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Gungan to the left


Reflection (PG)


By : vader-incarnate

Archived on: Monday, February 28, 2005

Summary:
A reflection on hatred: what does Lord Vader hate most in the galaxy?

You stare at me with those bright blue eyes, eyes that have remained vibrant and vivid though the rest of you rots and withers away, kept alive thanks only to the machines that keep your lungs from collapsing and the sheer force of will that keeps you on your feet.

They say, Lord Vader, that the eyes are windows to the soul, and yours have certainly never been an exception. It amazes me, even now, how you could ever have been a Jedi, when your passions are revealed so nakedly in your gaze. Your emotions are written in your eyes, my lord, and they always have been.

So now you sit there and stare at me levelly, meeting my gaze with your own, and your emotions are plain. Those rabid passions that clamor to be released, sharpening their teeth on your soul and on your bones as they devour you from the inside out. That fire that blazes deep within your eyes and your soul, burning and eating at the remains of the man you used to be until only the ashes are left --

You hate me.

And by the stars it's amazing, this hatred: so perfect and clean, unadulterated by any baser emotion. Virgin and pure: an intoxicating, heady passion that would destroy any lesser man yet burns in your eyes like a sun. And maybe it's ridiculous, but I've always taken a certain degree of pride in inspiring that feral hatred -- you only feel that passion for me, and me alone.

It's neither the confused hatred you hold for your old master Kenobi, interlaced with respect and love and the remembered taste of a companionship that was, nor the contempt-filled loathing you hold for all those Jedi you slaughter by the dozen. Nor is it that feeling you hold for she whom you once called wife, the love and hatred mixing so thoroughly that you hardly know what name to give it at all.

And I've earned it, my lord, have I not?

I led you to this, after all. I brought about your downfall, engineered your rebirth. I planted the seeds of hubris in the young Anakin Skywalker, nurtured his pride as he grew from a precocious young boy into a Jedi prodigy.

I stood at your side as you grew, sowing those first beginnings of dissent and rebellion against the Jedi and all they represented. I turned you against your master, against your Order, and I led you away from that path of light and so far into the dark that you can scarcely remember the taste of the sun.

And this, perhaps what you hate most of all: that I planted those first doubts about your wife, about your Padmé ... and that you believed me, when you heart should have known so much better. That I whispered the doubts into your ear that made you question her love and her fidelity, though you should have listened to your heart from the first.

Yes -- that's what hurts, isn't it, even now? Knowing that she loved you? And that you gave that up of your own free will?

And perhaps I should be afraid. The hatred of a Sith Lord, after all, is nothing to be taken lightly, and anyone who inspires that passion burning deep within your eyes had best tread carefully ...

I suppose I would be frightened, had I anything to fear.

Because you know you can't kill me. And you know that whatever you do, I'll always be here to taunt you, to laugh at you, to remind you of exactly what kind of failure you are. The galaxy may tremble in fear at your name, but you and I know better: your hatred is worthless, because we both know that you can't do a damned thing about it.

So maybe you'll try to be rid of me again tomorrow, just as you've tried every day of all these long years. Bring up that saber at your side, ignite it with a familiar snap-hiss and get ready to strike me down. You’ll snarl and grimace, those eyes filling with that decades-old hatred, those nostrils flaring, those lips curled in angry defiance ...

... but you'll change your mind at the last possible moment, lose your resolve. Because you need me here, you need me as a focus for all that futile rage you have pent up inside your little black heart.

And then you'll stand just there again, looking into this mirror and into this reflection of your own bright blue eyes -- hating with all that perfect fury, hating the galaxy and hating the Emperor, but hating yourself so much more.

But not even you, Lord Vader, can destroy your own reflection.



Original cover by obaona. HTML formatting copyright 2004 TheForce.Net LLC.


Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 9.08 in 126 total ratings.

 as:
Reader Comments

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Author: LLL
Date posted: 2/28/2005 7:28:52 PM
LLL's Comments:

Have to say I like this one. Nice prose, long enough to be intriguing but not long enough to be maudlin, and I really like the little surprise at the end.

Good work!

Author: LLL
Date posted: 2/28/2005 7:30:50 PM
LLL's Comments:

P.S.:

I really don't care much for the cover.

Author: BooGrl
Date posted: 3/1/2005 5:33:39 PM
BooGrl's Comments:

Wonderful! It truly captures Vader's hatred. A short story, but good in my book. Keep up the good work!

