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Darth Vader isn't calm in the original trilogy; he has always been very emotional

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Kinda similar to my Yoda thread in the Beyond the OT forum, I’d like to share my viewpoint on something I kinda see OT purists maintain: this idea that Vader in the original trilogy is calm, and that his portrayal in new Star Wars media (Revenge of the Sith, the new Vader comics, Rogue One, etc.) as a very emotional man, full of rage and hatred, gets the character wrong. I think this is dead wrong, and I’m going to prove it, by using (mostly) strictly the OT itself too.

In short, Vader has always been portrayed as very emotional, mainly angry, all the way back to A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. Let’s take a look at Vader’s actions in A New Hope.

In his literal first speaking scene, he angrily interrogates a rebel soldier while choking him and then furiously yells at the storm troopers to search the ship in a very harsh, not calm or collected at all manner.

Then in his second speaking scene, he once again yells, this time at Princess Leia, pointing at her and telling her that she’s a liar and a traitor.

This is his establishing scene in the OT and he is not calm, he is angry and yelling. I seriously don’t understand how OT purists came up with this idea that Vader being angry is out of character, when in legit his first two speaking scenes in all of Star Wars, he is enraged and emotional.

But it doesn’t stop there.

In his very next scene, he gets angry at an Imperial officer to the point where he’s about to choke him to death because he’s talking smack about him and the Force.

That’s not calm and collected. A cold (in the sense of “emotionless”, not cold-hearted) person wouldn’t care if someone’s insulting them or something they care about, because they have no emotions. They’re detached. They’d shrug it off like nothing. But not Vader. Does choking a guy sound detached to you?

Ok, so we’ve established that Vader is a hot-head in A New Hope, but what about Empire Strikes Back? Yep, still there too.

We see him literally kill a guy over a mistake in the second scene he’s in, because he’s angry at him. You can hear the way he says “last time Admiral”, he’s clearly irritated.

Rational, calm people don’t murder someone over a mistake. This is him giving into his rage, his hate. He’s sick of him messing up so he gets angry and kills him. That isn’t being cold. Cold means unemotional, like a dead corpse. Anger is an emotion. Dead corpses don’t get angry.

And this isn’t a one time occurrence. He does it again, too. And while it’s implied Ozzel was a fool who made many mistakes, Needa made ONE.

He also gets a little irritated with Lando constantly questioning him, and the way he watches Han get tortured up close seems to give me the vibes that he relishes in it, which could be because he knows he had a part in destroying the Death Star, and for all of the trouble he’s been giving him throughout the film.

He isn’t calm or collected during the duel with Luke, at least not the entire thing. In the last part of the duel he legit loses his shit and swings at him mercilessly. He appeared collected before because he goal isn’t to kill Luke. He’s purposefully collecting himself because he knows if he goes overboard he’s going to kill his son in a millisecond, and even then he was still dominating the fight and wearing him down. But Luke pisses him off, and the second he losses it, Luke losses his hand.

In the original version of ESB, he’s clearly angry over having lost Luke when he barks “Bring my Shuttle”.

In fact, the ironic thing is, the new line in the special editions is hammered upon (by myself included; it’s the only thing that bothers me about the special edition of ESB) because he sounds so calm and bored when saying it. I’m sorry, but last I checked, I thought according to OT purists, Vader is supposed to be a calm corpse? Shouldn’t you love this change, then?

Additionally, other characters refer to him as consumed by hate and rage: Yoda.

Yoda: “Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side of the Force are they… once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will! As it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

Luke: “Vader.”

I don’t know about you, but what I got from Yoda here is that Vader was consumed by ANGER, FEAR, and AGGRESSION.

Also another thing: Obi-Wan refers to Vader as “twisted and evil” in Return of the Jedi, and yet some people think that Anakin in Revenge of the Sith should be completely sane and calm and that when he becomes an enraged, unhinged crazy person in the climax, like what Obi-Wan and Yoda said in ESB, they got his character wrong.

Another thing is that Vader has to be emotional in order to be a Sith Lord and be a dark side user, at least one as effective as him. The dark side feeds on the emotions brought up by Yoda earlier. If he doesn’t have any of those emotions, he’s not going to be a good Sith or dark side user.

