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Star Wars E7: The Force Awakens- NOW WITH POLL

How do you Rank EP 7 out of a Possible 10  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Rank from 1-10

    • 10- OMG! Best Star Wars Ever!
    • 9- AWSOME, I want me a Kylo Ren Lightsaber!
    • 8- YES! Right up there with the OT
    • 7- I might even take my wife next weekend
    • 6- Strong enough to pull the ears off a Gundark
    • 5- Pretty good popcorn flick
    • 4- Meh, it was ok.
    • 3-2-1- Do not like.

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The Vader we "know" was a calm cool intelligently evil manipulative monster. The Vader we were shown in the prequels was an immature little brat. Where they failed is there needs to be a movie between episode 3 and 4 to show Vader taking control of the galaxy and losing his humanity entirely.

The Vader in RotJ was this same brat.


We need to talk about this scene. This scene is an atrocity. It is as bad as nearly anything in the prequels, and—because it is part of the original trilogy, and thus can’t be ignored as easily as, say, the disastrous talk about midichlorians in The Phantom Menace—far more ruinous.

To illustrate why, let’s talk about a different sequence first. This one:

This is Luke and Vader’s confrontation in The Empire Strikes Back (edited by a YouTuber to remove the bits of Leia and Lando’s B-story sprinkled in there). By the end of it, Vader is so terrifying, so huge and cruel and relentless, that he’s hard even to look at; you’re afraid he’ll catch you peeking at him and [censored] your [censored] up through the screen. Take a moment to consider what Vader does in this sequence.

After wearing Luke out with furious lightsaber skills from one end of Cloud City to the other; after bashing him to a pulp with flying space toasters; after blasting Luke out of a window and chasing him out to the end of a lonely windblown plank far from everyone who has ever known or cared about him, he lops the little pissant’s entire hand right the [censored] off and then, then, only then, figures the time is right to go, Oh and also, I [censored] your mom.

It’s the rawest own in cinema history. The crucial line—“No. I am your father.”—lands like an atomic bomb precisely because the dude saying it just spent the previous movie-and-three-quarters making you wet your pants, and is saying it to the young cock whose hand he’d just hacked off like it was nothing. That was his own son he did that to! Just now! Luke’s reaction, horror and revulsion and shame so great he literally chucks himself into a bottomless pit over it, feels downright understated. Darth Vader, at that moment, is as stark and evil a villain as any movie has ever had.

With that in mind, let’s return to the scene from Return of the Jedi, in which a completely unafraid Luke Skywalker kicks skin-crawling televangelist game—I feel the conflict within you! Let go of your hate! Don’t you have somethin’ you wanna say to Jesus? Somethin’ you wanna ask Him for?—at the giant evil cyborg who chopped his hand off the last time they were in each others’ presence. Who is this soggy piece of [censored] wearing Darth fracking Vader’s clothes? Who is this whiny, slumping sad-sack, mewling about how he must obey his master?


Oh. Right.

This is neither the absolute cruelty nor the equally frightening true-believer zeal of the Darth Vader we knew. This is the angsty, vapid, self-pitying emo [censored]-for-brains we’d later come to know in the prequels—the pathetic, un-frightening goomba henchman who for all intents and purposes gets pranked into becoming a villain in the first place. This is not the bad mother[censored] who gleefully slices his own kid’s extremities off and then owns him all the way to attempted suicide; whose flair for cruel showmanship led to the memorable scene of him having Han and Leia delivered to him at a dinner table. This is a defeated, excuse-making heap of garbage.


This is Darth Vader. Does he seem all that sad about being Darth Vader to you? No. No he does not.

I’d want Luke to give this cybernetic Robert Smith a wedgie, but where the hell is Luke? Gone is the sweaty, athletic, ballsy young insurgent of Empire, replaced by this neutered bag of crap. The hammy, cackling Emperor is the only mother[censored] in this Force-sensitive triad who has any spunk, any zest for life. I wish he’d Force-lightninged both of these impostors to hell.

This one scene completely ruins the climactic clash between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor—what’s supposed to be the crux and emotional peak of the entire epic trilogy. Vader, one of the great terrors in film history, isn’t frightening anymore; he’s already all but explicitly told us he doesn’t like his job and doesn’t want to do it. He’s just a big weak-willed bodyguard acting out of a sense of duty. My God, he’s already Hayden Christensen’s Vader.


When Luke is hiding under the stairs and Vader’s [censored]-talking about the totality of Obi-Wan’s failure and how he’s gonna turn Leia to the Dark Side, it plays like he’s talking more to the Emperor than to Luke, trying to impress his boss. See, boss? I’m evil as hell! Ain’t I evil, boss? Huh? Ain’t I? This sorry loser is no threat to Leia or to anybody else; he’d have to pause Beaches long enough to shave his helmet-stubble and scrounge up a clean cape first, and we all know he’s not up to it.

