Star Wars: 10 Times Vader Had A Sense Of Humor

Star Wars: 10 Times Vader Had A Sense Of Humor

When it comes to famous movie villains, Darth Vader has to be in the top rankings with little competition. From the flourish of his long black cape to the haunting and eerie sound of his breathing apparatus, Vader has needed little help in becoming one of the most feared characters in a galaxy far, far away.

Despite his threatening presence and evil reputation, Vader has had several moments where he lets his sense of humor slip from beneath that mask. While he’s not known for his charm and winning smile, Vader has proven more than once to have a darkly comedic side.

Updated on May 5th, 2022 by Melody MacReady: Darth Vader is not the funniest villain but he has his moments of levity; most of them are usually unexpected and hint at his inner Anakin Skywalker being alive deep within that mechanical marvel that is his body. It’s not just in the films either as shown by his appearances in both Star Wars Rebels, he is still a master of one-liners and dark humor.


Even the expanded universe showcased within the canon comic books features some memorable moments with Darth Vader’s displaying his elusive sense of humor. This will likely also be the case when the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series debuts on May 27th.

His Death Star Critique

Darth Vader and Governor Tarkin in the Imperial council room in Star Wars A New Hope

Darth Vader and the infamous Death Star are two pieces of Star Wars imagery that often go hand in hand, but that does not mean he was necessarily gung-ho for the Empire’s weapon of mass destruction. On the contrary, Vader’s critique of the space station was one of the first displays of his grimly dry wit.

RELATED: 10 Unmistakable Darth Vader Character Traits In Star Wars

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” It’s not exactly a gut-buster, but it’s very bold and even a bit snarky of Vader to criticize the Empire’s biggest point of power.

His Sorcerer’s Ways

Darth Vader Force-chokes Admiral Motti

The first time Vader uses his infamous Force Choke is one of the most pivotal demonstrations of his character, but it also comes with a darkly humorous one-liner from the Lord of the Sith. Sometimes, Vader needs no introduction. But then there are those moments where people have to learn by example.

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” This quote could be perceived as a scolding observation, but it could also be seen as Anakin’s devious sense of humor slipping free. Either way, it’s a great way to make an impression on both his officers and the audience.

Tormenting Lando

Darth Vader threatening Lando Calrissian in the Empire Strikes Back

For whatever reason, Darth Vader liked to strike fear into the governor of Cloud City of the planet Bespin. Lando was trying his best to make his deal with Vader as painless as possible for both sides. However, Vader was doing the opposite by altering their deal and telling Lando, “Pray I do not alter it further.”

Earlier after torturing Han Solo, Lando rightfully points out that Vader was making things even worse but Vader coyly replies with, “Perhaps you think you’re being treated unfairly?” Which conveys perfectly that Vader could be doing far worse via a bit of twisted humor.

Darth Vader Does Not Dance

Darth Vader killing a man with the Force at a ball in Darth Vader comics

In the canon Marvel comics, Darth Vader was on the planet Shu-Toren. On this planet, it is their custom that everyone must dance at a ceremonial ball, even lords of the Sith. The idea of Darth Vader dancing is funny enough. Well, Darth Vader simply declines at first but is pushed too far by a duke who began to shout at Darth Vader.

RELATED: 10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Darth Vader

Vader then agrees to dance and murders the man through a telekinetic use of the Force. Once the duke fell to the ground, Vader asks, “Do any others wish to be my partner?” Which is the most overly dramatic yet humorous way of telling everyone that Darth Vader does not and will not ever dance.

His Motivation Tactics

Darth Vader chastising the commander aboard the Death Star II in Return Of The Jedi

Sometimes the best examples of Darth Vader’s wit happen when he isn’t intending to show it. Return Of The Jedi opens up with Vader laying down the hammer on his troops in preparations for the Emperor’s arrival aboard the second Death Star.

The comment about further motivating the officers to double their efforts before the Emperor comes is more than just a little bit threatening, but it also peppers in a little bit of macabre comedy, knowing Vader’s threats are often painful promises. It’s how the scene ends that truly sells the atmosphere, using what is now one of Vader’s most powerful quotes, “The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.”

His Theatrical Side

Darth Vader's shadow casting on the temple walls as Director Krennic watches in Rogue One A Star Wars Story

To understand this concept, fans need to stop and think for a moment to consider how Anakin’s transition to Vader must have been planned out aesthetically. This new identity had to evoke the utmost fear and respect across the galaxy, and Anakin needed to make sure anyone who dared approach him was instantly intimidated.

Vader had to have at least the slightest sense of humor with his over-the-top evil persona, he just wouldn’t be that oblivious. From the trail of his black cape to the towering spires of his castle on Mustafar, Vader undoubtedly planned everything that would assure his reputation as an unfeeling sinister force of nature.

Admiral Ozzel’s Tactics

Vader can be witty, he can be threatening, and he can be the most intimidating force in the galaxy, but he can also through a healthy serving of shade when the need arises. What’s worth mentioning for the scene in question is just how quickly the Sith Lord can go from fierce and commanding to sarcastic and snarky in a matter of milliseconds.

The line “He is as clumsy as he is stupid” is uncharacteristically comic for Vader, especially since the audience has just seen him rise from a black meditation chamber to deliver attack orders. Seems that little remark must have slipped his many filters.

The Reveal In Cloud City

Darth Vader and Boba Fett in the Cloud City dining hall in The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader has had more than his fair share of villainous moments throughout his career, and his surprise appearance at the dinner table in Cloud City is certainly no exception. He displays himself as one of the most overpowered Force users by deflecting blaster shots as if he were Wonder Woman.

RELATED: The 10 Funniest Quotes From The Empire Strikes Back

The way he says “We would be honored if you would join us.” before Boba Fett steps into the scene is something fans might expect out of a Saturday-morning cartoon, but it works to a genius-level extent.

“Apology Accepted…”

Captain Needa is Force choked to death by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back

Most great movie villains need at least one good post-mortem one-liner, and Vader’s comment to the choking body of Captain Needa is definitely one for the books. This isn’t just a darkly humorous delivery, but a stone-cold kill as well.

The fact that Vader is able to ax off his own troops so easily and flippantly is truly chilling. Making jokes about a henchman’s demise is certainly nothing new, but Vader’s delivery feels like it carries an extra load of weight to it. Then again, that’s to be expected from a character of his caliber.

“Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Aspirations…”

Darth Vader in Rogue One

Darth Vader’s appearance in Rogue One was easily the highlight of the entire production. In a matter of minutes, Vader conquers and commands the scene with dark forces only he has mastered, and fans ate it up with a spoon. Along with demonstrating why he will always be Star Wars’ best villain, he drops what is probably one of his best lines.

Vader is not one for making puns, the concept alone is positively stroke-inducing, but his final words to Director Krennic are both fierce and funny at the same time. It’s not only the finest example of his macabre wit, but it also makes for perhaps one of his most memorable lines in recent years.

NEXT: 10 Unpopular Opinions About Darth Vader (According To Reddit)

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About The Author

Zach Gass
(861 Articles Published)

Zach Gass is a writer from East Tennessee with a love for all things Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. When not writing for Screen Rant, Zach is an active member of his community theatre, enjoys a variety of authors including Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein, and is a proud and active retro-gamer.

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