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The Lost
The Lost
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:50 am
Sidious repeatedly states to Luke between the mid to end point of Dark Empire that he "could" become greater than Vader, a statement which has embedded in it the claim that Luke is currently lesser than Vader.

Now, specifically, Sidious is saying that if Luke further immerses himself into the dark side, continues learning its secrets and giving in to his anger and hatred, that he will be made greater for it. The Sith's doctrine is a will to power; to take control of the Force through their passion, use it to gain personal power and control over the universe, and thus be set free.

So I'm curious; if not in a sense relating to the acquisition of more personal power, what else could Sidious mean by "greater"? The End Notes in particular speak at length about the nature, purpose and results of Luke's training:

DE Luke and Vader... Vwzs4n10
The Ellimist
The Ellimist
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:22 am
I think Sidious meant that Luke could be a "greater" dark side Force user / Sith than Vader. He wouldn't be at the time, since he wasn't a dark sider. E.g. "join, you could be the best debater in the tournament" doesn't necessarily mean that the person you're talking to isn't the best debater compared to those in the tournament, but they aren't in the tournament yet.

^ or rather, that's an interpretation that doesn't contradict the numerous sources that put RotJ Luke = RotJ Vader.
Master Azronger
Master Azronger
Moderator | Champion of the Light
Moderator | Champion of the Light

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:32 am
"The great Darth Vader was a sick man in an iron mask! Yes, that mask inspired terror throughout the galaxy... but the feeble heart within was forever possessed by the impotent side of the Force! You can be far stronger than he was!"

The Emperor is referring to Vader's commitment to the dark side and his strength of will. The entire scene is about him trying to convert Luke. It's not about Force power.
The Lost
The Lost
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:47 am
I am guessing the refutation to this are quotes saying that Luke and Vader in RotJ were "equally strong in the Force", but I think there's a few reasons why seemingly contradictory quotes can be reconciled with one another. To do this I'll draw on a few pertinent examples.

1. "Strong in the Force" is a statement which changes depending on the context of its use. Some examples include: Anakin is at all points in his life since TPM referred to as stronger in the Force than anyone else. This is a non-combative context. Luke has a few accolades as early as his birth or RotJ calling him the greatest Jedi ever or most powerful Jedi ever. This is another non-combative context. Ben in ANH in some sources and is referred to by Vader has having diminished powers, which leads to...

2. Ben Kenobi retorts to Vader that he only sees a limited aspect of the Force, that he will be more powerful in death. Now, while this is pithy and true metaphorically, apparently it has some basis in fact: Ben's connection to the Force is greater than it was before, and he even senses that Vader's power has matured since their last fight, even though both are combatively weaker.

3. We have quotes stating that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Vader were equally matched in RotS, and they even stalemated telekinetically. I would be hard pressed to argue that Obi-Wan had the same strength in the Force than Vader, yet when it came down to a fight, their brute strength appeared equal.

So... how is it that Luke and Vader could be "equally strong in the Force" while Vader is simultaneously a greater Force user than Luke? And how is it that, according to Dark Empire, Luke only becomes the "greatest Jedi" by the end of the comic? How is it that Luke is able to hack off Sidious' arm, because he is "too strong" for him, yet, he is simultaneously too weak to defeat the Emperor, powerless to stop him from ravaging a fleet with his Force Storm, without the pooled power and potential of himself, Leia and her unborn child?

Because, it seems that there is a peculiar sense in which one can be "stronger in the Force" or "weaker in the Force" combatively, which specifically speaks to a dueling context (Old Ben being "weaker" than Obi-Wan, Kenobi and Anakin being equal, Vader and Luke being equal, Luke being "too strong" for Sidious in a duel). 

But there is another sense or another aspect in which one can be powerful in the Force, or greater, which transcends just winning a lightsaber duel: it can speak to a greater connection to or knowledge of the Force, an inner power that can only be expressed in a higher form. On the lower end, this is with things like Ben and Vader being more powerful, or their powers having matured, compared to Obi-Wan and Anakin, or where Sidious is still more powerful than Luke can handle alone even though he is a lesser duelist. It can even be taken to a meta level of power or greatness, like the accolades stating Luke (or Anakin) is the greatest or most powerful Jedi ever before or during RotJ, or where Ben states he will become more powerful than Vader can possibly imagine in death.

