Lit Why did Vader missed these chances to eliminate the Emperor?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by BedlamSpirit, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. Quinnocent-Till-Sith Force Ghost

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    Jul 21, 2004
    star 3
    Yeah but he doesn't know what's on the other side until he gets there, really. Besides, Hell may have visiting hours..;)
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  2. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Luke certainly doesn't come to this conclusion though.

    When Vader says this, and follows it up with "The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now" Luke's response is "Then my father is truly dead."

    The RoTJ novel has Vader- at least consciously- gloating enthusiastically over Luke's impending turn. His conscious reason for fighting Luke in that- is that he fears that if Luke kills the Emperor too early, he'll return to the light side:

    Vader was impressed by Luke's speed. Pleased, even. It was a pity, almost, he couldn't let the boy kill the Emperor yet. Luke wasn't ready for that, emotionally. There was still a chance Luke would return to his friends if he destroyed the Emperor now. He needed more tutelage, first — training by both Vader and Palpatine — before he'd be ready to assume his place at Vader's right hand, ruling the galaxy.
    So Vader had to shepherd the boy through periods like this, stop him from doing damage in the wrong places — or in the right places prematurely.
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  3. BedlamSpirit Jedi Master

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    Oct 14, 2011
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    It was very dumb in my opinion, so Vader really analyzed that Luke + him at that momment could defeat the Emperor without neither of them having to die? Wow, what a dumb move.

    Even if he returned to the light, Vader would have a way easier time turning Luke being Emperor himself, not to mention that becoming Emperor might had put Vader beyond redemption, since he would became the sole and full embodiment of the Dark Side, this is not a metaphorical thing, when Palpatine killed Plagueis he did really felt the Dark Side fully invested in him. It isn't as easy to turn back when you at least have someone to blame (Palpatine) than when you know 100% of the actions you make are your responsibility. Lets be honest here, Anakin after killing Mace had no choice, either he joined Palpatine or he stayed his whole life in prison or some ****.

    He could have even allowed Luke to leave and after consolidating power comfortably put his 100% effort in tracking him now that he has no deadlines or real worries. Luke would have a way harder time turning back Emperor Vader than the Vader he fought.
  4. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    First, Jedis don't use deception so Luke is being honest when he says he feels the conflict in Vader during that Endor scene. He could be off, but later events seem to confirm that he is right. Also, at that moment Luke isn't thinking it through, plus he's very sincere, so hearing that from his father really hurts him. Furthermore, his saying: "Then my father is truly dead" could be intended to push Vader more towards his fatherly role. No father wants to hear that. (Also, Luke wouldn't be using deception when he says "Then my father is truly dead." It's a if/then statement, if you are correct and there is no conflict in you, then my father is truly dead.)

    To me so much about that scene shows Vader's inner conflict. When Luke says that he was once Anakin Skywalker, Vader responds angrily: "That name no longer has any meaning for me!" If it really didn't have any meaning for Vader, then he wouldn't have responded angrily. He would have calmly said: "You were foolish to think that Anakin is still part of me. It will prove to be your undoing."

    When Luke asks Vader to flee the conflict, Vader responds in frustration: "You don't know the power of dark side!" This again shows that Vader would like to break the hold of the dark side on him, but he can't. Again this shows conflict.

    And again, there is also the line: "It is too late for me, Son." It indicates that a desire to break the dark side but that he's too far gone. He also says it in a somewhat compassionate tone, as if he's taking Luke's feelings into consideration. It's like he's trying to break it easy to Luke.

    Even Vader's body language after Luke is taken away seems to show he is torn and reflective. He doesn't march around confidently that he's about to further his plan. Instead, he walks to railing and thinks about what just went down.

    Now, I want to emphasize that I think Vader still considers himself irredeemable and stuck as a dark sider and he feels he can't shake its addictive qualities. My point is that Vader is torn, and he already cares for Luke in a fatherly way, so when we see all his actions after this scene, we must take his concern for Luke into consideration.