Author: me_luv_darth_squishy  (signed)
Date posted: 3/2/2005 4:23:55 PM
me_luv_darth_squishy's Comments:

stunningly evil with a touch of "mwa ha ha"

MTFBWY as it is always with me

Author: rhonderoo  (signed)
Date posted: 3/2/2005 4:34:54 PM
rhonderoo's Comments:

This is really a great story, and so very true to the character of Vader. Great surprise at the end!!

Author: Rhy-yees
Date posted: 3/5/2005 9:09:59 AM
Rhy-yees's Comments:

This is what Palpatine is all about... master manipulator of the human emotion spectrum. Vader is weak not because he's stuck in his armour, but because he let his emotions get the better of him and he surrendered those feelings to Palpatine. And Palpatine knows it.

And you, my friend, know Palpatine.

Author: me
Date posted: 3/5/2005 12:12:00 PM
me's Comments:

I liked it a lot. You captured his hatred almost perfectly! And, no offese but the cover's agotta go.

Author: Nade_Naberrie  (signed)
Date posted: 3/5/2005 4:59:38 PM
Nade_Naberrie's Comments:

Oh, I *adored* this piece! I'm thrilled that you decided to submit it; this is definitely one of my favorite introspective viggies. The tone, the characterization, the element of mystery throughout... one would think that the title would give away who he was talking to, but the subtle twists in wording always threw me off track. You kept me guessing until the very end. Thanks so much for sharing this excellent fanfic, vader-incarnate!

Author: Frank N Furter
Date posted: 3/5/2005 9:23:47 PM
Frank N Furter's Comments:

That was interesting...looking into Vader's mind....

the only thing that bugged me was in the beginning there was something about shriveled and artificial lungs or breathing apparatus or soemthing like that - anyway, from that, I knew right away that Vader was talking about himself...

Author: Ansketil  (signed)
Date posted: 3/6/2005 2:24:50 PM
Ansketil's Comments:

Ooo! Nice. I loved the "reflection" bit at the end! You've got a really good handle on Palpatine's feelings. Bravo. Small but potent.

Author: VaderLVR64  (signed)
Date posted: 3/6/2005 2:43:39 PM
VaderLVR64's Comments:

I loved this piece the very first time I read it, and it's even better the second time around! Great work, as always!

Author: Lt. Tara Farrago
Date posted: 3/9/2005 3:10:50 PM
Lt. Tara Farrago's Comments:

Very well written! You provide an eloquent insight into Vader's persona. I especially liked the bit about Padme, which reads even better when you realize Vader is talking about/to himself, that he planted the seeds for his own deception. It was great - loved it - fantastic job.

Author: BobaMatt
Date posted: 3/15/2005 7:46:51 AM
BobaMatt's Comments:

The comments reveal a point of confusion: is it Palpatine talking -- as I believed -- or is Vader litterally talking to his reflection?

Author: Tylec
Date posted: 3/16/2005 7:47:13 PM
Tylec's Comments:

I didn't see that ending coming! You certainly strung me along expertly. Nice story.

Author: Ani-maniac  (signed)
Date posted: 3/16/2005 9:50:28 PM
Ani-maniac's Comments:

The first comment that came to mind for me was.... Ooooooooo! Very good!!!! I agree that of all the things Vader hates, he hates himself more. beautifully written!

Author: vader-incarnate  (signed)
Date posted: 3/16/2005 9:54:34 PM
vader-incarnate's Comments:

I'm more than a little late, but here's the author checking in. :) Many heartfelt thanks to my beta readers and to my cover artist for polishing up this little ficlet until it shined. And more thanks to Nade_Naberrie, who encouraged me to submit in the first place though I hadn't really planned to. *grin*

And yes, I'm quite fond of the cover art, personally: I like that certain element of mystery it conveys, the bright blue eyes that I referenced so often in the story. But, well, different strokes for different folks, eh?

I'm glad, readers, that you enjoyed the story. :) I sure enjoyed writing it.

In regards to the questions about POV, though ... well, I'd written it to sound like Palpatine deliberately. It's supposed to pack a certain amount of punch, and it's supposed to make you think a bit -- but yes, it *is* Vader's reflection 'talking' to him, as far as I'm concerned. I'm sorry if that's not clear for some people, and, stars, I hope no one reads through the comments before reading the actual story. o.O

With that, MTFBWY all. ;D

Author: Mandavorious
Date posted: 3/20/2005 3:40:33 PM
Mandavorious's Comments:

Very interesting. I loved the way you parlayed Palpatine's emotions into an emotionless mirror of Anakin. What vibrancy, what expression. You truely captured what goes on in Emperor Palpatine's mind. I applaud you.

