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The Darth Vader Clone, a character archetype originating in sci-fi begun by the popularity of the character Darth Vader from Star Wars.

Archetype includes the following:

Not surprisingly, many characters of this type are found in Star Wars canon itself. See also May the Farce Be with You.

Examples of Darth Vader Clone include:


Anime & Manga

Comic Books

  • Star Wars Legacy: Cade refuses to let his childhood love Azlyn die, even though she asks him to, accepting her fate and the will of the Force. When all other option fail, he gets her to people who put her in a Vader-esque life support armor. After waking up, she was really pissed at him. Fortunately for her, she managed to avoid slipping to Dark Side and managed to get the scary black suit replaced with something much more elegant.
  • Galaxy of Fear: Clones has a literal clone of Darth Vader
  • Micronauts' own Baron Karza, in both the toy and the comic.
  • Lumiya was trained by the man himself and is practically a Distaff Counterpart.
  • There's also Dirk Raider from Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!. Not only is he similar in appearance to Darth Vader (although his helmet is more similar to Boba Fett), he even has a similar backstory to Vader's Start of Darkness in Revenge of the Sith. A notable difference, however, is that Dirk Raider's more of a Card-Carrying Villain instead of a complex character.

Films

  • The original Darth Vader from the Star Wars films is the Trope Namer.
    • Darth Maul is obviously an Expy of Darth Vader in a The Dragon sort of way. Count Dooku is also an Expy of Darth Vader, but he's actually got more in common with The Emperor. General Grievous is a bit closer to Vader; Darth Vader has trouble breathing, Grevious has a cough, and they're both cyborgs.
      • Word of God says the three were used for Foreshadowing, each one being an element of Vader: Maul as The Dragon who enforces the Emperor's will, Dooku as a fallen Jedi, and Grievous as a cyborg with breathing problems.
  • Darth Vader's own appearance is often thought to be inspired by the Film Serial character The Lighting from The Fighting Devil Dogs.
  • Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.
  • Mr. Big from Adventures In Dinosaur City serves as a dinosaur version of this until the final half of the movie where he removes his hooded robe.
  • Zurg from Toy Story (Toy Story 2, especially.)
  • Lord Graal is a pretty blatant one from The Humanoid.
  • The Doctor AKA Cobra Commander is this in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The sequel will (apparently) have him closer to his original cartoon incarnation.
  • Tron: Legacy has the masked, black-clad bad guy Rinzler who actually is former good guy Tron, who returns to the light side and tries to kill his evil master at the end.

Literature

  • Margaret Weis is a huge fan of the Vader character, so it's no surprise she borrowed his general aesthetic for several of the Dragon Highlords from the Dragonlance Chronicles, which she co-wrote. The closest to Vader in terms of both appearance and character, though, is not a Highlord at all, but rather the undead knight Lord Soth. The direction of Raistlin's story arc also paralells Vader's in some ways, though the two characters aren't very alike in terms of personality, appearance, or abilities.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a lot of books taking place after Vader's death, and a number of villains who call back to him, even if they'd never met him. Kueller of The New Rebellion is one of the most notable ones, though he also has callbacks to the Emperor. There's even a point where Luke, fighting him, decides to have an Obi-Wan Moment and let himself get killed so he can guide his sister - but his sister interrupts by just shooting Kueller.
  • The Horned King in The Book of Three.


Live Action

  • Wolzard from Mahou Sentai Magiranger. Heavily-armored, deep-voiced, sword-wielding black-magician dragon to the Eldritch Abomination N.Ma - and secretly the team's brainwashed missing father. His Mystic Force counterpart Koragg also counts, although he's only the Red Ranger's dad.
  • Before either of them was Chouryou/Iron Face Xiang Lao from Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Fallen Hero and father of Ryou, the series' Red Ranger. He is by far the most blatant. His boss amongst the villains is a ripoff of the Emperor when in human guise, he dies saving his son from said boss's Electric Torture, and the spirits of his friends appear to forgive him when he passes.