    I know the novel depicts thing differently, but I think GL gave writers back then much more latitude. It's not like he gave them a line-by-line edit, like he did with the novel for ROTS. (That shows just how much ROTS meant to GL.) In the ROTJ novel, a lot of things are clearly off. Obi-Wan and Uncle Owens are related, brothers I think. And the excerpt you've chosen doesn't seem to mesh well with how the Rule of 2 works.

    Ultimately, when you read the novel, you're getting a novelist's interpretation of shooting script of the film. That writer usually doesn't even have the opportunity to see the scenes acted out. So, I tend not to go with the novelization's author's interpretation. I go with my own interpretation of the scene, and I think I make a very strong case why my interpretation is a very valid interpretation of what's going on in the scene. In fact, I have difficulty trying to figure out what all of Vader's responses together could mean if he is not conflicted at that time.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Sep 26, 2013
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  5. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I can certainly see him having a subconscious conflict that he won't admit to himself- but "ambitious Vader" was the way a lot of EU handled it until the prequel trilogy came out.

    In Shadows of the Empire (set immediately before RoTJ) the last scene in the comic version is of Vader looking out of the windows and gloating "Together we will rule the galaxy as father and son!" to himself.
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  6. Kenneth Morgan Force Ghost

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    May 27, 1999
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    Two brief notes.
    First, Jedi do use deception, if it will get a good result without resorting to violence. For example, Qui-Gon tricking Watto to gain Ani's freedom, rather than just cutting the Toydarian in half and taking Ani & Shmi away.
    Second, you can't really fault James Kahn for neglecting the Sith Rule of Two since that rule hadn't been invented yet. Also, more recent EU material shows various Sith coming up with more ways to circumvent that rule than Jim Kirk came up with ways around the Prime Directive.

    Again, I prefer the ROTJ novel's interpretation of a conflicted yet still powerful Vader over the ROTJ novel's view of Vader as ultimately rather pitiful, if not mentally disturbed.
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  7. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
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    Sith don't follow the rules, not even the Rule of Two!
  8. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    This. Oh sweet Salma Hayek, this! I'll have to elaborate more later...
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  9. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    OK, here goes. I've been wanting to explore the Master/Apprentice dynamics of Bane-era Sith by way of fanfic :p :-B. This will be an early attempt at such. We'll say that this is by way of the holocron of Lord D'Spayre. I envision him something like Ian McKellan as Magneto :-B

    "Darth Bane has declared that the Order of the Dark Lords of the Sith shall consist of only two: one to embody power and one to crave it. The apprentice becomes the Master when the Master is dead. So this begs an obvious question:

    Why doesn't an apprentice kill his Master at the first opportunity?

    This question is borne from a very flawed assumption. While it is true that the Master lives so long as he is feared by the apprentice more than he is hated, you assume that the role of the apprentice is to slay his Master, and that the role of the Master is to stay alive. By all means, if you wish to test this assumption, feel free to move against your Master the first time you perceive an opening. I am certain that you will provide him some measure of amusement while he slays you for the impatient fool that you are.

    The role of the apprentice is not to slay the Master. No, the role of any Dark Lord of the Sith is to amass power. The Master is the apprentice's pathway to power, but it is not the Master's role to dispense his knowledge freely like some salesman at a nerf market. The apprentice must wrest every single iota of dark side knowledge he can from the Master, and once the apprentice has gleaned all he can from the Master, that Master is now expendable. Rather than representing a pathway to power, that Sith Lord is now an impediment to the plans of a rival Sith Lord.

    There will be times that you perceive the Master to be weak, perhaps to the point where you could slay him easily, or even allow him to die. Recall that deception is a weapon of the Sith. Is the Master truly in peril, or is he simply testing you?

    Moreover, you must ask yourself a few very important questions. First off, have you learned all that you wish to learn from him? And most important of all, if the Master dies, then what? Your plans must extend beyond something as simple as the death of a single being, even if that being is your former Master. If the Master's continued existence is a boon to your own ambitions, then your ambitions must be advanced. But if the Master is an hindrance to your plans..."
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  10. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3

    After reading over my last post, I thought I may have taken a somewhat impolite tone, so I'm sorry if I came across at all as rude.

