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SW peeve - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
SW peeve
I've been out of SW long enough that LJ friends may not know my big SW fandom peeve, up there on a level with "Ted Tonks is a Muggle" in HP-dom as far as wanting to smack people around with a canon-ball.

That is, "Darth Vader blew up Alderaan."

I've seen that in a couple of comments now while messing around on RotS, and, while I've given up arguing with Vader-bashers, I really must vent on it. It's true that he stood there and stopped Leia from rushing up and killing Tarkin, but Vader neither comes up with the idea nor gives the order to destroy Alderaan. That's Tarkin, beginning to end. The dialogue even implies that that Vader didn't particularly support the decision--he tells Tarkin, "I told you she would never consciously betray the Rebellion," and given the sequence of events, the most likely place for that admonition would have been in a conversation about the Death Star. Now, he may have followed it with, "But what the heck, let's blow the sucker and head home anyway," but he does seem to have told Tarkin that it would serve no purpose. It was Tarkin's idea when Vader's methods fail to work with Leia, and Tarkin who gave the order. Even Leia acknowledges that Tarkin has Vader on a leash.

So can we stop with the whole "Vader blew up Alderaan" thing? It has even less basis than Muggle!Ted, which can at least be blamed on a badly placed hyphenation in the American edition. ANH has no indication at all that anyone other than Tarkin gave that particular order.
34 comments or Leave a comment
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: May 22nd, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)


This is also one of my pet peeves. Vader is guilty of a *lot* of stuff, and my Vader-muse admits that he sort of *helped* (if you count not arguing all that much about it helping) with the destruction of Alderaan, but he didn't order it himself. He didn't even think of it. It was pointless in his mind.

::growls at all those who put forth fanon otherwise::

Maybe we should make shirts with pictures of Vader on the Death Star bridge with the caption "Vader was framed"?
drakyndra From: drakyndra Date: May 23rd, 2005 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dude, I want an icon of that.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: May 22nd, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ever so much. I'm now stuck trying to imagine "But what the heck, let's blow the sucker and head home anyway," in Vader-voice. This is even weirder than the discovery that it is possible to Macarena to the Imperial March.
limegreen_sloth From: limegreen_sloth Date: May 23rd, 2005 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, you're right!

...well I had to try it.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: May 22nd, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, after seeing RotS, I'm starting to want to get back into the whole EU thing. I used to be a big fan as far as reading the books went, and then after a while I just couldn't be bothered anymore. That happened at about the same time I dropped SF for fantasy. And after trying to talk to my brother and dad about what I thought about the movie and having them really not getting it, I actually felt like reading them again.

Um, yes, big OT.
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: May 23rd, 2005 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Word. Word. Word.
(Deleted comment)
From: psalm_27 Date: May 23rd, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, random Farscape moment! I was very disappointed that Scorpy was left hanging with nothing in RotS. :-(
(Deleted comment)
marissa_214 From: marissa_214 Date: May 23rd, 2005 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)

off topic...sorry

but...I was just wondering what exactly is Star Wars written canon? I read the original series (George Lucas) many years ago, too long to remember if it was just _A New Hope_ or if it was all three of them. It was all my library had though. Did he write all nine episodes as books or are all the offspring series considered canon? Specifically, I wanted to find out what happens after episode VI. Sorry to bother you about it, but I searched on amazon and there's 3000 results for my search. :-)
sabrinanymph From: sabrinanymph Date: May 23rd, 2005 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: off topic...sorry

Here's something pretty much argued over among fans. If you want to say strict canon, you have to say the six films (although in the eighties Lucas said there were nine episodes, there's been no indication that he'll ever produce the final three and I think I've read more interviews recently saying he won't then interviews saying he will).

