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Question of the Day (QOTD) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a film/TV-related question that we put to you, the reader. The comments section below is like the feedback box at work; except, in this example, we actually read what you write and care about what you have to say.
Darth Vader is quite possibly the most iconic villain in film history. Everything about his design screams “bad guy”, but how bad is he?
In the original film, Vader stands by while an entire planet is obliterated. He doesn’t give the order, and the Death Star is not under his command. But he’s there, and we have no reason to believe that he feels bad about it. But the destruction of Alderaan is not his doing. You can’t attribute the act of blowing Alderaan up to Vader. The worst thing we see him do in the films that is attributable solely to him is kill enemy combatants. We know from Obi-Wan that Vader hunted down and destroyed the Jedi, but, again, these are adult combatants ostensibly fighting in a war. I’m not saying this makes him a good guy, but I don’t think he’s irredeemable at this point. Which is why his redemption works at the end of Return of the Jedi. You believe he can be redeemed, and you even feel sympathy for him when Luke removes the helmet.
Anakin’s actions in the prequels, especially when it is implied in Revenge of the Sith that he massacres the younglings, changes all that. At least it does for me.
Killing enemy combatants in a war is one thing, fighting for the wrong side is one thing, but killing innocent children? For me, this act makes it very difficult to believe that Vader can be redeemed in Return of the Jedi. The act is just so evil, I don’t see how there’s any coming back from that.
But let me put the question to you: Does killing the younglings make Anakin unredeemable? Why or why not?
Give us your take in the comments below!