When Darth Vader hit the big screen in 1977, from the very moment he stepped into the hallway of those rebels' modified Corellian Corvette, you knew he was bad. Very bad. Bad to the very bone. But what if he wasn't really as bad as you thought he was? Maybe people would automatically assume you were bad too if you had an imposing stature, wore all black, and had a creepy-sounding ventilator mask to help you breathe.
Contrary to the scurrilous accusations of some Vader haters on this website, claiming that Darth Vader was a despicable villain, Darth Vader was actually an upstanding citizen of the Galactic Empire. More than that even: he was a great hero and leader who sacrificed his life for the service of the greater good.
The rebellion was made up of a bunch of violent radicals, including organized criminals like Han Solo who smuggled mind-altering drugs from the spice mines of Kessel to make a lucrative profit, disregarding the damaged families and ruined lives left in the wake of spice addiction. Before you complain about your problems, that's the least of the evils Darth Vader had to contend with on a daily basis.
As you read the following fair and balanced look at the life of Darth Vader, please enjoy these 15 accompanying photos of some amazingly sexy Darth Vaders (and one sexy Boba Fett). Maybe they'll help you see Vader in a better light, at least enough to consider the possibility that maybe Darth isn't so bad after all.
16 Damn, Darth Vader!
So you may already be thinking, "Damn, Darth Vader really isn't sooo bad. I mean come on, what's not to like about Darth Vader?" Well some people just can't get past the fact that he helped Emperor Palpatine kill Jedi Master, Mace Windu. Notice how Vader's detractors conveniently leave out the reason why the deadly confrontation between Mace Windu and Emperor Palpatine even happened in the first place. Windu was there to arrest Palpatine for practicing his own religion, clearly violating Palpatine's rights. Then Windu assumes it on himself to summarily execute Palpatine for this "crime" instead of allowing him any kind of substantive due process. Extra-judicial killing-- that's murder. So the very act that lead to Anakin being dubbed Darth Vader by Palpatine, was an act of enforcing the basic and humane ideals of a liberal democracy. Are you with me?
15 Double D Darth Vader
So now you're probably thinking: "Huh, I guess I really need to go rewatch that movie. Is that all really true?" Yeah, it's true! Fact check meh, biatch. You might also be thinking, "Darth Vader is looking better than I ever thought possible... Huh... Yeah, and if all that extra-judicial killing stuff is true, what else could I have overlooked? I guess I might not know as much about Star Wars as I thought I did if I can't even get the good guys and bad guys straight. Why am I so biased against the Dark Lord of the Sith in the first place? He might not really be that bad after all!" Yes, person who asks all the right questions! He really might not be. And there's even more reasons why...
14 Latex Darth Vader
Bet you've never felt more confused about Darth Vader than you do now. Some of his harshest critics like to accuse Darth Vader of killing Luke Skywalker's adoptive parents, Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, leaving the poor Tatooine farm boy orphaned. Lies! Re-watch the movie. When did you see Darth Vader give the order to kill the hapless bystander who happened to find or buy R2D2? When?? And let me ask you this, did you even see Stormtroopers kill them? No! You saw them after they'd been killed. Why do you assume the Empire did it? What would be the motivation there? They got the droids they need. They're already in charge of everything. What's the point? But you know who did have a motivation to kill Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen? Obi Wan Kenobi. That's right.
The old wizard had one singular obsession his entire life, and that was training up the "chosen one" of old Jedi prophecy. Since he failed with Anakin, Kenobi hung out on Tatooine, creeping on Luke until the right time to start his training. But he knew that Luke was loyal to his parents and that Owen kept him on a very tight leash. He knew the only way he could get Luke off that planet to start his training would be to kill his parents. So when he sense R2D2's presence, he summoned his confederate using the Force, and when Luke was off trying to find the droid, Obi Wan killed his parents and made it look like Stormtroopers did it.
Watch the movie again and listen to how he says, "No don't go. It won't be safe." He says it so blandly and with no feeling like he's just saying his lines. Almost callously joking about it to himself. Look how unsurprised he looked when Luke came back. He knew they were dead. He killed them. Jedi are radical extremists above all, willing to sacrifice anything to their goals. Just like Windu felt his ends justified his means, when raising the one true messiah to restore balance to the Force is what's at stake, a crazed extremist like Obi Wan will stop at nothing.
13 What's This Darth Vader Drinking?
Vader's detractors also like to throw it in everyone's face that he killed 30 Rebel Alliance star fighters at the Battle of Yavin. Just the simple fact that he killed them is supposed to make him evil. No context. No moral evaluations of what was actually going on there. In this morally impoverished view of the Star Wars universe, there's no consideration for the fact that the Rebel Alliance was trying to overthrow the government. And there's no empathy for the 31 million souls stationed on the Death Star that those 30 Rebel terrorists were out to destroy. Even if you consider the Empire to be in the wrong, what about all the civilian contractors on that space station? What about the line cooks? The electricians? Hard-working blue collar men and women just trying to earn enough Galactic Credits to pay the bills and feed their families? Vader's self-sacrificial willingness to go on the front lines himself, instead of hang back and give orders speaks volumes to his character. He wanted to make sure his people were safe.
