Darth Vader's massive impact with just 34 minutes on screen

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/27/darth-vaders-massive-impact.html

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It’s less impressive to say “He’s only on screen about 9% of the time”, because basically a tenth (or thereabouts if you disregard the credits) of total runtime for a full trilogy is actually pretty good for a non-protagonist.


Best leitmotif* ever, that’s why!

Check out this guitar version:

(*With apologies to Sergei Prokofiev, composer of my childhood favorite (and still beloved) Peter and the Wolf, the greatest collection of great leitmotifs ever.)


on screen for 34 minutes yet is the most visually iconic character of the original trilogy.


Vader takes a backseat though to the most iconic helmet of them all…


Anthony Hopkins won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a character who had about 15 minutes of screen time.


Never underestimate the silky sweet power that is the voice of James Earl Jones. I could listen to that man read a court reports.


It IS a sweet voice. Have you ever tried reading internet comments in his voice? You might get a different impression of the motives of the speakers.

I personally use Morgan Freemans voice for that; helps a lot with comprehension.

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I always thought he looked like a giant diseased penis. Never could take him even slightly seriously.

Yeah, when I FINALLY saw that movie - only recently mind you - I was like, “Wait, WTF his Hopkins character? That’s it?”

This is probably why I think a full Boba Fett movie would ruin the character… or if they did it it would need to be something like an old Clint Eastwood flick where he doesn’t do a lot of talking. The mystery is the allure.

Same with like Vader. While yes I am glad they took off the helmet at the end, the fact they left it on (except for that one back of the head shot) for the whole movie added to his mystery and power. Had we known what a frail old fuck he was he never would have been so menacing.


I only got part way through the video before it was obscured by an auto playing advertisement, so I didn’t watch either.

Good old rule 34 for ya. If you can’t make an impressions in 34 minutes you aren’t a compelling character. That’s what rule 34 is, right?


Beetlejuice was only in the movie 17 minutes and they named it after him!


Some characters don’t need a lot of screen time to make a big impression:


Hannibal Lecter has a similar screen time.

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What’s really amazing is that Darth Vader has the reputation he does despite failing at every task presented to him:

  • Failed to recapture the Death Star plans (despite the heroes literally bringing them right to him!).
  • Failed to determine Rebellion’s hideout despite interrogating their leader.
  • Failed to defend the Death Star from attack.
  • Failed to destroy Rebellion on Hoth.
  • Failed to capture Millenium Falcon.
  • Failed to capture Luke Skywalker on Bespin.
  • Failed to turn Luke to the dark side on Death Star II.

Two of his major “successes” (killing Obi-Wan Kenobi and capturing Luke on Endor) happened because his opponents let him! Other than this, the only thing he was particularly good at was killing his own men! Face it, Vader’s incompetent.


That’s half as much as 34! buuuuut it’s also just one movie, not a series. Vader has a smaller ratio.

(but don’t tell him that)

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But the one guy who calls him out on his bullshit (Wookiepedia claims his name is Conan Motti) gets Force-choked and is only saved by Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. Well until both are presumably killed by the exploding Death Star.


Barb reminds me sooo much of this girl who was my teacher in some 4-H cooking classes. Same glasses and everything.

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Like many leaders, their blame and credit often times has little to nothing to do with them directly.

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