In a twisted way, this is what Anakin has always wanted.
At first it was difficult. At first Vader had to concentrate on the mechanics of each swipe of his lightsaber to distract himself from the familiar frightened faces, from the way the first few syllables of his former name transitioned into the rasping gasps of severed tracheae.
After a time, though, he has begun to enjoy it.
He thought he would have been content with recognition, a mere pat on the back and reassurance of a job well done at last. But no, this finally satisfies that sick need that has been festering inside him for years. He doesn’t want to persuade the Jedi to judge him positively. He wants to be so powerful that he is he one judging them.
He wants revenge.
He knows all too well that it is not the Jedi way, and perhaps that is the sweetest part. The voice inside him that he calls indoctrination and the Jedi call conscience is silenced. He is no longer held accountable to the endless didactic dogma that has been forced down his throat since he was a boy. He was always meant for something higher, something freer than that. And this is it.
At last he stands in the central chamber of the Temple and flings his head back to take in the ghosts of a thousand fires dancing in the transparisteel panels. He can taste the smoke and blood and sharp ozone, feel the Dark Side wrap around him like a mistress. The echoes of dying screams reverberate around the vaulted permacrete ceiling along with the steady rolling pulse of the 501st’s marching footsteps pounding, pounding, pounding out a heartbeat for this newborn monster of Empire. His eyelids flutter closed.
It is beautiful.
Merrik: “Come on, then! Who will strike first and brand themselves a cold-blooded killer?”
*Merrik is stabbed through the chest with Anakin’s lightsaber. Anakin retrieves the detonator Merrik was holding, and rises — looking very pleased with himself. A brief strain of The Imperial March is played.*
Anakin: “What? He was gonna blow up the ship!”
Thanks, bub! And you just do what u feel best, mmkay? Thanks for checking in!
This though. :’)
Sometimes I amuse myself by thinking about the expressions happening under Vader’s mask. If anything, having it would likely make Anakin even worse at keeping his feelings off of his face, because he doesn’t need to worry about anyone seeing them.
see also: the exact cause why masquerade!Vader is so bad at not rolling his eyes at people
i imagine that like 90% of what was going on under Vader’s mask in the prequels was a) egregious eye-rolling and b) mockingly mouthing ‘blah blah blah’ whenever a moff was speaking
Yes. Yes, all of this.
I also imagine that at least half of his lines are actually being spoken sardonically, but that it’s filtered out by his vocabulator. Eventually, some of the soldiers who’ve been under his command for a few years — particularly the combatants who he actually has some modicum of respect for — figure out when he’s not being 100% serious.
"Oh please like you could even make a mark on me."
"And why on earth would I call you Lord Vador, when you aren’t actually a lord? Or am I not looking hard enough into that teenage mind of yours?"
"And what are you going to do, call on your magical powers to defend yourself? I’ve been arrested for making marks on guys way bigger than you, princess."