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The BAMF of the Month #1: Star Wars Edition

6/10/12 10:30am
tl;dr

 And the Badass Mother Fucker of the Month is...

Jar Jar Binks
Jar Jar Binks

Ever since we saw his fucked up face, we immediately knew that he changed our world forever. Today he is widely known as the most beloved character of all time, and unlike any other character in the Star Wars Universe he is loved by everyone and has come under the least amount of controversy.Jar Ja....

WHOA!!! CALM DOWN PEOPLE!!!! I was just kidding!!!! Okay! Okay! Here is the non-bullshit version!

 

 

 

 

 Note To Readers: Even though I know they are technically the same person, for the article's sake, I have decided to refrain from mentioning Anakin Skywalker for most of this article. Thank you for understanding :)

THE BAMF OF THE MONTH is...

Darth Vader
Darth Vader

First Featured in Star Wars (1977)

Most Famous Quote:

“No Luke. I am your father”
-Darth Vader

Created by  George Lucas

George Lucas

Notable Games Featured In:

Star Wars: Dark ForcesDark Forces

  • Released on Dec.,1995
  • Consoles: MAC, PS1, PC, PS3N, PSPN                           

Shadows of the EmpireStar Wars: Shadows of the Empire

  • Released on Dec., 1996
  • Consoles: N64, PC

BattlefrontStar Wars: Battlefront

  • Released on Sept. 20, 2004
  • Consoles: PS2, XBOX, MAC, PC

Battlefront IIStar Wars: Battlefront II

  • Released on Nov. 1, 2005
  • Consoles: PSPN, PS2, PSP, XBOX, PC

Feats

-Responsible for killing more Jedi than any other Sith

-Led the successful assault on the Jedi Temple

-Became known as one of the most advanced fighter pilots in the galaxy

-Responsible for the invasions and conquerings of hundreds of planets and systems and was centrally involved with the Empire’s complete takeover of the galaxy

-Wiped out the Sith by killing his master Darth Sidious and restored balance to The Force

Abilities

-With the highest midichlorian count of any life form, Vader/Skywalker is quite possible the most powerful force-wielder the galaxy has ever known.

-With his unparalleled connection with The Force, Vader can manipulate aspects of the environment which enable him to perform “Force Choke”, “Force Push”, and “Force Pull” and telekinesis. In some instances, Vader is powerful enough to crush entire vehicles with The Force alone.

-With The Force, Vader is also able to have an advanced sense over his surroundings and is even capable of perceiving future events with abilities such “Force Sense.”

-With the enhancements his suit has given him, along with his already unsurpassed connection with The Force, Vader is also extremely strong. Capable of performing physical feats that can match the strength of Wookies and Trandoshans.

-The weapon of both the Jedi, and Sith, Vader wields the mystical lightsaber, which is capable of cutting through almost anything and has the ability to deflect almost all energy based projectiles. A master of Form V, Vader is capable of using the lightsaber as a throwable weapon that can travel back to him much like a boomerang.

Backstory

Once the most powerful Jedi the galaxy has ever known, Anakin Skywalker fell to the Darkside of the Force to become one of the most feared Sith Lords in galactic history. Adopting the title given to him by his evil Emperor, Darth Vader proceeded to wipe out the entire Jedi order as a way to demonstrate his devotion to the Darkside of the Force.

Leading the assault on Coruscant, Darth Vader slaughtered countless Jedi in his blind lust for power and left the sacred Jedi Temple in ruins during his meteoric rise. Vader experienced a harsh detour in his rise to power, however, when he killed his own wife in a senseless wrath and was mortally wounded in his fight against his own master, Obi-Won Kenobi.

His wounds were so severe, Darth Vader was equipped with a mechanical life-support suit that completely covered his body and stripped what little humanity he had left.

A broken shadow of his former self, Vader went on to wipe out the remaining Jedi and was doomed to serve the bidding of his master, Darth Sidious, for the rest of his days.