    You're certainly right about Shadows of the Empire and the EU take on it, and I do think that's a strange take on it given what occurs in ROTJ. I could understand it if Shadows came out before ROTJ, but it came out 10 years after. If you take Shadows as canon, then Vader's choice to block Luke's saber and save Palpatine seems almost totally inexplicable to me. A non-conflicted purely evil Vader would get just what he wanted: a dead Palpatine and an evil Luke to rule the galaxy with him.

    If one accepts Shadow of the Empire's take on Vader, then the only thing that could possibly explain Vader's action is that he knows how fast Palpatine can move when he wants to, so even though it seems like Palpatine wasn't planning to do anything to protect himself, he actually would've had more than enough time to defend himself easily, and so Vader, knowing that Palpatine would survive, had to be a good soldier until he was absolutely positive that he could take out Palpatine.

    However, I think there are a lot of problems with this explanation too. The biggest problem is if this isn't the perfect opportunity, then what would make for a better opportunity? Vader has to figure that Palpatine will pit him against Luke and keep the winner as his apprentice, so that means one of them is going to gone really soon, which pretty much ends the idea of ruling as father and son. Also, Palpatine is always going to be super quick, so if Vader, instead of blocking Luke's saber, swung his saber from the other direction at Palpatine, then one of them might get a shot in. So, it doesn't seem like Vader will ever have a better opportunity to turn on Palpatine than right then.

    For me, the only other logical explanation is what you suggested -- that Vader has these grandiose ambitions on the outside but he's totally unaware of his internal conflict. Still, that's a huge turn around from "Together we'll rule the galaxy as father and son" to what seems to me to be a quite obviously conflicted Vader on Endor. Even his lines on Endor that reflect his connection to the dark side don't really seem to go with Shadow's version of Vader. Vader tells Luke that the Emperor is now his new master. If he wanted to overthrow the Emperor, then he'd bring up the ruling the galaxy as father and son thing again on Endor, and probably say something like, you want the Emperor gone, and we can only do it together, so you're going to have make a choice -- either join me or let the Emperor live.

    So, in the end, it just seems to me that the guys who wrote Shadows didn't interpret what occurs in ROTJ correctly.
  11. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    The Sith started, in all iterations (not counting the species and its culture), as Jedi that didn't want to follow the rules. It's not a surprise at all that even if a smart guy is going to say, "hey guys, we keep sabotaging each other and it's letting the Jedi beat up on us, let's just limit it to two and make that a rule" that the rule will be ignored immediately. And it was by the guy that made it. The only reason why the Rule of Two stuck around for a thousand years is because it works. As Sidious says,

    "Remember, the first and only reality of the Sith… there can only be two."

    It's not so much that the Rule of Two is followed because it's a rule, because from the perspective of the Sith, they don't want rules, rules limit them, they want their CHAINS BROKEN, and the rule is a chain. But the Rule of Two is a matter of fact or reality when it comes to the Sith. Once you introduce more than two, the situation quickly corrects itself.

    But it's not surprising that from start to finish among the Banite Sith, the Rule of Two was broken, presumably at every step, whether it be Bane taking on Cognus, Tenebrous taking on Venamis, Sidious taking on Maul, Vader taking on Starkiller, and just the example of how Luke affected the dynamic of Sidious and Vader. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the ST, Plagueis had some secret apprentice waiting in the wings Venamis-style that was more metaphysically his apprentice whereas Sidious was the profane apprentice, so to speak -- that Sidious was Plagueis' Dooku, but had the ambition and power to realize it and say "nope!"
  12. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Also, it's a common misperception that Vader is helpless without his suit, or that he's vulnerable to lightning because of it. In one comic, "Vader and the Lost Command" IIRC, Darth Vader's suit got ruined and he functioned without it for several days. It's not that Vader is helpless without his suit, it's that he's helpless without his will, which when using the dark side is fueled by his rage. Recall that after getting his suit smashed all to crap fighting Rhett, Vader basically got up, dusted himself off and said "whelp....that sucks..." once Rhett was dead.

