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Anakin - what is your stance on his stance (good/evil)?

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by Jedi Greg Maddux, Jun 5, 2005.

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  1. SabeForQueen

    SabeForQueen Jedi Youngling

    Oct 2, 2002
    Stormcloud --
    I think that's why Anakin is ultimately unlikable to some people (me included). But even though his life story is unadmirable, -how could it be laudable seeing that we knew he was a villain for a long period of his life?- I still think Darth Vader was redeemed in ROTJ. Just, by redeemed, I don't mean that anyone would want to emulate him. I mean, rather, that he has finally not only recognized good & evil but also cast his lot with the good in his final act.
    What makes a person good? IMO, half of goodness is in the actual trying (i.e. intention). The other half is in seeking guidance about goodness from proper authorities (God's book, the Force, etc) and acting in accordance with it.
    So, in TPM I think Anakin was good. He wanted to be good and he obeyed those who taught him goodness (Shmi, Qui-Gon). That being said, I don't think Anakin was ever especially good -- there have been better children -- though always especially talented.
    In AOTC, he spent the whole movie half-good and some of it completely-good. I mean, he always wants to be a good Jedi, a good person, etc. The intention is there. While it is true that very often bad guys have good intentions, this is not always the case and so long as bad guys want to be good there is always a distant possibility of redemption. But who is, classically, the icon of evil? Satan, right?
    Satan does not want to be good. He does not want God's good opinion. He does not want to follow guidance.
    In AotC, Anakin wants to be good but is impatient and selfish to the degree that he doesn't follow the guidance. But towards the end, I think he really does have moments of true goodness. When:
    ~ he backs off from Padme -- accepting her guidance of good behavior and acting on it
    ~ repents for slaughter -- belatedly recognizing his own guidance "I'm a Jedi, I know I'm better than this" -> realizing that he has behaved terribly and thus tries to accept Mace's guidance about Obi Wan, etc.
    ~ also, when Padme declares her love, I see it as being that he is sincerely uneasy despite his happiness because he had been trying to follow her guidance, to be a good person, etc
    ~ and when Padme falls off the transport, Anakin tries to obey the guidance of good people (Obi Wan & Padme) while wanting good.

    But Anakin Skywalker's failure, his tragedy, is that he is always confused. Even when doing good stuff while wanting to be good, he still lacks clarity of understanding. And some of his authorities of good, his resources for guidance, are infact misplaced: Palpatine, teaching him all the wrong values; Padme, inavertently confusing his values when she gives in to her personal desires.
    That's why I think Vader really does acheive something new in RotJ. His smile of peace as dies saving Luke, Leia, restoring balance to the Force & the galaxy, shows that for once he utterly understands and accepts the necessity and goodness of his actions. No more confusion, just wise submission to God (I'm thinking in religious terms here). And throughout his encounter with Luke I think it was already made clear that in him awoke once more a desire to do good, be good, be worthy of his son's love, of being called a "Jedi". That was the conflict Luke instigated in him and that was what became resolved when he saw that destroying the Emperor could only be good. Not just because Luke thinks so but the Jedi would think so, his mother, his wife, the Rebellion, and his own conscience knows so. I think it's a culmination of the good that had been in him finally rising up and acting.
    Anakin could not have been redeemed during RotS because he actually has become twisted enough to believe that he can acheive good through killing kids, hurting his wife, fighting his brother, destroying Jedi, etc. He was much too misguided. But at the end of RotS, when Padme dies despite his efforts, I think he must begin to realize for the next 20 years that he cannot/did not acheive any good thru the dark side. But when Palp told Vader that it was Ani himself who killed
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