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When and why did Lucas decide to make The Emperor a Force-user?

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The Emperor doesn’t seem to be a Force-user in the 1976 novelization. Do you think that reflected Lucas’s intent at the time, and if so, when do you think Lucas decided to make The Emperor a Force-user?

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 (Edited)

That’s something I wondered about recently. In ANH, the fact that officers are so dismissive of Vader and his bygone religion implies that most Imperials had very little regard for the Force or its users. The whole culture of the Empire is very mechanized and anti-spiritual, which isn’t what you’d naturally expect from a faction led by a Force user, even an evil one.

I think the decision to make him a Force-using dark lord came during the writing of Empire. I think it was because they wanted to have a big bad that Vader would kneel to, and the only kind of character where it would make sense for him to do that would be another, more powerful Force user.

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Yeah it would have to be during Empire’s production, as it’s made pretty clear in that movie in his scene that he’s into the Force("there is a great disturbance…), and that’s only taking the original version into account(no dumb Anakin lines).

I do think it’s cool how in Jedi we get to see Darth Vader kneeling before someone. And only recently I’ve thought that in SW, Vader answers to Tarkin, In ESB, EVERYONE answers to Vader, and in Jedi, Vader answers to the Emperor. Just something that crossed my mind.

I really like how the Emperor is presented in Jedi, but the prequels turned him into like the devil, which I don’t believe was ever the intention.

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WookieeWarrior77 said:

And only recently I’ve thought that in SW, Vader answers to Tarkin, In ESB, EVERYONE answers to Vader, and in Jedi, Vader answers to the Emperor. Just something that crossed my mind.

I think the comparison isn’t completely fair between the films. In SW Tarkin and Vader seem to be friends who respect each other but Tarkin is the military boss who is in charge of the station. Also Vader doesn’t have much to do really on his own.

In TESB we see Vader only in his own SSD that is in charge of the relatively small fleet. Even then, the admiral of the fleet is in charge of the fleet, but sure, they act on Vader’s orders which is to find Luke and the rebels. So he had is own quest to complete by any means necessary. I think after the small group of rebels destroyed the Death Star, the Emperor realized the danger and Vader got a bit of a promotion. Before that Vader had served his duty by killing the Jedi already.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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LexX said:

I think the comparison isn’t completely fair between the films. In SW Tarkin and Vader seem to be friends who respect each other but Tarkin is the military boss who is in charge of the station. Also Vader doesn’t have much to do really on his own.

Yeah, you’re right, they are on equal ground, pretty much. I guess what I meant was like Tarkin is in charge of the Death Star project, so that’s his turf, and then in TESB
we’re on Vader’s ship, as you said.

In TESB we see Vader only in his own SSD that is in charge of the relatively small fleet. Even then, the admiral of the fleet is in charge of the fleet, but sure, they act on Vader’s orders which is to find Luke and the rebels. So he had is own quest to complete by any means necessary. I think after the small group of rebels destroyed the Death Star, the Emperor realized the danger and Vader got a bit of a promotion. Before that Vader had served his duty by killing the Jedi already.

Then the Emperor is in charge of Death Star II when he arrives.

Kind of related, I also had thought it was cool that the lightning was the Emperor’s own personal force power he had mastered himself…until Count Dooku did it that is.

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LexX said:

WookieeWarrior77 said:

And only recently I’ve thought that in SW, Vader answers to Tarkin, In ESB, EVERYONE answers to Vader, and in Jedi, Vader answers to the Emperor. Just something that crossed my mind.

I think the comparison isn’t completely fair between the films. In SW Tarkin and Vader seem to be friends who respect each other but Tarkin is the military boss who is in charge of the station. Also Vader doesn’t have much to do really on his own.

That’s obviously the current retconned explanation. But when Leia meets Tarkin for the first time, she says that he is the one “holding Vader’s leash,” heavily implying that Tarkin was actually supposed to be Vader’s superior before ESB retconned it. It’s not too much of a contradiction though.

