Battle of Bespin


Third Battle of Tatooine

Duel on Death Star II
Luke vs Vader DS2

Galactic Civil War




Emperor's throne room, Death Star II


Anakin Skywalker

  • Darth Vader
  • Emperor Palpatine

One thing remains: Vader. You must confront Vader. Then, only then, a Jedi, will you be. And confront him, you will.

Yoda to Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

The Duel on Death Star II was the final, climactic lightsaber duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. It was the duel that redeemed Anakin Skywalker, led to Galactic Emperor Palpatine's first death minutes later and earned Luke Skywalker the title of Jedi Knight. It was an integral part of the Battle of Endor.


Welcome, young Skywalker. I have been expecting you. I am looking forward to completing your training. In time, you will call me Master."
"You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did my father.

Palpatine and Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

On the forest moon of Endor, Luke Skywalker turned himself in to Imperial troops. When questioned, he denied the fact that he was part of a team of Rebel commandos. Vader took custody of Luke and dismissed the commander to search for the Rebel team. Luke tried to convince Vader to come with him and forsake the dark side. Vader refused, stating it was too late for him to turn from the pull of the dark side.

Vader transported Luke to the Death Star and led him into the Emperor's throne room. Palpatine immediately began tempting Luke, trying to seduce him to the dark side of the Force. Luke resolutely refused to give in. Palpatine revealed to Luke that the entire battle was a trap he had orchestrated to destroy the rebellion. Luke taunted the Emperor, telling him that his overconfidence was his weakness. The Emperor answered back that Luke's greatest weakness was his faith in his friends.

Luke witnessed the arrival of the Rebel fleet in the system and the start of the space battle. It was then that Palpatine revealed another secret, pushing to incite Luke's anger. Luke watched helplessly as the Death Star fired its superlaser, destroying the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Liberty. Luke still refused to give in to his anger. The Emperor continued taunting him, telling Luke that all his friends and the entire rebellion would soon be destroyed.

The DuelEdit

Good. Good. Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take your father's place at my side.

Palpatine, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Palpatine could feel his anger and tempted Luke to strike him down and complete his journey to the dark side. Luke gave in to the anger and summoned his lightsaber to his hand. Promptly igniting it, he struck out at the Emperor, only to have his attack blocked by Vader's scarlet blade. The battle began, and Palpatine smiled in satisfaction.


Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader engaged into a lightsaber duel that would determine the fate of the galaxy.

Vader and Luke battled on the dais before the throne for quite a while, circling and trading numerous blows with no injury, until Luke attacked very aggressively, gaining the advantage and unleashing a flurry of attacks. [1]. As the battle moved, Vader found himself with his back to the stairs. Luke quickly took advantage of this, kicking Vader down the steps. As Vader landed in a heap at the base of the steps, Luke powered-down his lightsaber and stated his refusal to continue fighting.

Vader quietly ascended the steps, pointing out Luke's lack of wisdom in lowering his defense, before attacking with a sudden overcut. Luke was able to ignite his saber just in time to block Vader's blow. As the two began to resume fighting, Luke suddenly sped to the side and leapt into one of the data pods in the room. As Vader stabbed his blade into the gap between two consoles, Luke leapt up onto one of the ceiling walkways, out of Vader's reach. As Vader looked up at Luke, Luke attempted to reason with him, stating that he could feel the conflict within Vader. Vader denied this, and Luke retorted with his belief that Vader would not kill him now, as he had not done so before. Vader responded by scolding Luke's underestimation of the dark side, and said that if he would not fight, then he would "meet his destiny." Apparently Vader had learned from his mistake on Mustafar that had cost him so dearly by not leaping up after his son as he had done with Obi-Wan Kenobi twenty-three years earlier.

Return of the jedi 4

Luke uses his anger to break Vader's tenacious defense.

Vader then raised his lightsaber and hurled it at Luke, who barely avoided the cut. The saber severed the walkway's support struts instead, showering Luke with sparks. As the gantry fell, Luke slid along it, landing on the floor and scurrying under the dais. Vader curtly walked down the stairs and followed Luke under the dais.

As Vader stalked the shadows beneath, searching for his son, he began to taunt Luke, telling him the only way to save his friends was to give in. Sensing Luke's thoughts, Vader learned of Luke's twin sister. Vader then threatened to turn Leia if Luke refused.

