It’s a fantasy we’ve all dreamed of ever since seeing Return of the Jedi. Ever since seeing our favorite movie villain, Darth Vader himself, bite the dust after nobly redeeming himself from his decades of terror and galaxy-wide genocide, we’ve all dreamed of a true return of the greatest Sith Lord who ever lived.
Granted, I’m the one person who didn’t actually hate the prequels all that much, but that’s a discussion for another article. But no matter what you thought of The Prequels (DUN DUN DUN), we can all agree that Vader wasn’t given his due. No one ever asked for a whiny little brat with separation anxiety, we wanted a badass and a true hero to be proud of, not some brain dead pretty boy who could barely fight off a battle droid. All of the heroics were left to Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has always been my favorite thing about The Prequels. Him and General Grievous’s cough.
So that’s settled: George Lucas and Hayden Christensen practically dug Vader’s grave together. The former strangely thought that a mewling little quim would be the fan favorite character, and people would care about him. The latter simply didn’t know how to act.
Note: As much as people seem to despise Jake Lloyd in Episode I, he’s been forgiven because of the fact that he was a frickin’ kid. Yeah, maybe they should’ve chosen Haley Joel Osment instead (“I can see Jedi people!”), but he was busy becoming the one-hit wonder of one of the two awesome M. Night Shyma-Whocares movies. To Osment’s credit, he was quite a good actor for someone his age.
Now, on to the main point of this topic. Unlike previous lists, which may or may not have been based on speculation, this one is based purely off of my imagination.
The big movie of 2015, to the younger generation’s surprise, will not be Avengers: Age of Ultron or Superman/Batman (I refuse to call it “Batman Vs. Superman.” You can’t make me!). No, my dear internet nerds, it shall be the movie event we’ve waited for since 2005 disappointed every one of us, the year known now for bringing Christopher Nolan’s Batman to the world.
Yes, a sequel to the Original Trilogy, the Force be praised! The one science fiction series that has survived pretty much everything. Even with a few mediocre newer films, it has still been loved by all up to this very moment. Let’s face it, it’s because the mythology is so tightly packed with awesomeness. The Jedi and the Sith and lightsabers and tauntauns…by Jar Jar’s ghost it’s awesome!
Full disclosure: while I have a healthy respect for Star Trek, it shall be the Wars that forever takes my heart. Make all the “science fantasy” wisecracks you want, Trekkies…the good old House of the Turkey Neck wins every time.
Anyways, it’s rumored that the plot will center around an Expanded Universe story where one of Han Solo’s kids becomes a Sith Lord. I’ve read the book, it’s pretty boring. The Expanded Universe, sadly, isn’t really much to write home about. Most of the characters are one-dimensional and flat, they constantly rip off the original movie, and it’s all clearly grasping to replicate the weird magic of the originals. The prequels are actually better, no joke. Plus there’s a really strange trend of characters who are related trying to have sex with each other. It’s like Game of Thrones without the cojones. Seriously, avoid the books.
So instead of that boring ass plot twist that’ll surprise no one, why don’t we just do the thing all the kiddies want anyway: bring Darth Vader back! And without further ado or midichlorians, I now present to the interwebs a few ways this could happen:
This has already been done in the Expanded Universe. It works for some, like Boba Fett, and not so much for others, like Emperor Palpatine, who literally came back and made Luke Skywalker a Sith for a little while. This actually happened.
Since we know that the original cast, or what’s left of it, is returning, clearly it’ll be up to the next generation to take this revived Vader down. The perfect candidate for the brand new teenage hero of the Star Wars sequels is none other than Ben Skywalker himself, the son of our old favorite Luke.
Why would Ben Skywalker go after his grandpa Anakin? Let’s say that through the power of Force MacGuffin Plot Device, Darth Vader comes back from the dead, heals up his burned body and puts back on the infamous suit and helmet. He then collects the possible millions who sympathized with the Empire, buys a bunch of mercenaries, and declares war on the Republic.
Naturally you’ll want a teenage protagonist to identify with. Preferably a Daniel Radcliffe to a Zac Efron. Our revived Vader gives Ben one hell of an incentive.
4) ROBOT VADER!
