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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader (David Prowse)

Site Rating: 72%
(ratings: 9)
Writeup Rating: 93%
(ratings: 3)
Film: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Deceased Character: Darth Vader (David Prowse)
Archetype: Baddy (Major)
Killed by: Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid)
Killed with: Electricity

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'Self-Sacrifice' icon 'Betrayal' icon 'Electricity' icon
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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 26th Nov 2005

Kindly submitted by Forfit The Game

During the battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker realises his presence is a danger to the rebel's plans and so surrenders himself to the Empire and is taken to Darth Vader. Vader in turn brings Luke to the Death Star, which is orbiting the planet Endor, and before the Emperor who Vader hopes will turn Luke to the dark side of the Force.

The Emperor gives Luke the opportunity to strike him down, but when Luke takes the chance, Vader blocked the light sabre, and so begins a light sabre duel between father and son. During the fight Vader tells Luke that if he could not be turned then perhaps his sister could.

When Luke hears this, he becomes angry and charges at Vader with full force. The ferocity of the attack is something that even Vader is unprepared for, as blow after blow rains down onto his light sabre. Eventually he falls to his knees from the assault and in a final blow, Luke severs Vader's hand off.

With a break for breath, Luke is distracted by the Emperor walking towards him laughing with glee. He tells Luke to strike his father down and take his place, and they will rule the galaxy together. Luke looks at his father's severed arm and remembers his own severed hand, caused by his father. Realising what he has done, and that he is becoming just like his father, Luke throws away his light sabre and refuses to turn to the dark side. This makes the Emperor furious, and he uses the force to punish Luke with bolts of electricity coming from his hands.

Luke is writhing on the floor in agony, pleading to his father to help him. Vader, looking back at Luke and then at the Emperor, realises that he can't sit back and watch his son die, Vader lunges at the Emperor picking him up and, despite the electricity coursing through his body, he manages to walk him to the edge of the platform and throw him over the side into the core.

Vader is mortally wounded, and it is at this point that Luke gets up, without a scratch on him and helps his father get to one of the hangars so they can escape the disintegrating Death Star. As they get to the ship Vader asks Luke to remove his helmet, Luke is hesitant as it will kill him, but Vader persists, saying "Nothing can stop that now, for once let me look one you with my own eyes". Luke slowly takes off each part to the helmet, revealing a pale, scarred man that was Anakin Skywalker.

With his last words, Vader tells Luke that he was right about him all along, that he couldn't kill his own child, and with that Vader dies. Luke brings the body of Anakin with him as he flees the Death Star, and once he is safely on Endor, gives his father a traditional Jedi funeral.

3 categories : Self-Sacrifice, Betrayal, Electricity

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Other Death Reviews for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Admiral Piett (Kenneth Colley)
Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch)
Jabba the Hutt (Larry Ward)
Yoda (Frank Oz)
Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid)
Darth Vader (David Prowse)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 11480
This review has 17 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
I still don't see Vader's death as being all that honourable.
I'm pretty sure his total betrayal by the master he served loyally had a lot to do with his final act of defiance. Self-sacrifice? Well, OK - but, revenge undoubtedly had something to do with it too.

I also have a problem with the concept of someone being redeemed in the afterlife with such a simple act. Christianity holds to this dubious value system too - "kill women and children, destroy planets and perform medical experiments on ewoks throughout your life, but providing you recant with your final breaths then there will be a place in Jedi Heaven for you."

Pah! :mad:

Comment 2 by 'Waspy' (reply to this comment)
I disagree with the above poster immensely. Having seen the new trilogy (and read the novels), it seems fairly obvious that Vader had hated the Emperor and known that he had been duped by the Dark Side since he awoke inside his metallic prison in Ep. III. He had not the power to defeat the Emperor, but hated him - knowing he was actually evil from that point on. Vader sought to overthrow the Emperor in Ep. V, but couldn't "find the light" so to speak. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Vader saw his son fighting against what seemed impossible odds and with no victory in sight. Somehow, Luke awakened the good man inside his father again, and Vader killed the Emperor - not for glory, or honor, or for redemption - but because it was the right thing to do. Vader did not seek a reward, or a place in this new and better world, he just wanted to try to make up for the evil the two had done in their years. He requested death, and while never undoing the wrongs he had done, he ensured they would come to an end, fulfilling his prophecy and bringing balance to the force. Vader did not ask for a Jedi's funeral, it was his son's tribute to his father - a man guilty of terrible mistakes and misguided ideals. This death-scene is one of my favorites of all time.
Comment 3 by 'old bluffer' (reply to this comment)
I wish I shared your idealistic view of Vader, but I am a firm cynic when it comes to Star Wars, especially since the travesty that were episodes I-III.