Obi-Wan says in ESB: “Don’t give into to hate. That leads to the dark side,” and they constantly talk about how that was how Vader fell. The Emperor and Vader constantly try to convince Luke to give into his emotions. And this is technically using a prequel quote as evidence, but Anakin literally says in Revenge of the Sith: “The Sith RELY on their PASSION for their strength.” What’s one of the synonyms for “cold” on Google? “Dispassionate”. Sounds like the opposite of a Sith to me. And he doesn’t just say they use passion, he says they RELY on it.

And you can’t say “vAdEr wAsN’t a sItH lOrD iN tHe oT, ThAt wAs A rEtCoN bY tHe PrEQuEls” because there are multiple sources that Vader was and has always been a Sith from the very beginning of Star Wars’ conception, even from the very first drafts of ANH.

The original draft of ANH that mentions “the lords of the Sith” and that Vader is a Sith Lord sent by the Emperor. Also, “most ferocious” is used to describe Vader. Doesn’t sound calm to me. So explain to me, then, how it’s out of character for Vader to viciously slaughter Jedi and Rebel soldiers like a badass (like in Rogue One), when it’s his implied backstory both in previous drafts and in the final version of ANH (“…helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights”)? What version of Vader do you want, one that just commands his underlings to do all of the work for him? You just think it’s out of character for him because it isn’t directly shown in the OT and therefore it’s weird to you to see Vader doing that kind of stuff. But I love it, because now the threat of Vader isn’t just talk, we get to see his ruthlessness.

Then you also got the lost cut of A New Hope in which Vader is directly called “a Sith Lord” in the dialogue.

And while we’re at it, I should also mention that the OT also establishes Vader as a person who cares about his family above all else. Watch this scene. Listen to the way Vader’s talking. He’s not talking to him like an angry Sith Lord. He’s talking to him like a father. He’s talking to him like an emotional man who doesn’t want his family to leave him again.

The crawl to ESB says Vader is “obsessed” with finding Luke. Obsessed is a pretty strong word if you ask me. That requires a lot of PASSION, which is the opposite of cold. The Emperor and Vader’s first conversation in ROTJ is about how he’s still obsessed with his son. The entire bridge scene with Luke and Vader later in that film is also more proof that his son means a lot to him. He opens up to him, something you really can’t say about any Imperial officer, Sidious, or even Obi-Wan. He tries to mask it and pretend he doesn’t care (“If that is your destiny”) but that’s just a façade. He actually considers turning to the light (“It is too late for me, son”).

Also some lines from that scene also prove Vader has anger issues and is a very emotional man.

Vader: “That name no longer has any meaning for me!” (not really the line itself, but how he delivers it; it’s clearly something that set him off)

Luke: “I feel the conflict within you let go of your hate!”

And eventually, he does. His son is what turns him back to the light. He turns against the Emperor and everything he stood for for more then two decades because he loves his son, and family means so much to him.

So when he asked the Emperor if his wife was safe and alright and then got mad when he was told he murdered her, that wasn’t “out of character” either.

I’d say with all of this in mind, Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One (I mean, you literally have him choke a guy and then say a dark joke, just like he did with Needa), and the new Vader comics got Vader pretty spot on. He was always a Sith that gave into and was consumed by his fear, hatred, passion, and anger and became twisted and evil, unleashing his fury upon his enemies. He was always a (for a lack of a better word) clingy person, attached to his family to the point where they’re like an obsession to him. There is nothing to suggest he’s this calm person who joined the Sith because he actually thought they were morally correct. Vader has always been an emotional man, never a completely logical one. Besides, he has every reason to be angry considering how messed up, painful, and tragic his life is.

If you want to see what a calm, collected villain looks like, that would be Count Dooku.

Now this isn’t to say that Vader can never be cold. He was pretty cold to Lando and Han Solo in ESB. But that’s because he had no reason to get angry at Lando or Han. To him, Lando’s just some a dude who owns a mining colony that he’s never met before in his life, and Han to him is just some pilot, a tool to use to get to his son. But Vader does get angry in the OT. All the time. Even in those situations, it did seem that he kinda got a little irritated with Lando constantly questioning him, and the way he watches Han get tortured up close seems to give me the vibes that he relishes in it, which could be because he knows he had a part in destroying the Death Star, and for all of the trouble he’s been giving him.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. I apologize if I ever sounded aggressive when explaining my viewpoint.

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Proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall

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I haven’t finished reading your whole post (though I intend to). While I like where you’re going with it in what I’ve read so far, I think you’re making a mistake.

Cold and calculating != unemotional.

