One of the most popular villains to ever grace the big screen, Darth Vader is a staple of sci-fi.
The ominous sound of his respirator is immediately recognizable even to those who have never witnessed a Star Wars film, and his imposing presence inspired dozens of villains who followed. There are few characters — good or bad — who can boast the name recognition of this intimidating Sith Lord, whose influence reaches far beyond the scope of sci-fi into dozens of other genres.
Vader is the central cog at the core of most of the existing Star Wars media — no, I will not be hearing arguments that Palpatine is the more impactful of the two — and thus has been at the heart of hundreds of passionate Star Wars debates. The towering Tattooine native has lent his formidable presence to a full seven Star Wars films, along with several of the franchise’s accompanying animated series. He’s portrayed slightly differently in each separate entry, but one thing never changes — the character’s intimidating height. He is often pictured towering over other characters, a fact that sparks countless debates among fans of the franchise.
How tall is Darth Vader?
Vader’s height has long been a part of his character, even if fans didn’t notice. His stature lends gravitas to the already-intimidating character, allowing him to dish out the Johnson Treatment to nearly everyone he meets. Given Vader’s history, however, an air of mystery swirls around the character’s height. Darth Vader was created for the purpose of sowing fear, and his striking voice, imposing respirator, and violent tendencies are all part of the presentation. Was his height also fabricated for the purpose of inspiring terror, or was Anakin Skywalker impressively tall before he became Palpatine’s apprentice?
Out of armor
Before his disfigurement necessitated a life behind armor, Anakin Skywalker stood several inches shorter than his eventual Sith self. The character — portrayed in film by the six-foot tall Hayden Christensen — is 6’2″ in the films, a few inches taller than his loyal-to-a-fault master. Several scenes see the character towering over his companions, standing significantly taller than even C-3PO. The balance between the heights of Christensen and Obi-Wan actor Ewan McGregor (5’10”) was clearly considered during filming, as the two share almost the exact same height difference as their on-screen characters.
Two legs, his remaining arm, and a lifelong friend down — not to mention his pregnant wife — Anakin Skywalker does gain something following his seduction by the Dark Side. He gains several inches when he is enclosed in his life-saving armor, shooting from 6’2″ to between 6’7″ and 6’9″, a difference that fans are still hotly debating to this day. His assumed height tends to fall at the in-between 6’8″ more often than not, which has become the height fans consider him to be featured at through the majority of his Star Wars appearances. The impressive stature helps to explain Vader’s dramatic appearance in many of his most famous scenes, sized up against the comparatively short Luke (5’6″), Leia (4’9″), and Obi-Wan (6’0″).