With the recent embargo [from advanced copies being distributed] of ‘Star Wars: Bloodline’ by Claudia Gray, and all the built-up hype surrounding it, I can’t help myself but to be swept-up in it too.
This upcoming novel holds so much promise when it comes to plot-holes or gaps where the Skywalker lineage is concerned. Even Claudia Gray told USA Today that, “In this book we find out just how far Vader’s shadow falls.” So, as an ‘Anakin Apologist’ and a huge Vader fan, my anticipation of what ‘key elements’ this story may or may not include is barely containable.
So, for the sake of creative thinking and to hopefully spark some innovative discussion, let’s explore Vader’s “shroud of darkness” aka shadow.
In the Beginning
“Can you help him?” Shmi Skywalker quizzically questions and yet, there’s a hint of plea within her words as she looks on, awaiting for Qui-Gon Jinn to answer. Studying her, almost judging her, he says “I don’t know” [as if he senses there’s something more, beyond the surface, something of graver importance.] ”I didn’t actually come here to free slaves.”
I’ve often wondered and even more so now, after all the new additions that only enhance the saga and the storyline [The Force Awakens, The Clone Wars, Rebels, the comics, and the new line of canonical novels] that perhaps, Shmi knew more about her son than she led on. Her dialogue alone could have been viewed as to have had double-edged meanings i.e. “He can help you. He was meant to help you.” Again, what exactly was Shmi hiding?
One could look at it this way: Shmi is the predecessor of all the Skywalker’s we have met [in the Star Wars universe] thus far, and we still don’t know much, if anything, about her. Think about this, it is plausible that she, herself, could’ve been force sensitive. Why not? After all, Cleigg Lars was the first to admit that there was little hope that she could have lasted this long [a month] in the hands of the Tusken Raiders and yet, she was still alive when Anakin found her. Even then, on her dying words, “now I am complete,” darkness [death] cloaked her, and greeted her like an old friend.
The Seeds of Illusion
“The greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others.” – Matthew Stover [Revenge of the Sith]
In Anakin’s last days as “the Hero with no Fear,” his life as he knew it began to spiral and, as it did, this quote [by Matthew Stover] became his newfound and only way of life or, should I say, only way to live.
We know his story, his rise and fall, and finally, his redemption. But before that could happen, he had to slowly succumb to the dark by allowing the light to plague on his own harsh truths, and to take comfort within the dark as it hides his secrets. The day is temporary and the light is the illusion. In other words, the dark side has always been there with him and it’s only been one-step behind him, attached to the soles of his feet.
Take this notion with a grain-of-salt – it’s just how I happen to see it. Anakin had many secrets, but some he felt that he had to keep hidden, because he was meant to believe that he was wrong. That does something to a person, especially when deep down, you know you’re not.
“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”– Yoda
For the first time in years, thanks to The Force Awakens, this line speaks louder in volume than it ever has. Dominate. Destiny. Consume. Exactly just how far can the dark path lead? Can its seeds spill into one’s lineage and curse the next generation? Hmm … meditate on this I will.
Contempt finds Compassion
Life will find a way … even in Star Wars as Luke is proof of this sentiment. He was able to look past all the bad Vader/Anakin had done and find the good man within, just as his mother and his father’s mother had always believed. And so, that notion would continue into the next layer of Skywalker – with Leia.
Unlike her brother, Luke, she hasn’t had as much time as he has to process the hardcore truth of Darth Vader being her biological father. As I think to myself what this could’ve been like for her, I’m reminded of Troy Denning’s book “Tatooine Ghost.” While this novel is no longer canon, it does delve into Leia’s feelings and how she deals with this revelation. Canon or not, it still holds a lot of water based solely on pure emotions, and that cannot be completely ruled out.
In fact, it falls nicely in-line with what [little] we know of the upcoming “Bloodline.” Not only does Leia have to deal with the truth, but eventually, she has to embrace what that knowledge brings to the galaxy as a whole and deal with the repercussions. Not to mention her family’s as well [Han and Ben].
On that note, I wonder what went through a young Ben’s mind as he passed along a busy street seeing a campaign poster of his mom that was defaced and vandalized, calling her a Liar and Traitor, and replacing her face with that of the mask of Darth Vader …
“The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.”– Matthew Stover
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