Powers and abilities
Anakin Skywalker was trained by the Order's most promising Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Through him, Skywalker would inherit a rich tradition of lightsabertraining. Skywalker's style featured elements of many masters, making him outstandingly talented, even at a very young age.
Both Form V variants became the favored fighting styles of Anakin Skywalker, as their aggressive and strength-oriented fighting methods fit well with his arrogant, confrontational personality type. Due to his natural talent for lightsaber combat, he advanced quickly, an achievement which fed his ego, and he came to consider himself a match forYoda. His specialty in the Shien form stood him in good stead during heated engagements with blaster-wielding foes, such as the Battle of Geonosis, and he became a formidable lightsaber duelist.
However, Skywalker eventually realised how much he still had to learn when he confronted Count Dooku. Initially utilizing a dual-bladed variant of Ataru against the Count, Skywalker was forced to revert to his standard Form V practices when Dooku destroyed the extra blade. His skill was enough for Anakin to stand toe-to-toe with Dooku even longer than his Master did, actually impressed the masterful Count with his skills, but he was forced to draw heavily on his Force-abilities to match Dooku's speed and precision, tiring quickly. Dooku's far more energy efficient Makashi style won the day, and Skywalker lost his arm when he opened himself up.
As the Clone War progressed, Skywalker spent the following years of the conflict developing his skills in the many pitched battles. He began studying the Djem So variant of Form V and used brute strength to overwhelm his opponents. Evidence of his prowess included confrontations with the Dooku-trained Asajj Ventress or Grievous' IG-100 MagnaGuards, as well as numerous sparring matches with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Relying on both strength and agility, Skywalker proved able to adequately fend off or evade enemy attacks while immediately offering counters. By the time of the Battle of Teth, Skywalker was able to effectively hold his own against Dooku, as shown by their confrontation on Tatooine. However, as the aggressive Form V encouraged practitioners to actively attempt to dominate their foes, Skywalker drew more and more on his anger and rage, sliding ever closer to the Dark side of the Force. When confronting Dooku for the last time, Skywalker relied heavily on these emotions to fuel his offense, demonstrating both overwhelming strength and bewildering speed as he bashed through Dooku's precision defense and sliced off both of the Count's hands before brutally executing him. Before his death, Dooku acknowledged Skywalker as the finest Djem So stylist that he had ever seen.
It also proved to Sidious that Skywalker was ready to become his apprentice.
When Anakin Skywalker at long last embraced the dark side and was rechristened Darth Vader, he maintained his Form V mastery, but utilized it in an even more brutal fashion, becoming a frightening opponent. However, his aggression became his fatal flaw, as he would become so controlled by it that it would give way to his rage. Though young, strong, athletic, and a master swordsman gifted with more raw Force power than any other Force adept, he still lacked the experience, calm, and focus that his former master possessed. Though Vader could, and would call on the dark side to overpower his opponents, his mounting emotions distracted him, clouding his judgment and preventing him from executing his form as well as Kenobi executed his. Whereas Vader's strength lay in his offensive barrage, Kenobi's strength resided in his staunch defense.
Kenobi was regarded as the greatest master of the passive style Soresu in the Jedi Order, and his absolute dedication to it would prove vital to his victory. Vader, frustrated by his inability to break through this defense, began making mistakes and leaving openings that he otherwise would have avoided had he remained focused and patient. Kenobi, similar to his duel with Grievous, would utilize his "wait them out" philosophy, relying entirely on the defensive and energy-conservative monves until the opponent became frustrated or fatigued, causing them to leave sloppy openings in their offense that Kenobi could then exploit. In both cases, this resulted in the detachment of his opponent's limbs. This became Vader's downfall.
In his mechanical life-support suit, it was extremely difficult to engage in the energetic acrobatics of Ataru, an act that would quickly tire him, defeating the purpose of the aggressive style. Initially after gaining the suit, Vader was forced to rely on brute strength to batter his opponents, utilizing a clumsy method that utilized stiffly executed vertical strikes to wear down his opponent, although he included elements of Soresu and Ataru bladework in this, as witnessed by Jedi Master Roan Shryne when Vader engaged Bol Chatak.
