Aside from a Jar Jar origin story, isn’t this our greatest fear with a Star Wars re-launch? The completely ridiculous resurrection of an iconic character whose death stands as one of the key moments of the trilogy?
That’s right, Darth Vader is returning to sell lunch boxes and force choke us all for the crime of dedication and our new hope that the next trilogy might be better than the last. At least that’s the rumor du jour coming from across the sea via a “production mole” who ratted out the empire to The Daily Express which still prints news on paper… oh those laudable Brits.
Anyway, it might be false, it probably is false, but it’s my job to pontificate on this little bit of tid, so you’ll have to excuse the massive waste of your time and my exceptional skill.
1,2,3, here we go!
What the literal fuck *interobang* I get that Disney needs to justify the fortune that it just spent on the license, but do they have to embrace Lucas’ anti-ethos? His take-their-money-and-fuck-them, nothing is sacred attitude?
Vader died in a hail of Palpantinian hand lightning bolts and redemptive glory.
Vader’s body got burned on a pyre and his ghost danced (or stood) amongst the Ewoks at the end of Return.
You can’t legitimately bring him back without unleashing a nerd pox upon this entire endeavor. Now, while the force of Nerd Rage is often as exaggerated as the physical prowess of a barroom pugilist or a Jersey housewife on the cursed moon of Mall in the time of the Friday that is black, but in this instance, we actually do have power. And I’m not talking about the inevitable five-finger-death-punch (he’s co-mingling movie references!!!) from the blogosphere. We are the target audience here.
Sure, Disney and Lucasfilm can say that this movie is going to appeal to everyone, but this movie isn’t goona make it’s money from casual fans who see it once and then ironically rock “Han Shot First” tees or buy Boba Fett bobbleheads. It’s goona make money from our repeat business and our unquenchable thirst for merchandise that extends beyond 1 or 2 tchotchkes, and bringing back Vader is an un-doucheable befoulment that will seal our wallets and our hearts! (too much?)
“But what about the prequels, weren’t they a sin against fandom and didn’t they still spawn a flood of cash for the pompous pompadoured one?” Right you are Gladys, but when you really examine them, aren’t they just an annoyance? A reminder of Lucas’ love affair with both his own grandiosity and CGI?
The prequels are empty, and they’re painful to watch in an embarrassing way, but they weren’t entirely connected to the original trilogy because we knew that there was always a ceiling. We knew how they ended and there was a limit to how far off the trail they could go. This is different and that’s why so many of us are watching with a weary eye. This could be worse because it would be a continuation of the trilogy, a new ending to something that already ended quite well.
Now, why does that matter? In a small way it doesn’t. The original trilogy is still there, though it is hard to find a version that hasn’t been mangled by it’s mad creator and his constant need to fix that which is not broken in an effort to juice the great giving rock that has already gifted him a fortune and us a batch of sacred memories. Those memories are the point though and why this does, ultimately, matter.
I want Star Wars to be Star Wars, I want Han to shoot first, and I want Vader to be dead. I want this not because I’m selfish, but because I want my future offspring to know the wonder that is that Star Wars and not the gutted remains of a once great thing that was raided and bent because George Lucas (and all of Hollywood really) doesn’t know the value of heirlooms and they feel that every micro-generation needs a less crisp copy of the original to call its own.
I know, I know, “gutted” sounds hyperbolic, but if Vader returns, his death didn’t matter and anyone watching Return of the Jedi for the first time won’t recognize the value of his sacrifice for his son.
Even if Vader comes back as a ghost, it’s serves as a wholly commercial move and a silly and needless desecration. Also, we never saw Vader’s ghost — we saw Anakin’s ghost and we know that Hayden Christensen doesn’t sell lunch boxes so what are we too believe? That that powerful moment that Lucas already ruined once will get completely retconned? How about an evil twin Vader instead, or maybe Vader had another son who takes on his father’s mantle to battle Han and Leia’s kid in Star Wars 7: The Rise of the Dark Son. Screen Rant suggested that cloning might be in play. Honestly, at what point does this descend into the land of the farcical?
The bottom line is Disney and Lucasfilm should tell a new story. Be ambitious, be bold, be trailblazing. Embrace the spirit of the original films and do something that nobody has done before. That’s a fitting continuation of the Star Wars name and that’s something that will preserve the dignity of the treasured originals and the adoration of the fans.