    Just like Sidious dusted himself off and went "freakin' sweet!" after supposedly left helpless and defeated by Windu [face_mischief]
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  13. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    I think the suit is needed, actually. It's just Vader can keep himself going for days on pure hatred.

    Either that or he sustained additional injuries during the ensuing 20 years.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Sep 27, 2013
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  14. DarthJenari Force Ghost

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    Dec 17, 2011
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    He did. He was blown up lord knows how many times, buried, beaten, bruised, slashed, and then had Galen and Starkiller whoop his ass once each respectively. Little wonder that in Shadows of the Empire he can now only survive for a few seconds with his mask off.
  15. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    I think the suit is a crutch for when he's drinking deep enough from the rage/hate cocktail.
  16. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Amusingly, IMHO, I think Darth Vader wasn't really in "position" to take over the Empire until after the destruction of the Death Star. With the humiliation of the Empire's military and the death of Tarkin, that put Vader firmly in place to take over should Palpatine be killed. So, in a very real way, I think Vader owes Luke Skywalker everything.
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  17. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    He is vulnerable to lightning because of it. Then again, he can kill people from a distance, so it evens out...
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  18. BedlamSpirit Jedi Master

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    Oct 14, 2011
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    I think Tarkin had some power over Vader because of the Emperor, I doubt Tarkin would had been an obstacle to Vader claim to the throne, Vader was by far and visibly the logical choice for the throne after Palpatine's death. Jerec could be an obvious choice, perhaps the only one to challenge Vader.

    Vader should had devoted the 100% of his efforts in mastering the healing meditation, all he required was to mantain his hatred, he felt that with enough time he could do it, **** the rebels, **** the Empire. If I was Vader I would lock myself in my meditation chamber and would not walk out until I regain my 100% potential. Rebels in Hoth or Tatooine? Good, take whatever steps you deem necessary Admiral. An Imperial mission? Good, send whoever is competent enough to do it, don't bother me. This is what he should had done, since apparently Palpatine planned to keep Transfer Essence to himself his only choice was to learn to physically heal himself.
    Last edited by BedlamSpirit, Sep 28, 2013
  19. rumsmuggler Chosen One

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    Aug 31, 2000
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    The only thing Tarkin had over Vader was that Tarkin reported directly to the Emperor, and that Tarkin knows who Vader really is.
  20. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
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    Well it's been stated Sith Warriors grow stronger from killing people. Maybe that's what Vader was going after.
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  21. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Of course, I find the whole "Cybernetics make you weaker" thing kind of stupid anyway.

    Were I running the EU, Vader would have lost nothing in terms of potential or strength.

    It's even implied by the movies where Vader says that he's more powerful than before.
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  22. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    "When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master."

    Nothing there said about his power- only his skill- his mastery.
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  23. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Knowledge is power to a Sith/Jedi, though.

    Would it make a difference were Vader the same level of power?
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Oct 3, 2013
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  24. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    The part of this discussion that I'm about to bring up seems like it's died down a little, but I thought some here might be interested in what I found. I was reading the thread about the book "The Making of ROTJ" and that book directly addressed GL's thinking when they were staging the Palpatine/Vader/Luke confrontation. GL said that he wanted to drop the Vader wanting to kill Palpatine thing completely, and Kasdan didn't agree with GL. GL said that Vader scheming to take out Palpatine would take away from his choice to kill Palpatine because he wanted to save his son. (I totally agree with GL's decision BTW.) GL's logic was that if it was made clear that Vader wanted to take out Palpatine, then when he tosses Palpatine down the chasm, people would simply interpret it as if Vader was seizing the opportunity to take power, and that's exactly the opposite of what GL was trying to convey. GL wanted it to be clear that Vader was not at all motivated by seizing power but instead that he was totally motivated out of concern for his son.