However, Vader was able to overcome this limitation fairly quickly, developing a refined version of Djem So that continued to include Ataru and Soresu elements, but also added Makashi and Juyo to the mix. Rather than attempting to fight through the bulky and heavy armor, Vader fought with it, utilizing the armor's weight and his powerful prosthetics to provide his blows with incredible force, while relying on the main articulation points at the elbows and wrists for precision. With this new form, Vader regained some of his old agility, and his bladework was brutally effective. He never utilized anything less than a killing blow, and his swordplay demonstrated crispness and unpredictability, notwithstanding the two-handed grip he favored. Even the most simplistic moves contained enough strength to nearly disarm his opponents.
Vader proved able to apply this personalized variant in many ways, sometimes opting to fight one-handed, relying on precision and economy of movement, but thanks to the added strength his prosthetics afforded him, he maintained a great deal of power. He demonstrated this method against the likes of Olee Starstone andLuke Skywalker. However, when forced onto the defensive, Vader would fight with a two-handed grip, elbows pressed tightly to his sides with the blade held straight out in front of him, manipulating it deftly with his wrists only. This method proved effective for protecting his torso, and his vulnerable control panel, but it left his limbs open. Vader applied this defensive style against Roan Shryne during the subjugation of Kashyyyk and Obi-Wan Kenobi during their final duel on board the Death Star I.
While he utilized his customized style to great effect, even against multiple opponents, Vader occasionally fell back on the clumsy and stiff vertical strikes that he used during his first weeks in the suit, unleashing a relentless, offensive barrage, as demonstrated during his duel against Luke Skywalker on Bespin. Vader apparently learned his lesson from his duel with Kenobi, learning how to control his emotions when in combat and finding a way to call upon calculated bursts of the dark side while not being blinded by emotions run amok, fighting with determination and relentlessness rather than rage. Vader also trained frequently with combat droids to keep his skills sharp, using ASP-19s by 3.5 ABY. Based on the ASP-series droid, the ASP-19s were lightsaber combat droids programmed with the knowledge of a hundred swordmasters and a dozen fighting styles, faster and stronger than an ordinary man. Vader defeated them time and again, and thus ordered new, improved batches of them. As his finesse and skill improved, Vader found that they became too easy to defeat, so much so that he took to battling them in a two-on-one matches.
However, despite his skill, Vader's method was not perfect. While a strong and relentless fighter, Vader could be outpaced by more agile duelists. This flaw was highlighted during his duel with Galen Marek on the Death Star I. While Vader unleashed a frenzy of bone-crushing blows, Marek blocked and evaded them, dancing around Vader's defenses while suffering only light cuts from the Sith Lord's missed attacks. Ultimately, Vader was quite simply too slow to keep up with Marek, and was brought down, despite the numerous small wounds the Dark Lord inflicted upon him. In order to compensate for his lack of speed, Vader would unleash vicious telekinetic assaults on opponents capable of outpacing him, with unfortunate victims including Roan Shryne on Kashyyyk and Luke Skywalker on Bespin, though even this tactic could be beaten, as proved when Marek responded in kind.
Another duelist who proved able to stand against Vader was his own son, Luke Skywalker. In their initial engagements, Vader proved superior, though it still took some effort to defeat Skywalker, who displayed a great deal of skill despite his minimal level of training. However, onboard the second Death Star, Luke managed to defeat Vader. Mirroring Darth Vader's own Form V technique, Skywalker responded with his own furious demonstration of the style's raw power. Luke proved able to meet Vader strength-to-strength, his marked increase in skill and sudden display of aggression toward the end of their bout caught Vader off guard, allowing Luke to drive back and overwhelm the experienced Sith Lord.
The fact that Skywalker was born with the highest known midi-chlorian count in galactic history and was considered to be the Chosen One leads to various conclusions about his Force potential and power. Although extremely young and having less than perfect training (due to his late age joining the Order), Skywalker was one of the most powerful living Jedi.
