Darth Vader is the hero

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I was reading an article on uproxx about underrated geek movies. Star Wars: Episode III came up and I was surprised when I read this:

Lucas' belief that Darth Vader is the ultimate hero of the franchise is pretty questionable

I'm surprised that this movie reviewer had trouble accepting Vader as the hero of the franchise for multiple reason. First, Vader's really the only central character who remains throughout all six movies (despite Lucas' attempts to shoehorn in all the other characters). At the end of the first three movies: Yoda, Vader, the Emperor, and Obi-wan are really the only four important characters left. And in four through six, Yoda and the Emperor don't show up until two and three respectively, Obi-Wan gets killed halfway through the first one and has a mitigated role in the next two, with only Vader being prevalent in all three.

Second, Luke (the original hero) doesn't really DO much of anything. He blows up the first death star (impossible without Han's help), and he saves everyone from Jabba (again, with Han's "help" in taking out Fett). Other than that it's pretty much Vader who brings down the Empire. In the original trilogy, Vader's character is the redeemed villain. But, when combined with the new trilogy, all six movies make Vader into a classic tragic hero; a man who falls from grace only to redeem himself at the end.

Third, Vader is infinitely the most complex character. Vader's fall is even more tragic if you take that whole prophecy business into consideration too, since apparently he was always fated to turn bad. The prophecy says he would "bring balance". At the end of episode 3, there's exactly 2 sith and 2 jedi (movie-wise, fuck all that supplementary stuff). Vader is never able to kill more jedi/sith than there are of the other. Yoda can't kill the Emperor, so Vader can't kill Obi-Wan, otherwise there'd be more sith than jedi. Likewise, in 6, Vader doesn't turn on the Emperor until Yoda dies, which means he has to bring the ratio back into equality. There's more sith than jedi, so he kills one of the sith. Now, I know the argument could be "he saw his son in trouble". But considering they were actively trying to kill each other, and Vader's known he was Luke's father since at least episode 5, I'd say it's pretty slim that Vader had a change of heart just because SOMEONE ELSE was suddenly trying to kill his son.

Episode 3? What? Everyone knows there were only three Star Wars movies, the last being Return of the Jedi in 1983. Everyone saw the decline in quality at the time, what with the Ewoks and and some of the terrible pacing issues, and decided to call it quits before they ran the franchise into the ground.

By the same token there were only ever 2 Terminator films, 2 Alien films, 1 Predator film, and 1 Matrix.

This double post brought to you by Captcha error.

There's a problem with this theory: the official line on that prophecy is that the dark side was inherently unbalancing, and Vader fulfilled it when he killed the emperor and then died himself, removing the dark side from active practice. The whole "two sith, two jedi" thing makes more sense, but since when has anything Lucas came up with made sense without being filtered through half a dozen other people?

Vader is a central character in the prequels because Lucas wanted those movies to be about Vader, that was their whole purpose for him. As for the original movies, I strongly disagree. In the grand scheme of things Vader didn't have that much importance, he was just an old relic from the past, one of the officers to do the dirty work, that's how I saw him at least. He was important in a sense that he was majorly responsible for the development of Luke's character, but for the story overall, eh, not so much, apart from him throwing the emperor down the pipe.

BloatedGuppy:
Episode 3? What? Everyone knows there were only three Star Wars movies, the last being Return of the Jedi in 1983. Everyone saw the decline in quality at the time, what with the Ewoks and and some of the terrible pacing issues, and decided to call it quits before they ran the franchise into the ground.

By the same token there were only ever 2 Terminator films, 2 Alien films, 1 Predator film, and 1 Matrix.

Lies. They totally released a new Predator movie a couple of years ago. It was called Predators and it was pretty awesome.

Owyn_Merrilin:
There's a problem with this theory: the official line on that prophecy is that the dark side was inherently unbalancing, and Vader fulfilled it when he killed the emperor and then died himself, removing the dark side from active practice. The whole "two sith, two jedi" thing makes more sense, but since when has anything Lucas came up with made sense without being filtered through half a dozen other people?

