I just took a sneak peek at the new Vader comic book coming out and, man, Palpatine’s a bitch. Excuse my language and I do try to refrain from such on this blog, but wow.
Normally, I kind of dismiss anything from the comics and books…I find them interesting, and I understand they’re canon, but I don’t put too much weight into them. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want to become over-saturated with Star Wars.
But when I saw this (Spoilers!!), it got me thinking that the Vader comics could be an interesting read.
Palpatine is the master of manipulation. Here’s the part that gets to me though – once he turned Vader to the dark side, he knew it wasn’t over. He understood that this would be something he would need to keep doing over and over again. He reminds me of Tom Brady in the sense that, when he wins a Superbowl he’s excited and on top of the world, but he knows he still needs to work just as hard, if not harder, in order to continue to win them.
So Palpatine continues to needle Vader and push him to become more entrenched in the dark side. At this point in the comics, he’s won the Superbowl. Everything he’s dreamed of has come to fruition. But now he needs to keep winning, keep holding onto power as much as possible and one of his sources of power is Darth Vader. So he finds ways to continue to make him angry and to continue to hurt him as much as possible.
What’s surprising to me is how close this reminds me of an abused animal. Doesn’t Palpatine know that eventually the animal will turn around and bite? That anger that he festers in Vader will one day be turned upon him.
One of my favorite books, The Hounds of the Morrigan, involves a witch who has a dozen or so hounds who she has bewitched to follow two siblings through a fantasy land. They can turn into humans, but they are nasty pieces of work in dog or human form. But one day when the hounds are on their trails disguised as humans, a hound gets pushed to the ground and the brother offers a hand to help him up, despite that the brother knows he’s the enemy. That one moment of love, of pity, and of respect, changes the hounds entire outlook. A seed is planted and at the end, he helps the siblings in a small way.
This reminds me of Palpatine and Vader’s situation. Palpatine is the cruel master who drives his dog to extremes. He makes him angrier and angrier, manipulates Vader so that he consistently uses the dark side. He was smart enough to understand that keeping his pupil full of hate was something that needed to be done on a continuous pace. What he wasn’t smart enough to understand is that the animal eventually turns when they feel love again, and Vader felt that when his son entered the picture again.
If you read the Darth Vader comics – do you recommend them? Should I give them a whirl?