CT How the rule of two redeemed the Original Trilogy

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Cat_of_Palpatine, Dec 29, 2016.

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  1. Cat_of_Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2016
    star 1
    Let us trace the evolution of Vader as a character. We see the tall dark figure for the first time in Episode IV. It’s a war machine with very little human left in him. Unstoppable, he plods from one scene to another crushing any opposition. Well, that’s a character in whose realism we are ready to believe.
    Episode V. The mechanical man realizes that he has a son. So, there is something human buried beneath the black armor! No. He needs Luke as a tool to topple the Emperor. The audience is left ignorant about the true powers of Galaxy’s enigmatic sovereign. The fact that Vader kneels before his hologram explains nothing: it can be just etiquette.
    Episode VI. As the hooded figure emerges from imperial shuttle, we realize that it’s limping dotard who rules the Empire, Vader being a dog on his leash! The Dark Superman, the incarnation of Evil has been reduced to a mumbling servant waiting for his master’s orders.
    - Thou shalt complete the battle station.
    - Yes master!
    - Thou shalt bring thy son before me.
    - Yes master!
    - Thou shalt fall on thy knees and fetch my cane.
    Vader does everything he is ordered to do. Following an order he fights his son. His lust for power is extinguished. We see a slave who desires to kill his master but dares not. The plan to overthrow the Emperor is buried. Buried is also the character the audience has been admiring for two episodes! As all eyes are fixed on the uncanny figure of Palpatine and all hearts beat feverishly in anticipation of the final moment of the Saga, the Vader controversy goes unnoticed. Yet, it exists and becomes evident once you start rethinking the movie.

    The Rule of Two eliminates the controversy. With the knowledge that only two Sith can exist at the same time the duel scene in Episode V can be seen from a new perspective. Behind the black mask we see a loving father desiring a better future for his son, though he knows that this son of his (and a potential apprentice) will kill him one day.
    Vader’s actions in the final episode of the Saga acquire completely different meaning. Realizing his inability to convert his son alone, he decides to let Luke replace him. Vader enters Emperor’s throne room on the Death Star with clear intent to die there freeing his place at Palpatine’s side to his offspring. He fights Luke and succumbs to superior force. Only upon realizing that his son is going to get killed does he get up and through Palpatine into the pit.
    Last edited by Cat_of_Palpatine, Dec 29, 2016
  2. Avnar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2007
    star 4
    Um... no. The rule of two came in after the OT so you are seeing what you are wanting to see. Vader and Palpatine agreed that Luke would be a powerful ally if he could be turned to the dark side...

    Vader doing what he is told by his master/boss hardly makes him a dog on a leash - We all go to work everyday and answer to someone. He killed his master at the point that he chose his love for his son over his loyalty to his master. Who knows what was going through his mind at that point...

    :cool:
    Last edited by Avnar, Dec 29, 2016
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  3. Oissan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah no, I don't see any of that at all. And that doesn't even include what has been pointed out by Avnar. Vader was hardly the one in command in ANH either, so any idea of a sudden change to Vader goes out of the window.

    And no, I really don't see how anyone could suggest that Vader plans to let Luke take his place, much less that he is driven by the love for his son. He would have loved to rule together with him, but he most definately had no plans to let himself get killed by him, nor for Luke to replace him as the Emperor's apprentice. The whole battle that happens directly contradicts such ideas.

    If anything, I'd say it goes more like this:
    - Vader finds out about Luke
    - Vader tries to get Luke to join him so they can overthrow the Emperor
    - Luke decides to prefer (possible) death to accepting such a thing
    - Vader loses the hope in toppling the Emperor due to Luke not working with him

    Vader would have needed for Luke to be fully committed to the darkside for them to topple Palpatine, which meant this couldn't possibly work out once Luke rejected him. At that point he is basically torn, he can't topple his master without his son being willingly at his side, he also won't take Luke's side because he thinks that option is lost to him and there is little to gain. He'd also prefer not to kill Luke, though if he had to, he would probably do it. It's only when Luke rejects the darkside and the Emepror tries to kill him for it that Vader can make a decision again.
  4. Darthman92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2016
    star 4

