Saga Anakin should not have been redeemed

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Graves101, Mar 31, 2013.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. Graves101 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2013
    star 1
    He basically killed Mace Windu, killed dozens of Jedi and younglings, and scorched the Jedi temple of all life, planned to kill Sidious, his "friend", to presumably become an even worse Sith Lord, mercilessly killed the whole Separatist Council, basically killed his wife, the selfish reason he did all the former, tried to kill his master, would slay thousands of Jedi during the campaign of the Purge, killed his own Imperial troops for mundane reasons, killed billions of innocents with the Alderaan incident, betrayed his own apprentice twice, while deceiving him the second time, and so much more. But it's ok to say he is forgiven because he saved his own son? After all that, one little action should not have redeemed Anakin.

    He still deserved damnation, far, far more than Darth Caedus.
  2. anakin_skywalker_sct Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2001
    star 5
    Killing Mace Windu is one of the few things I'm willing to give Anakin a pass on. Windu was never anything but nasty to Skywalker, and while that alone isn't reason to kill somebody, in the high-stakes situation where the leader of the Jedi Order appears to be about to assassinate the Chancellor, who is Anakin's friend and Anakin's ticket to saving his wife's life, it doesn't seem unreasonable for Anakin to kill him. Anakin even tries to talk Windu out of murdering Palpatine, so really Mace Windu left Anakin no choice, though Anakin merely disarms him (literally) and Palpatine finishes the job. And I don't think we can blame Anakin for killing Padme. He hurt her, yes, and that wasn't ok, but he was pretty much flipping out for numerous reasons and Obi-Wan had just completely botched everything by making it look like Padme had betrayed him. I always thought Obi-Wan was an idiot for not opening his mouth and at least trying to draw Anakin's ire away from Padme or explain that it wasn't what he thought. Instead he just stood there. Then Padme herself just gave up on existing because she randomly became utterly pathetic and useless now that she had fulfilled her purpose as an attractive incubator, but that's just poor writing rather than Anakin killing her. Poor writing, unfortunately, is at the core of a lot of Anakin's problems and behaviours.

    Killing the younglings and murdering all the Jedi, on the other hand, is obviously pretty darn evil, and things just spiralled out of control from there. Anakin was already a mass murderer from Attack of the Clones, but all he got for his efforts there was a hug. He was emotionally unstable and prone to rashness and anger, but he was also in a very unhealthy environment, surrounded by enablers like Padme and Palpatine, as well as people who purposefully antagonised him like Yoda and Mace Windu. With the weight of the war on his shoulders, family pressures he had to keep secret, and pretty much everyone in his life messing with his head and using him in political games, no wonder he snapped.

    Not that I am trying to excuse his wanton murder or his assistance in subjugating the entire galaxy, but Anakin's nature was a bit more complicated than him being good, then evil, then good again. So essentially I agree, one good action at the end shouldn't really redress his hugely outstanding balance, but I don't blame Anakin entirely, either.
  3. Sistros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010
    star 6
    totally disagree with the opening post,
  4. bstnsx704 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2013
    star 3
    I get where you're coming from, but the whole point of the redemption is that, despite all of the inconceivable, unforgivable, evil deeds he had committed in his life, Anakin was able to realize the error in his ways and overcome them. If such a terrible person can do that then surely there is hope for anybody.

    Also, he didn't just save his son. In destroying the Emperor Anakin essentially ended Palpatine's nearly thirty year enslavement of the entire galaxy.
  5. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Graves101: You would have had some fun in the old forums, where I engaged in a borderline-pathological quest to prove that the redemption of Anakin Skywalker is the preeminent flaw of Lucas's saga. (Suffice it to say, I failed to win many converts.)

    I've long since lost my zeal on the subject, but to offer an encapsulation: Vader's redemption doesn't work because his newfound pitiable slave status jars with the monstrous nature of his character in ANH and TESB. It's as if Lucas sought to reimagine his villain as Gollum, but failed to reconcile the fact that Vader had previously been rendered a charismatic sadist--a Satanic figure in full command of his agency. Reducing him to Palpatine's whipped puppy, in desperate need of his son's saving grace, is both incongruent and a moral dodge.

    For me, the redemption could only have resonated if Vader was proactive in turning from the Dark Side. If, like Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, he is a penitent who comes to the realization that he has unleashed tremendous evil and seeks to salvage the situation by destroying the tyrannical regime that fostered him. (The difference being, unlike Michael, he goes to Hell with the faint solace of his triumph.)
    TOSCHESTATION and Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn like this.
  6. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    But he was redeemed, can't change that :p
  7. StarWarsVerses Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2013
    star 1
    Worth noting that Anakin/Vader's 'redemption' wasn't all sunshine and pallies. His ultimate act was a murder-suicide, obviously we're meant to root for it in the moment but it's the same choice that bound him to Palpatine in the first place. Not all that different from Luke blowing up one human-inhabited sphere to save another. The real redemption at the end of the saga isn't Vader's big throw, it's Luke's (and he appears not to retrieve his weapon, watch carefully when he's dragging his father to the shuttle ramp).

