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Web Video / Chad Vader

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Welcome to Empire Market.

Chad: May I speak with you a moment, my master?
Randy: It's just Randy, okay Chad?
Chad: Yes, my master.

Chad Vader is the younger brother of the more famous Darth Vader. Due to not being quite as authoritative and charismatic as his sibling, instead of conquering the galaxies, Chad works as the day shift manager at Empire Market, a grocery store in the US. The show follows Chad's daily life trying to get along with his co-workers, who consider him a rather rude fellow, possibly due to his strange voice and his habit of force-choking those who annoy him.

The series originated and gained fame on Channel101, where it was cancelled by the Cinespace audience after two episodes. The creators then decided to move it to other venues such as YouTube and MySpace. The clips hold a quality level clearly above what one can expect on YouTube at the time, with good action and overarching story lines. It also sports a wide cast of talented actors. The series consists of the first season, featuring eight episodes, the second season, featuring eleven episodes, the third season, featuring ten episodes, and the fourth and final season, featuring ten episodes. Chad also has a six-episode series of educational videos for improving your mastery of the grocery store clerk calling.

The series is produced by Blame Society Productions, an enterprise consisting of Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan, which has also made a wide variety of other clips that can be found on their YouTube channel or on their official homepage. He was also a guest riffer for RiffTrax for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

