Friday, December 31, 2010

Icons of Badassery: Darth Vader

Icon of badassery: Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones)

Record of badassery: Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Synopsis of badassery: Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, was the terror of the Star Wars galaxy, second in command only to the Emperor. His presence was intimidating both visually and audibly: his tall, cyborg body was encased entirely in stylized black armor and a flowing black cape, and he had a deep, commanding voice and robotic breathing apparatus that made ominous whooshing sounds. A fearsome warrior and powerful proponent of the Dark Side of the Force, he had once been a noble Jedi, but turned against his former brethren. Vader helped the Emperor systematically hunt down and execute the Jedi and solidify control of the galaxy. He wielded his power with impunity, killing enemies and even his own generals in cold blood, and using fear and calculating precision to drive those under his command. His control of the Force was absolute, allowing him to choke someone from a great distance, move large objects with his mind as if they weighed nothing, and deflect blaster fire with his hands. He was also one of the best fighter pilots in the galaxy, and a master of light saber combat. In the end, the unconditional love of his son was able to make him see the error of his ways; he died a hero from wounds suffered while killing the evil Emperor, showing that even the most reprehensible person could be redeemed. Star Wars creator George Lucas later botched the Darth Vader mythos with an unnecessary and nonsensical prequel trilogy, but in the original films, every moment of Vader screen time was electrifying.

Badass quote: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Badass website: Time Capsule: Darth Vader 1980

Badass clip:

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