    There's a danger to all this moral relativism, and the story seems to fall apart once any black-white coding is applied (heroes on both sides). The visuals show a way out. Easy to percieve, different to define.
  8. StarWarsVerses Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2013
    star 1
    Quick correction, Luke's lightsaber does reappear at the end celebration. Even so it's a telling bit of continuity.
  9. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I think it would be interesting if the sequel trilogy explored redemption vs. forgiveness, which I would categorize as two different things. One is what the individual does, and it’s what Anakin did. He decided to let go of the dark side, save his son, and turn back to the light. However, he still did all the horrible things mentioned in this thread. Is he forgiven? What does the galaxy think of Anakin Skywalker? Do they even know Anakin and Vader were the same person? What does Leia think? What does Luke think after so many years?

    Exploring the legacy of Darth Vader and everything he was and did—hero of the Clone Wars, destroyer of the Jedi, iron fist of the Emperor, redeemed Jedi—would be a very interesting story for the sequels and a way to keep the character as part of the saga. It would be particularly interesting to explore that through the children of Luke and Han/Leia. They would live in the post-Vader world, so what would all of the horrible things he did mean to them? How do they reconcile the fact that they're the grandchildren of a heroic and redeemed Jedi, but also one of the galaxy's greatest villains and mass murderers?

    Exploring legacies is a great theme and could shed new light and new ideas on the redemption. I think going for people's forgiveness through an exploration of legacy would add a lot of depth.
    Last edited by jedimasterbac, Apr 1, 2013
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    If Nick Rostu in Mindor is any indication, they don't.
  11. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Well from Dark Empire we know that the Imperials did not know Vader had betryaed the Emperor until Palpatine came back and told them. So I'm sure he was still considered something of a hero on the Imperial side, and a monster on the New Republic side. And assuming that the sequel trilogy will take place 40+ ABY (based on how old and decrepit Mark Hamill looks) any of the heroic actions he performed as Anakin would be too far in the past for anyone in the current generation to see him as a hero. Most being would still be recovering from the oppression he led as an Imperial commander.
  12. anakin_skywalker_sct Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2001
    star 5
    That's the issue, though, I don't think he really did realise the error of his ways. We have no indication that he learned all he had done up until that point was wrong. Instead we have the same situation that put him in the suit in the first place: he has a choice between loyalty to those above him or loyalty to his family. He loved his son and didn't want him to die, just like he loved his wife and didn't want her to die. What really was redeemed here was attachment: the Jedi suppressing his attachment to his mother and Padme kind of broke his brain and things spiralled out of control. Anakin feeling free to embrace his attachment for his son saved the galaxy.
  13. bstnsx704 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2013
    star 3
    "Tell your sister...you were right."

    Luke spent the entirety of Return of the Jedi believing that there was good left in Vader, not that Anakin had to join him because they were father and son. In the end, as he was about to die, Anakin told Luke that he was, indeed, right.
  14. Seagoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 4
    I think bringing the Force into balance for the first time in 1000s of years makes up for 23 years of murder, genocide, and evil in general.

    ...No, I mean that.
    darth ladnar likes this.
  15. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    If Anakin Skywalker moved into my neighborhood I would waste no time ending him.
    CT-867-5309 likes this.
  16. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Basically Lucas screwed up when he wrote the PT, so instead of the tragic hero/good man goes bad which is what it was meant to be, it was just a bad man going more bad instead.

    To be fair he has slightly redeemed himself with TCW Anakin who is much more the guy talked about in the OT
  17. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    I think people might be trying to apply the rules of our own world into the Star Wars universe and you can't really do that. In our world things are often a little more gray while in the Star Wars Universe everything is black and white. In our world nothing is totally good and nothing is totally bad but in the Star Wars universe everything is either good or bad. So in the movies the identity of Anakin Skywalker was still good and when he started doing bad things it wasn't Anakin Skywalker making those decisions it was Darth Vader. So when Anakin Skywalker came back at the end of ROTJ technically he wasn't the one who had committed all those murders......it was Darth Vader who committed them.
  18. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    we have schizophrenia and multiple personalities in our world too
    Darth_Quintonis and CT-867-5309 like this.
  19. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    Yes but you also need to remember that Star Wars was never meant to be a deep psychological study. It was meant to be a simple fantasy story of good vs evil. So the easiest way to create that is to say that something is either all good or is all bad and if the person starts doing bad things than it isn't that person doing those things it is something else.

    When the movie talked about redeeming Anakin Skywalker it was mainly referring to bringing Anakin Skywalker back and getting rid of Darth Vader.
    Last edited by darkchrono, Apr 2, 2013
  20. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    What are you, a Calvinist or something?
  21. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I don't remember Yoda saying anything like that. You're explanation seems more convoluted than psychology to me.

    The PT is one big gray area.
  22. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    Fans of Star Wars often at times make the mistake of trying to look to deeply into the concepts of these stories when it was never meant to be viewed that way. Star Wars was always meant to be a simple story of good vs evil. When you start trying to get into these deep psychological concepts of these characters then you are searching for things that were never meant to be searched for.
  23. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    Yeah but it was the story of a flawed character who ultimately made the wrong choices because he was deceived. That is very much a story of a 'human' equation. Fall from grace and redemption are very much human philosophies. It's akin to someone who becomes a drug addict and does a lot of wrong while they are, but becomes clean and does good due to the influence of a loved one. Human relations are the core of Star Wars. In a fantastical and imaginary setting.
  24. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    I think you are trying to look for things that were never meant to be seen.
  25. Frank T. Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I don't recall any part of Star Wars saying it was morally black and white.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn