- "If I had a penny for every time a bloke said to me "I've got a magnificent weapon", I would be rich by now!"
- — Philippa Forrester meeting Vader
Vader was a heavyweight robot that competed in Series 6-7 and Extreme Series 2 of Robot Wars.
Vader was created by Team Vader, named after the cyborg Sith Lord Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies. Similarly, the team's other entry, IG-88, was named after a droid bounty hunter from the same films. IG-88 was entered in the main competition of Series 7 alongside Vader.
Vader was a reverse wedge-shaped robot, clad in 8mm transparent polycarbonate sheet armour which was quite resistant to most weapons, despite being thinner to the average thickness of that particular armour. It had been shaved down to fit the weight restrictions which made it especially vulnerable to axes and it could not self-right.
It had a large, 20kg vertical spinning disc at the front in a similar design to 259, which could spin at 850RPM. Additionally, at the base of its wedge were two ramming spikes and scoop. It was able to cause major damage with this arsenal, helping it to reach the Heat Final of Series 6, losing to Wild Thing. The Series 7 model had a lighter disc at 10kg, and an improved weapon motor along with thicker armour, now 12mm polycarbonate.
- "The biggest weakness we have is against flippers, because our machine isn't particularly low at the front."
- — Paul Rose confesses Vader's weaknesses
The robot previously attempted to enter Series 5, but failed to qualify. In the qualifier it fought Dome and began quite well causing considerable damage and even disabling the Dome weapon, however, after this, due to its extremely low ground clearance, got trapped on the raised floor section of the pit and lost mobility therefore giving Dome the win.
In the first round melee, Vader was against new robots UFO, The Stag and 9th seeds Wild Thing 2. Vader was tentative in the opening stages, getting its weapon up to spinning speed. The Stag was grappling with Wild Thing 2, however a clever slice from Vader's weapon cut off one of The Stag's tyres, leaving it spinning around in circles. The vertical spinner also bent The Stag's front pincers. With The Stag effectively immobilised, UFO activated the pit release button, but got stuck with its front pincers until Vader knocked it free. However, as the battle progressed, Vader's disc stopped spinning.
- "Has Vader's disc stopped spinning? Now what has happened here to the weaponry of Vader? It has stopped spinning. It is 20kg in weight, but that doesn't mean one jot if its not spinning at all!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
UFO, Wild Thing and Vader spent a while locked together against the arena side wall, but it was evident that Wild Thing's blade was stuck in the armour of Vader. The judges opted in favour of Vader and Wild Thing 2.
- Philippa Forrester: "But Aggrobot, not worried?"
- Paul Rose: "Well it's much less worrying than the other one we could have gone up against."
- — Pre-Aggrobot battle, Team Vader was much relieved at not having to fight 259 in Round 2
Vader's second round battle against the experienced Aggrobot 3 was much less complicated, requiring one hit on Aggrobot 3 to immobilise it - the blow knocked Aggrobot into the air and it flew several feet. Vader attacked several more times before the House Robots took over.
- "I would say it was very carefully aimed blow, but I think I'd be lying if I said that."
- — Paul Rose after the Aggrobot fight
Vader met Wild Thing 2 again in the Heat Final, where this time, Vader's disc got stuck in the armour of Wild Thing. Eventually, the House Robots helped to free the pair, but Vader looked to have stopped moving for a little while, but got going again immediately before Wild Thing's disc got trapped in the shell of Vader, in the exact fashion as it did in the first round.
The seeds used this to its advantage this time, though, puhing Vader into Shunt's CPZ. A powerful axe blow stopped the spinning weapon of Vader in an instant, but the stoppage was temporary. Shunt's scoop lifted up Vader, but didn't manage to flip it. A retreating Vader pushed the pit release button, but failed to get its foe down. The judges put Wild Thing 2 in the series Semi-Finals.
- "We wanted destructability, boo-hoo they stuck like glue!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
- "The Dark Lord cometh..."
- — Jonathan Pearce's formidable introduction
- "Hit and hope."
- — Paul Rose's "tactics"
Terrorhurtz rapidly began reigning axe blows on Vader but was saved from taking much damage by Iron-Awe 2, who flipped Terrorhurtz on its side before it came down. Iron-Awe 2 was squeezed between the vertical spinners of Vader and Barber-Ous 2, and got flipped over, but self righted speedily. Vader was then hacked by the axes of Terrorhurtz and Shunt and this appeared to be too much for the pyramid shaped machine. Shunt's axe eventually hit a blow directly inside the void beside the spinning disk of Vader, causing Vader's cutting blade to bend and impale itself into the framework of itself. After Refbot counted Vader out of the competition, Matilda's flywheel tossed Vader out of the arena.
The first battle of the Seventh Wars saw Vader battle with veterans Tiberius 3 and Shell Shock along with newcomers M2. The new robot started aggressively, getting underneath Vader and flipping it, but not turning it over. Vader's spinning disc made a huge gash in the side of Shell Shock, but M2 then flipped Vader into the air twice, although it managed to land on its wheels both times. M2 then flipped Shell Shock onto its side, while Vader sat motionless by the arena wall after its remote control receiver became unresponsive. After M2 flipped Shell Shock out of the arena, Vader then suffered the same fate at the hands of M2, becoming the first of the previous year's Heat Finalists to fall in the first round. Not shown during the episode was that after landing in the camera run, the relay controlling Vader's weapon motor became jammed on and had to be disabled by the removal of the safety link from the machine.
|VADER - RESULTS|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. The Stag, UFO, Wild Thing (9)||Qualified|
|Heat E, Round 2||vs. Aggrobot 3||Won|
|Heat E, Final||vs. Wild Thing (9)||Lost|
|Extreme Series 2|
|Round 1||vs. Barber-Ous 2, Iron-Awe 2, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. M2, Shell Shock, Tiberius 3||Eliminated|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 3
|Main Series||Vader Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat Final|
|The Seventh Wars|| Heat, Round 1|
Entered with IG-88
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Vader appeared at the Debenham Robot Rumble 2002, using curved scoops in place of a flywheel due to a ban on spinning weaponry. Vader defeated GBH 2, Behemoth, Lambsy, Knuckles, Velocirippa and The Grim Reaper, but lost in a melee to Dantomkia and Bigger Brother, and was also flipped by Wolverine.
Vader also appeared in an event at Neward Kit Car Show in 2002, again using the curved scoop.