Star Wars has been an integral part of my life.
I’m not messing about, in my youth, I used to watch the initial trilogy every month. In fact, after a few times, it got to the point that I knew all of the dialogue by memory, especially the ones with Darth Vader.
[Ed. Note New Post: Darth Vader And The Balance Of The Force]
I was going through some of my music files while updating an iPod, and I came upon the soundtrack from the third and final movie Star Wars movie that was made, Revenge of the Sith. The song in question is called Anakin‘s Dark Deeds and it is incredible. It tells the tale of the whole six movies, the culmination of almost 30 years in fiction, the point in time when Anakin became Darth Vader.
The point in time when Anakin surrendered to the Dark Side of the Force, and became twisted and evil. Anakin wasn’t a bad man, but he got easily manipulated by Darth Sidious. The Emperor was a very powerful creature with the Dark Side and knew that if he used Padmé’s life, he could make Anakin do whatever he wanted. Since his mother was killed, this would be the final trigger. This would be when in a fraction of a second, he betrayed the Jedi Order and killed Jedi Master Mace Windu, during the confrontation with Palpatine.
Shortly afterwards, Anakin tells Windu he has learned that Palpatine is in fact a Sith Lord. Windu, accompanied by Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin, goes to the Chancellor’s office to confront him. Resisting arrest, Palpatine brandishes a red lightsaber and launches himself at the Jedi, quickly killing all three of Windu’s compatriots and engaging Windu himself in an epic lighstsaber duel. In the heat of battle, the dueling pair shatter a nearby window with their lightsabers and continue their fight on the ledge. Windu eventually seems to gain the upper hand and disarms the Sith Lord with a powerful kick. However, Palpatine may have accounted for this, since it is at this moment that a conflicted Anakin Skywalker arrives at the scene. Palpatine uses Windu’s momentary distraction to attack him with Force lightning, but Windu blocks the barrage with his lightsaber and reflects it back. In the process, Palpatine’s face is scarred and twisted into an unnatural visage, though it is unclear whether this was the result of Windu’s deflection, Palpatine’s intense exertion, or the compromise of some type of Sith alchemy or illusion. Regardless, Windu emerges from the struggle exhausted but unharmed. As he prepares to strike the death blow, however, Anakin intervenes and cuts off Windu’s sword arm, thus allowing Palpatine to hit him with another lethal torrent of Force lightning. The force of the attack propels Windu out of the window. In the last moments of his life, Windu looks back and regrets two things– that he had chosen to save Anakin’s life in the Geonosis arena instead of killing Dooku, and that he hadn’t looked for Anakin’s shatterpoint in the Palpatine arrest.
That moment and the moment that Obi-Wan discovers what his apprentice had done, through the security recordings of the Jedi Temple, were the most poignant of all of the series. Contrary to the cast of the original series and the robotic acting by Natalie Portman in the first two episodes of the prequels, Ewan McGregor is an excellent actor. He has been able to mimic and extrapolate convincinly the most important character in the series.
Attack of the Clones reveals that Kenobi’s relationship with Anakin is, by now, strained; over the years, Anakin has become a headstrong and arrogant young man, and is beginning to chafe under Kenobi’s tutelage. More dangerously, he has begun to ignore Kenobi’s teachings in favor of the advice of Chancellor Palpatine, who feeds the young man’s fragile ego and subtly undermines his faith in the old Jedi ways. Anakin and Padmé have also fallen in love, an emotional attachment forbidden to Jedi Knights by the Jedi Code.
Two words. Beyond redemption. Darth Vader, at the time, was beyond redemption, but he managed at the series finale in Return of the Jedi to redeem himself. Still, his crimes were so great. He brought the end of an era, an era in which the Republic was stagnated by the Senate and bureaucratic affairs.
Kenobi finds Vader at the volcanic moon of Mustafar, and attempts to reason with his former student to pull him away from the dark side. When he emerges from Padmé’s ship, however, Vader immediately suspects that Padmé has betrayed him, and uses the dark side to choke her into unconsciousness. Vader reveals himself to be mad with power and corrupted (seemingly) beyond redemption. Kenobi has no choice but to engage him in a long and epic duel, which ranges through the Mustafar mining complex, the lava rivers, and finally the black sand. Kenobi tries to persuade Vader to relent, but Vader ignores his warnings and leaps forward to deliver the killing blow. Kenobi sees an opening and severs Vader’s legs and remaining arm with one stroke. Kenobi refuses to inflict the coup de grace on his former apprentice, however, and leaves him burning on the volcanic slopes, taking Anakin’s lightsaber with him. Vader sustains near-fatal third-degree burns and severe lung and throat damage. He survives long enough to be rescued by Palpatine, and is later saved via extensive medical prosthetics and an artificial respirator, transforming him into the cyborg depicted in the first trilogy.
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