Vader Rogue One
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What Would Happen if Darth Vader Possessed the Infinity Stones?

Darth Vader was one of the mightiest Sith Lords in the the Star Wars Universe. But what if he'd found his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Here's what would have happened if Vader wielded the power of all six Infinity Stones.
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Darth Vader is one of the cinema’s most legendary villains. The towering Sith lord looms large over the entire Star Wars saga, with six films focusing on his rise and fall. Even the sequels explore the aftermath of the galactic civil war he helped start. Vader was one of the strongest Force users in galactic history and wielded enough power to defeat the Galactic Emperor in a climactic final confrontation.

But what if he was even mightier? The Sith Order prioritizes power above everything. We know Vader struggled with the injuries he suffered in his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Fans have theorized that he would have likely ruled the Galactic Empire himself were it not for his restrictive prosthetics and injured respiratory system. If Vader had wielded artifacts like the Infinity Stones, the arc of galactic history would have taken a very different course in the Star Wars saga.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

The Infinity Stones

The Infinity Stones (called the Infinity Gems in the comics) are a set of six elemental powers in the Marvel Universe. The Stones were created during the Big Bang and possess unparalleled potential. Villains like Ronan the Accuser and Thanos have used the Stones to exert their will across the stars.

Thanos is the closest thing to Darth Vader in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s a towering, paternal figure who seeks to instill order in the galaxy through his warped sense of justice. Unlike Vader, Thanos doesn’t answer to any authority figures. He is the authority figure; the entire Black Order follows his commands.

Even a single Infinity Stone is a terrifying artifact. For example, the Time Stone allows its wielder to manipulate the passage of time. In Doctor Strange, the title character defeats an extradimensional deity named Dormammu through a clever application of the Time Stone’s abilities.

When Thanos finally got his hands on all six stones, he wielded the power of the Celestials at his fingertips. He wiped out half of all life in the universe with a snap of his fingers, though he injured himself in the process. The Avengers later assembled another set of Infinity Stones to reverse the damage the Mad Titan caused. Bruce Banner nearly died doing so, though, exposing himself to another massive dose of gamma radiation to bring back all the victims of The Snap.

Later, Tony Stark used the stones to rid the galaxy of Thanos and the Black Order for good. Since Tony was a mortal man, not a demigod or superpowered Hulk, wielding the elemental powers of creation killed him.

In short, the Infinity Stones grant immense power to their wielder, but it comes at a cost. What would happen if someone as desperate and broken as Anakin Skywalker accessed the Infinity Stones?

What Motivates Vader?

Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One, a Force user whom sages predicted would bring balance to the galaxy. The Jedi misinterpreted this prophecy, assuming Anakin would destroy the few remaining Sith and leave the Republic unopposed as the only power among the stars. Instead, Anakin’s betrayal destroyed the Jedi Order and paved the way for Palpatine’s Galactic Empire.

It’s worth noting that Anakin never intended to destroy the Jedi. He was the victim of a plot by Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. Palpatine convinced Anakin that the Jedi Council would expel him if they knew about his secret marriage to Padme Amidala. Anakin experienced visions of Padme’s impending death during childbirth but couldn’t bring his concerns to the Jedi. How could he explain Padme’s pregnancy without revealing his deceit?

Palpatine manipulated the confused and scared young man, tempting him with the promise of power. Specifically, Palpatine suggested that Anakin could use the power of the Dark Side of the Force to keep Padme alive, defying his prophetic dreams and altering fate. Anakin was motivated by the fear of losing the person he loved, not by the promise of galactic domination.

The Council sealed its fate when Mace Windu led a team of Jedi to arrest the chancellor. Anakin swooped in and rescued his friend before Windu could land a killing blow in their climactic duel. Anakin believed that the Order overstepped its authority by attacking Palpatine in his office and came to see the Jedi as an outdated relic. The future Darth Vader saw the clone army’s extermination of the Jedi as a necessary evil.