Except Yoda said that this prophecy might have been misread. It doesn't strike you as strange that the jedi would see a complete removal of an aspect of the force as "balance"? If you don't have evil, how do you know what's good? I don't give Lucas that much credit for philosophical thinking, but I do believe he was aiming for the literal meaning of balance with this one.

irishda:

Owyn_Merrilin:
There's a problem with this theory: the official line on that prophecy is that the dark side was inherently unbalancing, and Vader fulfilled it when he killed the emperor and then died himself, removing the dark side from active practice. The whole "two sith, two jedi" thing makes more sense, but since when has anything Lucas came up with made sense without being filtered through half a dozen other people?

Except Yoda said that this prophecy might have been misread. It doesn't strike you as strange that the jedi would see a complete removal of an aspect of the force as "balance"? If you don't have evil, how do you know what's good? I don't give Lucas that much credit for philosophical thinking, but I do believe he was aiming for the literal meaning of balance with this one.

I wish. From Wookieepedia:

"George Lucas himself has stated that Anakin is the Chosen One and that the prophecy is true, although Luke indirectly served as the catalyst that allowed Anakin to fulfill the prophecy."

The fan theory may make more sense, but that's the canon.

Edit: found the exact quote:

"Many fans incorrectly assume that balance refers to an equal mix of both light and dark side users. However, as George Lucas explains in the introductory documentary for the VHS version A New Hope, Special Edition, this is not the case:

"The first film starts with the last age of the Republic, which is it's getting tired, it's old, it's getting corrupt.

There's the rise of the Sith, who are becoming a force, and in the backdrop of this we have Anakin Skywalker, a young boy who is destined to be a significant player in bringing balance back to the Force and to the Republic...

Then in the second film we get into more of that turmoil. It's the beginning of the Clone Wars, it's the beginning of the end of democracy in the Republic, sort of the beginning of the end of the Republic. And it's Anakin Skywalker beginning to deal with some of his more intense emotions of anger, hatred, sense of loss, possessiveness, jealousy, and the other things he has to cope with.

And then we will get to the 3rd film where he is seduced to the dark side..

Which brings us up to the films 4, 5, and 6, in which Anakin's offspring redeem him and allow him to fulfill the prophecy where he brings balance to the Force by doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe..."

In an interview, Lucas compared the difference between the light and dark sides as being like the difference between a symbiotic relationship and a cancer. A symbiotic relationship is one which benefits both parties and in which neither is harmed, whereas a cancer takes without giving back, eventually causing the death of both parties.[3] "

Woah, wait, what? Apparently I missed something.

Lucas is asserting that Darth Vader is the central hero of Star Wars? Darth Vader. Tall, dark, and ominous?
Darth, as in Dark Lord.
As in: he functions a lot better as the villain.

Perhaps I should have picked that up when he decided to roll out prequel movies centered around the character Anakin Skywalker, but I was five when the Phantom Menace aired in theaters, so I never caught on. I thought he was doing the prequels just to outline the events that led to the rise of Palpatine's empire; just stuff that happened before the actual story commences 19 years later. I simply tagged along for the flashy CGI. I didn't realize we were supposed to actually relate to Anakin. To me, he was just a character that would eventually become the villain. I mean, let's take a look at our two foci, shall we?

Anakin mercilessly slaughtering a primitive tribe when his mother died: Villain.
Anakin beheading a helpless Dooku: Villain.
Anakin accepting Palpatine's offer when faced with the death of his loved one, and succumbing to fear and the Dark Side: Villain.

On the other side of the mirror, we have:

Luke joining the rebellion not out of revenge for his family, but rather to stop oppression: Hero.
Luke refusing to kill a helpless Vader: Hero.
Luke refusing to bend to Palpatine's offer when faced with the death of his friends, and standing by his convictions regardless of the consequences: if that doesn't make him a hero, I don't know what will.

I've been around enough TvTropes to form an opinion on how stories should go. Vader is more of the "I had my chance and I failed" type. Luke is the one strong enough to withstand the Big Bad's influence, the one charismatic enough to turn the Dragon against his master, the one who wins in the face of overwhelming odds. Anakin is the flop, the one who had the backing of both the Jedi and the Republic, and ended up selfishly betraying both to the whims of Palpatine to try and save his love. And ends up breaking that, too.
On the upside, he does a pretty good Dark Enforcer gig.

