Ashoka Darth Vader is the main fictional antagonist of the Star Wars franchise. We know the character for the wide range of evil traits. However, his innovative costumes add more intrigue to his character. His iconic armor suit is something fans instantly recognize in the Star Wars universe.
Simultaneously, the armor is a practical tool to keep the wracked Sith alive. It is also a figure of the Empire’s unconquerable power, has extensively featured across various Star Wars media. Despite the popularity in modern pop culture, it’s difficult to determine the number of suits Vader had in the series.
In canon, Vader’s armor is a power symbol for Emperor Palpatine and his Empire, even though it was an unplanned creation. The armor came into being when Anakin lost the duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, his old master. After his fateful defeat, the suit protected the Anakin’s scarred and burned body.
The destructing events for Vardar suits
Despite the invincible perception, Vader’s suit endured damage and destruction on various occasions. For instance, the end of the Star War movie, ‘Return of the Jedi.’ In this event, the Dark Lord turned on his master, the Emperor, moved by watching his tortured son. When he cast Palpatine into the core of the Death Star, he suffered the maximum impact of Sith Lightning. The lightning completely burned the electrics in his armor suit.
Next, Luke Skywalker fully destroys the suit when he immolates it in the burning funeral pyre. However, later the Vader’s recovered the retorted mask. While we can count this suit-destruction event as the most recognizable in Star Wars series, it’s not the only example.
There were other instances before the movie ‘Return of the Jedi’ when we see serious damage to Vader’s suit. If we see the Star Wars timeline, the suit went through its first massive damage. We can see it in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale where Dark Lord’s former master destroyed the suit. In the famous duel, the Jedi pummeled and broke Vader’s breastplate before cleaving the helmet in two.
Ashoka Tano, Skywalkers’ former apprentice did similar damage in Star Wars Rebels, where Ashoka slashed the other side of helmet. Another less significant but notable damage to the suit is evident. It happened in Luke and Vader’s battle on Bespin, where the armored shoulder received a glancing blow. Many fans see this damage as a reason behind the subtle difference in Vedar’s suit in Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back.
Suit damages in comic series
In addition to the movie and the small screen, there are many other suit-destructive instances. The canon comic book series Darth Vader 6 is set after the events in The Empire Strikes Back. Vader discovers the truth about Padme’s murder and plots to take revenge on Darth Sidious. The Emperor is scolding his apprentice, dismantling his suit, and putting his corpse on Mustafar to fight for his life. Only after he has proven his loyalty that the Emperor creates a new Darth Vader suit, complete with the latest technology. The armor was constantly updated throughout his period within the armor.
In all of its Star Wars appearances, Vader’s suit goes through various modifications. For instance, the suit from Revenge of the Sith and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The suit sports an extensive chin vent and the same red and green button design on the chest. In a way, it can be considered a reflection of the destruction that this suit has caused. The design is different from the appearance of Vader from Star Wars Rebels. The suit from Rebels features a longer-lengthened helmet and different colored buttons on the chest’s central panel. After the destruction caused by Ahsoka Tano, the suit’s design changes before the appearance of Rogue One. It returns to the red and green buttons, and also the smaller vents for the helmet from A New Hope.
Determining exactly how many costumes Darth Vader wore isn’t as easy as it may seem. First of all, it’s unclear if Darth Vader Dark Lord only had one version of each suit in stock at any given moment and if he could switch between several versions depending on the need. If the only version of the Darth Vader suit, it appears he wore at least five different sets of armor after the events in Revenge of the Sith. In order of timeline, these are featured on screen in Episode III and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One and Episode IV, Episode V and Darth Vader 6, and Episode VI.