Darth Vader (born Anakin Skywalker) is the central character of the Star Wars saga, appearing as one of the main antagonists of the original trilogy and as the main protagonist of the prequel trilogy.
The films establish that he was originally a Jedi Knight named Anakin who fell to the dark side of the Force. He is also revealed to be the father of both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, the two main protagonists of the original trilogy. After turning to the Dark Side, Vader became a ruthless henchman of Emperor Palpatine; he secretly intends to overthrow Palpatine to establish himself as ruler of the Empire. Universally feared, Darth Vader rules with an iron fist and only bows to the Emperor. Vader is ultimately revealed to have personal honor in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, when he sacrifices himself to save his son, Luke.
The character was created by George Lucas and numerous actors have portrayed him. His appearances span all six Star Wars films, and he is an important character in the expanded universe of television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books. Darth Vader's design, particularly his helmet, is based off of samurai armor.