Severus Snape and Darth Vader, Two Peas in a Pod?
With today’s release of Star Wars: Episode VII, I’ve been watching and re-watching Star Wars a lot. That, combined with my job at MuggleNet where all I think about is Potter, got me to thinking: Darth Vader and Severus Snape are scarily alike (kind of like Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker).
1. Double Agents
Snape is a double agent playing both Voldemort and Dumbledore’s sides. He starts off with his heart loyal to Voldy while playing Dumbledore for a fool. Then he switches (because of the death of his great love, Lily) to Dumbledore’s side while playing Voldy and ultimately dying Dumbledore’s man through and through.
Darth starts off on the side of the Jedi—the side of light. He, too, has a great love in Padmé. But when her life comes into jeopardy, he switches to the Dark Side to save her—and ultimately remains on the Dark Side until right before his death. You could say, in this instance, that Snape and Vader are mirror images of each other.
2. Stopper Death
In Harry’s first Potions lesson, Snape tells the class he can teach them to stopper death. And in Prince, he does stopper death for Dumbledore for a bit by containing the curse in Dumbledore’s hand. However, his first attempt at stoppering the death of the person most dear to him is when he lays down everything he is or has lived for to save Lily. He renounces his ways, begs and pleads with Dumbledore, says he’ll do anything—including switching to the side of Light. Sadly, his cross-over does not save Lily from death because evil Lord Voldemort killed her anyway.
Anakin turns to the Dark Side under the guidance of the Sith Lord in order to save Padmé from the death he sees in a vision (sidenote: Snape was also a bearer of a prophecy that meant that Lily would die, though he did not know that at the time). However, he, too, fails to save the one he loves. Rather, I think, the Sith Lord made sure Padmé died to ensure Anakin’s undivided loyalty. Disagree if you like, but if the Sith Lord could save Anakin, he certainly could have saved the love of his most devoted servant if he wanted to.
3. Highly Talented
Snape is highly talented in brewing Potions that fix/save people. Case in point, Remus Lupin, who explains that the potion Snape makes for him is complicated and very dangerous if gotten wrong. It seems that, without Snape, Lupin suffers from full monthly transformation (body and mind).
Anakin Skywalker is extremely gifted mechanically. He can rebuild just about anything. C3PO, for example.
Both Anakin and Snape are very gifted in another area as well…
4. Occlumency/Legilimency and Jedi Mind Tricks
Snape, of all the teachers in the castle, is chosen by Dumbledore to teach Harry Occlumency. Why? Snape has managed to keep Voldemort, who is very gifted at Legilimency, believing that Snape is on his side. That requires not only blocking certain thoughts from Voldemort but letting Voldemort into other thoughts that trick Voldemort into trusting Snape (to some degree).
Jedis learn to use mind tricks on people to influence their thinking. Anakin/Darth is very talented at this. Obi-Wan says that such tricks only work on the weak-minded; Snape echoes the same sentiment with Legilimency.
5. Desired Position
It is no secret that Severus Snape greatly desired the position of Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. And he was often disgruntled when surmounted by, what he saw as, far less-qualified individuals. Even one of his enemies, Remus Lupin, got a shot at the position before him.
Anakin, fueled by the encouragement of Palpatine, desires to no longer be an apprentice of Obi-Wan, but to be granted a position on the Jedi Council. Anakin is very disgruntled when the Council continues to refuse his advancement.
6. The Lords
Snape, for a time, serves Lord Voldemort who once looked like a man but now has more the appearance of a snake. Vader served Darth Sidious, who once looked like a person but now looks like his face has been melted. Not to mention Voldy and Sidious’s other similarities: devoid of love, only “trusts” a small few who are easily disposable, seeks to conquer death by taking life, etc.
7. Trust of a Leader of Light
Dumbledore is one of the only people who fully trusts Snape after his “conversion” from Death Eater to Order member. And even after Anakin switches to the Dark Side, Yoda remains confident in him…
Darth Sidious: You will not stop me; Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us.
Yoda: Faith in your new apprentice, misplaced, may be—as is your faith in the dark side of the Force.
Yoda, like Padmé, saw that there was still good in Anakin’s heart. There was still hope. Why? Because there was still an inkling of love there that, when sparked, would change Vader forever…
8. Love Conquers Evil
Snape’s love for Lily changed him into Dumbledore’s man. Because of Snape’s switch, Voldemort became much more vulnerable to the efforts of the Order. And upon his death, Snape gave Harry the last bit of information he needed to bring Voldy down for good.
Darth Vader always remained loyal to the Force and his love of Padmé, if at times misguided in his approach. But ultimately, his love for Padmé is what turns him against Sidious to save his son—Padmé’s son—and to “destroy” Sidious. (Sidenote: If I could make a prediction, it is that Sidious did not really die at the end of VI, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t think there has been mention of Sidious in the trailers, but I’m trying to stay away from any pre-release information so as not to spoil the experience.)
9. Men in Black
Both Darth Vader and Severus Snape have a similar wardrobe—all black, all the way, all the time! Would a splash of color had killed these boys? I guess it is appropriate attire, though, for two men in life-long mourning.
There you have it, nine ways Severus and Darth are two peas in a pod. Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Are there similarities you’ve found that I’ve missed? See you in the discussion section! May the Force be with you.