This seems a more satisfactory way of looking at it, because it's hard to imagine that RotJ Luke is a more powerful Force wielder than Vader. Vader is extremely hampered by his suit. Much like how Sidious' full power can only be expressed by a Force Storm, Vader's full power cannot possibly be brought to bear in a mundane duel with lightsabers and Force pushes. Its even worse for him because of the suit. It clears up why Ben grew more powerful in the Force but was a shadow of his former self in a fight.

This leads me to believe that post-suit Vader is, actually, in possession of more raw power than Anakin, and throughout his career has had trouble accessing it and manifesting because of a combination of psychological and physical handicaps. Now, his upper limits of power are obviously lesser, as Anakin has more midichlorians, so Anakin's outliers are higher than Vader's outliers. But as a kind of baseline of power, what can be accessed on a whim, or to put it another way, the depth of connection to the Force on a consistent basis, Vader is probably greater than Anakin and just has no way to show it to its full extent. He's also no doubt wiser and more knowledgeable.

So that would explain why Vader is still greater than an Anakin-esque prodigy like Luke, even though he would lose a duel to him: for precisely the same reason Sidious is greater than Luke but a lesser duelist - there is a deeper strata of Force connection that cannot manifest itself in a mere duel.
The Ellimist
The Ellimist
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:15 pm
The full quote from Beware the Sith is:

Although Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are equally strong in the Force, their duels are more than just about physical strength.

So it ties being strong in the Force to physical strength, e.g. augmentation. I guess it's possible that Vader is equal in augmentation but stronger in TK or something.

In terms of "deeper" Force reserves, that is more likely from precedent to favor the one with the greater potential, which would be Luke. If we accept the argument that Sidious had deeper reserves, that would be due to his various means in surpassing his potential, which Vader does not appear to have gotten. While Vader's suit may inhibit his mobility, it seems unlikely that it would severely inhibit his ability to use the Force beyond what the injuries already had. And if it did, why would Palpatine be referring to with his use of "greater" some hypothetical deep power that Vader might have had but would never get to use in any meaningful way? (Vader does clearly have a greater mastery and fine control over the Force than Luke by RotJ though)

If anything, the phrase "greater" is more dependent on practical filters of the raw power, while "strong" is likely to be closer to said raw power, or at least applicable power.

But again, the simplest explanation is that Palpatine was just saying that Luke could be a far greater apprentice than Vader; that doesn't imply that Luke was weaker, just that he wasn't an apprentice yet. E.g.:

"Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful."

Doesn't mean that Anakin wasn't already younger and more powerful than Dooku; it's just that he wasn't his apprentice yet.
The Lost
The Lost
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:30 pm
I was reaching pretty hard by the end of my post, and I think you and Az's interpretation is better. Still, we could salvage something.

Vader being a shit tier duelist relative to his power but still equalling Luke in a duel suggests he compensates with more raw power (or maybe more experience but I digress).

Vader even early in his suit is sensed by other characters having insane raw power, even more than someone like Kar Vastor or comparable to Yoda, and we do have quotes saying he grew more powerful or felt more powerful than ever at certain points between ANH-RotJ.

Sidious says midway that Luke could be "greater" than Vader if he learns his secrets, and then once he has learned them, he modifies it to "far greater" - so, to me, it seems like Luke maybe wasn't leaps and bounds more powerful than Vader midway through, but was much more powerful after his training was complete. Now, if like me you wank DE Luke as being Yoda tier around the midway point, then Vader having proximity to him is still very impressive, and since I have EoDE Luke as a theoretical tier 10, him being far greater than Vader doesn't preclude Vader being a tier 9.

It helps that Vader's dormant potential was greater than the Father's, and broke all known midichlorian scales, meanwhile even Sidious and Yoda could be measured by these scales. Does losing an arm and two legs and some skin really take Vader from above the Father to hopelessly below Yoda?