Before his duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar, Anakin told Padme that, given time, he could overthrow the Emperor. He pleaded with Padme to stay with him, but she was horrified by how the Dark Side had warped her husband. The confused Sith lashed out and attacked his wife and his former master when he believed they were conspiring against him.

A Broken Man

After losing everything, Vader blamed the Jedi for Padme’s death and his disfigurement. Throughout the early Imperial Age, the Sith Lord trained Inquisitors and helped extend Emperor Palpatine’s rule across the galaxy. Without Padme or the Order, however, he was a lost and broken man. Vader’s allegiance to the Empire was necessary; he wasn’t physically or mentally strong enough to defeat his new master.

Had Vader acquired the Infinity Stones at this point in his life, the galaxy would have been in trouble. If a portal to the Marvel Universe opened and Vader found the six Infinity Stones, he could have wielded limitless power.

Vader was one of the most skilled Force Users in the galaxy, even after losing his limbs and becoming a cyborg. With the power of the Stones at his disposal, he could have easily overthrown Palpatine and installed himself as the leader of the Empire. Using just the Space and Time Stones, Vader would be more than a match for the aging Sith Lord.

Darth Vader Featured
Lucasfilm | Disney

However, Vader wouldn’t have been content. After all, he didn’t fall to the Dark Side out of a desire to rule. He started down his cursed path to protect Padme from an early death.

Reversing Death?

It’s not hard to imagine Vader’s next goal if he possessed the Infinity Gauntlet. Everything he did in Episode III was to protect Padme. He’d bring her back in a heartbeat if he had the chance.

The Stones would give him the power to do so. Bruce Banner used the Infinity Stones to bring trillions of people back to life in Avengers: Endgame. Reversing a single death would be well within the Infinity Gauntlet’s power.

Darth Vader
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However, using the Stones in this way would likely result in Vader’s death. Thanos and the Hulk only barely survived using the Infinity Gauntlet, and both have a unique reason why. Thanos is an Eternal, a demigod who can survive exposure to cosmic levels of gamma radiation. Bruce Banner is a gamma-powered superhuman who could endure almost any form of injury.

As strong as Vader is, he’s not superhuman. He can use the Force to augment his fighting style, but it doesn’t make him more durable than a mortal man. As such, his use of the Stones to reverse Padme’s death would likely have the same result as Tony Stark’s final act as Iron Man. Even if he knew the risks, Vader would probably choose to trade his own life for Padme’s.

What Next?

What comes next for a galaxy without Palpatine or Darth Vader? Imperial admirals would scramble to take control of the resulting power vacuum. The leaderless Inquisitors would be the mightiest Dark Side Force users in the galaxy. Perhaps Grand Admiral Thrawn would become the new emperor, and the Grand Inquisitor would serve as his right hand.

Padme, meanwhile, would awaken to a changed galaxy. The former senator would seek out her children, likely discovering that Obi-Wan destroyed hospital records of their birth. This sabotage wouldn’t stop her, though. The savvy Naboo royal would track down Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine and meet her son, Luke. Unlike Kenobi, she’d tell her son the truth about Anakin and the Clone Wars.

Kenobi could lead them to Bail Organa and his adoptive daughter, Leia, on Alderaan. There, the Skywalker family could get the reunion they always deserved, and Kenobi could train Luke and Leia in the ways of the Force to prepare for the upcoming battles against the Empire.

From there, the arc of galactic history would take unpredictable turns. What would happen to the Infinity Stones after Vader used them to bring Padme back? How would the galaxy react to the Queen of Naboo’s resurrection? And how would Luke change by learning of his father’s fate at a young age? The resulting ripple effect would send shockwaves throughout the Star Wars universe.

One thing is undeniable: Anakin would find redemption, no matter what path his life took after his fall to the Dark Side. His fate would always end with his decision to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his family. If he had the Infinity Stones, he’d just make that sacrifice much sooner.