KFVnegs

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Analysing Vader's power in canon (complete thread)

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There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Vader's scaling after the Vader #40 issue. I've always thought he and Sidious have been equals in the force and I'll try to prove so in this thread by starting with his years as Anakin and continuing with his growth all the way until ROTJ. I'll use multiple sources, so any comments with added statements/feats are welcome to be included.

ROTS Anakin

  • He is peerless with a lightsaber.
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  • Stronger in the force than any other Jedi.
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  • More powerful than the Jedi even if they held him back.
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  • Stronger in the force than any Jedi Yoda has ever seen.
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  • Pretty much the best at everything.
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  • Had a consistent, rapid growth throughout the years.
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  • Arguably the most powerful Jedi ever.
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  • Unmatched skill and power.
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  • The mightiest (strongest) of the Jedi.
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  • Unmatched offensive dueling.
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  • Palpatine, Kenobi and Kanan seemed to agree he was the greatest/most powerful among the Jedi.
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  • Palpatine considered Anakin's powers to rival his own or to even be superior.
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IH Anakin

Anakin in Invisibe Hand got a major power up while completely dominating Dooku. This feat will be significant for later Vader scaling.

  • So we know Yoda was slightly more powerful than Dooku in AOTC. He was however the clear superior duelist.
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  • Dooku was stated to be at his peak in ROTS, which means he grew significantly. Anakin defeated him in 12 seconds and was stated far more powerful than him.
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So I think this makes it pretty clear that Anakin by IH was at the very least on par with Yoda in the force and lightsaber prowess.

KFV

  • After Anakin fell to the darkside there are many statements confirming a significant, rapid growth during the purge with his powers increasing after commiting himself to Palpatine.
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  • He casually defeated the finest swordsman in the Order while choking another Jedi.
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  • And his skill was far superior to all the Sith before him.
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So that should definetely put him above Yoda in power and most likely higher than Sheev.

MFV

  • Anakin on Mustafar was described as terrified and insecure of losing everything.
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The reason this is so significant to scale him is because of Vader being described to be vastly weakened during fights such as with Kenobi (twice), Luke and on situations where his past is involved. So even if he's still powerful, conflict combined with lack of skill due to being "reckless" as described by Palpatine can cost him fights.

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  • Compared to his self before Mustafar where he was described disturbingly calculated and calm.
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  • That's why despite being more powerful than Kenobi and the better warrior, they end up evenly matched in many aspects and Obi Wan ends up winning. Kenobi being his master and being able to predict eachother's moves with ease is another reason why this duel shouldn't be used against Anakin's combat prowess.
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  • It should also be noted that even back in AOTC, when Anakin was half as powerful as ROTS, he was capable of getting the upper hand on Kenobi before losing because of his aggresion blinding him.
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So we end up with:

Anakin ~ Palpatine >~ Yoda

KFV >~ Palpatine >~ Yoda

Early Suited Vader (19-14 BBY)

  • As soon as he got in the suit he was weaker compared to KFV, but still had great power.
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  • He was equal to Kirak Infil'a, who was more powerful than any Jedi Vader/Anakin had ever faced.
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  • He also didn't know how to use his suit at the time and he didn't possess a lightsaber which amplifies someone's connection to the force during battle.
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  • Shortly after bleeding his crystal he got a significant power up by rejecting his past and embracing the dark side. In the very same year his presence in the force was stated superior to Palpatine's.
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  • He officially surpasses Anakin/KFV in LOTS, 5 years into his suit and around that period Palpatine believes his power is unparalleled. However this is just the first time he gets a direct comparison to Anakin, so by scaling 19bby Vader should still be above KFV power wise. Palpatine was also worried about his potential and manipulated him in case he decided to overthrow him.
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  • He also defeated a dark side amped Eeth Koth while toying, who Palpatine considered a threat.
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  • Palpatine considered him a "perfect Sith Lord" and Vader is stated as "the most powerful Sith in the galaxy" in JFO.
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  • He was also confirmed to amplify his power as soon as he started meditating.
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  • The biggest misconception putting Palpatine far above Vader during that period was their mission in the LOTS novel. The novel shows them performing equally but it is later said Palpatine was only using a fraction of his power. However, it is also mentioned that the whole point of the mission was to help Vader get rid of the ghosts of his past and it is already established how much sentiment can weaken him. Vader in the same novel when not on the mission is said to move at preternatural speed and was faster with a saber than Sheev.
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It wouldn't make sense either for a Vader who surpassed KFV to be only a fraction of Palpatine's power when we don't have any confirmation of signifcant growth from the latter 5 years after ROTS.

