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  1. #1

    What made Vader a scarier person from ANH to ESB?

    In ANH, Vader can't even throw a scare into Leia despite being encased in frightening armor and standing a foot and a half taller than her. Leia laughs off his threats and calls him smelly. It's only a creaky old man's threats which truly frighten her, Grandma Tarkin (yeah, I said that) uses mere ideas to make Leia quake in her white boots, while Vader is simply the muscle, making her face forward. Elsewhere in the film, high-ranking officers are talking to Vader as an equal, even mouthing off to him until he finally gets cheesed off and strangles a guy by doing a "I'm crushing your head" finger move (and the power of his mind).

    Yet in ESB, everybody's crapping their pants at the thought of Vader left and right. Vader is now the ultimate commander of the moment. But what has changed here? Vader dresses the same, carries the same lightsaber, has no more Force power than he used to, and his only real accomplishment between the two events is barely surviving the destruction of the Death Star, which just ain't that scary. Nobody who saw Vader choke a b**** lived to tell the tale, nor anyone who saw him cut Obi-Wan's robe in half. So is it just the drive within Vader to track down his son coming out as more authoritative? Is it that the destruction of the Death Star wiped out all higher-ranking Imperial officials save the Emperor? What is it that makes Vader a bigger galactic badass to the folks in ESB that was missing in ANH?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #2
    Everybody heard about the incident on Renoooine.

    He shot a man just to watch him die.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #3
    I think ANH is the best evidence that Darth Vader was never intended to be the central character of the Star Wars story. He just kind of stomps around and gets angry, but nobody really seems to be intimidated by him in any way (kind of like Grievous in ROTS). He's a joke.

    I believe the difference in ESB is a result of the character being rewritten in response to his popularity with audiences.

    For an in-universe explanation, though, I guess we could say that Vader came back from the Death Star battle with a vengeance and proceeded to strike fear into the hearts of everyone around him. Isn't there supposed to be like a year or two between ANH and ESB? That would be plenty of time to build up a reputation.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Isn't there supposed to be like a year or two between ANH and ESB? That would be plenty of time to build up a reputation.
    I believe it's actually three years, and believe "he" is a "she" (whoops, wrong line ). I usually chalked that up to his obsession with finding Luke; any lackey who messed up those chances made him angry, and you wouldn't like him when he's angry.
    'It is always nice to see you, says the Besalisk at the counter... And instead I pour blue milk...' From "Dex's Diner" by Su-San Vega

  5. #5
    I always liked to think of Tarkin/Palpatine/Vader as the power base of the whole empire. In ANH, you see Tarkin talking to Vader as an equal and as a superior at times. Perhaps Tarkin told Vader to not be killing his officers without his permission. The officers would soon figure this out and not act so nervous around him. When Tarkin was killed, Vader could deal with the success and failure of his subordinates as he saw fit. In ESB and ROTJ, not every officer seems intimidated by him. General Veers certainly doesn' t seem to fear him and Admiral Piett in ROTJ seems more comfortable around him compared to how he did in ESB.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    I think ANH is the best evidence that Darth Vader was never intended to be the central character of the Star Wars story. He just kind of stomps around and gets angry, but nobody really seems to be intimidated by him in any way (kind of like Grievous in ROTS). He's a joke.

    I believe the difference in ESB is a result of the character being rewritten in response to his popularity with audiences.

    For an in-universe explanation, though, I guess we could say that Vader came back from the Death Star battle with a vengeance and proceeded to strike fear into the hearts of everyone around him. Isn't there supposed to be like a year or two between ANH and ESB? That would be plenty of time to build up a reputation.
    No question that you're right and his relative secondary status in ANH proves he's not a central story character. Lucas probably retroactively claims this was a plan to surprise audiences, but the truth is the development of the character is clearly not as Anakin Skywalker but just another monk in the Jedi order who betrayed Anakin and Obi-Wan, switching sides to the bad guys. I wouldn't say he's a joke, he does have big history with Obi-Wan which eventually leads him to kill Obi-Wan, he does have the Emperor's ear, and he is the last of the known Force users. That last point makes me think the entirety of the Jedi wasn't meant to be such a big deal either, people scoff at the Force a mere generation after its monks are destroyed.

    When we were kids, before the prequels rewrote a lot of the timeline and there was a renewed focus on centralizing such things, ESB was 2 years after ANH and ROTJ was 6 months after ESB, but now it's 3 years between ANH and ESB, and 1 year between ESB and ROTJ.

    It's enough time I guess to gather a big reputation, but Ozzel doesn't take Vader all that seriously - granted, he pays for that mistake, but can that really be the catalyst for his reputation change? Why is it that Ozzel doesn't worry yet Needa does? Did they really put a fool in charge of the Super Star Destroyer, or did Vader only get fully badass once Ozzel was lying on the floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos View Post
    I believe it's actually three years, and believe "he" is a "she" (whoops, wrong line ). I usually chalked that up to his obsession with finding Luke; any lackey who messed up those chances made him angry, and you wouldn't like him when he's angry.
    See my above point about Ozzel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowtrooper View Post
    I always liked to think of Tarkin/Palpatine/Vader as the power base of the whole empire. In ANH, you see Tarkin talking to Vader as an equal and as a superior at times. Perhaps Tarkin told Vader to not be killing his officers without his permission. The officers would soon figure this out and not act so nervous around him. When Tarkin was killed, Vader could deal with the success and failure of his subordinates as he saw fit. In ESB and ROTJ, not every officer seems intimidated by him. General Veers certainly doesn' t seem to fear him and Admiral Piett in ROTJ seems more comfortable around him compared to how he did in ESB.
    I forgot, Vader doesn't even kill anybody noteworthy in ANH aside from an old forgotten wizard, Tarkin orders Vader to release Motti. Vader strangles and breaks the neck of Captain Antilles of Princess Leia's corvette, but nobody seems to be remotely surprised by this behavior since they were all there to kill and destroy. But does Tarkin's influence really calm the nerves that much? He's a regional governor and a grand moff in charge of the Death Star, when we first see Vader he's not even on the Death Star but a Star Destroyer - Vader is an attack dog, he goes where he's needed whether or not that's in Tarkin's area of control, can it be as simple as losing one regional governor? I don't know, it's an interesting argument but Moff Jerjerrod in ROTJ certainly wields no such command over Vader... of course, Jerjerrod really gets scared shipless only once word of the Emperor's arrival comes to light, not by Vader's presence alone.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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