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Darth Vader

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by ChrisBreton8807, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. ChrisBreton8807

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    What are your feelings on the Dark Lord of the galaxy? In a New Hope he is noticeably angry and agitated. But, by the end of ROTJ you can't but like him. If he was so evil why did he never learn to use Force Lightning? Was it the battle between good and evil within that didn't allow him to hit his full Sith potential? What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Lumpawarrump

    Lumpawarrump Rebel Trooper

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    I never thought of Vader as being inherently evil. The saga of Vader / Anakin has always reminded me of that of a tragic hero in that he began the saga in relative innocence but became misguided, was led astray and only in death atoned for the things he had done.

    While Vader outwardly denied any sort of internal conflict regarding the decisions he'd made, it's plainly obvious he was conflicted and did not gleefully go over to the dark side. While the moment is often criticized onscreen, I think the moment Palpatine tells him of Padme's death is a key turning point for Vader. All of the betrayals and murders he committed in the name of saving the one he loved were made null in an instant. From that point onward, it seems to me that he served the dark side and the empire not so much out of any sense of passion for them but because it was all he had left.

    When Vader learns of Luke's existence, everything seems to change for Vader. It can be argued that Vader's goal was to turn Luke to the dark side but it seems deeper than that. Above being a Sith looking to overthrow his master and rule the galaxy with a new apprentice, it seems possible that Vader simply wanted to be with his son. The dark side of the force was the only tool at Vader's disposal to facilitate this re-union and bring him and Luke together.

    Vader must have felt there was no way to redeem himself in the eyes of the Galaxy while he was still alive. When Luke asks Vader to come with him on the Endor Moon, Vader doesn't refuse out of principal or out of a devotion to the dark side, he does so because he himself believes his path is set and he is beyond saving.

    "It is... too late for me, my son."

    Only when faced with his imminent demise could Vader achieve any sort of redemption. I see Vader tossing Palpatine down the chasm not only as an act of love to save his son, but also his last chance to atone and make peace with a heavy conscience he had carried with him since becoming Darth Vader.

    So... evil? From a certain point of view, yes... but not without regrets which prevented him from ever truly losing his humanity.
     
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  3. MosEisley

    MosEisley Rebelscum

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    For me the main thing about star wars always was that there is no black and white...no pure good or evil...that there is always a chance to change yourself.
    It`s not just the change of vader in ROTJ... I see it also in the change of Han Solo during the OT.

    Obi-Wan: Only a sith deals in absolutes :)
     
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  4. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash

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    One thing to remember is that Darth Vader didn't start out as Luke's father. Even in Leigh Brackett's draft of the ESB script, Vader was just the villain of the piece. The father/son link between Vader and Luke didn't happen until Lucas and Kasdan rewrote the script.

    I have to say, given the fact that this was an unplanned change in the Vader character, I always felt that it was handled very well in ESB and ROTJ. I always liked the unspoken implication that something had changed in Vader after finally meeting Luke face to face. After spending the movie killing any officer who failed him, after the Millennium Falcon escapes, Vader just takes a moment, does a slow double-take out the window, and then just walks past Admiral Piett without a word. I always thought that was a nice touch.

    As for the Force lightning thing, originally that was something that was just reserved for the Emperor. Vader was already this badass villain who could choke people with his mind, so they needed something to set his boss apart as being even worse. I still remember after seeing ROTJ for the first time in 1983, being floored that the Emperor was so evil that he could channel his nastiness into lightning that shot right out of his friggin' hands! I always felt that it was the perfect expression of the Emperor's pure evil that he could just blast raw electricity out of his fingers - pure hatred in energy form.

    By the time the PT came around, the lightning had long since been turned into just another leveled Force power in the various Star Wars video games, and Lucas sealed the deal by letting Count Dooku do it. And of course, this raised the question of why Vader wasn't able to do it in the OT - the answer being that when the OT was made, lightning was something that only the Emperor himself was capable of.
     
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  5. ekg

    ekg Rebel General

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    The inner working of the Highest Levels of the Empire and the thought process behind a lot of Vader's actions is one of the reasons I like "Shadows of the Empire" so much. for anyone asking themselves these kinds of questions, if you haven't read that book yet, I really suggest it.
     
  6. Voxx

    Voxx Jedi Hero of Legend

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    I think they gave reasoning for Vader not being able to use lightning and it was because gee didn't have real hands.
     
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  7. Ceruleanlord

    Ceruleanlord Rebel General

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    That and he was more machine than human and it would short out the electronics on life supports in his armor. That was his weakness.
     
    #7 Ceruleanlord, Oct 29, 2014
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  8. Pobody's Nerfect

    Pobody's Nerfect Jedi General

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    My thoughts on Vader? The greatest villain in cinematic history!

