Maybe this is only new, to me, but what the hey:
Having said all that, let me again acknowledge that “Star Wars” harks to an old and very, very deeply human archetype. Those who listened to Homer recite the “Iliad” by a campfire knew great drama. Achilles could slay a thousand with the sweep of a hand – as Darth Vader murders billions with the press of a button – but none of those casualties matters next to the personal saga of a great one. The slaughtered victims are mere minions. Extras, without families or hopes to worry about shattering. Spear-carriers. Only the demigod’s personal drama is important.
Thus few protest the apotheosis of Darth Vader – nee Anakin Skywalker – in “Return of the Jedi.”
To put it in perspective, let’s imagine that the United States and its allies managed to capture Adolf Hitler at the end of the Second World War, putting him on trial for war crimes. The prosecution spends months listing all the horrors done at his behest. Then it is the turn of Hitler’s defense attorney, who rises and utters just one sentence:
“But, your honors … Adolf did save the life of his own son!”
I think he’s dead on, and it explains why something has always kind of bothered me about Star Wars.