Vader on Rebels

I can’t wait until the start of  the next season of Star Wars Rebels on June 20.  The trailer really sets an interesting tone for this upcoming season and artistically (as far as trailers go) is right up there with the trailers from The Clone Wars.

There’s a lot to be excited about, but I’m most excited about Darth Vader.  When I was a small child, I dressed up like Darth Vader for Holloween (only like once, my family was/is never big on it).  He’s perhaps the most iconic villain in cinema history (though there are many vying or that title). I also really like that the artwork is much closer to that of the original Ralph McQarrie drawings (which I think is a great tribute to his work) and not simply a drawing of the theatrical dress.

Copyright Lucasfilm.
Ralph McQuarrie drawing of Darth Vader

The Clone Wars and the prequels were great at showing Anakin and Obiwan at their most heroic.  Frankly, in watching the original trilogy now, after TCW, Obiwan seems much more heroic in context.

But this isn’t the same for Vader.  There’s a sense of incompleteness at how little we actually get to see of Vader in the Original Trilogy.  We don’t have the same sense of fright with Vader (don’t get me wrong, it’s still Vader), but it’s out of balance with what we can now feel towards Obiwan.

Rebels now can provide us a look at Vader in the way that TCW showed with Obiwan and Anakin.

So what do we hope to see?

 

Vader as Pilot

“We’ll have to destroy them ship to ship.  Get the crews to their fighters.” ~ Darth Vader, A New Hope

One of the best scenes of A New Hope was watching Vader chase Luke in his TIE Fighter.  But that was the ONLY time we got to see Vader as a pilot.  We know that Anakin was a great pilot and we get to see it quite a lot during TCW and the Prequels.  But Vader is a different character – just as skilled as Anakin, but without the principles of preservation.  It would be great to see these battle sequences and compare them to TCW.

Copyright Lucasfilm
Vader destroying Rebel ships

 

Vader as Jedi Killer

“Your powers are weak old man.” ~ Darth Vader, A New Hope

As far as the Original Trilogy, Vader is only 1-1 with Jedi.  He beat an old Kenobi with weak powers.  But lost to a youthful Luke.  But we never get to see how other Jedi (or whatever Kanan and Ahsoka are) compare to Vader.  The Season 2 trailer gives a few juicy hints (i.e. Vader is WAY more powerful) and we want to see it all.

Copyright Lucasfilm
This shot of Kanan fighting Darth Vader is reminiscent of the above McQuarrie drawing.

 

 

Vader as Commander

“You have failed me for the last time.”  ~ Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

Some of the best Darth Vader dialog took place between him and the commanders of the Imperial fleet.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to just turn around and tell General Veers to prepare his man.  But it’s not just the confrontational dialog that’s awesome, it’s the behavior of the fleet commanders towards Vader that is equally telling.  Vader doesn’t accept failure and he will kill his own subordinates to accomplish his goals.  It’s particularly interesting when contrasted with A New Hope showing how much more obsessed he is with finding Luke than finding the plans to the Death Star.

We get a taste of this in the Season 2 trailers when he talks about squeezing Lothal until they find the Rebels.  This is the Vader we’ve been looking for.

 

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