Mr Vader is a murderous evil dictator who’s sole ambition is galactic domination, thats certainly not in question. Besides what’s wrong with having a goal and working towards it?
By my best count he makes no less than 50 on screen kills (eps. 1-6), and damages countless lives in the process, and all as a single father.
Some mornings I struggle to get out of bed and I’m neither a single dad nor am I conquering anything.
In truth quite a bit if the killing and life ruining happens before he becomes a father in episode V, where he finds out he has a son.
When he finds out about his long lost son he all but stops his murderous ways and completely focuses on raising his kid right, even if that kid is non other than the snotty nosed kid who destroyed his crowing achievement in episode IV.
Now I know pleanty of people who’d hold this mammoth act of assholory against their kids, I can understand that, you know I can get pretty peeved when my little rebels mess up the book I’m reading, throw food about the place, and destroy my evil master work.
But forgiveness is part of being an awesome dad, right? And Darth Vader instantly forgives Luke and starts down a road of loving and giving that, for the most part, is just thrown back in his face like cold spaghetti.
Lets delve deep into how Darth Vader is a great dad.
In episode IV we see the rebels planning the distruction of the Death Star 1, to do this they inlist, the then unknown, Luke Skywalker. At this time neither Darth or Luke knows that they’re related.
Luke flies in and blows the thing up almost killing Darth in the process. A pretty big deal if you ask me; Darth and his Boss, Mr Emperor, have put a lot of metaphorical eggs into that basket. Not to mention the massive loss of life of well trained employees.
Now in episode V we see Luke destroy more of his dads belongings when he wipes out two ATAT’s and several of his close personal friends and work colleagues in the process.
The oldman sure is pissed this time, but then Mr Vader finds out about his old friends deception, the concealment of baby Luke on Tatooine. He’s instantly softened by the news, in fact he puts his work on hold and focuses solely on finding Luke and mending their rift, in the process fogiving his son for all the crap he’s pulled.
That’s what you do as a great dad; your kids ransack your valuables, poke through your privates, and break everything you hold dear, and then you forgive them.
Luke picks a fight.
Finally Darth’s long wait is over; his boy is on Cloud City, he’s on Cloud City, holy three fingered claw of Master Yoda they could cross paths.
And sure enough they meet up alone with nothing but their words and two glowing light sabres.
Instantly Vader goes to work trying to heal their fractured past, he even goes as far as offering to bring Luke into the family business, Galactic Domination, with the added insentive of overthrowing his mentor, Mr Emperor.
A bold move considering the intimately woven past Vader has with his boss
And what does Luke do, the selfish little shit? He throws himself down a massive well which is obviously a metaphor for the huge gulf that has separated them for years.
It’s just like young Skywalker to rub shit right into his dads Sith cape so it can never truly be cleaned. As if he doesn’t feel bad enough already but Luke would actually prefer to die than be with his dad.
Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny! Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son! Come with me. It is the only way.
– Darth Vader, Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Darth walks from the gaping hole that is their relationship knowing that yet another opportunity to bond with his son is lost forever.
Vader offers Luke opportunity and only wants the best for his son.
After pursuing his son across the galaxy, which must take one hell of a search party and a huge amount of resources, he finally catches up with him on the idyllic Forest Moon of Endor and immediately complements him on the fine job he’s done on his new light sabre. A thing that marks Luke as his own man in the Jedi tradition, which Vader is well versed in.
Instead of taking the complement as an opportunity to open up to his dad (as Vader was clearly hoping), Luke, the jerk, tries to change his oldman, literally calling him out as evil, no less in front of two of his employees.
He hasn’t even taken the time to get to know his dad, what right does he have to change the man?
Vader, at this point, has nothing else to do but bring the boy in front of his mentor and elder gentleman, Mr Emperor, who proceeds to point out what bad form Luke is showing and that he should really be respecting of his elders.
Luke is so full of piss and vinegar at this point that his only response can be violence.
Grabbing his weapon Luke tries to cut his fathers own dad like figure down. Mind you this is an old man with severe burns over 80% of his body while he’s also confined to a chair, this old Siths probably got all kinds of cronic pain for Midi-chlorians sake.
What choice does Mr Vader have but to discipline the boy.
For what feels like an eternity they spar back and forth, while the whole time Luke continues to fuck his dads work place up. Smashing gantries, wrecking freshly painted railings, and just being a menace.
Mr Emperor steps in and shoots some lighting at Luke, lighting the punk up like a good old fashioned Life Day tree, yet he’s still defiant and sneers contempt at Vader and his boss.
Finally Vader sees that he’ll never be the right kind if dad for Luke unless he changes, so in an act of desperation he changes all that he is so he can fit his sons “perfect” father figure model.
In the end this selfless act ultimately kills him, and Luke just carelessly lets the only remnants of this good man go up in smoke.
His legacy burnt up like the love he feed Luke all this time.
What can Darth Vader teach us about being a better dad?
Forgiveness is the big one, no matter what dick moves Luke makes, whether it be blowing up multiple Death Stars, killing friends and workmates, or just being juvenile and belligerent, you’ve got to forgive your kids.
Bad stuff happens and the crazy crap that kids do is usually:
- Boundary testing
- Or just inexperience
Provided the kids learn something from their actions, then it becomes a lesson, and your forgiveness and understanding also teaches them something.
Unless you’re Luke Skywalker.
Change, kids elicit change in everything they touch, fingerprints on fridge doors, filth on the car floor, and growth in their adult carers.
We grow and change right along with our kids, change is not always a bad thing, it’s quite liberating and good for all involved.
You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.
Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace
Defence, Vader defended Luke to his boss, The Emperor, he was certain that Luke would make the change, right up till the end.
Love, even though Luke removed the very technology that was keeping him alive Vader still loved his boy, through all the shit Luke put him through he was still able to show him love.
Is that not what being an awesome dad is about?