Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Darth Confused

What may come as a surprise to my wife is my consideration of Sideshow’s A New Hope Darth Vader, due to be released in the early spring 2009. I doubt she knows I am watching this figure, and to be honest it is an anomaly of sorts. I have been outspoken about my derision for the state of Star Wars fandom in the past.

I grew up in a time when you were either a Star Wars or Star Trek fan. The cooler people were always Star Wars fans. They were not Trekkies. They wore no pointed ears, displayed no hand signs of “Live long and prosper.” There was a time when a Star Wars fan was a normal person, it was everybody. There was nothing to distinguish them from the rest of the populace.

This is no longer the case.

All you have to do is search for “Triumph the Insult Dog at the Star Wars movie line” on You Tube to see how bad it has gotten for Star Wars fans. Enough movie premiers with guys in “jedi robes” and their mom’s bathmats duck taped to them in the guise of a wookie and you have a condition every bit as bad as “Trekki-dom.”

So why the Darth Vader fetish?

I have recently rediscovered Star Wars, and there’s a sense of melancholy. I regret the missed opportunity of the past three films. Only two are watchable and of those two one is half a mess and the other is a smorgasbord of bad writing and acting. Perhaps Lucas did the best he could, but his “best” was years ago, and this ain’t it.

Vader is from a simpler time in my life and a better time for Star Wars films, I appreciate the nostalgia. At $120 it’s also a better price than both Hot Toy’s offerings, and unlike The Dark Knight (still less than a year old) Darth Vader has proven a timeless classic and is at the heart of the greatest moment in the Star Wars story, and one of the greatest scenes in movie history.

“No Luke, I am your father.”

It still reverberates to this day and will never be understood fully by anyone other than those who were there. My wife still recalls the audible gasp in the theater. That line is why The Empire Strikes back will ever be the best Star Wars film, and that line elevated Star Wars as a whole from popcorn movie to film greatness.

So it’s got that working for it, which is nice.

Darth will also mesh seamlessly with my other figures in that he completes Sideshow’s A New Hope Ben Kenobi; my best sculpted piece and greatest surprise gift I’ve received since the “Christmas of Kong!” (I’ll discuss that later.) The posing options for those two are near endless, even removing Ben altogether to have Vader inspect the fallen robes with his foot is cool!

However, I am nothing like a Dark Lord of the Sith and Vader shares next to nothing of my personality saving we’re both fathers; but I am good one and Darth is not. I do like the whole “the force is like faith” parallels you can draw with jedi figures. I had to make Vader a slightly higher selling risk due to being less expensive, but really, with Ben Kenobi there I highly doubt I’d ever part with Vader.

Surprisingly, Darth scores a 14.

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