Darth and Light

by MW Cook

How would you describe Darth Vader’s evil?

Monolithic – Large, powerful and uniform.  Made of one thing.

Darth Vader is a monolithic evil character.  There’s nothing redeemable about him at all.  From the very first scene we know this, when he strolls onto the rebel space craft and glances down at the corpses, as a man would look at a bed of flowers.  Or look at the callous way he deals with the failings of his staff, choking them on whims.  Even captain Needa, who went to personally apologize for a failure that was hardly his fault was snuffed out.  And then Vader, with that dark, chuckling voice uttered that coldest of lines: “Apology accepted.”

Even in his transition from Anakin to Vader we see deep evil.  Without a single argument he obeyed the Emperor and slaughtered the children in the temple.  Darth Vader was the worst of terrorists, the most gruesome of psychopaths and the most merciless of despots.  Bad dude.

And yet, he was redeemed.

Vader claimed, with his dying breaths, that Luke was ‘right about him.’  Most of us assume that meant there was a little good left in Vader all along.  I doubt that.

Luke was right about the fact that there was a chance of redemption.  Somehow Luke brought it out.  Somehow it happened.

I’m always pleased when I see a monolithic evil character redeemed.  It makes me think of myself in happier terms.  I may not be monolithic, but I’m pretty evil.  Yay for redemption so wild that even Vader could partake.

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