Why Do We Love Darth Vader So Much?
Padmé An Unwitting Fool, or a Complicit Ally?
It always seemed strange to me, that Padmé didn’t find it distressing that the man she loved had just murdered a whole tribe of sand people, and I quote. “Not just the men, but the women and children too,” Anakin says with the remorse of a hungry wolf.
Albeit, it’s safe to say I questioned Padmé’s judgement hence forth, but it did get me thinking about why our fascination and leniency for Anakin’s troubling behaviour existed in the first place.
Okay, I’m obsessed with Anakin\Darth Vader.
First, let me clarify where this unhealthy obsession started! Before Christmas, I hunkered down and watched Star Wars the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebel in its entirety. GASP! It’s so long!
Why? After devouring The Mandolorian, I had no choice. Watching the animated series would deepen my Star Wars education, and thus began my complicated relationship with the fictional character Anakin Skywalker.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a fan of Vader. Anakin? Not so much, but that changed with the Clone Wars series. The bits I especially loved? When we glimpsed Anakin’s deepening connection to his evil side.
To be fair, did anyone really enjoy the droid\clone episodes?
This had me thinking. Why are we a generation obsessed with Vader? He’s been voted greatest Star Wars Villain of all time. To read the article click : here.
I wholeheartedly agree, but why? Palpatine is the more evil of the two. He’s the brains, and Vader the brawn, the executioner to put it simply.
Is it the suit? His presence always stole the scene, or maybe James Earl Jone’s deep baritone voice is what chilled and excited our fascination?
Or, maybe we love his flair? I always thought it was his ability to wield the force with such ease, and that’s part of the lure, but it’s not the whole picture.
According to Psychology today “Serial killers are so extreme in their brutality and so seemingly unnatural in their behaviour that people are drawn to them out of intense curiosity. … Many people are morbidly drawn to the violence.”
That’s true. Anybody who watches a David Fincher movie will agree. Mindhunter anyone?
And, make no mistake, Vader is a serial killer. So why are we so quick to forgive him when we see this disturbing behaviour?
Even Luke still senses the good in him? Fine, it’s his father, but still? Does he know his dad killed an entire temple children? Or, did Obi Wan forget to mention that part?
I think for the majority of people, who aren’t fuckwits like myself analyzing cartoon behaviour, we’re quick to forgive the man clad in black because he’s cool, and well, he’s make believe.
But, at least for me, Anakin\Vader became much more 3-dimensional after watching the Clone Wars, and thus way more interesting. I got attached to Anakin, and I was always rooting for him to take a different path despite knowing his fate was sealed.
The appeal for me, was seeing his descent. The fascination came when I glimpsed the cross-over into evil.
It related back to Psychology Today. Watching Anakin, my behavioural analysis kicked in, and I observed the process of someone turning evil. It’s twisted, scary, and so much more satisfying than witnessing a rather narrow-minded evil doer execute his orders, or maybe I’m just in secretly in love with a fictional character? Wouldn’t be the first time. Hello, Mr. Darcy.
In the end, giving Anakin\Vader humanistic traits made him much more well rounded. It made him real, and I connected to his humanity, thus making his change more poignant. Unfortunately, the films didn’t really capture that for me, but Dave Filoni made it happen and helped me better appreciate the films.
Note: any time you watch a movie where the guy is either too evil or too nice, that person will eventually die. Game of Thrones was a prime example. We loved to watch Jeffrey on screen, but he was one dimensional and thus ultimately his character could go no further and he was killed. Good characters come from conflict.
Recently, I watched this amazing web series on You Tube called Vader. Do watch it, and let me know what you think.
It’s so good you must watch it.
Now why out of all the Disney Star Wars reboot, didn’t anyone suggest Vader? It would be amazing. They could play with his inner doubt, his angst, his guilt, anyway I keep saying I should work on those shows. 😉
Let me know if you agree with my assessment? Or, disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Or, why not read another one of my fascinating theories, here.
See you in the virtual,