Vader is clearly VERY calculating and a great tactician. He uses fear and dread to incredible effect multiple times throughout the OT (and it’s one of the reasons I think the hallway scene in Rogue One is great. It’s classic Vader tactics). And look at his whole plan to capture Luke on Bespin. Very calculated.

And I’d argue he’s very cold. Choking people to death for any failure (or daring to insult him) is cold! “Cold” is often used to infer overly harsh meanness. And that is OT Darth to a tee.

The one point from your initial argument I agree with is calm. Vader ain’t calm, he’s a total hot head who flies off the handle. But he flies off the handle in a cold and calculated manner! 😉

JEDIT

I read some more and I think you’re interpreting the duel in bespin all wrong. Vader clearly has a plan to wear Luke down and tempt him to the dark side. On the gantry he really turns up the heat with a brutal onslaught, but still allows Luke to back himself into a corner unscathed. Until Luke gets in ONE lucky hit on Vader’s shoulder. That changes the dynamic of the fight as now Luke is suddenly an actual potential threat to Vader and the very next thing Darth does is chop his hand off. Really, watch the fight. Vader dominates and controls the entire fight until that one moment. And as soon as Luke hits his shoulder Vader immediately chops his weapon hand off and ends the fight. That’s a VERY calculated move. And it’s exactly what a highly skilled swordsman would do.

Also also…

People often use “cold” to mean “cold blooded” (Google even lists cold blooded as a synonym for cold).

Synonyms listed for cold blooded include “cruel”, “callous”, “ruthless”, “inhumane”, and “merciless”. All of which accurately describe OT Vader.

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Compare OT Vader with ST Kylo Ren (specifically TFA). I think that highlights what people mean when they say that Vader is cold and calculating. Vader doesn’t fly off the handle when he’s upset.

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You make a good point, I did use the words wrong. I interpreted “cold” in the sense of opposite of angry or emotional (because I looked up synonyms of the word and it came up with things like “dispassionate” and “unemotional”). And regarding the word calculating, I was considering clarifying about how Vader and Anakin are both very good military strategists, but I thought I had gone on long enough. I’ll edit my post to remove the misuse of the words.

I also am aware that Vader was absolutely winning against Luke the whole time, but he was still holding back (which means that he had full control the whole time). If he actually was fighting at full strength the whole time he would’ve killed him. But he was absolutely winning nontheless. That’s something I love about the scene and the duel.

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I disagree completely. You took a couple of rare exceptions and tried to prove a rule that does not exist. Out of the few examples you gave, only one qualifies as him loosing temper to any reasonable degree, and that is “Tear the ship apart!”. The original “Bring my shuttle!” is more of an annoyance and does not really qualify as loosing temper (anyway I prefer SE version). But these two rare examples are eclipsed by the overwhelmingly clam portrayal of Vader for the vast majority of OT.

There are tons of scenes that strongly indicate his clam nature and extreme composure:

  • “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” (Extremely calm and witty response to a very professional provocation from Motti. One of the best examples.)
  • “I told you she would never consciously betray the rebellion.” (Even Tarkin gets upset by this point but Vader remains calm.)
  • He remains surprisingly calm even after one of his wingman rams his TIE fighter at the end of ANH. Probably the most irritating moment for him in ANH and yet he does not loose his temper in the slightest.
  • “You have failed me for the last time Admiral.” (This line is said in a very clam and cold manner. No sign of loosing his temper, even though Ozzel screwed up big time. The tonal stress on “last” is just a natural speech pattern since the word “last” should be stressed.)
  • “Apology accepted, Captain Needa.” (Extremely calm and witty line, even though Needa screwed up big time. One of the best examples.)
  • “Perhaps you are being treated unfairly?” (Calm and witty response to Lando irritating him.)
  • “You are beaten. It is useless to resist.” (Even though Luke cuts his arm, he is completely clam just moments later.)
  • He does not kill Piett at the end of ESB and just calmly looks around the space and walks away. His body gestures are evidently super clam in this scene, which is even a bit surprising.
  • Pretty much the whole ROTJ is one big example (especially scenes with Luke).

Loosing temper and lack of composure are signs of weak-minded losers who can easily be controlled by the cues from the outside (words, situations, etc.). Sorry but that is not OT Vader, no matter how much you want to retcon the horrible portrayal of PT Anakin.

