For a lot of kids who grew up in a world that they found vaguely disappointing and craving an elegant weapon for a more civilized age, Star Wars seemed like something they could really invest some serious time in. It seemed doable.
I’ve always felt that if you were a boy and you grew up not liking Star Wars it’s probably because you probably weren’t smiled at enough as a child. The truth is that if the manner in which you were raised put any kind of premium on imagination, it was literally impossible to not like Star Wars because it’s a perfectly fantastic adventure, completely compelling to anyone with an ounce of dream in them.
Like the bible it replaced in so many minds, the holy trilogy encouraged individual fans to create their own interpretations, posit their own theories, imagine their own backstories to the story they loved. With the arrival of the prequels, this trend was much blunted because of a simple fact:
The prequels were about as appetizing as a dogshit sandwich.
They were conceptually weak, narratively ridiculous, the characters were about as nuanced as an unlubricated fisting and the way they hamfistedly slotted bullshit explanations for questions we never wanted asked made me feel like Lucas had switched from beloved trusted uncle to secret genital toucher.
Watching them however did provide me with one inescapable conclusion:
Darth Vader’s inner turmoil and apparently boundless anger was actually driven by the fact he couldn’t accept that fact that he was gay.
Now first of all I should mention that there have been rumours about the real reasons behind George Lucas’s 30 year period of strict bachelorhood and multiple adopted children for years. There’s no solid proof either way other than a lot of anecdotal “I saw him in a bookshop with a bunch of books that were kinda faggy” stories on the internets, and either way it doesn’t make the tiniest amount of difference. In fact it would kind of make sense that only a gay man could create a character like Han Solo, who’s roguish grin and devil may care attitude made a generation of otherwise straight men stop and ask themselves some hard-hitting personal questions. But if he is gay it would seem strange that he didn’t really address it in his movies.
Or does he?
The truth is that if he IS gay it would explain the following addition in the Phantom Menace:
Anakin Skywalker created C-3PO when he was about eight.
So why is this important you ask?
Well, eight is a really strange age. You’re pre-sexual so any gender identity you tend to identify with is pretty telling about where you’re going later in life. While many gay men don’t manifest their gay identities till much later in life, I think we can all agree, there are a lot of plainly already gay eight year olds out there.
You know, in the most general terms, the kid who when you play with figures always wanted to use your sister’s Barbie to represent themselves? The one who when he plays video games, uses the character creation screen to make himself a six foot two inch African Woman? The one who constantly insisted on being called by a different girl’s name and striking extremely feminine poses every week when you were playing Ninjas?
This is important because when Anakin Skywalker was eight, he chose to make himself a robot friend. A friend he could confide in, a friend he could tell secrets to, an effete protocol droid that in his slave lifestyle he had absolutely no use for.
He made himself an incredibly camp, gay robot friend named C-3PO.
And I think that’s rather telling.
Now, I’m not saying that this is some indication means he was DEFINITELY gay but I am saying that maybe he didn’t GO to the Dark Side so much as he was just born that way.
It would of course make the entire series have that much more impact if you understood that The Dark Side was a huge metaphor for Lucas’s suppressed gay lifestyle. That the relationship of “Master” and “Apprentice” between Darth Vader and the Emperor was a little darker than previously thought of. That when the Emperor was going for Luke, the younger more boyish Skywalker, it wasn’t strictly his strength in the Force that he found so attractive. That Darth Vader’s murder of the Emperor had a tinge of the spurned to it. It would also make sense that Vader was in the end so focused on stopping his son, the one shred of evidence of his fake heterosexual identity from following him down a Dark Path which he felt would forever dominate his destiny.
Vader’s mask then becomes a powerful metaphor, and the less said about the fact he died flaming the better.
Ok, maybe Darth Vader was gay because George Lucas wanted people to understand his own struggle with his sexuality. Or maybe it was just a piece of shitty writing forced out of a creative brain long since gone to the Dark Side.
Either way, Darth Gayder is an idea I do not want.