So we have:

Pre Crystal Vader < KFV < ESV < LOTS Vader

LOTS Sidious ~ LOTS Vader

OWK/JS Vader (13-10 BBY)

This is probably the most controversial version of Vader. I'll try to prove why he was significantly more powerful than Kenobi at the time and wasn't fighting at his best in the finale.

  • Vader in OWK hits a new prime where he is more powerful and more full of hate than ever up to that point. We also get another confirmation of his power in the dark side being > KFV, when he feels enormous to Kenobi who didn't show any form of hesitation against Anakin on Mustafar.
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  • However it is stated before ROTJ, that Vader's hate in the past had made him "reckless". And fighting without a clear head is one of the major reasons he was put in the suit in the first place.
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  • There are also plenty of statements saying Vader was still half Anakin at the time even while completely enraged. We already know how much hinderence affected his earlier performances and even parallels with their duel in AOTC are being made, suggesting Vader's arrogance is what costed him the fight again.
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  • The fact that Kenobi was "at full strength" and was amped by his determination to save the twins didn't help either.
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  • The power gap when they are both at their base selves is siginificant and can easily be proven.

1. Either by Kenobi using all his strength trying to crush Vader under a rock, only for Vader to launch it away while trashtalking.

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2. Or by Vader stopping a huge 40m+ ship in the previous episode and ripping it apart.

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Kenobi simply doesn't have feats even close to this in any of his previous or future showings.

3. If we go by scaling the difference is even more ridiculous, with Vader getting quotes in his first days in the suit putting him above MFK who is equal to OWK Kenobi and getting other quotes that put him on par with Palpatine 5 years after ROTS. And we know Vader kept growing every year, so 10 years after ROTS should be close to a stomp regarding force power.

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And even regarding combat they seemed evenly matched before Kenobi got the amp, even if Vader was fighting without a clear head and was being reckless and arrogant.

  • Anakin having a significant effect on the battle is once again backed up by the writer of the show.
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So we have:

OWK Vader >> OWK Kenobi at least in the force

Rebels/RO/ANH Vader (5-0 BBY)

The time gap between these versions of Vader is small enough for them to be pretty close in power.

  • Starting with Rebels, Vader again hits a new prime where there is enough evidence to suggest he surpassed Anakin's combat abilities by overcoming the restrictions of his suit and creating his own saber form. He is also stated to have no weaknesses more than once.
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  • According to multiple sources, Ahsoka and Maul were no match for him even if they were stated to be at their peaks at the time. It is said that both of them combined with Kanan would have to work together to even stand a chance.
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  • His rage was what made him be out of Ahsoka's league proving he has learned to control his anger compared to OWK while growing in power at the same time. An amp from the dark side nexxus is debunked and never mentioned in official sources.
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  • And Maul wants nothing to do with him and is scared to face him.
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  • He is stated "unstoppable", his powers are "extreme" and he is "the ultimate instument of the dark side".
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  • And yes, Ahsoka would have beeen decapitated hadn't it been for Ezra.
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  • We also get more confirmation of him not losing potential by him having more midichlorians than anyone in the galaxy which explains his rapid growth combined with the galaxy being infused with the dark side until ROTJ.
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  • Backed up by the fact his suit didn't weaken him at all and his sheer power could keep him going even if it was turned off.
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  • Moving to RO/ANH, Vader has grown even more after 5 years and gets many quotes again confirming he is a better combatant and more powerful than Anakin.
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  • We also see that in his fight with Kenobi confirming the issue in ROTS and OWK wasn't lack of power, but lack of self control. Some sources say that Ben was no match for Vader while all of them give the upper hand to the latter, even if Kenobi was stated at his peak in matters of the force.
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  • Vader was also stated the Empire's most powerful warrior which binds with him topping the lightsaber dueling list.
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  • Apart from the fight with Kenobi, it is backed up by Karbin being no match for him, who was an improved version of Grievous.
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  • On top of it all he is stated multiple times to be the most dangerous being in the galaxy at the time.
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  • All this, combined with being tireless (although this has been stated since JS) makes him the ultimate combatant.
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  • His rage can easily shake the entire galaxy.
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So we have:

