reminds everyone about what happens if you let life’s darkness consume you.
There are many other great Darth Vader quotes, whether he’s calling out the “lies of the Jedi” or sharing the “true nature of the force,” but we have to stop here, or we’d have to post every line he speaks in the franchise.
Perhaps it’s just James Earl Jones who elevates everything the character says to another level. And to think that he managed to be the voice of Darth Vader for nearly 50 years only to step back at 91 is impressive. Let’s see if future speech synthesis engines can carry his legacy. If so, the dark lord’s voice will genuinely be artificial.
If you enjoyed this one, you’ll probably also want a compilation of the top quotes from the Star Wars franchise’s second-most famous villain (granted, this wasn’t the intention). Check out our list of the series’ top Jar Jar Binks quotes! Or watch Star Wars on Disney+.