Why I Love Darth Vader
I don’t think I’ve been asked this as often as I thought but if it should come down to it, I want to have a good answer prepared for this question: Why is Darth Vader my favorite character?
If you are at all familiar with the Star Wars Saga (let’s not get into how shitty the prequels are versus the sequels,) you see that Anakin Skywalker started out as a fine, happy little boy who wanted nothing more than to become a Jedi and visit all the planets in the solar system. He eventually went on to follow that dream and grew up, leaving his mother behind. This left him stumbling, tripping and eventually falling into the wrong hands of the Dark Side. Bitterness at the loss of his mother and the fear of losing his beloved wife, did indeed lead to suffering.
When we watch the sequels, we see a bright, adventurous young man that happens to be his son, Luke. Clueless to the galaxies around him, he sets off to become a Jedi himself after he meets his father’s mentor, Obi-Wan Kanobi. Luke, also comes face to face with his own set of trials, especially after befriending a little green monster puppet Yoda. He wavers but he never gives in to the Dark Side of the Force. He is even so brave and so good hearted, that he even sees the good side of the man who he soon finds out to be his father.
Now, you would think Luke Skywalker would by my favorite, right? He was. He still is. (And I most certainly still crush on him hardcore.) But not as much as a favorite as Darth Vader. And here’s why:
Anakin struggled and wavered and fell. He didn’t think he could live without his mother, without Padmé and he gave up. He turned to the Dark Side, thinking this was his only escape from all the mistakes and pains he made. The fear, the anger and the hate…were all about himself.
Before the death of Padmé, after giving birth to Luke and Leia, we see her speaking to Obi-Wan about Anakin. “There is still good in him,” she cried. She firmly believed that the man that broke her heart still had good in him. Even Obi-Wan wanted to believe this as well. He considered Anakin to be like a brother. To see Luke share the same belief as his mother, even after not knowing who his father was all his life, amazes me. He had forgiven his father for all his wrong doing and tried to show him the way.
At the end of Return of the Jedi, we see Luke and Anakin share an intimate, last moment together. Anakin finally admits to Luke and most of all, himself, that Luke was right about him. You can see that he finally sees for himself that he was wrong. He was wrong in all he did. This is not only a redeeming factor for Luke to see his father realize this, but Anakin had finally forgiven himself for all his own wrong doings. He saw that what he had done was wrong, admitted it and relieved himself of his own burdens. Forgiveness is the main thing that makes this the most reconciling scene to me in all 7 films.
I will be the first to admit that I struggle with forgiveness. I struggle every day with forgiving myself and others. I want to even go so far as to forgive people like Hitler or Satan for all the terrible, horrible things they have done. I want to see the good in people too, including them. But I also know people have a lot of their own issues that causes them to do things they don’t realize they do or think are even wrong, including myself.
It should go to say, we all struggle. We are all failing to forgive ourselves one way or another but we are not failures unless we make ourselves so. We don’t have to turn to the Dark Side, because there truly is good in us, whether we believe it or not. Let’s not forget that when we forgive others, we need to forgive ourselves too. We matter just as much as anyone else does too. Bitterness within ourselves is so unhealthy. But there is good in you. If you can’t believe that, then that is where you fail.
Love and forgive yourself. Don’t live in fear.
May the Force be with you.