真実

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Yeah, I agree, he’s a really angry guy. I got the impression that OT Vader doesn’t often care about things - the opinions and failures of random Imperials are little more than nuisances to him - but when he does care, like with Luke or the Death Star plans, he really gets passionate about it.

That was actually one thing that irritates me about his ROTS portrayal. He starts his Sithening with the very appropriate and emotional “What have I done!?” and “I can’t live without her!” but then he pretty much immediately starts doing a bad OT Vader impression (“Yes, my master…”). I feel like the loyalty that he demonstrates in the OT would’ve come from years of Palpatine wearing him down, in line with “It’s too late for me, son… You don’t know the power of the dark side.”, rather than just being something he adopted immediately. Oh well. At least we get a bit of angry Vader on the landing platform, and after he gets his suit, even if he still has a few weird lines in there about lectures.

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I too have often found that people tend to misremember Vader the most when it comes to OT characters (I wonder if the Marvel comics might have had something to do with this?). That’s not to say he isn’t also calm, or perhaps ‘restrained’ is a better word, in the OT, but anger was obviously an important part of what made up the dark side of the Force from very early on. The proto-Vader character of Valorum in the early drafts was actually much more PT Anakin-like in many aspects. I will however say that OT Vader was definitely more calm than he was in ROTS, which makes sense as he’s much older and more experienced later on. That’s a thing that I really liked about Charles Soule’s Vader comic is that he shows Vader gradually becoming less ROTS-like and more like the OT version throughout the series (I haven’t read the following Vader comics so I can’t comment on those). Though either era of Vader is a far cry from the unhinged rage of Kylo Ren in the ST, but I do agree that suggesting that he was always calm in the OT is blatantly misremembering what he was actually like in the OT.

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imperialscum said:

  • “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” (Extremely calm and witty response to a very professional provocation from Motti. One of the best examples.)
  • “I told you she would never consciously betray the rebellion.” (Even Tarkin gets upset by this point but Vader remains calm.)
  • He remains surprisingly calm even after one of his wingman rams his TIE fighter at the end of ANH. Probably the most irritating moment for him in ANH and yet he does not loose his temper in the slightest.
  • “You have failed me for the last time Admiral.” (This line is said in a very clam and cold manner. No sign of loosing his temper, even though Ozzel screwed up big time. The tonal stress on “last” is just a natural speech pattern since the word “last” should be stressed.)
  • “Apology accepted, Captain Needa.” (Extremely calm and witty line, even though Needa screwed up big time. One of the best examples.)
  • “Perhaps you are being treated unfairly?” (Calm and witty response to Lando irritating him.)
  • “You are beaten. It is useless to resist.” (Even though Luke cuts his arm, he is completely clam just moments later.)
  • He does not kill Piett at the end of ESB and just calmly looks around the space and walks away. His body gestures are evidently super clam in this scene, which is even a bit surprising.
  • Pretty much the whole ROTJ is one big example (especially scenes with Luke).
  1. I will maintain that choking a guy for insulting you isn’t being calm. He’s angry at him. People can still make witty comments when they’re angry. Case in point, Rogue One and the Revenge of the Sith novelization when one of the Separatists he kills says “We were promised a handsome reward”, and he says “You don’t find me handsome?” (the novel contains many scenes that were filmed but cut from the film, so this was probably something that was also cut). I don’t think anybody can argue he wasn’t angry in that scene. There’s also the part in the Anakin & Obi-Wan comic in which he gets mad at some students who call him a slave to his emotions, and he says “Tell me, what emotions are you feeling right now?”
  2. Vader saw her lying from a mile away. It’s an “I told you so” moment from him. When you see something coming it doesn’t warrant an emotional response.
  3. Just because he’s not yelling doesn’t mean he isn’t angry. Anger can be pent up. Besides, what’s he going to do in that small cockpit? It’s not like he can do anything that wouldn’t endanger him and the ship.

It’s like how Anakin was clearly angry when he was holding his mother’s corpse.
4. No, he’s angry, it’s easily discernible from his tone. The way he says “He is as clumsy as he is stupid.” also betrays that.

Also, you can’t forget “Asteroids do not concern me Admiral, I want that ship! Not excuses!” and “NO Captain, THEY’RE ALIVE.” He sounds angry, irritated, almost desperate.
5. Again, you can make a witty comment while angry.
6. He has no reason to be angry at Lando yet. And I don’t know about you but I picked up some irritated vibes from the way he said that. And there’s no way you can tell me he’s completely calm when saying “I am altering the deal! Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
7. That was before Luke hit him. He has no reason to be angry at him yet. He knows he can’t because he will murder him if he does. And after Luke hits him he gets very angry at him. He sounds pretty angry when he says “Don’t make me destroy you.” He even said pretty much the same thing to Obi-Wan on Mustafar “Don’t make me kill you.”

