Darth Vader Redefines What ‘Hope’ Means to Star Wars

In the latest issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader, “hope” receives new meaning in context of the Skywalker Saga, at least according to a Sith assassin.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Darth Vader #7

In the latest issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader, “hope” receives a new meaning in the context of the Skywalker Saga, at least according to the Sith assassin, Ochi.

Written by Greg Pak with art by Raffaele Ienco, Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 pays homage to both the past and the future of the franchise. As Darth Vader returns to Mustafar, he endures visions that force him to relive moments featured in Revenge of the Sith, like the slaughter of younglings. Vader recalls the first time he visited the lava planet, as he followed Darth Sidious’ orders to execute members of the Trade Federation, all for the cause of “peace in the galaxy.” Although this brought an end to the war, this wasn’t the kind of peace that the Jedi Order had in mind.

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Related: Star Wars Reveals Origin Of Darth Vader’s Rogue One Servant

Similarly, the idea of “hope” has been redefined in Darth Vader #7 during a fight between Vader and the Sith assassin, Ochi. Readers might recall Ochi from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Ochi challenges the Sith Lord, telling him, “If you can’t fight when there’s no hope… you don’t deserve to live.”  Interestingly, this line echoes a sentiment held by the Rebellion as led by Princess Leia, as they fight against the Empire’s tyranny, empowered by hope for a better type of peace. This would later evolve into Luke’s hope for Vader’s redemption. 


Of course, “hope” has been integral to Star Wars since the beginning with A New Hope, so Lucas wasn’t exactly being subtle. This thematic parallel between the aim of the Sith for survival and the hope of the Rebellion for peace strikes deep at the heart of Star Wars. In fact, it summarizes all three trilogies pretty accurately, as the prequels followed Darth Sidious’ revenge against the Jedi to ensure the Sith’s reign, while in contrast, the original trilogy followed a ragtag group of heroes who had a desperate hope for a better life in the galaxy. When Luke faced Darth Vader for the last time, he knew the hope of the Jedi that Obi-Wan Kenobi had taught him. As Leia herself said, Obi Wan was the “only hope.” It wasn’t about survival – it was about peace. 

For the dark side, “hope” is nothing more than a naive emotion, but for the Jedi, hope is their ultimate motivation. It’s through Darth Vader’s aggressive lack of hope that he takes on Ochi, fighting for his title of Sith and for his own survival. It’s also through this same mentality that he had previously committed himself to Sidious’ teachings, fearing the worst for Padme. As Yoda had once forewarned, fear is the path to the dark side. Star Wars: Darth Vader #7 is currently available for purchase.

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Updated: November 18, 2020 — 4:50 pm

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