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StarkillerAG said:

LexX said:

WookieeWarrior77 said:

And only recently I’ve thought that in SW, Vader answers to Tarkin, In ESB, EVERYONE answers to Vader, and in Jedi, Vader answers to the Emperor. Just something that crossed my mind.

I think the comparison isn’t completely fair between the films. In SW Tarkin and Vader seem to be friends who respect each other but Tarkin is the military boss who is in charge of the station. Also Vader doesn’t have much to do really on his own.

That’s obviously the current retconned explanation. But when Leia meets Tarkin for the first time, she says that he is the one “holding Vader’s leash,” heavily implying that Tarkin was actually supposed to be Vader’s superior before ESB retconned it. It’s not too much of a contradiction though.

Not really. I don’t even follow any current retcons. I think it’s more about Leia just wanting to insult Vader. She also says that Tarkin smells right after so I wouldn’t take her wordings as gospel.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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If anything, Tarkin is a regional manager while Vader is member of central management. Their jurisdictions don’t totally overlap, so it makes sense that Vader defers to the guy who is in charge of the Death Star project. In both Legends and Modern Canon, Vader doesn’t really care enough about the battle station to know all the details.

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I also see that they made intentional parallels between Yoda and the Emperor, as far as being the masters of their respective apprentices. Some of it is more apparent in Jedi, but it certainly starts in Empire. Frail, wrinkled, very old figure who walks with the aid of a stick. Smaller than their pupil. The use of both the words “master” and “friend” to describe their relationship (friend might not seem like a giveaway, but Lucas frequently links the last line of one scene with the first line of the next scene – “I have a promise to keep… to an old friend” / “Rise, my friend”)

It seems like as they were developing a master/pupil dynamic for Yoda and Luke in Empire, they were doing the same for the Emperor and Vader. The Emperor just didn’t get much screentime until Jedi.

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CatBus said:

I also see that they made intentional parallels between Yoda and the Emperor, as far as being the masters of their respective apprentices. Some of it is more apparent in Jedi, but it certainly starts in Empire. Frail, wrinkled, very old figure who walks with the aid of a stick. Smaller than their pupil. The use of both the words “master” and “friend” to describe their relationship (friend might not seem like a giveaway, but Lucas frequently links the last line of one scene with the first line of the next scene – “I have a promise to keep… to an old friend” / “Rise, my friend”)

It seems like as they were developing a master/pupil dynamic for Yoda and Luke in Empire, they were doing the same for the Emperor and Vader. The Emperor just didn’t get much screentime until Jedi.

I noticed this too. Their reveals are in consecutive scenes and both reveal that there were greater forces at work than we realized.

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Servii said:

The whole culture of the Empire is very mechanized and anti-spiritual, which isn’t what you’d naturally expect from a faction led by a Force user, even an evil one.

I think even if the original intention wasn’t for a Force user to lead the Empire this still fits. Palpatine would want to propagandize the Force in a way that makes people dismissive of it so nobody has any hope that the Jedi will come to save the day.

I really don’t think I worded that well but I hope you get what I mean.

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I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this conversation very much. Thank you.

It’s all star wars and that’s the problem!

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LexX said:

StarkillerAG said:

LexX said:

WookieeWarrior77 said:

And only recently I’ve thought that in SW, Vader answers to Tarkin, In ESB, EVERYONE answers to Vader, and in Jedi, Vader answers to the Emperor. Just something that crossed my mind.

I think the comparison isn’t completely fair between the films. In SW Tarkin and Vader seem to be friends who respect each other but Tarkin is the military boss who is in charge of the station. Also Vader doesn’t have much to do really on his own.

That’s obviously the current retconned explanation. But when Leia meets Tarkin for the first time, she says that he is the one “holding Vader’s leash,” heavily implying that Tarkin was actually supposed to be Vader’s superior before ESB retconned it. It’s not too much of a contradiction though.

Not really. I don’t even follow any current retcons. I think it’s more about Leia just wanting to insult Vader. She also says that Tarkin smells right after so I wouldn’t take her wordings as gospel.

Both of those have to come from some place of truth, though

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