I don't believe that Vader's injuries weakened his force abilities
I keep hearing it everywhere about how Vader is a broken shell of his former self due to his cybernetics. If that's true then Starkiller (darkside ending) should be reduced to an apprentice level. He's more machine now than Vader ever was.
I don't buy it though. I believe that the connection to the force lies in the spirit and not the body. As long as some of the body remains (nervous system,brain) that will still allow that person to be who they are, their spirit will remain with their vessel and their ability to use the force remains the same.
I believe that Vader was always at the cross roads of dark side and light side and never came into his full dark side potential. Palpatine sensed this and declared him a broken shell. Darth Maul is an example of a Sith who fully embraced the dark side as did Sidious of course. If anything the armor and cybernetics should have made him stronger by giving him more hatred and pain that would have fueled his dark side powers. Palpatine should have eliminated all of Anakin's ties to his former life, strip everything away from him so he has nothing left but the dark side. Darth Plagueis did this with Palpatine. Palpatine should have remembered his master's lessons.
I've never believed that Darth Vader's Force abilities were hampered(other than Force Lightning, which you need flesh and blood hands for) by his cybernetics, but his physical abilities absolutely were. I imagine it would be much more of a challenge to run, jump and flip like they do in the final battle of Revenge of the Sith while wearing a big suit of armor and having your oxygen regulated because you can't breathe for yourself. You could say he could use to Force to augment his physical abilities, but then obviously he can't be doing everything at once, so that would disrupt his focus on any other things he might be trying to do with the Force. So while his Force connection remains, as is evidenced by his total raping of Luke with floating objects in Empire Strikes Back, he's in no condition to take on his former self.
There's no consistency or logic to the Force or how it works in Star Wars. All we can ask is that it behaves somewhat consistently within a specific property (ie: a game or novel series), etc. though I suppose really we should say gameplay is king, story comes second, so whatever works.
In the movies, it doesn't seem to work that way... old people and cyborgs can be pretty darned powerful. And sure, we can say people seem to get weaker from the PT to the OT, but I think that's because the OT was made in the late 70's and early 80's and Lucas' style and audience expectations had changed by the time the PT was created. The video games have always been more "over the top" with the use of the Force than the movies (and to that end, the PT was just "catching up" to the EU).
Well if you don't count the dark side as a lessened ability no, but physical, Vader could barely breath much less fight, only Vaders insane force ability kept him alive after Mustafar and the subsequent transformation. That would have killed any normal person and most Jedi-Sith.
His power would decrees over time, due to the dark side, "eating" away at his body, and the suit deteriorating (Its what 21-22 years old during ANH), I doubt replacing the suit is an option, it would probably kill him. So what is left, a broken shell of jedi in an ancient life support suit, with organ damage so severe that only his hatred for the Emperor, himself, and the galaxy keeps him alive, he's a broken man.
That is only my personal canon of course.
Now, let me say I haven't played this game yet, so I can't say whether in the logic of the game itself (the story contained within the game) what all this stuff about Vader is like, but I can comment on how it is in terms of Star Wars in general...
And yeah, chronologically speaking the Emperor is an old, old man by the time of the OT. However we see in the PT that his appearance isn't simply due to natural aging (however you explain what happens to him when he's getting zapped by his own lightning in Episode III). He was able to somehow move just like Yoda, and defeat supposed Jedi Masters with the greatest of ease (though it looks like these guys either forgot how to fight or were never that good to begin with, thanks to bad choreography).
And as it turns out, the Vader "suit" is visibly different in each movie in which it appears, so in fact we can assume the suit was "replaced" (maybe not all at once, but over time, certainly) several times. For all we know, the suit is even better "now" (OT era) than when he first got it at the end of ROTS. He also had to learn to get used to it. Notice how he was staggering around, compared to how he was leaping down flights of stairs in ESB.
Speculations and complaints aside, I think there's just not enough information to give any logical gauge for "force potential" or "force power level" in the Star Wars movies, and the EU stuff is inconsistent with itself, so it's anyone's guess. Force users in Star Wars also seem to fall into the common comic book super hero problem of conveniently "forgetting" to use their powers or suddenly having new abilities when the story calls for it (lame explanations may or may not come later). Even the midichlorian thing doesn't seem to prove much (we have precisely one ballpark figure for Anakin as a child, and that it's supposedly higher than Yoda or "any Jedi" but that's it, and in the wider "canon" he's clearly not the most powerful, and even in the movies he's not the best, since he is beaten twice in fair fights).
Great being a Star Wars fan, huh? All this stuff to wonder about, and no clear answers, but everybody tries!
DarthSlinky mentioned "his personal canon" and I agree with this. I think all of us Star Wars fans have our own personal canon. We take bits and pieces of Star Wars lore from the movies, novels and games and piece together our own lore that makes sense to us. Personally, I believe that the force resides within the spirit, not from Midi-chlorians and yet Lucas himself created that concept. I remember Grand Master Yoda telling Luke that we are luminous beings not this crude matter. That along with the spirit of Jedi returning to the force tells me that our spirit is the true connection to the force and not bio-matter. Others would disagree.
This is why I believe that Vader's power and potential remained the same before and after his injuries. As long as his spirit stays with his body his power will remain unchanged. I believe that Lord Sidious referred to Vader as a shadow of his former self because he never fully embraced the dark side as he started too when he first fell. Anakin Skywalker was always there regretting what he had done within Lord Vader. His dark side potential was never reached. Embracing the dark side and being a dark jedi is not the same thing.
Nah Vader didn't get a new suit for ESB and ROTJ he just got a new helmet (a non lopsided one) and had some stormtroopers polish his armor:rolleyes:
What I really thought is that after all those years his armor mostly joined with his burned flesh as it healed, plus Vader sustained more injuries post Mustafar: Starkiller, anything he got from jedi hunting, and the unexplained skull and spinal injurys (look in ROTJ he has a fractured skull)
If we go with the movies in "chronological" order, then the mask goes, for example (just the most obvious changes), from symmetrical to asymmetrical, the eye lenses change from opaque black to transparent red, and Vader's height and the size of his gloves change in that 19 year period between Episode III and IV. ESB's most obvious change is in the "armor" (shoulder pieces are now separate, for example).
And what is "the suit" anyway? Vader isn't wearing a space suit, though the way some people talk, you'd think he was wearing an all encasing shell of powered armor (like the Darktrooper project creations). That's simply not the case from the movies (incidentally a lot of people think that about Boba Fett as well, but close observation of Jango's suit reveals it's mostly cloth/leather with some flexible "armor" pieces grafted on top plus a helmet and pads).
Really all it is, is a helmet with breathing assistance, a voice modulator and some kind of optical system (if we ignore the contradictory EU material and just stick with what the movies show us). The "regulator" controls for this breathing system appear to be contained on the little chest box (which is simple attached to the cloth) and a belt box. Vader's "armor" consists of a neck brace, the two piece helmet, and a shoulder piece that in some movies appears to be a solid piece that goes over the top and other times has joints for the arms. Sure, he has two mechanical arms (one the full arm, the other just the forearm), and two mechanical legs below the knee (not revealed until Episode III), but the rest of his costume is just a black jump suit, some leather gloves and a cape. Sure, it looks like he's got a rubber codpiece too.
But anyway, I'm rambling, so don't listen to what I'm saying, look for yourself at some comparisons. It may be hard to tell unless you put them side by side, but you'll eventually see that while similar, they are different in every film, which makes me think it was intentional. In any case, whatever some EU source says, the "suit" is different, if not aesthetically, then also in terms of function.
See many, many more pics here:
Back on point...
I can understand all this attempt at retconning (including Lucas himself, post 1983).
People are trying to come up with an "explanation" for Palpatine wanting to get rid
of Vader and replace him with a new apprentice.
In the context of OT however there is no "rule of two" (never mind any motivation
for continuing to follow it once all the Jedi are thought destroyed, post Episode III).
ESB makes it clear that once the Emperor knew Luke Skywalker existed and had the Force,
he saw him as a threat and wanted Luke DEAD. Vader talks him out of it (obviously, because
once Vader realized he had a son with the Force, he wanted to keep him for himself). But
Vader's "subterfuge" is because of his ties of blood, not because of some ongoing
"Sith civil war," in the context of the movies.
So what do we do? Have Palpatine believe that Vader is "weaker" than he should be,
and he's just sitting around waiting for someone to come along who is stronger, just
for being younger and with fewer replaced body parts? Give me a break. Plus, when you
think about it, even in the Prequels, Palpatine "recruites" Anakin when he already has a
mechanical hand (just like he "tempts" Luke when Luke has a replacement hand).
Dooku had no cybernetic parts. He was an old man, sure, but physical age doesn't seem
to matter much (if at all) to Force users in combat.
I think it's obvious from the movies that Palpatine has no intention of replacing Vader
until he sees Luke BEAT Vader in combat. At this point it's a matter of pushing Luke
over the edge (letting his anger take its toll into bloody revenge against Vader for threatening
his sister). Perhaps he sensed that Vader was plotting against him, but there's no real
evidence in the movie that this is the case, other than that Palpatine suspects Vader has
a lot of interest in Luke beyond what he's letting on. In the end, Vader is loyal to Palpatine
(and Palpatine knows it) until the final zapping sequence.
But I think however we understand this dynamic between the two, there's no need to
resort to an explanation that somehow Vader's "potential" is lowered because of his body
parts. If anything, his injuries should make him angrier, and therefore ENHANCE his Dark
In the real world, bionics are weaker than the real thing. In Star Wars, we're lead to
believe they're just as good, if not stronger. Sure, Lucas has a bit of an "anti-technology"
streak in him, but when it comes down to it, for him what beats superior technology is
a matter of smarts, luck, and "heart" (not how much meat you have on your bones,
or else Jabba would surely have beaten Luke & co).
