My “Star Wars” friends are going to descend on me for this, but something has always bothered me about “Star Wars.” The entire trilogy. To be fair, this was not a breach on the first several viewings, but since we are talking about an instant classic, a movie that is repeatedly watched, the breaches are held to a higher standard. For the record, I am a huge fan of “Empire Strikes Back” which happens to also suffer with the breach in discussion today.
Darth Vader spends all three episodes scouring planets to find his son, to lure him into the dark side. Bases are destroyed, people are killed, there’s a chase through an entire asteroid field and so on and so forth. When Vader finally has Luke captive in “Return of the Jedi,” Vader continues trying really, really hard to get his son to join this dark side, by trying to talk him into it. Even The Emperor, who can’t be bothered with anything, shows up to try to convince Luke to join. The fate of the Empires rests on this convincing. But when Luke clearly won’t be lured to the dark side, Vader threatens to then focus on Luke’s sister… and then Luke goes crazy and The Emperor nearly kills Luke, then Vader kills The Emperor, blah, blah, blah, but wait, Vader has another kid? And this kid also has the Force?
Okay? You’ve had two options this whole time? Two children to lure into joining your “dark side.” And now, on the brink of building a second death star and all the controls of your government hanging in balance, you, Vader, finally throws out, well, you know I think I’d like to focus on the other kid with the “force” now. Why is this a breach of reality?
Because Vader has Princess Leia in his grasp in the first 5 minutes of “Star Wars.”
Not only does Vader not even acknowledge that his daughter is sitting right in front of him, he has her tortured and then keeps her imprisoned. Let’s even forget that Leia’s accomplishments are so much greater than Luke, who’s basically a peasant (I mean seriously, if you had two kids the same age, and one was the commander in chief of some government and the other was milking tontons, which one would you choose to be at your side?). Vader doesn’t even remotely try to convince her. He doesn’t care so much that she manages to escape.
I know we live in a misogynist world, I know in countries like China, they value boys so much that girls get aborted or in some cases thrown away like garbage at birth (of course now, they’re facing a huge dating problem. There’s a huge imbalance of males over females in China). But this is a galaxy far, far away we’re talking about. If I was Vader and I only had two options, I would explore those two options to death, especially if I had one of these options right in front of me. Instead Vader petulantly says to his daughter, “you’re a part of the Rebel Alliance… and a traitor. Take her away!” It’s like, relax Dad, she didn’t even bring a boyfriend home. In “Empire,” when Vader finally meets his son, what does he say? “The Force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet.” And then they have a sword fight and Vader tells him at the end that he’s his Dad.
Now, before this duel… Vader amazingly captured Leia again. And this time, he not only said nothing to his daughter (didn’t even turn his head to her), he casually gave Leia and Chewbacca their freedom in exchange for Han Solo (who’s not even his son!). Wow. Billy Dee Williams smoothly explained to Leia that Vader wants someone named “Skywalker” and of course she gets defensive. Anyway, you follow me?
Again, maybe all this shit wouldn’t even matter if in “Return of the Jedi,” Vader did not say, “if you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she [meaning Leia] will.” Really? You’re the greatest villain in movie history, you went through three movies chasing your peasant son and now you’re threatening to convert the daughter you had captured twice? Hyper fucking breach of reality.
Written by: Norith Soth