12 Very Chesty Darth Vader
Bet you never found yourself this open to the idea of Darth Vader ruthlessly tracking you down across an entire galaxy and using the Force on you or something. Even so, you might be thinking that the Death Star, as an implement of mass destruction needed to be destroyed. You might be thinking, "What about Alderaan?" Didn't the Death Star destroy an entire planet full of millions of civilians?
Yeah, an entire planet harboring and actively ruled by ruthless Rebel conspirators, ready to stop at nothing to derail law and order and usurp the Galactic government in favor of anarchy and chaos. This sort of thing isn't without precedent in our own history. The effective use of nuclear power as a deterrent on our world required a demonstration, and as truly unfortunate as that admittedly is, most historians and moral philosophers will agree it was a necessary evil. And the power of nuclear deterrence to prevent war on a massive scale like in WWII, WWI, and many other major global conflicts in the preceding centuries, has been a massive success.
Since WWII, armed conflicts in the world have grown less numerous and less costly in terms of human life. The nuclear deterrent worked, and the planetary destruction deterrent stood a good chance of working in the Star Wars universe. The only reason it didn't was the inestimable tenacity of the Rebel terrorists' will to power.
11 One Bada$$ Darth Vader
So now you might find yourself really warming up to Darth Vader. Giving yourself to the Dark Side has never sounded so imminently reasonable. But you've got some nagging question in the back of your mind. "What about Leia? Wasn't it kind of messed up and cold-blooded how he tortured her with that floating black interrogation droid?"
No, not really. Not when you consider what's at stake. Enhanced interrogation is not something the Empire did just willy nilly to every two-bit criminal off the street. Leia knew the whereabouts of those Death Star plans and posed a credible, actionable threat to Galactic security, and again, to 60 million lives that she was trying to destroy. She may seem all innocent like an angel in that white dress and with her hair in those cute buns, but she was trying to kill 60 million people.
When you've got someone actively orchestrating a terrorist attack on 60 million people, it's a lot more of a gray area than a clear cut case of black and white, good and evil. We've got to have more room in our minds and hearts for that kind of nuance. Vader had a tough decision to make, and he decided the blood-thirsty terrorists' rights did not come before the rights of all those millions of people and the Galactic order that he was responsible for.
10 Striking Darth Vader
Darth Vader's looking pretty good, huh? Now nit-pickers wanna nit-pick, and Vader's critics will not let us forget that he cut off his son's and on Bespin Cloud City, but who drew their lightsaber first in this confrontation? Were you watching closely? Even though Luke got caught up with the wrong crowd, his dad was willing to talk to him about it when they met on Cloud City. He even led with a compliment, "The Force is with you, young Skywalker," and then some constructive criticism to open up a dialogue, "But you are not a Jedi yet."
This was a clear overture to a conversation, not a deadly fight with laser swords. Then Luke, who's learned well from his violent, impulsive rebel friends, draws his lightsaber. Then Vader drew his to defend himself, but didn't attack. Just kept his on in case Luke attacked. Which he did. Luke struck first! And considering his incredible Force powers and dueling skills, Vader showed a remarkable amount of restraint. He could have cut off Luke's head, but he just took a hand. Something that can easily be replaced in the Star Wars universe with a fully functional droid hand. Considering the stakes involved, it wasn't really a big deal.
9 Painted On Darth Vader!
Now a Vader Hater is gonna find any reason to hate. In an all-too-perfect example of the kind of twisted, tortured logic his detractors will use to castigate him, Vader critics will even use the fact that he killed Emperor Palpatine as an argument against him, even though they consider Palpatine to be a villain too and even though Vader did it to save his son! They'll weasel around it and say, "Yeah, he did do it for a genuinely good reason, but it was still pretty vicious." Wait, what?? It just shows how blindly they hate Vader. They aren't even willing to give him what most people consider to be his most redemptive and selfless act. Even that just shows what a terrible person he is because it was pretty violent. Petty, context-dropping arguments are the bread and butter of the industrial Vader-hate complex.
8 Mysterious Darth Vader
Now one incident that still comes up in discussions about Vader's character is when he violently beat Rush Clovis for trying to make a move on Padme in Season Six of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I'm willing to grant that this was not one of Anakin's best moments. But he wouldn't be the first person who lost their cool and got into a fight over a woman they loved. And in all fairness it wasn't cool at all for Padme's ex-boyfriend to try to put the moves on her like that. Again, it was not the best thing ever for Anakin to do, and definitely an overreaction, but not at all proof that Vader is a despicable example of true evil embodied, and not reason to ignore all of the other truly good and self-sacrificial things he's done for the galaxy. Like many great heroes, Vader is not all good all the time, and like all of us, has flaws. He's just a person and nobody's perfect.