    Notably though, neither of them seemed to ever actually be intending to create a trio. Both wanting to get Luke to kill the other and become his apprentice. That looking to be each's default stance on the matter when they actually start trying to turn Luke to the Dark Side. Though naturally this also gets into the debate whether the Rule of Two is actually something written down for them to follow or just the cannibalistic nature of the Dark Side taking effect with each person wanting to be the top dog. I at least initially tended to think the latter going on the movies alone, but external materials have said otherwise. I'm not really sure how you should write the conversation between them if it was a part of their Sith rule book. Would they both just openly talk about how they're planning to betray each other or would they try to dance around it? I dunno. Am I going to argue the Rule of Two as we know it was in place when TESB came out? No. But given how things play out, them being the only two members of their order addressed in those movies (the only ones cited by Obi-Wan and Yoda as the Dark Siders Luke needs to defeat anyway) rather than having multiple other disciples to serve them and the way each wanted Luke to kill the other, I think one can at least see the basis for the idea generated afterward. Can see why others would disagree, there's definitely a discussion to be had about it, but it's not something I'm really bothered much by personally.
    Last edited by Darthman92, Dec 29, 2016
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  5. Jester J Binks Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2016
    star 2
    I think it is an interesting road to travel and discuss. Vader definitely was conflicted from the moment he found out his child lived. Actually, he was conflicted the minute he turned into Darth Vader. He didn't turn with the beating of his chest, but collapsing into "What have I done?"

    Darth Vader was never fully evil or fully good in his turn. He was left with nothing and cared about nothing. He saw the Republic and Jedi Council in the end and didn't see anything worth saving. Were they freeing slaves? Nope. Did they create a utopia? Not even close. His own hubris did him in. He saw himself as the strongman, but only if he had somebody to share it with. Once he lost that, he really lost any serious direction. Rediscovering his family started to give him a purpose again, but he was conflicted on how to actually make it happen.

    Knowing the link to mythology and religion, Vader was somewhat the flood. He didn't just destroy the Sith. He wiped it all out, including himself.
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  6. Kenneth Morgan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 4
    The ROTJ novelization brought up the idea that, perhaps, Vader's main motivation in trying to get Luke to turn to the Dark Side wasn't "You can help me overthrow the Emperor" or "You can help keep the Sith Order going". It was "Join me, because I chose the right path. Didn't I?" If Luke joins him, it validates everything Vader did and endured since he turned Dark. Of course, the opposite happens; Ani decides to join Luke, which validates everything Luke did and endured.
  7. DealAlterer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2012
    star 1
    Is that really his plan at first? Isn't it clear that he intended to carbon freeze Luke so that he could bring him before the Emperor?
  8. Darthman92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2016
    star 4

    That's an interesting point. He does say that when discussing his plans with the likes Palpatine, Boba, or Lando but when finally confronting Luke he says...

    "Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son."

    Three potential scenarios spring to mind...

    -He was saving face in front of everyone else to look like he wasn't actively planning to betray the Emperor but when distant from dangerous ears revealed his true intentions.

    -Was just using it as a means to try and lure Luke into joining him, though he'd have to address it with him later if they're not actually going to go after the Emperor.

    -After seeing Luke's already considerable leaps in progress he then got the idea that in not too long they'd be able to overthrow the Emperor if they worked together.
    Last edited by Darthman92, Dec 29, 2016
  9. DealAlterer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2012
    star 1
    But that's AFTER he forces Luke into the freezing chamber and hits the ignition switch...

    "All too easy..."
  10. Darthman92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2016
    star 4
    Yeah. But that can be his plan to capture/incapacitate Luke whether he's planning to betray the Emperor or not in that moment.
    Last edited by Darthman92, Dec 29, 2016
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    Vader's plan is to turn Luke. He only wants to freeze him so that he can be secured for his trip to Coruscant. When Luke proves to be stronger than he imagined, that is when he decides to try and tempt him on his own. When he failed, that is when Palpatine decided that they needed to work together on this. The goal was to have a Triumvirate similar to how Sidious, Maul and Tyranus were working together during the Naboo invasion, before Maul was taken out by Obi-wan and later how Ventress served the Sith during the first two years of the war. But both Sith Lords were willing to use Luke to destroy the other.
  12. Dreamer_Sith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2010
    If there's ever one thing I took away from RotJ post-prequels, it wasn't much of what was in the OP, it was that Vader after Mustafar was no longer the perfect apprentice, but he was literally it until Luke showed up. Once Luke came into the picture, Vader was there to bring him around, and then Luke was to become the new apprentice and Vader was to die.
  13. Cat_of_Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2016
    star 1
    I see your point. That’s exactly what the fans of the Original Trilogy were encouraged to think back in the 1980’s. This is a totally valid explanation. However, it is not the only possible explanation. With the Rule of two in mind the plot appears more dramatic, more Shakespearean, if you like.

