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"It is unwise to lower your defenses!"
                                                                                                                                    -Darth Vader


  Darth Vader's Darksaber 
Beam color:  Red 
Constructed by:  Himself 
Features:  Belt ring, assumed height and width controls, decellerator
Source:  A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi 

Notes:   Anakin Skywalker built this lightsaber following his fall from the Light Side at the hands of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.  Once he had shed his Light beliefs and taken on the role of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Skywalker changed his name to Darth Vader and accepted his place in the Sith legacy.  As Palpatine's apprentice, Vader was put in charge of the mighty forces of the Galactic Empire, with the sole mission to hunt down and eliminate the last of the Jedi Knights.  However, upon realizing that his son was being trained in the ways of the Force, Vader became obsessed with luring young Luke Skywalker to the dark side and overthrowing Palpatine, who had then declared himself Emperor of the Galaxy.  Vader attempted this at Cloud City, where he used his lightsaber to sever Luke's right hand, but the young Rebel refused and escaped alive.  After regaining his strength and learning much of the Force, Luke returned for an epic duel aboard the second Death Star in orbit of Endor's "Sanctuary Moon".  During the battle, Vader's lightsaber was lost down the main power shaft of the Emperor's tower.  This fate was shared by Palpatine himself, as Anakin Skywalker regained control at the last moment and hurled his master to his (assumed) death at the bottom fo the shaft.  Anakin died shortly afterward, and hiis lightsaber was detroyed when the Rebels succeeded in detonating the terrifying battle station.

Vader's saber was designed to intimidate.  Its simple black and silver casing leaves little room for details, and was created with simple functionality in mind.  To add to his aura of fear, Vader installed a "beam rate decellerator," which slowed the rate at which the blade extended (an example of this is the beginning of the duel on Cloud City).  It is assumed that Vader added beam height and width controls, but that cannot be proven.  Vader's saber was attached to the belt that contained his environmental controls via a small durasteel belt ring.

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Last updated:  7/10/99