Played By: David Prowse, James Earl Jones (voice)
Movie: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Before turning to the dark side, Vader was Anakin Skywalker, a poor slave boy from Tatooine who knew his way around an engine. After suffering the loss of the most important people in his life, including his mother and his wife, his sadness turned into rage, eventually turning him into the masked and heavy-breathing monster sitting in the display cases on fanboys everywhere.
Although Vader is first introduced in the original trilogy as a ruthless cyborg, killing anyone who stands in his path to galactic domination, by the final film, he's using his last ounce of humanity to sacrifices himself to save his son's life. What makes Darth Vader one of the greatest villains ever is the fact that he wasn't really a villain to begin with. —TA