That's just my view, but I'm pretty sure Luke is the real hero. LucasFilms, you can take your canon and shove it up your-

<<This rant has reached the end of its intended message, and will now terminate all further content. Have a nice day.>>
-C F

As a film maker Lucas is referring to codes and conventions of filmmaking where the "hero" doesn't mean the good guy but rather, the main character or driving force of the story

Our "hero" is Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader as everything in the story revolves around him
The hero or good guy of the stories are obviously Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker

The "villain" in codes and convention terms is the person preventing the "hero" from reaching his goal so in this case the "villain" is Darth Maul and Luke Skywalker
However the villains or bad guys are Darth Maul and Darth Vader.

The thing with Star Wars is that any of the codes and conventions in character focus can and does change according to perspective, which changes multiple times in all 6 films.

The "hero" can be anyone from Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala, Luke Skywalker, Han-Solo or Princess Leia

Whereas the main "villain" could be any number of random characters including most of the sith that linger in the background but have like 3 lines in any one film.

This blurring the lines is what makes Star Wars go from pretty average Sci-Fi to pretty excellent piece of film and story-writing.

Owyn_Merrilin:

irishda:

Owyn_Merrilin:
There's a problem with this theory: the official line on that prophecy is that the dark side was inherently unbalancing, and Vader fulfilled it when he killed the emperor and then died himself, removing the dark side from active practice. The whole "two sith, two jedi" thing makes more sense, but since when has anything Lucas came up with made sense without being filtered through half a dozen other people?

Except Yoda said that this prophecy might have been misread. It doesn't strike you as strange that the jedi would see a complete removal of an aspect of the force as "balance"? If you don't have evil, how do you know what's good? I don't give Lucas that much credit for philosophical thinking, but I do believe he was aiming for the literal meaning of balance with this one.

I wish. From Wookieepedia:

"George Lucas himself has stated that Anakin is the Chosen One and that the prophecy is true, although Luke indirectly served as the catalyst that allowed Anakin to fulfill the prophecy."

The fan theory may make more sense, but that's the canon.

Edit: found the exact quote:

"Many fans incorrectly assume that balance refers to an equal mix of both light and dark side users. However, as George Lucas explains in the introductory documentary for the VHS version A New Hope, Special Edition, this is not the case:

"The first film starts with the last age of the Republic, which is it's getting tired, it's old, it's getting corrupt.

There's the rise of the Sith, who are becoming a force, and in the backdrop of this we have Anakin Skywalker, a young boy who is destined to be a significant player in bringing balance back to the Force and to the Republic...

Then in the second film we get into more of that turmoil. It's the beginning of the Clone Wars, it's the beginning of the end of democracy in the Republic, sort of the beginning of the end of the Republic. And it's Anakin Skywalker beginning to deal with some of his more intense emotions of anger, hatred, sense of loss, possessiveness, jealousy, and the other things he has to cope with.

And then we will get to the 3rd film where he is seduced to the dark side..

Which brings us up to the films 4, 5, and 6, in which Anakin's offspring redeem him and allow him to fulfill the prophecy where he brings balance to the Force by doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe..."

In an interview, Lucas compared the difference between the light and dark sides as being like the difference between a symbiotic relationship and a cancer. A symbiotic relationship is one which benefits both parties and in which neither is harmed, whereas a cancer takes without giving back, eventually causing the death of both parties.[3] "

Oh, that man is an idiot. It seems the good parts of SW were all accidents Lucas had in there by accident. That or he has a brain tumor and is losing whatever he once had.

Veldt Falsetto:
As a film maker Lucas is referring to codes and conventions of filmmaking where the "hero" doesn't mean the good guy but rather, the main character or driving force of the story

that's called a protagonist, not a hero.

This blurring the lines is what makes Star Wars go from pretty average Sci-Fi to pretty excellent piece of film and story-writing.

Maybe for the original trilogy, but certainly not for the prequel, which is ultimately what is being discussed here.

Wolverine18:

Owyn_Merrilin:

irishda:

Except Yoda said that this prophecy might have been misread. It doesn't strike you as strange that the jedi would see a complete removal of an aspect of the force as "balance"? If you don't have evil, how do you know what's good? I don't give Lucas that much credit for philosophical thinking, but I do believe he was aiming for the literal meaning of balance with this one.

I wish. From Wookieepedia:

"George Lucas himself has stated that Anakin is the Chosen One and that the prophecy is true, although Luke indirectly served as the catalyst that allowed Anakin to fulfill the prophecy."

