Star Wars FAQ - How Did Darth Vader Eat and Drink? (Legends)
When we think of Star Wars, our minds don’t immediately jump to Wookiee-ookiees. This is mainly due to the saga’s title - I mean it’s called Star Wars and not Star Bake Off for a reason. But, with that being said, food has appeared more times than you may care to realise, and has been consumed by many main characters, including Anakin Skywalker. However, Skywalker’s corrupt and crispier self was never shown snacking on-screen. Even after letting himself go a bit, Vader was human, meaning he still had to eat, right? Well, yes, he did, and here’s how. Welcome to Star Wars FAQ.
Darth Vader fed himself one of three ways. Firstly, underneath the hermetic collar wrapped around his neck were feeding straws that connected to an implanted bladder filled with RepMed vitapaste, which could be refilled either during monthly maintenance, or on demand. However, due to the vitapaste’s terrible taste, a redundant system allowed nutrition to be injected into Vader’s veins. Thirdly, the Dark Lord of the Sith could consume food orally, but only when inside a hyperbaric chamber, since he had to remove his triangular respiratory vent. While Vader could chew, liquids were preferable, and so, more often than not, he utilised his armour’s feeding straws. In public, Vader was known to state he never ate or drank. This very claim actually made its way into an early draft of the script for The Empire Strikes Back, shortly after the famous scene where Han, Leia and Chewie are led to a dining room in Cloud City:
Everyone is at [the] table, Darth Vader presiding at the head; he is neither eating nor drinking. Lando eats with a good appetite. The others; Chewbacca sits quiet, not touching anything. Han and Leia have lost their appetites but both…and especially Han…are drinking wine. Looking at Lando and contemplating murder.
LANDO: You see, Han, I had no choice. I knew who the Princess was the moment you landed, I knew that the Empire wanted you both…and the Empire is important to me. I suppose that I really owe my comfortable existence here to the Empire, though I'm not a part of it, and I continue to trade with both sides. So I really had no choice.
HAN: I hope you were well paid. You know what’s going to happen to us.
LANDO: Lord Vader assured me that nothing would happen to any of you.
LEIA: Ha! I’ve enjoyed Lord Vader’s hospitality before. What’s the matter, Lord Vader? Have you gone so far beyond humanity that you no longer need to eat, or drink?
DARTH VADER: I have had to forego those simple pleasures, along with many others; but there are compensations. And you’re forgetting something, Princess. When we entertained you aboard the Death Star, you had information that we needed. Now you have nothing.
It’s also worth mentioning that Vader still possessed teeth and a tongue following his horrific injuries on Mustafar: in Shadows of the Empire, while being humiliated by the Emperor in the presence of his rival, Prince Xizor, Vader gnashed in anger. Furthermore, in the same instance, the fallen Jedi thought about biting off his tongue and swallowing it.