|Posted: 02 June 2013 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 12
Thinking again recently about the early concept of Vader, and how far the films drifted away from it.
In the earliest drafts, the Sith were a warrior/pirate clan who were rivals of the Jedi. Vader was unconnected to them at this point.
Eventually, it was decided that the Sith Lords were a group of warriors who served the Emperor and did his dirty work. Several other Sith Lords appeared the third draft alongside Vader, who casually referred to him as "Darth". Some of Ralph McQuarrie and John Mollo's costume concepts were for generic "Sith Lords", indicating that Vader's suit was possibly the standard armor of the Sith Lords. This was all before the notion of the suit as an iron lung had been developed, naturally.
In the final film, the term "Sith" is never even mentioned--it's only seen in publicity materials and adaptations.
If one goes in knowing that bit of undisclosed backstory regarding the Sith, the thrust of the original movie is very clear. The idea is that the Emperor has put Vader--his right-hand Sith Lord--onto the trail of the Death Star plans, because they're hugely important to the survival of the Empire. Vader isn't part of the Imperial bureacracy, but he defers to Tarkin for the duration of his mission aboard the Death Star.
In the novelization, several Imperials even express concern that a Sith Lord has been "inflicted" upon them by the Emperor.
And, it seems that Vader is a somewhat unusual Sith Lord, since he was once a Jedi, and was instrumental in that organization's destruction (which perhaps explains why he's favored by the Emperor). In earlier drafts, the Sith Lords were all Force-users, but the final film indicates that Vader may be unique in that regard.
And the Emperor was just a puppet leader, who was controlled by Tarkin and the other bureaucrats.
When you really start to break it all down, you start to see the how and why of Lucas' major story changes as the films progressed. How the Emperor became a Sith and puppet-master, etc.
Still wish he would have stuck with the original story. A lot of neat ideas that were never explored, unfortunately.
Edited by Greg Kirkman on 02 June 2013 at 5:24pm