Just throwing some shit at the wall. I guess another thing is that he acquitted himself well against Galen/SK even when their psychological burdens were lifted, and Vader and Ben had a kind of minutes-long invisible battle of wills which they stalemated in, which seemed to be that invisible probing Kas'im talks about in PoD, where Force users devote some of their power to maintaining an invisible veil, and in trying to conceal their future attacks while predicting their opponents attacks. So if Vader is equal to Ben in this invisible battle of wills, and Ben has a stronger Force connection than the bordering-on-Vader-level Obi-Wan, it all adds up so wank Vader everyone.
The Ellimist
The Ellimist
Level Five
Level Five

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:38 pm
If the concern is about lowballing Vader via RotJ Luke, I think it's possible to note that Luke is clearly operating at a higher level in his duel with Vader than he is, say, when he's fighting random scout troopers or random characters later, and there are various ways to argue for this variance in his power. So basically, peak-RotJ Luke is very strong, it's not that Vader is weak.

As you noted, I don't think scaling to DE Luke is very convincing given that it seems like wishful reaching from some vague rhetoric by Palpatine vs. more explicit evidence to the contrary.

However, some of the other avenues proposed I agree can work. More generally, we can separate Vader's dueling limitations that come from his suit from his raw power and mastery. The former have various quotes re: Kar Vastor and the Ferus/Jax quotes, and the latter can be inferred from various pieces of evidence combined with the lack of that being clearly hindered on Mustafar. The Ben Kenobi scaling is interesting and something I'd have to look into further.

TFU also makes it clear that Vader's power isn't something trifling. He ragdolls Kota who was matching early game Marek, so at the very least he scales quite a bit above the pretty impressive feats of early game Marek. And a good faith playing of the game or reading of the novelization certainly does not give the impression that Vader is some sort of Wizard of Oz figure that is actually fodder to Galen; even by the end, Galen only defeats Vader with difficulty (and this is pre-prime Vader).

What's more, Galen's tutanimus vs. Palpatine, which happens before his stated Oneness, is often handwaved as some sort of peak performance even though that hadn't really been stated. There's no definitive reason to discount that Galen as separate from the one that had just fought Vader (and beaten him - but with difficulty).

(if one takes promotions seriously, which were apparently C-canon, one can look at the published statement IIRC where the developers say that the 19 BBY Vader you play at the beginning is a taste of what Galen would be able to do towards the end of the game, lol)
lorenzo.r.2nd
lorenzo.r.2nd
Level Two
Level Two

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:04 pm
learned some cool shit today lol 

i feel like its obvious, but the fight between luke and Vader was EXTREMELY circumstantial for both sides.

and vader is not a bad duelist, he is just very stiff, and not nearly as agile as he used to be. i actually think he is unbeaten in a duel, iirc. no one aside from luke actually beat him, and luke was trained to fight vader specifically by obi wan and yoda themselves, while having advantages on everything aside from experience.
HeartoftheForce
HeartoftheForce
Level One
Level One

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:08 am
Luke was always enraged or up against exhausted/conflicted Vader in RotJ.

If you contextualize all his "equal" quotes with that this line up perfectly with all of the post RotJ content which paints Luke as sub Vader as well.
Underachiever599
Underachiever599

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:22 am
@lorenzo.r.2nd wrote:learned some cool shit today lol 

i feel like its obvious, but the fight between luke and Vader was EXTREMELY circumstantial for both sides.

and vader is not a bad duelist, he is just very stiff, and not nearly as agile as he used to be. i actually think he is unbeaten in a duel, iirc. no one aside from luke actually beat him, and luke was trained to fight vader specifically by obi wan and yoda themselves, while having advantages on everything aside from experience.
Where do you keep getting the idea from that Luke was trained specifically to fight Vader by Ben and Yoda? Sure, Ben and Yoda intended Luke to defeat Vader, but they also intended for him to defeat Sidious as well. "Stopped they must be. On this, all depends." Not to mention, neither Ben nor Yoda had ever fought suited Vader before the moments of their death, so neither knew exactly how suited Vader fought (given he majorly revamped his style after being put in the suit, as stated in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader). And Luke applied his fighting style against the stated lightsaber master Baron Tagge, the Form VII specialist Kharys, and he briefly held his own against Celeste Morne before ESB. So clearly, Luke's fighting style wasn't tailored to fighting Vader alone. 

I'm genuinely curious if you have a source you can provide that says Luke was specifically trained to fight Vader, and wasn't just being trained to be a combat specialist in general.
BoD
BoD
Level Six
Level Six

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:44 am
Interesting ideas, ILS. I do think there's a big difference between Vader's duelling abilities and his power. For one, Luke is younger, had better agility, speed and the benefit of organic, responsive limbs in contrast to Vader's clunky prosthetics. Skill can only do so much against those kind of advantages. 

