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View Full Version : Vader - Can the big guy run?



Krad-edis
5 March 2002, 06:19 PM
We always see the big armored figure walking at a fast gait as if he always means serious business (which he does). We see that in combat, his movements can be incredibly quick, and that he can leap with the aid of the force quite some distance. He is capable of moving fast, but just how encumbered is he from his cybernetics and armor?

We see that while in pursuit of the heroes (Death Star Docking bay where Millenium Falcon was held, after Luke shot the blast door panel) Vader turns towards the ship as the blast doors are closing. Stormies are flooding in behind Vader who is walking. In ESB, we see Vader taking a stroll through the Echo Base, looking for Luke and his pals. If urgency is necessity, one would think that Vader would run or at least move a little faster than his menacing gait.

I know that some are thinking "Well, just because we haven't seen him run, doesn't mean that he can't." True.....but if he had taken a jog or sprinted down the icy cooridors of Echo Base and caught Han and Leia, things would have been different, and things would have been really different if he would have done a hop and a skip and made it through the closing blast door on the Death Star. Luke might have been turned to the dark side before he even completed his training.

What does everyone think? Can he do an actual dash, or is the big guy limited to a power walk? Can a Jedi character run from Vader forever, just by simply moving at a pace faster than a brisk walk?

Ghost In The Holocron
5 March 2002, 07:11 PM
My take on it: YES. But: he chooses not to! ;) Thereby maintaining the sheer unfazed intimidating dignity of a Sith Lord. Then again, he hardly every needs to anyway -- "stormtroopers, bring back that rat. <sigh>"

Talonne Hauk
5 March 2002, 07:19 PM
He can. But in the classic trilogy, he's just too cool to do it Besides, he's got all these suck-ups and youngsters around him. Why run when he can make them do it. Of course, it's not like we'd see him sweat. But still, it's undignified.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
5 March 2002, 07:37 PM
He's got the darkside to his will... he can push, pull, shove, even crush without much effort...

In that respect, trying to run from him is futile. He does his menacing gait to make it all that much more effective in apearance.

A stable, sturdy pace usually denotes control and power when in a position of leadership. To make quick movements, run or jog after someone or into a situation would sort of undermine the whole effect he's conveying.

And to jump through the blast door and get ahead of your own troops is foolish in most cases. Besides, thats what the stormies are for: to rush ahead, get blasted and be canon fodder :D

well, thats my 2 cents anyways :p

Krad-edis
5 March 2002, 08:46 PM
It really depends on who he is trying to crush...an imperial officer...well they aren't that tough to choke, but what about another Jedi? I don't think that force grip---telekinetic kill stuff would work very well against someone who was well trained with force defense---force of will powers.

I think it is very plausible for a Jedi to just run away from the guy if you know that all he is just a cripple with powerful armor and a legion of lackeys to do his running.

Yes, it is true that it is not always the best thing to do get in front of your troops, but if you see the door closing, and you are not going to make it by walking in a scary manner, why walk forward at all? He did not even make an attempt to hustle...what I am getting at is .....can he really hustle with all of his gear? Or is his gear really designed for him to be fast moving. Life support, armor, cybernetic limbs (which I find hard to believe are as coordinated as real limbs), all have to be a very big negative to the guy no matter how much of a force badass he is. I mean, that has to be some heavy gear.

I tend to look at him as someone who moves slow, is extremely powerful in their attacks, and can take a serious beating with all of that armor. I think most of the Jedi who died against him tried to go through him, and the ones who lived are the ones who ran.....this is just me though.

Even though I think he would be hard pressed in chasing someone down, imagine the look on your player's faces when they hear you say:

"Yep, you called him "Betrayer of the Order", and "Cybernetic Bronchitis", and he is now running after you even though you used your Burst of Speed or Enhanced Ability skills."

"What? You mean he can actually run and not just march around like a grouch?"