Yeah, but does his torso lightbright also serve as a Force ATM?
I never said wookieepedia was a always right, it was just another source.
Discarding all EU and personal assumptions we are left with what little we know about Vaders suit and injures from the movies...
Vader (around ROTJ):
mechanized replacements for both of his arms and his legs at the knees
respiratory system is at least partially mechanized
the lung tissue remaining (if any) is damaged
body is mostly covered in partially healed 2, 3, and 4 deg. burns
fractured skull, (partially healed)
(this is not counting hypothetical or EU injures; no starkiller beating, no loosing hand for destruction of death star, no jedi hunting...)
If his powers remained intact these injures surely would at least slightly weaken him.
I also tend to disregard the costume differences, things change between movies, the imperial rank plaques and different in each movie, the species makeup of the rebel alliance, the whole luke-leia thing. Minor costume changes are not meant to be taken literally, its just a costume...a cool one, but a costume.
^^^^ Is the suit different or not? Answer the question put to you, and you know you are wrong.
Justify your :ugh: false omniscience however you like, it is a different costume.
As to the topic.... I don't believe that Vader's injuries weakened his force abilities either.... Vader's weakness is his mind, not his broken body.
Everyone should forget about the PT trilogy right now... See? The problem is gone with it... :)
Well, I always think that his suit is partially run by some sith magical formula or something, and it may interfere with some of the force ability. I won't be surprised if Vader could use force lightning if he pulls out his mechanical arm.
Palpatine called him a 'broken shell' not because he was at a crossroads, but because he would never be able to produce force lightening, and would never be capable of his full potential due to his disabilities.
Midichlorians were invented over a decade after Return of the Jedi unmasked Vader, so it's a huge retcon, that can't be emphasized enough.
Tell me though, if one's connection to the Force is based on the physical, how is it that people like Obi-Wan and Yoda can manifest themselves as spirits on different planets and talk to people, without a body?
One might as well argue that a smaller body or one with limbs removed would have a greater concentration of midichlorians in the body that remained.
Otherwise, if it's simple BULK, then every Jedi or Sith should be packing away doughnuts... and Yoda should be a major weakling in the Force.
Midichlorians simply raise more questions than they answer about the Force and Jedi "power levels." All we know from the movies is that they are apparently sentient, and "communicate" the "will of the Force" to a person. Everybody has them, but apparently only trained people are able to "quiet themselves" to hear them "speaking." The only person we get a "count" for (with no comparison other than that it's higher than "even Master Yoda" and that "no Jedi" has a count that high) is Anakin, and a vague one at that ("off the chart," "over 20,000"), when he was a 9 year old.
Some folks SPECULATE (without confirmation whether they were right or wrong) that Anakin was "conceived by the midichlorians" (whose, Shmi Skywalkers?). Then there's speculation, which is highly suspect because it's wrapped up in the lies that Palpatine is feeding Anakin in the "water opera" scene in Episode III (I'm leaving aside what the novelization implies, since this was based on a less-than-final script draft and thus differs from the movie), that some Sith Lord "Darth Plagueis the Wise" could influence the midichlorians to create life.
So I guess if you took all that into account we're supposed to imagine that this Sith Lord waved his hand in front of some random slave and said "You will become pregnant!" and she did. Anyway, just wanted to touch on that rather vague, goofy plot point. It's probably better that Lucas didn't have the characters sit down and try to explain it further.
I can come up with two theories...
1-when old and weak Yoda start jumping around he´s using the force to empower his legs (whole body actually), Vader can't do that cause his arms and legs... you know the drill
2-Vader is encased in a life support suit, a lot of his nerves endings have been burned, he can't feel the wind and the sun on his skin, he can't even breathe naturally...
this can change the way he perceives, touches and feels the world around him...
and feeling things is important for a force user.
and then there's the fact that he killed the love of his life, drove away his best friend and is now the pet of a creepy old man, his mind just can't be in the right place.
I have a better one. Forget everything you saw in the prequels. Problem solved.
star killer might not be machine at all. The empiracal could have the technology to rebuild him without need for machine parts.
Retcon or not, Lucas was personally asked why Palpatine is able to have dominion over Vader so many years after Vader joined with him. Lucas has said for many years Anakin would have been the most powerful force user to have ever lived if he would have grown into a fully mature adult with fully developed force powers, but he was stunted by severe injury. He said this before the midichlorian retcon.
If you want to pretend otherwise, I suppose that's your prerogative.
Things change between the film, Empire ranked plaque, and different things in each movie, the species makeup of the rebel alliance, Luke, Leia.
In the Force Unleashed (PC, PS2, XBOX 360 versions), Vader raises his arm at a horizontal angle when he is attacked by Sith lightning and this is sufficient to block it fully. It is said that having mechanical arms, he would not be able to do such a thing. What could he have possessed in order to put up such an effective defence?
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