If you want to expand a little bit you can read books, graphic novels, even gaming information. Most of them don't contradict each other on a horrific level, but there's many minor contradictions or mischaracterizations - in my opinion, in the books. My personal recommendations, and granted I've read nothing from the New Jedi Order books, but my thoughts are the books, and anything by Timothy Zahn, particularly his original Thrawn trilogy (Heir to the Empire) is worth reading. But as to whether you want to consider anything outside the movies canon, I think that's kind of up to the personal fan. Don't know if that helps! ;)
sabrinanymph From: sabrinanymph Date: May 23rd, 2005 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Although I' never really considered it, I'd have to agree with you. Tarkin very clearly gives the order, and Vader does not give any indication that he's the one who gave the order behind the scenes. He's interested in finding the plans and ending the rebellion, and if I may say so, seems less interested in the Death Star altogether. Or at least his 'Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've created' would seem to indicate that!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: May 23rd, 2005 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Even in the ANH novelization almost every single line of dialogue is different.

Use to read the original trilogy EU but I got bored by it. It was hurt by the fact that the prequel history hadn't been established but to me, the original trilogy EU was just not that good. The prequel trilogy books have been a little better and I was a fan of the Jedi Quest series.

The Clone Wars EU (books, comics, cartoon) has been outstanding and I've very much enjoyed it.
pacoman From: pacoman Date: May 23rd, 2005 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Question: would the Clone Wars EU be considered canon? I ask this because, while my exposure to it begins and ends with the cartoon, said cartoon stays close to the characterization of the movies (save for Palpatine's unsubtle amounts of smarm and Grievous being less talkative and more agile) and the last 5 chapters build up to Episode III's opening act.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 23rd, 2005 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)
On the whole Alderaan thing, I've just got to add bits from the book, ANH, even if they didn't make it to the movie -

1. In the book, Vader is of two minds whether it's even worth the effort to get the plans (assuming anyone who finds them is more likely to tape over them than anything else [he doesn't know about the droids, yet]). He sends in the troops but orders them to be as subtle as possible and not attract attention.

2. Tarkin tells Vader they might get better results by threatening something Leia cares about. Vader asks (rather sharply, I always thought) what he means. That's when Vader sends the Death Star to Alderaan.

3. After this, in another scene not in the movie, Vader is hurrying down a hallway with his subordinates struggling to keep up telling them to never mind the protests of the planetary governor, send in more troops if they have to, he must have those plans. He then says that it's the hope of the plans being used against them that is the main pillar of Leia's resistance to the mind probes.

One of his aides then says (quoting from memory but I think I've got it right), "Until then, we must put up with Governor Tarkin's foolish plan to break her.

So, initially, Vader barely cared. Of course, he didn't know about the droids then. Still, the big change seems to come from trying to stop Tarkin from blowing up a planet.

Then, in the scene where Alderaan is destroyed, Leia lies. It's been established that we could reasonably expect Vader to know if someone a few inches from him was lying her head off (in fact, in a later scene [again, in the book, not the movie, alas] Vader mocks Tarkin for having believed Leia). He not only doesn't tell Tarkin she's lying, when Tarkin says "There, you see, Lord Vader? She can be reasonable." Vader nods. He backs up her lie.

Then, Tarkin turns around and orders Alderaan destroyed.

Vader could have acted then, and different arguments could be made why he didn't. Some reflect better on him than others (he'd been telling himself Tarkin wouldn't really do this, and shock slowed his brain, for example). Some look worse (Dang! I wanted to get a good picture of me standing by the screen when we toasted the place!).

author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: May 23rd, 2005 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi - no offense, really, but could you please put that under a cut? Thanks.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 23rd, 2005 11:53 am (UTC) (Link)
For spoilers from a 1977 movie? It doesn't address anything in RotS.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: May 23rd, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
In the radio drama, Vader questions whether it is legal or wise to destroy Alderaan. Tarkin pretty much slaps him down.
kattahj From: kattahj Date: May 26th, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup. I've been hesitant to point this out to people since it seems like making excuses for Vader, but it's very obvious from the film.
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