Remember at the end of Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin has gone over to the Dark Side and done all types of evil [censored], and he and Obi-Wan are battling above the lava, and a desperate Obi-Wan, hearing his beloved best friend raving like a lunatic, yells, “Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!” Remember Anakin’s response—the actual thing he says in reply, out loud, this unstoppable malevolent force who earlier that same day slaughtered a building full of young children one by one with a laser-sword—is, “From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”

That is not a different Darth Vader from the one who mewls, “I must obey my master” at Luke. That is the same Vader.

What if the Vader from Episodes IV and V was the lie?

The prequels are not a betrayal, but a coherent expression of where the original trilogy was headed in 1983. It was already sprouting cutesy sidekicks and miserable plotting; the Jedi were already shifting from wise warrior monks to bland New-Age self-help gurus; it had already ruined Darth Vader.

Once you acknowledge these undeniable truths—you can do it!—the next step is recognizing that mostly, the Star Wars universe has given us movies that are bad. The prequels are not the aberrations. Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are. Star Wars movies are batting 33% so far. That’s Naked Gun territory.

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Great Stuff Trigger!

Love those Star Wars Rebels videos. I really got to watch that series with my kids.

Angry Vader is the best Vader. Director Irving Kershner did the best job on Episode 5, ESB.

Where I might disagree, the Vader we see in ROTJ was meant to be reflective, torn, hurt, and cautious upon meeting Luke and bringing Luke to the Emperor. I recall seeing ROTJ opening day back during the 80s and Vaders change in attitude during this scene I found it unsettling at the time. It also helps build to his final betrayal of the Emperor aboard the Death Star to save his son. Yes, he was different than he was in Episode 5 but for good reason.

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Great Stuff Trigger!

Love those Star Wars Rebels videos. I really got to watch that series with my kids.

Angry Vader is the best Vader. Director Irving Kershner did the best job on Episode 5, ESB.

Where I might disagree, the Vader we see in ROTJ was meant to be reflective, torn, hurt, and cautious upon meeting Luke and bringing Luke to the Emperor. I recall seeing ROTJ opening day back during the 80s and Vaders change in attitude during this scene I found it unsettling at the time. It also helps build to his final betrayal of the Emperor aboard the Death Star to save his son. Yes, he was different than he was in Episode 5 but for good reason.

But that's my point - his whining in ROTJ kinda makes sense; that's who Anakin is. A whiny brat. What doesn't make sense is Vader knew at the beginning of Empire who Luke was and the first time he met his son face to face was their duel on Bespin. Second time was on the forest mood of Endor. So what happened in-between the two meetings to make him more reflective?

Answer - [censored] writing.

Let's look at the plot holes that are commonly known:

- Luke & Leia's kiss in Empire

- Rebel base in ANH is on a moon of Yavin, with the planet blocking the Death Star. If only the Empire had a weapon that could destroy planets...

- It’s strange that neither Darth Vader nor Obi-Wan Kenobi remember two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, after we saw that they had spent a lot of time with these robots in the past. Anakin was the one who made C-3PO and R2-D2 was Padmé’s robot. You’d think that Vader and Ben would have some kind of memory of them, but it seems like they saw two droids for the very first time.

- Since Yoda is the only one who knows that Leia is Luke’s sister, we can really say that Obi-Wan Kenobi has some serious troubles remembering things. He was the one who brought Padmé to the asteroid Polis Massa where Luke and Leia were born. If you took a pregnant woman to an asteroid to give birth to twins, after fighting their father and dismembering him, we think you would have remembered that.

- In The Phantom Menace, Anakin is a slave who has made a droid C-3PO without Watto knowing about this. There are many things that are just wrong here. Why aren’t there robots instead of human slaves when they can work longer, faster and don’t get tired? Why did Anakin make a protocol robot out of so many other things? And how did 8-year-old know what protocols are?

- The original trilogy told us that the Force is a metaphysical, spiritual power, but in The Phantom Menace, one of the most recognizable concepts is all of a sudden connected to the level of midi-chlorians, which can be detected in blood and passed down genetically. Since Jedi usually practice celibacy, there wouldn’t be many kids who have high levels of midi-chlorians and the Jedi order would probably become weak, or worse, disappear.

Also, the Leia-as-sister thing is a fatal mistake, too; it forces us to understand both Vader and Obi-Wan as complete idiots. Vader stood face-to-face with his own daughter at multiple junctures of the first film and never once noticed a resemblance to himself or his dead wife—the woman with whom, according to the prequel trilogy, he’d been in love since he was eight years old? He never once detected that the Force was strong with this one? A random astromech droid shows up at Obi-Wan’s hut in the company of Darth Vader’s secret son, spits out a video recording of that son’s secret sister, and Obi-Wan doesn’t even blanch or bat an eyelash at this? Doesn’t even notice that Darth Vader’s secret son clearly has the hots for his own sister? These people are morons!

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Okay, I normally hate debating. But let me throw in some food for thought.

1) In Empire, Luke was higly trained, but completely unprepared for facing Vader, as he was warned; that much is obvious. However, by Jedi, he had completed his spiritual training, and had learned how to master and control his fear and anger, to be peaceful and calm in the midst of evil. The Luke in Empire and the Luke in Jedi are intentionally not the same Luke. He is finally a Jedi, other than his "final project" if you will. So the RotJ scene works for me with that knowledge.

