Warning! Spoilers ahead for Titans season 3, episode 6, “Lady Vic”
Titans‘ version of the Red Hood features several parallels to Darth Vader, and it actually ends up spoiling his eventual fate on the DC television series. Having fallen into darkness much like the Jedi Anakin Skywalker, Jason Todd has been corrupted by the Scarecrow, taking on a new helmeted identity as the Red Hood and referring to Jason Todd as having died, mirroring Darth Vader’s origins as a Dark Lord of the Sith. However, it seems likely that Jason’s path will continue with these parallels all the way to an eventual redemption by the season’s end, much like how Vader himself was ultimately redeemed back to the light in Return of the Jedi.
In Titans season 3 episode 6, Scarecrow refers to Jason Todd as his “padawan learner,” and the Star Wars comparison is particularly apt as Crane has been mentoring Jason, providing him with drugs to make him supposedly powerful and without fear. This is quite similar to Palpatine and the temptations of the dark side that seduced Anakin (which coincidentally made both his and Jason’s eyes turn yellow as they fell further into respective darkness). Furthermore, the episode also sees Scarecrow warning the Red Hood that he’s expendable, revealing that he could easily be replaced by someone else which likewise tracks with the deceptive and tenuous relationship between a Sith master and apprentice. Additionally, Jason goes behind Crane’s back when he puts their new drugs on the streets seemingly without Scarecrow’s knowledge (though it might have been a part of Crane’s plan all along). Similarly, Vader also made attempts in the Star Wars canon to overthrow his master, though Palpatine was almost always aware and 10 steps ahead.
Combined with the fact that Nightwing was Jason’s brother and mentor just like Obi-Wan Kenobi was for Anakin, it’s easy to start seeing all the parallels featured in the DC series. However, it’s more than likely that the similarities in their stories will continue with the season’s end seeing Jason killing Scarecrow, just as Vader finally killed the Emperor to save his son Luke, earning his redemption back to the light. Perhaps Jason will overcome the drugs and rejoin the Titans, allowing him to start working towards redemption like Vader ultimately did? It certainly looks like the Red Hood’s story is headed in that direction.
That being said, Jason has the potential to have a more satisfying redemption than Darth Vader, seeing as how he doesn’t have to die when and if he does kill Scarecrow. This could just be the beginning of his journey toward redemption, working by his own brutal code apart from Nightwing or Batman’s just as he does in the comics, while still doing good in the world. In this way, Jason Todd’s story with its parallels to Anakin’s could actually surpass the Jedi-turned-Sith’s journey in some very dynamic ways, especially if Jason returns to being a vigilante in future seasons of Titans, rather than the villain he currently is in season 3.
In any case, while the plethora of parallels to Darth Vader seems to potentially spoil Red Hood’s arc, it should prove to be fairly dynamic all the same. The rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker is one of the most classic and popular tales in cinema, after all. That said, whatever Jason Todd’s fate as the Red Hood might be as Titans continues, it’s bound to be a wild ride as he continues warring with his former allies and friends (for now).
Titans releases new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.