Under the rule of the Emperor the most powerful Sith Lord ever known, the newly organized Galactic Empire spread its tyranny throughout the galaxy with Darth Vader as its vanguard, clutching the ever-so fragile aspect of hope with a tightening death grip.

For over a decade the galaxy was shrouded under the dark curtain of fear and tyranny until a new hope emerged in the form of Darth Vader’s own son, Luke Skywalker.

Tasked by his master to convince his lost son to join the darkside, Darth Vader revealed the truth about his father to Luke after he lured him into his clutches by using his allies as bait.

Unable to accept the truth at first, Luke finally realizes the reality of his situation in Master Yoda’s dying words and in the words of his former master, Obi-Won Kenobi, in his visit from the netherworld of The Force. With a new resolve to bring his father back to the good-side, Luke willingly falls into the Empire’s hands to confront Vader. Vader brings Luke before his master where a climactic duel ensues between father and son. After a long fight, Luke eventually succeeds in defeating Vader in a flurry of rage. With Vader at his son’s knees, and seeing his strength in The Force, Darth Sidious tells Luke to slay his father so he can take his place as his new dark apprentice.

Luke refuses, and declares himself a Jedi Knight like his father before him. Enraged by his choice to defy the Darkside, the emperor punishes Luke in a deadly assault of Force Lightning. Having to witness his son’s suffering, Vader realizes his mistakes. Vader ceases to be, and is reborn as a redeemed Anakin Skywalker after he sacrifices himself to kill Darth Sidious. With the last of the Sith gone, balance to the Force was restored ,and Galactic Empire collapsed with its Emperor’s death.

With his only means of life support destroyed, Anakin Skywalker breathed his final breath without the aid of his machine, and looked upon his son with his own eyes during his last moments, and died as quite possibly the greatest hero the vast universe of Star Wars has ever seen.

Intro

Even though he has been forced to take a serious level of pussification lately, the Dark Lord of the Sith still stands as the most badass, cape-wearing, pimp in the Star Wars universe.

Ever since we saw his large, black, and intimidating figure walk through the doors of the Tantive IV in the opening scene of Star Wars, we immediately knew he would become one of the biggest pop-cultural icons in history. Everything from the skull-like features of his mask, to his long flowing cape, and to his helmet which looks hauntingly reminiscent of both the legendary samurai and the infamous Nazis, Vader is a villain who makes you scared the first moment you lay eyes on him.

But there is more to Vader’s story besides simply LOOKING like a total badass. But to truly understand what makes Darth Vader such a large monument to our society and to the history of badassery, we must first come to understand him in areas beyond the movies he stars in. So take my hand, as we journey deep into the heart and soul of Star Wars and one of the characters that made it a global phenomena...

Creation and History
Darth Vader Early Concept Sketch

One of the earliest known concept sketches of Darth Vader.

Despite what you might think, Vader was one of the few pieces of the original Star Wars trilogy that managed to be stay roughly the same throughout development. Or at least, more consistent than other characters in the original trilogy. The very first draft of Star Wars generally referred to him as “General Vader” and the role of Luke was initially played by a character named “Annikin Starkiller.” The name “Anikin Skywalker” came shortly after.

Darth Vader

McQuarrie's Vader Design

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

McQuarrie Concept Art

George Lucas (1977)

George Lucas (1977)

As George Lucas kept moving through the drafts, however, he eventually replaced “Anikin Skywalker” with Luke Skywalker. And Darth Vader’s former identity was subsequently made out to be Anakin Skywalker several years after during the the writing phases of The Empire Strikes Back.

                                Ralph McQuarrie                                  Brian Muir

Ralph McQuarrie (Left) and Brian Muir (Right)

Artist Ralph McQuarrie became responsible for the design of Vader and sculptor Brian Muir created Vader’s costume based on Mcquarrie’s concept art.

Comparison

Side by side comparison of McQuarrie's original design and Brian Muir's design

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

David Prowse

David Prowse

As production started rolling in 1975, actor James Earl Jones was famously hired on to the serve as the deep bass voice for Darth Vader and bodybuilder David Prowse was set to play as him in costume.