The scene on Mustafar parallels the scene with Luke in ESB in multiple other ways too, like how he proposes to Padme to rule the galaxy with him.

EDIT: actually, Vader is pretty angry when he says that. He was literally swinging his lightsaber furiously, even slamming two walls, seconds earlier.
8. He doesn’t because he’s too busy being sad and hurt that Luke left him. That’s the beginning of his transition to the light.
9. The Vader in ROTJ is different. He is conflicted with the light side. The director even made a conscious choice to delete the scene in which he chokes a guy as a way to show he is transitioning to the light. When Luke refused to join him that had a huge impact on him, as also seen at the end of ESB. The new 2020 comics make it clear that he is not his usual self in that film.

You also flat out ignore how I said that Yoda and Obi-Wan outright says he’s an angry man consumed by emotions.

The person above me is correct, he is more calm, but he’s not completely calm.

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All your arguments are essentially “just because he does not show it, it does not mean it is not there”. I am sorry, but it does not work like that when you are analysing things beyond your personal head canon. The fact is that there is exactly one instance in the whole OT where Vader visibly looses his composure (i.e., “Tear the ship apart” scene), and tons of instances where he keeps his composure despite strong challenges and provocations. And no, cold-blooded execution does not imply anger or loss of composure, especially when one is doing it in such a calm manner accompanied by witty comments.

If you make a comparison to PT Anakin, who whines and has rage outbursts at every slight challenge, OT Vader is a complete opposite. These two characters just cannot be the same person, unless dark side improves ones character in an extreme way.

真実

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But I just gave a bunch of examples of how he shows his anger. It’s been well-established that Vader chokes people when he’s angry. It’s like saying he isn’t angry when he chokes Padme and kills Dooku. It’s a cold-blooded thing he does out of anger. And being angry doesn’t always mean losing your composure.

How is this (slamming his lightsaber furiously) calm?
https://youtu.be/GueBXRYVhe0

Also you don’t get anymore blatant then “Much anger in him… like his father.” Who is established to be Darth Vader in that film itself.

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Films have three powerful tools to build a character: acting, monologue and dialogue. If they wanted to show that Vader is an angry person, they could have easily done it through those tools. Yet they did not (or completely failed to do so in case they intended), since Vader in OT is a very calm character with extreme composure. For example, when Vader’s TIE was rammed, they could have used acting for him to punch the joystick, or monologue to say something in anger, yet he calmly flies away. Another example, they could have made Vader’s reaction to Motti impulsive, rather than slow, clam and witty.

G&G-Fan said:

How is this (slamming his lightsaber furiously) calm?
https://youtu.be/GueBXRYVhe0

Pointless “slamming” (i.e., intentionally missing) is obviously part of Vader toying with Luke. When Luke cuts Vader’s arm, his sword style changes dramatically and Luke is elegantly disarmed in a couple of seconds.

G&G-Fan said:

Also you don’t get anymore blatant then “Much anger in him… like his father.”

Since you seem to like to use PT as a reference, you can use it here as well. PT showed that Yoda was often wrong. This can be another instance for you.

真実

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imperialscum said:

G&G-Fan said:

How is this (slamming his lightsaber furiously) calm?
https://youtu.be/GueBXRYVhe0

Pointless “slamming” (i.e., intentionally missing) is obviously part of Vader toying with Luke. When Luke cuts Vader’s arm, his sword style changes dramatically and Luke is elegantly disarmed in a couple of seconds.

I’d say this scene is a great example of how Vader uses his aggression properly. It’s brutal, violent, ‘aggressive’, but also disciplined enough to not be wild or chaotic. And as far as PT retcons go, it’s shows how much he’s grown since ROTS. But it’s still Vader channeling his anger, especially once Luke gets a hit and he realizes he’s been taking the fight a little too casually. It’s not out of control angry, but it is aggressive.

