“You Underestimate My Power” when we first heard this iconic dialog in Star Wars: The Revenge Of The Sith, there was no contemplating that this would be the beginning of Darth Vader. Fallen through grace and seduced by the dark side, Anakin Skywalker, the once powerful and generous Jedi became the most ruthless villain of all time.
You can ask any comic book or sci-fan fan about their favorite villain of all time, and all of them will only talk about Darth Vader, we know the force is too strong with him but what’s actually behind the fan’s undying obsession with Darth Vader? Naturally, people are more inclined towards the heroes in a story, I mean I love Luke Skywalker, but even I know that he is no match for his father. Even Psychology has deemed that villains repel people but for Darth Vader, there is an exception. In this history of sci-fi villains and just villains in general, no one has made a cultural impact than Darth Vader, the truth is not what you expect it to be. Let’s explore!
The Effectiveness Of A Powerful Yet Moving Portrayal
We all love James Earl Jones, from his iconic black armor and iron lung effect, who wouldn’t feel his menacing presence? He portrayed Darth Vader in a diabolical way in the 1970s but did you know that people at first did not consider Darth Vader the most intimidating villain in the original trilogy?
According to one Rolling Stone reporter, Darth Vader was just another mediocre villain at first!
He’s not Satan, he just goes down to the corner and gets Satan’s cigarettes.
Compared To Darth Vader, Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Sheev Palpatine was more menacing, in every scene you could actually feel how we would twist his words to seduce Anakin to the dark side. As the story progressed, Emperor Palpatine actually became a side character as compared to Darth Vader, this was because of the backstory that audiences learned throughout the lore.
Darth Vader had done cruel and horrible things but the audience still wouldn’t actually perceive him as a villain, he was more like a broken man, and personal tragedies made him a monster.
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, expressed that Darth Vader was just a broken man in a shell, he was absolutely worthy of redemption which he eventually got at the hands of his son Luke. The story of Darth Vader is defined by tragedy, not villainy, which makes him the most beloved villain.
A Story Of Light, Darkness, and Redemption
Even though the original trilogy didn’t portray Darth Vader as it should have, it was the prequel trilogy with Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Hayden Christensen that did him justice. We can see both light and darkness play a huge part in the prequel trilogy, and all of it starts with young Anakin Skywalker. Although he is just a slave boy, working at a junk shop in Tatooine, it is his ambition and his curiosity that aroused the interest of Qui-Gon Jinn.
Destined to be the one to bring balance to the force, Anakin left Tatooine and his mother to become a Jedi. From the very start, Anakin had a very caring nature, although he showed astounding potential to become a Jedi, he was burdened by the guilt of leaving his mother. When he finally returned to Tatooine, he witnessed the death of his mother at the hands of the Tusken Raiders. This was a critical step on Anakin’s journey to the dark side of the force, it was the first time when Anakin experienced an unbearable loss and showed a rage unlike anything else.
Anakin did lose his mother but he also gained the undying love of Padme and he was happy for a while. Love was something forbidden for a Jedi but Anakin could not even think of being away from Padme. Their love was eventually strong enough to start a new life but the venomous Palpatine already cast a dark shadow on the life of Anakin and Padme. Skywalker was caught in a really bad situation and seduced by the secrets of immortality, Palpatine assured him that only through him could he save his wife and unborn child, and he was willing to do anything for that kind of future.
He made a very bad decision, he turned on his Jedi brethren and his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was like a father to him. The epic showdown between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar left young Skywalker defeated and without limbs, and only through mechanization could he be allowed to breathe again. When he finally turned to the dark side, he lost the love of his life and his unborn children, this was his ultimate punishment. Turning to the dark side wasn’t what Anakin wanted but it was fate, something he thought he would never be able to escape, until his children Luke and Leia would come along.
So you see, it is the humane storytelling of a monster that made fans fall in love with Darth Vader, caught between the rift of light and darkness, his story could not be more moving.
His story resonates with the growing pain of the audience and even the rebellious phase. Also, let’s not forget the corridor scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was just a small teaser of Darth Vader’s power.
Darth Vader’s Most Powerful Quotes That Prove He’s A Force To Be Reckoned With
You Are Part Of The Rebel Alliance And A Traitor. Take Her Away.
We Would Be Honored If You Would Join Us.
You Don’t Know The Power Of The Dark Side.
I Couldn’t Have. She Was Alive. I Felt It.
Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Aspirations, Director.
I Am Altering The Deal. Pray, I Don’t Alter It Any Further.
When I Left You I Was But The Learner, Now I Am The Master.
I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing.
I Am What You Made Me.
No, I Am Your Father.
Watch: Darth Vader- An Icon In 34 Minutes
Itching to learn more about the iconic Star Wars Villain, watch this fun video put together by Nerdwriter1.