Author: C3SoloP0
Date posted: 3/23/2005 9:54:39 AM
C3SoloP0's Comments:

Great story......amzing feelings-wise and how true on Vader's part, that he should have known better.....

It was amazing really.

Author: LukesTheMan1000  (signed)
Date posted: 4/8/2005 6:54:28 AM
LukesTheMan1000's Comments:

Whoa! A nice twist and superb exploration of Vader's feelings.

Author: Darth Ravenous
Date posted: 4/13/2005 4:59:14 PM
Darth Ravenous's Comments:

WOW! Very good job on this. It took me a couple of times of reading it before I realized that it was Vader's own reflection. Once again, great job!

Author: Kiss_My-Wookie
Date posted: 4/15/2005 9:59:40 AM
Kiss_My-Wookie's Comments:

Stop the Flaming.

MariahJade2
Editor

Author: Kiss_My-Wookie
Date posted: 4/15/2005 10:03:09 AM
Kiss_My-Wookie's Comments:

Wood u plz e-mail me how to post fan fiction! I have an excellent idea but I have no idea how to post it! its driving me nuts HELP!!!!

Author: Sophia
Date posted: 4/17/2005 8:19:50 PM
Sophia's Comments:

I really liked this one. It explains extremely well why Ani would have turned to the dark side: As a try to escape from an intensity of emotions and life that was to great and to overwhelming for him to live with.

A nicely written story. Liked to last plot very much.
Good work!

Author: Capricorn's Daughter
Date posted: 4/19/2005 2:42:47 PM
Capricorn's Daughter's Comments:

Great story! It was wonderfull. I truly enjoyed it. Because it is correct, he does hate himself.

God Bless,
Capricorn's Daughter

Author: evilamidala
Date posted: 4/26/2005 5:53:03 AM
evilamidala's Comments:

i don't think vader was talking to himself it is the internal conflict between anakin skywalker and vader. the only rason vader wins is because anakin is filled with guilt and without padme and shmi he has nothing left

Author: DarthSabe  (signed)
Date posted: 5/3/2005 10:51:27 AM
DarthSabe's Comments:

Ooo, wow, that's great! At first I assumed that it was the Emperor, and that he was Vader's reflection because he'd become like him. But then I read LLL's comment and . . . love it.

Author: DigificWriter
Date posted: 5/6/2005 9:47:30 PM
DigificWriter's Comments:

Very nice story. Although you mentioned that your intent was to have the story be the thoughts of Vader's own reflection, it's ambiguous enough in its execution that readers don't necessarily have to buy into that intent and can form their own opinions about it.

Author: Malz4JESUS  (signed)
Date posted: 5/10/2005 7:55:49 PM
Malz4JESUS's Comments:

I loved it :)

Author: happ[y
Date posted: 5/13/2005 5:40:39 PM
happ[y's Comments:

"But, not even you, Lord Vader, can destroy your own reflection."

So haunting and shiver-down-your-spiney... What a great fic.

Author: Valiowk  (signed)
Date posted: 5/23/2005 7:42:45 AM
Valiowk's Comments:

Very nice! Even though it was possible to predict from the summary that the one person Vader hated was himself, I feel that your conclusion rounded the vignette up very well, tying it in with the title, "Reflection". Indeed, this is an easier way to see the two sides of Lord Vader - one that I never thought of before - when there seem to be two personalities standing side by side, for us to judge. Thanks for the wonderful illustration!

Author: General Ar-Koi  (signed)
Date posted: 6/2/2005 8:30:31 AM
General Ar-Koi's Comments:

I loved it! It was the best FanFic I've ever read! Ever! At the start I thought it was Luke, then ObiWan, then Palpatine, then at about the time it was talking about Padme I knew it was Vader himself talking.

Author: BloodRaven
Date posted: 11/29/2005 7:10:11 PM
BloodRaven's Comments:

This is really well done I enjoyed the insight and the realization that it is his own self that he hates the most...

Author: Cydon  (signed)
Date posted: 7/23/2006 9:13:42 PM
Cydon's Comments:

Magnificent. Awesome. Excellent job.

Author: Phantom Jedi
Date posted: 5/22/2007 12:50:34 PM
Phantom Jedi's Comments:

An interesting take on Vader's hate. While reading it, I assumed that the focus of that dark emotion was the Emperor: the last lines took me completely by surprise. Good work!


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Archived: Monday, February 28, 2005







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