Nobody can deny Annakin committed frequent and numerous atrocities, both before and after becoming Vader. He is an evil character, as defined by his actions. To romanticise about him being the victim of a manipulative Emperor is naive in the extreme.

Vader was quite willing and eager to carry out his master's bidding throughout the films, and clearly revelled in the abject terror his actions caused amongst his minions.
It was only when he lay near death, and witnessed the emperor sneering and encouraging Luke to kill him that he was moved to redeem himself.

As you can probably tell, I felt very let down by the new trilogy telling Vader's backstory. I was anticipating some truly cunning manipulation whereby a tool of justice was slowly and insidiously corrupted by Palpatine, but all we were given was a sulky teenager who was an obvious arse from puberty.

Comment 4 by 'George' (reply to this comment)
Darth Vader is not real!!!
Comment 5 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
Yes, but they are simply debating your storytelling style, I see nothing wrong with that.
Comment 6 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
So many actors play Darth in this film. We have Prowse and Jones, and Sebastain Shaw and Hayden Christensen (in the SEs - yuck!). And that's not counting Vader's sabre double...
Comment 7 by 'Daverat' (reply to this comment)
I was a junior in high school when this movie came out and for as much as I loved it, it had/has many disappointments. I did not mind it when Vader tosses the Emperor down the shaft. One of the biggest disappointments of the movie was the final reveal of his green egghead when Luke takes off his mask. ESB established that it was something horrible to see even for villains. I understand that George was trying to appeal to the masses, and toy corporations but every one was expecting to see the ultimate Dr. Phibes not Humpty Dumpty. I guess it was just a preview of things to come.
Comment 8 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
One of my favorite death scenes in all of cinema history. Very emotional.

Comment 9 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Actually OB I'm a Christian and I can contradict your original comment. God is very forgiving but all-knowing. If you do something good just before your death whether or not you go to Heaven depends on why you did it. If you did it because you thought that would evade your inevitable trip to Hell then God ain't going to forgive you. If you did it because it's the right thing to do then God realizes that you deserve eternal peace in the afterlife (although with what Vader did he probably may be looking forward to a century or two in the purgatory beforehand). Let's take two other guys who went out with a bang in cinema that is memorable: Boromir from Lord of the Rings and Tony Montana from Scarface. Boromir is going to heaven because he didn't try to defend Pippin and Merry because he thought Aragorn was going to reward him handsomely, he did it because it would be horrible for such two innocent Hobbits who are young in the ways of the world to be tortured by Orcs. Montana however won't cut it because he did take down the bastards who killed him but not because he was giving his employees a clear getaway: because he wanted to survive and that's selfish so he's going to Hell.

This whole statement actually gave me a new death category: Redemption. While some may argue that's the same thing as Blaze of Glory it's not because redemption means you've done something bad and you've made up for it whilst Blaze of Glory means you die fighting against momentous odds. Again let's compare and contrast Boromir and Tony Montana: Boromir did die taking a helluva lot of Orcs to the grave with him but in a (vain) attempt to save two innocent little Hobbits. Montana went down fighting because he wanted to live and he was high on coke at the time so in his warped mindset that may have seemed like a good idea. Think about it.
Comment 10 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Hey does anyone else notice that Vader died from Palpatine's Force Lightning but Luke took at least twice the dosage Vader got and was still kicking?
Comment 11 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
This is because the lightning damaged Vader's life support systems.
Comment 12 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
old bluffer Wrote:
> I wish I shared your idealistic view of Vader, but
> I am a firm cynic when it comes to Star Wars,
> especially since the travesty that were episodes
> I-III.

I don't get why everyone says that. Just for the record Episode I was pretty bad but so was Return of the Jedi. Episode II was pretty good and Episode III ties Empire for the title of best Star Wars flick in my regard.

I don't know why the prequels are hated on so much. Apparently everyone thinks II and III suck because Phantom came before them and everyone thinks VI is cool because A New Hope and Empire came before it, neither of which are true.
Comment 13 by 'Movie Patriot' (reply to this comment)
Here's the thing: If Vader didn't die, that would've ruined Lucas's vision for the series: The series's focus is on the heroic-rise, tragic-downfall, and ultimate-redemption of Darth Vader. The only way to do that is by the ending of the saga at Episode VI.
Comment 14 by 'anny3' (reply to this comment)
Does rage make for good television--Desperate Housewives DVD set? I think so, as evidenced by last night's episode of Desperate Housewives DVD, which was positively overflowing with lots of really, really mad people — and, incidentally, was a pretty darn good hour. Eddie, that murderous strangler who's living with the Scavo clan, bubbled over and took down Preston after his friend sassed Lynette and barely held himself back from tearing into her hubby Tom when he did the same. After Bree confronted him about his lies, Sam threw a vase of flowers across the room. And, of course, there was the Desperate Housewives DVD boxset-opening scene, which found the mysterious Patrick Logan, pumping with hatred, running over (but not killing!) an unsuspecting Nick Bolen, as he jogged through the evening.

