In A New Hope, Darth Vader carries out an unspeakable genocide, Cat and Dog tattoo shirt from Nicefrogtees the destruction of the planet Alderaan. I remember even as a kid being shocked by that. Lets put this in context for a second – History is replete with its evil despots – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – all of them carried out massive genocides but none of them destroyed a planet and all of its inhabitants….not even close. Yet Vader does this in a matter of minutes… and we are exposed to it as a matter-of-fact. Of course its part of the story but get this …once Vader comes clean and has the dark side’s hold over him has broken (in Jedi)..we are now supposed to cheer for this villain, sympathize with him as he takes his place alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda in the pantheon of Jedi.
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Now one could argue that I am wasting too many bytes Cat and Dog tattoo shirt from Nicefrogtees on this line of thought (ink is so 20th century) …but Unfortunately, the Star Wars super meme has infected our collective consciousness in a manner that is extremely pervasive… Kids know more about such asinine lines… as ‘I am your father Luke’ and ‘Use the force’ than the words of Churchill, Schweitzer or MLK. Adults dress up in Vader costumes…and when questioned about this will retort with a line such as Vader is the ‘ultimate badass’….which begs the next question where does that leave Genghis Khan who ‘only’ redrew the face of Eurasia?…A third-tier bad ass perhaps.
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