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Lit SOD: Save Our Darth - Darth Vader

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Ulicus , Jul 11, 2008.

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  1. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 24, 2005
    This is a thread with a singular purpose:
    To see the original Darth, DARTH VADER, restored to his rightful place as one of the most powerful, cunning and feared Sith Lords to ever stalk the space lanes of the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

    It seems that ever since George Lucas let slip that Darth Vader was "80% of the Emperor" and the revelation that he was unable to generate Force lightning, a significant portion of the EU authorship have resolved to write Vader as though he wasn't the "SCOURGE OF THE JEDI". As though the greater part of his reputation were exaggerated, even lies.

    I - for one - have had enough of it, and I know I'm not alone.

    Darth Vader is, and always has been, the most iconic character of the Star Wars franchise and, in my opinion, it is about time he was once again frequently written with the respect he is due. 4/5ths of the black hole creating, death-defying, demidivine EMPEROR PALPATINE is nothing to sniff at.

    SOD's Law
    Here's just a few of the things that Darth Vader should be:
    [ul][li]Acknowledged as more powerful and skilled than Anakin Skywalker ever was.[/li] - "When I left you, I was but the learner" Doesn't translate as: "I'm not as good as I used to be."
    [li]An expert swordsman who can finish a fight without being nicked, scratched, cut or maimed in any way[/li] - Luke should be the exception, not the rule.
    [li]A masterful tactician and strategist[/li] - When the Empire struck back and scattered those rebel scum, who was in command?
    [li]In possession of a fierce intelligence, cunning and wit[/li] - Darth Vader is NOT a mindless brute.
    [li]Sure of his devotion to the dark side and EVIL for cryin' out loud![/li] - Emo Vader is bad, mmmkay?
    [li]Unconcerned with asteroids[/li] - He wants that ship, not excuses
    [/ul]So, in the words of the great Dark Lord himself:

    "We would be honoured if you would join us" in SAVE OUR DARTH (hard to resist that acronym), a thread inspired by the eternal SAVE OUR SKYWALKER and devoted to discussing the past, present and future of the one and only Darth Vader, the fulcrum on which the Star Wars Saga turns.

    Whenever Vader appears in an EU source, I encourage people to post their thoughts on the way he was portrayed here. I expect the thread will also examine and evaluate his previous appearances throughout the EU.

    With our combined strength, we can END this destructive characterisation and bring DARTH VADER back to the galaxy!
    Point Given likes this.
  2. J_K_DART

    J_K_DART Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 31, 2001
    Good thread. Luke isn't the only character to suffer consistently in the EU - nor even the only Skywalker, sadly...
  3. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 8

    Apr 17, 2006
    Jedi Twilight did well to make Darth Vader a badass.

    EDIT: Count me in.
  4. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    *signs up for their newsletter*
  5. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 19, 2007
    Count me in. His case may be an often overlooked one, but it's still no less of an issue than that of others.
  6. NelanisGhost

    NelanisGhost Jedi Youngling star 4

    Jun 24, 2006
    "General, Count me in."

    I think Vader started getting defiled back in TTT when Mara the teen queen showed up. It's been extremely annoying since then.
  7. Admiral_Stone

    Admiral_Stone Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jun 6, 2008
    Count me in as well. I'm always ticked when Vader's character is shot, just because he died in the movies doesn't mean he should be overlooked[face_shame_on_you]
  8. DarthRevan211

    DarthRevan211 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 17, 2008
    What books in particular do you have a problem with? I don't really read as many novels as most here, but, in the ones I have read, with the exception of the last part of ROTS and Dark Lord, Vader's always been the strong, influential, and imposing being he was back in '77.

    However, I also think that ROTS and DL both were written under the revelation that Vader was really broken as a human. He doesn't really have the will to live. But, later on, he accepts his new role in the galaxy and becomes the Vader we see in ANH.

    What novels show him being emo?

  9. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    I approve of this thread!
  10. JaySkywalker01

    JaySkywalker01 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 25, 2005
    Vader is a complete BA! I think his best characterization was in a cunning and deadly Sith Lord. I haven't read Jedi Twilight yet, but plan to very soon. I look forward to that characterization of our favorite Sith.

    I also love playing as him in Battlefront 2...he has a great force flight/hover ability.
  11. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    Actually, it's more the way a lot of writers prefer to stomp on his memory.

    * Advertisement "MORE POWERFUL THAN DARTH VADER!" = Jacen (?!)

    * The unforgivable statement that Grand Admiral Thrawn, Vader, and Mara were to replace Kinman Doriana.

    (That was weird in a number of ways)

    * Dark Lord having Palpatine tell him they won't hunt down the Jedi because they're already extinct.

    * The bizarre statement Vader's armor can't be upgraded yet it was stated it WAS between the trilogies by Lucasfilm to account for the changes between movies!
  12. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    I thought it was more like "the remaining Jedi are not your concern".