More to the point, the duel itself is pretty contextual. Luke begins by drawing on the dark side, gaining an edge against a conflicted Vader. He then fights defensively and retreats before Vader's attacks, refusing to give into anger or hatred. The third act sees Luke undergo a Zonakin style amp, dominating an unprepared and conflicted Vader and driving him back until he defeats him.

This isn't to diminish Luke at all. It's simply that Luke here was operating at a far greater level than he would at base level.
lorenzo.r.2nd
lorenzo.r.2nd
Level Two
Level Two

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:50 pm
@Underachiever599 wrote:
@lorenzo.r.2nd wrote:learned some cool shit today lol 

i feel like its obvious, but the fight between luke and Vader was EXTREMELY circumstantial for both sides.

and vader is not a bad duelist, he is just very stiff, and not nearly as agile as he used to be. i actually think he is unbeaten in a duel, iirc. no one aside from luke actually beat him, and luke was trained to fight vader specifically by obi wan and yoda themselves, while having advantages on everything aside from experience.
Where do you keep getting the idea from that Luke was trained specifically to fight Vader by Ben and Yoda? Sure, Ben and Yoda intended Luke to defeat Vader, but they also intended for him to defeat Sidious as well. "Stopped they must be. On this, all depends." Not to mention, neither Ben nor Yoda had ever fought suited Vader before the moments of their death, so neither knew exactly how suited Vader fought (given he majorly revamped his style after being put in the suit, as stated in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader). And Luke applied his fighting style against the stated lightsaber master Baron Tagge, the Form VII specialist Kharys, and he briefly held his own against Celeste Morne before ESB. So clearly, Luke's fighting style wasn't tailored to fighting Vader alone. 

I'm genuinely curious if you have a source you can provide that says Luke was specifically trained to fight Vader, and wasn't just being trained to be a combat specialist in general.
Oh great point, him being trained to defeat Sheev as well completely destroys what i said. Good job. Wait, no, it actually cements what i said, as we hear it from the horse's mouth that their primary objective was defeating them both. For one, do u really think that Obi Wan, Yoda, or Luke would instantly face off against Sheev without having to face Vader first? Vader was the face of the empire. He was literally the key to killing Sheev lol. And Ben did fight Vader, and we know that his spirit was around all the way through ROTJ. He even spoke to Vader and Luke before that, guiding Luke, which supports what i said yet again. Him fighting other duelists somehow contradicts what i said now? Amazing. More like it supports what i said. Vader was a better duelists than any of them by far and away. Luke himself had fought Vader in ESB. He knew what he was up against. Why would he not prepare himself? Its like im talking to a tree here, man. Training to defeat the best duelist alive at that point would mean that he could at least fight other duelists as well lmao.

I doubted i needed a source for this, which is why i said it was obvious in first post, but i suppose thats not the case anymore. No i dont have a source. I got this from an old comicvine blog, which now doesnt exist anymore, otherwise i wouldve posted it alongside my first comment.
Underachiever599
Underachiever599

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:29 pm
@lorenzo.r.2nd wrote:
@Underachiever599 wrote:
@lorenzo.r.2nd wrote:learned some cool shit today lol 

i feel like its obvious, but the fight between luke and Vader was EXTREMELY circumstantial for both sides.

and vader is not a bad duelist, he is just very stiff, and not nearly as agile as he used to be. i actually think he is unbeaten in a duel, iirc. no one aside from luke actually beat him, and luke was trained to fight vader specifically by obi wan and yoda themselves, while having advantages on everything aside from experience.
Where do you keep getting the idea from that Luke was trained specifically to fight Vader by Ben and Yoda? Sure, Ben and Yoda intended Luke to defeat Vader, but they also intended for him to defeat Sidious as well. "Stopped they must be. On this, all depends." Not to mention, neither Ben nor Yoda had ever fought suited Vader before the moments of their death, so neither knew exactly how suited Vader fought (given he majorly revamped his style after being put in the suit, as stated in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader). And Luke applied his fighting style against the stated lightsaber master Baron Tagge, the Form VII specialist Kharys, and he briefly held his own against Celeste Morne before ESB. So clearly, Luke's fighting style wasn't tailored to fighting Vader alone. 

