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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Darth Vader was the real hero of the original Star Wars Trilogy

   
Author Topic: Darth Vader was the real hero of the original Star Wars Trilogy
Darth_Mauve
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Think about it. It makes sense. Perhaps not perfect sense, but some kind of sense.

Its the classic hero's journey from misunderstood villain to redeemed hero.

In the first movie (A New Hope), sure he is evil. He does the following evil things:

1) He tortures Leia. Or does he? We don't see the torture--only a droid with needles going into her cell. It could be a torture droid, or it could be a medic droid who, among other things gets DNA evidence that she is Vader's daughter. Chemical interrogation is more useful than pain based interrogation, especially in non-time critical situations--so it makes more sense.

2) He follows his commanders orders and doing his duty like a good soldier--and ends up capturing rebels, killing rebels, and more. At this time he is under the influence of the Emperor and the original general. He is stopping a costly and bloody civil war.

3)He kills his former trainer in a fair fight. At one point the movies suggest that the person who makes the first aggressive move is the evil person. Who turns on their saber first--Obi-Won or Darth? Even at the end of the fight Obi-Wan is still trying to teach his pupil because he knows there is good in there. Perhaps the teaching worked.

4) Darth destroys Alderain. No, that was the General who ordered Alderain destroyed, not Darth.

At the end of the movie Darth is freed of the evil General's control (when he died as the death star exploded). He was left lost in space, alone, to contemplate certain things....

like that a kid named Skywalker, who is strong in the force, was being raised by his uncle...

like the woman who got away, Princess Leia, has DNA that hints she is his living daughter....

like that the emperor he serves may have lied about the death of his children.

So Darth switches sides, secretly, before the next movie.

EMPIRE STrikes Back--Darth starts by killing off most of the Empire's to generals. He does more damage to the Empire's command chain than the Rebels do throughout the movie.

He send to Hoth the least practical military vehicle ever designed--the Walkers (or should we call them--the I can't defend behind me, I'm a tall and easy target and I trip over anythingers).

Who wasted the Empire's resources building those things? Darth.

The entire invasion of Hoth, while the Empirical Fleet faces gun fire from Hoth based cannon, is strategically embarrassing. Its almost as if Darth wanted to lose.

He then sends the fleet into a very dangerous asteroid belt chasing one lone ship. While the rest of the rebel fleet escapes safely, the empirical fleet takes damage chasing the last escapees because Lord Vader has a "feeling".

When he captures these renegades later, its all so he can get together with his son. He doesn't kill those he captures, but makes sure they, and the entire manufacturing center vital to the Empire's war effort, get away at the end.

Vader is working undercover to help the Rebels. He knows what he must do--bring the force-strong Luke and himself together as a team to defeat the Emporer. Yet if he is blatant about his plans, the Emperor will discover them and destroy the galaxy's only chance at freedom.

Yoda's last words, when discussing hope for the future-- "There is another."

Did he mean untrained and untested Leia? Doubtful. He meant Darth Vader of course.

The Return of the Jedi:

Darth was in charge of rebuilding the Death Star. It is behind schedule and its reactor weakness has been left in place.

Darth allows the Rebels to infiltrate the area by personally allowing their spy ship to land.

Darth allows the attack to proceed, leaving a power vacuum in Empirical Command and Control when he returns to the Death Star with Luke.

Darth brings the hope--Luke--to fight the Emperor. Sure, he fights him a bit, for a while, just to make sure the Emperor drops his guard. He also wants to make sure that Luke won't go Dark Side. What use is all the plotting to kill the Emperor if Evil Luke takes his place.

Eventually Darth kills the Emperor--at the cost of his own life.

And the final proof that Darth did all this to help the Rebellion and destroy the Sith Lord? He is given a Jedi-Ghost form at the end. That is only for really good guys like Yoda and Obi-Wan. Or Yoda and Obi-Wan aren't really that good of good-guys.

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Marlozhan
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I like your theory, though Darth allowing the planet to be destroyed by the General, without any persuasion otherwise, is a pretty big deal. We are talking about a whole PLANET of people.

But it is hard to get behind the theory, because I think it is far too deep and subtle to have been intended by Lucas.

But your theory does make the whole story even more interesting. And I have always wondered why Yoda said 'there is another' even though Leia never did anything at all with the force in the movies (except sense Luke's presence). Unless Yoda is referring to her involvement in future, unfilmed episodes.

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Aros
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Anakin Skywalker did certainly become evil and was redeemed by the end of the series. Lucas has gone on record stating that it was all about Anakin from the beginning.

You have a few interesting theories. Many of them are unfounded; but since Vader knew that Luke was his son, I'd imagine that there might be some credibility to additional motivations / things going on in the background. Example: maybe the weakness in the second Death Star was intended to draw another attack. Vader obviously feels that he's invincible.