This web series contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody:
    • Chad is a Darth Vader parody.
    • Damien Nightshade is an obvious parody of The Twilight Saga, though he may not be such an affectionate parody.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Weird Jimmy is an atheist according to his twin brother Johnny, but he believes that elves exist.
  • Back Story: Weird Jimmy tells his to Chad, and by extension, the audience.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever take Baby Cookie away from Hal Thompson.
  • Big Bad: Clint Shermer in the first season, Maggie McCall in the second. She also held the role for part of the third, then Clint returned only to be upstaged by Crazy Randy working for Baby Cookie.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Libby, Clarissa, and Maggie in Season 2.
  • Brick Joke: In the fourth episode of season one, Hal asks Chad for live chickens. Later, in season three, after he's (accidentally) made general manager of the store, one of his first actions is to order merchandise... including a crate of live chickens.
  • Character Development: Baby Cookie provides Randy with some. Before he gets Baby Cookie, he can be described as "well- meaning boss who has to deal with the typical frustrations of incompetent employees" (namely, Chad). However, as of the most recent episodes, thanks to Baby Cookie, he has pretty much filled the void left by Weird Jimmy (mixed in with just a bit more Ax-Crazy then Jimmy had).
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several examples:
    • Clarissa, Chad's love interest from the first season, is Demoted to Extra in the second, then disappears midway through the third, never to be seen or spoken of again.
    • Randy is not part of the cast in the final season, appearing only in flashbacks. However, it is mentioned that he still works at Empire Market. He later shows up in the series finale, amid the crowd of employees; his sudden appearance is noted by Chad: apparently, Randy made himself so scarce that Chad forgot he was still working at the store.
      Chad: Randy? What's he doing here?
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Chad himself, as well as his apprentice, Commander Jeremy Wickstrom.
    • Weird Jimmy, Empire Market's insane janitor.
    • Lionel, the guy who works the cash register. "Randy says I wander..." *wanders*
    • Damien Nightshade.
    • Hal Thompson.
  • Companion Cube: Weird Jimmy's mop, who is named Mop.
    • Also, Hal Thompson's doll, Baby Cookie.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Season 4 reveals that when Chad first started working at the store, he broke the time clock. Clint offered to help him clean up and cover for him, but when Randy catches them, Chad throws Clint under the bus and Clint is to be punished. From that point on, Clint declared himself to be Chad's enemy.
  • Creepy Basement: The basement of Empire Market. Not only is it a labyrinth of dead ends and unmarked pits, but it's a portal to the "Dark Soul Half". It's also where Chad keeps his failed service droids — which come to life and attack himself, Jeremy and Weird Jimmy in Season 2.
    Weird Jimmy: [Chad]´s probably dead. The basement isn't safe for...upstairsers.
  • Creepy Doll: Baby Cookie becomes this — starting when she talks back to Randy.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hal Thompson is a complete idiot, but get between him and Baby Cookie...
  • The Ditz: Jeremy. Though Hal Thompson, who keeps randomly appearing in different parts of the store, asking for bizarre items such as live chickens (to sacrifice for a Pagan ritual), is a better example. He is also the star of his very own Spinoff series, Complete Idiot.
    • The spin-off series "eHal" reveals that Hal is "an expert", meaning that he has some... unusual skills, many of which have to do with goats and more recently, a miniature couch (for obvious reasons).
  • Demonic Possession: Weird Jimmy (now a ghost) possesses his twin brother, Johnny, in Season 4 because he wants to continue working.
  • Demoted to Extra: Clarissa was one of the main cast member in Season 1, being Chad's co-worker and part of the Love Triangle between him and Clint.
  • Enemy Mine: In the season 3 finale, Chad and Clint discover there are several bombs placed around the store, forcing them to work together. Clint is about as blasé about this team-up as he is about anything else, however.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Jeremy finds a bomb in Empire Market, Chad immediately assumes that Clint is responsible. While Clint admits that he'd love to see Chad get blown up, he wouldn't blow up Empire Market to do so.
  • Evil Mentor: Maggie eventually becomes this to Chad during his tenure as General Manager.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Jeremy in Season 2, after he is appointed General Manager. He pulls a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the season and is demoted.
    • Chad himself in the middle of Season 4, after he realizes that the employees do not respect him as General Manager.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Chad's increasingly oppressive reign as General Manager (in Season 4) does much to make the lives of the employees and customers miserable, but instead of making the store run smoothly, it actually ruins efficiency and reduces store profits.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Despite being Chad's whipping boy, Lloyd is often seen hanging out with him in the spinoff videos.
  • Gambit Pileup: In the making with Maggie, Baby Cookie and a returned Clint having unknown agendas sure to collide in Season 3.
    • Disappointingly Subverted in that the gambits neither collide, nor even reach execution. Baby Cookie is taken back by his previous owner, effectively having him Put on a Bus and ending any possible gambits. Clint becomes the manager of another Empire Market store, ending his plans against Chad with the unlikely exception of a store rivalry. And Maggie is stripped of her Empire Market liaison status courtesy of Champion J Pepper, ending any of her unknown previous plans.
  • Hate Sink: Lloyd, being a sleazy, sexist womanizing loser and the show's Butt-Monkey (making it easy to root whenever Chad abuses him).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Damien, with the final Baby Cookie bomb.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Weird Jimmy used to be the Day Shift Manager, then became the Night Manager, and then lost his sanity and became the janitor.
    • As of season 2, Randy has been going through the exact same process, except that it seems to have made him way more deranged than Jimmy ever was.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Jeremy, who is still a little odd, but much more competent than Chad.
  • Ironic Echo: "And who is responsible for you?"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chad, despite the fact that he's often rude to others, spies on (and sometimes mistreats) his co-workers, and made Jeremy think he had to work at Empire Market forever, is still a nice guy deep down and can be helpful when he needs to be. It's shown multiple times that under his gruff exterior, he genuinely cares about his employees and their well-being, as well as the welfare of the store itself.
