Darth Vader reigns supreme as the most iconic Star Wars character, but despite all that, it took until Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to give us the Vader we’ve always wanted, but never seen.
You can’t go more than an hour in the Star Wars universe without thinking, in some way, of Darth Vader. Whether you’re seeing Anakin, or Kylo Ren, or Luke and Leia, Darth Vader is there. He’s always there.
He’s hands-down the most iconic figure in the entire Star Wars universe.
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And yet the power he truly has is only ever witnessed on the screen second-hand. We see him force choke some dudes. Plenty of dudes. We see him stop blasters with the palm of his hand. But even when we finally see him actually fight against Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, he’s old. He’s not his young, sprightly self.
Plus, he’s fighting his son, and it would be reasonable to assume he wasn’t fighting to kill.
We never get to see prime Vader. We’d only heard rumors about him and how powerful he was. But (bear with me for a second) I want to see his true, devastating power; his ability to crush anyone by snapping his fingers. That will do more for his eternal image than his daunting wardrobe ever would.
Warning: If you haven’t played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, there are spoilers ahead.
We finally got that in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Respawn Entertainment could not have framed it any better.
It started like it so often does—the breathing. And there’s a part in all of us that have played the game that thought, “I’m Cal Kestis, I can take this guy. Haven’t you seen my new special L1+Square attack that’s pretty much unblockable?”
Darth Vader decimated everything and he did it in such a way that my awe for his power reached new heights. Cere Junda tries to fight Vader, but using just one hand, like a coked out fencer, he makes her look like a civilian who just picked up her lightsaber that morning.
Then Cere, bless her brave little heart, goes flying at Vader. With a flick of his wrist, like he’s turning a page, Vader flings her off into a fiery pit of nothingness.
In steps Cal Kestis. Perhaps the player is a little more reserved about their ability to beat this guy, but remember, Cere was disconnected from the force for awhile, and Cal is like, really talented, right? We’ve helped him. And I’m serious, have you seen my new special L1+Square attack? It’s pretty much unblockable.
Vader: “That’s cute.”
Without so much as an attack combo, Vader strolls through like he’s got nowhere to be and essentially kills Cal with one hand, if not for BD-1 intervening and distracting Vader just long enough for Cal to run. Then, by simply clenching his authoritative fist, Vader rips the entire hallway to pieces and Cal has to parkour his way to safety.
We have never seen Vader’s power like we saw it in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Never. Everything he did, he did with one hand. So we didn’t even see full Darth Vader. He dueled a fully-trained Jedi with one hand, threw her off a ledge with one hand, crushed Cal Kestis with one hand and disassembled an entire hallway with one hand.
The only other opportunity we’ve really had to see Darth Vader in his prime was in Rogue One, and while he made his appearance, it was never in such a way as we saw in Fallen Order. It was more of just reminding the viewer that, during Rogue One, Vader was still a thing.
In Fallen Order, though, we the Darth Vader we’ve only ever heard rumors of. Seeing it on the screen, so close to our dear Cal Kestis, magnified just how strong this man/machine had become, and the destruction he was capable of. And I was left cackling like a small child at the sheer satisfaction of finally seeing it.
Have you played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? What do you think of the movie?