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Foust
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Grand Moff, not General.

*nerd huff*

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Foust
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quote:
Lucas has gone on record stating that it was all about Anakin from the beginning.
But of course Lucas is full of shit. If it was all about Anakin from the beginning, then he deliberately wrote incest into the story.
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Aros
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A kiss isn't technically incest.
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vineyarddawg
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Sounds like the Imperial Army is not very empirical...
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
quote:
Lucas has gone on record stating that it was all about Anakin from the beginning.
But of course Lucas is full of shit. If it was all about Anakin from the beginning, then he deliberately wrote incest into the story.
Doesn't that sound familiar?? Incest is a big thing for writers with sex issues after all.
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Darth_Mauve
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Well, I admit my theory is incomplete, silly, and badly grammaticalized, but it has as more logic, depth, and good grammar and spelling than most Star Wars Theories on the internets.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
I like your theory, though Darth allowing the planet to be destroyed by the General, without any persuasion otherwise, is a pretty big deal. We are talking about a whole PLANET of people.

But it is hard to get behind the theory, because I think it is far too deep and subtle to have been intended by Lucas.

But your theory does make the whole story even more interesting. And I have always wondered why Yoda said 'there is another' even though Leia never did anything at all with the force in the movies (except sense Luke's presence). Unless Yoda is referring to her involvement in future, unfilmed episodes.

Leia sensed that Luke was her brother, or at least her feelings confirmed it.

But what Yoda meant was that she COULD be trained. Luke only used the Force after training, first from Ben and then from Yoda. Leia never had any formal training. But she had the raw ability.

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Stephan
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Any of you reading The Stars Wars comic? Supposedly it is based on Lucas' original draft for A New Hope. Luke Skywalker is an old man, Annikin Starkiller is a boy, Vader is there in the Empire. Reads like he never intended Luke to be Vader's son to initially.

I agree with other theories about the "incest" kiss. Lucas chickened out on the love triangle, and wanted everyone to get along.

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IanO
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Lucas' story about his story has changed over the years. But as originally conceived by Lucas, it was only to be (and was titled) "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker." Darth Vader was never intended to be Luke's Father. In fact, in the first drafts of Empire, Luke's father appears as a force ghost on Dagobah. Luke's sister was on the other side of the galaxy also receiving Jedi training. In fact, later she is even given a name, Nellith (suddenly having an Arrested Development flashback, as that sounds an awful lot like Nelly.)
[edit: you can see the actual first draft script here

It wasn't until his co-writer, Leigh Brackett died that he rewrote his first drafts and came up with the concept of making Vader Luke's father. It was at that moment that he fleshed out a back-story of Anakin and the prequels (as concepts) were born. This is also when Empire was now called Episode 5 rather than chapter or episode 2.

By the time he was working on Return, though, he was burned out and going through a painful divorce. He wanted to be done with series, so he resolved the Vader/Luke story-line and then just made Leia Luke's sister to deal with the "other" Skywalker.

Over the years his story regarding how much his started with, the sequels, and what he wanted to do has changed and expanded and contracted. At one time, he envisioned 12 films with him doing the first and the last, and other director friends doing the ones in between. It was to be an in-universe set of movies that was similar to the Bond series, but not necessarily tied to the one Skywalker clan.

Making Vader Luke's father, a brilliant move that gave the series much greater depth, changed all that, though it did introduce some timeline inconsistencies, as well as even problems with the first film. In that film, you can see that Vader is clearly under the control of Grand Moff Tarkin (could we imagine Empire Vader listening to Tarkin?)

And his screenplay, which was novelized, has a prologue that describes the emperor and his rise as basically a slimy and reviled political schemer and Nixon type, not a Machiavellian Sith master. The whole Emperoro as a Sith Lord thing was added once Vader took on a greater role in the sequels, since the master of the fallen Jedi Vader would have to be more powerful than him. Star Wars Vader was your typical mustache twirling villain from the 30's serials. Sith Lord names starting with Darth was a later addition (possibly by the 90s with the prequels) as Obi-Wan called him by his first name, Darth.

secrethistoryofstarwars.com gives a (sometimes tediously) detailed account the evolution of the storyline and teases out a lot of the processes by which the story was developed. I found myself feeling more empathy for him as a man and storyteller. In the very least, you can see what he lacked between the originals and the prequels (similar to redlettermedia's stuff). And I began to understanding how he came to some of his prequel story decisions (such as midichlorians), even though I deplored those decisions.

Information on the sequel trilogies (their existence and whatever might have been in them is here:
http://www.secrethistoryofstarwars.com/completehistoryofthesequeltrilogy.html)

It's a great book and site to read, FWIW.

[ January 16, 2014, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: IanO ]

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