    Loved the homage paid to the Samurai by the designers of his helmet and armor. Loved the fact he was all black and the stormtroopers were stark white. Loved hearing the Imperial March every time he was onscreen.

    Loved the idea that he and Luke were both sensitive to the Force. They were opposites, yet equals. It made me pee my pants with excitement anticipatiing their final showdown.

    Totally respected him for getting into a TIE fighter and taking the fight to the attacking X-Wings.

    When the prequels came out I think I appreciated Vader even more. His entire life was spent in slavery. First, a slave on Tatooine, then a slave to the Jedi code, then a slave to the Dark Side. Leah was prophetic when she said Tarkin was holding his leash. Manipulated his whole life, it wasn't until his last hour that he finally got to do something as a free man. The armor that seemed so cool to me in the original movie seemed different when I understood it was an iron lung and he could never breathe free air.

    He conquered a Galaxy but wasn't allowed to rule it. Fathered children but wasn't allowed to know it. He put Palpatine on a throne. In return, Palpatine put him in chains.
     
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  9. LongHairedAussieGuy

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    Yes, you are indeed right. On page 63 of the Revenge of the Sith visual guide it states "as a result of having artificial arms, Darth Vader will never be able to conjure Sith lightning - nor be invulnerable to it"
     
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  10. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash

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    I've never really bought the "artificial arms" thing. When it first began to be bandied about a decade or so ago, the apparently official explanation was not that lightning would short out Vader's electronics, but that the artificial arms themselves didn't allow him to channel the Force through them.

    Ask Admiral Motti about that one. Or Han "there goes my blaster" Solo or Luke "Dad's throwing junk at me" Skywalker. ;)

    As for the lightning shorting out his electronics, well... if it doesn't short out organic electrical systems when "meatbag" Sith Lords shoot it, and doesn't char-broil their hands, I don't think it's going to do much to battle-quality cybernetics. (Especially after it became canon in ROTS that incoming lightning could do major damage to the Emperor, just as it ultimately did to Vader in ROTJ, implying that there's a difference between the effects of incoming vs. outgoing lightning.)

    Again, the real reason why Vader never used lightning in the OT was that at that point it was conceived to be something that only the Emperor was powerful enough to do.
     
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  11. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    I guess I am in the minority, but I was never a big fan of the 'Tragic Vader' story that Lucas shifted to in ROTJ. I didn't mind that part of ROTJ focused on his redemption, but I saw it more from Luke's point of view rather then Vader's. Even at the end when Luke takes off his mask in ROTJ, it just doesn't work on a dramatic level for me like other scenes from ANH & ESB. To me, SW movies are about following the good guys, and maybe that's why I always wanted the ST instead of the PT. Psychoanalyzing Darth Vader and knowing his backstory just never did it for me like it did for others (including many of my friends).
     
  12. Lumpawarrump

    Lumpawarrump Rebel Trooper

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    While I can respect that and have heard the same from a few other fans over the years, in my opinion that dramatic shift to Vader being more of a tragic hero was necessary to drive forward the story after Empire and to reach a satisfying conclusion in ROTJ as it created conflict not only for Vader but for Luke as well and made facing his father again that much more difficult. If you take away that conflict, the final battle on the Death Star carries much less significance. As it stands now, that whole sequence is actually pretty close to my favorite moment of the Original Trilogy (except that I always liked Vader's SILENT sacrifice more but we won't go into that here :p).

    As was stated previously in this thread, Star Wars was never about black and white. A tragic Vader serves to add a few more shades of gray to the story and makes the moment where Luke gives into his anger and defeats his father much more powerful. Giving in to anger and defeating a vile Lord of the Sith is one thing, giving in to anger and defeating a man who's committed terrible atrocities that still haunt him and who is fighting internal and external demons is something else altogether.
     
  13. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    I totally hear you about Vader's story, as one of my best friends growing up feels exactly like you do. I don't disagree with you that the Vader redemption adds more depth to the OT movies, but I still think there is a section of fans like me that have had enough of Vader. Let's just say for the sake of argument that the PT movies were just as great as the OT movies, I still don't know if Anakin/Vader's story would have resonated with me? I understand he saves his son and redeems himself in ROTJ, but the guy was essentially a mass murderer and that just isn't that appealing to me no matter how it ends. The same goes for Michael Corleone, as I just wasn't interested in his story in Godfather III, cause his actions just don't sit well with me. I LOVE The Original Godfather because it is more about a story of a mob family, and even though Michael is essentially the star of the 2nd half of the movie, it isn't solely about him. Godfather II & III are when it focuses solely on him and just like Anakin's story, it just doesn't interest me the same way other characters do. Maybe I'm just a 'good guy' movie fan, so characters like Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, and even Marty McFly appeal to me. I love characters like Darth Vader and Michael Corleone, but I'm not interested when they are fleshed out too much.
     
