Darth Vader is the most famous villain in the Star Wars universe (and perhaps of all cinema). The famous Dark Jedi, at the time they were called this way, is the protagonist of all the films of the saga, in one way or another. A complex character, with a thousand nuances, who in the course of his life has faced every type of emotion and mental condition. Over the past two years, comics have rewritten much of the character and the world connected to him, giving explanations and new lenses with which to read his behavior.
Darth Vader: The Fantasy opponent par excellence
Born from the archetype of the Black Knight, Darth Vader has an absolutely abused origin in the fantasy genre. The paladin who fell into darkness following one or more tragic events in his life is something that certainly does not shine out of fantasy. However, the character must be contextualized to 1977, therefore Lucas will be forgiven for not having unhinged the archetypes of the Fantasy genre.
Throughout the original trilogy, Darth Vader is the opponent par excellence. The prime mover of the suffering of the young Luke Skywalker, the Sith will exterminate the boy's adoptive family, his teacher and his self-confidence. His path as an antagonist reaches its climax in the battle of Bespin, a masterpiece of photography and setting, where he tries to bring Luke to the Dark Side. Although the Sith has control of the fight most of the time, he does not kill young Padawan. The revelation that the person in front of him is his son simply makes it clear that the New Hope of the first film is not just for the Galaxy.
Darth Vader: Anakin Skywalker's rejection
Unlike other Sith presented in the saga, Darth Vader does not maintain his identity as Anakin Skywalker after the fall to the Dark Side. The Sith is well aware that, to achieve victory and bring Padme, his beloved, back to life, all the light represented by Skywalker must be buried forever. This is found both in the dialogue with Luke "That name no longer has any meaning for me" and in the dialogue with Ahsoka before the duel "Skywalker was weak! I destroyed it. " After episode III, Darth Vader will always talk about Anakin in the third person, in an attempt to make him one of his many victims. Again, the substantial novelty is brought by Luke. Is there an explanation for all this? Obviously yes!
Darth Vader: The renunciation of light
The construction of the lightsaber
In the moments immediately following the end of episode III, where we see Vader get up and become aware of Padme's death, Emperor Palpatine asks him where his weapon from Sith is. Darth Vader therefore learns that the red crystal, the classic symbol of users of the Dark Side, cannot be found in nature. You must tear a lightsaber by force from its owner and, after killing him, make the crystal "bleed" in a strong place on the Dark Side. The entire first narrative arc serves this one purpose. At this stage we see Vader giving up hope. He refuses to attend Padme's funeral, convinced that perhaps one day with his powers he will be able to bring her back to life, and give up any instinct for survival. He throws himself in danger against a Jedi much more powerful than he, especially given his new condition, and only thanks to the deception and the blackmail does he get the better of it.
Arrived on Mustafar with the much coveted prize, Vader faces and rejects his possibility of redemption. The Kyber crystals in fact, before bleeding, show the corruptor a whole series of scenarios that could breach his heart. On the possibility of killing Palpatine, finding Obi-Wan and getting a death from Jedi, Vader angrily replies no. At that point the crystal bleeds and takes on the vermilion color that we all know.
The Inquisitors and the Jedi Purge
Once his sword is finished, Darth Vader is put in charge of the Inquisitors of the Empire corps. As the Emperor explains to him, it is not Sith but force-trained forces highly expendable for each of his plans. The Master's intent is clearly to distract Vader from his obsession with his wife with power and violence. At this stage of his life, the young Sith dedicates all of himself to the battle against the Jedi who remained alive after Order 66. This phase is also distinguished by the nonchalance with which Vader is often and willingly in the midst of danger, with arms folded. His is not a suicide attempt, but a subtle acceptance of his fate.
The construction of the fortress and farewell to Padme
Once the Jedi Purge is over, the Emperor rewards Vader with a planet. Given what it means for both of them, Palpatine is willing to make the Sith the Lord of Naboo. Despite the very generous offer, perhaps one of his Maestro's greatest concessions, Vader chooses Mustafar without hesitating for a moment. There, thanks to the help of a Sith architect trapped in his mask, the dark Lord of the Sith builds his fortress. After several attempts, he creates a palace that can draw on the Dark Side, very strong on Mustafar, to open a portal in the Force itself.
Reached an otherworldly world, far from the material plane, Vader faces all the truths he never wanted to accept in his heart. Taking up the concept, present in the classic trilogy, of seeking one's own truths within oneself, Vader learns that he came to light thanks to the Dark Side, probably by Palpatine and his master. After facing his ghosts, Darth Vader returns Anakin to see the spirit of Padme. The lover would like to bring his wife back to the material plane, bringing her back to life, but the Senator of Naboo refuses, claiming not to recognize the loved one in him. He throws himself away from him, in a final gesture of rebellion, condemning him to solitude.
The last remnant of light in the Sith goes completely away, to appear as a hope on the horizon. Vader does not understand the reason for this latter vision but, having returned to Mustafar, he understands the futility of his actions. As much as he can get, even if he could bring his beloved back to life, Padme would no longer love him. It is at this moment that Anakin Skywalker dies completely and Darth Vader definitely takes over.
Darth Vader: Resignation and obedience
Having lost his only urge to move forward, Vader falls into the blindest obedience to the Emperor. From that moment, remaining in the graces of his master becomes the sole purpose of what remains of his existence. He comes to aggressively see any connection to remaining Skywalker and attempt to destroy it. This until Luke arrives. The fact that there is still someone who can call him a family, who can love him, who can forgive him for all his crimes, awakens Anakin.
Darth Vader and Anakin: Return of the Jedi
There is no doubt that the presence of Skywalker within Darth Vader becomes predominant after the episode V. On Bespin, we can say that it is the Lord of the Sith who tries to convert the son to the Dark Side and offer him a place as ruler of the galaxy. I have no doubt that Vader is telling the truth, since it was the same thing offered to Padme at the end of episode III. We can say with equal certainty that it is Anakin who throws himself against the Emperor on the second Death Star. In the same impetus that had destroyed Mace Windu, Skywalker throws himself in defense of someone who is about to die and, with his sacrifice, returns to embrace the light.