MBTI: Darth Vader- ISTJ
Uh-oh. He’s back. The ever-serious, dictator of detail is here for another round and he knows you don’t like him. He doesn’t want you to like him. You’ll get more work done that way.
There’s a wide range of what Darth Vader could be. He seems to be a completely different character than Anakin Skywalker in many respects and when you’ve seen the prequels, Vader’s entire persona could come off like a mask to hide his actual whiny personality. Now you know where his son gets it from.
But both Anakin and Vader do fit into the same personality, one is just the unhealthy side. So let’s take a closer look at this heavy-breathing, galaxy-ruling maniac.
It’s pretty easy to see Vader’s ISTJ preferences. He’s quiet, cold, and is constantly just working. If it’s not on the Death Star or toward his military, he’s still got the force, which will always involve training. ISTJs are known to be one of the most disciplined type if not the most disciplined as we’ve mentioned before in about every ISTJ post. They can’t not being doing something, even if it’s engaged in a bad habit.
And Vader’s entire lifestyle is a bad habit. He’s constantly on the move, looking to expand the Empire’s power as well as his own. A major weakness of ISTJs is to become so proficient at what they’re doing, they can’t understand any other way of doing anything else, specifically going “by-the-book” which can be annoying or torture for other types around them if not kept in check.
The guy basically tells him “Look boss. We’re workin’ like super hard up in this piece and there’s really only so much we can do. I mean, we’re already living on this freaking thing, I would say that’s something. Give us a break, huh?”
And Vader’s just like “No. Work harder. King Crusty is coming and HE’S gonna be pissed if you’re not on you’re A-game. And you’re not.”
Regardless of what the guy’s reasoning is, Vader’s response is to tell him he’s not doing it good enough. ISTJs often look to others with the primary intention of finding fault. And as we know, if you look for fault, you’re going to find it, whether it’s an actual problem or not.
Now what many seem to think is that because Vader was a whiny kid at one point that him and his past counterpart can be separated. I don’t think this is necessarily the case. While it’s true they come off as different characters in many ways, how many of you were the exact same person you were as a kid as you are now? Several similarities maybe, but the same person?
As stated above, one is just the unhealthy side of the personality, but which side? It seems obvious that Vader’s the “bad” side and Anakin is “good,” right? Vader’s the one that runs the Empire, kills countless people, aliens, Jedi, etc… But if you look at him before his true turn to the dark side, how would you describe him?
Whiny, emotional, strained, impatient.
He’s a straight-laced, by-the-book Guardian living in a world of “feelings” and Idealists. He has incalculable power- but he’s still an ISTJ and is ripped apart by what he’s told to do and what’s natural for him. It’s only when he’s Vader is he in control, right where the ISTJ likes it.
It’s not that ISTJs want to tell people what to do, but they do want it done their way which will often give you the same results of a cold, controlling, Nazi commander. Take a look at what Jung says-
“The Intellectual type is afraid of being caught by feeling because his feeling has an archaic quality and there he is like archaic man- he is the helpless victim of his emotions. It is for this reason that primitive man is extraordinarily polite, he is very careful not to disturb the feelings of his fellows because he knows it is dangerous to do so.
But they are right to be afraid, because their undoing will be in their feeling. Nobody can attack them in their intellect. There they are strong and can stand alone, but in their feelings they can be influenced, they can be caught, they can be cheated, and they know it. Therefore never force a man into his feeling when he is an intellectual. He controls it with an iron hand because it is dangerous.”
Inversely, dominant “Feelers” thrive on the opposite side of the spectrum. Feeling is what they do; what sits properly with them, what’s not good for them, how to treat others.
In other posts we’ve mentioned this and that Idealists are the perfect candidate for Jedi because they not only operate on their feelings toward the world, but try to have their feelings and the world at large coincide with morality. So what else was to become of Anakin, who’s meant to operate on logic and reason? It’s only when he’s Vader is he actually acting closer to his true self and why it’s so hard to watch him as Anakin. Terrible CGI and wooden acting aside of course.
If you are a dominant Thinker raised by Feelers or vice-versa, chances are, you grew up conflicted. You try to do what you were taught but ultimately, it needs to be realized that while the morality and the lessons may not be wrong, the process by which you think you need to follow is what’s causing your stress.
This also explains, in a way, why the Council is saying that he shouldn’t be trained. It seems right in a way, seeing as how powerful he is, but there’s something off about it. And they were right. An ISTJ may have a genius level intellect but they still might want to stay at their lower level position or do things that “just don’t seem becoming” of a genius. But that’s the ISTJ for ya.
Murder and dictatorship aren’t naturally a part of someone’s character; but the way they carry out their orders and the rigidness of their activities are more Anakin’s style. Being trained by Jedi and “listening to his feelings” aren’t apart of his natural mindset like it was for the other Jedi. It’s not that he had to be the villain (depending on whatever that “prophecy” spoke of), but circumstances and personalities introduced, its just what was going to happen.
Put a dominant Feeler in a place where they’re supposed to make unbiased, logical decisions and watch some disgusting monster of a person seethe out of them. You won’t like what you see.
In fact, Mace Windu is the only other Jedi (not Sith) that is consistently typed as a thinking over feeling, and a closer look at his personality will tell you that he comes as close as a Jedi can get to using the dark side without actually succumbing to it. Evidently, Thinkers just can’t help themselves when it comes to the dark side.
Thanks to Nick for the suggestion!