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Darth Vader's Redemtion in ROTJ
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:18 pm    Post subject: Darth Vader's Redemtion in ROTJ Reply with quote

If we look at the force rules and the rules for redemption this makes zero sense to me.

Did Vader by killing the emperor lone, get a "fast track" redemption, did he spend his force points and take the time as the rules state?


or is as we see simply changing ones mind, and deciding not to be the bad guy actually enough?

Vader's redemtion and return to the light leaves me with this.

I can play my Jedi and ger 6+ DSPs, fall fully to the dark side, then kill someone "more evil" to save my friend or family, and everthing I did before automatically gors away in a few minutes.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, here's my thought:

Vader did not redeem Vader. He helped, he did some of the work, but what really redeemed Vader was Luke. Luke more or less washed Vader's darkness out of Anakin's soul by Luke's own shining light and dedication.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no no no no. There is nothing wrong with the film which was not made with any game in mind. The problem is with the Dark Side redemption rules. Those are what do not make sense. But I submit to you, even having rules for that is the stupidest part.

It made a lot more sense in 1e. If a PC crossed over to the Dark Side it was permanent. The GM took the character sheet from the player and the character became an NPC, who just may even become a villain for the PCs. The whole point was to not cross over in the first place, and the DSP rules are an incentive not to be too evil. It was so refreshing for the game to not have an alignment system where the players can just chose to be evil. I hate murder hobo games. Star Wars is a game about heroes, and scoundrels who are really good guys (like Han and Lando.)

I've never allowed redemption from crossing over to the Dark Side, and I always make it very clear to players that they lose the character if they cross over, so don't. I can still do redemption type of stories with lesser extremes in the game, but not from the Dark Side like Vader. In light of the prequels, I also feel it would make Anakin less special if other characters are crossing over and coming back. Let Anakin have his thing. Players shouldn't expect PCs to be Anakin/Vader.

But, to each GM their own. I know this post is a knee-jerk and not helpful to GMs who want to have Dark Side Redemption in their games. I've said my piece, so please carry on.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Darth Vader's Redemtion in ROTJ Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:
If we look at the force rules and the rules for redemption this makes zero sense to me.

Did Vader by killing the emperor lone, get a "fast track" redemption, did he spend his force points and take the time as the rules state?


or is as we see simply changing ones mind, and deciding not to be the bad guy actually enough?

Vader's redemtion and return to the light leaves me with this.

I can play my Jedi and ger 6+ DSPs, fall fully to the dark side, then kill someone "more evil" to save my friend or family, and everthing I did before automatically gors away in a few minutes.


Since he DIED from the attempt, maybe that is WHY he was redeamed..
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
No no no no no. There is nothing wrong with the film which was not made with any game in mind. The problem is with the Dark Side redemption rules. Those are what do not make sense. But I submit to you, even having rules for that is the stupidest part.

It made a lot more sense in 1e. If a PC crossed over to the Dark Side it was permanent. The GM took the character sheet from the player and the character became an NPC, who just may even become a villain for the PCs. The whole point was to not cross over in the first place, and the DSP rules are an incentive not to be too evil. It was so refreshing for the game to not have an alignment system where the players can just chose to be evil. I hate murder hobo games. Star Wars is a game about heroes, and scoundrels who are really good guys (like Han and Lando.)

I've never allowed redemption from crossing over to the Dark Side, and I always make it very clear to players that they lose the character if they cross over, so don't. I can still do redemption type of stories with lesser extremes in the game, but not from the Dark Side like Vader. In light of the prequels, I also feel it would make Anakin less special if other characters are crossing over and coming back. Let Anakin have his thing. Players shouldn't expect PCs to be Anakin/Vader.

But, to each GM their own. I know this post is a knee-jerk and not helpful to GMs who want to have Dark Side Redemption in their games. I've said my piece, so please carry on.


HUGE agreement.

I've had Jedi players (and padawans) cross over to the dark side. They were then NPCs.

