Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why I Love Cad Bane - Reasons 8-9

Reason #8: Cold, Calculating Attitude 

Often when people describe Cad Bane, the phrase I notice used most often is "cold and calculating".  As I already described, Cad Bane has never been noted thus far to explode in a rage or some other extreme emotion.  He is willing to raise his tone when it is necessary, but he generally remains calm in all circumstances.  Even when he is quite irritated or angry, Bane does not leave a trail of destruction behind him, nor is his thinking distracted.  And even when he is rather pleased with a situation, his delight is not made blatantly apparent.  In other words, in regards to emotion versus reason, Bane nearly always sets emotion on the back burner and puts reason as the higher priority.

Certain qualities of this cold approach are quite apparent in Bane's behavior.  He does not prefer to let personal motives get in the way of his profession, which is clearly expressed in that when he reunites with Anakin Skywalker and later Obi-Wan Kenobi, there is no apparent desire for revenge from the mind-trick interrogation both Jedi put him through (although in Bane's final line from Season Four he certainly hinted that he would get back at Kenobi/Hardeen for his deception and betrayal, but I will discuss that more later on.) The point to which Cad Bane sets reason before emotion is chilling.  For example, when hired by Sidious to kidnap younglings for dark experiments, Bane's answer is that as long as he gets paid it makes no difference to him.  In addition, Bane's only reaction after ordering and watching Bolla Ropal's death by torture is reflecting that next time he encountered a Jedi he would use a different method to get what he wanted from them.  Which, in fact, he ends up pulling off by threatening Ahsoka's life to control Anakin.

Not only is Bane holding no apparent or visible regard to the carnage he leaves behind nor the immoral severity of his actions, but he is also calculating.  Cad Bane does not enter any situation he is notprepared for, and he does not consider it a waste of time to spend more time in preparation than carrying out the actual plan.  And it seems that there is almost never a moment when Bane is not lost in his reasoning.  Even when under arrest by the Jedi he still has backup plans under his sleeves.  I believe part of his calculating persona is another contributor to Bane's reliance on gadgets.  Since he has so many of them, and many are useful for all sorts of situations, it adds up with the fact that Bane enters every situation prepared.  In other words, Bane is a control freak.

It is one thing for a villain to torture someone to death, kidnap children, and murder innocents while laughing like a maniac or deriving explicit pleasure from his or her actions.  We all fear the psycho sadistic killer.  However, a villain who does all the above with reasoning as the sole reason for doing so is all the more terrifying.  A character who arrives to the logical rather than the emotional conclusion to commit such atrocities is the character we want to stay as far away from as we can.  The only thing more terrifying than a character who wants to do evil deeds is a character who does so because, in his mind, he has to, and he does not care who he is going to hurt.  After all, we would all choose hate over apathy.

But, Cad Bane exists in a fictional universe, and as such a cold and calculating personality only further works in his favor to make him my favorite character.

Reason #9: Manipulative & Smooth-talking

While Cad Bane is prepared to draw his blasters or use a trick on his wrist gauntlet to get what he wants or requires, Bane is also not the type to rely solely on weaponry or violence.  He knows that, with careful verbal and nonverbal communication, one can just as easily come out victorious in a situation without needless carnage.

Here is the best example of this I could find.  In the episode "Cargo of Doom", when facing down an enraged Anakin Skywalker, Bane manages to sneak out of the sticky situation without a scratch; and while Anakin and his Padawan Ahsoka come out alive and unharmed as well, Bane obtains what he needed from the Jedi Knight.  How does he pull this off?  Using nothing more than his manipulative words.  As I already mentioned, Bane figured out quickly that using Ahsoka's life as a bargaining chip would convince Anakin to cooperate.  How he found out within minutes of meeting Anakin that this method would work is staggering in of itself, since Bane was already aware that not all Jedi would respond the same way Anakin did.  Two things most likely happened.  First, he noticed that Anakin rescued a clone from falling, realizing Anakin would look out for those under his command even if it made himself more vulnerable.  Second, Bane used his brief conversation with Ahsoka during her capture to learn whether her Master would come to rescue her or not.  Which, Ahsoka unwittingly revealed, he would.  In both of these Bane used mere observation and words to discover how to get what he wanted, which he was successful in obtaining.

A few other occurrences are also worth mentioning.  Bane manages to manipulate a Rodian woman into believing he is a Jedi (convincing her to give up her only child was another matter, but in that case Bane had a backup plan. Of course he had a kriffing backup plan).  When interrogated by three of the most powerful Jedi in the Order, Bane maintains his cool and does not cave in; only when the three Jedi use the Force to try and take control of his mind does Bane finally agree to cooperate (not really of course; he had yet another backup plan. Surprise, surprise).  Finally, Bane coldly and directly demands that his employer, who by the way is a Sith Lord, to triple his rate and throw in a starfighter, which said Sith Lord does not object to (this is something I'll touch more on later).  Bane's skills lie not just in physical combat; he also knows the tactics and techniques to manipulation, and he pulls it off more than once.

Not to mention that, as I mentioned in Reason #5, Cad Bane is not a bad guy who is always yelling out orders or shouting angrily.  He does not need to use loud tones of voice, out-of-proportion threats, or brass language to get attention.  He has a smooth way with verbal communication.  When he does raise his tone it is merely to gain necessary attention or intimidation.  He almost always maintains a calm, collected tone of voice that implies apathy, coldness, and subtle pleasure or lack thereof when it is required.  It is almost like the voice of a dealer, a lone shark, or a car salesman.  Yes, Bane talks like someone looking to sell you something and make a profit.  He knows how to use people's emotions, biases, and attachment to his own advantage.  He is indeed the manipulator, the smooth-talker.

Here I have to make one more point that is not so much about the character as it is about myself.  It relates to the previous reason as well.  I think one solid reason Cad Bane became my favorite Star Wars character was because how much we are alike.  In a character like Grievous, Obi-Wan, or Darth Vader, I either see just one or two minor similarities or none at all.  I love those characters, but I do not relate to them completely.  On the other hand, in Cad Bane, and all his cold and calculating menace and cruelty, I see a true personification of my "dark side."  I like to be prepared, as Bane is.  I like being in control, as Bane does.  I can be a leader but I also prefer working alone, just like Bane (two points about him I'll discuss more in future reasons).  I have a manipulative streak; my pride shows through the same way; I prefer to hide in the shadows; I value my hat collection; I don't like being in the spotlight; I run away from situations that are overwhelming; and finally, I have that side where I can be quite cold and calculating.  And there is probably more that has not come to mind yet.  Perhaps it is because I have studied Bane's personality so intricately, but in regards to those villains you can relate to, Cad Bane will always be at the top of my list.  It's kind of a scary thing to admit that your favorite character is also your shadow.  But having a character like that can actually help you come to terms with your dark side, and even overcome it in a lot of ways.  I would be lying if I said Cad Bane has not done the same for me.  He is dark and menacing and evil, and that is just the way I like him, and now you know part of the reason why.  Now that I have finally made the confession, let's keep moving.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this and I loved it a lot.

    I noticed your comment on my blog as well and it appears we are incredibly similar. I love the villains because I see myself in them so much. I cried during the Winter Soldier because it was much like looking in a mirror.

    We all have a dark side and then there's that one character that gets us and we relate to so much. I get that. I very much respect your love for Cad Bane and I understand it. its been really cool reading about all those reasons why and its made me like you a lot more. I love hearing people talk about their favorite things because I know that there are subtle hints at who they really are.

    Thank you for sharing:)