Zack Snyder Transforms Superman into DC’s Darth Vader – Here’s How

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By Iron Man

In the DCEU, Zack Snyder infused Shakespearean elements into Superman’s narrative, drawing parallels to Darth Vader and redefining Clark Kent as a tragic hero.

In the realm of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Zack Snyder employed a bold narrative approach that infused Shakespearean elements reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker’s tragic arc into the character of Superman. This transformative storytelling redefined Clark Kent as a tragic hero within the DCEU, drawing intriguing parallels to the iconic Star Wars villain, Darth Vader.

Snyder’s portrayal of Superman in the DCEU diverged significantly from previous incarnations, embracing a darker and more realistic tone that elicited mixed responses from fans. Nevertheless, the alterations made by Snyder rendered Clark Kent surprisingly akin to the infamous antagonist from the Star Wars universe, and this connection became particularly evident in his film Justice League.

The Darkening of Superman’s Destiny

The DCEU’s rendition of Superman’s journey bears an underlying Shakespearean tragedy, masterfully crafted by Zack Snyder. This interpretation unfolds as Clark Kent’s path takes an unexpected and grim turn, sharply contrasting the hopeful origins of the character. This transformation is notably underscored in Justice League.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League continues the narrative threads established in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this film, the superhero ensemble endeavors to resurrect Superman following his death, ultimately aimed at safeguarding Earth from threats like Steppenwolf and Darkseid. While the heroes secure a victory, the film offers glimpses of a foreboding future, casting a shadow over Superman’s once-hopeful origins.

The Fall of a Hero

In Man of Steel, Clark Kent discovers his Kryptonian heritage, learning about his unique destiny. A holographic AI of his father, Jor-El, reveals that Clark is Krypton’s first naturally conceived birth in centuries, carrying the remnants of the Kryptonian genetic legacy, known as the Codex. Jor-El believes that Clark is destined to become the savior of humanity, a destiny seemingly fulfilled when Clark averts a Kryptonian invasion.

However, Justice League introduces an unsettling future where Superman has succumbed to darkness, serving as a stark contrast to his optimistic origins. In this bleak timeline, Clark’s beloved, Lois Lane, is tragically taken from him by Darkseid, who manipulates the grieving Kryptonian into betraying humanity and his fellow superheroes.

Snyder’s take on Superman draws inspiration from the narrative elements of Anakin Skywalker’s fall from grace in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Anakin, a celebrated hero during the Clone Wars, was believed to be the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force. Yet, Palpatine’s manipulation and Anakin’s visions of his wife’s demise led him down a path of darkness, mirroring the tragic Shakespearean archetype. Both Anakin and Snyder’s Superman emerge as noble heroes and Chosen Ones within their respective universes, only to experience catastrophic falls from grace. Jor-El, akin to the Jedi Order’s perception of Anakin, saw Clark as a destined protector of Earth, an image shattered by his eventual descent into malevolence.

The Heartbreaking Loss

Superman’s journey in the DCEU takes a heartbreaking turn with the loss of his future wife, Lois Lane. Clark’s relationship with Lois holds immense significance in his life, offering solace amidst the trials of his extraordinary powers. His early years were marked by tragedy, including the death of his adoptive father in a tornado when Clark was just 17. This loss led him on a journey as a wanderer and societal outcast, making his connection with Lois all the more profound. Lois became his anchor, motivating him to protect Earth as a superhero. Clark had even envisioned a future with Lois as a married couple, planning to propose to her.

However, Justice League shatters this idyllic future with Lois’s tragic demise, setting the stage for Clark’s descent into darkness. Snyder effectively parallels Clark’s doomed romance with Lois to Anakin Skywalker’s ill-fated relationship with Padmé Amidala in Star Wars. Anakin, who endured a troubled upbringing and the loss of his mother, found solace in his relationship with Padmé. Similarly, Clark and Anakin both derived purpose and peace from their romantic unions. Yet, their tales unfolded as Shakespearean tragedies, with the death of their beloveds serving as the catalyst for their transformation into tragic figures.

Snyder’s Unique Vision

Zack Snyder Transforms Superman into DCs Darth Vader

Zack Snyder’s portrayal of Superman is distinctive for its incorporation of Shakespearean motifs, echoing Anakin Skywalker’s fall from grace. The narrative elements Snyder harnessed successfully transformed Clark Kent into a tragic Shakespearean protagonist, diverging from the uplifting narratives of previous Superman films. Superman’s inability to safeguard his future with Lois and his subsequent descent into malevolence bestowed upon him a poignant and sympathetic motivation as a corrupted superhero.

In essence, Zack Snyder’s visionary reinterpretation imbued Superman with the essence of a Shakespearean hero and established him as the Anakin Skywalker of the DCEU. This narrative divergence, marked by the tragic fall of a once-idealistic hero, remains a striking and thought-provoking departure from traditional superhero storytelling.