There are very few anti-heroes that leave a mark so indelible on the audience’s conscience that it overshadows that set by the hero itself. A mark characterised by a large degree of hate and spite for the character, how the audience relishes and triumphs in the eventual demise, and goes back happy and vindicated-as if they were the ones to do the hero’s obligation!
Well, that is the power of characterisation-you make something so bad, it is good-sometime,better than the good itself!
Remove this anti hero-and the story just loses its sheen. There is no contrast,no balance, no juxtaposition to all the comforting and bubbling righteousness there is. Basically, a recipe for bland and insipid ho-hum.
Darth Vader is one of those very few anti-heroes(mind you, not calling him the villain),that besides being the foundational essence of the Star Wars movies-is,in my opinion,also the cult character responsible for establishing Star Wars as the dominating legion it is today.
So-a brief run through who Darth Vader is? Well, typical case of a hero gone rogue. The prophesied, chosen one, who did fulfill the prophecy he was destined for, but in an entirely different manner,and surprisingly shocking manner. A hero, who eventually gave in to the exhortations and luring of the evil forces out to tap his raw strength,eventually successful in transforming him into a villain only imaginable in a dystopian world.
Well,he did give in to all the temptations. He did give in to the greed of the power he was so cunningly incited with.. All fuelled by the one purpose he stood for -intense love;unchecked passion,that ultimately depleted all the good he possessed-destroying the hopes of the prophecy pinned on him.
Having watched the Star Wars series, I could only exclaim “Nooooo! Whyyyy!” when I saw Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader. So distraught I had become!It scarred me for days to come!
Today, in retrospect, whenever I recall this series,I feel compelled to think what a legend his character truly was, and how probably there has never been a character since with the iconic traits that can be compared to his.
Except probably one-the one responsible for our very existence. The one who brings us into this world-mothers!
Yes, mothers are the non-fictional embodiment of what Darth Vader exists in fiction-with the additional skill of choosing when to turn into character,and when not to.
Motherhood is that one personality that perfectly matches what Darth Vader epitomizes- pure,relentless, primal emotion that forms the cardinal base around which the complex layers of thoughts, emotions and actions are knitted upon.
And just like Vader, who never let any failure, any slackness, any setback get in the way of his goal of turning the galaxy into the hands of the dark side his resolve weaken; so does a mother possess the fortitude, the patience, the determination, the inexhaustible spirit that empowers, and sets her apart in nurturing the essence of her existence-her children. In fact, so unfathomable is the infiniteness of this “force”, that it seems only justified that there isn’t a soul in this world like that of a mother.
Vader did turn against his son-Luke, his daughter-Princess Leia-completely on different sides by destiny-when it was required. In fact, he even had full-blown lightsaber duels with Luke, where he managed to overpower him eventually,but never go for the fatal strike, despite being aggressively struck upon. So overwhelmed it became at a juncture, he even revealed himself as his father while in the midst of a duel.
“I’m your father!”-resonated Vader’s machine voice through the ceiling of the ship. Luke shook and almost fell into the abyss!
So are mothers. Their thoughts, feelings and concerns at times may seem diametrically opposite to what we think is right for us. We might even go ahead at loggerheads against them-arguing, disputing,shouting, throwing tantrums, resisting,even hurting them-tangibly or intangibly, but that is the resolute shield that forges a mother-she can take any amount and degree of suffering-as long as her children don’t suffer the tiniest of scratches or bruises. In this sometimes, emotional exhortations are the manifestations of the deep-seated affection she possesses for her blood-which can be a dramatic rhetoric at times-but does the job of quietening and explaining quite effective, at times.
“Maa hun main teri!(I am your mother, for God’s sake!)”Echoes the crescendo.Rapt silence.
Darth Vader did eventually sacrifice himself for the sake of his son Luke-His soul gained freedom from the clutches of the dark side as a result, and attained eternal peace along with other righteous legends-Yoda,Qi Gong and Obi Wan Kanobi. In doing so, he did not succeed in the purpose of his ambition, but did provide invaluable contribution in helping his own blood accomplish a more peaceful form of his own design-restoring harmony and control in the universe.
Mothers are probably, even more than fathers sometimes, the only people who genuinely want their children to achieve the highest level of achievement, fulfilment and happiness-much more than what they have been able to achieve in their own lifetime. And blazes strong does this maternal feeling within them-uncompromised, ready to sacrifice anything and everything, doing whatever it takes-for the chrome of happiness on their babies’ faces. In swearing by this instinct day in and day out- to a point where it becomes second nature, is what enriches their soul with peace, satisfaction, joy and triumph-the only humble rewards they yearn for.
In the final movie of the Star Wars series-there is a scene where the soul form of Anakin Skywalker can be seen rejoicing at the sight of the reunion of his children-Luke and Leia-busy making merry at the success of their herculean conquest.
That is the look every mother has when they see their children in joy. And there is not an expression more beautiful than in all of creation.
So does Darth Vader’s soul get eternal peace? Yes, the triumph of his children, and the bright days they went on to bring for the Star Wars Galaxy speak about that. Will his legacy and grand lineage survive of his survive?Certainly it did, both in his children, and in the conscious of all Star Wars fans. Will he continue to remain the cult figure he is-enamouring ,inspiring future generations of anti-heroes and heroes to come? Most certainly, he will. May the force be strong with that assertion!
What our mothers give us, what they enrich us with, cannot be substituted by anything in this universe. And so humbly, with such unassuming attitude, so selflessly they do what can be done only by them-be the beautiful, lovely ladies that create and develop life-the essence of what the world is. May the Force be strong with them too!
Can there be any one view point on Darth Vader? No, that is the beauty of the complexity of his character. But can it be set aside as not legend material? Undotably, no.
Can a mother ever be examined and scrutinised by anyone? Well, according to me, there is no authority, no power, no judicial body that possesses the qualifications to even gauge the profoundness that is a mother.