It’s really hard to understand from a modern perspective how little the Star Wars project was thought of prior to its release. In almost all accounts, people said that it was not really taken seriously and people were more concerned about making sure George Lucas didn’t have a nervous breakdown due to the level of stress that he sustained during production.

Production

Set of  Star Wars (1977)

Things were also known to have gone horribly wrong throughout creation of the entire film. Equipment didn’t work, weather was always an issue, and the instance of Mark Hamill’s car accident made reshoots impossible due to his visible injuries.

Many people have commented that Lucas also felt extremely disappointed with the direction most of the film had taken. (And, yes he even before the special editions) Lucas just didn’t feel that any of the set pieces had aligned to his initial vision and that he had been dealt a largely uncontrollable production. People just wanted to get it done, and Lucas wanted it to get done right. But in the end, the effort seemed to pay off on a scale that no one could have possibly imagined.

Darth Vader's First Appearance

Vader's First Appearence 

Upon its release on March 25, 1977, Star Wars surpassed Jaws as the highest grossing film of all time and when adjusted for inflation, Star Wars remains the highest grossing film of all time second only to Gone with the Wind in box office revenue.

Even though Star Wars was originally designed to be a story that would be told in several “episodes” the sheer level of success that it garnered in 1977 had drastically changed the series itself.

Star Wars

Star Wars

Star Wars breaks world records

Characters like Boba Fett were a product of the franchise’s meteoric expansion in both merchandising and in the expanded universe of Star Wars. This in turn, drastically affected the already established characters, especially Darth Vader.

It was during the late months of 1977 and 1978 when Darth Vader truly became the heart and soul of the Star Wars. During the writings of the first drafts that would eventually become The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas illustrated a story that was very similar to the way it ended up becoming with the exception of Vader’s stunning reveal as Luke’s father. In fact, Darth Vader and Luke’s father were still treated as separate characters at this point. Even though Lucas has testified against it, it is well documented that he rewrote the ending after he was disappointed with co-writer Leigh Brackett’s draft.

Unable to discuss it further with Brackett after her death in 1978, Lucas was forced to rewrite the draft of Empire himself. And while the reasons are somewhat unclear, Lucas decided to make the plot twist at the end of Empire in which Vader famously tells Luke he is his father. To this day, it is not entirely certain whether Lucas really intended to make Vader Luke’s father upon writing the shocking twist. But whatever the intention was, we all know what resulted from it.

The very moment Darth Vader uttered the words, “No Luke. I am your father.” Star Wars completely changed forever. Darth Vader went from filling the role of the antagonist to filling the role of the story’s tragic lead character. Star Wars was first planned as a story that depicted the adventures and struggles of the Skywalkers. Even though it remained being that for the most part, it suddenly became centrally involved in “The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker.”

In other words, it was no longer about a young warrior trying to live up to the mantle of his deceased father. It was now a story about the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and how he achieved redemption through his son.Through these stunning turns in events, has Vader reached the iconic and immortal status he has maintained for over three decades.

The third installment in the series, Return of the Jedi, confirmed what many had been arguing about for over three years. Vader was indeed Luke’s father, and the climatic scene in which he throws The Emperor down an elevator shaft solidified his place as the story’s hero. Since Jedi, Vader has appeared in over sixty-five video games, has been prominently parodied and alluded to in all walks of media, has been featured in countless forms of merchandise, and starred in the controversial prequel trilogy as his former identity of Anakin Skywalker.

Why Darth Vader is a Bad-Ass Mother F**ker
Darth Vader

He is a cyborg. He has a lightsaber. And he has a cape. That’s all the fuck you need.

Oh what? You were expecting a little bit more? Alright...
To put it simply, Vader is a stoic, assertive, but “If you don’t do what I tell you I will fucking kill you” kind of guy. He has very little tolerance and not even losing most of his limbs can slow him down. He is ultimately responsible for wiping out both the Jedi and the Sith and there is very little that can stop him and he knows it.