    He was already planning upgrades in Dark Lord.
  13. Master_Palpy

    Master_Palpy Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 29, 2004
    Aye, I'm in. If there's one character worth it for me to betray HIM Palpatine it's Vader.

    Well, there's Zayne but Vader came first.

    Heck, Lord Vader is the reason I became a fan in the first place.

    Actually, I have no problem with people being more powerful in the Force than the Dark Lord. We should look at what Darth Vader has acomplished. And that's more than every other wanna-be has under their sleeve.

    Krayt? The Jedi have a friggin' secret hideout! They're plotting!

    Under Vader? Running for their lives. Full stop.
    minnishe likes this.
  14. JaySkywalker01

    JaySkywalker01 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 25, 2005
    JvS seems to spell out a lot of the features of Vader's armor. Not sure how many of them were actual upgrades but I doubt they were available from day one.
  15. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 3, 2005
    Sign me up, big time. When I first embraced Star Wars, Vader was the baddest thing going around. Now people mock and deride him.


    I'm sick of it. Really I am. OK, maybe I am a fanboy...there's no character I love more than the Big Bad Darth. But ever since ROTS (which I think is far from being the worst offender) authors seem to be actively committed to the Wussification of Darth Vader. As Uli says, people do not land hits on Vader. He's the best damn duelist there ever was. Vader does not throw tantrums in 1 ABY, thank you Allegiance.

    What I'd like to see is a call back to the Vader we saw written by Lawrence Kasdan, Archie Goodwin, and Steve Perry. We got Perry's Vader in Death Star, and in my opinion, that was hugely refreshing. The man's intelligent, highly derisive of the military, hugely respectful of the Force, and just plain scary from anyone else's perspective. They got it right. The other half of that writing team, Michael Reaves, managed to do much the same thing in Jedi Twilight, although Vader only ever appears from someone else's perspective. Another person who got things right recently, IMO, was Ryder Windham, in The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader. He's a bastard, but he cares about his son, and he hates Palpatine.

    But these are the exceptions, sadly. Why, in the latest issue of Vector, he ran away from a bunch of monsters. Let me now use something that is overused in the inspiration for this thread.


    A: Vader doesn't run. B: Vader doesn't run away. It's fundamentally wrong, and I've had it.


    Any of you Vader fans out there that haven't treated yourselves to the informal "Tagge arc" of the Marvel comics run really, really should. In it, Vader manipulates and twists people to his will...and he essentially psychologically destroys a family. It's brilliant reading, in spite of some very...odd drawings of Vader, and some highly melodramatic dialogue. Also, Orman Tagge has some pretty gaudy outfits. Despite that it, people. It's Vader at his best, at least pre-Kasdan.
  16. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 8

    Apr 17, 2006
    I will reiterate. Coruscant Nights is the best thing to happen to Vader in ages. Can't discuss it cause of spoilers, though.
  17. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    I'm with you, too!

    One of the things I've noticed is that most depictions of Vader very rarely offer any overt display of Force abilities. Palpatine's throwing lightning around the room every other time we see him but Vader hardly ever moves beyond his lightsaber skills and simple but effective TK tricks. For the most part this isn't surprising, as Vader clearly favors substance over style (no need to rip a hole in the fabric of spacetime when you can just spare a half-second's thought to snap someone's neck with your mind), but when it comes down to personal power I wouldn't mind being reminded every so often that he's not just an advanced version of General Grievous that can crush your trachea from across the room. I remember TalonCard bringing up one comic where, IIRC, Vader disintegrated an entire stormtrooper! Powers like that might be a little "out there," but I'd love to see him display more esoteric abilities like the kinetite from SOTME, or even uncomplicated but rarely used techniques like his reflection and absorption of energy in TESB.

    As far as I'm concerned, Vader is the third most powerful Force-user who ever lived (after Luke and Palpatine, in that order), and I think it would be great if he was written like it more often. He may have started out good and become good again at the end, but I think people tend to forget, especially in light of the prequels, that in between he was a VERY, VERY BAD MAN. Anakin Skywalker is the tragic hero we're supposed to feel bad for; Darth Vader is the villain who's supposed to terrify us. Obviously, they're both the same man, so some overlap is to be expected, but I'd rather have a terrifying villain tinged with sadness (SOTE, James Kahn's ROTJ) than a perpetually depressed fallen hero in a Sith Lord's clothing.
  18. sabarte

    sabarte Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 8, 2005
    Over the top displays of power often hurt a character as much as help - Sidious throwing senate pods around was kind of silly, all in all, and the Yoda/Dooku duel had shades of ridiculousness.
  19. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    I agree, anything way over-the-top wouldn't be in character (although I don't doubt Vader could do it if he wanted to). That said, I don't think it would be at all out of character for Vader to use other Force tricks than choke and push more often, the kinetite being one example.

