A lot of individuals might not even remember the scene in which Boba Fett, the notorious and deadly bounty hunter from Star Wars, had the draw on Chewbacca in the cryogenic chamber where Han Solo was about to be frozen in carbonite, only to be stopped by Darth Vader. Fans and superfans can definitely remember that moment when Chewie kind of went berserk and was ready to start ripping limbs off but was stopped by Han. While the rest of the scene is pretty much known to many people, fans have been wondering for a while just why Darth Vader, who didn’t care about any of them and wouldn’t miss one Wookie that had already proven to be dangerous, would stop Fett from putting him down. Well, the theory given in the comics at this point is that Vader, who most people remember is unbearably cruel and vindictive, wanted the Rebels to suffer a little more, to think that they were getting off light and that they had fortune on their side at that point.
Manipulation, deception, trickery, anything and everything to get into a person’s head and stay there, is something a Sith would do. He wasn’t saving Chewie out of the goodness of his heart, he was making certain that the Rebels suffered and that they would continue to suffer until the end. But it does kind of feel as though this theory is a little too simple, that it needs embellishing, or that it’s something that someone put out there as a means to make it appear that Vader didn’t have a single cell left in his body that was able to feel any type of compassion. But there is a big problem with the theory that’s been pushed by the comic, even if it makes Vader out to be one of the vilest individuals in all of Star Wars.
It also means that somewhere deep inside could have been buried the Jedi that Anakin had once been and that he found a way to show at least some resistance to the darkness that had overtaken him. This would definitely start an argument since a lot of people don’t want to believe that Vader was leaning toward redemption until Return of the Jedi, but people should remember that Anakin was one of the most strong-willed Jedi in the galaxy, and the upper limits of his power had been hampered in a few ways, not the least of which was the constant pain he was in after his battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Some might think that he was too far gone at that point since the Vader personality had taken over and he’d succumbed entirely to the dark side. But what if, just what if, Vader’s arrogance and shortsightedness in allowing the Rebels to think that they were simply lucky instead of following his twisted design, was a part of Anakin working from with, a part he knew nothing about but could feel and do nothing about?
I get it, a lot of responses might be that I’m crazy. Hey, guilty, but there’s still another basis for this since there was another comic dealing with The Empire Strikes Back, an anthology in which Vader comes across the remains of C-3PO before Chewbacca finds them. This short story takes Anakin back to his time as a boy when he was building his first protocol droid, none other than the same droid that Han Solo can’t stand. There’s even a moment when Vader, who is part machine at that point, rests his forehead against Threepio’s metal skull before telling his people to give the remains to the Wookie.
It’s very likely that Vader thought that he was stringing the Rebels along, but it’s also possible that Anakin, somewhere down deep inside beyond the darkness, was somehow guiding his darker persona without letting himself be felt. Oh yes, it gets a bit metaphysical and brings two different thought processes in one movie, but at the same time, it makes a twisted bit of sense. Just think of it, Anakin fighting against himself somehow from the inside, and losing obviously. But think of it, Anakin on the inside, trying to bring down the Empire and the Emperor by influencing his darker self however he could, and Vader thinking that he was being dark and twisted when what he was really doing was strengthening the Rebel’s reserve and getting them to fight even harder. That feels like something Anakin would have wanted to inspire and an end he would have gladly manipulated himself into bringing about. It’s a theory, nothing more at this point, but it feels like something that could be further explored if people were willing, since one thing about the Sith that has happened but still feels kind of odd, is that they set themselves up for failure with their arrogance, but they’re usually far more intelligent than that.