"Yep, surprise! He is right behind you."

phoenixbrose
5 March 2002, 09:16 PM
I say yes, but why would he need to? With the Emperor telling Vader what has been forseen, he knows the outcome of a situation before he is in it, so he can maintain the air of menace by simply quickening his pace without running.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
5 March 2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Krad-edis
We see that while in pursuit of the heroes (Death Star Docking bay where Millenium Falcon was held, after Luke shot the blast door panel) Vader turns towards the ship as the blast doors are closing. Stormies are flooding in behind Vader who is walking. In ESB, we see Vader taking a stroll through the Echo Base, looking for Luke and his pals. If urgency is necessity, one would think that Vader would run or at least move a little faster than his menacing gait.

As I seem to recall - and I dont have my copy of the novel handy to double check - but Vader was hauling ass on Echo Base, and the troopers with him had to hustle to keep up.

See, it's all a matter of prospective. Them long legs of his cover so much ground with each stride. So yeah, I'd say he could catch up with whoever he needed to.

Talonne Hauk
5 March 2002, 09:57 PM
Long legs! Exactly! I'm 6'7", why didn't I think of that? People constantly have to walk faster to keep up with me. (Or conversely, I stroll while they walk.) And let me tell you, when a big guy runs, it looks stupid. (See how I tie this into my earlier post?) So he doesn't run because he doesn't need to. And it looks stupid.:p

blitzkreig
5 March 2002, 11:08 PM
yeah. vader could run. but he would look much cooler with the menacing gait. running after the good guy on foot just doesn't seem intimidating to me. now walking at a steady "power walk" implies that vader has all the time in the world and that if you run, you will just die tired (quote belongs to someone i just cannot think who at the moment)

reliant
6 March 2002, 04:58 AM
I'm sure that Vader could run if he had to. Why bother though? It's way cooler to just walk around and have your underlings do all the running for you. He is a fully trained jedi so I would imagine he could move like Obi-Wan and Qui Gon did in Episode 1. Like has been mentioned though, it's just scarier/more impressive to just stroll around as if you own the universe.

Chris Curtis
6 March 2002, 05:45 AM
While the two main examples you cite (DS docking bay and Echo Base) look good to start with, they begin to fall apart if you look at them more closely.

DS Docking Bay: One of the reasons Vader probably didn't run is the fact that he didn't actually want to catch the Heroes. He was intentionally letting them escape so that they could be tracked. Remember, "You're taking an awful risk..."

Echo Base: Now here, Vader really did want to catch the Heroes. However, since he wasn't directly watching them, he couldn't know how close (or far) they were to getting away. Besides, he had plenty of other troops storming the base in various places that he could feel fairly confident of being able to contain anyone.

Then there's also the fact that David Prowse's costume may not have allowed him to run, even though Vader's suit would have allowed him to run. Back in the '70s when these movies were being filmed, special effects and costuming simply weren't as advanced as they are today. They probably didn't want to spend the money to make the costume as flexible as they would have liked.

BillyBeanbag
6 March 2002, 07:13 AM
I'll preface with a ;)

Nah... he's like Jason and all the other archetypal slasher killers... they only walk, but you can never get away!!!!

;)

dgswensen
6 March 2002, 07:42 AM
I think it always suits the Dark Side to be underestimated. The Emperor makes himself to appear as a frail old man, using a walking cane he doesn't need. It doesn't seem far-fetched for Vader to be able to run, but just never do so without a purpose. In the entire SW trilogy, the biggest mistake <I>anyone</I> ever makes is underestimating Darth Vader. So why not make this one more opportunity to underestimate him? :)

Krad-edis
6 March 2002, 01:56 PM
Actually the biggest mistake anyone made was underestimating Luke. He had to contend with the two dark side arch villains, while not even fully trained....and he walked away. I'd say the second would be Darth Vader, who surprisingly redeemed himself after years of evil.

Now Chris Curtis brings up the point of David Prowse's 70's costume. Might be hard to run in that thing. Perhaps cinematics keep him from running physically or what most people have said, a brisk walk towards your prey hints at they can run as long as they want, but they cannot hide forever.

But the fact still remains that something that cumbersome and artificial has to be hard to get in motion....or at least it would seem so.
While Vader does seem to make up for his handicaps in certain respects, I don't think he would be able to catch up to a Jedi who is not wearing that heavy crap and carrying an oxygen tank.