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  14. DEKKA129

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    It doesn't bother me as much as it does you, but I hear where you're coming from.

    My take on it is, once they established that Vader was Luke's father, there was little chance that they were going to be able to just let that go and have Vader remain just another villain. It was practically a contractual obligation at that point to have Vader turn back from the dark side and redeem himself.

    I'm fine with the way that played out in ROTJ, though I never completely bought the idea that killing the Emperor and ending the war was enough to absolve Vader of "all them murders he done." But okay, fine, suspension of disbelief is part of being a moviegoer. I can live with that.

    Where I felt that it all went wrong was when Lucas went back and made the PT and never really established Anakin Skywalker as the kind of guy whom you'd root for as far as coming back from the dark side. Had Anakin been a genuinely good fellow who you hated to see being caught up in the chain of events that led to his fall, it'd have been one thing. Instead, Anakin was portrayed as a bitchy, self-absorbed pain in the ass who ended up allowing himself to be conned into becoming a mass murderer because he was obsessed with fear that his wife was going to die. By the end of ROTS, I remember thinking, "Of course he got everything completely wrong and screwed up his own life and those of everyone around him... somebody's needed to smack him in the head for the past two movies!" Yeah, he was a cute and harmless little kid in TPM, but unless they were going to turn him into Damien for some bizarre reason, ten year old kids are usually cute and harmless. But after that... OY!

    So, now when Vader comes back from the dark side in ROTJ, I can't help but think about how little sympathy I had for him when he fell to the dark side.
     
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  15. TheFettMan

    TheFettMan Rebel Official

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    It's a topic that was discussed partly in another forum section, but I think Anakin was looking for a out & chose to obey the Emerpior only as a way to stay alive/plan a way to regain power.
    Vader is NOT a Sith(part of the Sith race) even though he was given the formal title: Lord of the Sith in the OT(EP4/ANH).
     
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  16. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    I agree with you as I never had a problem with giving Vader's character more depth, as long as it was still Luke's story. When the PT was made, the WHOLE Saga became about Anakin's character (Little Boy in TPM to Force Ghost in ROTJ), and that overall story just never sat well with me.

    That is why I am happy they are making the ST, because that throws away the 'Darth Vader Saga' nonsense as now the SW Saga is more about 3 generations of Skywalkers (it sounds like this trilogy's star character is Daisy Ridley who is playing Han/Leia's daughter?).
     
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  17. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash

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    I agree, the ST should balance this thing out and turn the saga back into the story of the Skywalker clan, rather than this "Tragedy of Darth Vader" thing that never really worked anyway. I believe Daisy Ridley is probably playing Han and Leia's daughter (though we don't know for sure yet who any of the new actors are really playing.)
     
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  18. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    Perfect Statement. JJ Abrams and the Sequel Trilogy finally bring balance back to the force! :)
     
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  19. ThePurloinedFowl

    ThePurloinedFowl Rebel Commander

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    If Vader had used Force Lightning, he would have shorted out his prostheses - as Palpatine's Force Lightning did at the end of ROTJ. Palpatine wanted Anakin as an apprentice because he too had heard the prophecies and believed Anakin to be the 'Chosen One', and even before Obiwan turned him into a quadruple amputee, Palpy found Anakin easy to manipulate and unhinge psychologically because of his past trauma and projection of his failure to protect his mother onto his relationship with Padme. In other words, for Palpatine to take on Anakin as an apprentice was an example of keeping his potential enemy and prophesied destroyer as close to him as possible. After the events of Ep III, Vader was too badly physically damaged even to fight well with a lightsaber - his moves with Obiwan and with Luke in ESB and ROTJ are awkward at best, hampered by the getup the Emperor stuck him with, and Vader was forced to depend on his telekinetic ability in the Bespin duel. Vader was a highly effective enforcer, an able engineer who was good at ordering (and perhaps helping to design) star destroyers and tie fighters, while being too weak physically and too lacking in commitment to the Dark Side to defeat Palpatine on his own. This was the reason he needed Luke - and it was also the reason Palpatine allowed Luke to live when he was still basically a vulnerable padawan: because Luke would be an Achilles' heel for Vader and if converted to the Dark Side, could replace the aging, crippled apprentice with someone young and able bodied.
     
    #19 ThePurloinedFowl, Nov 9, 2014
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  20. Ceruleanlord

    Ceruleanlord Rebel General

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    Do you think Palpatine wanted Luke so he could be his apprentice or for a different reason? Vader was easy for Palpatine to control but Luke, in time, would have been able to destroy him. It makes me think Palpatine wanted Luke for a different reason, perhaps a body to replace his own.
     
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