krpalmer: (europa)
[personal profile] krpalmer
Continuing my once-a-year visit to the Star Wars movies, I'm also continuing to think through a few "personal theories" I've been forming for a while now. I admit most of them seem pretty much the type that "dwells on the characters" and doesn't get into anything that might be seen as "deeper" analysis, but "everything in moderation" might even apply there too. One of the theories is "when Darth Vader proposed that Luke could be a powerful ally, he was really issuing an open challenge to the Emperor; both of them understood this so well they didn't need to comment on it."

I suppose the idea of there being other characters with the "superpowers" the Force provides just beyond the scope of the movies themselves is irresistible. There were assorted "secondary dark side characters" popping up in the final years of the original Marvel Star Wars comics after Darth Vader was no longer available even as a threat that had to be kept out of the way of the main characters before "the next movie." Too, when the promise of "lots of Jedi at the close of their golden age" was opening up, I took in the first "Episode I" trailer and imagined that teams of Jedi and Sith would be searching the Galaxy for a "Chosen One" either very much required or an ultimate threat depending on who found the prophesied individual first, and the teams shown in the movie were just representative. (I still suppose this could have been an interesting idea, but I put well behind me any risk of supposing it would have been "better" quite a while ago.)

After that, I did fall into a personal dark age of being fearful to watch any of the Star Wars movies, not out of any negative reaction but just out of the fear my reaction would turn negative. When I encountered a group of other fans willing to be positive and obviously finding enjoyment from that and returned to the movies, though, all of a sudden I was interested in the comment there could only be two Sith, "a master and an apprentice," named outside the movies as the "Rule of Two." The implications that the Dark Side was corrupting enough that ultimately cooperation was absolutely impossible just sort of caught my attention. Perhaps, too, in returning to the movies but deciding I didn't need "spin-off novels" and comics to fill in the space between (stuck with the unfortunate suspicion that those spin-offs were being treated by too many people as "what they wanted Star Wars to be," trading the centre for the fringes in such a way that they'd never be anything other than dissatisfied at their core), I saw the idea as somehow focusing on the centre of things.

In that case, then, the seeming example right in the movies themselves of things expanding beyond the set two could be reinterpreted as in fact just demonstrating why things had to be that way, that any expansion to "three" would turn into "two against one," and the only question was just who would get the new acolyte on his side. It seems pretty clear from the revelation scene of The Empire Strikes Back that Vader wants Luke to help him overthrow the Emperor; it just seems to make things a bit more interesting for me to imagine that the Emperor knows this too, but has a plan to have Luke continue focusing on his father and not the person who helped his father become just who he had set himself against.

This does lead into a theory that doesn't seem quite as "personal" in that I'm sure I saw other people propose it first, but I'm also sort of interested with the thought that "Vader was only certain Luke was his son when he saw him face-to-face in The Empire Strikes Back." I've seen proposals there might be a general resemblance between the face shapes of Mark Hamill and Natalie Portman (just as there might be the same sort of resemblance between Carrie Fisher and Hayden Christensen), and the idea of a "family resemblance" is interesting enough for me to be willing to accept it. I went on from there to imagine Vader wondering if the "Skywalker" he knew was with the Rebels would be fighting on the frontlines on Hoth (which just might tie into him strangling the unfortunate Admiral Ozzel) and then deciding that any "Skywalker" who might be killed in a battle like that surely wouldn't be his son. Too, with the way an apparent plan to catch Luke in "carbon freeze" as soon as possible didn't quite work out leaves me wondering if Vader's revelation and proposal was thought up in the middle of the battle itself; that it didn't work out just leads into the next movie in my imagination, but this can wait for later.

Date: 2014-11-02 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lazypadawan.livejournal.com
I always understood that Darth Vader intended to bring Luke on board with him to eliminate the Emperor. How else would they "rule the galaxy" as Vader proposed? The Emperor probably knew that and was wiling to play along, figuring he would end up with the stronger of either Vader or Luke. Probably Luke, since he was younger and not as damaged as Vader.

Date: 2014-11-02 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] krpalmer.livejournal.com
Certainly, I can see everything I said being pretty much implicit in the old movies, but I've seen interpretations along the lines of "Vader was hoping to spring a treacherous surprise on the Emperor" (I recall one of them being tossed into "Heir to the Empire," if couched in that novel's "dismissing Vader" style)... although now I can imagine some people supposing the Emperor's "okay, go ahead and kill him" when Luke has his father at his mercy as a surprise in itself and maybe even one factor in Vader turning back to the good side.

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