There are a wide variety of things that society would consider monstrous; they range from serious to sarcastic, from real to imaginary, and from annoying to harmful. Many an observant of George Lucas's Star Wars would assert that his antagonist, Darth Vader, is a monster. Vader is a monster in an unprecedented capacity. He begins as a romantic young jedi, Anakin, then seems to have some anger problems, and does some pretty irrational things. Finally, he changes back to a nice pretty jedi before death. There are six movies to document this phenomenon. Pushing three hours per movie, one begins to speculate the magnitude of this monster. An inference arises from the hype suggesting this to be one heck of a monster. Well folks, this is indeed one heck of a monster. Darth Vader is the most uncommon monster there is. On top of that, dare I say, he is the most curious of installments in the vast arsenal of figures and things in the "monster" domain.
In the early episodes the audience learns something about Vader that they would have not expected: he is a hopeless romantic. The powerful, mean monster known as Vader is revealed to have met a pretty girl in his young childhood. Anakin falls in love with the Naboo senator Padme. The magic starts when he meets her and impresses her with his mad podracing skills and cute humor. Once he resolves to become a Jedi knight she is hopelessly hooked. They get into a feisty wrestling match after a heartening conversation about intergalactic politics. Later that day Anakin musters up the courage to kiss the girl. A wet saline tear falls from the eye of the viewer at this point, and he or she wonders how a monster could be so romantic.
Vader is arguably hard to take serious in certain scenes because of his inconsistency. A foreshadowing of Vader's erratic anger streaks comes when he is in training during a battle with Sith lord Count Dooku. Anakin's master warns him to be patient, but Anakin is unable to control his temper and screams "I'm taking him now!" Shortly after turning to the darkside, Vader is told that the woman he loves is dead. In a style resembling the superhero cartoons of the fifties, Vader screams "NNNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!" The performance is rather comical, much similar to the feeling provoked by an earlier romantic scene where he tells Padme, "You're so... beautiful," in such a dazzlingly perky manner. Vader's unpredictability in character strikes a curious note and the audience wonders how a monster could be so random or borderline sarcastic.
One may wonder if his pursuit of evil was to make up for insecure moments in his childhood of embarrassing quotes and half-brained decisions. Vader is very real in that he, like many, illogically tries to make up with one bad decision with another. He digs himself into a hole, is embarrassed about being in a hole, then digs further out of ignorant protest. Shortly before Ronald Reagan's death, the band Relient K recorded an album titled Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... but Three Do. This must have been Vader's problem solving strategy. He decides to senselessly slaughter hundreds of baby Jedi still in diapers with the notion that it will somehow save his dying wife. After her death, he refuses to admit his mistake of siding with the sith. He goes even further to blow up his daughter's home planet when she does not give him information.
Darth Vader dispels many myths surrounding monsters. I was completely unaware that monsters could have such strange internal construction. Before writing this essay I had assumed that monsters had it all together. I assumed that monsters would be confident, scary and intimidating. I would have never expected one to be a cheezy romantic. I would have never expected one to have such poor insight of judgment. Vader proved me wrong though. Many hours later my eyes are bloodshot from six movies of Vader's inability to make up his mind. Am I glad I watched them: yes I am, because now I can identify another type of monster, and that is what life is all about. Right?