Star Wars fans are rethinking a momentous scene from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).
Fans have turned their attention the moment when Darth Sidious, also known as Emperor Palpatine, successfully instigated the epic confrontation between Darth Vader and his son Luke Skywalker in the r/StarWars subreddit. Tuliao_da_Massa posted a still photo of Vader with the blade of his son’s green light saber pointed at him and the caption, “What is the consensus behind how strong/weak Vader was here?”
Redditor FetchAIThor was impressed by Lord Vader’s battle skills and pointed out that there were only three warriors in existence who could contend with him: Emperor Palpatine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Luke as a seasoned Jedi knight. Furthermore, they suggested that Vader may have triumphed all of his opponents had he not had emotional ties to them.
Another fan agreed, arguing that when Darth Vader was at the top of his game he was unbeatable.
Nythromere thinks that Vader could have easily bested Luke. However, he was emotionally invested in his son’s survival. In the process of trying to bring Luke over to the dark side, Vader realized that he loved his son.
According to Sughmacox, Vader is the superior warrior but he had no wish to destroy his child. In addition to his confrontation with Luke, he was burdened with a profound inner conflict that made him vulnerable to the dark side in the first place.
It seems the consensus among Star Wars fans is that Darth Vader was most powerful when he reconnected with his heart and let go of his blind fury. His courage in that instant seemed to heal his shattered psyche and make his redemption possible. He found the strength to sacrifice his life to save Luke. With this gesture, his late wife Padme’s vision for a free galaxy could come to fruition.
Return of the Jedi is streaming on Disney Plus.