    What’s wrong about the Original Trilogy? There are two troubles.
    Primarily, the easiness with which Vader becomes an underdog. If he is dreaming to topple the Emperor, so why can’t he just stab the hooded dotard with his lightsaber? Is he afraid to get killed by Palpatine? If so, he is a coward.
    Personally, my belief in Vader was shaken in Episode V when I learned that he needed Luke to unseat the Emperor. This huge guy in black armor wants his teenage son to do a job that he himself is afraid to do? How charming!
    Secondarily, the swiftness of Vader’s conversion. A callous war machine obsessed with gaining power throughout the entire Saga suddenly decides to go sentimental just five minutes before the curtain falls. It makes no sense!

    Oissan: but he most definately had no plans to let himself get killed by him, nor for Luke to replace him as the Emperor's apprentice
    So where does Vader’s tragic tone in Episode VI come from? Remember his It is too late for me, my son? These words were not uttered by a power maniac. These are the words of a loving father ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of his child.

    Avnar:Vader and Palpatine agreed that Luke would be a powerful ally if he could be turned to the dark side
    And now we can understand the real nature of this “agreement”. With the Rule of two in mind we realize that Vader was offering his own life in exchange for a place for Luke at Emperor’s side.

    Oissan: Vader was hardly the one in command in ANH either, so any idea of a sudden change to Vader goes out of the window.
    I never claimed that he was officially in command. But already in Episode IV he appears to be the most powerful imperial agent on the screen. He disrespects the imperial military, says whatever he finds right to say, and chokes high ranking officers at will. It’s a behavior of someone who stays above the standard military hierarchy. He is a kind of a Republican guard in the regular army of Saddam. Yes, all dictatorships look like each other.
    Moreover, we know nearly nothing about the real power of the Emperor in the first two episodes of the Classic Trilogy. We learn, however, that Vader was once Kenobi’s apprentice (hence, a Force user) and that he was responsible for the destruction of the Jedi. Upon hearing such things any fan can conclude that the man in the dark armor is the actual ruler. Or, at least, a kingmaker.

    P.S. I’ll answer to Darthman92 later.
    Last edited by Cat_of_Palpatine, Dec 30, 2016
  14. RDeckard Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2015
    star 1
    Vader's dialog after the revelation in ESB changes a great deal. From that time forward, it's clear he is more interested in turning Luke than any of the power struggle in previous films. From that point forward, in Vader's mind, everyone becomes expendable including the emperor. While he was executing the plan to turn Luke, he clearly got caught up in the love for his son and turned back to the light.

    It's not 5 minutes. It takes more than a movie.[/quote]
    Last edited by RDeckard, Dec 30, 2016
  15. Cat_of_Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2016
    star 1
    Well, if we accept your view of Vader’s motivation, it really takes more than a movie. The trouble is that other posters in this thread tend to attribute a different motivation to the Dark Lord. You believe that Vader was obsessed with converting his son. Oissan, for example, claims that Vader’s primary objective was to topple the Emperor, Luke being just a tool.

    I reformulate my point. It’s no longer about the swiftness of Vader’s conversion. I claim that the major weakness of the Original Trilogy is the lack of clarity regarding Vader’s motive.
    If we look at any work of literature which is considered classic, we’ll find that its characters always have unambiguous motivation. Take Othello. Why did he kill Desdemona? Because he was jealous! This is the mainspring of the plot. Shakespeare did not need to give us any other reason as to why the Moor killed his wife. Suppose there was another plotline, like Othello suspecting his love of stealing his treasure. Would it make the story better? No!

