This weekend, there was a marathon of the Star Wars series. One of the things I noticed during the marathon was the evolution of the main protagonist turned villain Darth Vader. I couldn’t help but wonder where people stood in their feelings towards Darth Vader. A majority of them, felt that he was indeed a true villain, and although he started good, he made the choice to go bad instead of stay good.
But as I continued to watch and research, I couldn’t help but wonder… Darth Vader: Villain or Victim?
So I broke it down into two main categories: (SUPER SPOILERS AHEAD!)
The Reasons He’s a Victim:
~ Anakin was born into slavery in a remote planet far away from the rest of the galaxy. Tatooine was as ruthless as the desert land that it’s people resided in. With every vice from gambling to smuggling, it was happening there. So add no justice or law to a slave and you have a child who grows up in fear and oppression.
~ From the very first time we meet Anakin Skywalker, he is being used by others to gain whatever it is they need. In the Phantom Menace it was to gain the power core needed to escape Tatooine. Later on in the series, he is used to learn about Emperor Palatine’s issues. And then even in the end, he is played by the Emperor to give up everything he knows to become a Sith Lord in order to save his only love.
~ Although he had Obi-Wan and Yoda as advisers, Anakin was impulsive and did not always stop to think through things. Furthermore, when he is given the title of “the chosen one”, it somewhat brought a sense of ego and entitlement. That because he is the chosen one, he is exempt from being a part of the Jedi law.
~When you add the last point with a severe insecurity of fearing what he cannot control. You have a very venerable person. Anakin, was swayed by his guilt, ignorance of the world and his fear of losing control. Fear of losing the ones he loved, along with the ignorance that he can save the ones he loves eventually brought forth not only the end of himself, but the ones he loved.
The Reasons He’s a Villian:
~ The number one reason everyone gave me as to why Anakin Skywalker was a total villian was because he allowed Mace Windu to be killed. For those of you who do not already know, Mace Windu was played by the Bada** Mother****** himself Samuel L. Jackson. So to all of us in this generation knows, that to allow Samuel L. Jackson being murdered is just wrong on any level.
~ The second biggest reason I got from everyone, is that Anakin, always had a choice. He could have turned back and purged himself, he could have left at anytime, walked away or even chose to rebel against his own master. But he didn’t, he instead chose to lead a world into absolute darkness. He didn’t even think twice about his decisions until the very end when it was indeed too late.
~He was ruthless in all his actions when he became a Sith Lord as well. In the AU world, the novels tell of a Sith Lord that had it all, land, castles, money and nothing for all of his work except destruction and death.
~ Poor Padame. She didn’t stand a chance.
~He chose a terrible way to manifest himself. Into a man suit? Terrible.
The Final Verdict:
No matter what your feelings about Darth Vader, one thing remains, he is one of the most complex and hard to understand characters in the entire series. I firmly believe, that he was a tortured soul, always conflicted between what was right and what was easy. Consequently when the time came for him to make his decision, he chose badly the firstly. But the second time, although it cost him his life, he made the right right one by protecting his son and daughter from oppression. In his death, he found his redemption, and was made whole once again.