18 May 2020
Destined to be Darth Vader
Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Chewy, Storm Troopers, R2-d2 just to name a few of the characters who were created in George Lacas’s Star Wars. I will be specifically talking about the characters that I know from the movies. I personally have a lifetime of knowing Star Wars from childhood, to modern time. People from all different walks of life have characters from the movies that they find to be their favorite, rather it be Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Yoda, or one of the droids. My favorite ride at Disney land is the old Star Tours that I have enjoyed many enjoyable tours on always returning safely from the flight nearly escaping life threatening comets, avoiding blasters on a Death Star and more. Star Wars at a glance has always been just the bad guy Darth Vader and the good guy Luke Skywalker. Everyone has been told in a funny Darth Voice “ Luke, I am your Father” which is usually said by everyone, but in the movie the line is actually “No, I am your father”. This famous Monster is one of Disneys best merchandise selling characters. How did everyone forget that Darth Vader destroys planets, does Force Chokes, and shoots without hesitation his employees for underperformance in their work? I am going to look into what caused Anakin to go from being a good boy character that we all love, to becoming the biggest Monster in the Universe. Some of the causes are classic like his mothers death, fear, and revenge. The other reasons for Anaking to turn to the Darkside include destiny, and the Darkside of the Force.
The Seven Theses from Jeffery Jerome Cohens Monster Culture (Cohen) confirm like a checklist that Darth Vader is a monster. But I ask myself if Darth Vader had to be a monster, and what caused him to be a monster. While he does lean on the crutch of loosing his mother in his arms just like Ed Gein, and maybe he does wear an abnormal suit like Ed Gein, What if his mother had not died (Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones, 2002). Is his mothers horrible torturing death cause enough for this wonderful Jedi to turn to the dark side? While there are many article and fan clubs that explore the different possibilities I want to simply observe a few. His mother did die, and immediately he acted out in Rage, Revenge, Anger, and Fear, these being some of the concerns that Yoda had for the young Jedi. Anakin also had fear, fear that Anakin had in a clear picture of Padame dying, and his fear of loosing her caused him enough fear to seek out a stronger power. While those are all causes what about his inherent rebellious personality, his character for sometimes going against the grain, undisciplined. Could it have simply been in his nature that even if he did not become Darth Vader he would have been defiant and become a criminal? While this is all circumstantial how much of it is destiny?
Could the simple act of this defiant Jedi not staying in the Council Chambers and interfering with Mace Windu arresting attempt of Darth Sideous/ Palpatine (Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, 2005)? The relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker I think can be very relatable to many people even in his role as Bad Guy Father. Many of the characters and structure of characters even though the Star Wars takes place “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it is very much related to the same structure of the lives we live today. George Lucas pulled from many existing social structures that we understand in our lives, and put them into the story. Too many men in todays society may see themselves as young Anakin, and see their fathers as Darth Vader. Much of our society puts the responsibility and blame of todays youth and adult criminals on the Parents. We blame a lot of one of the most notorious monsters Ed Gein actions in relation to his mothers passing.
We understand that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, and again we can relate to this in our own real world. The story line is justified in believing that Darth Vader is a victim, a victim of his mother being taken prisoner, tortured, and left to die in the arms of her son who happened to show up to witness her last breath. He was a victim of many things, so how can we blame this good boy for having fear, for being a victim, and wanting more power, wanting revenge? If we were to think of the Bad Guys of our modern day world, we would believe that as children they too were good kids, and believed in doing what is right. How did the people that we knew to be good kids become the men and women that society sees as bad people. Specifically criminals, murders, thieves, angry abusive, immoral etc.. How did this happen? The movies introduce the existence of “The Force” which is something that here on Earth, or in our universe as we know it, does not exist. Sometimes it seems as if The Force from Star Wars has its own wants, or better like polarity pulling in certain directions and revealing sometimes a supernatural instinct. What could someone have done to prevent this? While there are many causes and effects that lead to Anakin Skywalker growing from what we understand to be a good kid, wanting to do the right things to becoming the Darth Vader that we have all come to know as the bad guy. I ask myself how did this happen, and what could have happened differently to prevent this from happening.
In the movies it is believed that Anakin Skywalker is the Chosen One. The Jedi Prophecy says “A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the force be restored” So my conclusion is that in order to make a really good fictional Bad Guy, The Monster Culture 7 Theses should be used as a checklist, and fictional justification should be created to fill in any gaps to complete the monster. Cause and Effect, it is in our human nature as we too feel fear, revenge, anger, how can we possessing the same instinct blame Darth Vader, for becoming the leader that the universe has created. Wouldn’t we have also killed the tribe of Tusken Raiders, or would we have just left sad. What if we had The Force? I think that Anakin had a natural progression to becoming Darth Vader. We understand the meaning of destiny, but dont have an in depth understanding of The Force. I think that no matter the choices made, Anakin would have ended up in the same position.
So the monster Darth Vader ruled over Galaxys is our favorite. He is a mass murderer, but we would pose for a picture with him if we seen an actor in costume at Disneyland. We watch him in the movies, and find our own justification of the murders of the Tusken Raiders because its what we would do. We gasp at the young Jedi deaths, gasp when a planet is destroyed and minutes later laugh when someone is in a force choke,
and admire his wardrobe.
Darth Vader struggled within himself and this showed us his humanity. He had the voice of James Earl Jones, a trusting, authoritive leader tone. Anakin is just like us, he is one of the best, he is smart, emotional, and when he has on a cool mask, and full Darth Vader wardrobe, we realize Anakin was always Darth Vader, and the causes for this character happened precisely how they were necessary, and exactly how we would become conflicted in ourselves knowing that the bad guy, is just a man like us.
Cohen, Jeffrey, J. Monster Culture. (Seven Theses) Used to compare monstrosity to Cohen’s definition. http://www.englishwithtuttle.com/uploads/3/0/2/6/30266519/cohen_monster_culture__seven_theses__3-20.pdf
Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. 2005. [film] USA: George Lucas, LucasFilm
Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 2002. [film] USA: George Lucas, LucasFilm