  • Journey to Find Oneself: Jeremy leaves Empire Market at the end of Season 3 to go on one. It amounts to playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for 3 days without food or sleep, wandering around the street looking for food, and almost stealing trash from a hobo.
  • Killed Off for Real: Weird Jimmy is killed at the end of Season 2. He later returns as a Force Ghost — and, in Season 4, possesses his own brother so that he can resume his old job..
    • Damien Nightshade in the Season 3 finale.
  • Love Triangle: Between Chad, Clarissa, and Clint in Season 1.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: In the middle of Chad and Jeremy's lightsaber battle in the finale of Season 2, they temporarily stop their battle to help a customer find some groceries.
  • Mundane Utility: In addition to being able to cut through anything, Chad's lightsaber apparently functions as a lighter.
  • Nepotism: Played with. Clint's father, Champion J. Pepper, is the owner of Empire Market. However, Champion doesn't seem to like Clint very much.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Downplayed: the day shift, while sometimes strange and chaotic, is far preferable to the night shift, during which the store is desolate, customers are rude and troublesome (including people who sleep on the frozen meat and toss their unwanted items on the floor), employees behave strangely, and the tasks are arduous and unpleasant (such as cleaning the septic tank and waxing the floors). The position also tends to ruin one's social life and drive employees to insanity (with Clint being the only known exception to both).
  • Nostalgia Heaven: In the series finale, when Chad nearly dies while trying to fix the store's boiler, he finds himself in a field with a happy, scar-free version of his childhood self, and his childhood dog.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Baby Cookie! Didn't see that one coming...
    • Also, Hal Thompson turns out to be a pretty good fighter if you get on his bad side.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Hal invokes this unintentionally. First he mistakes an employee's apron for a "wizard's cape" and puts it on (messily), and is immediately mistaken for an employee by Maggie. Later on he is standing in the middle of the store in his usual clothes, accompanied by a goat, and is again mistaken for an employee by Champion J. Pepper (Hilarity Ensues as Hal gives him a tour of everything that has happened to Empire Market — while dragging his goat along).
    • Also, Chad "disguises" himself as Clint by doing nothing more than wearing Clint's nametag. A justified example, since in Chad's defense, he was trying to fool customers who might have seen him around but didn't necessarily know the names of all the staff. He never tries to pass himself off to anyone who actually knows what Clint looks like.
  • Proscenium Reveal: The series finale ends with an offscreen voice calling "Cut!" The camera pans over to a film crew, revealing that the entire series has been a wacky project headed by George Lucas.
  • Sanity Slippage: What happens to those in the Night Shift Manager position (with Clint being the one known exception).
  • Sex Sells: Invoked in Chad's coffee ad. After several failed attempts at promoting the product, Chad brings in a sexy bikini model. This fails too, after she asks when she's going to get paid.
  • Shared Universe: With many of Blame Society Films' other shows. Hal's presence makes it clear that this is the same universe as eHal (on which Chad Vader made a guest appearance) and Fun Rangers which in turn provides a link to Dr. Moley Can Help, and there are some shorts which indicate Chad Vader to be in the same universe as Thor's Kitchen. For a really weird mind-boggling addition, Baby Cookie, Dr. Moley, Hal, and Chad Vader have all made guest appearances on Beer and Board Games where Aaron and Matt play themselves, which raises the question of whether that too is somehow part of the same universe. Really, the only show of theirs that there isn't any obvious link to is Welcome to the Basement. Yet.
  • Shock and Awe: Chad gains the ability to use force lightning in the season 2 finale while seething with rage at Maggie.
  • Shout-Out: The series contains many, many Shout Outs to the Star Wars franchise. However, there are also a few references to other mediums:
    • The store's cleaning droids constantly chant EXTERMINATE!!!
    • In Season 3, Chad zaps the Marshmallow Bandito with force lightning...which causes his pants to fall down.
      Chad: Pants on the ground? Pants on the ground. You look like a fool with your pants on the ground!
      • This leads to a spoof of the song itself in the credits.
  • Spin-Off: Hal (the guy who was looking for live chickens and goat's milk) has his own show, Fun Rangers which tells the odd misadventures he has with his even weirder friend, Cody.
    • Hal also became the central figure for a spin-off series called eHal (originally "eHow" but presumably changed due there being a website with that name), where he is "an expert" who he answers strange questions from fans often relating to the supernatural, such as how to catch a unicorn, how to summon a shoggoth, how to deal with calls from Cthulhu, etc. While the cast is pretty much limited to Hal (aside from occasional appearances by his rival Munt and his unseen girlfriend Kritch), Baby Cookie, Cody, and Chad Vader have made guest appearances.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Chad has one in three of the four seasons: Clarissa in Season 1, Libby in Season 2, and Michelle in Season 4.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Chad himself. No one seems the slightest bit surprised to see a man in shiny black body armor, a cape, and a helmet who speaks with a respirator. (Doubly so, given that the Star Wars franchise also exists in the universe of the series; you'd think someone would have noticed a guy who looks and sounds exactly like Chad's famous brother.)
  • Villainous Breakdown: Maggie whines upon losing her manager status. She's slightly disheveled at Champion's awards ceremony where she gets the Night Manager position. Combine the night manager position's sanity destruction with her already borderline sociopathic personality, the breakdown is gonna snowball...
  • Vocal Evolution: Starting from season 2, Chad sounds a lot more like Darth Vader and less like he's speaking into a tin can due to better voice filtering effects.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: After Chad works tooth and nail to get to the General Manager position and earns it at the end of Season 3, he ends up becoming an overlord like his brother in Season 4, ends up ruining the relationship he has with Michelle, and almost ends up getting killed. As a result of this, he chooses to go back to being Day Shift Manager at the end of the season.