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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 March 2018 at 5:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

As has been pointed out on many occasions, the black suit Vader wears in the original movie is the same as those worn by the TIE fighter pilots. His modified helmet and cape are signifiers of rank.

The real mystery, also as noted, is how he comes to hold a position of such power in the other movies, given his abject failure in the first.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 14 March 2018 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

In the original movie Darth is clearly a very capable pilot -- presumably being able to use the Force helps! Perhaps that was his way into the Empire? Started off as a TIE fighter pilot and rose in that specific service of the Imperial forces until he came to the notice of Tarkin? 

Post-STAR WARS, it's not logical that, with Tarkin dead, Darth would hold any high level position, let alone be the Emperor's righthand!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 March 2018 at 6:42am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Vader suffered a bad case of Cool Villain Syndrome. The fans thought he was cool, so did Lucas, and so his role expanded, tapidly if not logically. The expansion, alas, included the stripping away of what we knew of the character, leaving us in the end with someone very different.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 March 2018 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Post-STAR WARS, it's not logical that, with Tarkin dead, Darth would hold any high level position, let alone be the Emperor's righthand!
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It should be noted that the shooting script for STAR WARS described Vader as “right hand of the Emperor” in his first scene. Of course, this would presumably have been more in a “blunt instrument” or “scary guy who does the dirty work” sort of way, rather than as an apprentice (since the concept of the Emperor as a Force-user didn’t come along until EMPIRE) or BFF.

In terms of character evolution, Vader is fascinating. When STAR WARS was filmed, he was just supposed to be a high-ranking henchman sent by the Emperor to get the Death Star plans, who wore an armored spacesuit (originally intended for a version of the opening scene where he crosses open space to board Leia’s ship, but which became a permanent fixture during filming). By the time of post-production, it was decided that the suit was actually a walking iron lung, and so the breathing sound was added. That decision resulted in the backstory of his falling out with Kenobi and subsequent mutilation. Then he was retconned into being Father Skywalker, so as to eliminate the redundancy of the latter character, and provide a twist ending for the first sequel film. And so on and so on.

At the time STAR WARS was filmed, the character was very simple. He was a Jedi Knight who embraced the dark side, betrayed and killed Father Skywalker, left Kenobi’s tutelage (presumably without any sort of major falling out or duel between them), and helped the Empire hunt down and kill the Jedi. He wore a spacesuit much in the way that stormtroopers and TIE pilots wore their armored suits when on duty. 

Then, Lucas (and the viewing public) fell in love with the character, and it all snowballed from there, for good and for ill.
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Robert Kowalewski II
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Posted: 27 March 2018 at 9:24pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."
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