Have you heard of Darth Vader? If not, you’ve probably not heard of or are not fond of Star Wars. For those of you who’ve heard of him, three cheers! Darth Vader also known as Anakin Skywalker, is one of the most iconic characters of the Star Wars saga. At 6’8”, he is impossible to miss.
Darth Vader makes his debut in the first of the original Star Wars trilogy (released between 1977-1983, the original trilogy is now known as the sequel to the trilogy which was released between 1999 and 2005). He is then serving the evil Sith Galactic Empire and attempts to steal the plans to the Death Star, but is confronted by Obi-wan Kenobi who is unfortunately killed. He is convinced that Luke Skywalker can be brought to the dark side and engages him in a lightsaber duel. Vader reveals that he is Luke’s father but Luke escapes. Luke and other Jedis are confronted yet again by the Sith forces, but when the Sith Emperor tries to kill Luke, Vader finishes off the Emperor but is fatally wounded. Dying, he takes off his mask to reveal that he is Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father. The prequel series of the late 90s and early 2000s show Anakin as a 9-year-old who is separated from his mother and reveals how he fell to the dark side.
Even without a face for most of the initial trilogy which is far, far better than the prequel trilogy, Darth Vader endeared me and millions of other fans. The mask was his trademark and he could be as loving as he could be ruthless. The lightsaber duel in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is forever etched in my memory because he reveals that he is Luke’s father in that memorable scene. What father could fight his son in a battle? He must have fought Luke with a heavy heart, knowing he cannot and should not do any harm to him. A mask is only a mask; feelings come from the depths of your heart which cannot be masked in any way.
Among all the characters in the labyrinthine maze of the Jedi and Sith worlds, Darth Vader remains unique. He is the only one who is a human among the Sith baddies. As a young pre-teen, it was quite easy to be influenced by Darth Vader and David Prowse did just that to me as I watched him control the Sith empire with aplomb though he knew he did not quite belong there. Then there was the cute Jake Lloyd as the 9-year-old Anakin, the boy destined to be the Force of the Jedi. You just can’t stop watching him in The Phantom Menace. This was one of the saving graces of the prequel trilogy.
Long after I had watched the original trilogy, I so often thought what would have happened had he not joined the dark side. He would not have had to kill Obi-wan Kenobi and would have lived happily with his son Luke and daughter Leia Organa. Well, the puspose of his life was to join the evil dark only to point out the truthful light to his beloved Luke. Darth Vader may have been a dark father, but one with a lot of good left in him. Salute to the best villain of science fiction ever!
Written as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge – http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/