The fan theory may make more sense, but that's the canon.

Edit: found the exact quote:

"Many fans incorrectly assume that balance refers to an equal mix of both light and dark side users. However, as George Lucas explains in the introductory documentary for the VHS version A New Hope, Special Edition, this is not the case:

"The first film starts with the last age of the Republic, which is it's getting tired, it's old, it's getting corrupt.

There's the rise of the Sith, who are becoming a force, and in the backdrop of this we have Anakin Skywalker, a young boy who is destined to be a significant player in bringing balance back to the Force and to the Republic...

Then in the second film we get into more of that turmoil. It's the beginning of the Clone Wars, it's the beginning of the end of democracy in the Republic, sort of the beginning of the end of the Republic. And it's Anakin Skywalker beginning to deal with some of his more intense emotions of anger, hatred, sense of loss, possessiveness, jealousy, and the other things he has to cope with.

And then we will get to the 3rd film where he is seduced to the dark side..

Which brings us up to the films 4, 5, and 6, in which Anakin's offspring redeem him and allow him to fulfill the prophecy where he brings balance to the Force by doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe..."

In an interview, Lucas compared the difference between the light and dark sides as being like the difference between a symbiotic relationship and a cancer. A symbiotic relationship is one which benefits both parties and in which neither is harmed, whereas a cancer takes without giving back, eventually causing the death of both parties.[3] "

Oh, that man is an idiot. It seems the good parts of SW were all accidents Lucas had in there by accident. That or he has a brain tumor and is losing whatever he once had.

Less accidents, more what happens when Lucas allows people to actually separate his good ideas from his bad ones. The original trilogy was a collaboration in which Lucas came up with a bunch of stuff, and then bounced it against other people to sift the gold from the dross. The prequels were all him, and it shows.

Signa:

Veldt Falsetto:
As a film maker Lucas is referring to codes and conventions of filmmaking where the "hero" doesn't mean the good guy but rather, the main character or driving force of the story

that's called a protagonist, not a hero.

This blurring the lines is what makes Star Wars go from pretty average Sci-Fi to pretty excellent piece of film and story-writing.

Maybe for the original trilogy, but certainly not for the prequel, which is ultimately what is being discussed here.

Yuhuh, often the protagonist is confusingly named the hero in the whole list of character archetypes, my theory is Lucas is insane or wanted to confuse the world and really he meant Vader is the protagonist

Also, while the prequels don't blur the lines as much or as often, they still do it somewhat, well I does with the protagonist and II and III show the turning of Anakin making him cross into both hero and villain quite well.

While the first 3 films (by which I mean the last 3 films) weren't as good as the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films), they certainly had some degree of depth to study and a lot of relevance to what the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films) started with it's confusion of perspective...

yeah

Vader has no "tragic fall" because he was never a hero. He went from being a clueless kid in episode 1, to a creepy jerk that slaughters sand people in episode 2, to a senseless murderer in part 3.

Veldt Falsetto:

Signa:

Veldt Falsetto:
As a film maker Lucas is referring to codes and conventions of filmmaking where the "hero" doesn't mean the good guy but rather, the main character or driving force of the story

that's called a protagonist, not a hero.

This blurring the lines is what makes Star Wars go from pretty average Sci-Fi to pretty excellent piece of film and story-writing.

Maybe for the original trilogy, but certainly not for the prequel, which is ultimately what is being discussed here.

Yuhuh, often the protagonist is confusingly named the hero in the whole list of character archetypes, my theory is Lucas is insane or wanted to confuse the world and really he meant Vader is the protagonist

Also, while the prequels don't blur the lines as much or as often, they still do it somewhat, well I does with the protagonist and II and III show the turning of Anakin making him cross into both hero and villain quite well.

While the first 3 films (by which I mean the last 3 films) weren't as good as the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films), they certainly had some degree of depth to study and a lot of relevance to what the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films) started with it's confusion of perspective...

yeah

Well, I think I see your point now, and you might be right. However, I feel quite confident that what you are seeing as "blurring the lines" is just pure sloppy writing. I wish I could believe that it wasn't sloppy writing, and in fact was a great idea that was poorly presented, but Lucas' track record doesn't give me faith on that.

I just hope I live to see the copyright expire on Star Wars so I can see someone else redo them. There IS a good story in those 6 movies, but it's going to take someone with a lot more talent than Lucas to bring that out.

