The late Sith Lord Darth Vader is remembered throughout the galaxy both for his infamous Dark Side prowess during his tenure with the Empire as well as his regrettable family escapades. But what was Darth Vader’s net worth? Behind the power-politics and domestic dysfunction was a shrewd businessman whose mastery of dark forces worked as well for him financially as it did politically. Take note, Kylo Ren – here’s how Vader did it.
Before Vader turned to the dark side, his past persona Anakin Skywalker had around 10,000 credits to his name, mainly in the form of a land trust on his extended family’s moisture farms on Tatooine. Rumored to have been divinely conceived by The Force itself, Vader may have been the Chosen One, but on Tatooine he wasn’t expected to become much more than a farmhand. Once Palpatine swayed him to the Dark Side though, the money started rolling in.
Financial Strategies of a Sith Lord
Technically an employee of the state, Vader didn’t have much capital to start. His Dark Side signing bonus did afford him 50k in credits on top of his modest public salary, and Vader quickly put those credits to good use, investing long in nerf commodities. As nerf herding became a popular form of income across the galaxy, Vader saw his shares skyrocket tenfold in only a decade. By then, Vader had formed several black market alliances, a fairly standard practice for Empire officers at the time. One of these alliances with Tatooine’s Jabba the Hutt was estimated to have yielded nearly 100m credits to Vader in bribes and commissions from Jabba’s network of spice traffickers.
With a diversified portfolio of investments and a short-lived interplanetary speech tour under his belt, Vader’s accomplishments put him on track to become one of the wealthiest Sith Lords in recorded history. A stormtrooper who asked to remain anonymous (for obvious reasons) was quoted as saying that Vader received a 50 million credit bonus from the Empire for slaying Obi Wan Kenobi and an additional 5 million when he took his own son Luke Skywalker’s hand in their Cloud City duel. (Though in a separate leaked memo, Emperor Palpatine commanded Vader to keep his personal family issues away from the Death Star).
Tallying the total net worth
3m: Empire non-bonus income & pension 26m: Nerf commodities 121m: Jabba the Hutt payments + interest 168m: Other black market holdings 12m: Galactic tour "Sith Speeches" 50m: Obi Wan Kenobi death bonus 5m: Skywalker dismemberment bonus 20m: Other Empire bonuses 45m: Other stock holdings ---------------------------------------- 450m credits - Total Net Worth
In aggregate, when converted to today’s dollar (approx. 0.8 credits / $1 US), Vader’s net worth of 450m credits or $360m US is over triple that of self-professed Earth-locked alien Lil Wayne ($150m) and nearly quadruple that of upstart director/producer J.J. Abrams ($95m), but not quite into that upper echelon of fellow dark siders like Vladamir Putin ($70b) or Donald Trump ($4b). However, Vader might be happy to know that his only known contact on Earth, George Lucas, is sitting pretty with $5.1b to his name.
At the time of his death, the Rebel Alliance split Vader’s fortune between his children, Princess Leia Organa and Jedi Luke Skywalker. Kylo Ren’s net worth is unknown, but it is clear it’ll take more than investments in the nerf herding market to reach the wealth of his predecessor. Perhaps a few Jedi-sharp investments in the galaxy’s exploding startup market? Regardless, the First Order, and indeed the whole galaxy, eagerly await his next move.