Because I'm a big dork, but I don't want to forget what I'm thinking about.
Just watched the 70-minute DVD Star Wars: A Musical Journey - some parts several times - and my brain is overflowing. Section 5, "A Hero Falls," ends with three shots one right after another: first, TPM Anakin in front of the Jedi council, Yoda vo "the future is clouded" - to AotC Anakin, answering Padme's "you're not all-powerful" with his "I should be - someday, I will be" -- to RotS' Gunray vo "Lord Vader" and Palpatine's vo "rise" along with a long slo-mo shot of newly!suited Vader being levered upright on the table.
Brought me to tears every time I watched it. In my head, over these 28 years (!) of this story, Vader has gone from this utterly evil, soulless thing to a ruined, broken shell of a man - and in the telling of his backstory, he's become a character, a person I can and do have pity on. Not that his actions as Vader are any less reprehensible, but having a context to put them into...I find that it makes so many parts in the OT that much more vibrant and tragic and emotional.
Examples. Vader's first appearance in ANH, stalking onto Leia's ship. Instead of solely seeing him as The Big Bad, now I see him as - well - crippled, certainly physically (can you imagine, having had the access to/power over/relationship with the Force that Anakin had before he was maimed, how it must have felt, how it must feel for Vader every day, remembering the way he used to be and now being able to touch a mere fraction of that power?) and just as certainly emotionally - he stalks onto that ship, and I know he's headed for Leia, and I'm thinking Oh, Anakin, you can't hurt her --
-- and towards the end of RotJ, in the throne room, when the Emperor is zapping Luke, and Vader is looming in the background, watching, in my mind I'm practically screaming stop him! Anakin, stop him - that's your baby, that's Padme's baby, you can't just stand there!
And I know there are so many other moments that'll come to mind after I see RotS, and again as I re-watch the OT.
I know there's been criticism from some quarters as to the quality of the PT. To me, though, they've added an immeasurable complexity to the OT, movies that I didn't think I could enjoy more than I already did.
A thought that might bear further introspection, if I can make the time.
Clearly, there's no small bit of Christological symbolism employed throughout the films (the "virgin birth" backstory in TPM, for starters). Add to that the "chosen one," the savior of the universe, the falling and redemption...it's there.
Another biblical parallel that can be drawn is, again, found in that final Emperor/Vader/Luke showdown. Bear with me, it's still rather fuzzy in my head, but I don't want to forget.
In Genesis, God commands Abraham to take Isaac up to the mountain and offer him as sacrifice. Though he's deeply grieved, Abraham obeys his Lord and brings the boy to the summit, and is fully prepared to kill his own child in order to be obedient to his God. (That God calls off the sacrifice at close to the last minute is not fully relevant to my point, I think.)
Back to the throne room: Luke has made his choice and - he will not join the side of darkness. Vader looks on as the Emperor begins to torture Luke - torture that is obviously meant to culminate in death. Keep in mind the number of years Vader has stood by the Emperor, how much he lost in choosing to be this Lord of the Sith, to have this power and control. Yet what does Vader do? When the time comes for him to make a choice, he finally makes the correct choice, a choice for good and light - instead of yet again obeying, he picks up the being he's sworn his allegiance to for almost the entirety of his adult life and, basically, tosses him in a pit straight to Hell.
Vader doesn't listen to his 'god', but he does do what's right. In the end, his love for his child wins out over his devotion to his Master. He chooses well, he chooses wisely. He renounces Vader, and once again becomes Anakin Skywalker - only for a moment or two, yes, but there is that redemption prior to his death.
Okay, in reading that over, it's definitely a mish-mash of Abraham/Isaac and the Redeemer motifs. Like I said - just wanted to get it down, and perhaps I can make more sense of it later on.