8 Ways Darth Vader Almost Turned Out Completely Different

7. He Wasn't The Emperor's Apprentice

Star Wars Empreor

In very early drafts of The Star Wars, the Emperor was far from the big bad the character would become. Essentially a figurehead of the Empire controlled by the various Admirals (including Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin), he was conceived as little more than a puppet. While this already changes the balance of the franchise, it has a direct effect on Vader, removing his apprentice status and making him seem like more of a wild card, reporting to no one.

Even after it was decided the Emperor was very much in control there was still a question of how much direct control he had over Vader as a Sith. The question of whether Palpatine was a Force user was common in the scripting process and had he not been given the finger-tip lightening we could still have been left with more uncontrollable Vader.

Despite subsequent films making clear Palpatine is an all-out-evil Force user, it took a while for the earlier concepts to shake; in the expanded universe fiction following the original trilogy many authors shied away from identifying Palpatine as Sith, with the prequels being the first official conformation of him as Vader's actual Master.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.