ANH Vader >> OWK Vader >> ANH Kenobi >~ OWK Ben

TESB/Pre Trial

This is just 1 year but very significant for Vader's scale. The difference between his power in ESB and ROTJ is massive. The following statements come before he visits Padme's grave in Darth Vader #5 (2020).

  • His combat prowess which is directly influenced by someone's force power is stated unaparalleled.
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  • He still holds the title for the most dangerous being in the galaxy.
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  • He is the ultimate weapon of the Empire.
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  • He is equally formidable to Palpatine.
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  • And is basically confirmed multiple times to absolutely stomp Luke.
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Now comes the part people use to downscale Vader and to make him seem like fodder to Sidious. Ofc I'm talking about Palpatine dismantling him after Vader visited Padme's grave and leaving him to die on Mustafar. I'm pretty sure whoever knows scaling or has read the comic doesn't need a debunk for this but here we are.

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  • There are numerous sources confirming how much conflict/sentiment can weaken a Sith, to the point it kills their career and it was directly refering to Vader. I'll keep these sources for ROTJ but we have Sheev confirming Vader's tremendous weakness multiple times in the same comic.
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  • Although that had already been determined since his first fight with Luke and lasted until ROTJ.
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So with that it mind, Vader was left with no limbs but one hand to rebuild himself on Mustafar while not being allowed to use the force and with a Sith Assasin that had given Jedi Masters trouble in the past trying to kill him. Vader successfully rebuilt himself, stopped the assasin while taking him on his side, fought an army and left the planet. The first time he used the force after being severely weakened was to easily submit a 200m tall creature, twice the size of a Zillo beast which Yoda, Anakin and multiple other Jedi couldn't bring down or even scratch without the help of an army. The Summa Verminoth was also able to use mind manipulation.

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Now Vader uses TP to get the creature to the Emperor. When he arrived, Palpatine used the force to kill the creature. But whether that happened due to both him and Vader fighting to either to sustain or kill it or not is not clarified and up for debate. However it is later confirmed that Vader wasn't performing at full power, when in the Kyber Crystal room he had visions of Luke, Kenobi and his own self. Palpatine also stated he needs to choose the path to the dark side again to "share" his power. And we know that by power he means the Crystal's power and its ability do destroy planets since it would power up the Final Order. This obviously can't be used as a durability feat for Palpatine since the reason he "tanked" it was because of his much stronger connection to the dark side at the time.

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Vader being absolutely exhausted and broken down without a proper suit after going through hell is another obvious factor. It wouldn't make sense for Vader to go from being "equally formidable", to a stomp gap below Sidious in a few days.

So before Vader visited Padme's grave we have:

ESB Palpatine ~ ESB Vader > ANH Vader

Post Trial/Post FW/ROTJ

All these versions of Vader come in the span of less than a year and each is significantly more powerful than the previous.

  • Starting with Post Trial, he stated that by enduring the trial he became more powerful than ever and is described as restored in the next issue. He also planned to overthrow Sidious one way or the other and destroy all the traitors, full of anger of what he was put through.
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  • During this period the parity with Palpatine is confirmed once again by both being described as the two most powerful beings in the galaxy.
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  • He is also described as the "ultimate dark lord of the galaxy".
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Now comes the Force Wave.

