Star Wars fans are rethinking a momentous scene from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).
Fans have focused their attention on the moment Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine, successfully instigated the epic confrontation between Darth Vader and his son Luke Skywalker on the r/StarWars subreddit. Tuliao_da_Massa posted a still photo of Vader with his son’s green lightsaber blade pointed at him and the caption, “What’s the consensus behind how strong/weak Vader was here?”
Redditor FetchAIThor was impressed by Lord Vader’s battle skills, noting that there were only three warriors who could rival him: Emperor Palpatine, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Luke as a seasoned Jedi Knight. Furthermore, they suggested that Vader might have triumphed over all of his opponents had he not had emotional ties to them.
Other fan agreed, arguing that when Darth Vader was at the top of his game, he was unbeatable.
Nythromere believes that Vader could have easily outmatched Luke. However, he was emotionally invested in the survival of his son. In the process of trying to turn Luke to the dark side, Vader realized that he loved his child.
According to Sughmacox, Vader is the superior warrior, but he did not wish to destroy his son. In addition to his confrontation with Luke, he was plagued by a deep inner conflict that made him vulnerable to the dark side in the first place.
It seems that the consensus between Star Wars fans is that Darth Vader was most powerful when he reconnected with his heart and let go of his blind rage. 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 of a free galaxy could come true.
return of the jedi is streaming on Disney Plus.