    By the same token ascribing to Vader a spectrum of motives instead of giving a unique reason weakens the plot. The Rule of Two corrects this oversight.
    Last edited by Cat_of_Palpatine, Jan 1, 2017
  16. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    I don't doubt that Vader initially viewed Luke as a tool in his goal of overtaking the Emperor, and Bespin was the "test" by which he would determine Luke's readiness. However, I don't see Vader as necessity having a "spectrum"of motivations, moreso conflicting motivations. Palps has Vader convinced that he cannot achieve any of his goals without Palp's help and the Dark Side. He's impressed with Luke's abilities, but if Luke won't turn to the Dark Side, then Vader doesn't see how either of them could succeed: ("The Emporer knew, as I did, if Vader were to have any children, they would be a threat to him.") Notice how in ESB, Palpatine says, "[Luke] could destroy us." But later, Vader says, "You can destroy him . He has foreseen this." Both Vader and Palps see a potential future where Luke could be turned... But it's not guaranteed, at which point Luke would have to be killed in order to protect themselves.

    The key aspect is that Palps and Vader are only willing to risk so much for the goal of turning Luke. But it is Vader's familial connection to Luke that eventually overwhelms Vader's desire for self-protection. In fact, I would argue that this connection was the "threat" Ben was referring to when taking to Luke. Lucas talks about "How do we get Anakin back to the good person he was?", and Luke was the key to that. To Palps, the Dark Side was everything, but Luke gave Vader a choice that he'd thought was lost to him after Padme died. It helped him see how Palps had been manipulating him this whole time, and that he'd essentially made himself a slave to Palps, which would only continue if Luke were to be killed. Since Luke showed he was willing to sacrifice himself rather than make the wrong choice, he demonstrated to Anakin the conviction that was necessary to break himself from Palpatine's control. Without Luke, Vader would have been too focused on his own desire for power to make this realization on his own, and would have remained Palp's puppet.
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  17. MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 5
    The Rule of Two came later. Vader and The Emperor discussing how Luke could be a powerful ally makes no sense in the context of the RoT. Both Vader and The Emperor may have had plans to dispose of the other and take Luke as an apprentice, but there was no rule.
    Last edited by MOC Vober Dand, Jan 1, 2017
  18. Cat_of_Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2016
    star 1
    All right, you’ve supplied just another explanation of Vader’s behavior. In doing so, you’ve illustrated my point: yes, using the information from Episodes IV and V you can never say what Vader’s motive actually was. I repeat: this is the main weakness of the Saga. Imagine fans of Shakespeare arguing whether Hamlet killed Claudius out of revenge or because he wanted to rule himself.

    And now let us see, how clear everything becomes once we espouse the Rule of two.

    Episode V. The Emperor contacts Vader. A dialogue ensues [the comments in brackets are mine].
    Vader: What is thy bidding, my master?
    Palpatine: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
    Vader: I have felt it [Vader tries not to say too much].
    Palpatine: We have a new enemy. The young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.
    Vader: How is that possible? [Here Vader pretends to be surprised. He wants to hide his real feelings from his master.]
    Palpatine: Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true. He could destroy us. [Palpatine hints that he doesn’t buy it. He knows that Vader is mad about Luke.]
    Vader: He's just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him. [Coming out! Vader explains why Luke should be spared.]
    Palpatine: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi. [The Emperor is resolute. However, he does not say that Luke should die. He hints that Vader has an interesting option.]
    Vader: If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally. [Vader makes his proposal: kill me and take Luke as a new apprentice.]
    Palpatine: Yes... He would be a great asset. Can it be done? [Palpatine wants to know if Vader is serious.]
    Vader: He will join us or die, master. [I’ll do everything to make Luke take my place. Only if I fail, will he be killed.]

    Later on, as Vader is left alone with Luke, he makes a more selfish proposal: let us kill the Emperor and rule together. Luke rejects the offer with indignation.

    Episode VI. The Emperor lands on the Death Star. We hear another dialogue.
    Palpatine: You have done well, Lord Vader. And now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Skywalker. [Remember our old agreement?]
    Vader: Yes, my Master. [I do.]
    Palpatine: Patience, my friend. In time, he will seek you out. And when he does, you must bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the dark side of the Force. [Don’t dare to cheat me conspiring with Luke! Bring your son to me as soon, as you see him. You are supposed to die, not me!]
    Vader: As you wish. [Agreed.]
    Palpatine: Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

    Later in the movie Vader enters the throne room on the Death Star with a clear intent to die leaving his place at the Emperor’s side to his son. He heavily sighs. There is something tragic in his voice. Remember his famous: it is pointless to resist, my son? Yes, the Dark Lord was a loving farther from the very moment he realized that an unknown x-wing pilot was his offspring. His love toward Luke was his only motive throughout the entire Classic Trilogy. That’s it. That’s how the Rule of two redeemed the plot. Brilliant, isn’t it?