Maybe we will get to see Vader do the pole vault in Episode 3...wouldn't that be something :D

dgswensen
6 March 2002, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Krad-edis
<B>Actually the biggest mistake anyone made was underestimating Luke. He had to contend with the two dark side arch villains, while not even fully trained....and he walked away. I'd say the second would be Darth Vader, who surprisingly redeemed himself after years of evil.</B>

I'm going to disagree, but in a very friendly fashion. In my opinion, over the course of the three movies, the biggest mistake a number of characters make is underestimating Vader. For example:

<LI>Star Wars: The Imperial officer in Star Wars who advises Vader not to "try to scare us with your sorcerer's ways." Moments later, gets quite the big scare himself, and almost pays with his life for his clever quip.
<LI>Grand Moff Tarkin underestimates Vader when he refuses to believe Obi-Wan is on board the Death Star. "The Jedi are extinct! Their fire has gone out of the universe." No, their fire has just deactivated your tractor beam, genius.
<LI>Empire Strikes Back: Admiral Ozzel takes the initiative in coming out of hyperspace close to Hoth, thinking Vader might reward, or at least forgive, his maverick decision. Wrong. Scratch one admiral.
<LI>Han Solo and company, after a clever escape from the Empire, take refuge on Bespin, thinking Vader will never find them there. They were right -- Vader instead hired bounty hunters who <I>would</I> know where to find them, and he arrives well ahead of our heroes -- where Han Solo pulls his gat and blasts away, thinking he can get the drop on ol' Darth -- to no effect. Tough luck.
<LI>Lando Calrissian cuts a deal with Vader, thinking Vader's sense of honor will compel him to keep his end of the bargain. Nope. Vader shafts him without a second thought.
<LI>Luke thinks he can take on Vader in a lightsaber duel. "You'll find I'm full of surprises!" he says. Surprise! He loses his lightsaber, his hand, and a whole lot of pride.
<LI>Return of the Jedi: Though this one is arguable, I think Luke underestimated how dedicated Vader was to the dark side. During their final battle, he keeps talking about Vader's "conflict," but in the end, doesn't move Vader even a little. Vader gleefully prods him, picks apart his mind, and plots to turn Leia to the Dark Side -- finally pushing Luke over the edge (though this turns out for the better, in the end).
<LI>Finally, the Emperor makes the biggest mistake of all -- thinking Vader was completely subservient to his will, and unable to turn against him. Last mistake he ever made.

So, while I agree that Luke's defiance is great, I think Vader wins on volume :)

Talonne Hauk
6 March 2002, 03:30 PM
While we're all so gleefully speculating, I'll throw in a new one. In a fight to the finish, who comes out on top; Vader or Maul? This is related to the topic at hand, because while we never saw Vader running anywhere, we saw Maul practically break dancing (All right, so I'm dating myself there. Bear with me on this one.) while fighting Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. So maybe the question is this; were Vader's movements tailored to his opponents abilities? My heart says to go with Vader in the previously mentioned fight, because he's the baddest of the bad. But Maul was able to spin like a top around his opponents. I don't know...

dgswensen
6 March 2002, 04:45 PM
I vote for Darth Vader, because it's hard to spin like a top when your larynx has been crushed.

I like Darth Maul, but I find him to essentially be a pit bull. He's a great fighter, but Obi-Wan outsmarted him with very little effort -- Vader would have no trouble doing the same.

Krad-edis
6 March 2002, 08:45 PM
Underestimating someone who appears to be handicapped is what I think we were talking about earlier. Vader qualifies, but his experience and armor make up for his limited mobility handicap. Luke had a hand-me-down lightsaber and sparatic teaching in the force. He really had nothing going for him other than having good friends and being strong in the force. His inexperience and brashness seemed to make him a perfect target for dark side material....yet he fools everyone, including the Emperor.