Signa:

Veldt Falsetto:

Signa:
that's called a protagonist, not a hero.

Maybe for the original trilogy, but certainly not for the prequel, which is ultimately what is being discussed here.

Yuhuh, often the protagonist is confusingly named the hero in the whole list of character archetypes, my theory is Lucas is insane or wanted to confuse the world and really he meant Vader is the protagonist

Also, while the prequels don't blur the lines as much or as often, they still do it somewhat, well I does with the protagonist and II and III show the turning of Anakin making him cross into both hero and villain quite well.

While the first 3 films (by which I mean the last 3 films) weren't as good as the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films), they certainly had some degree of depth to study and a lot of relevance to what the last 3 films (by which I mean the first 3 films) started with it's confusion of perspective...

yeah

Well, I think I see your point now, and you might be right. However, I feel quite confident that what you are seeing as "blurring the lines" is just pure sloppy writing. I wish I could believe that it wasn't sloppy writing, and in fact was a great idea that was poorly presented, but Lucas' track record doesn't give me faith on that.

I just hope I live to see the copyright expire on Star Wars so I can see someone else redo them. There IS a good story in those 6 movies, but it's going to take someone with a lot more talent than Lucas to bring that out.

Aye, Lucas is a good director and when it comes to ideas and film grammar he's got it all down

I think it's just putting those ideas across he's gotten a little confused about, seriously I do think that most of what I said about the perspective of all of the films being a little off-kilter and weird is what he was aiming for but in order to get a cohesive story in a 2 hour slot he couldn't add all the little bits and pieces of film and so had to strip away a bunch from all 6 of those films.

Though if my theory is right then I figure he had about an hour of footage of Jar Jar Binks being somewhat more important than he is...maybe becoming the leader of whatever race he was and adding in some bizzare reference to water ewoks or something but yeah...the less about that the better I guess

BloatedGuppy:
Episode 3? What? Everyone knows there were only three Star Wars movies, the last being Return of the Jedi in 1983. Everyone saw the decline in quality at the time, what with the Ewoks and and some of the terrible pacing issues, and decided to call it quits before they ran the franchise into the ground.

By the same token there were only ever 2 Terminator films, 2 Alien films, 1 Predator film, and 1 Matrix.

Just as there were only 3 Indiana Jones movies. The first of which was just called 'Raiders of the Last Ark'

isometry:
Vader has no "tragic fall" because he was never a hero. He went from being a clueless kid in episode 1, to a creepy jerk that slaughters sand people in episode 2, to a senseless murderer in part 3.

He was a jedi as of Episode 2 and while it is not shown, there is mention of heroic deeds that he had done. They didn't include it because no one cares about those things. They just care that Anakin is now a well-respected jedi, who is falling to his emotions and eventually to the dark side. No one complained about Sophocles' Oedipus Rex stating that Oedipus was a king and had done things in the past that established his greatness, nor did they complain about King Lear's life as a king being only stated. People seem to hate Star Wars just because it's Star Wars and it's cool to make fun of it these days.

Additionally, his slaughter of the sand people in episode 2 and his murder of the jedi in episode 3 are both motivated by his hamartia, his will to deny that which is fate, and his overwhelming hubris that causes him to believe he can stop fate. These acts are part of his tragic fall to the dark side culminating in him joining Sidious. If that isn't a tragic fall, then forgive my cliché, but I don't know what is.

Veldt Falsetto:

Aye, Lucas is a good director and when it comes to ideas and film grammar he's got it all down

I think it's just putting those ideas across he's gotten a little confused about, seriously I do think that most of what I said about the perspective of all of the films being a little off-kilter and weird is what he was aiming for but in order to get a cohesive story in a 2 hour slot he couldn't add all the little bits and pieces of film and so had to strip away a bunch from all 6 of those films.

Though if my theory is right then I figure he had about an hour of footage of Jar Jar Binks being somewhat more important than he is...maybe becoming the leader of whatever race he was and adding in some bizzare reference to water ewoks or something but yeah...the less about that the better I guess

I'm not even sure he's that good of a director anymore. I just think of him as a sweet idea-man. That underwater city with the water ewoks was pretty damn cool, but it was pointless in the sense of the plot. The space battles and the lightsaber battles are really cool, but they don't do anything to make the movie better. There is no drama, or sense of what is actually happening other than shit is exploding. Those are tasks the director should be taking on in his film: to make sure the audience is captured with more than some shining lights.