Video Games

  • A non-canon example is in The Force Unleashed's dark side ending, which has Galen Marek in a similar situation to Darth Vader by being made a cyborg.
  • Darth Malak from Knights of the Old Republic is possibly the most obvious Darth Vader expy.
  • Dark Madder from Warp Force.
  • Kabal from the Mortal Kombat series.
  • Grahf THE SEEKER OF POWER of Xenogears was specifically designed to resemble Darth Vader.
  • Golbez from Final Fantasy IV is a more fantasy-themed version, complete with a Cecil I Am Your Brother moment. He wears black armor, is a Badass Baritone when he's voiced, has a rather ominous and rather badass theme whenever he is nearby, used to be good but was corrupted and brainwashed by Zemus, and once he comes to his senses he helps the heroes destroy him.
    • As two more Shout Outs, in Dissidia Final Fantasy he has an attack called "Cosmic Ray", which fires blasts of electricity from his hands in a manner heavily resembling Force Lightning (ironically, the original Darth Vader never actually learned this attack and in fact was killed by it), and he calls the CPU boss from IV to fire lasers, the CPU greatly resembling the Death Star as a large black metal Attack Drone.
  • Gabranth in Final Fantasy XII is The Dragon to The Emperor, Vayne, is revealed to be Basch's Evil Twin and is a Fallen Hero who is pretty much single-handedly responsible for the fall of Dalmasca and the Empire's reign in the region. Clad in dark silver armor with a black cape and having a metallic echo to his voice due to his helmet, Gabranth is actually a broken man who feels he has nothing to live for except his servitude to Vayne, his home and family having been taken from him or given up. By the end of the game he helps the heroes defeat Vayne, but is mortally wounded for his heroism and dies soon after.
  • Ardyn Izunia qualifies to an extent. His backstory has him being a messianic figure who (supposedly) was supposed to ascend to the throne, only to end up becoming evil due to extremely breaking circumstances, including betrayal and the loss of a woman he loved dearly.[2] He also ends up acting as the right hand to the Emperor by the events of the main game, and his Villain Episode reveals that the outfit he wore as Chancellor was created specifically to allow him to operate fully unhindered during daytime hours thanks to his status of hosting several demons from his time as a healer, similar to how Vader had to wear a life support suit to survive. Oh, and he's also revealed to be a relative to the game's main protagonist, Noctis, specifically his great uncle from ages past. In Dawn of Future Past, he even redeems himself in a sense.
  • King K. Rool behaves this way in Donkey Kong 64.
  • Darth Malgus in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Also, most Sith Warrior PCs can give it a decent go, especially with some of the late game helmets like this.
  • The bosses of the 1987 Star Wars Licensed Game for the Famicom are a long line of Darth Vader knockoffs, such as Scorpion Vader and Wampa Vader, who drop their masks and cloaks soon into the Boss Battle. The actual Darth Vader is defeated before the assault on the Death Star.
  • The Darkshine Knight from Seiken Densetsu 3 qualifies. He wears bulky dark armor, is a formidable swordsman and is second in command to the Big Bad. Later he is revealed to be working for the Dragon Emperor, which actually makes him third in command. Oh, and he's also Duran's (one of the protagonists) father
  • In the arcade game Xain D'Sleena (also known as Solar Warrior), one finds on the top of a temple located in the planet (named Cleedos Soa/Jupiter [3] respectively) a flying head that looks suspiciously similar to Darth Vader's helmet and that must be destroyed in order to follow on the level. If one skips the planet, it will appear in space chasing your ship from behind. Worse, it cannot be killed since your ship just fires to the front, so you must just dodge its bullets until it retires.
  • Arguably, Xemnas from the Kingdom Hearts series in terms of appearance and backstory. He wears a black cloak, wields "ethereal blades" that resemble red lightsabers, and his past incarnation Terra is a very blatant Anakin Skywalker Clone with a similar Fallen Hero backstory.
  • Epsilon from Mega Man X Command Mission.
  • The Gamecube game Custom Robo has Sergei, who not only possessed a baritone voice (well, it's implied due to the eight-bit speech sounds being deep), a face mask obscuring all but his right eye, being a high-executive to the Z-Syndicate, and The Dragon to Oboru, but is also the older brother of Marcei. Likewise, he also pulls a Heel Face Turn late into the game.
  • The Magic Emperor in Lunar the Silver Star, being a Fallen Hero on a Knight Templar quest to return the world to divine rule, and clad in black armor and robes with an enclosing helmet that makes his voice sound much deeper than it does otherwise.
  • Jill Valentine plays this role in Resident Evil 5, being a former ally of Chris Redfield who ended up brainwashed by the main villain, and up until the reveal, wore a bird-like gas mask that deepened her voice and a cloak, not to mention served as the Dragon to the Big Bad (Albert Wesker). Also serves as a rare female example of this trope.
    • Ironically, Wesker himself also fit the trope in the same game, based on what Adam Clarke stated about Wesker and Spencer's relationship.
  • Cia from Hyrule Warriors arguably qualifies as a female example. For most of the game, she wears a black menacing face mask that hides most of her features, she is revealed to have originally been good only to have been corrupted to becoming evil thanks to a greater evil, and she's even revealed to be directly related to one of the main protagonists, Lana (although in this case, it's more of Lana being an Enemy Without for her instead of being a biological relative, being an embodiment of the light that was excised from Cia), even with a similar Reveal that shocks everyone involved (save for Lana, obviously, who ironically also engaged in From a Certain Point of View earlier to her allies regarding how exactly they were related.). In Legends, she even ends up redeemed similar to Vader, aiding the protagonists in taking down the Big Bad. Heck, considering her corruption largely dealt with uncontrolled love for one of the main characters (Link), she even comes across as a female expy of Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker as well.
  • Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Izuru Kamakura, built as the "Ultimate Hope", with the combined talents of multiple Ultimates, is subverted by Junko and becomes her main general. Being Hajime, his backstory is also quite similar, with Chiaki as the "Padme" who was killed by Junko to motivate him.

Western Animation

Notes

  1. The protagonist is his brother, they fight in space, and he regrets his wrongs deeds in the end, fighting the BigBad.
  2. Though in this particular case, Ardyn is the victim of betrayal via his brother Somnus, not the actual betrayer
  3. despite being a desert world with even a Shout-Out to Dune
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