I'm sure we've all imagined at some time or another we were a character from the Star Wars universe - usually while brandishing a broom handle as a lightsaber. But, if you imagined you were Darth Vader, then you might want to reconsider this choice, as a new Imgur thread has just revealed how miserable the Sith Lord's existence would have been.
As we all know, thanks to Obi Wan Kenobi dicing him up on Mustafar, Vader is now imprisoned within a fairly sophisticated life support system. Originally, the movies simply showed it as some black armor and a menacing mask, but now the extended Star Wars universe has fully fleshed out the technology behind keeping Vader alive.
According to a user known as Psychadelicace, the armor is made mostly of 'Durasteel,' with the shoulder pauldrons alone wearing 12.2 kg. This meant it was relatively resistant to both blasters and energy blades. The rest of Vader's armor was made of a padded, multi-ply body glove covering everything below his neck. Apparently the suit is blast-damping and made of fire and corrosive gas proof materials. It also contained a gasket which regulated a cartridge containing kouhunin chemicals which limit Vader's pain.
Darth Vader's iconic helmet was also not without some painful gadgetry. Various displays within the helmet provide him with data as well as infrared and ultraviolet vision. Furthermore, needles were used to fasten the helmet to Vader's skin, which also simultaneously fed neurological data to a central chest computer which is used to regulate the suit's systems.
But it doesn't end there. Vader also had a cybernetic right hand constructed from Skere Kaan's 'indestructible' Sith amulets. This was combined with Micronized Mandalorian iron weave to provide protection from glancing lightsaber blows and blaster shots.
Vader's shiny black combat boots were similarly made of durasteel, while they also contain a ferromagnetic core which can allow Vader to cling to ship hulls and other metallic surfaces.
So far this all doesn't sound too bad, does it? Well there are some pretty major downsides too. Vader is almost always in pain, while his synthskin - which was used to replace the tissue seared from his body - itched incessantly. He also needed to be periodically cleansed and the dead flesh removed from his body. Added to this is the fact his constant rasping made it difficult to rest, let alone sleep.
Faced with this, Vader had several 'meditation chambers' built which allowed him to temporarily remove his mask and suit without dying. Overall, according to Psychadelicace, Vader longed to be more independent from his armor.
However, there might actually be a 'positive' side to all this pain. Several commenters on Imgur pointed out that Darth Vader's constant suffering is partly responsible for his advanced control of the force. As we all know, hatred and anger lead to the Dark Side, and I imagine spending your entire live in a cyborg suit generates plenty of both.
There's no information on how much Vader's suit cost to make, but I'm guessing it cost an arm and a leg.