Despite Vader's limited movement and breathing problems, I never really came off with the idea that Vader was an underdog. This is the guy who killed all of the Jedi. He chokes Imperial officers whenever they piss him off, and everyone seems to be afraid of him, with the exception of the Emperor. He is a bad ass. We see the three movies and the person at odds with everything was Luke. Luke was the underdog! He is a whiny punk who thinks that everything is unfair. Even with being outclassed and outgunned, the big bad boss man, and his darkside slave found out that he was able to resist the dark side, and was able to turn his father back to the light side. He triumphed in the end, after all he flew away, while the Emperor flew to his death. No one expected it. The Emperor who had been underestimated by his peers in the Galactic Senate, who eventually ruled the galaxy after crushing the guardians of peace for generations, had been beaten by a half trained Jedi farm boy....Now I call that serious underestimation on Palpies part. From reading some EU, I kind of had a feeling that old Palpie knew that Vader would backstab him if he got the chance, but he never figured he was in much danger against some punk kid.

While tricking Lando and beating Han on the draw is impressive, I don't see how it can compare to tricking probably the most evil and crafty person in the galxy, and helping one of the most evil men in the galaxy turn back to the light side can really compare. Those are pretty big events that no one expected. Luke has some serious volume with fewer actions if you ask me.

Anyhow, I think Vader would have crushed Maul. At least if Maul would have stuck around. If Vader could trap Maul into an enclosed space where Maul would have had a hard time swinging that double blade, then Vader could just whack him down. That would be cool to watch.

The Admiral
6 March 2002, 08:46 PM
An odd question.

Few points;

Vader's a Sith Lord, if he wanted to, he could probably fly. In addition,he is strong in the Force, he can see things happening early enough on he can usually get there fast enough that he wouldn't HAVE to run anywhere.

Vader's not a combat moggy, like Maul. He's a thinker, not a fighter. Sure, if he DOES fight, all manner of bells and whistles kick off. But we only see him have two real fights, and neither of those he was trying to win. (I don't count Kenobi, that was more of a quiet chat,,,)

As Hauk pointed out, and I have to agree, tall people move like lightning. I'm 6'5", and my normal walking speed causes most people to trot beside me. Rather like all stormtroopers that flank Vader, they're always at a half run when he's walking. Were he to kick into high gear, I'd be near certain he'd arrive on his own with a bunch of knackered troops turning up a few seconds later. A combat moggy might well do that, but not Vader.

Vis a vis Dave's costume, well, my mum has singing lessons with Dave Prowes, I'll ask her to ask him. He's never had any problems answering question like that by proxy before, so. I suspect that two layers of thick black leather will make anyone somewhat immobile, I do know that it was impossible for Prowes to lift his arms further than horizontal, which is why Vader always fights from a low stance,,,

Krad-edis
6 March 2002, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by The Admiral
He's a thinker, not a fighter.


Well the big guy did a pretty good job whipping up on guys with lightsabers!

I think he is both thinker and fighter. A very strategic warrior. He just looks mechanical and very top heavy. He looks awkward, and when I think of things that are awkward and top heavy, I really don't think it is always in their best interests to run, (even if they really can run with all of that armor). Most of the people in this posting think that he can run (though it may look uncool). If he can, then perhaps he doesn't because being top heavy and awkward plus running means bad falls. Vader trying to get up after taking a spill must take longer than most to get up with all of that armor. Coup de Grace anyone?

Sorry if anyone finds this posting to be too outrageously wierd. I would like to use Vader in one of my upcoming campaigns (when I get better established location wise), and my sister-in-law suggested that if she saw Vader, she would do what any sane person would do.....run. If you run around a corner, and he cannot see you, he can't choke you. Now I thought to myself, "Can Vader really chase after someone?" He really seems from the movies that he is in favor of the brisk walk even in pursuit of the heroes (who were running their butts off in order to get away). We have never seen anyone who is reasonably trained run from him. I am just wondering what would happen if someone who was of Jedi Knight or Jedi Master in ability ran from him....and he didn't have a platoon of Stormies to "go and fetch" the quarry. Would he go chasing after them like Gold Medalist sprinter, or would he do a Burst of Speed power walk? Some of you are wondering, "Who cares?", and uttering "How stupid." But I mean really look at the movies. Those who run live, those who stay usually die, or get maimed. If Vader is just going to walk after them, they can just jog and get to a ship. If he runs, they may be in serious trouble. Speed is the factor here.
So, with the odd title and inquiry, I started this post to gain reasonable insight....and the replies have been very interesting.....thanks for the input everyone.