I'm genuinely curious if you have a source you can provide that says Luke was specifically trained to fight Vader, and wasn't just being trained to be a combat specialist in general.
Oh great point, him being trained to defeat Sheev as well completely destroys what i said. Good job. Wait, no, it actually cements what i said, as we hear it from the horse's mouth that their primary objective was defeating them both. For one, do u really think that Obi Wan, Yoda, or Luke would instantly face off against Sheev without having to face Vader first? Vader was the face of the empire. He was literally the key to killing Sheev lol. And Ben did fight Vader, and we know that his spirit was around all the way through ROTJ. He even spoke to Vader and Luke before that, guiding Luke, which supports what i said yet again. Him fighting other duelists somehow contradicts what i said now? Amazing. More like it supports what i said. Vader was a better duelists than any of them by far and away. Luke himself had fought Vader in ESB. He knew what he was up against. Why would he not prepare himself? Its like im talking to a tree here, man. Training to defeat the best duelist alive at that point would mean that he could at least fight other duelists as well lmao.

I doubted i needed a source for this, which is why i said it was obvious in first post, but i suppose thats not the case anymore. No i dont have a source. I got this from an old comicvine blog, which now doesnt exist anymore, otherwise i wouldve posted it alongside my first comment.
I'm not saying Yoda and Ben didn't intend for Luke to defeat Vader. But the way you phrased it makes it sound like you believe Yoda and Ben taught Luke to specifically face Vader's style (a viewpoint you've harped on in previous threads). "no one aside from luke actually beat him, and luke was trained to fight vader specifically by obi wan and yoda themselves, while having advantages on everything aside from experience." That sounds like you're saying Luke's training was specifically honed toward defeating Vader, when it was not. Yes, defeating Vader was one goal, but it's far from the only one. Luke had to be flexible, being capable of fighting any style of combatant, not just Vader. Luke's skillset isn't tooled toward specifically dealing with Vader, it's based around reading his opponent and exploiting any weakness he finds, as Yoda teaches him in Treasure of the Dragonsnake. 

On top of that, I've seen nothing indicating Old Ben's spirit taught Luke, aside from giving the occassional nuggets of wisdom or pointing Luke in a certain direction. Ben's spirit was not heavily involved in Luke's lightsaber training, for instance. And Yoda had no experience facing Vader, so he couldn't have trained Luke to fight Vader specifically. All he could do is teach Luke to be the best duelist possible, and hope it would be enough to overcome Vader. 

My point is, Luke's victory over Vader in RotJ was not due to Luke being specially trained purely for the sake of defeating Vader. Luke's training was much more generalized, and his victory can be attributed to many other things, such as the specific emotional circumstances both combatants were dealing with at the time, coupled with Luke's unprecedented learning curve and natural gift for lightsaber combat.
lorenzo.r.2nd
lorenzo.r.2nd
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Level Two

DE Luke and Vader... Empty Re: DE Luke and Vader...

on Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:17 pm
I see what u mean, i suppose, but i do think that his main goal was defeating Vader, which is an idea that u do not share with me. U seem to think that because he trained to fight Vader (which is what i think he mostly focused on), he didnt train other areas. Thats not what i think either. He was trained by Yoda, one of the most well rounded fighters around. Yoda clearly made him an all rounder as well, even if he wasnt good at it at first. Him training to fight Vader wouldnt mean that he cant fight other opponents, as we know he can. U seem to forget that Vader is by far the most skilled duelist Luke has ever seen, aside from Sidious in DE. Him training to fight Vader wouldve made him a fucking great duelist, not a mediocre one who only focused on one opponent. Him being a even a slight match for Vader wouldve already made him the 3rd or so best duelist in the galaxy by that point, easy.

I havent either. But like u pointed out, he was fact present, as we know. We dont know what he did specifically, duh, but we know that he gave Luke pointers with the force, and started his training with a lightsaber. Is that crazy to think that he couldve at least told Luke what to do and what not to do? What to expect? What to prepare for? U actually think that that didnt happen at all?

Of course not, otherwise that wouldve made Vader a horrible duelist who cant even adapt to a style that is pretty much his own hahaha. Luke had technically speaking fought Vader before, if only very briefly. Vader thought that Luke wouldve been a noob just like before, which was obviously not the case. And yes, Luke is prolly the fastest learner we have seen. Not even Anakin was that good and gifted.
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