  • With the Fermata Cage exploding, Vader and Palpatine used their combined powers to shield themselves (also backs up why the Kyber Crystal wasn't a dura feat since it was much stronger than the Fermata Cage). A few weeks later the Force Wave basically makes both Vader and Palpatine use their powers to the fullest while amplifying them at the same time. Vader blew a hole in the Side of the Executor SD and had to be disposed into space.
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  • He later casually wipes out an entire island off plant life for miles.
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  • His powers are confirmed multiple times to have grown significantly on a few occassions, to the point he is able to hold back Palpatine's full power attack with one hand and no-sell his lightning hitting him. Ochi also seems to agree he surpassed Palpatine after the Wave. The reason I'm using Ochi's thoughts is because he could tell Vader was weaker than Palpatine on Mustafar and now has completely changed his mind.
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  • With Vader being able to fully focus all that power, he can handle Palpatine's full power lightning with one hand while multitasking and not even struggling near the end. Sidious is also unable to stop him from releasing the scourge on his planet which he has been desperately trying to stop for a while now.
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  • Sheev even screamed for Vader to be shot down and resorted to trying to distract him mid-fight or manipulating him in the end of it. We clearly saw that he couldn't cause any damage to Vader, let alone defeat him. In this instance, the master had no power over the apprentice. This also binds with Palpatine not wanting to let Vader realise he surpassed him a few weeks before ROTJ.
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So we have:

Post FW Vader >= Post FW Palatine >> Post Trial Vader

  • All this leads to ROTJ, which is his absolute peak in both force power and lightsaber combat, until Luke's arrival.
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  • His presence in the force is equal to Palpatine's.
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Now I'll prove why his conflict/holding back cost him the fight with Luke.

  • It is stated sentiment can kill a Sith's career, basically making him fodder if his emotions get the better of him. The whole way Vader gets so powerful is by burying the memories of his past. However the moment Luke arrives, he instantly becomes conflicted. During the fight, Luke senses his conflict growing every passing minute, even if he does not admit it. There are also sources showing Vader trying to turn Luke instead of killing him. So, even if some sources say Vader tries to kill Luke or is unleashing his full power on him, it instantly binds with Vader not being able to perform well because of conflict and thus, even when trying his best it's simply not enough.

1. Luke arriving on Endor.

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2. Vader doesn't want to fight and only does so because of his weak will.

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3. Throughout the fight.

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4. Snoke and Palpatine share the same intents and both believe Vader's weakness caused the end of the Empire.

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5. The same Kenobi who thought Luke ws ready to face Vader (having his ANH self in mind), now believes Vader is too powerful for Luke.

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6. Vader also surpassed Anakin's lightsaber skill who is > old Ben, yet Luke failed to even get to Kenobi's level.

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  • And before anyone says that skill doesn't matter when force augmentation is higher, first of all Luke would have no way to counter getting no diffed by a much weaker Vader in TESB with somehow having better force augmentation than a far more powerful Vader 6 months later. And Mace who was significantly less powerful than Sheev defeated him because of superior skill.
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7. And we saw what happened when Kylo was conflicted and how badly weakened he was.

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  • The very same thing that destroyed Vader.
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8. Yet Vader at his weakest point ever manages to tank Sidious' most powerful attack while carrying him to his death and only died because he let go of his hate which could keep him alive unnaturally.

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So we have:

ROTJ Vader >= ROTJ Palpatine or at the very least =

Some extra quotes

  • Most powerful Sith in the galaxy/of all time (double the times of Palpatine's quotes).
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(+2-3 from earlier which bind with force power)

  • The strongest in the galaxy (again).
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  • Light years above Dooku and Maul (obvious).
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  • A champion of the dark side.
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  • Kenobi's and Yoda's greatest enemy.
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  • And for whoever says he was not as powerful as Palpatine, or else he would 've killed him, Sheev has been manipulating him his entire life and Vader just didn't have any reason to dethrown him before Luke.
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  • His power is boundless (not literally but intent points to him being extremely powerful).
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End Of Thread

8 Comments

Analysing Vader's true power in canon

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There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Vader's scaling after the Vader #40 issue. I've always thought he and Sidious have been equals in the force and I'll try to prove so in this thread by starting with his years as Anakin and continuing with his growth all the way until ROTJ. I'll use multiple sources, so any comments with added statements/feats are welcome to be included.

