May the 4th Be With You!
This post is a tribute to Star Wars. Please read and DO share your comments and thoughts!
Did you expect anything less? Let’s talk about….(queue Palpatine voice) “Darth Vader.” Growing up I feared Darth Vader (Vader). When I first saw “Episode IV: A New Hope,” the image of Vader breaking through the wall, to board Princes Leia’s ship, terrified me. I was not fan. However, my impression of Vader changed significantly when I was introduced to the prequels Episodes I, II and III (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, respectively).
Through each successive prequel movie what I saw in Anakin Skywalker (soon to be Vader) was nothing more than a young boy who began to have difficulty coping with his status in life – a brat. His behavioral problems continued throughout his development, leading to the sociopath that he would eventually become. Vader diminished in status for me after the prequels. My disappointment in Vader did not decrease my interest in Star Wars – as I generally gravitated more towards the light side characters anyway.
Though it is true that villains are more interesting, and have more layers of complexity, the Jedi became more appealing to me as a result of their code of conduct and general way of thinking about life and how others are treated. I felt that I could learn, and relate, more to the Jedi. Then I met my wife. And I began a transformation that I never thought possible. Perhaps the Jedi were not smart in their approach to the Force. My wife is truly gifted in many ways. She does not realize this, until I discussed this with her recently, that her insight into light and dark does have a middle! Let’s continue!
The Jedi are the Light side of the Force. And the Sith are the Dark side of the Force. But there is more! There is a middle – these folks are known as the Bendu! In Star Wars Rebels, Kanan, who has gone blind as a result of being tricked by Darth Maul, meets the Bendu! In the process, as the story continues, Ezra (the apprentice of Kanan) is tempted by a Sith Holocron. As a result, Kanan takes the Holocron and goes to the Bendu for understanding. The point is that there is a middle to the Force and the middle can have Force wielders! But there is more!
According to Star Wars lore, Tython, the planet that harbors a lot of history for the Jedi Order, had two moons: Ashla (light) and Bogan (dark). The early members of the Jedi Order would be sent to one of the moons if they delved too deep to one side. So if they veered to much to the light, that person would be sent to Bogan. The reverse was also true. So the moral of the story is that the original Jedi worked on both the light and the dark!
Kat’s open mindedness has changed my perception of the Jedi as well. Upon watching the movies with her, all of the movies, I have adopted her perspective that Jedi, too, had a major flaw – namely arrogance. The Jedi were clouded by their arrogance and believed that if someone with force powers on the Dark Side were to be present that they would notice. This is evidenced by their almost complete annihilation.
The Jedi, because of Palpatine’s excellent skills in using the force, masking his true intentions, patience, combined with his strategic thinking, enabled him to disguise his true motives, until the execution of Order 66. Now, I remain no fan of Palpatine, but during his time as Chancellor, he really did a good job of maneuvering around everyone, including his apprentice Sith Lord Tyranus (Count Dooku). Palpatine was so far ahead that he even used Dooku to kill Jedi Master (and JediCouncil member) Sifo-Dyas – who negotiated with the Kaminoan cloners to develop an army to help the coming war. Only later to use Anakin to kill Dooku too! A true chess master….
To make matters worse, the Jedi Council was unaware of Anakin’s transformation – despite the warning from Yoda prior to his training. No one monitored his development. An even bigger crime, in my view, is that no one on the Jedi Council was aware of just how much interaction Anakin Skywalker was having with Chancellor Palpatine. And if they did seeit, no one really suspected anything until it was too late. The Jedi really lacked in strong communication – which inevitably led to their demise. However, this post is really about Anakin Skywalker or rather his alter ego Darth Vader.
I must admit that NONE of the movies (with one notable exception) really did a good job of showing just how evil and ruthless Vader truly was. We only see a glimpse of this in Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) when Darth Vader kills the younglings in the Jedi Temple. Even then we really don’t get have clue about just how powerful Vader truly was. Only in Revenge of the Sith do we see his prowess with a light saber. But, as he wielded the most midichlorians of all the current Grand Masters, he should have easily over powered Kenobi! With his combined power, lack of connection to anyone, and desire to conquer the universe, Vader truly was a force to be reckoned with. But we never really see this!?! All we see in many of the movies is Vader using the Force choke. So what?! But we never truly see any of his brutal and ruthless nature, or his true power, in any of the movies….until Rogue One! I think this scene from Rogue One (also found above) really begins to capture Vader’s total lack of compunction to kill anyone to make an example out of them for any reason – and in his pursuit of universal domination. Three cheers for Rogue One! Really a wonderful film. Perhaps Disney can invest in making such a film…about Darth Vader?)
In the Marvel Comics “Star Wars: Darth Vader” (by Kieron Gillen, with art by Salvador Larroca) we are introduced to the early struggles Vader had upon his introduction to the High Command by Emperor Palpatine. According to the storyline, Vader had some problems, including an assassination attempt, in his early career to assume command of the imperial armies. The video (also below) provides a small glimpse into his true barbaric methods, and provides insight into the fear invoked by Vader’s name and presence. Kylo Ren is no Darth Vader, but he exhibits some of the same characteristics. Vader is still the original. And as I have learned through my experiences with much of the Star Wars lore, an understanding of the light and dark side is truly essential to mastering The Force.
My son loves Darth Vader. Every time we go to Disneyland we have to see the Jedi Training. Darth Vader, the Imperial March (by John Williams) really invoke the feeling in Star Wars. I mean when you think of Star Wars you think, perhaps, opening credits or Darth Vader/Imperial March. Classic! Happy May the 4th! If you can, go and check out the graphic novels. They really do add layers to the quintessential story of good versus evil, and the on-going seemingly never ending family saga (with continuous fratricide) that is Star Wars!
I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. What are your thoughts and opinions on this? I’d be very interested reading your comments and experiences – especially on this subject. Thank you for reading. Until next time. Same bat time. Same bat channel! Live long and prosper.