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CT "You don't know the power of the Dark Side : I MUST obey my master"

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Ord-Mantell70, Aug 17, 2011.

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  1. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    This line by Vader in ROTJ has always puzzled me a bit. it has been sometimes addressed here and there in some thread but never had his own if I'm right.

    How do you guys interpreted it and interpret it now ?

    Did you pay attention to it or not really ?

    Does it simply mean that Vader is too addicted and engulfed in the Dark Side ways that he can't bring himself to come back, as I would suspect, or maybe that, at the time (1983), before the PT era, he was supposed to be afraid of the powers of the Emperor and that the Emperor could retaliate in some ways ?

    Does anyone knows if the DVD commentary gives further information on this ?
  2. MrFantastic74

    MrFantastic74 Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 4, 2010
    It was always my opinion that Vader felt he could not defeat the Emperor on his own. That is why he attempted to recruit Luke- in order to overthrow his master. So, "...I MUST obey my master" implies that he MUST obey him or suffer the consequences. His master is, in his belief, too powerful in the ways of the dark side to be defeated. He fears that, if he deviates from the Emperor's plan, he will be killed, or simply lose all that he has gained in embracing the dark side.

  3. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Luke: Come with me.
    Vader: Obi-Wan once thought as you do. (internally Vader is thinking it, too)
    Vader: You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.

    I think Vader wants to take Luke's offer, but lacks the courage to do so. He may be speaking of the Emperor's power and possible retaliation, but I think he's actually talking about the grip the dark side has had on him for so long. It's his way of life, it's all he knows, it's powerful and it's hard to let go.

    I came to this conclusion way before the prequels, when I was about five years old.

    The rest of the conversation:

    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.

    The bold part is very telling, he wants to change, but he's given up.

    Here is Vader, resigned, defeated. He resigns Luke to his fate as well, he doesn't even have the will to be his son's master anymore, he's willing to let that fall to the Emperor.

    TragicHeroLover132 likes this.
  4. CloneUncleOwen

    CloneUncleOwen Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2009
    You have brought up one of the most important moments in the entire franchise... Anakin/Vader trying to
    reaffirm his belief in the Dark Side. If Vader was to admit that he had been duped and played by the Emperor,
    then he would have to face the awful truth that he was responsible for the pointless murder of hundreds of
    millions of people--that he had betrayed his closest friends and the people he loved; that he had been one
    of the primary instruments used in the destruction of a legitimate society; that he was used for galactic
    genocide. "I MUST obey my master"... I Must continue to live in this delusional reality...

    Anakin/Vader was not stupid, nor foolish, but he was young and naive. With maturity, and his son pressing a
    mirror, so to speak, in his face, it is as if he was forced into an intervention. When he adds, "It's too late
    for me, son," he all but admits his sad and hopeless state. Without his belief in the Emperor, he would be a
    ruined, evil man.

    I MUST obey my master....
  5. HordaksPupil

    HordaksPupil Jedi Youngling

    Aug 3, 2011
    I agree that Vader wanted to take Luke's offer but couldn't. Vader was on a slippery slope and he felt there was no way back from the abyss. The only way Vader felt he can only plunge deeper into the dark side and there was no hope for him.
  6. MatthewZ

    MatthewZ Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 21, 2003

    He was a crushed, defeated shell of a man at that point.

    Not long after he was dueling his own son to the death.

    It was Luke's unwillingness to kill him and his subsequent suffering for that decision that sparked the return of the good in him.

  7. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    This. He felt that at that point, after all he had done, after the dark path had "dominated his destiny," there was no turning back. It was the belief among the Jedi that once a Jedi turned to the Dark Side, he should never return to the Light. Yoda discusses this in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, in addition to his line in ESB.

    Luke helped Vader see that returning to the Light was not such an impossibility after all.
  8. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 23, 2011

    When Vader says this he has been defeated, broken and - as evidenced by "If that is your destiny" - he has also resided himself to his fate. He has lost everything through his mistakes and he believes that he has failed, not only himself, but also the galaxy. In truth I think this thought process has always existed in Vader, and it is only with the emergence of Luke is it truly spurred to the surface (only to be put down by Vader with his quick lines declaring his loyalty to the Empire).