    I was thrilled when Jacen used that Dathomiri ball of light ability in DN because it was something different, and even if on the whole it wasn't that impressive of an ability, its obscurity really helped to establish that Jacen had all these esoteric powers he could call on if he wanted to. I don't doubt that Vader could use any number of powers that we've never seen him use if we wanted to, I'd just like to see this supported by textual evidence more often.
  20. Froggy22651

    Froggy22651 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 31, 2005
    Damn right! It's about time someone stood up and defended one of cinema's greatest villains.

    It's been popular as of late to portray Darth Vader as petulant, angsty Anakin Skywalker with a mask, but I was under the impression that all that was supposed to be buried within him for a good 20 years, (literally) burned out of him by the end of ROTS. Enough of wussy Vader.

    He's not going to get hacked up in every lightsaber duel he engages in. He's combined his own natural strength with Dooku's grace and style to become one of the best lightsaber duelists ever. And you can't tell me that his prosthetics limit his range of motion. Through the Force, I'm certain he could do all the crazy flips he ever could as young Skywalker. He just is much more efficient with his motions now, after his maiming from Kenobi. A badass doesn't need to run.

    He's not a poor tactician. He's a brilliant military leader who has earned the respect and fear of the fighting men of the Empire...and mostly just the fear of the fleet officers. He had the Rebel Alliance on the run, and he's a devious, scheming manipulator, always looking for the upper hand on his master.

    He is not weak in the Force. He's devastatingly powerful, a match for nearly ever Jedi or Sith who has ever lived. And no, I don't care what Lucas says, I don't think he's weak against or unable to generate Force lightning. I mean, you can generate Force lighting and it won't totally mess up your nervous system and send your muscles into uncontrollable spasms, but if you have a metal arm, your circuits are fried? The logic isn't there. And it must be noted that, prosthetics or not, Vader learned the ability to absorb energy attacks. Like, blaster bolts and such.

    It's just that he rarely would have a reason to. Besides, it's much more satisfying to just strangle someone to death.
  21. Katana_Geldar

    Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Mar 3, 2003
    Sign me up, Vader is one of the best things about Star Wars. I remember hearing him breath for the first time in ROTS, pure bliss! He has also has most of the best lines in the OT.

    One of my fave EU moments for the ol' Darth is in SOTME, not a great story (look at Luke and Leia's roll in mud ;)) but some great Vader moments, and I think he actually kills Leia, but I can't remember.
  22. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 3, 2005
    You can't really judge SOTME's quality on the fact that Luke and Leia's relation was made up at least four years after it was written.

    But I agree, SOTME features many great Vader moments. He does all but kill Leia, but the power of the Kaiburr heals her. Conversely, as per The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader, the Kaiburr makes Vader feel invincible, and causes him to lose control of himself...which is a convenient retcon perhaps, but a darned fun one. Homicidal lightning-hurling Vader is well worth your time. [face_mischief]
  23. Katana_Geldar

    Katana_Geldar Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Mar 3, 2003
    I was just talking about the fact they had a roll in the mud and acted like kids, not that they are brother and sister. Leia shoulda known better than to beat him up.
  24. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 7

    Jul 19, 1999
    Quite the acronym & name Uli, whatever inspired you to come up with it? ;)

    I have to agree though, the effect of the PT has been to rip Vader as a villain to pieces, not helped by LFl and Lucas apparently advocating that it's still Anakin under the mask thus giving new meaning to the OT. Oh? Great, so instead of that cool villain I'm supposed to envisage a whinger in a mask? Well done, you've just effectively destroyed the numero uno villain.

    I do have to disagree with Four Dot's view of Vader never retreating, if it serves his ends he will, he just very rarely needs to because he succeeds in what he is doing, whatever that may be. In regard to Dark Times, yes, Vader could have killed the rakghouls, could have killed Morne in all likelihood but doing so wouldn't give him what he went there for: An apprentice for him to train and then use to kill Sidious. As soon as he hits the point of knowing this he decides to waste no further time on it. The same arc also does a great introduction of Vader:

    "Do you know who I am?"
    "But you fear me?"
    "That will suffice."

  25. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    For me, I don't mind 80% of Palpatine's strength.

    80% of Palpatine's strength though means he's THE MOST POWERFUL SITH EVER AFTER PALPATINE.

    He should be stronger than:

    Darth Bane
    Darth Revan
    Darth Nihilus (he of the "one trick pony")
    Darth Sion
    Darth Malak
    Darth Caedus
    Darth Krayt
    Marka Ragnos
    Exar Kun

    and everyone else listed thereof but Palpatine.

    I remember a small uproar I caused on a forum by pointing out that the fantasy of playing Darth Revan was that he was a Darth Vader Expy. You get to play Darth Vader underneath that armor whether good or evil. Let's face it, aside from cybernetics he's virtually DV incarnate only a few thousand years earlier even back to his messaniastic levels of Force Power.

    As compared to Kyle Katarn whose a Han Solo/Luke Skywalker hybrid.
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