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Darth Vader is a Man-Child Who is Always Throwing Things
Tantrums, yes, but also whatever happens to be laying around
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One of the best things the Prequels did—and by best, I mean absolute worst—is demystify the shroud-like mystique of Darth Vader. It turns out, under all that black leather, Vader is just a whiny man-boy. He never really grew up! He’s basically Tom Hanks from Big with crushing anger issues.
With such thoughts in mind, we can reconsider his behavior from the original trilogy in a startling new light. For instance, I’ve already opined on the time he hid in a closet while waiting for Han Solo to stumble into his trap.
As fate has it, we’re back at Cloud City again. I recently started thinking about his duel with Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. Young Skywalker foolishly (willingly!) stumbles into Vader’s trap—Vader was laying out snares like Wile E. Coyote—and doesn’t immediately flee because all Skywalkers are stupidly self-assured.
Not only does Luke not do the sensible thing, he boldly approaches Vader empty-handed. And then he just stands there, hands on hips, like he’s daring Vader or something. It’s a posture any parent instantly recognizes.
So I understand why Vader decided that hand had to go.
But I’m getting off-course.
Luke’s attitude might be Grade-A material, but at this point in his training, he’s a C-level Jedi at best. He can do a bit of telekinesis and some nifty summersaults, and that's about it. Two minutes ago, Luke was a backwater hick who thought he'd seen some shit because he could bullseye womprats. Now here he was about to cross blades with one of the greatest practitioners of the Jedi arts to ever live, and he’s treating Vader like he’s a middle-aged McDonald’s cashier who got his order wrong.
Meanwhile, Vader has to be thinking something along the lines of, “get a load of this kid.” They commence with the lightsabers, Luke the aggressor, Vader just checking his swings while talking about fear and anger, textbook Darth Side indoctrination material. At some point they stumble out onto Cloud City’s version of a terrace, and Vader dials up his intimidation game. He just starts throwing electronics and random bits of Ugnaught luggage and whatever else happens to be laying around.
Luke gets the crap beat out of him by clunky inanimate objects, which has got to be pretty humiliating. Vader doesn’t even need to use his lightsaber to beat him.
Vader just likes throwing things around, I guess. Remember when he was still Anakin Skywalker and he used his powers to toss around some fruit while eating dinner with Padme on Naboo? Less deadly use of Force, but just as consequential. (They end up together, don’t they?) On some level—perhaps on the only level that truly matters—Vader is still the little boy who thought there were angels flying about in space. That part of him remains, and it surfaces again at times. Which is why he finds such delight in throwing things.
And how does Vader finally kill Palpatine? Oh yeah.
I rest my case.
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