The closest thing to redemption was the other players convincing the now-NPC to let them go from a trap they got caught in by appealing to the relationship they used to have.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
So, here's my thought:

Vader did not redeem Vader. He helped, he did some of the work, but what really redeemed Vader was Luke. Luke more or less washed Vader's darkness out of Anakin's soul by Luke's own shining light and dedication.


To add to this: redeeming someone from the Dark Side has to be earned, but it shouldn't be MECHANICALLY earned, but NARRATIVELY.

Anakin did not redeem himself. Luke redeemed him through the narrative effort of Return of the Jedi. If someone's character turns to the Dark Side, I can see them being redeemed... but only if the PCs do the work to make it happen, and the now-NPC does the right thing at a heroic moment. (Which I would put on the former PC's player or, if they are absent, the GM... but I'd be inclined to let the now-NPC be redeemed, if only posthumously, as a narrative reward for the player who did the work)
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
So, here's my thought:

Vader did not redeem Vader. He helped, he did some of the work, but what really redeemed Vader was Luke. Luke more or less washed Vader's darkness out of Anakin's soul by Luke's own shining light and dedication.


To add to this: redeeming someone from the Dark Side has to be earned, but it shouldn't be MECHANICALLY earned, but NARRATIVELY.

Anakin did not redeem himself. Luke redeemed him through the narrative effort of Return of the Jedi. If someone's character turns to the Dark Side, I can see them being redeemed... but only if the PCs do the work to make it happen, and the now-NPC does the right thing at a heroic moment. (Which I would put on the former PC's player or, if they are absent, the GM... but I'd be inclined to let the now-NPC be redeemed, if only posthumously, as a narrative reward for the player who did the work)


Let's use the movies as an example.

So, in our first campaign, I played a cocky young jedi. Strong in the Force, great pilot and combatant... maybe not the most knowledgeable or perceptive. Through the course of the campaign, I fell deeper and deeper into evil so, at the end of the campaign, I was a fallen Jedi and NPC.

Next campaign, I'm playing a charming rogue, a smuggler with a heart of, if not gold, at least electrum. Another player (who played a young Senator last time) is playing an earnest young jedi, who, it is revealed, is the secret son of my Jedi last time! His player, Sara, decides she's going to try to redeem his father as a story goal. She works towards that goal, putting the effort in to get his dad back, until the final moment of the campaign, as he faces down the Emperor.

Now, the GM is obviously controlling my old character... he's an NPC. It's the make or break time for the campaign, and all of Sara's character arc. Since Anakin was my character, the GM turns to me and asks me if I want Anakin to be redeemed... or makes the choice himself (especially if Sara and I have broken up and I'm kind of a dick about it). But my old character didn't earn it... Sara did.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Vader did not redeem Vader. He helped, he did some of the work, but what really redeemed Vader was Luke. Luke more or less washed Vader's darkness out of Anakin's soul by Luke's own shining light and dedication.

I didn't see this post before my last reply. The problem with this is, it destroys Anakin's free will and thus the drama of RotJ. If Anakin didn't choose to return from the Dark Side on his own volition, then it also removes his responsibility for turning to to the Dark Side in the first place. Luke didn't redeem Anakin or actively do anything for that.

Luke's shining moment was resisting the Dark Side, throwing away his lightsaber and telling Palpatine he failed. Luke passed his trial. Luke became a Jedi Knight at that moment. Vader was still evil. No washing occurred. Luke was blasted with the Sith lightning. Vader was still evil. Luke did not redeem him.

Luke was suffering and pleading for his father's help. In all versions of the film, Vader was shown looking back and forth between Luke and Palpatine during this, clearly conveying the choice he had. Then Anakin chose to kill Palpatine which saved Luke and thus the Jedi Order. The title of the movie is not, "Luke brought the Jedi back." The Jedi Knight who betrayed the Jedi chose to return. Yes, Luke was an important part of the story and it likely wouldn't have happened without Luke, but you can't say Luke redeemed Vader without ruining RotJ, the classic trilogy, and the Lucas Saga.

