Mouth full of oil. Twenty minutes on the clock. Let’s go.
In yesterday’s post I wrote about Darth Vader and a Sith shortcoming that has been bothering me for years. How was it possible, I asked, for him to Force Choke Admiral Ozzel from across the Super Star Destroyer Executor, but when it came time to chase Luke down the trench he refused to reach out and choke someone? Was it because he refused to kill his son? Are there limitations to his Force Choking abilities? Or was it something else entirely? Apparently I’m not the only one who has spent some time trying to solve that puzzle. Eric likened his powers to a WiFi signal. They’re strong when Vader is close to his target, but they decrease as the distance and obstacles increase. It’s a good theory. An obvious theory. But it makes me wonder if Eric has ever even seen the movies, or if he’s just been posing as a fan boy for the entirety of our relationship. Think about it. Vader was in his chambers when he choked Ozzel. We’re never told exactly how far this is from the bridge, but when the ship is a total of 19,000 meters long it’s safe to assume they weren’t right next to each other. Still, with all that distance and with every wall, floor, computer, person, and droid that existed between the two men, Vader had zero problems doling out some Force Choke justice. I think it’s safe to assume there was more distance between Vader and his target than there was between Vader’s TIE x1 and Luke’s X-Wing as they skimmed down the Death Star trench. “Easy,” Eric reasoned when I brought up this point, “Vader couldn’t choke him because he couldn’t see him.” That’s another fair theory, and one I mentioned myself in the original post, but it totally discounts Vader’s actions at the end of Empire Strikes Back. After clashing with Luke on Bespin, the Sith Lord had no problems reaching out across space to enter his son’s mind and implore him to think twice about running away. Are you to tell me that Vader can locate and communicate with Luke from across a planetary orbit, but he can’t choke him from 50 yards away? Seems specious. Brian came about the problem in a different way. He’s of the opinion that Vader sensed Luke’s presence in the X-Wing, and used Darth’s words to prove his point. “The Force is strong in this one,” the Sith Lord said as he struggled to get target lock. In Brian’s mind, Vader learning about a force-wielding pilot threw him off just enough to cost the Empire their first Death Star. It’s an interesting theory and it could play into Vader’s vanity. After all, dude is a Sith Lord. Everyone knows he can go around Force Choking until the days are done. Is it that far fetched to believe he takes pride in his piloting prowess? Would you be surprised to learn he wanted to show that he could take down any pilot, Force be damned? However you slice it, Vader blew a golden opportunity to end the Rebellion. I just wish I knew if it was because of hubris, or because even a Sith Lord isn’t powerful enough to Force Choke someone without seeing them. Answer me, George. I know you’re reading this. Today’s twenty minutes are up. Spit, rinse, repeat. Always repeat. If you’ve come this far, perhaps you’ll be willing to go a little farther. I’m trying to get a photo published in Relix magazine. Can you please visit this link and vote for my picture? I’ll totally be in your debt to the tune of four high-fives.