It’s not Little Orphan Annie himself, it’s a robot! Why the hell not? If C-3PO can know six million forms of communication, how could the remnant of the Empire not want to create a badass robo-Sith? Plus, it wouldn’t have any of Vader’s physical limitations or weaknesses. Here, he’d probably be a Terminator Salvation aka Cinematic Hell style cameo. Ben is confronted by him the same way John “BATMANNNNN” Connor is confronted with a digital AH-NULD SPERMINATOR! You know, because he banged his maid and cheated on a Kennedy? In an otherwise awful film, that fight was the one highlight. Bringing that into a movie that’ll be decent at worst is an awesome fan moment! Don’t tell me you haven’t played this out with your action figures before.
…because I did.
Remember that scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke fights a hallucination of Vader on Dagobah? In that scene that I can’t find anywhere online? That one?!
Yeah, that could happen again. But not on Dagobah. Let’s say our villain, Darth Generic, tries to torture Ben Skywalker in that infamous interrogation scene all present action movies must have. He starts trying to take advantage of Ben’s deepest fears, his insecurities, the fact that his cousin’s girlfriend tried to molest him in one of the Expanded Universe books…that really happened. I’m not providing a link. Anyways, his fears and insecurities could manifest themselves as Vader, clearly someone who Luke would’ve warned him not to become. Vader could represent his fear of the dark side the same way it was for Luke. And if Vader suddenly appeared like this, it would be freaking awesome.
2) Force Ghost
Remember this scene in Return of the Jedi?
Yeah, Hayden “Whiny Bastard” Christensen isn’t there. That’s the sexy original. Only the best for you.
This hypothesis imagines Vader in a far kinder light, serving as a guide and otherworldly mentor similar to Obi-Wan in the originals. This Vader deeply regrets his actions and swears to make sure his grandson doesn’t make the same mistakes he did. He sees this as his final act of penance: looking after his grandson, and making amends. Imagine a scene where Vader and Luke meet again, and apologize to one another. Hell, give Natalie Portman a cameo (anything for Natalie!) and let them have the same thing. It would bring closure to whether or not Vader truly did bring balance to the Force. It would serve as an excellent farewell to the character, and to have him finally become one with the Force in the end.
Even better would to combine the hallucination AND the Force Ghost, and have Vader and Anakin serve as the light and dark reflections of Ben himself. Imagine a battle between both of Anakin’s selves, their grandson’s sanity in the balance. That would be totally wicked.
1) BONUS ROUND: TIME TRAVELLLLLLLLLLLLL
Because J.J. Abrams is probably directing this (despite rumors that he’ll abandon this for the third Star Trek movie), you naturally gotta throw a total clusterf#$k into the mix somewhere. Somehow, Darth Vader in his prime travels forward in time. Imagine a fully powered Vader versus Luke. Or Vader versus Ben. And it’s not the reformed awesome Vader being discussed earlier, it’s Annie in full on emo bitch mode! Imagine the accidental humor in having a man several decades younger than he should be whining about Tusken Raiders and his mommy to a kid who turns out to be his own grandson!
You know what? That sounds like something George Lucas would try!
Bad George! Bad! How dare you try to ruin your franchise again! Midichlorians baddddddddd.
I really hope George Lucas doesn’t read this. Then everyone will blame me!
To be fair, I’m glad that it’s J.J. Abrams that was picked for the job. The first Star Trek movie was pretty kickass, and Super 8 was surprisingly good for a Spielberg homage. It’s a good thing he has no iffy spots on his record or we could potentially have trouble with him, too.
But to be fair, that’s the same amount of nudity that Carrie Fisher had to go through. And if misguided attempts at empowered feminity is the worst Abrams can do, then clearly he’s the best guy for the job. I’m sure than Generic Scantily Clad Woman would agree.
Note: Yes, that scene was sexist as hell. UTF is far more in favor with the Joss Whedon model of feminism rather than the Hugh Hefner one. Let it be known that Black Widow was a major step forward for female characters in tentpole movies. Although the best female superhero is still Hit-Girl, Matthew Vaughn be praised. Let it be known that Hit-Girl is one of the best superheroes, period. Chloe Moretz be praised.
That’s all we got. This one was a little more off-kilter than normal, but this is a pretty off-kilter topic. Please let the fine folks at UTF know what you think should happen in Star Wars Episode VII: Something Happens.
Note: I swear on my Yoda doll, if Patton Oswalt’s Marvel/Star Wars crossover is the actual plot, some corporate executive at Disney is going to get smacked. Hard.