Signa:

Veldt Falsetto:

Aye, Lucas is a good director and when it comes to ideas and film grammar he's got it all down

I think it's just putting those ideas across he's gotten a little confused about, seriously I do think that most of what I said about the perspective of all of the films being a little off-kilter and weird is what he was aiming for but in order to get a cohesive story in a 2 hour slot he couldn't add all the little bits and pieces of film and so had to strip away a bunch from all 6 of those films.

Though if my theory is right then I figure he had about an hour of footage of Jar Jar Binks being somewhat more important than he is...maybe becoming the leader of whatever race he was and adding in some bizzare reference to water ewoks or something but yeah...the less about that the better I guess

I'm not even sure he's that good of a director anymore. I just think of him as a sweet idea-man. That underwater city with the water ewoks was pretty damn cool, but it was pointless in the sense of the plot. The space battles and the lightsaber battles are really cool, but they don't do anything to make the movie better. There is no drama, or sense of what is actually happening other than shit is exploding. Those are tasks the director should be taking on in his film: to make sure the audience is captured with more than some shining lights.

That depends on what his role as a director entails or how he personally interprets it. Technically a director should only have a hand in the cinematography, where the producer is the driving force behind the creativity, though I know most directors in hollywood like to have a hand in writing, producing and directing, how much of all 6 films are his I don't know.

theemporer:

isometry:
Vader has no "tragic fall" because he was never a hero. He went from being a clueless kid in episode 1, to a creepy jerk that slaughters sand people in episode 2, to a senseless murderer in part 3.

He was a jedi as of Episode 2 and while it is not shown, there is mention of heroic deeds that he had done. They didn't include it because no one cares about those things. They just care that Anakin is now a well-respected jedi, who is falling to his emotions and eventually to the dark side. No one complained about Sophocles' Oedipus Rex stating that Oedipus was a king and had done things in the past that established his greatness, nor did they complain about King Lear's life as a king being only stated. People seem to hate Star Wars just because it's Star Wars and it's cool to make fun of it these days.

Additionally, his slaughter of the sand people in episode 2 and his murder of the jedi in episode 3 are both motivated by his hamartia, his will to deny that which is fate, and his overwhelming hubris that causes him to believe he can stop fate. These acts are part of his tragic fall to the dark side culminating in him joining Sidious. If that isn't a tragic fall, then forgive my cliché, but I don't know what is.

The difference is that with Oedipus and Lear we join the story after any past acts of theirs which may have been great. We don't see any scenes, let alone entire movies, telling their stories from childhood.

A better analogy would be Citizen Kane, since we get to see Kane rise from humble childhood beginnings to become successful and well liked, but also having moral flaws that lead to his eventual collapse into reclusion. We aren't merely told about his success, we see it, along with the flaws. With Anakin we only ever see the flaws that are his eventual undoing, without any positive traits to make us like him or care.

In episode 4 we are told everything we need to know about Vader's backstory in order to make his redemption in episode 6 satisfying. 'He was a great pilot and a great jedi knight' Obi-wan says (paraphrasing). Paraphrasing the past makes sense, that's what Oedipus Rex and King Lear do, but in the prequels for some reason we are still given a paraprased summary of Anakin's good deeds, even though we are falling him during the time of his life when those deeds are supposedly happening.

As for "no one cares about that stuff", I agree that generally no one cares about what happened to Lear and Oedipus before the main story, and that's why no one thinks making prequels for those plays would be a good idea. If no one cares about Anakin's rise in a story that's about his rise and fall, then the whole thing could have been summarized like they did in episode 4 without losing anything.

My problem with Vader as the 'hero' is that he never did anything, well, good until the end of ROTJ. When we see Obi Wan's reminiscence of Anikin in ANH we're painted the picture of someone who was decent and moral who (we find out later) was seduced by the dark side.

However in the Prequels, Vader is written as a bad apple almost from the start. He never seems to at least 'try' the light side option before 'slipping' into some darker habits; rather he seems almost always willing to bust out the lightsaber and carve up some fools at the slightest provocation. It takes almost no convincing at all to get Anakin to behead an unarmed (literally) prisoner, and he takes to killing Jedi children without question (even though that wouldn't make sense to him even after the Emperor's convoluted dismissal of "I can only be certain that only you had no part in this plot [to assassinate me]")

So, really, Vader was just always a jerk who stopped being a jerk long enough to do some good. That doesn't really make him a hero.