I don’t think G&G is arguing that OT Vader is exactly like AAnakin in the PT, but just that he isn’t just this calm and measured cold and calculating ‘machine’ that so many remembers him being. He snaps at people, he growls when things don’t go as planned, yet overall he tries to present himself as calm and measured, which he succeeds at most of the time. But as G&G says, even Yoda points out that anger is what Vader derives his power from (and this is one of the central theme sof the whole trilogy, even back when they were made), and many times in the OT (especially ANH & ESB) it’s really obvious. The rest of the time it’s more subtle and you have to ‘read between the lines’ as it were and try to think about his motivations. Yes, there’s a lot of ways to show anger in films, but not everything has to be right in your face and Vader’s mask does make it very complicated. Yet there are times when his body language is aggressive, and James Earl Jones’ voice does convey anger and frustration on more than one occasion. There’s many more ways to show anger than to have a character go all apeshit like Kylo does in the ST and smash everything around him.

I don’t think anyone here is trying to argue that Vader isn’t tactical and intelligent, but he is a Sith and he does use his anger as a weapon. Also, keep in mind that this also applies to Palpatine and yet he seems quite calm overall. However, there are moments were his cheerful expressions fade and he shows genuine anger, especially when he’s using Force-lightning on Luke. Which makes perfect sense as it’s very much a destructive Sith power. You could also argue that his maniacal cackling shows his arrogance, pride, and sadism, which is all very Dark Side emotions. An argument could be made that Vader has similar moments of sadistic joy, hence his own dark sense of humour.

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Zkin nailed it. I always got angry vibes from Vader, but he’s not stupid enough to get himself killed by beating at the controls of his ship. He uses his anger as fuel, but he doesn’t let it control him.

Also, in response to the claim that Anakin is loses it about every obstacle, there’s the ray shield scene in which he advocates for patience, and also pretty much everything else he does on the Invisible Hand except for the end of the duel with Dooku. I do agree that they went too far with his portrayal in AOTC though. But there’s also the fact that in the PT he’s simply younger and less mature. I think that was a good choice too on behalf of Lucas, to have him turn to the dark side when he was younger, because people are more impulsive during those years.

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Vader is such a superior swordsman, he is playing with Luke. He was holding back the whole time until Luke lands a lucky blow and then Vader ends it by chopping off Luke’s hand.

The real question is what happened to Vader in Return of the Jedi its like be forgot how to fight. He does not fight like a great swordsman there, he looks like a frail old man. Luke is the superior swordsman almost the entire fight. Or at best they are matched and Lukes fury gives him the edge.

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JadedSkywalker said:

Or at best they are matched and Lukes fury gives him the edge.

Congrats, you figured out the intended goal of the scene. It’s supposed to show how powerful anger can be, showing why people would be tempted by its power. Luke trained himself before the duel, him and Vader are very similar in pure skill. But when Luke gave into anger, it allowed him to win easily. “Quicker, easier, more seductive,” as Yoda said.

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JadedSkywalker said:

Vader is such a superior swordsman, he is playing with Luke. He was holding back the whole time until Luke lands a lucky blow and then Vader ends it by chopping off Luke’s hand.

The real question is what happened to Vader in Return of the Jedi its like be forgot how to fight. He does not fight like a great swordsman there, he looks like a frail old man. Luke is the superior swordsman almost the entire fight. Or at best they are matched and Lukes fury gives him the edge.

It’s almost as if ROTJ is an incompetently made piece of farcical

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Or, as I pointed out, it’s almost as if a lot of the things that “don’t make sense” in ROTJ actually make complete sense if you look at the subtext, and a lot of ROTJ haters just don’t want to engage with the movie with that level of depth.

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JadedSkywalker said:

Vader is such a superior swordsman, he is playing with Luke. He was holding back the whole time until Luke lands a lucky blow and then Vader ends it by chopping off Luke’s hand.

I know that.

DuracellEnergizer said:

It’s almost as if ROTJ is an incompetently made piece of farcical

Yeah, you know, the scenes on Dagobah, the suspense with Shuttle Tydirium, Luke and Vader’s confrontation on the bridge, Vader’s redemption, Vader’s death and funeral… all incompetently made garbage… it’s not like those are beautifully made and some of the best scenes in all of Star Wars.

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G&G-Fan said:

Yeah, you know, the scenes on Dagobah, the suspense with Shuttle Tydirium, Luke and Vader’s confrontation on the bridge, Vader’s redemption, Vader’s death and funeral… all incompetently made garbage… it’s not like those are beautifully made and some of the best scenes in all of Star Wars.

Give him a bit of a break. He probably hasn’t seen the movie since the 90s.

