DISCUSS! - DJB Canon Characters Episode 1
So, me and Anubis were talking on IRC today about the qualities of the DB characters. Generally, we all assume that characters like Grand Masters are essentially just one step away from godhood, and DPís and DJMs are basically demi-gods. Anyways, this brought us into debateÖ where would characters from the extended universe, and movies fit into the Dark Brotherhoodís rank structure, assuming they were so evilly inclined, etc etc etc. The possibilities are legion, so I figured Iíd start getting people out to the forums, by starting this little debate.
Topics like this have been one of the core arguments in geeky and nerdy circles since the beginning of time, and yes Luke Skywalker would kick Kirkís ass, I donít care what you say. Basically, after this little opening spiel, Iím going to open the floor to peopleís opinions, and hopefully weíll get some activity on the forums, and more people coming here more often.
Outsiders are welcome to post if you find the idea interesting. Everyone, Taldryan and otherwise, try to keep the flaming to a minimum, and have fun with your geekyness. Iím going to say, you can debate rank, order, whatever. Just have fun with it.
So, first up for debate... If he were in the Dark Brotherhood, Darth Vader would be a...?
(Clarification, I'm talking about original trilogy DV here, not some whiny little assclown from tatooine with too much angst. Bad ass Armour wearing Vader here.)
I've always been of the mindset that any Dark Lord Of the Sith (which Vader was) would at least be the rank of Dark Prophet. I know Vader's cybernetics impeded his Force abilities, so that may have knocked him down to Dark Jedi Master, maybe even Adept. But his natural standing would be at Dark Prophet.
As far as I'm concerned...
Darth Vader would be... a Sith Warlord.
Obviously, I'm going to go ahead and call him a Sith, with the whole Dark Lord of the Sith being a kind of, give away to me. But more than that, Vader is sorta what we based all the Sith Order on in the DB for many many years. He was a pilot, he went all ragey and killed shit, and he was a pilot. More than that, he's kind of, I don't know, quintessentially Sith to me. He's not into overly mystical shit, and he's not like super razor focused as we usually make the Obelisk out to be. He is kinda plotty, I mean everything's about turning Luke to the Dark side, overthrowing the Emperor, all that.
As for his rank as Sith Warlord... Well, I know he was the Chosen One (ugh), and all that, but when he got all cyborged up, he probably lost a whole lot force ability. More machine than man now, twisted and evil, so sayeth the Obiwan. He was still obviously very strong, but his cybernetics really slowed him down, to the point where Luke could whip his ass. When he was still barely a Jedi Knight. Sure, Luke did the whole berserker almost fall to the dark side powerup at the end to do it, but he was still going basically off raw power/potential with almost no training to speak of.
They say you're judged by your enemies, and I'd say that Luke whipping his ass, meant that Vader was no more than a SWL.
I completely agree about Vader. He wouldn't be remotely close to GM status or even the higher equite levels. From the perspective of the Galaxy, Vader was a badass because there were no other Jedi to compare him to. He was all that was left by most people's standards, not really knowing what the Emperor could do.
I don't think Vader even stands up very well among the sith lords. He'd get schooled by any of the Old Republic lords from the comics. The difference is that Vader had the Emperor and the empire to back his shit up.
I'd have to agree with Vader being high-level Equite...at least in how he was depicted in the original trilogy. Hell, even to an extent in the novels. I mean, he was generally shown to be a badass, but he was very much fallible and was hurt plenty of times, with his armour generally being what got him through a fight in the end. Equite 4 does sound about right...not quite Elder-level, but highly proficient in the Force and still able to do a lot of cool stuff.
When I first read the question I instinctively jumped for the rank of Dark Prophet. But having since read the arguments presented I think the point was made rather concisely that he would be somewhere in the Eq4 power strata. I'm toying with the idea however that he may qualify for Dark Adept at the very least. I recognize the Elder Jump from Eq4 to DA is pretty substantial but even with his wounds and subsequent loss of his legs below the knee and a hand (and severe burns to his body inside and out) Vader was still the 'Chosen One'.
