What if I were to tell you that Vader was always secretly cheering for the Rebels to destroy the Death Star? We have all watched the classic trench run scene of the Death Star, where Luke Skywalker lands 2 beautiful shots into the 2 meter wide (size of a womp rat) thermal exhaust port and BOOM, no more Death Star! Vader is thwarted in his attempt to stop the Rebel pilot by none other than Han Solo and Chewbacca. I know, I am crying too.
Let’s start with the first ever Star Wars film, A New Hope, released in 1977. We find our Dark Lord boarding a Rebel blockade runner with our beloved Princess Leia to take back the Death Star plans. STOP. Ok let’s back up, or move forward I should say, to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, recently released in December 2016. Now let’s skip to the end, to the really, really good part where Vader is hacking down the rebels attempting to flee with the Death Star plans, awesome right? Seemed like that guy just barely got off with those plans right? Vader was force pulling, pushing, hacking and slashing with his lightsaber…but how did that one guy get those plans off, did the force help? Or did Vader allow them to get away?
We have the answer to that very question, and it’s “yes, he did allow those plans to escape Scariff”. How do I know this? Marvel Comics Darth Vader Issue #1. Vader and Palpatine are in the Imperial Palace and let’s just say Palpatine is less than happy with his apprentice. This whole comic series is a must read but one exchange between the two hit me harder than Force Lightning. Palpatine says to Vader, ”You tagged the Rebel ship with a homing beacon then let the rebels escape with the Death Star plans, DELIBERATELY!” and Vader replies, ”I take responsibility for my actions.” WHAT!!!! He admits to it!! He gave the Rebels the chance to defeat the Death Star!!
WHY WOULD HE DO THAT!!?? Let me lay a quote on you that might not fill all the blanks but it most certainly gives motive to this whole theory. During the meeting of Moffs in A New Hope, where they are talking about how the Rebels have obtained the Death Star plans, Admiral Motti was confident to say, “Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it.” The next thing Vader says is famous amongst us fans and that is, “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force.”
Did Vader want to see what was more powerful? Did letting those plans escape and having the Death Star destroyed prove his point? Was the destruction of the Death Star his goal all along? Why did he decide to pilot his ship at the end? Did he know there was a chance? Was he trying his best against Luke? The best fighter pilot in the galaxy beaten by a kid who’s been in an X wing for only a couple hours compared to his years’ of experience, sure it’s his son and sure he had help from Han, but come on, we have seen supernatural piloting ability from Vader, did he really lose focus which allowed Han to catch him off guard? We don’t know. What I do know is that Vader purposely let the plans escape his grasp, but was the ultimate goal the destruction of the Death Star? Please let us know your thoughts and thank you for reading!
Thanks for reading this first opinion piece from Daniel Miller. Daniel can be found discussing Star Wars on ChannelStarWars.com, both YouTube and Podcasts. Find us on iTunes and subscribe on YouTube!