One of the original poster children for the Dark Side, Darth Vader, is a villain that needs no introduction. He’s been the sci-fi version of the Boogieman since 1977. Asthma has never been so terrifying, but what drives Darth Vader? What drives Vader’s evil acts?
In Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Anakin completely transforms into another person when the helmet falls upon his head. The personality change is so sudden. Anakin Skywalker simply wanted his family to be safe. He began to worry to the point of panic and believed that making a deal with Emperor Palpatine will ensure the safety of his pregnant wife and his unborn children. Little did he know, her end was planned. The Emperor swayed Skywalker’s understanding of power. He began to think that power is ruthless and it is absolute.
Darth Vader is nothing if not selfish. He thinks of only himself and those he claims to care for. Anakin’s choices to protect his family fueled his rise to “Unlimited Power.” This idea that brute strength will allow you free reign, is one of Darth Vader’s many mistakes.
In the 2017 Darth Vader comic book, Vader is tasked with acquiring a new Lightsaber. Palpatine orders Vader to take a lightsaber from a fallen Jedi. Since this takes place after Order 66, it becomes a challenging mission. A mission that assists in Palpatine’s urge to wipe out all Jedi in the universe.
Darth Vader finds a Jedi Master by the name of Kirak Infil’a. The Jedi Master, well trained in combat, will be a real challenge for the former Jedi Knight. So how do you think Vader handled the situation? He put other lives in danger. Threatening to destroy a large dam Vader bested his opponent by sacrificing others for his gain. Vader doesn’t care who dies as long as he gets what he wants. A stunt like this should be no surprise since he is one of the first to perform the Force Choke on many of his Generals.
Darth Vader’s story takes place over the six original Star Wars films. We know that Anakin has seen a lot in his day. From an elite pod racer to slavery, Anakin was put through a lot as a youngling. He left his mother and was taken to be trained in the ways of the force. Even at such a young age, Anakin had dealt with emotional trauma. I think we can all a test to our emotions getting the best of us.
Anakin takes a turn for the worst when he tries to take control by strong-arming those that have wronged him. Raiders had killed his mother, He had lost faith in the Jedi Council after they refused to promote him to Jedi Master, and his wife Padme was killed. Pain runs deep in Darth Vader’s blood. It is what led him to the Dark Side, and it is what allows Kyber Crystals in Lightsabers to be corrupted and glow the signature red color.
Everything that Darth Vader is converges with the emotion of anger. Darth Vader’s wrath is what drives him every day. He is angry at everyone. He’s angry at himself for not protecting his mother and his wife. He is angry at the Jedi for not allowing him to grow as their student. He is angry at everyone who wastes his time with failure.
Anakin Skywalker didn’t know what to do with his anger, and it manifested in his actions. He killed his mentor, Obi-Wan, just for opposing his ideas. He is even angry at his second mentor, Palpatine, because Vader wants his position of power. Darth Vader allowed his anger to take over and everyone around him suffers for it. The body count increases with every little thing that displeases Vader.
Darth Vader is one of the most iconic faces - or helmets - of evil. He allowed his emotions to control his world and it comes back to bite him. Anakin becomes blinded and loses sight of the things that he initially sets out to stop. It wasn’t until the end of Star Wars: Episode VI that he regains an understanding on doing something for someone else, his son Luke.
Darth Vader (2017) is an excellent read for any of you looking to learn more about what drives the Sith Lord. Writer Charles Soule has even stated that he has used the current politics to understand Darth Vader’s anger. The book has been an exciting look at the new history surrounding Star Wars and Giuseppe Camuncoli's art looks like it right out of the films. I highly recommend the series.
What do you think of Darth Vader? What other villains would you like to see in the Terrifying Villains series? Let us know in the comments section.