Reviews for The Trial of Darth Vader
Shian1998 chapter 50 . 9/15/2016
What a truly amazing story! One of the best Fanfictions I've ever read! Definitely the best Star Wars Fanfiction I've ever read! Extremely well written, and all these characters were written perfectly in character. I've only read a few other Fanfictions that had Darth Vader survive 'Return of the Jedi', yet I can honestly say that this one was the best, and also by far the most realistic of the lot!

It also gave me a far deeper view and understanding of, well, everything that had to do with Anakin prior to and during his life as Darth Vader, and how his actions affected himself, his family and friends, and all the rest of the galaxy. How even when you consider his former life as a Jedi, his betrayal and murder of Palpatine, and (in this story and any other where he survives) his willingness to give all the Empire's secrets and confess his guilt to all his crimes, it would still never be enough to make up for the countless crimes and atrocities he committed for over two decades.

Brilliant idea having this set in the point of view of an original character, especially one so determined to keep his opinion unbiased and neutral. The other stories I read that had Darth Vader surviving were all in either Luke's or Anakin's POV, so this one made it so much easier to see the bigger picture; to fully comprehend the true magnitude of the horrors that Darth Vader was responsible for. Also, your original characters had great personalities and character development, so that's a plus!

There were many ways in which this was more realistic than other stories, such as:

-Despite his betrayal of the Empire and his love for his children, there were still hints of Vader in him (while he did feel regret, it was mostly for what he did to his family, as opposed to the rest of the galaxy).

-Many of the rebels were consumed with rage toward him, with some trying to kill him as soon as they knew he was there.

-With the exception of Luke, absolutely no one let him of the hook just because he had changed sides and killed Darth Sidious. They all believed that was still not enough. Even Luke came to accept this in the end.

-Instead of everyone believing Vader to be a seperate personality that had control over Anakin's body, they all (even Luke in the end) acknowledged that despite the Emperor's manipulations, Anakin did make the choice to become a Sith, and therefore was at least partially responsible for the atrocities he was involved in.

-Instead of wanting to start over as a Jedi all over again, Anakin knew that Vader would always be too big a part of him, and he chose to just calmly and quietly accept whatever punishment he was sentenced to.

Interesting how you left the ending open, with no confirmed punishment mentioned. This story really makes you wonder exactly how he should be judged. Which is not an easy question to answer at all, when you consider just how complicated it is, with far too many different factors. Can really understand why Harvan refused to answer whenever someone asked him for his opinion.

Once again, fantastic story! Thank you for writing it! Excellent job!
SnowflakesandMozart chapter 50 . 6/13/2016
I've been thinking about this story, especially its ending, since I finished it a couple of months ago. The ending is strong and you have courage to leave it where you did, without rendering the verdict. All the way through the story, you did a really good job of balancing the repercussions of Vader's crimes and his redemption. Harvan Sahtou is compelling, largely because he isn't the sort of person who would normally have a story written about him. Methodical, thoughtful, deliberate, slow to form or voice his opinion, observant, torn between his feelings about Vader and his commitment to telling the whole truth. All these qualities gradually emerge through the story and give him depth and humanity. The fact that you never described him actually resulted in his being a sort of Everyman, standing in for all of us decent people who would wrestle with these same concerns if we encountered such a situation. For all his quiet, unobtrusive presence, he assumes a kind of heroic stature for his commitment to bear witness to the truth, though he won't claim to know the truth himself. This is a beautifully told story and one that I will remember for some time to come.
Pancakes chapter 1 . 4/19/2016
I'm still thinking about this fic.
What is justice? We say that we put people in jail to deter them, to try and change their behaviour- But people just come out and become more dangerous criminals in the process, as jails are harsh and dehuminizing places. The death penalty ends the 'irrideemable' but at what point is someone 'irrideemable, truly?

What really sticks to me about this story is that vader was not going to harm the rebels again. He was no longer going to act in the way that made him a danger to society. So then, to jail or execute him would simply be punishment for the sake of the dead, would it not? It would ne angry revenge. But is that really what an ideal society does? No. The ideal, moral society only does what they can to make a person a functioning and safe member of society. It is the idea of personal justice, of revenge, that makes this act more malicious than helpful. But who can blame a person for feeling angry, when their loved one has died and/or they have suffered. The ideal justice system perhaps requires a detatchment from our own anger, and a critical look at the true nature of the defendants.

