Vader as Victim

OK, so this is why the last four Star Wars films sucked. Darth Vader was "a victim," according to Star Wars creator George Lucas.

A new DVD version of Revenge of the Sith is out, and with it, a long interview with Lucas on how the six films tie together.

Except they don't really tie together. In Star Wars and The Empire Strikes back, Vader kicks butt, takes names, and revels in being a villian. He revels in putting the old Jedi choking trick on those who "lack faith" in the force, kills off Obi Wan, blows rebel fighters out of the sky, and blackmails Lando Calrissian into betraying his old pal, Han Solo. He also, despite his Jedi skills, has no clue that the woman he tortures--Princess Leia--and the rebel he tries to blow out of the sky--Luke Skywalker--are his long lost children.

Then, in the Return of the Jedi, the mopey Darth Vader, appears, having more in common with Eyeore than the Lord Vader of the first two films.

"Oh Geez, guess I'll have to turn Luke over to the Emperor."

"Woe is me, my son is trying to kill me a light saber"

"Guess I'll just watch the emperor grill my son with those lightning bolts."

Even the climactic scene, where Vader tosses the emperor off a ledge and saves his son, is mopey. And fon't get me started about Episodes I,II, and III. I know Darth Vader, and Hayden Christensen is no Darth Vader.

In the new DVD, Lucas offers his explanation of the series.

"... I like the idea that the person you thought was the villain is really the victim, and that the story is really about the villain trying to regain his humanity," Lucas continues. "It becomes, really, the story of Darth Vader's redemption. ... Everybody thought of Darth Vader as being evil and with no heart. Not true."

By making his villian into a victim, Lucas drained him of his humanity, of his spark of life, turning the Dark Lord Vader into a wet blanket in Return of the Jedi, and a whiny teenager in films II and III.

Redemption isn't about being a victim. That's something Lucas missed. So his last four films, all visual masterpieces, have no soul.


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