Darth Vader's Force Choke

Like I have mentioned previously, Vader definitely looks the part and proves that you can be evil with some serious style. One of the best ways I can describe him is by saying he looks like the Grim Reaper if he got a serious technological upgrade and replaced his cloak with a cape and nazi helmet, and his scythe with a laser sword.

And very much unlike his stupid and pussy former self, Vader talks very little and never complains and if he has a problem with anyone he just chokes them to death with The Force instead of pissing a mess.

You also have to give him respect him for dealing with most of the shit that the Empire can’t handle like wiping out Jedi, taking over planets controlled by giant eight foot sentient apes with blasters (Wookies), chasing down pesky rebel scums through asteroid belts, and so on.

Darth Vader

His mannerism and the way he carries himself is also pretty fucking badass. You know the moment that he walks into the room, shit’s about to go down and you immediately know that if you value your life in any way, you might not want to fuck with him.

Even the way he fights conveys this kind of attitude. He does not dance around like a pussy and prefers slashing the hell out of you until you look like you have been shaved into a giant heated cheese grater, or in Kenobi’s case, evaporate into nothing.

In the end, Vader made being evil badass, and whose very image conjures up paradoxical feelings of inspiring, and piss in your pants, awe and inescapable, and shit in your pants, fear.

Impact

Where do I begin with this? I figured that instead of trying to explain Vader’s cultural legacy, I would attempt to portray his significance in this collection pictures.

No matter where you go Vader is there, and in some ways, he has risen above the fame of his own films. Vader has invaded the worlds of...

Toys...

Darth Vader in Toys

Economics...

Darth Vader Cash

Fatherhood...

Darth Vader and Fatherhood

Polotics...

Darth Vader vs. Barack Obama

Art...

Darth Vader in Art

Music...

Darth Vader

Food...

Darth Vader in Food

History...

Darth Vader in History

Do I even need to explain why these are on here?

Darth Vader vs. Batman

Darth Vader vs. Link

Darth Vader vs. Master Chief

Darth Vader Gangsta

Darth Vader Balloon

Darth Vader with a Bag-Pipe

Darth Vader

Kid Vader

Yeah... I think you get the idea. You could blabber on and on all day about how Darth Vader redefined the role of the villain and how he is one of the first bad guys that people actually liked, but that simply cannot explain how omnipresent he is in our culture. Tell me, is there really another dude out there that has his head used as a hot air balloon? Seriously is there?

Why the F**k do we Care about Darth Vader?
Darth Vader

Just as Mario IS Nintendo, as Sonic IS Sega, and as much as Megaman IS Capcom, Darth Vader IS Star Wars. Compare his status to any other character in Star Wars and I guarantee you that you will not find another who is as widely known or as widely referenced.

Just as people have come to love and even worship Star Wars, people have come to love and worship Darth Vader. He is the face of a legacy. A legacy in cinematic and storytelling history that has little to no equal.

But you can’t forget what Vader also represents as a human being. Ultimately, Vader is symbol of redemption. He is easily one of the most “damaged” characters out there both in the literal and non literal senses of the word and he shows us that it is never too late to turn to the good side. He shows that anybody can change for the better and that sometimes all people need is a hand that can lift them out of the darkness.

To this day, I still regard the the unmasking of Vader and his final moments of living as one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen in a movie. It was like walking into the room of an ailing relative that may not have treated you well in the past and was telling you that he was sorry for everything that he had done in his life. I have to admit it gets me teary eyed every once in awhile.

Darth Vader

He is a badass character, but one who has the depth to back it up. Even though things like hope and redemption are probably the last thing that come to mind when looking at him for the first time, that’s truly what he is.

One thing that I can say about Vader that I really can’t say about many other characters is that no matter what century it is, I think people will always be able to relate to him. Because in the end, the path towards redemption is never truly out of reach.

This is the end of a very long journey my friends. I have just one more article about Star Wars that I will include in my recap but by the end of this week, but aside from that I am sad to say Monthly Mania: Star Wars Edition has come to an end.

I seriously hoped you enjoyed reading this and stay tuned for my final conclusion on this inredible walk we have made through Star Wars history. Thank you for reading and stay screwy!

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