“Fear is the Path of the Dark Side”

 

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The best part of the prequels is the humanization of Darth Vader. Some complained, but they were wrong as villains are not born, but created. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were not devils the moment they came into the world, but molded by their worlds. Even Lucifer himself had his awesome moments. We must remember, all of those characters were ruled by fear.

Of the prequel characters, Anakin is my favorite. So full of promise and potential; he’s duped, his emotions exploited, his ego played like a cheap fiddle. His fears exaggerated and used against him.

Anakin Skywalker was a good kid, good intentions but ruled by fear and doubt his entire life as a Jedi. Fear is the worst thing to have- it controls your every move and prevents you from ever achieving your true potential if you are afraid of yourself, others and just the thought of self-advancement. Of course played through the prism of fantasy and allegory, Anakin’s plight is far more profound. Age old themes and dilemmas shown through a B movie pulp universe.

Love it long time.

Even at his most powerful moments as Darth Vader, he was ruled by fear.  Palpatine had it in the bag as he knew and Vader knew, a flick of the force lightning or a squeeze in the right place, Vader’s survival suit was damaged and Anakin dead from suffocation and intense pain as the suit acted as his life support system. Spiritually and physically, Vader was in debt to Palpatine. Vader’s screaming of “NOOOOO!” in “Revenge of the Sith,” is an act of defeat, the one person he cared about more than himself was gone. The one who alleviated his fears.
After Anakin’s “death” and Vader’s “birth,” Vader still wasn’t all in. His weakness was he constantly fought off Anakin- he feared there was still good in him. So when Padme says, “there’s still good in him…. I know.…” and Luke as well, “I’ve felt the good in you,” they weren’t wrong.
millenniumfalcon_jedi1080i_VaderLightning  Anakin sprang to life through the deeds of his son Luke who gave him hope. Vader could have killed Luke many times, but he held back knowing Luke was his exit. THE only time Vader mentions any kind of rebelliousness and descent is after the battle on Cloud City, “Join me, together as father and son we can rule the galaxy.” No mentioning of Palpatine…. but by their next meeting, Vader is defeated, again. Luke mentions, “there’s still good in you. I have felt it. The Emperor hasn’t driven it from you fully.” Vader says in a very sad, defeated tone, (a great performance by James Earl Jones) “It is too late, my son.”  A great scene, given even more depth thanks to the prequels; as he was asking Luke to join HIM (figuring Luke could kill Palpatine just fine), but when Luke calls him out and asks him to leave, he falls back, cowers and is again, ruled by fear.

It’s also ironic how Anakin/Vader, breaks the rules, he is punished for it. Anakin’s unorthodox, unconventional ways irked the council to the point of him being denied Jedi Master status which lead him to Palpatine’s clutches. As Vader, living in the iron lung, and not obeying the rules of Sith by bowing to and obeying Palpatine’s every word. Contrary to the Sith way, he wasn’t made to serve forever.

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Only when he ironically, breaks the rules, he’s free-  His scream of “NOOOO” in JEDI is of defiance! Vader finally loses all fear as he knows Palpatine will shoot him with the lightning. For the first time since Padme’s death, Anakin steps forward and puts someone else ahead of him and ideals. Through Luke, Anakin was reborn, his soul saved.

 NO FEAR! 

 

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