Also, the only explicit way that Anakin really even morally redeemed himself was by becoming a Force Ghost, which wouldn't have been available to Dark Siders according to lore. This all seems beyond what PCs in the game will ever experience. But even the RAW has the PC redeeming themselves, not someone goodness washing away someone else's evilness.

Mamatried wrote:
If we look at the force rules and the rules for redemption this makes zero sense to me.

Did Vader by killing the emperor lone, get a "fast track" redemption, did he spend his force points and take the time as the rules state?

or is as we see simply changing ones mind, and deciding not to be the bad guy actually enough?

Vader's redemtion and return to the light leaves me with this.

I can play my Jedi and ger 6+ DSPs, fall fully to the dark side, then kill someone "more evil" to save my friend or family, and everthing I did before automatically gors away in a few minutes.

And yes, Anakin/Vader was narratively redeemed just by killing his evil master of the evil Empire that he had betrayed the Jedi for. Literary redemption does not translate well to game terms. The major flaw in this OP is trying to shoehorn game rules for PCs into the films. No, Vader did not do all those game term things. Vader didn't have to. Vader is not a PC. The game was not designed to simulate the films and it doesn't need to. The game was designed to simulate the universe of Star Wars for the purpose of creating new stories that could take place in the same universe as the films. PCs do not even need to ever return from the Dark Side for the stories created by a game group to feel like they could have happened in the same world as the films. Not every Dark Sider is redeemed. Most aren't. The game doesn't even need to recreate or explain what happened with Anakin. This bantha is so dead.

And if you must have Dark Side redemption rules, they still don't have to explain or apply to the film. Anakin is the Chosen One and he can remain a unique case.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vader was an NPC. The GM can redeem any NPC they want.
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Ray
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vader willingly gave up his Plot Armour to remove his Dark Force Points.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
...Vader is not a PC...
TauntaunScout wrote:
Vader was an NPC. The GM can redeem any NPC they want.

Much more succinctly stated than my long post. I should have lead with this. This is exactly the "tldr" statement for my post. Thanks!

Even if you want to have Dark Side redemption rules for PCs, they don't have to emulate Vader because the film is a linear narrative and in the game, Vader is an NPC.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
...the film is a linear narrative...


Plus, his redemption, was SCRIPT divined...
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
Vader did not redeem Vader. He helped, he did some of the work, but what really redeemed Vader was Luke. Luke more or less washed Vader's darkness out of Anakin's soul by Luke's own shining light and dedication.

I didn't see this post before my last reply. The problem with this is, it destroys Anakin's free will and thus the drama of RotJ. If Anakin didn't choose to return from the Dark Side on his own volition, then it also removes his responsibility for turning to to the Dark Side in the first place. Luke didn't redeem Anakin or actively do anything for that.


I mean this a bit differently, which I think causes the confusion.

Yes, Anakin turned away from the Dark Side. But, narratively, he didn't earn it... he did not put in the story-work to turn to the Light. It was not a case of him struggling with the light and the dark... he was trying to bring Luke into the Dark with him. It was not a case of him trying to be light and failing... he was deep in the darkness, with no desire to get out. He did not put in the work, story wise, to redeem himself. He made a single choice, at a dramatically appropriate moment, but the story-burden of redeeming him fell on Luke's shoulders.

This does not, IMO, invalidate either the choices Anakin made or the concept of the series. However, it also does not redeem the choices he made. It does not change, or even address, his many crimes. He doesn't seem to come to terms with them at all. He makes a choice, at the moment, to support his son and overthrow the emperor, but given all he had done to torture his son and daughter, to support the emperor, it does not, IMO, count as earning redemption.

