Friday, December 21, 2007

Analyzing Star Wars: Darth Vader

When you think about a character like Darth Vader, what do you think about? Do you picture the mechanized face of ultimate evil within a galaxy far, far away? Do you see, in your mind, perhaps the ultimate badass?

I wouldn't be surprised if you do. I mean, Darth Vader might have been one of the toughest, meanest, and cold hearted bastards ever committed to film.

Well, in one film anyways.

Darth Vader was introduced in 1977 as the ultimate villain in Star Wars. Since then, there were 5 more films and each sought to weaken him. In The Empire Strikes Back he gets down on his knee and says

"What is thy bidding, my master?"
This is an act of complete submission. Not only is he not as powerful as his Master, the Emperor, he admits and accepts it!

Then, in Return of the Jedi, we see Vader completely preoccupied with his son. Not only that, but we see what's behind the mask, a frail old man!

From there, Lucas decides to make him even less evil by redeeming him! Allowing Vader to destroy the emperor and save his son. In the course of three films Darth Vader goes from being the most evil creature in the galaxy to being just another misunderstood man who only needed the love of his son. What a bunch of crap!

Then, we sit through three more movies showing us how Vader became Vader. And, if there's one thing that will always destroy an illusion, it's to show how the illusion was created. The night isn't scary when you know the sun will come back up in the morning, and the wizard isn't as imposing when you pull back the curtain. We all know this. So, Vader becomes Anakin. And, Anakin is just a confused young man who was unable to control himself. He made some bad choices. He doesn't deserve our derision, he shouldn't be feared because he's different.He's Frankenstein's monster, and he just wants to be loved.