ROTS Anakin

  • He is peerless with a lightsaber.
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  • Stronger in the force than any other Jedi.
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  • More powerful than the Jedi even if they held him back.
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  • Stronger in the force than any Jedi Yoda has ever seen.
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  • Pretty much the best at everything.
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  • Had a consistent, rapid growth throughout the years.
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  • Arguably the most powerful Jedi ever.
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  • Unmatched skill and power.
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  • The mightiest (strongest) of the Jedi.
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  • Unmatched offensive dueling.
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  • Palpatine, Kenobi and Kanan seemed to agree he was the greatest/most powerful among the Jedi.
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  • Palpatine considered Anakin's powers to rival his own or to even be superior.
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IH Anakin

Anakin in Invisibe Hand got a major power up while completely dominating Dooku. This feat will be significant for later Vader scaling.

  • So we know Yoda was slightly more powerful than Dooku in AOTC. He was however the clear superior duelist.
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  • Dooku was stated to be at his peak in ROTS, which means he grew significantly. Anakin defeated him in 12 seconds and was stated far more powerful than him.
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So I think this makes it pretty clear that Anakin by IH was at the very least on par with Yoda in the force and lightsaber prowess.

KFV

  • After Anakin fell to the darkside there are many statements confirming a significant, rapid growth during the purge with his powers increasing after commiting himself to Palpatine.
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  • He casually defeated the finest swordsman in the Order while choking another Jedi.
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  • And his skill was far superior to all the Sith before him.
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So that should definetely put him above Yoda in power and most likely higher than Sheev.

MFV

  • Anakin on Mustafar was described as terrified and insecure of losing everything.
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The reason this is so significant to scale him is because of Vader being described to be vastly weakened during fights such as with Kenobi (twice), Luke and on situations where his past is involved. So even if he's still powerful, conflict combined with lack of skill due to being "reckless" as described by Palpatine can cost him fights.

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  • Compared to his self before Mustafar where he was described disturbingly calculated and calm.
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  • That's why despite being more powerful than Kenobi and the better warrior, they end up evenly matched in many aspects and Obi Wan ends up winning. Kenobi being his master and being able to predict eachother's moves with ease is another reason why this duel shouldn't be used against Anakin's combat prowess.
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  • It should also be noted that even back in AOTC, when Anakin was half as powerful as ROTS, he was capable of getting the upper hand on Kenobi before losing because of his aggresion blinding him.
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So we end up with:

Anakin ~ Palpatine >~ Yoda

KFV >~ Palpatine >~ Yoda

Early Suited Vader (19-14 BBY)

  • As soon as he got in the suit he was weaker compared to KFV, but still had great power.
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  • He was equal to Kirak Infil'a, who was more powerful than any Jedi Vader/Anakin had ever faced.
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  • He also didn't know how to use his suit at the time and he didn't possess a lightsaber which amplifies someone's connection to the force during battle.
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  • Shortly after bleeding his crystal he got a significant power up by rejecting his past and embracing the dark side. In the very same year his presence in the force was stated superior to Palpatine's.

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  • He surpasses Anakin/KFV in LOTS, 5 years into his suit and around that period Palpatine believes his power is unparalleled.

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  • Palpatine was also worried about his potential and made sure to manipulate him in case he decided to overthrow him.

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  • He also defeated a dark side amped Eeth Koth while toying, who Palpatine considered a threat.

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  • Palpatine considered him a "perfect Sith Lord" and Vader is stated as "the most powerful Sith in the galaxy" in JFO.

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  • He was also confirmed to amplify his power as soon as he started meditating.

