Is it a joke? Far from it. The iconic Star Wars villain was the protagonist of a judicial event. The singular nature of this event caused a great surprise. What was the reason for the Darth Vader trial in Chile?
It happened in the Court of Appeals of Valparaiso, within the framework of the Heritage Day that was celebrated in Chile. There were several initiatives focused on bringing citizens closer to the work of the courts. This pedagogical exercise reached its climax when the villain was put on trial. Thousands of Chileans followed his judicial development through multiple platforms provided by the Judicial Branch.
Thus, the character was publicly “prosecuted” and faced accusations about various “intergalactic crimes”.
The main crime Vader was “charged” with was having cut off the hand of his son Luke Skywalker. It is one of the most iconic scenes in the saga. “What is being condemned is the mutilation (…) and not what Mr. Vader did before,” Juan Carlos Manríquez indicated during the pleadings. He was Darth Vader’s “defense” lawyer.
“I do not ask for clemency or forgiveness for Mr. Vader, I only ask for nothing more and nothing less than justice,” he said. “He is a human being with rights. Almost a machine, but he is also a man. He’s a father, your honor.”
The prosecutors pointed out that he acted “with complete malice” and requested a severe penalty: to be frozen in perpetuity in the carbonite chamber. However, the Court of Appeals of Valparaíso accepted the appeal for annulment presented by the defense. What was the ruling? “To remain frozen for 30 years in carbonite. And the prohibition to approach Luke Skywalker at a minimum distance of three planets during the same period”.
The judicial authorities themselves valued the performance. “We want to bring justice, so little understood, closer to the citizens. So that they can see what is done in a Court of Appeals”.
The Darth Vader trial in Chile attracted great attention. Attorney Claudia Salvo, who played the role of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, celebrated the instance. “The funny thing is that we did not agree. That is to say, each one of us prepared a plea. In a way, when you practice, you learn the things you have to highlight,” she said.