    Remember Vader is a tragic hero - its scenes like this which underline the tragedy.
    TragicHeroLover132 likes this.
  9. MrFantastic74

    MrFantastic74 Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 4, 2010
    It's dialogue like this that makes ROTJ great. The interplay between Vader, Luke and the Emperor was some of the best stuff in the saga. I honestly don't know why so many people poo-poo on this movie. Yes, the ewoks were too cutsie and the Tatooine scenes were a little cheesy, but I still rank ROTJ in my top three.
    TragicHeroLover132 likes this.
  10. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    I started to formulate an answer to this, but really it has already been answered very well by a few different posters above... especially CT-867-5309 and CloneUncleOwen.
  11. Merlin_Ambrosius69

    Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 4, 2008
    In addition to what everyone has said above -- all of which I agree with -- there is also the matter that apparently the Emperor could use lightning, while Vader, for whatever reason, could not. Since this is what ultimately killed him, Vader's fear of Palpatine's dark lightning proves well-founded.
  12. EHT

    EHT Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 13, 2007
    Yes, I think Vader knew that Palpatine's Force lightning would be bad news for his life-support systems.
  13. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    Couldn't agree more with you on that.

    Despite the flaws ("cuttie" Ewoks, Monster factory at Jabba's), those scenes and dialogues in ROTJ, as well as the final space battle, are awesome and pretty emotional.
  14. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    Good point.

    The sound of this line logically means that he fears the powers of the Dark Side used by the Emperor, confirmed in a sense by what's happening at the end like you say. But if Vader had accepted Luke's offer to come with him, the Emperor would have been far away physically, so he couldn't have retaliate this way. Then Luke and Vader together would have been a serious challenge to the Emperor's powers.

    That's why I tend to think, in the end, that the line is here basically to underscore, like some pointed and argumented above ("It is too late for me my son"), the fact that he cannot bring himself to come back to the good side, let go all of his hatred, bitterness, and lust for power (ESB), thus aknowledging to himself he was wrong all along being the Emperor's right hand.
  15. Merlin_Ambrosius69

    Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 4, 2008
    Well, it's a combination of all the factors so far considered. There is no one single cause, but they work in concert to keep his good side suppressed.

    Vader feared the power of the Emperor; he feared facing up to the shame and horror of his own terrible mistakes; and he was "addicted" in a sense to the thrill of the Dark Side.

    All of that is summed up rather neatly in the quote that makes the thread title. :cool:
  16. Nordom

    Nordom Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 1, 2004
    There are a couple of other lines that I think are connected with this.

    Yodas "Do not underestimate the powers of the emperor or suffer your father fate you will."

    Lukes "You're wrong, you wont convert me as you did my father."

    The first speaks of a power the emperor has but what power? Force lightning? Why would that power make Anakin turn or make Luke turn and be the emperors servant? "Obey me or die" thing? Luke was quite willing to die for his cause so I doubt the would become a servant over somehting that simple.

    So what then? Yoda speaks several times of how the dark side can dominate your destiny and how it can make you into a agent of evil. Also from what Palpatine says in RotJ it seems like Luke would be his loyal servant imideatly after killing Vader. Why? Luke would hate Palpatines guts and would in all likelyhood try to kill him and then Palpatine would probably have to kill him. So how is that a good deal for him? He looses Vader and then is forced to kill Luke. Why would Luke willingly join Palpatine after he had killed his father? Palpatine has nothing Luke wants and has pretty much destroyed everything Luke had been working for.
    I took the line to indicate some kind of control power that Palpatine has and it enables him to in part control those that give in to their hate and use the powers of the dark side. It does not make Vader into a drone but it makes it hard for him to resist commands. The way to overcome it is to either be more powerfull in the dark side or letting go of your hate and Vader belives he can do neither.

    So IF Luke had killed in hate and turned on the emperor full of hate then Palpatine could simply bend him to his will and subdue him. And the angrier Luke got the quicker he would loose. After some time Palpatine need not control him as the corrupting powers of the dark side would drown out Luke's good side and now he would be all for doing nasty things.

    In closing it does not remove free will or choice, as long as you choose to give in to your hate and use the dark side then there are consequences. So Vader all along had a choice to let go of his hate and be free but he did not think himself strong enough to do that.


  17. GrandAdmiral_Frank

    GrandAdmiral_Frank Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 26, 2003
    He must obey his Master because Palpatine was able to bring him to the darkside while keeping him immobile for the most part.
  18. Eternity85

    Eternity85 Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 24, 2008
    I agree. Good posts! Nordom has some good thoughts on the subject as well.

    This mostly speaks for me to..
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