"Darth Vader is stupid!" one second-grade boy informed another. "No, he's not," came his classmate's reply. "He's awesome!"
As the two boys debated, my seven-year-old daughter sat nearby and listened quietly. Inwardly, she cheered on Classmate #2. Yep, the one who lauded Darth Vader as awe inspiring.
You see, when it comes to Star Wars characters, her favorite isn't Luke or Leia or even Rey. She isn't drawn to R2D2, BB8, or an ewok. Nope, she loves Darth Vader. And, I'm not talking Anakin Skywalker before he turns to the Dark Side. I mean Darth Vader, Episode VI. Black mask, black cape, creepy breathing, and all.
It's quite simple, really. She knows the end of his story. She's seen the scene where he sacrifices himself to save his son. As a result, she doesn't view him as a villain, but a hero. Yes, you read that right, a hero.
When she recently asserted that he was a hero to her older sister, the senior of the two argued in favor of Vader's villain status. After all, look at all the evil he had done. Surely, that made him bad, right? Maybe. I couldn't help but interject my thoughts into the conversation, though; thoughts in favor of the younger's opinion.
"It depends on what part of his story you focus on," I said. "Look at Paul in the Bible. If you open up Acts to when his name was still Saul, you'd label him a villain too. But if you turn a few chapters to the right, you'd be amazed by his transformation from villain to hero."
Yet what do Darth Vader and Saul-turned-Paul have to do with your marriage and your spouse?