dgswensen
6 March 2002, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Krad-edis
<I>The Emperor who had been underestimated by his peers in the Galactic Senate, who eventually ruled the galaxy after crushing the guardians of peace for generations, had been beaten by a half trained Jedi farm boy....Now I call that serious underestimation on Palpies part... From reading some EU, I kind of had a feeling that old Palpie knew that Vader would backstab him if he got the chance, but he never figured he was in much danger against some punk kid. </I>

Well, you make some good points. However, I disagree about Luke vs. the Emperor. I don't think the Emperor ever was in any danger from Luke. It was Luke who underestimated the Emperor, in assuming this frail old man couldn't knock him flat in the blink of an eye -- which he did. Luke's heroics have more or less vanished at that point; he is begging like a child for his father to save him. If Vader had not been there, there is no doubt in my mind that Luke would have died screaming -- thus, in my mind, the Emperor underestimates Vader, not Luke.

It's my view that in turning away from the Dark Side, especially after his frenzied attack on Vader, Luke didn't beat the Emperor, but himself. As shown by Luke's vision in the cave on Dagobah, it was himself that Luke was fighting as much as Vader. In turning from the Dark Side, he didn't beat Palpatine so much as just reject what he stood for. I don't think the Emperor ever much figured into Luke's plans at all -- he just wanted to save his father. I think Luke became a Jedi the second he threw away his lightsaber and said "no"... and even if he had died then, it would have been as a hero.

Anyway, this is all navel-gazing and BSing -- you make some very good points. I'm glad to see someone else give Luke his props. He makes a classic hero's journey through the course of the films, and becomes much more than that whiny farmboy seen on Tatooine.

The Admiral
6 March 2002, 09:50 PM
Well, what i would do in the mentioned example, a Jedi rounding a corner to see the back of Vader, is say, Vader doesn't need to SEE them to know they're there. If he realises they're just going to run, in contravention of the Laws of Drama, he'd do the sane thing and lock 'em in. They run for a door, it closes, and jams. They peg it into a coridor, the ceiling comes crashing down. That'd be the way I'd see it happening in Movie-mode. Simply high-tailing it after them lacks a certain poise and decorum.

If they're worth fighting, he'd keep 'em where he can fight 'em. If they're not, he'd just send the squaddies off. He's never been seen to be bothered about the scum of the rebellion. They matter very little to him.

"I want that ship, not excuses."

---

"Lord Vader, there's good news and bad news. Bad news is, we don't have the ship. On the other hand, the good news is we don't have any excuses either. Sorry. ghhhk,,,,,"
"Apology accepted, Captain Needa,,,"

Neelah
7 March 2002, 03:03 AM
there are many reasons why vader isnt running in the movies: he is tall, his clothing, his coolness, his impressiveness etc. why run if you can order a bunch of brainwashed nitwits to run for you.

Krad-edis
7 March 2002, 08:32 AM
Originally posted by dgswensen

I don't think the Emperor ever was in any danger from Luke. It was Luke who underestimated the Emperor, in assuming this frail old man couldn't knock him flat in the blink of an eye -- which he did.


You are right, Palpie was never in any danger, but he really did not expect young Luke to tell him to go piss up a rope. Luke saw as soon as he entered the room that the Emperor could telekinetically remove binders. Luke knew then, that he was in serious trouble. Yet he still did not ultimately crumble.....until he got zapped. Then he started to go to pieces...(I certainly would).

His resistance to the dark side's temptation despite the ways his father and the fear of the emperor was very unexpected to someone who seems to forsee everything. He frustrated Palpatine.

I see what you are saying, and Vader did some very unexpected stuff. You had good points as well, and I guess it can be easily said that they (father and son) were underestimated.

"Father, Help me please!"

I was expecting Vader to say:

"My son would never whine like this."

But he didn't.

