Darth Vader is the greatest, and most influential villain in any movie ever made. I am usually not one for hyperbole, but really, I don’t think there is much to argue with here. Even if you don’t like Star Wars, or you don’t particularly LIKE Vader, you have to respect the character for what he is: Our Greatest Hopes and Greatest Fears all wrapped into one.
Darth Vader’s story starts and ends as our Greatest Hope. He was the light and future for his mother. He was the chosen one for Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was the love and future for Padmé. We can all relate to those specific hopes and dreams…. and we know how it feels when they are shattered. This is why we feel the tragedy of Anakin’s descent so deeply.
Vader is also our Greatest Fear. He has the ability to destroy civilizations, but most movie super villains can do that. Lots of bad guys/gals in thrillers and dramas are absolutely terrifying in their ability to calculate and to hurt the people we love. Again, Darth Vader is no different.
No, I think the real reason why Darth Vader is scarier than the rest, is something much more visceral and personal. You can see it in Luke’s face in Empire Strikes Back, when he found out Vader is his father. That primal scream! The audience’s GASP! when we heard “I AM YOUR FATHER!” We simply did not want to believe it. Those 4 words tapped into the fear that we might not be who we think we are. If someone as innocent as Luke can come from someone from of the dark side, what does that make Luke? What does that make US? Darth Vader forces us to grapple with some of the most terrifying questions there are: Is there evil in us too… could we succumb to it, and if so, could we also hurt the ones we love?
Anakin’s decent is just as horrifying as that revelation… but instead of a jolt, it is a slow agonizing process. Re-watching the prequels as a parent, I realized how absolutely TERRIFYING those movies are. The idea that a precious child, who is loved above all things on earth, can be seduced by the dark side was devastating to me. That, in the end (after all our good, best effort parenting!), there might not be much a parent can do to stop such a thing… or worse, unknowingly helping that process along. That someone so innocent could turn so bad. That something that comes from us, could turn evil. THIS is what nightmares are made of.
Yes, I know that this is fiction. But good movies are good because they resonate. They hit us at our core. Sometimes even hit us in our gut! Now, even if you do not believe in God, the concept of “Good and Bad” and “Right and Wrong” are universal (though we might not all agree on what exactly is good and what is bad). The idea that Good could become Evil, that Evil could beget Good (and vice versa), is something that shakes the very core of who we are, of what we want to believe about ourselves and our children. (As a Christian, I do not believe this to be truth, but that does not make the idea any less terrifying.)
Then after making us question our very own goodness (or lack-there of), in the end, Darth Vader again embodies our Greatest Hope. There WAS still good in him: He becomes Luke’s and the rebellion’s only hope of survival. By extension, he is OUR only hope of survival. If he can be redeemed, then we can be forgiven the mistakes we have made along the way. There is hope, forgiveness and redemption for us, for our parents, and for our children.
Well…. this post got a bit more serious and deep than I had planned.
But I want to end of another note. A few weeks ago I voiced my excitement at the rumors that Hayden Christensen would return as Darth Vader in Rogue One! Well, it looks like that is a NO GO, though nothing has been confirmed yet.
Still no words on whether James Earl Jones will do the voice – but I think the Star Wars universe would explode, and millions of voices suddenly crying out in terror, he if wasn’t.
So without any further ado, here is Darth Vader, #54 in the Perler bead/cross stitch/crochet/knitting/Lego/pixel/mosaic pattern series.
NOTE: We spent A LOT of time making these designs, and are absolutely thrilled to see that they are becoming so popular, but we want to remind you that we should get credit when they are used. So, if you show your work using our designs anywhere (online as well), put a “Pattern © Anette Nam Design” and link to “Maythefourthbewithyouparty.com” somewhere close by. THANK YOU! … and as always, you may not sell any products made with these patterns.
Needed if you make Perler Bead Coasters:
- Perler Beads
- Tweezers (optional)
- Perler Clear Pegboards
- Removable Tape
- Printout of Pattern (download above image)
- Baking Parchment Paper (Perler Ironing Paper)
- Heavy Object with Flat Bottom
- Cork sheets with Adhesive Backs
- Scissors or X-acto Knife
- Bantha Milk (optional)
- Download and print out the pattern provided (mirror it, if you only plan on ironing on only 1 side).
- Cut out, then tape pattern to the back of the Perler Pegboard so the dots line up with the pegs.
- Add the Perler beads (tweezers are pretty handy if you don’t have a 6 yr old’s tiny fingers).
- Carefully move pegboard to ironing board, place parchment (or Perler ironing paper) on top.
- Iron until the beads start melting together (If you have never done this before, it might take some practice to get it “just right”).
- Let cool for a bit, remove from Perler Pegboard and remove paper.
- Optional: turn over, cover with parchment paper and iron on other side. (put something solid and heatproof underneath to make ironing easier)
- If you only iron on 1 side, place it under something flat and heavy while it cools, to avoid curving.
- Cut cork about 1/4” smaller than the square, affix to the back.
- Don’t forget the Bantha milk. Enjoy!
Usually people iron on both sides of the Perler bead design, but I prefer to only do the back. The designs look crisper and more “pixely”. With the cork on the back, I have not had any problems with the coasters falling apart, but feel free to iron yours on both sides.
Note, if you only plan on iron on only 1 side, you need to mirror the pattern.
Also, the coasters are pretty hard to clean, so try not to get anything too gunky in there.
Feel free to use these patterns for any personal use – but please do not sell items made with them. Also, feel free to link to this blog so others can download the pattern, but do not download and then re-upload in order to offer them as downloads on your own site/blog. THANKS!