I don't think that he'd necessarily be any worse than most absolute rulers in history, when you get down to it. And probably a good deal more competent than many. Modern human rights laws, dear though I hold them, are a fairly recent development (and still sadly often disregarded by those in power). It is a sad reality of history that great men, and particularly great rulers, are very often not good men. And Vader never struck me as the cackling mad kind of Sith, nor the straight-up sociopath kind of Sith. The Dark Side influences him, certainly, be he seems to usually be able to channel it into a more focused and controlled anger. His main weakness as a leader is that I don't think he has the patience for politicking. If he runs into any problems that he can't solve with superior technology, Force powers, or military force, he will need to have deputies to delegate to.NeoGoomba wrote:Yeah, Vader is no fool. Any ship that becomes ineffective will either be repurposed or stripped and detonated. Knowing that their tech edge will be the only thing keeping such a small force alive in a hostile galaxy, Vader and his troops will guard their gadgets jealously.
Man, I'd love to see how Vader would develop without Palpatine's constant goading, especially if he's trying to carve out a splinter Empire of his own. He's been proven to actually give a shit about his rank and file, and all his strategic and tactical skills he developed in the Clone Wars would need to be used and strengthened after atrophying as Palpatine's button man.
I doubt he'd become a benevolent despot, but a more in-control Vader is intriguing to me.
Weather his reign would represent an improvement for those who fell under his power would depend on their politics, and the state of affairs before he took power. Political dissidents would face an enemy far more deadly than most local tyrants. For the Klingons (if they could stomach a human ruler) or the Cardassians, I think Vader's rule might well be a net improvement, at least leaving aside concerns about the metaphysical evil of the Dark Side. Certainly for much of the Delta Quadrant.
For the Federation, though, it would be a loss, as they have been doing quite well under a more liberal and peaceful government.
Edit: Of course, this does not address the fact that Vader's redemption may be pre-destined by the Will of the Force.