Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
What is the genesis of evil? Is it an unexpected and seismic change in a person? Or is it predestined?
The story of Star Wars is the story of good become evil and redeeming itself again when all hope is lost. It is the story of Skywalker. And most memorably, the story of Anakin Skywalker.
How does the chosen one then become the Lord of darkness? How does the most powerful Jedi in the universe transform into Darth Vader?
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) was George Lucas’ answer to these important questions. It was left to this one film in the series to connect the dots and explain why and how the mightiest knight fell.
After a titanic lightsaber duel with Jedi Master and his one-time mentor, Obi - Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is left limbless and burnt almost to the point of death. Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) finds his mutilated body amidst the molten lava. And he takes him back for what can only be described as a brutal but necessary repair job on the half man he had become.
How does the most powerful Jedi in the universe transform into Darth Vader?
As he screams in pain, robotic legs and a left arm are fitted onto his writhing body. His charred form is covered in a black armoured suit. And in one of the most dramatic moments of the film (and the series), the fearsome Vader mask descends onto his face and locks in place.
The moment he revives consciousness, against that unmistakable hiss of his respirator, he asks for his wife, Padme. But in a devilish masterstroke, Emperor Palpatine tells him that in his anger, Vader himself had ended the life of Padme. Vader’s rage and agony is so real and unbridled that the metal bulkhead around them buckles and equipment explodes and crashes. “Nooooo!”, he wails in despair.
The demolition of goodness is complete. Even more than the masking of his humanity (literally!) - this one lie completes the tragedy of his life up until that point.
The dark side obliterates the moral compass of the one with power unlimited…or so we are meant to believe, till another day, another time, when Vader does what no one expected him to do. He fulfils his destiny...