In honor of the new Star Wars, let’s focus on the old Star Wars. Specifically, the animated canon. Warning, here there be a lot of videos.
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker is a jedi master and has been tasked to train his own Padawan, Ahsoka Tahno. Their relationship is, frankly, adorable. They even have cute little pet names for each other, and they sacrifice themselves for each other and put themselves in danger for each other in every single season. This relationship is built through six seasons to fall apart at the end when Ahsoka is accused of murder, framed, proven innocent, and leaves the jedi order before finishing her training.
At first, I was heartbroken over this turn of events, but then I realised that Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order meant that she was spared from Order 66. Order 66, for the non-die hards out there, was the order given to the clone armies to exterminate the jedi by the evil Sith emperor. She returns in Star Wars Rebels, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, as an adult and helps the main cast. In one scene, she is helping the main cast fight the Imperials, and senses a familiar presence in one of the fighters. She follows the force to Darth Vader, who uses Sith mind magic to repel her. Ashoka realises that her beloved master is still alive (hurray!) but is now the evil Sith lord Darth Vader (not hurray!)
Later, the main characters ask her if she knew who the Sith lord was. She answers that she doesn’t know who, or what, he is. Darth Vader, on the other hand, won’t even address himself as Anakin Skywalker (as if everyone didn’t already know they were the same person) and refers to Ahsoka as “Anakin Skywalker’s Apprentice” and won’t even use her name.
My heart broke into a million pieces with that line. It shows that Darth Vader has fallen so far from who he used to be that one of the people who was closest to him doesn’t even recognise him as a person anymore.
The take-away from this is is that damn Darth Vader is evil. Also, if you’re writing your own fallen villains, it might give your story further depth to show someone who knew them before they fell. It could also add depth to have the villain not recognize the person from their old life either. It might just show how evil your villain has become.
And it’ll be sad as shit.