Well, everyone knows that the movies are the story of Darth Vader (not any other character or event), and he ends up being a hero in the end of it so yeah, you can call him a hero.

Owyn_Merrilin:
There's a problem with this theory: the official line on that prophecy is that the dark side was inherently unbalancing, and Vader fulfilled it when he killed the emperor and then died himself, removing the dark side from active practice. The whole "two sith, two jedi" thing makes more sense, but since when has anything Lucas came up with made sense without being filtered through half a dozen other people?

I think it depends. Personally I like the idea of the dark side being inherently unstable and inevitably resulting in throwing things out of wack, the difference between a benign symbiotic relationship and that of a parasitic cancer. Of course it fails with the EU but whatever.

I always thought it was a bit of a push to make Vader the main character. Yes he is present in all the films but he has a much smaller amount of screen time compared to Luke in the original trilogy.

josemlopes:
Well, everyone knows that the movies are the story of Darth Vader (not any other character or event), and he ends up being a hero in the end of it so yeah, you can call him a hero.

Can we really? He does one decent thing in 6 pictures and that makes him a hero? I don't know about that. I'd say the movies are more 'about' the rise and fall of the Empire -all told- considering that Episode 1 doesn't have a main character, Ep 2 has 2, and Ep3 had 1 but all three are really more about Palpatine executing his final plan and everyone being helpless to stop it.

The Heroes of Star Wars were really Luke and Obi as they were the ones working actively to stop evil, with a primary antagonist doing something to redeem himself before the end. Vader was always a pawn -and a willing one at that. Now we've seen all kinds of movies where the hero realizes that he's being used as a pawn and spends the story trying to shrug off his shackles, but Vader doesn't do that until the very end of Jedi, and while that's efficient - his sacrifice and toil compared to that of the rebellion and Obi-wan pale in comparison.

Not only was Anakin a hero, he's the only character aside from Han Solo to show any freaking emotion in those movies (unless you count Luke's weird NOOO face)

theemporer:

He was a jedi as of Episode 2 and while it is not shown,

Proving that the phrase "show don't tell" has totally eluded George's understanding.

senordesol:

josemlopes:
Well, everyone knows that the movies are the story of Darth Vader (not any other character or event), and he ends up being a hero in the end of it so yeah, you can call him a hero.

Can we really? He does one decent thing in 6 pictures and that makes him a hero? I don't know about that. I'd say the movies are more 'about' the rise and fall of the Empire -all told- considering that Episode 1 doesn't have a main character, Ep 2 has 2, and Ep3 had 1 but all three are really more about Palpatine executing his final plan and everyone being helpless to stop it.

The Heroes of Star Wars were really Luke and Obi as they were the ones working actively to stop evil, with a primary antagonist doing something to redeem himself before the end. Vader was always a pawn -and a willing one at that. Now we've seen all kinds of movies where the hero realizes that he's being used as a pawn and spends the story trying to shrug off his shackles, but Vader doesn't do that until the very end of Jedi, and while that's efficient - his sacrifice and toil compared to that of the rebellion and Obi-wan pale in comparison.

You could call him a hero (I wouldnt because I agree with you) and while Luke is "The Hero" of the story the main character is still Darth Vader

Bhaalspawn:
Not only was Anakin a hero, he's the only character aside from Han Solo to show any freaking emotion in those movies (unless you count Luke's weird NOOO face)

I think the emperors death in Return of the Jedi is one of the greatest film scenes of all time, why? Because you can see Darth Vader's internal strife as he reassesses his entire world-view, deciding whether he should help his own son, or kill the Emperor. Yet the actor is wearing a full facial mask and doesn't speak, he just stares back and forth at the Emperor getting all Electric Light Orchestra up in Luke's shizzle, and yet he is just full of raw emotion:

Ordinaryundone:

BloatedGuppy:
Episode 3? What? Everyone knows there were only three Star Wars movies, the last being Return of the Jedi in 1983. Everyone saw the decline in quality at the time, what with the Ewoks and and some of the terrible pacing issues, and decided to call it quits before they ran the franchise into the ground.