    Kasdan complained that GL's take contradicted with Vader's plan in TESB. GL explained to Kasdan that Vader's plan was to expose Luke to the Emperor because only the Emperor had the power to turn Luke to the dark side. Once Luke was committed to the dark side, then they would take out Palpatine together. GL also said that Vader didn't expect Palpatine to make him face his son immediately. If you take GL's word as final, then it seems Vader had one plan before he met Luke and that he did not expect himself to be so conflicted when saw Luke face-to-face. So Vader only started to feel conflicted after he encountered Luke on Endor and so, at that point, it may be the case that Vader threw his overthrow plan out the window or Vader simply became confused about what he would end up doing.

    The problem with GL's comments is that it conflicts with the basic concept of the Rule of 2 (since he hadn't come up with the Rule of 2 then). Vader thought that he, Luke, and Palpatine, would just hang out as an evil trio until he and Luke became powerful enough to kill Palpatine. Given that an in-universe Vader should have understood that the Rule of 2 would make it impossible for this plan of being an evil trio to work, GL's explanation of Vader's plan doesn't make any sense anymore. Because of the Rule of 2, Vader wouldn't be planning for Luke and he to be Palpatine's co-apprentices. So, since this option was off the table, a logical Vader would have been thinking that his bringing Luke to Palpatine would be his only opportunity to kill Palpatine, so it doesn't make a lot of sense why Vader would've blocked Luke's attempt to strike down Palpatine. (The only weak explanation that doesn't require a lot of additional speculation is that Vader blocked it because he thought Palpatine was simply testing him and that Palpatine still would've been able to protect himself even if Vader didn't block it. However, even this doesn't make much sense because if this wasn't a good opportunity to kill Palpatine, the question is when would there be a better opportunity.)

    To me, if you take GL's word as gospel that Vader's plan at the beginning of ROTJ was to rule as father and son (and throw out GL's idea that Palpatine, Vader, and Luke would hang out as an evil trio because that contradicts the Rule of 2), then the only way it makes sense is that before Endor Vader was planning to bring Luke to Palpatine so that they could immediately kill him. Then, once me met Luke on Endor, he started to feel compassion for his son and he didn't want him to follow the same path to the dark side that he had followed. (So, seeing Luke again had a much bigger affect on Vader than he had expected; it totally changed his outlook) Consequently, Vader on Endor was conflicted just as Luke senses, and he blocked the Luke's attempt to kill Palpatine because that would have turned Luke to the dark side. (The only other option I can think of is that Vader didn't really know how he should react so he just blocked it out of instinct.) Then when Vader and Luke battle, he remains conflicted. He doesn't want to give up the dark side and he's not yet willing to sacrifice his life, so Vader keeps fighting because if he refused to fight he'd be totally embracing the light side and because Palpatine would kill Vader for doing so. Vader does things to tempt Luke, most notably saying he'll turn Leia, but at the same time, he is not sure he really means it and he cares for his son ("I feel the conflict in you, Father"), so Vader doesn't fight with rage, but Luke, who momentarily loses himself, fights in complete rage and because of this, is able to overwhelm Vader. At that point Vader has totally forgotten about his original plan and just doesn't want to die. When Luke spares his life in a moment of compassion, Vader is basically stunned, and he doesn't know what he stands for. Then when he sees Luke being tortured by Palpatine, Vader rejects the dark side and comes to save Luke, following the example Luke set for him.

    By the end of this we're entering familiar territory, but I think you have to sort of go through moment by moment to figure out what Vader was thinking (and think if it makes sense) because GL's orginal explanation doesn't totally make sense because it doesn't factor in the Rule of 2. Factoring in that Vader knows of the Rule of 2 changes a lot Vader's motivations before and during this 3 person confrontation, but in the end, I think none of Vader's actions end up seeming irrational, at least from the way I view it. (I'm sure there are other interpretations that also make sense, especially if you throw out EU stuff.)
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  25. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Yeah, this is why I go with "Death of the Author."

    Lucas' mind changed several times and I also think it'd be poor storytelling.

    Great bit and thanks for sharing!
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