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Darth Vader Has a Secret Weakness the Rebellion Never Learned

This article contains spoilers for Darth Vader #13.

The Rebel Alliance never learned Darth Vader's greatest weakness. When Obi-Wan Kenobi cut down Anakin Skywalker on the lava fields of Mustafar, he may well have believed the Sith Apprentice had been defeated. But Skywalker was reborn in accordance with Palpatine's will, becoming a creature who was as much machine as man. Darth Vader soon proved himself the Emperor's greatest weapon.

The Disney era of Star Wars has certainly done wonders for Darth Vader's reputation. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the closing scenes shows Vader cutting a swathe through members of the Rebel Alliance, demonstrating his superiority in battle. The Vader Down event goes further, with the Dark Lord of the Sith crashing down on a remote world, and the full force of the Rebel Alliance attempting to kill him before reinforcements can arrive. In one memorable scene, Darth Vader looks around at the army surrounding him, and calmly tells them all he can see are dead men - before slaughtering them with horrific ease. Darth Vader is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Related: Star Wars' Plagueis Retcon Makes Anakin's Dark Side Fall Even More Tragic

But this week's Darth Vader #13, by Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco, reveals the Sith Lord had a weakness that the Rebels never learned about. Senior figures in the Empire hire the bounty hunter droid IG-88 to assassinate Vader, and they give him an advantage - the necessary technology to hack his mechanical parts. This allows IG-88 to actually take control of Darth Vader's limbs, and he attempts to force Vader to decapitate himself with his own lightsaber. Fortunately for the Sith, IG-88 says a little too much and reveals his control over Vader's body endures so long as he holds a specific controller in his hand; naturally a little bit of Force telekinesis sees Vader take it away from him, and he then returns the favor by having IG-88 blast his own head off instead.

It's unlikely the Rebels ever realized Darth Vader's limbs and armor could be hacked in this way, because there had actually never been anything like it in the history of the galaxy; it had been specially constructed at Palpatine's command by scientists who were at the cutting edge of their fields. Had they ever learned this was possible, though, they'd have needed assets at the very top of the Empire in order to obtain the codes - and it's quite possible they would be easy to change. Even when he was a child, Anakin Skywalker possessed enough technical proficiency to build the protocol droid C-3PO, and he wouldn't be willing to allow any weakness to remain after he'd been hacked like this. He'll have found a way to ensure this never happens again.

Here is the irony; a single assassin droid, properly armed by traitors at the top of the Empire, succeeds in accomplishing what hundreds of Rebels have failed to do - he gives Darth Vader a moment of weakness. No doubt Vader will ensure the traitors are discovered, and his vengeance is exacted.

More: Star Wars: One Order 66 Survivor Used Darth Vader Against The Empire

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