As long as he’s changing the dialog, let’s hope George Lucas cut out that part where Leia whimpers: “hold me.”

So George Lucas is re-re-re-releasing the Star Wars saga, this time with even more minor changes.

Sheesh. Is it so much to ask to watch these in all their original, melodramatic glory? At least until the remake, which may or may not happen before the third and final trilogy is released?

Fans/geeks are annoyed. In particular, an added line is rubbing the Star Wars fanbase entirely the wrong way:

Originally, Darth Vader just stood and watched the Emperor electrocute Luke with lightning bolts before coming to his son’s rescue. Not anymore. Now, right before Darth Vader comes out of his daze, lifts up the Emperor, and tosses him to his death, the Dark Lord of the Sith yells a helpless “Noooo!”

Yeah, well: I’ll put my Star Wars nerddom right up there against anybody’s. Anybody’s. And I like this. It works.

I’ve written about that final scene before, and concluded that Luke’s humility — not his power and glory — were what finally saved the day. It never occurred to me to wonder about Vader — what was going through his mind.

So let’s wonder about it now. Conventional wisdom is: Vader finally fought off the webs of lust and avarice. He became the Prodigal Son, proving that even the most deeply embraced temptation can be overcome. Luke tasted it, and turned away. Vader swam along the bottom with his mouth open…and still turned away.

The alcoholic can overcome his addiction. The adulterer can become a decent husband. The world’s most heinous sinner can come back, beg forgiveness, and be accepted.

That’s Vader. The fog of power-hunger finally lifts from his mind. Maybe he realizes the consequences of the Emperor’s life of selfishness. Maybe he suddenly sees Amidala’s son covered in blue fire and pain, and finally understands that there are more important things than power.

That’s the conventional wisdom. As usual, I have other wisdom to share.

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” That was Yoda’s description of the Sith. Why only two? Dunno. You’d think a real Sith Lord would want more than one. Keep them at odds with each other, fighting for scraps, to prevent one from ever overthrowing you.

That’s how I’d do it, anyway. But, that’s not how it was.

So let’s see: if there are never more than two Sith… hmmm. The Emperor wants Luke… but that would make three Sith… and the Emperor isn’t just going to step aside…

Who’s that leave out? Right. Vader. So he really ought to be glad the Emperor is deep-frying Junior — maybe even egging him on a little.

On the other hand, here’s Vader watching the Emperor — that shriveled little troll he’s obeyed for twenty years — kill Luke, whom Vader has spent two whole movies trying to recruit so they can Rule The Galaxy, father and son.

That’s Vader’s best chance at gaining the Big Chair writhing around on the floor down there.

In that moment, the Force was strong with Vader. He saw a lifetime of servitude at the Emperor’s feet. No throne, no crown, no scepter, no real power except for the scraps the Emperor chose to share.

So, in that moment, he takes a chance. He directly opposes the Emperor in a final desperate bid for supremacy. It doesn’t work, but hey: nice try anyway.

Of course, this theory breaks down once now-Anakin-again and Luke get all touchy-feely during Anakin’s death scene. Pretty disappointing, really, compared with the red-eyed “I hate you!” he hung on Obi Wan while sliding backward into the flaming lava river. A real Sith would have fought to the very end to hang onto life — he wouldn’t have gone quietly, content with his son’s love and acceptance.

So Vader really did come around again — the Prodigal Son, in shiny black armor.

Fine. My original theory holds: we really aren’t trapped for all time in whatever cesspool of sin we’ve created for ourselves, and things really do turn out for the best when we remember that the ‘verse doesn’t revolve around us.

But I like my alternate theory better. Oh, and I like Vader saying “No!”

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