For me, the hardest part of writing this comic is remembering not to veer too far into fantasy and away from noir, or vice versa. Both genres come relatively easily to me (and there are many that do not, believe me), but I can easily forget to include one genre at the expense of the other if I’m not careful. The stuff with the Al’Dahani is a deliberate decision on my part to make sure BOTH genres are being fully served. It could very well be terrible, but *I* like it, and I’m reasonably sure that Will and Jacob do too. If the three of us are happy, it’s hard to think we’re not doing something right.
But enough about us and enough about that. Let’s talk about the title of this particular blog entry, and that means talking about the advance showing of the Season Two premiere of Star Wars – Rebels. That means that, if you haven’t watched it yet and intend to, you should stop now.
Have you stopped? I hope so.
If not, well, the promotions have all shown Darth Vader as being a large presence this season, and he definitely was in this premiere, right down to having James Earl Jones doing the voice.
One of my buddies and I talked about it, and he made a point of mentioning that he felt like the character was back, after having been gone ever since Episode One came out. I realized it then, the prequel trilogy took away one of the defining characteristics of Darth Vader: his anonymity. His mystery was taken away when we got to know Anakin Skywalker.
But hearing Vader’s voice instead of Anakin’s, and seeing THAT MASK, and the animators did a very good job of rendering Vader, that brought a sense of “what the hell is this guy gonna do?” And he did a LOT. He outmatched the heroes on every level. He outfought them with a lightsaber and with his personal TIE fighter. He anticipated their actions. Most of all, he used the Force the way a Dark Lord of the Sith should. He tossed our heroes around like rag dolls. He threatened Ezra with his own lightsaber. HE USED THE FORCE TO CATCH A PAIR OF SCOUT WALKERS THAT WERE DROPPED ON HIM.
It was epic. He was epic…and I always wanted to know what he was going to do next. He was a proper villain, as the Brits like to say. He was back.
Just as the prequel trilogy demystified the Force itself, or tried to, by introducing Midichlorians, it also demystified Darth Vader, by showing us the man beneath the mask. People have often said that the original trilogy was about Darth Vader and not about Luke Skywalker, it was a tale of Vader’s redemption, but that wasn’t true at all. It was a coming of age story, it was the story of Luke becoming man enough to save his father. There was a reason why we were never given details about Anakin in the original trilogy. We weren’t even told his name until the third movie. The details were kept from us because THEY WEREN’T IMPORTANT. “Vader as Luke’s father” was all we needed to know. Everything else was about villainy.
Darth Vader is one of the great movie villains of all time, and the prequel trilogy almost took him away from us. But Rebels has given him back.
I can’t wait for the rest of the season. (But I have to.)