  • The biggest misconception putting Palpatine far above Vader during that period was their mission in the LOTS novel. The novel shows them performing equally but it is later said Palpatine was only using a fraction of his power. However, it is also mentioned that the whole point of the mission was to help Vader get rid of the ghosts of his past and it is already established how much sentiment can weaken him. Vader in the same novel when not on the mission is said to move at preternatural speed and was faster with a saber than Sheev.
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It wouldn't make sense either for a Vader who surpassed KFV to be only a fraction of Palpatine's power when we don't have any confirmation of signifcant growth from the latter 5 years after ROTS.

So we have:

19 BBY Vader < KFV

LOTS Sidious ~ LOTS Vader > KFV

OWK/JS Vader (13-10 BBY)

This is probably the most controversial version of Vader. I'll try to prove why he was significantly more powerful than Kenobi at the time and wasn't fighting at his best in the finale.

  • Vader in OWK hits a new prime where he is more powerful and more full of hate than ever up to that point. We also get another confirmation of his power in the dark side being > KFV, when he feels enormous to Kenobi who didn't show any form of hesitation against Anakin.

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  • However it is stated before ROTJ, that Vader's hate in the past had made him "reckless". And fighting without a clear head is one of the major reasons he was put in the suit in the first place.

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  • There are also plenty of statements saying Vader was still half Anakin at the time even while completely enraged. We already know how much hinderence affected his earlier performances and even parallels with their duel in AOTC are being made, suggesting Vader's arrogance is what again cost him the fight.

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  • The fact that Kenobi was "at full strength" and was amped by his determination to save the twins didn't help either.

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  • The power gap when they are both at their base selves is siginificant and can easily be proven.

1. Either by Kenobi using all his strength trying to crush Vader under a rock, only for Vader to launch it away while trashtalking.

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2. Or by Vader stopping a huge 40m+ ship in the previous episode and ripping it apart.

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Kenobi simply doesn't have feats even close to this in any of his previous or future showings.

3. If we go by scaling the difference is even more ridiculous, with Vader getting quotes in his first days in the suit putting him above MFK who is equal to OWK Kenobi and getting other quotes that put him on par with Palpatine 5 years after ROTS. And we know Vader kept growing every year, so 10 years after ROTS should be close to a stomp regarding force power.

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And even regarding combat they seemed evenly matched before Kenobi got the amp, even if Vader was fighting without a clear head and was being reckless and arrogant.

  • Anakin having a significant effect on the battle is once again backed up by the writer of the show.

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So we have:

OWK Vader >> OWK Kenobi at least in the force

Rebels/RO/ANH Vader (5-0 BBY)

The time gap between these versions of Vader is small enough for them to be pretty close in power.

  • Starting with Rebels, Vader again hits a new prime where there is enough evidence to suggest he surpassed Anakin's combat abilities by overcoming the restrictions of his suit and creating his own saber form. He is also stated to have no weaknesses more than once.

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  • According to multiple sources, Ahsoka and Maul were no match for him even if they were stated to be at their peaks at the time. It is said that both of them combined with Kanan would have to work together to even stand a chance.

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  • His rage was what made him be out of Ahsoka's league proving he has learned to control his anger compared to OWK while growing in power at the same time. An amp from the dark side nexxus is debunked and never mentioned in official sources.

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  • And Maul wants nothing to do with him.

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  • He is stated "unstoppable", his powers are "extreme" and he is "the ultimate instument of the dark side".

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  • And yes, Ahsoka would be decapitated hadn't it been for Ezra.

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  • We also get a confirmation of him not losing potential by him having more midichlorians than anyone in the galaxy which explains his rapid growth combined with the galaxy being infused with the dark side until ROTJ.

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  • Backed up by the fact his suit didn't weaken him at all and his sheer power could keep him going even if it was turned off.

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  • Moving to RO/ANH, Vader has grown even more after 5 years and gets many quotes again confirming he is a better combatant and more powerful than Anakin.

