Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Darth Vader Is Not So Strange

I know, what I am saying seems utterly incomprehensible. Also, nobody likes it that Hayden Christensen played the young Darth Vader, he's a sissy with a baby face and did a terrible job, especially in Episode II. He ruined Darth Vader's prestige, mystery, and power with his pathetic-ness.

Okay, thank you very much, I have heard enough of your argument. I beg to differ, but not to change the subject. This is going to be very controversial, so prepare to be outraged.

Darth Vader is only different from a normal human in one way, he is kept on life support in a black suit (and he has the deep, awesome, compelling voice of James Earl Jones . . . ). Other than that he is completely human, and acts like almost anyone in his circumstances would. My evidence and argument will explain.

Take a look at Anakin Skywalker's childhood. He was a small, cute boy with lovely blue eyes. As Weird Al has pointed out he was quite a lady's man, hitting on Padme (who was played by the prettiest, worst actress EVER) the first time they met. He acted in the interests of others, without a thought for himself. Yet he did get a thrill from the attentions of others at his amazing talents. In attitude he was an average child. Perhaps a little more giving and caring than most children. And he hated change, in his hatred he could not deal with change, face it, or realize when it had happened. He always seemed strained in the face of transitions, desiring something out there (peace) that he could not grasp. He went from one moment of change to the next hoping and aching for peace and quiet yet continually seeking turmoil without realizing it because he could not be content.

As he grew Anakin began to feel terrible pangs of loss. The love of one's own is not a wrong thing, but he realized his feelings through acts of vengeance and a deep abiding fear of losing those he cared for. The fear of change combined with his natural love for his own to keep him from becoming the trusty Jedi that Obi Wan sought to make him. Anakin's trust in his own power to keep anything from happening to what was his strengthened. It added to the fears in his life.

In the third episode, Anakin is forced to face changes that he cannot consider quietly or logically. His fear of change eclipses when he sees the death of Padme in his dreams. And because of this fear he brings about the future he sees.

Probably everyone has gone through a period of time in which they were terrified at the thought of losing a friend or family member. Terrified even to the point of mental paralysis. Loss is a natural phenomenon of life, as Yoda pointed out. Furthermore, we all enjoy thinking about our own special talents and abilities. Anakin certainly has no monopoly on that. And finally, human beings dislike instability. Change we can often take, but we like some sort of stability or permanence. The same home, the same job, the same friends nearby. Especially children love stability and routine, Anakin was very immature.

Still you wonder, he went from that whiny, obnoxious boy to the great and powerful black-masked Darth Vader? Actually, no. He went from that whiny, immature boy, to a whiny immature man in a black suit. Darth Vader was never any different from Anakin. The thing that Anakin has done is reveal the mystery and power of Darth Vader. And it has shown it to be exactly what it is. Darth Vader was never mysterious, never deeper or cooler than Obi Wan or Yoda. In fact, he is probably less mysterious than either of them.

The fact is, people are often drawn to the bad characters thinking they are deep and mysterious. Then when disillusioned by the fact that they are not, they think, "George Lucas ruined Darth Vader!" George Lucas simply gave us the truth about Darth Vader. He was an ordinary person who responded to normal human emotions in an immature and extreme manner. Thus, he lost everything he feared to lose and became evil for years to come. But if you remember some of the things that Luke said to his father in later years you will remember that Anakin was always confused. He acted as he did because he was continually faced with decisions that he had to make and he was impulsive in his immaturity. He never grew or changed beyond the moment that he realized he had destroyed Padme.

So if you think that Darth Vader is strange, think again. And if you think that Hayden Christensen turned Darth Vader into a whiny, immature, pathetic wimp, maybe you are right. After all, that's all Darth Vader ever was.


HuskerFoley7 said...

Good point, I never thought of it that way... Hhhmmm, not that I minded the actor, he was pretty hot. OH, and I loved the comments you made on my blog. I think your's was one of the best arguments I've ever heard on that. You will make a wonderful and honest politician... very rare.

Foolio_Displasius said...

Wow. That says it all, and more concisely than the "distinguished opposition" to your point of view could ever be. I'd say your argument reveals the genius of George Lucas, because we now see the whiny little boy that Vader was meant to be since the Seventies.

MaxiSmeg said...

As a big Star Wars fan I appreciate you giving me a perspecitve that I had not quite considered.

Thank you

domcheck said...

Agreed. Have thought so for a while... and especially if you watch all of the films together, you can see Vader's struggle of loyalty. He wants to reconnect with his son, "Luke, I am your father"; and he betrays the Emporer to save Luke. It's amazing how chilling Vader's interrogation of Leia is, considering that we all now know that Vader is her father.

Bonus points for this, Esther: "Padme (who was played by the prettiest, worst actress EVER)"