2) In the RotJ novel, released at the same time as the movie, which I still own, Vader has started crumbling within himself ever since his confrontation with his son in Empire. That fight and confrontation changed BOTH of them, and really neither was prepared for the emotional impact. While Vader is giving the Emperor perfect lip service, he is already thinking toward a dream of killing the Emperor and ruling the galaxy with his son as his apprentice. So when the arriving Emperor says to him "And now I sense you wish to continue your search for Skywalker." There is a pause before Vader responds "Yes, my master." Seems that while the Emperor could sense his every thought, he couldn't always see the specifics.

So in that sense, the RotJedi scenes work fine, at least for me, having always viewed them with that "inside knowledge".

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Both make sense, but the second one isn't obvious unless one has read the novel, so the movie fails there.

As to the first point, Yoda tells Luke "yeah, okay, we're done here" before dying (or maybe that was a line of [censored] just to make Luke think he was ready - "fake it 'till you make it" sort of thing since every other Jedi before Luke had undergone a lifetime of training, whereas Luke had just stopped off on Degobah for a couple of weekends).

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Trigger, you just won the damned internet with those posts, and yes "Rebels" is awesome and it does a great job with Vader. I do also agree with Andrew D, that the first duel with Luke would have had some effect on bringing out his good side. How that transition was handled in RotJ could have been done better, but it is done adequately. There is a tangible reason for Vader to turn against the Emperor and become good again (from a certain point of view). But what I was referring to before about Anakin not being like Vader was not about deeds but personality traits. Although you make excellent points on the deeds bit.

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Hopefully a Darth Vader movie with good writers and a good director can help better illustrate Vaders transformation from "Noooooooo...." to the Vader we see in Ep 4 and 5.

There was an EU book (now un-cannoned) that went into the post ROTS Vader's mind a bit. I forget the name but it dealt with his depression being a cyborg and less than a man. Vader was severely handicapped after becoming cybernetic.

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Somewhat related, Paul S. Kemp's book, "Lords of the Sith" takes place eight years after the end of the Clone Wars and deals on a minor level with Vader's continued transition to the dark side. In the book Vader has what are essentially flashbacks to his life prior to becoming Vader. Thoughts of Plo Koon, Mace, Obi-Wan, and obviously Padme (and others as well as destinations Anakin traveled to) cloud his mind and cause him to have brief bouts of inner turmoil which lead to mistakes. The Emperor senses Vader's inner struggles and repeatedly reminds him how such thoughts are irrelevant and a weakness. It was just interesting to read about some of the inner thoughts and feelings of Vader that are not delved into via the movies.



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In the book/storyline "Shadows of the Empire"- Vaders transformation between Episodes 5 and 6 were also highlighted in his search for Skywalker. I rather enjoyed the 'Shadows storyline as it also filled in a lot of story about Boba Fett delivering Han to Jabba the Hutt.

Not sure if 'Shadows is considered cannon now with the Disney EU reboot or not....

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Just read the Jar Jar theory. Holy Crap!

The Jar Jar theory is the best thing to happen to Star Wars. Ever. I just rewatched The Phantom Menace yesterday after reading it, and it turned the movie into a masterpiece. In fact, I don't think the original Reddit author goes far enough. Darth Binks explains every plot hole or coincidence or unlikely event in the movie. His meeting Qui-Gon looked forced because it was forced. I also think he was the one that leaked the fuel that made them land on Tatooine, sabotaged the hyperdrive so they had to go to Anakin's shop, and set up the meeting that lead to the pod race bet. In fact, every protagonist plan was preceded by a whisper from Jar Jar. Even R2-D2 was just a regular no-name droid until Jar Jar was locked in a room with him. How did Darth Maul know where to go? Someone told him. Guess who. You don't think Jar Jar was a bad guy? He faced execution from the Gungan government until he waved his hand at Qui-Gon and the Jedi took him as their guide! He was a seriously bad guy!

Instead of his bumbling being annoying, now it's hilarious because it's clearly a bad act. For example, why does he stick his face into the pod racer's power coupling? Because Anakin said it made body parts numb, so he clearly saw a chance to make himself the fool without the chance of actual self harm.

It fits with the rest of Star Wars too. Not only does Jar Jar match the Yoda scheme of seeming to be less then he is eventually revealed to be, he also matches the Empire's tactic of appearing inept for a greater cause, just as the Stormtroopers and pilots gave their lives to push the heroes of Star Wars IV towards revealing the location of the Rebel base.

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace is now my favorite of all Star Wars movies. By far. It makes so much sense it's scary.

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I spent about 45 minutes reading the whole column and responses on reditt and it was fascinating. The discussions we're incredible and really did plausibly explain everything. My wife and I have spent the past 5 nights watching the first 5 movies and tonight is the 6th. I'm just frustrated I read this theory after having watched the prequels instead of before. I was wondering out loud to the wife, "what oreder will you watch the movies in now that 7-9 are coming out? 1-9, or 4-6 then 1-3 then 7-9?

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