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  • We also see that in his fight with Kenobi confirming the issue in ROTS and OWK wasn't lack of power, but lack of self control. Some sources say that Ben was no match for Vader while all of them give the upper hand to the latter, even if Kenobi was stated at his peak in matters of the force.

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  • Vader was also stated the Empire's most powerful warrior which binds with him topping the lightsaber dueling list.

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  • Apart from the fight with Kenobi, it is backed up by Karbin being no match for him, who was an improved version of Grievous.

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  • On top of it all he is stated multiple times to be the most dangerous being in the galaxy at the time.

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  • All this, combined with being tireless (although this has been stated since JS) makes him the ultimate combatant.

  • His rage can easily shake the entire galaxy.

So we have:

ANH Vader >> OWK Vader >> ANH Kenobi >~ OWK Ben

TESB/Pre Trial

This is just 1 year but very significant for Vader's scale. The difference between his power in ESB and ROTJ is massive. The following statements come before he visits Padme's grave in Darth Vader #5 (2020).

  • His combat prowess which is directly influenced by someone's force power is stated unaparalleled.

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  • He still holds the title for the most dangerous being in the galaxy.

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  • He is the ultimate weapon of the Empire.

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  • He is equally formidable to Palpatine.

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  • And is basically confirmed multiple times to absolutely stomp Luke.

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Now comes the part people use to downscale Vader and to make him seem like fodder to Palps. Ofc I'm talking about Palpatine dismantling him after Vader visited Padme's grave and leaving him to die on Mustafar. I'm pretty sure whoever knows scaling doesn't need a debunk for this but here we are.

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  • There are numerous sources confirming how much conflict/sentiment can weaken a Sith, to the point it kills their career and it was directly refering to Vader. I'll keep these sources for ROTJ but we have Sheev confirming Vader's tremendous weakness multiple times in the same comic.

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So with that it mind, Vader was left with no limbs but one hand to rebuild himself on Mustafar while not being allowed to use the force and with a Sith Assasin that had given Jedi Masters trouble in the past trying to kill him. Vader successfully rebuilt himself, stopped the assasin while taking him on his side, fought an army and left the planet. The first time he used the force after being severely weakened was to TKly submit a creature 7,5km tall, almost 100 times larger than a Zillo beast which Yoda, Anakin and multiple other Jedi couldn't bring down or eve scratch without the help of an army.

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Now Vader uses TP to get the creature to the Emperor. When he arrived, Palpatine used the force to kill the creature. But whether that happened due to both him and Vader fighting to either to sustain or kill it or not is not clarified and up for debate. However it is later confirmed that Vader wasn't performing at full power, when in the Kyber Crystal room he had visions of Luke, Kenobi and his own self. Palpatine also stated he needs to choose the path to the dark side again to "share" his power. And we know that by power he means the Crystal's power and its ability do destroy planets since it would power up the Final Order. This obviously can't be used as a dura feat for Palpatine since the reason he "tanked" it was because of his much stronger connection to the dark side at the time.

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Vader being absolutely exhausted and broken down without a proper suit after going through hell is another obvious factor. It wouldn't make sense for Vader to go from being "equally formidable", to a stomp gap below Sidious in a few days.

So before Vader visited Padme's grave we have:

ESB Palpatine ~ ESB Vader >~ ANH Vader

Post Trial/Post FW/ROTJ

All these versions of Vader come in the span of less than a year and each is significantly more powerful than the previous.

  • Starting with Post Trial, he stated that by enduring the trial he became more powerful than ever and is described as restored in the next issue. He also planned to overthrow Sidious one way or the other and destroy all the traitors, full of anger of what he was put through.

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  • During the next few months we get an example of Vader seemingly fighting seriously, only to be called out for it and end the fight without even looking at the opponent. So we get the idea that Vader can be toying with people far inferior to him even when he seems to "struggle".

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  • During this period the parity with Palpatine is confirmed once again by both being described as the two most powerful beings in the galaxy.

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  • He is also described as the "ultimate dark lord of the galaxy".

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Now comes the Force Wave.