    MOC Vober Dand: The Rule of Two came later. Vader and The Emperor discussing how Luke could be a powerful ally makes no sense in the context of the RoT. Both Vader and The Emperor may have had plans to dispose of the other and take Luke as an apprentice, but there was no rule.

    The major trouble with many fans (including me) is that they watched the Saga in the chronological order: the Classic Trilogy, than the Prequels, finally Episode VII. Back in the 1980’s, though tremendously popular, the Star Wars were just a space opera. Space operas are produced to make money, the plot congruity being only a secondary issue. The movie, however, was not erased from the public memory, but became the Saga dear to an entire generation. As classics, the Star Wars needed a plot structure of a classic play. That is why Lucas added the Rule of two. It eliminated any ambiguity regarding the motive of Vader. So, if you watch the Episodes from the first to the last, you’ll be forced to see the Classic Trilogy with the Rule of two in mind.
    Pay attention: there is no ambiguity regarding Anakin’s conversion in the Prequels. It was the desire to save his wife fueled by the earlier failure to save his mother.
    Last edited by Cat_of_Palpatine, Jan 2, 2017
  19. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    Yes, you can:

    LUKE
    Come with me.

    VADER
    Obi-Wan once thought as you do.

    Luke steps close to Vader, then stops. Vader is still.

    VADER
    You don't know the power of the dark side. I
    must obey my master.

    LUKE
    I will not turn...and you'll be forced to
    kill me.

    VADER
    If that is your destiny.

    LUKE
    Search your feelings, father. You can't do
    this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go
    of your hate.

    VADER
    It is too late for me, son. The Emperor will
    show you the true nature of the Force. He is
    your master now.

    LUKE
    Then my father is truly dead.


    Vader is torn between his son and the Emperor, and he must overcome his anger to succeed. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.
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  20. MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 5
    The RoT creates, rather than resolves, ambiguity as far as I can see. To each their own, however.
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  21. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    I don't think so. In any organization, there will be people who want to take the boss's place. It's just a little more cutthroat with the Sith.
  22. Cat_of_Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2016
    star 1
    Being attracted to your own son sounds natural. It’s about an instinct characteristic of nearly every human being.
    As far as Palpatine, I would like to know: what exactly, in your opinion, helped Vader maintain a bond with the Emperor? Was that a respect toward an old mentor, a kind of filial love, or a desire to learn more about the ways of the Force?
    Please, explain. I’m not kidding. I’m just anxious to understand your point in order to better formulate my reply.
  23. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    As Ben told Luke, Vader was consumed by the power of the Dark Side. You have to realize that the Dark Side is a metaphor for stuff like anger or poor choices in life (just a few examples.) Think of it like alcoholism: Anakin was convinced (both by himself and Palpatine) that it would give him what he wanted, and didn't see the negative effects - it was driving his family and friends away from him. In fact, in his "drunken" paranoia, he ended up destroying the things he loved. At that point, all he had left was the Dark Side and Palpatine, and he was desperate to hold onto those last few connections.

    It becomes a vicious cycle: a person drinks -> it affects their family/career/health -> these problems cause the person to drink more -> this causes more problems with family/career/health -> person loses family/career/health -> person drinks because they lost their family/career/health, etc.

    Palpatine knows this all too well. As he told Luke, "With each passing moment, you make yourself more my slave!" As Palpatine explained this to Luke, Vader began to realize how he had been tricked, and that his desire for the Dark Side had been the cause of his problems all along, and that power really meant nothing without his family. He didn't understand the terrible price he paid for that power.

    Listening to the radio yesterday, I heard this line from Wham!'s song Freedom: Like a prisoner who has his own key. But I can't escape until you love me. Vader convinced himself that he could not turn away from the Dark Side, but when he saw Luke resist his fear and anger, he realized that the only thing keeping him in the Dark Side was his own fear and anger... The choice was his all along. At that point, the love of a father became stronger than his fears, and he was able to save the family that he thought had been taken from him because of the Dark Side.
  24. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 6
    My impression was after seeing Luke fight, Vader made a quick change of plans because he realized that with a trained-up Luke he could take Sidious.
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  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    Vader's motives are meant to seem somewhat ambiguous until the duel has ended. Much like you are left to wonder about Dooku's motives on Geonosis and Palpatine's until he orders Anakin to kill him.
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