Skywalker's unprecedented midi-chlorian count made him one of the most powerful members of the Jedi Order; however, it also made Skywalker arrogant. When he came to the Jedi Temple at the age of nine, he began to develop at a much faster and accelerated pace than his fellow Padawans, further feeding his pride and self-importance.
Skywalker was skilled in the use of telekinesis able to lift heavy objects with minimal effort. During his duel with Asajj Ventress on Yavin IV, he easily deflected a large pillar back at Ventress when she hurled it at him and immediately afterwards he used the Force to block her Force Push without even slowing down. He was also skilled at Force Jump, and was able to leap massive distances. Skywalker was also capable of a powerful Force Push; however it should be noted that despite having a stronger connection to the Force than Obi-Wan Kenobi, his Force Push was unable to overcome Kenobi's during their duel on Mustafar.He was also skilled at Jedi Mind Tricks. However, Skywalker also had a habit of using the Force Choke power, a sign of who and what he would later become.
During the battle of Geonosis, Skywalker displayed some skill in Animal friendship, allowing him to ride the reek that was present in the arena.
Because his limbs were severed and his body severely burned on Mustafar Darth Vader lost much of his Force potential. As Darth Vader, Skywalker was believed to have had roughly eight-tenths of the strength of the Emperor. But even still, Vader wielded tremendous power and skill. Had he sustained none of his injuries on Mustafar, he would have been even more powerful than the Emperor.
The Emperor, having gone out of his way to keep Vader alive, took an alternative viewpoint. Though it was true to say that he had not bargained for an apprentice that was "more machine than man", Palpatine was initially of the opinion that most of the limitations on Vader's potential power were not physical but psychological. He believed that, were Vader to fully confront his choices and disappointments to completely shake himself out of his despair, he would have been able to reawaken the incredible power within him. Yet, while Vader made progress in this regard, he was never fully able to accept who, and what, he had become. Sidious would ultimately come to realize that Vader would never be the apprentice he longed for. He would try to replace him on at least two occasions with more powerful Force-sensitives, Galen Marek and Luke Skywalker.
One of Vader's talents was to be able to block blaster bolts with his hands because his gloves are composed of a unique micronized iron that could deflect anything short of a lightsaber blow.
Darth Vader also seemed to favor the Force choke ability, as he demonstrated it numerous times throughout his life.
Vader also appeared to have great physical strength, able to lift a grown man by the throat with one hand, and picking up the Emperor and hurling him to his death. Whether these feats result from his use of the Force or from the power of his cybernetic limbs is unknown. However, it seems most likely to be a result of his mechanical appendages, as when he choked Kenobi in their battle on Mustafar.
Besides the life support it provided his ravaged body, Vader's Sith armor also offered some protection against the blades of lightsabers. In a climactic duel with his son in the depths of Cloud City, a quick blow from Luke's lightsaber appeared to cut the armor only shallowly, although this was enough to draw a surprised cry from the Dark Lord.
Because of his decreased mobility, he was at a disadvantage when dueling against beings using faster and quicker combat styles like Ataru. To counter fast-moving opponents, he would use the Force to pull out anything from his surroundings that wasn't nailed to the ground and fling the improvised missiles at his opponent. Without moving a muscle, anything from the venue of the battle could be used as a weapon to crash against Vader's opponents from all directions in a never-ending barrage. Darth Vader first used this tactic in the Duel on Mustafar, slicing shards of metal from the walls and shooting them at Obi-Wan Kenobi. Darth Vader also used this tactic to bring down Jedi Knight Roan Shryne, and most famously Luke Skywalker in their first duel on Bespin.
It should be noted that Darth Vader, despite being a powerful Sith Lord, was unable to generate Force lightning. This was due to his cybernetic implants, and any attempt by Vader to generate it would cause it to backfire, electrocuting his life-support systems, causing it to short-circuit and kill him. This is ultimately how he was killed, as his act of redemption in saving his son caused him to be bombarded with the Emperor's lightning. Because Vader's Sith powers were limited due to his artificial limbs, Darth Sidious found him less than satisfactory as his heir to the Sith legacy, despite the effort Sidious spent for more than a decade to recruit Skywalker. Upon the discovery of Luke Skywalker, Palpatine concentrated on turning him to the dark side.