I wonder if our society would ever become like that. I wonder if we are even capable of it...
SnowflakesandMozart chapter 39 . 4/18/2016
I was planning to review when I finished the whole story, but I find I have to stop and review here. This chapter is so moving. You have portrayed Harvan so well, his nervousness around Vader, his modesty about what he can and cannot do, his commitment to doing the right thing to the best of his ability. I assume he is an OC, and you've written him so well that he is holding my attention in spite of the presence of major canon characters. You are also wrestling with important issues regarding Vader that often get overlooked in this fandom. I really liked the way Harvan (several chapters back) pegged Vader as concerned with people, not ideas or principles and that his renunciation of the dark side was driven by his discovery of Luke, not any grand disavowal of the principles of the Empire. I really liked the way the relationship and trust between Harvan and Vader has grown through this story. The scene in which Vader asked Harvan what had brought him to the Alliance but then couldn't identify with the answer was really well crafted. You clearly aren't afraid to let your characters have flaws or live in moral and relationally ambiguous circumstances, another rarity in much FF.

As for this chapter specifically, I think what I find so moving is partially the interplay between a nervous Harvan, choosing his words with utmost care, and Vader, resigned to the consequences of the life he has lived, yet wanting to do what is best for his children, and at the same time ready for death. But I am also moved by Harvan's commitment to being impartial, in spite of his own personal feeligs, so that he refuses to answer the question. I'm looking forward to finishing the story and seeing how you resolve all these tangled threads.
Pancakes chapter 50 . 4/18/2016
This is fantastic. I can't really express properly how fantastic this is, except to say this is the fic i didnt realize i had been looking for all along.

Whenever i read 'vader survived' fics, he either remained mostly dark or suddenly switched back to Anakin skywalker, showing remorse perhaps but firmly saying 'I'm not vader. I'm anikin."

But he is vader. He will always be vader. There's no excusing what he has done, and done so well at that. When i watched the movies, played the games that he was in, i admired his firm grasp over his power and himself as much as i acknoledged the terrible deeds he committed. It always bothered me when fics focused on one or the other. The black and white of good and evil

You perfectly captured the complexity of the real darth vader. Of the poise and acceptance i would have expected from him. He was what he was, and I respect ypu for being able to capture that.

The way you ended this was masterfully done.

If there's one thing i wish i could change, its that this was not a fanfiction and was instead a published book i had the pleasure of owning. I implore you to take these complex but real truths of humanity and create your own stories to share with the world as published books. I think you could change lives.

Thank you for this read. I won't easily forget it.
Guest chapter 50 . 3/15/2016
That was an excellent story. All of the characterizations were poignant, insightful and mercifully devoid of overwrought angst just for tha sake of it.

I was especially pleased to see someone else touch on the circumstances as well as the consequences of Luke destroying the Death Star.
Ana chapter 50 . 2/16/2016
A)
This was fantastic
B)
I hate that I understand why you ended it like you did, and I hate that I would hate any alternate ending just as much
C)
Good job
OBSERVER01 chapter 50 . 2/18/2016
excellent fic.
M. Lee G chapter 50 . 1/25/2016
Thank you for writing this amazing story! This story has easily become one of my favorites. I hope you continue to write more stories in the future.
-M.
Zigflorian chapter 50 . 1/24/2016
What a great fic! Well written and really good plot! Very thought provoking!
May Arisa chapter 50 . 1/24/2016
Wow. Just wow. I really have no words for this story.

(That doesn't mean I agree with the abrupt ending, though! I really want to know what happens next. This is a very interesting premise you've set up, and it feels like it's only that: the set-up, like now everything is ready for the real story to begin. Maybe a sequel? *hint hint*)

I have, ever since the beginning of this story, imagined Harva being short, with dark brown to black hair, and a square-y/oval face, with dark brown eyes and glasses. And such a soft voice that can be quite commanding when he wants it to be. But that's just my interpretation.
Angelalex242 chapter 50 . 1/23/2016
If there's an epilogue, I do want to see what sentence they actually pass on him. Vader is still capable of making himself useful, as Anakin, to his son for the restoration of the Jedi. His continued existence also helps prevent EP 7 of Star Wars from taking place as it did. Kylo might not be such a fan boy if Vader lives to try to make ammends. In fact, if I were writing an epilogue to this, I'd write the ultimate fate of Vader with preventing Kylo Ren from ever happening in mind.
X59 chapter 50 . 1/23/2016
Brilliant end, I really liked how it ended all from Harvan's view. It not only made it interesting but seemed fitting. All in all this was a great story and I enjoyed from beginning to end.
Gigira chapter 50 . 1/20/2016
Ps: TFA's end credits ending so softly, without the traditional end fanfare, it's so unusual, right?
Gigira chapter 50 . 1/20/2016
Well that was an abrupt end. I must say I hoped to at least hear Vader's sentence. Nevertheless, Harvan's conclusions made a lot of sense. I liked it when you said the mask was a lie - it is so true, and it sums up Vader's character so well in the sense that in order to appear unbroken and strong, he inflicts the pain he himself feels, and in doing that becomes monstrous. I love the idea of "it's what Luke would have done" : it closes the circle that began with Luke striving to become a Jedi like his father... And it is true you never described Sahtou! I don't know why, I always had a very precise vision of him in my head. Anyway, very good story, it was a pleasure to read.
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