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Why Palpatine Blamed Darth Vader For The Death Star’s Destruction – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Why Palpatine Blamed Darth Vader For The Death Star’s Destruction


Following the release of the initial Star Wars film and the destruction of the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine held his Sith apprentice Darth Vader responsible for the monumental failure of the Imperial forces. The Rebel Alliance’s successful attack on the Death Star marked the most significant military disaster during Palpatine’s two-decade reign. Given the extensive resources and planning invested in constructing the Death Star even before the Clone Wars, it is understandable that Palpatine would be furious about its loss and that Vader would become the primary target of his wrath.




Immediately after dissolving the Imperial Senate, the last remaining remnant of the fallen Republic, Palpatine and his highest-ranking Imperial officials believed that the Death Star would serve as the ultimate symbol of fear to keep the star systems in line. However, Darth Vader did not hold the same regard for the Empire’s “technological terror” and instead believed in the superiority of the Force. Nevertheless, Vader bore the brunt of Palpatine’s anger for two significant reasons following the destruction of the Death Star.

Related: Palpatine Wiped Out a Rare Force Power to Create the Death Star



Darth Vader Allowed The Rebels To Escape The Death Star – With The Plans

\"Palpatine

As depicted in the 2015 comic series Darth Vader #1 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, Palpatine expressed his dissatisfaction with Lord Vader in the days following the events of A New Hope. In George Lucas’ original Star Wars film, Darth Vader defeated Obi-Wan Kenobi but allowed Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia to escape the Death Star with the plans carried by

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In the wake of the first Star Wars movie and the Death Star’s destruction, Emperor Palpatine blamed his Sith apprentice Darth Vader for the colossal Imperial failure. The Rebels blowing up the Death Star was the single greatest military disaster in the nearly 20 years of Palpatine’s Empire. Having put an extreme amount of resources and planning into its construction even before the dawn of the Clone Wars, it makes sense that Palpatine would have been enraged by the loss, and Vader became the prime target.




Having just dissolved the Imperial Senate as a last remnant of the fallen Republic, Palpatine and his highest-ranking Imperial officials believed that the Death Star would be the ultimate symbol of fear to keep the various star systems in line. However, Darth Vader didn’t think very highly of the “technological terror” the Empire had built, believing instead that the Force was still superior. Nevertheless, Darth Vader was still the one who received Palpatine’s wrath in the aftermath for two key reasons.

Related: Palpatine Wiped Out a Rare Force Power to Create the Death Star



Darth Vader Allowed The Rebels To Escape The Death Star – With The Plans

Palpatine Blaming Vader For Death Star

As seen in 2015’s Darth Vader #1 from Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, Palpatine voiced his primary point of displeasure with Lord Vader in the days following the events of A New Hope. As seen in George Lucas’ first Star Wars movie, Darth Vader defeated Obi-Wan Kenobi but allowed Luke, Han, and Princess Leia to escape the Death Star with the plans carried by R2-D2. This was because he’d placed a homing beacon on board the Millennium Falcon so the Empire could finally locate the Rebellion’s hidden base on Yavin 4. This gamble would have paid off if not for the Rebels’ attack which led to the Death Star’s demise.

Naturally, it follows that Palpatine would have been greatly angered by this decision when perhaps the Rebels could have been stopped and the Death Star plans secured. Calling Vader out for his failures, Palpatine makes sure that his apprentice is well aware of just how precarious of a position the Empire has now found itself in thanks to him. That said, there’s another important reason why Palpatine held Vader responsible for the Death Star (and no one else).

Darth Vader Was The Death Star’s Sole Survivor

Vader Suvives Death Star in TIE Advanced

Although Palpatine freely admits that others should share the blame for the Death Star’s demise such as the hubris on display from Grand Moff Tarkin or Admiral Motti, there’s no one else alive to be punished beyond Vader himself, the battle station’s sole survivor. Palpatine even mocks Vader and his past as Anakin Skywalker: “Oh, you are truly the Chosen One, Vader. Chosen to be the one responsible!” Vader alone was left alive to suffer his master’s anger.

As a result, Darth Vader spent much time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back earning back favor with Palpatine, as much of the authority and autonomy he once had in the Imperial leadership was taken away during this period of the Star Wars canon. However, Vader also spent time creating secret plans of his own to overthrow the Emperor. This was especially true after Vader learned that the pilot who destroyed the Death Star was in fact his son Luke Skywalker whose birth was kept secret from Vader by Palpatine himself, having told his apprentice that Vader had killed Padmé on Mustafar.

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