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StarkillerAG said:

JadedSkywalker said:

Or at best they are matched and Lukes fury gives him the edge.

Congrats, you figured out the intended goal of the scene. It’s supposed to show how powerful anger can be, showing why people would be tempted by its power. Luke trained himself before the duel, him and Vader are very similar in pure skill. But when Luke gave into anger, it allowed him to win easily. “Quicker, easier, more seductive,” as Yoda said.

I would not say that is the main reason. ROTJ spends a lot of time showing that Vader has an inner conflict (plus the final scene in ESB), and that is the main reason for his poor sword performance in the final duel.

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Vader has always been an angry character. The only difference is Anakin in the prequels didn’t know how to control his anger and let his emotions get the best of him. When we see Vader in the originals, he’s learned to channel that rage and emotion effectively and use it. He was a mess on Mustafar, but he’s in complete control when he chokes and threatens people in the originals. You can be angry while cold and calculating at the same time.

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StarkillerAG said:

Or, as I pointed out, it’s almost as if a lot of the things that “don’t make sense” in ROTJ actually make complete sense if you look at the subtext, and a lot of ROTJ haters just don’t want to engage with the movie with that level of depth.

Exactly. Don’t want to waste anymore time polishing a turd.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

StarkillerAG said:

Or, as I pointed out, it’s almost as if a lot of the things that “don’t make sense” in ROTJ actually make complete sense if you look at the subtext, and a lot of ROTJ haters just don’t want to engage with the movie with that level of depth.

Exactly. Don’t want to waste anymore time polishing a turd.

As I already said, it’s not a turd. If you examine it closely, you’ll realize it’s actually a chocolate Easter bunny.

Sorry, that was a terrible metaphor. But I’d still recommend actually bothering to try and figure out what the movie was trying to say, rather than immediately dismissing it as the worst thing ever. Jedi isn’t a perfect movie, but I’m glad we got that instead of an ending with practically no substance at all. glances towards TROS

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I sort of agree that Vader isn’t stoic and unemoting in the OT, you can see in Empire that he loses his cool by the end of the movie.

That said, though, that’s pretty much as emotional as he gets, and that’s sort of the power of scenes like this (pardon the Special Edition). You can just feel, from both David Prowse’s acting and the acting of all the Imperial Officers on the bridge with him, that he’s losing his mind with rage inside. His failure to take in Luke Skywalker has driven him past his breaking point.

But he doesn’t whip out his lightsaber tearing up some console (I don’t have any issue with Kylo as a character, but Vader is not Kylo), or cry out “Noooo!!!”, he’s pretty collected.

Nothing he does in ANH comes off as particularly hotheaded. He’s violent as hell, but not at all a hothead.

You can maintain that choking someone for disrespecting your religion is hotheaded, and in a normal society it would be. But in the high ranks of a military junta… not so much. Violence doesn’t seem as surprising to the Imperials here as it would be to us. It’s not like Vader flips out and screams at Motti and chokes him, he’s pretty collected and uses violence to prove Motti wrong. Again, which comes off as pretty normal in a despotic military dictatorship.

And you can’t say “vAdEr wAsN’t a sItH lOrD iN tHe oT, ThAt wAs A rEtCoN bY tHe PrEQuEls”

I have no idea who you’re trying to mock here, Vader having the title “Dark Lord of the Sith” was common knowledge from 1977. What exactly the Sith were was never really settled until TPM, but literally nobody would deny that he was a Sith during the OT’s production.

Honestly, I don’t really get what your point here really is at all, I really don’t think I’ve ever seen someone suggest that Vader’s completely unemoting and stoic.

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SparkySywer said:

That said, though, that’s pretty much as emotional as he gets, and that’s sort of the power of scenes like this (pardon the Special Edition). You can just feel, from both David Prowse’s acting and the acting of all the Imperial Officers on the bridge with him, that he’s losing his mind with rage inside. His failure to take in Luke Skywalker has driven him past his breaking point.

On contrary, his clam and slow body motion, head gestures and walking pattern indicate the complete opposite. They indicate disappointment and inner conflict rather than rage or losing composure.

I agree that the scene indicates that he had a braking point, but definitely not a braking point in terms of rage or losing composure. The breaking point was that the encounter with Luke caused a conflict inside him that is then continued throughout the ROTJ. The ROTJ Vader (that some fans hate) actually started here in ESB.

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