By the same token there were only ever 2 Terminator films, 2 Alien films, 1 Predator film, and 1 Matrix.

Lies. They totally released a new Predator movie a couple of years ago. It was called Predators and it was pretty awesome.

What exactly did you watch? It didn't even have any decent action in it. Hell, even the first predator film had character building. In an /action/ film. I mean holy shit.

Then again, I might be bitter because I actually paid to see that crap in the cinema.

OP: I'd struggle to call him a hero. He blew up a planet. That is all.

BloatedGuppy:
Episode 3? What? Everyone knows there were only three Star Wars movies, the last being Return of the Jedi in 1983. Everyone saw the decline in quality at the time, what with the Ewoks and and some of the terrible pacing issues, and decided to call it quits before they ran the franchise into the ground.

By the same token there were only ever 2 Terminator films, 2 Alien films, 1 Predator film, and 1 Matrix.

You forgot the 3 Indy movies. I think there was a fan film made later, which was called Indy 4, but nobody liked it.

On topic: I actually agree, and also, I think he was the most interesting character in the original trilogy. Sure, Obi-Wan was interesting, as was Han, but really, Vader.

Hero in a half shell:

Bhaalspawn:
Not only was Anakin a hero, he's the only character aside from Han Solo to show any freaking emotion in those movies (unless you count Luke's weird NOOO face)

I think the emperors death in Return of the Jedi is one of the greatest film scenes of all time, why? Because you can see Darth Vader's internal strife as he reassesses his entire world-view, deciding whether he should help his own son, or kill the Emperor. Yet the actor is wearing a full facial mask and doesn't speak, he just stares back and forth at the Emperor getting all Electric Light Orchestra up in Luke's shizzle, and yet he is just full of raw emotion:

Actually, I always thought the most emotional moment in the Star Wars movies was in the second movie, with the line "They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!"

And I'm not trolling at all (everyone seems to think I am when I say this).

Bhaalspawn:

Actually, I always thought the most emotional moment in the Star Wars movies was in the second movie, with the line "They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!"

And I'm not trolling at all (everyone seems to think I am when I say this).

I think the whole scene of Anakin slaughtering the Tusken Raiders was a mistake. It didn't portray a slow but steady descent into the dark side but a man who would forsake his Jedi training at the drop of a hat. The scene itself also created several contradictions in the characters of others that really didn't make a lot of sense. Yoda senses all the crap Anakin is going through but never brings it up? Padme listens to this guy go on a megalomaniacal rant after committing genocide and decides to marry him?

A better scene would have been Anakin find his mother, her dying, him gripping his lightsaber -filled with rage- but then stopping, collecting her body, and leaving them alone. He can then confide in Padme that he wanted to kill them all, but knew that wouldn't bring his mother back. But if that is what it would've taken to save her...he's not sure he would have been able to stop himself.

This would do just a good a job at highlighting the latent darkness within Anakin without contradicting the other characters. Padme would have a reason to be proud that he controlled himself, and cemented a desire to keep him grounded in the light. Yoda may still have sensed some turmoil but he would feel the uncontrolled explosion of fury that would have resulted from Anakin slaughtering an entire village's worth of people.

It also fosters the illusion that there is still hope for him (though we know the inevitable is coming). While we know that he'll become Darth Vader, it shouldn't be that obvious.

Bhaalspawn:

Actually, I always thought the most emotional moment in the Star Wars movies was in the second movie, with the line "They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!"

And I'm not trolling at all (everyone seems to think I am when I say this).

When I heard the line the first time I couldn't forget the fact that those fucking idiots (ALL the jedi and Anakin and the holier than thou Amidala) seem to not give a crap about Anakins mother up to that point or slavery if we look into the bigger picture. They seem to be totally fine that there are planet where most of the population is made out of slaves. Hey, at least they are paying their trading taxes... I mean, how many years went by between Episode 1 and 2? They have enough ressources to at least free many slaves, I think some Jedi could have changed the political structure there in that time without cutting mentionable power from the Hutt. With some Jedi I mean force-abusing bastards who don't have problems with stealing or manipulating people.

So you can think: The most time during the prequels I get headaches from plotholes and whiny Superboy Prime acting or have to laugh at the sheer stupidity that is called "writing".

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