Narratively, we are given the redemption because that is a validation of Luke's faith and goals, not because Vader earned it. Not because Vader dug himself out of darkness, but because Luke pulled him out of it. Metaphysically, it surely must have been, because we see him redeemed. But it wasn't earned by him in the story.

Basically, if someone tried to pull that as redemption in a game I was running, it wouldn't fly... unless someone else had done the work to make it THEIR character arc that the evil guy was redeemed.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your point but I disagree that Anakin had no desire to rise out of the darkness. The mere fact that Anakin did eventually choose the light shows that he did have the desire, or he wouldn't have even risen. It's just the case that we as an original trilogy audience didn't have an explicit understanding of that until Vader was turning his head back and forth when Luke was getting electrocuted.

But there are some clues. Luke felt Anakin's desire when he said on the forest moon, "I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now." Vader then changes the subject. Clue. Luke eventually says, "I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate."

If Luke's faith has any value, then he did feel a desire within Anakin to be good. No, he didn't know for sure if Anakin would ever act on the desire, but he knew the good was there so there was a chance. The narrative would have a very weak drama if it was just a spur of the moment random impulsive action that happen to be the right thing for Anakin to do in that moment. The story of Return of the Jedi really only works in a literary sense if there always was a little Jedi left in Anakin.

I think a lot of CT fans put too much emphasis on Luke, so much that there is a very popular misinterpretation of the meaning the title of the film. When Yoda died, the Jedi order was gone. Luke wasn't a Jedi Knight yet, and the fate of the Jedi hung by a thread on Luke's survival of his coming confrontation to eventually pass on what he had learned, which would really only be possible with the destruction of the Sith. Since Luke refused to commit patricide, it was a fool's hope that it would all work out. But we don't get to see the return of the Jedi order in this film (we have one potential student in Leia). We see the return of Anakin Skywalker which is what ends up making the rest possible. The fallen Jedi Knight returning means that he was always able to return. Back in 1983, Lucas said Anakin was the titular Jedi who returned.

The PT only strengthens the view of the good Anakin always being alive but buried in Vader. In TPM, Lucas cut a scene where little Ani is beating up Greedo for saying he cheated in the pod race because he didn't want people to think that Anakin was born evil. Little Ani is pure good in the first film. And him being the Chosen One means that he always had the potential to be good when he was evil. There always was a desire, deep down inside.

The downside of all this is that RotJ has some dramatic deficiencies. Luke doesn't get to be the climactic hero that he was in ANH when he destroyed the Death Star and killed the film's main antagonist, Tarkin. Luke had his climactic moment in RotJ, passed his trial and became a Jedi Knight. Then he was helplessly being killed and his only salvation was Anakin. Dramatically, the Emperor was analogous to the first film's Death Star and Anakin is analogous to Luke in ANH. Anakin is effectively the main protagonist of RotJ, which is why I was so p!ssed off when Zahn shortchanged Luke in TLC by sidelining Luke so he still didn't get to destroy the evil Force user. I felt Luke was owed that after RotJ which had given it to Anakin. (And the Nogri killed Thrawn, which was more Leia's doing than Luke's.) But chronologically, RotJ's actual Death Star could not be destroyed first so there is a subsequent climax where supporting character Lando gets to be the big damn hero. RotJ overall works but it is far from the perfectly constructed story. Lucas was very cognizant of this when writing TPM, which much better structured series of escalating climaxes (which transfers the mantle of main protagonist from Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan).

All that said, I do completely agree that Anakin didn't earn his redemption, because he didn't actually redeem himself for all the evil he did as Vader. Which is another reason that film events are hardly applicable to game rules for PCs with Dark Side points. Although it was an overall meh novel, one thing I liked about The Truce at Bakura was that Anakin's ghost appeared to Leia. She pointed out that killing the Emperor doesn't make up for everything he had done as Vader and he did not disagree with her. He said that he was not seeking absolution, only her forgiveness. And forgiveness is not truly for the forgiven but rather for the sake of the forgiver.
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