Vader never had the power that Starkiller or Sith Lords of Old but neither of them would fit into the structure of the DB's ranks (they would jump directly to GM). Vader was incredibly powerful and let's not forget conceived by the Force itself and therefore had LOTS of force potential to begin with. The loss of his lower extremities and some burns wouldn't necessarily knock him down to nearly my level. My conjecture is that he would have been DJM-DP (by training though potentially GM level if given the training and time to mature) and was dropped to DA with his injuries.
Also, since Yacks brought the point up about order I thought I'd suggest that his combat style, mentality, and focus seems to me to be more Obelisk than Sith. He did conspire against the Emperor but never very well and never at the depth that Palpatine did.
I tend to think Vader was a SWL, maybe DA, but not more powerful. I think that had he not been so severely injured and replaced with cybernetics (which, IMO, was part of the emperor's plan for him to prevent him from becoming so strong that he could replace him quickly).
What Order was the Emperor? Is it so simple to say he was just a Sith?
STAY ON TARGET, THIS IS ABOUT VADER.
The problem lies with his swordsmanship skills. If you go by the lightsaber combat guide, Vader had to have been a DJM in order to have all those skills. But I agree that his Force powers were at the level of Sith Warlord. So this contributes to the idea that he lost a lot of his power with the cybernetics. But there were other jedi / sith who had broken bodies or in the case of Nihilus, no body. No I see the lack of power as coming from the emperor, who wanted the perfect disciple. Darth Maul was too angry and impatient, made a good brawler, but not mush else. Darth Tyrannus was too old to be an effective heir, excellent leader but not really capable of being the new Dark Lord. Anakin was perfect until he got himself cut up and burned. Luke was as good as Vader but without the anger issues.
Besides Palpatine wasn't really looking for an heir, just powerful pawn. He planed on living forever with the use of the clones. So He was not going to invest that much power in any of his "apprentices".
As we age, experience is what overcompensates for the breaking body.
That is a key theory of sports psychology. (I know, dafuq right? Give me a sec)
When athletes compete against one another, the reason that you see 40s and even some 50s being able to keep up with the spirits and physical being of the 20-something noobs is because of the shift from a physical being to an experienced veteran who knows the game. They say that for athletes the perfect balance of ability and experience comes around the 30-35 range (depending on the sport)
Vader wasn't the physically imposing individual in the original trilogy, that much is quite true. Yet, this was the man that had delivered the Jedi purge to the Emperor. I would say this era, the time between the end of the prequels and the beginning of the original was Vader's prime. Even with a broken body, he was given a technologically advance suit of body armor and he used it perfectly during this time and I would argue based on the points Aeson makes that it was during this time that Vader rose to the rank of Dark Jedi Master or even Prophet. The skills he had, the acts he performed, and the lengths he remained useful to the Emperor makes me believe that he certainly became that high in rank during his prime.
But, I don't believe he had the ability to use his experience to overcompensate for the declining body. Whereas the Emperor was old, but mastered his ability for knowledge and understanding of the force thereby using his experience to maintain his rank and status; Vader didn't invest in the same training.
Vader was very much a brute, and what he learned from the force was martial abilities. I believe this is how he retained his status as the Emperor's apprentice and the commander of the empire's military. His experience of tactics and war allowed him to be useful to the emperor and that allowed him to keep his title. But he didn't invest in any knowledge that he could use in his older days to maintain his power in the force. I believe this is why he was still a great pilot and great commander as seen in the movies (his only defeats really coming from the input of stupid subordinates or the emperor himself) but when in single man combat against the returning Jedi (the only martial opponent he had in years really) he was beaten down.
Thus, I certainly do believe Vader was a fear and legendary figure but in terms of the original movies he had aged beyond his prime and didn't invest in knowledge to maintain the levels he had previously held in terms of force ranks. So I would mark him DJM or DP between RotS and ANH, but at the onset of ANH and beyond I would put him as a declining Adept (ANH) through Battlelord (RotJ)