Outraged by this, Luke charged and viciously attacked Vader, giving in to and using his anger to fuel his attack. Luke drove Vader back, his broad bladework showering them both in sparks in the confined space. As their battle moved out from under the dais and towards the elevator and reactor pit, Vader was driven to his knees as his son continued to hammer him with blows. Finally, Vader was knocked off his feet, and Luke's blade slashed through Vader's wrist, ending the duel. As Vader's mechanical hand, still clutching a lightsaber, fell into the abyss, Luke, exhausted, held his father at bladepoint, only to hear Palpatine's cackling.


Vader is defeated by his son in their final battle.

Pleased, the Dark Lord of the Sith approached Luke and ordered him to fulfill his destiny and replace Vader as his apprentice. Luke then looked down at his own artificial hand, then at the severed hand he had just taken from his father. Realizing his actions had been of the dark side, Luke powered-down his lightsaber and threw it aside. Turning to Palpatine, Luke Skywalker stated that he was a Jedi, like his father before him, and he would never join the dark side.

Luke's tortureEdit


Palpatine torturing Luke with Force lightning.

If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed! Young fool. Only now at the end do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side. You have paid the price for your lack of vision. Now, young Skywalker, you will die.

Palpatine, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Palpatine, realizing that his attempt to corrupt Luke had failed, raised his hands and unleashed a blast of Force lightning. As Luke crumpled to the ground, Palpatine chose to torture the Jedi with a continuous barrage of low-intensity lightning, although he could easily have killed Luke instantly. As Luke writhed in agony, Vader dragged himself to his feet and returned to Palpatine's side. However, after several moments, the tiny part of Anakin Skywalker that remained in Vader broke through, being unable to allow his son to die in agony at the hands of the Sith. He turned on the Emperor, seizing him from behind. Despite the barrage of now lethal-intensity Force lightning he was forced to endure, Anakin hoisted the struggling Sith Lord above his head, and cast him down the reactor shaft leading to the Death Star's core, where Palpatine's body exploded in a blast of energy.

Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious, had suffered his first death.


Now...go, my son. Leave me."
"No. You're coming with me. I will not leave you here. I've got to save you."
"You already have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your were right.

Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

A redeemed Anakin Skywalker looks at his son with his own eyes for the first time.

Anakin Skywalker had redeemed himself, though at the cost of his own life. Palpatine's Force lightning had shorted out Anakin's life support system. Luke dragged his dying father to Vader's shuttle. Here, on the deck of the hangar bay, Anakin told Luke to remove his mask. He wanted to look at his son face to face. Luke complied, and upon removing the mask, Anakin smiled at seeing his son's face with his own eyes. Anakin told Luke he had been right, that there was still good in him, and asked him to tell Leia that he had been right. After that request, Anakin Skywalker died. Luke mourned his father's death and flew with his body down to the surface of Endor. There, Luke built a traditional Jedi funeral pyre and burned the armor that his father had occupied. Anakin Skywalker's body, however, had disappeared upon his death.[citation needed]

Behind the scenesEdit


According to Richard Marquand, George Lucas wanted this duel to be bigger than the Duel on Cloud City but changed his mind during the shooting, saying: "George is very blunt. He said, 'It's just a couple of guys banging sticks against each other. Don't worry about that. It is bigger because of what is going on in their heads. That is what makes it bigger.'"[2]

Lucas has stated that Anakin Skywalker's body did disappear in the same manner that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda's bodies had at their deaths, and that only Vader's armor was burned on the funeral pyre.[citation needed]

Lawrence Kasdan says:"My sense of the relationship between Vader and the Emperor is that the Emperor is much more powerful than Vader and that Vader is very much intimidated by him. Vader has dignity, but the Emperor in Jedi really has all the power."[3]

Bob Anderson was Vader's double in this duel as well as in the Duel on Cloud City. Mark Hamill, complaining for the fact that Anderson was not recognized after the work he had done, said: "Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader’s fighting. It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told George I didn’t think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man."[4][5]Despite the stuntman substitution, Hamill was persuaded to pose for publicity photos with Prowse in the rehearsal hall. "I thought that was nonesense," he charges. "They had us pose in rehearsal clothes with our swords crossed. I had actually been rehearsing all morning with the "real" Darth Vader, and then Dave just came in for the photo session."[6]



The duel as pictured in book Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force


Notes and referencesEdit

es:Duelo en la Estrella de la Muerte II

fr:Duel sur l'Etoile de la Mort

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