Dark Lord of the Sith, scourge of the galaxy, and the Galactic Empire’s most powerful enforcer. While Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) was a powerful warrior and master of the Dark Side of the Force, Vader relied on his words to get things done as much as his actions. Like his signature red lightsaber, Vader spoke with a candid, unapologetic manner that helped him become a ruthless, calculating leader whose words alone could instill terror throughout the Star Wars universe.
So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you might have to puff out your chest and break out a little tough-guy talk, let these Darth Vader lines help you lay out your course for a well-articulated victory.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Simple, direct, and thoroughly intimidating. During a meeting of the Empire’s top-tier officers, Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) lays out the galaxy’s new power-structure, Vader is quick to remind everyone there that while the Death Star may be impressive, it’s nothing compared to the power of The Force. As most officers roll their eyes, one specifically scoffs at what he calls Vader’s “sorcerer’s ways,” mocking his religious devotion until suddenly he starts to suffocate.
You might not have the ability to choke someone using the power of the Dark Side — and if you do, please let us know where you learned it — but a stone-cold delivery like this is not only intimidating, but it could definitely help out if anyone’s doubting what you’re capable of.
“Your powers are weak, old man.”
This is Vader doling out some straight-up smack-talk after finally confronting his old teacher, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness) inside the hangar of the Death Star. In the twenty-odd years that Obi Wan had spent in hiding, he’d gone from a proud warrior to bearded hermit, and doesn’t seem to have kept up on his lightsaber skills in the duration. Vader, on the other hand, had gone from petulant Padawan to ruthless hand of the Emperor, who’d grown even stronger with the Dark Side of the Force. All considered, it’s pretty easy to see why Vader felt confident enough to throw some serious shade at his former master.
While you should always err on the side of good sportsmanship, if you see what looks to be a clear advantage, just a little bit of arrogance will go a long way for your image as a tough guy.
“The force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”
On the other hand, should your opponent deserve props without outright complimenting them, look no further than Vader’s backhanded compliment of Luke after their first lightsaber duel inside Bespin’s carbon freezing chamber. Sure, Luke may have a pretty good handle on his force powers, and he proves to be a spirited enough adversary, but Vader’s quick to remind him that he has a long way to go before the two of them are on the same league.
It’s a great move, too, psychologically speaking. It’ll boost your opponent’s confidence just enough to cut them back down with a well-timed insult.
“I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it further.”
Never will you need your words to function like a weapon more than when you’re negotiating with someone. One can only imagine the intense pressure that Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) was under when Vader was making sure that he’d betray his old friend, Han Solo, and turn him over to the Empire. And just when he thinks he’s got a handle on things, Vader shows up to completely change the terms of conditions, seemingly on a whim. Much like a tech company would do.
Even if your tough talk manages to put you in charge of any discussions like these, why not just push your luck and see if you can walk away with an even better arrangement than the one you first agreed to.
This is not only the line that introduced a world of speculation about Boba Fett’s once-mysterious backstory, but it was a stirring reminder that working for the Empire, even as a freelance bounty hunter, still meant that Darth Vader has the final say. Sometimes talking like a big shot works better with a ‘less-is-more’ approach. After all, when properly delivered, those silences can often speak louder than your words.
“Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.”
One of the most impressive aspects of the Empire is how utterly massive it is. They have massive starships, Death Stars bigger than planets (small moons, anyway), and an overwhelming number of officers, gunners, pilots, and stormtroopers at their disposal. To keep an operation running that size is no easy task, and even Darth Vader isn’t quite capable of force-choking every single person who gets out of line. So to stay on top of something as big an operation as the Galactic Empire, Vader has to rely on one thing that he knows will be 100% effective: tough talk. I mean, just the thought of what “new ways” Vader might do to properly motivate someone is a terrifying prospect in and of itself.
While making outright threats probably won’t work out in most everyday situations (and is also generally not recommended), the vague, looming idea that things won’t go very well if expectations aren’t met has a way of producing results.
“All too easy.”
Okay, so this is a little bit more chest-puffing swagger than straight-up tough guy talk, but after Vader boasts and bullies his way into knocking out Luke for the first round of their showdown on Bespin, Vader tries to wrap it all up with one simple quip to himself. While it proved to not be the case (the force was strong with him, after all), bragging about how easy it was to walk away from a situation a winner is sure to add to your growing reputation as someone who can definitely talk the talk after walking the walk.
This is an updated version of an article that originally ran in December of 2016.