‘Tales of the Empire’ Proves Vader Needs a Spinoff

in Op-Ed, Star Wars

Darth Vader saying "nooo!" in 'Revenge of the Sith'

Credit: Lucasfilm

Tales of the Empire thrust viewers into the twisted realm of the Dark Side after premiering on Disney+, and it provided a revealing and intimate look at why villains like Morgan Elsbeth and fallen heroes like Barriss Offee walk the paths they do. However, Star Wars might be sitting on a golden opportunity.

ahsoka tano fighting darth vader on malachor in star wars rebels season 2 finale
Credit: Lucasfilm

Along with being a surprisingly mature series for an animated anthology on a Disney streaming service, one of the show’s most impressive features is its emotional depth. Fear, anger, hate, and suffering are all encapsulated in both characters’ story arcs, one accepting the path of vengeance, the other repenting of her sins. However, there is still one story yet to be told.

Related: Ewan McGregor WILL Be Back as Obi-Wan Kenobi

The series was marketed as an anthology series that put Star Wars villains like Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Inquisitorius in the spotlight. While it semi-kept its promise, some of the larger names were criminally underutilized. Given the attention to emotional storytelling seen in the anthology, it’s a wonder that Vader’s role during this period in the timeline wasn’t further explored.

Star Wars: Vader’s Rising

Darth Vader, the iconic Star Wars villain, stands ominously with a glowing green background, highlighted by a halo of light that accentuates his imposing black armor and cape.
Credit: Lucasfilm

While it seems that Disney and Lucasfilm might have put Darth Vader up on a shelf and James Earl Jones has since hung up his helmet, Vader’s time after the Fall of the Jedi is a Shakespearean tragedy and character study that begs to be explored. As one of the most prolific villains in the Star Wars franchise and pop culture, Vader’s story needs to be told outside the novels and comics in the extended universe.

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Star Wars fans of all levels are familiar with the dark lord of the Sith, but most of his screen time in the franchise is spent being his typical, menacing, heavily breathing self. What about what’s going on behind the respirator?

The Man Behind the Mask

darth vader broken mask obi-wan season 1 finale
Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has given viewers glimpses of Vader behind the scenes in shows like Rebels, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a very brief appearance in Tales of the Empire, but not since his days as Anakin Skywalker has he truly been explored. We know why and how Vader became Vader, but not much of his early days in the Empire has been revealed on screen.

Related: ‘Ahsoka’ Changed One Big Part of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker Return

Granted, part of Vader’s success as a character depends on the mystery surrounding him. However, he didn’t go from disfigured Jedi to the Emperor’s top enforcer overnight. With the brilliant narratives seen in Disney+’s newest Star Wars series, what’s stopping the studio from showing us Vader dealing with the aftermath of Order 66 or his early days in the suit?

From the chapters concerning Barriss Offee, it’s clear that Dave Filoni and the other creatives behind Tales of the Empire can give Vader the same treatment. A miniseries about the corrupted Anakin Skywalker living with what he’s done after being seduced by the Dark Side would be an emotional rollercoaster the likes of which the galaxy has never seen. All it needs is the word “go.”

Would you watch a Darth Vader drama series? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!

in Op-Ed, Star Wars

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