  • With the Fermata Cage exploding, Vader and Palpatine used their combined powers to shield themselves (also backs up why the Kyber Crystal wasn't a dura feat since it was much stronger than the Fermata Cage). A few weeks later the Force Wave basically makes both Vader and Palpatine use their powers to the fullest while amplifying them at the same time. Vader blew a hole in the Side of the Executor SD and had to be disposed into space.

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  • He later casually wipes out an entire island off plant life for miles.

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  • His powers are confirmed multiple times to have grown significantly on a few occassions to the point he is able to hold back Palpatine's full power attack with one hand and no-sell his lightning hitting him. Ochi also seems to agree he surpassed Palpatine after the Wave. The reason I'm using Ochi's thoughts is because he could tell Vader was weaker than Palpatine on Mustafar and now has completely changed his mind.

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  • With Vader being able to fully focus all that power, he can handle Palpatine's full power lightning with one hand while multitasking and not even struggling near the end. Sidious is also unable to stop him from releasing the scourge which he has been desperately trying to stop for a while now.

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  • Sheev even screamed for Vader to be shot down and resorted to trying to distract him mid-fight or manipulating him in the end of it. We clearly saw that he couldn't cause any damage to Vader, let alone defeat him. In this instance, the master had no power over the apprentice. This also binds with Palpatine not wanting to let Vader realise he surpassed him a few weeks before ROTJ.

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So we have:

Post FW Vader >= Post FW Palatine >> Post Trial Vader

  • All this leads to ROTJ, which is his absolute peak in both force power and lightsaber combat, until Luke's arrival.

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  • His presence in the force is equal to Palpatine's.

Now I'll prove why his conflict/holding back cost him the fight with Luke.

  • It is stated sentiment can kill a Sith's career, basically making him fodder if his emotions get the better of him. The whole way Vader gets so powerful is by burying the memories of his past. However the moment Luke arrives, he instantly becomes conflicted. During the fight, Luke senses his conflict growing every passing minute, even if he does not admit it. There are also sources showing Vader trying to turn Luke instead of killing him. So, even if some sources say Vader tries to kill Luke or is unleashing his full power on him, it instantly binds with Vader not being able to perform well because of conflict and thus, even when trying his best it's simply not enough.

1. Luke arriving on Endor.

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2. Vader doesn't want to fight only does so because of his weak will.

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3. Throughout the fight.

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4. Snoke and Palpatine share the same intents and both believe Vader's weakness caused the end of the Empire.

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5. The same Kenobi who thought Luke ws ready to face Vader (having his ANH self in mind), now believes Vader is too powerful for Luke.

6. Vader also surpassed Anakin's lightsaber skill who is > old Ben, yet Luke failed to even get to Kenobi's level.

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And before anyone says that skill doesn't matter when force augmentation is higher, first of all Luke would have no way to counter getting no diffed by a much weaker Vader in TESB with somehow having better force augmentation than a far more powerful Vader 6 months later. And Mace who was significantly less powerful than Sheev defeated him because of superior skill.

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7. And we saw what happened when Kylo was conflicted and how badly weakened he was.

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The very same thing that destroyed Vader.

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8. Yet Vader at his weakest point ever manages to tank Sidious' most powerful attack while carrying him to his death and only dying because he let go off his hate which could keep him alive unnaturally.

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So we have:

ROTJ Vader >= ROTJ Palpatine or at the very least =

Some extra quotes

  • Most powerful Sith in the galaxy/of all time (double the times of Palpatine's quotes)

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(+2-3 from earlier which bind with force power)

  • The strongest in the galaxy (again).

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  • Light years above Dooku and Maul (obvious).

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  • A champion of the dark side.

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  • Kenobi's and Yoda's greatest enemy.

  • And for whoever says he was not as powerful as Palpatine, or else he would 've killed him, Sheev has been manipulating him his entire life and Vader just didn't have any reason to dethrown him before Luke.

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  • His power is boundless (not literally but intent points to him being extremely powerful).
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End Of Thread

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