Binary (understand verbal)
Anakin Skywalker was a man of many talents. He was well known for his exceptional piloting skills, skills that earned him a name as a Jedi ace and a Tan; having such a piloting reputation that some would go so far as to argue he was the best star pilot in the galaxy. During Skywalker's tenure as a slave, he made a name for himself by being a podracer. He was one of the few Humans and the youngest one with the reflexes to actually pilot a podracer, thanks to his Force sensitivity. Skywalker even won the Boonta Eve Classic race at the age of nine, an act that won him his freedom. Young Skywalker also attracted the attention of many in the Republic: during the Battle of Naboo, he piloted a Naboo starfighter and destroyed a Droid Control Ship. His efforts no doubt single-handedly helped win the battle, but it was only a foreshadowing of his skills to come. During the Clone Wars, Skywalker was one of the Republic's best and most famous star pilots. He perfected an assortment of strategies; most notable was his skill at opening fire just before passing through enemy formations, leaving little time for evasion. He also displayed relentless tenacity in chasing down his targets as well as shaking off target locks. The latter ability would later be displayed by his son, Luke Skywalker. His abilities garnered the attention of both Chancellor Palpatine and his peers. At the Battle of Coruscant, Skywalker was able to safely land the huge cruiserInvisible Hand, despite the fact that he was only flying half a ship, and it was not even built to be able to land.
Skywalker was also known to be an exceptional mechanic. He could fix anything from a damaged droid motivator to a malfunctioning repulsorlift. The young Skywalker quickly understood how things worked, and his strong knowledge of mechanical systems coupled with his closeness to the Force allowed him to pilot most vehicles and starfighters. He used his droid hydrospanner wrench to reassemble his Otoga 222 and built welding goggles with many settings from scratch to use for precise work and to diagnose mechanical problems. At the age of nine he created, even with limited resources, the protocol droid C-3PO to aid his mother.
For the Boonta Eve Classic race, Skywalker entered his custom-built podracer made from parts found in Watto's junk shop. As testament to Anakin Skywalker's engineering brilliance, his Podracer featured a number of amazing innovations built into its compact frame. Skywalker salvaged a pair of Radon-Ulzer 620C racing engines that Watto deemed too burned out to be of any use. Less crafty pilots often invested in larger engines in the hopes of getting greater performance. The trouble with that route is that the larger the engine, the heavier the racer. Skywalker side-stepped that dilemma by developing a new fuel atomizer and distribution system that sent more fuel into the Radon-Ulzer's combustion chambers, radically increasing their thrust and his racer's top speed to almost 950 kilometers per hour. Skywalker capped each Radon-Ulzer with a trio of bright yellow air scoops that provided additional control when braking and cornering. When meeting up with his former slave owner, Skywalker proved his identity to the Toydarian by fixing a machine Watto was tinkering with.
During the Clone Wars Skywalker extensively modified a Delta-7 Aethersprite starfighter into a fully customized starship known as Azure Angel; modifications that would pave the way for the Eta-2 Actis interceptor. Skywalker also often tinkered with his prosthetic arm as he did his starfighter. The TIE Advanced x1 starfighter was designed to Vader's specifications, having larger angular wings, a considerably longer rear engine, and thicker support struts than the standard TIE. In addition, Skywalker was fluent in understanding the electronic language of Binary, the information-dense, low redundancy electronic language of most pit crew and simple droids, thus, allowing him to interface with them.
Darth Vader was a brilliant strategist and was still, despite his weakened powers, one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy. His armor did not dull the precognition ability he possessed since childhood and he was able to predict the movements of his targets during dogfights with pinpoint precision. He still possessed his former persona's amazing engineering skills, having personally overseen the design of both his TIE Advanced x1 fighter and the second Death Star's construction.