Star Wars: Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s top 15 moments

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Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

10. Vader force chokes Admiral Motti

In terms of real-world chronology, the first time filmgoers learned about the Force is when Obi-Wan describes it to Luke in A New Hope. Though he would later go into greater detail, he initially referred to do something that Luke would need to become conversant in to save Princess Leia.

That scene, coupled with Obi-Wan’s instruction of Luke in the Millennium Falcon, suggest that the knowledge of the Force allows someone a greater level of sensory awareness. However, the first time the viewer saw the Force in action was a moment when Darth Vader used it to kill someone.

In it, Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin and other commanders of the Empire’s star fleet have a meeting about the threat presented by the Rebel Alliance. As part of the discussion, an admiral named Motti makes the near-fatal mistake of dismissing the Force as a superstition. In response, Vader shows the Imperial officer the perils of atheism.

The moment is important for two key reasons. One, it reveals some interesting facts about Vader. He’s cruel, possesses the ability to kill via telekinesis, and has to answer to someone. And two, it shows why the dark side of the Force is so seductive. In addition to binding the galaxy together, the Force is also, as its name suggests, is a power to be manipulated.

Since A New Hope’s release, the popular conception of the Force as being benevolent in nature has become prevalent. But as the beginning of the Star Wars saga showed, the Force can corrupt as easily as it elevates.