Are you tired of watching the same only scary Monsters and need a newer but humanistic Character then how about Star Wars Very own Darth Vader? The hero turned monster Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader. In the Prequels, it is clear he is just a tragic hero. Taken from his mother at a young age, loses her in adulthood, loses his hand, and gets chopped up by his best friend. Discovered as a slave on Tatooine by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker had the potential to become one of the most powerful Jedi ever and was believed by some to be the prophesied Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. A hero of the Clone Wars, Anakin was caring and compassionate, but also had a fear of loss that would prove to be his downfall turning him to become Darth Vader. What makes Darth Vader Such a good Monster and not just a run in the mill villain like an evil beast.
When it comes to being a monster, Darth Vader meets the requirements if we go off of Jeffrey Cohen “Monster Culture” (Seven Theses). According to Cohen, to be a good monster, it must meet the seven monster thesis. The first thesis is “The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body,” which incorporates fear, desire, anxiety, and fantasy, giving them life and uncanny independence (cohen 4). Vader is a six-foot-two inch cybernetic man shrouded in black showing no facial features with a deep robotic voice. He wields a lightsaber which by our definition is a laser sword that glows red. In their universe, the red lightsaber is only used by the evil sith lords who are the Judi sworn enemy. A Jedi is spiritual knights who are the protectors of the light side of the Force. Only a few people know what he looks like under the mask, which is a deformed scarred man with evil glaring eyes. Darth Vader can use the powers of the dark side of the Force to telekinetic repel objects or strangle a person to death. All of these features make him seem like an all-powerful monster no human can stop.
“The monster Always Escapes”(Cohen4) the Monster itself turns immaterial and vanishes, to reappear someplace else. From Vader origin, Darth Vader was an escape artist. In the movie Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker is left for died my his former master Obi-Wan, only to be found moment before death my his new master Darth Sidious. In Star Wars New hope He escapes on to his spacecraft before the infamous death star was destroyed. Even in his end, Vader presence was still talked and praised upon. In the New Star Wars Trilogy, Vader gives influence on the young antagonist so much, so he wears a similar mask and with a cynical sounding voice translator. “The Monster is the harbinger of Category Crisis” (Cohen 6); Darth Vader is not your typical Monster he doesn’t fit into a category. Vader once a hero and a lover who fought against evil as Anakin Skywalker and ended up making wrong choices which lead to his demise. Although Vader is human, he has gone through injuries no human could survive, such as being chopped up, severely burned and left for dead. From those misfortunes rising up and becoming the most dangerous man in the universe.
“The Monster Dwell at the gates of difference” (Cohen 7), Vadar is also unknown to many in his world and the viewers who watch the First two Starwars Episodes before being spoiled. He is a mysterious cyberman who fights against our protagonist. Before the prequel movies, we had no history about Darth Vader or his evil ways, always wondering what’s behind the mask. “The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible” ( Cohen12), Technology is ever-growing, and one day we’ll be about to mix man with machine. We already have voice changing tools and prosthetic limbs. Darth Vader is the future of what we expect a man to become if severely injured. From a psychological standpoint, he is what happens when a just person turns terrible. In our world, people turn bad all the time from the law-abiding citizen to the corrupted cop or solider. “Fear of the Monster Is Really a Kind of Desire” (Cohen 16) As humans, we have a desire to be sacred and wonder what it would be like to be evil. Darth Vader was voted best villain according to IGN.com and many other new outlets. People are fascinated with Vader, from his crisp suit to the scary dark voice. In Star Wars Rogue One, Critics say the best scene in the movie is when Darth Vader appears for the last stage. The rebel soldier was stuck in a dark room only for Vader to appear with his famous red lightsaber killing all the rebels as they cower in fear. On Halloween, kids and adults dress up the evil sith lord out of fandom. Lastly, “The Monster stands at the threshold of becoming” (Cohen 20) the author states that Monsters are our children, they ask us how we perceive the world. Darth Vader in all is a monster, but still has a human aspect in the world he only wanted to protect his loved ones, because of the wrong influences it turned him into what he is today. We can compare that to our children they can be influenced by all sorts of things and it up to us to teach them.
Darth Vader is the only villain who has anchored a trilogy of films each as the antagonist and as the protagonist. His own primary rivals are his former master and his son, And it can be argued that even when he did horrific, terrible things as Darth Vader, it was just Anakin Skywalker following the Will of the Force. He’s a case study on destiny versus choice, on good versus evil, on family ties and love and emotion and despair and mentorship and well. He is comparable to Shakespeare hamlet in many ways. It’s his depth, and the way he went from hero to villain and back that makes him really special. That alone makes him different than any other. The best villains are the heroes of their own story, but when it comes down to it, Darth Vader is arguably the hero of this story. The fact that you can take a villain/monster, who you hate for the horrible ways he does his horrible deeds, and later learn to love him and appreciate him and sympathize with him. Deep down, Vader is terrifying, but then he’s also heroic and sacrificial. The range of emotions one character, whose face you don’t see for three films, can give you, is not just remarkable, it’s why Darth Vader is the best villain ever. I give Darth Vader on the Monster scale of Four stars a Four out of Four, Given because he meets all the requirements on Cohens Seven Monster Theory. Also, with his SyFy humanistic take on what it means to be an all-powerful cold-blooded killer. So the next time you feel like watching a movie with fresh but terrifying origin make sure you think of Darth Vader
20th Century Fox ; Lucasfilm Limited production ; written and directed by George Lucas ; produced by Gary Kurtz. Star Wars. Episode IV, A New Hope. Beverly Hills, Calif. :20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox ; Lucasfilm Ltd. ; written and directed by George Lucas ; produced by Rick McCallum. Star Wars. Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. Beverly Hills, Calif. :20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2013.
Edwards, Gareth, John Knoll, Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy, Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, et al. 2017. Rogue One: a Star Wars story.
“Turning A Villain Into A Hero.” Ruth Ann Nordin’s Author Blog, 21 Oct. 2016
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” Monster Theory, pp. 3–25.