Based on all this — and the fact that the episode was one of the Desperate Housewives seasons 1-5 DVD boxset' best in a long time, alongside last week's hour — I'd say that the Desperate Housewives producers should follow this important rule from now on: Pile on the rage! As you readers probably all know, I've been rather down on this season of Desperate Housewives DVD, which has seemed to drag on with the lingering Bolen drama and lots of seemingly pointless, random gags. But seriously, something has gotten into the water on Wisteria Lane because — and I honestly thought I'd never be saying this — I'm actually excited about what's coming down the pipeline for the Desperate Housewives DVD set. Bring on the season finale in two weeks!

The Bolen drama was at the forefront of the Desperate Housewives DVD boxset, and yet, from the way Mary Alice voiced-over, it seemed like Patrick Logan running over Nick is only the beginning: ''His plan for getting revenge,'' Mary Alice said, ''was just getting started.'' And we saw that when Angie walked into her candlelit house at the end of the hour to find Patrick sitting there. ''Are you going to kill me?'' Angie asked calming, seemingly expecting him to slit her throat immediately. No, silly! That's no good for Desperate Housewives seasons 1-5 DVD boxset — he didn't kill Nick immediately either! Early in the episode, Patrick had nodded to the fact that his plan for the Bolens would be much more protracted than just a couple simple murders. ''Desperate Housewives DVD,'' he told Danny about the novel he's supposedly writing, although he was no doubt referring to what he was going to do to the Bolen clan. ''I really need to surprise my audience.''

And it will undoubtedly be a surprise. What does Desperate Housewives DVD have planned for Angie and Nick? And will he be able to find Danny, who's apparently hiding away in the secret family (or somesuch) compound near Carbondale? As to both questions, I have no idea — but it's clear he's going to use Angie to carry out his sure-to-be dark deeds. ''Just do what I tell you, baby,'' Patrick said to Angie before they turned in for the evening at the end of the Desperate Housewives DVD set, ''and I'll let you both live.'' So, it looks like this pair does have a chance to live. But maybe not someone else — specifically, Danny.

What I mean is that Patrick made reference to ''Desperate Housewives DVD boxset'' there — he's only speaking about Angie and Nick remaining alive. And you must remember that Danny is the one who suggested that the end to Patrick's ''Desperate Housewives DVD'' should be the wronged man taking something away from the people who wronged him. So maybe Patrick's plan is to force Angie to reveal where Danny is — and then kill his own son? That sound insanely sick, but I wouldn't put it past him. Right? He seems like a madman. Or maybe he'll just kidnap him? I could see the budding relationship Patrick built with Desperate Housewives DVD set at the Fairview coffee shop (which everyone in town seems to have worked at at some point) colliding with his plans to kill his son.

Desperate Housewives DVD
Entourage DVD
Gilmore Girls DVD
Grey's Anatomy DVD
Comment 15 by 'Mr. B.R.' (reply to this comment)
@anny3; Gah! Freakin' spammers! Death to the lot of 'em, I say! By the way, old bluffer & mouse burger, could you please delete the account for "B.R."? I lost my password and I can't access it. Also, my main problem with the throne room duel is that when Luke attacks Vader in anger after he(Vader) threatens to turn Leia to the dark side, is that he starts fighting like a pansy; all he does is run backwards holding his saber up. Somehow, it just felt like Lukas was trying to rush it. Plus, when Luke starts beating on Vader's saber, why didn't Vader counter-attack? Luke left himself wide open.
Comment 16 by 'Manuel Alvarado' (reply to this comment)
Vader/Anakin died with honor, whereas, Palpatine died without honor.
Comment 17 by 'Locke' (reply to this comment)
That "Desperate Housewives DVD set" post is easily one of the funniest things I have ever seen online.

In Lucas' vision, Vader was the sole cause of the rise AND fall of the Sith, but I agree with the earlier poster; he slaughtered millions without mercy and only found his "inner light" during his final moments of life. I suppose, had Vader not intervened, that Luke would have died by Palpatine's dark powers. So in that sense, Vader was the savior of the galaxy.

Oh well, there's enough to complain about in the last decade or two of Star Wars story. This one is something I never thought twice about until reading it here.