Symbolism behind the Vader suit

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Master_Mace_Windows, Sep 15, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Master_Mace_Windows Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2005
    star 1
    That dreaded suit and it's component have many meanings or so Lucas will have us think.

    That chestplate and it's button say that LITERALLY there are machines where his heart once was.

    That helmet can resemble a skull and it means how Anakin is not really willing to live, because he's not living in peace. Not at all.

    The cape can mean that as long as he tries to get his past behind him, it will forever be there to haunt him and keep him there.

    The FAKE legs can be interpreted like Anakin is living in a lie, trying to give his life some sense by fighting something he really should not, but it was the only thing he had left. Like his robot legs to move is the only thing he has.

    His original flesh being completely hidden from view it means literally that Vader has consumed Anakin. We only see the suit and mask and never his face, until ROTJ.

    And I think most importantly, the BLACK color. It clearly can mean that he's given up on the compassionate style, that he thinks that nothing can be achieved by democracy.


    Anyone can find other meanings like these about the other objects in that suit¿?
  2. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    Great analysis.

    I'm sure some symbolism could be injected into his raspy respirator breathing. It sounds menacing for a start, and at least in those parts of ROTJ (?) where it breathes independently of his speech, it's symbolizing the mechanics keeping him alive possibly even against his will.
  3. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    Good thread, and excellent thoughts, Master_Mace_Windows.

    The fake legs might also symbolize his inability to "stand on his own legs".

    I've always seen the suit and the mask mainly as an armor which protects him from being exhibited to the examination of other people, and at the same time establishs a wall between him and the rest of the world. He cannot expose his real face to the world, and he cannot see the world through his own eyes, otherwise he dies - literally and figuratively.

    He's become the creature of Darth Sidious to the world. He has to show the world the appearance Darth Sidious has created for him, and he has to look at the world with the eyes Darth Sidious has created for him.

    There have always been remnants of Anakin in the Darth Vader suit, literally and figuratively, shattered remnants.The Anakin that has been preserved is but a trace of what he once was, he cannot walk on his own, he cannot live on his own, and he must be hidden and protected from the world.
  4. bry-maul Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2005
    star 1
    i always thought it was just based on Ralph MacQuarrie's drawings...
  5. Master_Mace_Windows Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2005
    star 1
    I know it IS based upon that, but Lucas is known for giving us the freedom to analyze.

    Want another example? The GREEN lightsaber Luke holds on Tatooine. When it was used originally for technical reasons, it is very open to interpretation.
  6. RedHanded_Jill Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2004
    star 4
    i read somewhere that the writing on the suit is hebrew or something and it means "i hate myself" or something like that
  7. Master_Mace_Windows Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2005
    star 1
    Contrary to what many would say, i CAN believe that. After all it would be true.
  8. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    The fact that it's based on Ralph MacQuarrie's drawing doesn't preclude interpretation. The mere idea of putting Vader into an armoured suit with a mask was there before the drawings, as far as I know, and the drawings told not much about the technical equipment in the suit, much less who or what was in the suit, e.g. fake legs. Weren't the pencil sketches outlining the general appearance of the suit there even before MacQuarrie's drawings? But I digress...
  9. bry-maul Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2005
    star 1
    i agree that GL had a bit of vader's backstory before he told MacQuarrie to come up with the concept. i just think that preANH, the suit was just considered a way to sustain Vader's life. The black color was solely because he was evil, contrasted with Luke's white outfit for goodness. Now maybe in ROTS, the way things were done, maybe GL included some "sybmolism", but i think the original concept was that he was just supposed to be a menacing villian. I doubt that Lucas had "terminator vision" in mind in the 80s when he wrote the line about looking on Luke with his own two eyes. But yes, I'm sure that came about as a result of linking ROTS to the OT.

    hey, interpret away, that's what art is all about...
  10. DunkelVater Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2002
    star 1
    There were several translations I've seen, and the one that was acknowledged as best was: "His deeds will not be forgiven until he merits."
  11. BrideofVader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2005
    star 1
    I was noticing how someone was making a connection between pre-darkside Annakin, and how there were lines concerning his breathing. Obiwan tells Annakin to take a deep breath. Annakin tells Padme, "I can't breathe." Luke always is shown breathing, literally. He sucks in a deep breath as he fires the final torpedo into the 2 meter hole of Death Star I. He takes a deep breath as he takes out the troopers on the speeders in ROTJ, and again when he gets out of the Death Star II takes another deep breath. Sure, it's probably just a sigh of relief, but it happens in such a significant way that I would think there has to be some subconcious connection. This Saga is indeed, greater than the sum of its parts.

    What about the hands... always getting chopped off! Annakin's hand, then both of Dooku's, then all of Annakin's limbs, then Luke's and then Vader's mechanical hand. This is repeated too much to be insignificant, but I do not know what losing your hand could mean. Losing one's sense of Self?
  12. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    Great points.

    When I think symbolism and Vader's suit I think of one thing: The fact that the suit once again traps Anakin/Vader. Once again Anakin is a victim to slavery and the fact that his abilities are dictated by the suit.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.