Darth Vader's 5 Best Moments
Throughout the Original Trilogy (and Rogue One), Darth Vader made his presence felt, and now he’s known as one of the most iconic villains in movie history. With only 34 minutes of screen time in the Original Trilogy as a whole, we’re counting down Darth Vader’s top 5 moments in the Star Wars movies.
5. An Entrance Worthy of A Sith Lord
In A New Hope, we were introduced to the Dark Lord himself, so it's only fitting that our 5th position goes to Vader’s entrance onto the Tantive IV. The black of his suit against the stark white of the Tantive IV’s walls made for an iconic shot instantly. The breathing, along with the way he walks on board and surveys the dead rebel troopers lying in front of him immediately tells the audience that this guy is the one you should be worried about. Everything about this entrance is fitting for the Dark Lord Himself.
4. Vader’s Failure
In our 4th spot, we have a scene commonly overlooked from The Empire Strikes Back. As the penultimate scene in ESB, Vader and the Empire are chasing the Millenium Falcon after their escape from Bespin. Vader, just having delivered the news that he was Luke’s father, is desperate for the ship. Right as the tractor beam is charged up and the ship is in range, the Falcon makes the jump to lightspeed. What makes this scene so special to me is what happens after the Falcon's escape. After the Falcon jumps to lightspeed, Vader immediately turns around and begins to walk away, but then turns back as a sort of double take of what just happened. Vader had been killing his officers left and right for the entire movie yet did not seem nearly as angry as he was in this very moment. This scene conveys the way Vader is feeling without the use facial expressions (because of the mask duh) or the use of dialogue. Additionally, Vader’s inner conflict is so poignant and noticeable in this scene, that he forgets to punish any of his officers, like he had been doing so frequently over the course of the movie. This scene, which is incredibly underlooked, is definitely worthy of the 4th spot in this list.
3. “No, I am your father.”
It comes as no surprise that this scene makes its way onto the list. Everybody who doesn’t live under a rock knows this line, or at least an incorrect iteration of this line. The entire duel leading up to this, is also what makes this such an iconic and incredible scene. Luke, having foolishly left training on Dagobah, comes to duel Vader to save his friends. Little did he know, though, that what was coming would change his life forever. Luke confronts Vader in the carbon freezing chamber and they duel, Luke, having little training, was no match for the dark lord. Vader having swiftly beaten his opponent, then forces Luke onto what looks like a radio antenna suspended over an endless chasm. Vader then asks Luke if Obi-Wan ever told him what had happened to his father, to which Luke replies “He told me enough, he told me you killed him!” which leads Vader to drop the truth on Luke with “No, I am your father.” Vader then pleas for Luke to join him, saying that their combined strength could kill the Emperor. I don’t even need to explain why this scene is so riveting for anyone to believe me. This scene has become so ingrained with pop culture as a whole that it would be a crime to not include it.
2. Rebel Slaughter
This scene, at the end of the first Star Wars anthology film Rogue One, Vader attempts to take back the stolen Death Star plans and in the process brutally slaughters a handful of rebel troopers. The scene speaks for itself, it is badassery at it’s finest and it shows Vader to be the terrifying machine he is spoken up to be. From the moment the scene starts until the Tantive IV gets away with the plans, my face was stuck with a smile. It seems crazy to smile at a brutal murder of some poor rebel troopers, but when it’s Vader, it’s okay.
HM: Meeting Room Madness
As an Honorable Mention, I had to include this scene in A New Hope. Although only being on screen for a total of 8 minutes, A New Hope Vader managed to make his mark. In a meeting with Imperial Command on the Death Star, Admiral Motti makes fun of Vader’s use of the force, which results in a painful force choke from the dark lord himself. This scene is the first time we see Vader use the force, and it perfectly encapsulates his character. In Vader’s attack on the Tantive IV, he uses his brute strength to lift Captain Antilles off of the ground, and in this scene, we see him use the force, showing that Vader can hurt you in more than one way...if you cross him.
1. The Final Duel
Taking the #1 slot on this list is the duel between Luke Skywalker and Vader from Return of The Jedi. Everything about this scene is pure beauty in my opinion. The music, the emotion, the Emperor watching in the background as his older apprentice duels the prodigal son whom he wants to replace Vader. The duel starts off with Luke refusing to fight his father, but as Vader keeps knocking down Luke’s attempts to connect, it becomes harder and harder to avoid a fight. The fight goes from incredible to mind-blowing when Vader pushes Luke, saying he would turn Leia if Luke didn’t submit to the dark side. The anger that Luke has is unleashed, and he starts swinging at Vader until he eventually cuts off Vader’s arm and realizing he’s doing exactly what the Emperor wants. I consider this to be a Vader scene up until he kills the Emperor, when that happens, it’s an Anakin scene.
Was this list in line with what your top 5 Darth Vader scenes are? Leave us a comment below with your feedback!