7 Sexy Darth Vader Just Chillin
Just as an aside, don't you feel like Darth Vader would be fun to party with? Anyway, there's a big elephant in the room that we haven't talked about yet, so I'm just going to say it: Yeah, Vader slaughtered the Jedi Temple in Revenge of the Sith. He even killed young-lings. We all saw it. I can't imagine how difficult that had to be for him. But remember this: the Jedi indoctrinated their people from an extremely young age into their radical ideologies.
Remember when Kenobi brought like a nine-year-old Anakin to the Jedi temple in The Phantom Menace and Yoda said he was too old, too old to beginning the training? Yeah. These people were sick. They wanted to have someone so brainwashed, so inextricably inculcated with their way of thinking, that they started with them when they were practically babies. One of the main Jedi leaders had already attempted to summarily execute Palpatine as we went over earlier. This was a radical organization that threatened to upend the entire political order, and most likely were conspiring to overthrow the Empire in a coup and seize power for themselves.
The Jedi order had turned inward and become corrupt centuries before the events depicted in the Star Wars movie. These were dangerous, entangling weeds, that needed to be completely uprooted. Tough to watch, no doubt and very tragic. Certainly even more tough for Vader to actually carry out himself. But his commitment to his principles was clearly unwavering.
6 Darth Vader, Dark Lord of The Selfie
Now that we have clearly vindicated Darth Vader from many of the worst accusations against him, you might find yourself grasping for anything you can to hold onto your conception of him as a villain. Cognitive dissonance is a real thing. So okay, I'll play along. What else? He killed Obi Wan on the Death Star in A New Hope? Did you even watch that lightsaber duel? Neither one of them was trying to kill the other. They were just trading token blows while having their first face-to-face discussion since Obi Wan cut off Vader's arms and left him in a lava pit to die, burning his lungs and deforming him for life. Remember that? Every blow each one dealt was met with a predictable parry. Vader wasn't trying to kill Obi Wan with that final blow. He fully expected another parry from his old mentor. Then Obi Wan suddenly vanished. Vader did not kill him. He committed suicide magically to become one with the Force. And from the creepy look he gave Luke right before he did, you could tell he took some kind of perverse satisfaction and jarring Luke out of his innocence by dying right in front of him. Kind of a dick move too, to turn him against his father by making it look like Vader did it.
5 Just Darth Being Darth
Vader's looking better and better, huh? So what else do you want to throw at him? He didn't stick around to raise his kids? Right. It's not like Darth Vader was some chump who knocked his girlfriend up and didn't want to stick around and raise the kids. He first almost got murdered by Obi Wan and then Obi Wan hid his kids from him. He didn't even know he had kids. If anything this is just proof of what an evil, manipulative tool Obi Wan was. He was willing to do anything to live out his narcissistic fantasy of raising up "the Chosen One" to galactic greatness.
4 MOAR Body Paint Vader!
I've even heard Darth Vader's detractors argue that it was a bitter irony that he raised a kid who wasn't even his, Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, when he didn't raise Luke and Leia. Again, you can take that bitter irony and lay it right at the feet of old, crazy Ben Kenobi. Imagine the shock and anger on Luke and Leia's face if they knew they could have been raised by their own, powerful, cunning, intelligent, decisive, and courageous father if they hadn't been stolen away from him by a bitter rebel operative with a selfish agenda of his own.
3 Hot Darth Vader Cosplayer
How does Darth Vader look now? Okay, the last thing that might be bugging you is that Darth Vader did force choke his wife Padme in Revenge of the Sith. I'm not justifying what he did, but it was a turbulent time for him and everyone was turning on him. There was massive chaos happening in the galaxy and he did kind of lose it and go of the deep end. He shouldn't have done it, absolutely. But again, this is one of those complicated parts of a complicated hero's life. You can take any of the great figures of our own history, Thomas Jefferson, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. (etc.) and dig up parts of their life they were not proud of, but life is complicated and this doesn't make Darth Vader all bad. It just means he's not all good either, like even the best of us. And Darth Vader was one of the best of us.
2 Two Hot Darth Vaders!
Hopefully this list has changed your mind about Darth Vader some. It's easy to instantly assume he was bad, but only if we blindly and uncritically accept all of the propaganda against him without stopping to really examine the facts. History is often written by the winners and not the losers, but the facts stand for themselves. Even if you don't completely agree with all of the arguments presented in this article, hopefully you can at least admit, upon careful consideration, that Darth Vader has never looked so good!
1 Bonus: One Sexy Boba Fett
Hey you: no disintegrations!
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