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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 10:50am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'm not sure it qualifies, but that scene in the satellite where there are dozens of droids closing in on Anakin, about to kill him. And then he lets off a couple of blasts that destroy the satellite, slightly the same way his son would blow up the Death Star someday.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 11:28am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It's depressing, Eric, that despite your description, I cannot recall that scene. Or even tell you which prequel it was in. :/
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 12:11pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I always thought that Vader was much more menacing in TESB that in the original film.

•••

Of course. Between films he was promoted from Tarkin's lackey to principle bad guy -- replete with suddenly shiny outfit.

Mind you, after the total botch job of the first movie, I still don't understand why he wasn't sent to the spice mines of Kessel!

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 12:13pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"All too easy." [then flips a switch from a cross the room with a point of a finger] 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 4:34pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Robbie - hardly depressing. Your mind has buried the traumatic memories...

In The Phantom Menace, little Annie* flies a ship up to one of the orbiting satellites, flies in... and then his ship breaks down. But through the magic of concussive repetition (i.e., he hits the button a few times), he restarts the ship, fires away at everything, and blows up the entire satellite ring.

*Must... resist... urge... to... kill... We were rooting for Hitler in that first episode, damn it!
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David Miller
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 6:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply


 QUOTE:
Mind you, after the total botch job of the first movie, I still don't understand why he wasn't sent to the spice mines of Kessel!

In the inquiry that followed the Battle of Yavin, Vader was fully exonerated by the testimony of the sole Imperial survivor.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 8:20pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Of course. Between films he was promoted from Tarkin's lackey to principle bad guy -- replete with suddenly shiny outfit.
++++++++++++

Some people--including me!--have trouble deciding which version of Vader looks the best. The battered and dull look of the STAR WARS suit is iconic, but the slick, shiny, and more robotic feel of the EMPIRE suit (the tweaks being made after the character's cyborg backstory was firmly in place) is pretty darn awesome, too.

Vader made for a classic "black hat" character in the first film, but I daresay that EMPIRE presents the definitive version of the character. Absolutely terrifying, Simonized, almost casually evil and cruel (but not without a dark sense of humor), and in charge at all times. James Earl Jones' vocal performance in the film is just fantastic, and the revised vocal processing (more Transformer-ish than the "voice being filtered through the mask" processing of the first film) gives the character a disturbingly inhuman quality.

EMPIRE has more Vader moments overall than the first film, but the first film's moments are definitely memorable. He literally breaks a man's neck with one hand in his first scene!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 8:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

By the way, James Earl Jones has, over the years, rightly referred to his role in the films as "a special effect".

The original film didn't make it entirely clear whether or not we were hearing Vader's normal voice being filtered through the mask, although the fact that he could talk and breathe at the same time hinted at the voice being completely synthetic. The vocal processing in EMPIRE certainly gave that impression. After all, the backstory of Vader being horribly injured had been established during post-production of the original film, which is when the breathing sound entered the picture. EMPIRE more firmly locked down just how damaged the guy really was, and then JEDI backpeddled a bit.

Unfortunately, by the time of JEDI, we also learned that Vader could still speak naturally, and that The Voice was really just the result of microphone enhancement, a la the Wizard of OZ.

I personally prefer the idea that Vader's voice is an artificial simulation of a human voice, rather than merely an enhancement. Sort of like he's an evil version of Stephen Hawking and his synthetic speech device. Listening to Jones' performance in EMPIRE and JEDI with that in mind makes the character even more horrifying, somehow.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 8:51pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Can't say I've ever thought Vader's voice was some kind of purely synthesized version. Though James Earl Jones did try to keep the emotional range narrow, there's still those bits of overt emotion (VATT?? at the end of Star Wars and sister in Return of the Jedi) that aren't suggestive of a purely machine-generated voice.

I'd also say the voice was the main thing that gave you a hint of what the man inside the suit might be like (though, of course, Return of the Jedi did ruin this by having a different voice for the unmasked character).
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 9:56pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I always liked:
"impressive....most impressive"
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 March 2018 at 10:06pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Can't say I've ever thought Vader's voice was some kind of purely synthesized version. Though James Earl Jones did try to keep the emotional range narrow, there's still those bits of overt emotion (VATT?? at the end of Star Wars and sister in Return of the Jedi) that aren't suggestive of a purely machine-generated voice.
+++++++

Mind you, I’m not suggesting that that was necessarily the filmmakers’ intent at any point. I just like the idea of it. Jones has said that the trick he and Kershner devised when working on EMPIRE was to take as much inflection out of Vader’s voice as possible. He was rather emotive in STAR WARS (the aforementioned “VATT??”, for example), but making him sound like a robot—yet knowing there’s still a living person inside that suit—made him even scarier.

I understand why they went with Sebastian Shaw in JEDI, but I still long for the truly hideous and mutilated Vader hinted at in EMPIRE (and our host sketched, a few years back). It just adds to the creepiness of the character.
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David Spurlock
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 7:45pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

My personal favorite comes from ESB when Luke is led to the carbon freezing chamber and all is silent...until you hear the breathing kick in and that distintive James Earl Jones voice comes from the darkness. "The force is with you young Skywalker, but you are not a jedi, yet."
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