As for what The Admiral added in, I guess it does not pay to meet up with Vader in enclosed spaces with lots of blast door switches accessable. A good observation to be made if using Vader against flighty Jedi. I guess a force induced rock slide would work well in a canyon, or a falling tree would work in a forest....Vader would use escape delays in this event, however, he still has to be quick, otherwise the fast Jedi might end up on the other side of the obstacle with Vader saying; "Doh"

As for why you may wish to run when you can have brainwashed nitwits run for you....You said it...they are nitwits...and nitwits do not produce results that Palpatine wants all the time. It is in Vader's best interest sometimes to put on a hustle, or else old Palpie might jump start Vader's gears with a few jolts of painful blue lightning.

Palpatine: I told you to intercept those plans at all costs. Why did you walk Lord Vader?

Vader: It looks cool, feels cool, and scares everyone, my Master.

Palpatine: You are cool, and I am without my plans. I don't like this at all Lord Vader.

Vader: Oh crap, here it comes.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!


:p

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
7 March 2002, 09:11 AM
the last part there ya did about vader's coolness ... LOL!!!

Talonne Hauk
7 March 2002, 11:05 AM
I'm thinking about all of this, and I think that some of the responses are a little off. In particular, people are wondering why Vader wasn't running through Hoth Base. Well, it was a military operation, and Vader was the ranking officer. He took a great risk just going down there in the first place. If it was me, I'd have my flunkies running ahead of me to flush out my foes first, and have them absorb some of the blaster fire before I got there. As for why he wasn't running in Cloud City, he wasn't trying to get to Luke and kill him. He was in control of the situation, and was trying to scare the bejeezus out of Luke in an effort to sway him to the dark side. I know I was freaked out the first time I saw machinery and various apparatus wrench itself out of the walls. Every other time we saw Vader, I can't think of why it would have been appropriate for him to run.

dgswensen
7 March 2002, 11:10 AM
Though it may not be a "canon" source, it just occurred to me that I've seen Vader run, jump, backflip, etc. dozens of times in the comic books, both the classic 70s and 80s issues, and many of the new ones. The comic artists have no problem putting him through some serious acrobatics :)

BillyBeanbag
7 March 2002, 11:25 AM
You know, that's a good point, When the movies were made, it would have been a lot harder to have Vader flying all over the place, and still have it look anywhere as good as it would now. the advances in the industry means that if Episode IV were made today, Vaders movements might have been entirely different.

Not seeing him run may just be an effect of the medium at the time.

The Admiral
7 March 2002, 11:26 AM
Well, it was a military operation, and Vader was the ranking officer.

Actually Admiral Piett was the ranking officer. Darth Vader holds no military rank nor priviledge. he is a civilian. Albeit, a civilian who ACTS like the highest ranking guy around, but a civilian none the less,,

Talonne Hauk
7 March 2002, 11:30 AM
Vader was entitled Lord Vader. In a royal military hierarchy, nobility holds the command. Vader was part of the military, due to his nobility. Ergo, he was the ranking officer.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
7 March 2002, 11:55 AM
excellent point Talonne Hauk.

and who was above Vader? the same person who ultimately ruled the Empire... ol' Emporer Palpatine himself. He created the Empire if I recall.

Krad-edis
7 March 2002, 04:19 PM
I would like to see Piett tell Vader that he was in charge....afterall didn't Vader promote Piett to Admiral in the first place? Does Piett want to end up like Ozzel?

Vader almost has supreme authority.....especially when you can kill flag officers whenever they xxtickxx you off and not be brought up on formal charges ( I would feel sorry for the group of Stormtroopers who were told to arrest Vader, if it ever were to happen). Vader seems to be some kind of Commandant over just about anything the Emperor tells him to do. Messing with him is kind of like messing with Palpatine, which is definitely an even worse mistake. In short, I think he is above the military....therefore is the ranking person in command.

I would hate to be on his watch schedule. I mean making his coffee too cold or too hot (he probably has a straw in the mask), or flying his shuttle too slow or too fast...or anything that makes him cranky can get you killed pretty quick. :(

Edit: Please refrain from using words others may find offensive
Thanks, Emp.Xan.

B.I.P
8 March 2002, 11:22 AM
Of course he can if not by physical means he can with a little help from the force! :D