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Anakin's Fall: Too Fast?

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by MJedi, Jun 2, 2005.

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  1. MJedi

    MJedi Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 17, 2000
    Hello all,

    So some friends are talking about ROTS, and they think Anakin turned to the dark side too fast. He cuts off Mace's hand and is killed by Palpatine, then Anakin swears his allegiance to the Sith Lord right away.

    Of course I know better. One could say his fear of losing his mother when he was 9 was just the beginning. Then his actions at the Tusken camp.

    I'd like to know what this board thinks or knows about what other events eventually led to his fall. Perhaps some explanation of why it looks like, to the average viewer, Anakin just simply changes sides just like that.

  2. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    The average person isn't as knowledgeable as are we with respect to TPM and AOTC. Lucas isn't the most subtle director, and there has been PLENTY of foreshadowing, but I guess it did seem quick for many people.

    I've seen the movie 4 times now, and that scene with Mace, Palpatine and Anakin is one of my favorites in the entire saga. The "fall" had been happening ever since the Opera seduction scene, and this was simply the moment of choice.

    Anakin had to act quickly - either Palps was dead and Padme was dead, or else Mace was dead and Padme lives - not a hard choice to make, in the eyes of Anakin.

    Then, when he actually kneels in front of Sidious, he's pretty obviously not happy about it "What have I done?" At this point, he realizes he has NO CHOICE but to stay with Sidious.

    I don't think he's loving Sidious very much at all at this point - in fact, what he says is "I pledge myself to your teachings" - not the strongest endorsement of Sidious as his master.

    He simply wants to end the war so he can be with Padme, and learn the power so he can save Padme - that's it. He even thanks Palps for the opportunity.

    Say he hits the Jedi Temple a few hours later - people think he's so totally evil at this point? No way. Look at his face when he enters the chamber where the younglings are hiding - he's obviously conflicted, and trying to keep emotionless, because it's something he has to get through to save Padme.

    If we saw a gleeful Anakin, or even an Anakin like he was on Mustafar right after his choice to kill Mace and go with Sidious, then I would agree that maybe his fall happened too quickly.

    But it's a buildup. And I think it's awesome. My friend thought Hayden was "meh" in the lovey-dovey scenes, but BORN to play the part of twisted, dark Anakin/Darth Vader. He's so much better when he's conflicted and evil. Because even when he's happy, he seems creepy.[face_laugh]

    I'm sure there are many ways the "fall" could have been made better, but probably not too many, and geez, I can't really think of one off the top of my head right now.[face_thinking] :p
  3. Darth_Banal

    Darth_Banal Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 22, 2002
    Say he hits the Jedi Temple a few hours later - people think he's so totally evil at this point? No way. Look at his face when he enters the chamber where the younglings are hiding - he's obviously conflicted, and trying to keep emotionless, because it's something he has to get through to save Padme.

    I agree, but the conflict continues even later. There's a shot of Anakin alone on Mustafar, after he kills the Separatists, but before Padmé shows up, that is really gripping. It just shows Anakin in his robe, and with single tear running down his cheek.
  4. Whizkid

    Whizkid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 2003

    Did he truly think Mace was a traitor or is he trying to find an excuse to keep Palps alive? I mean, Anakin was the one who told Mace the Palpatine was a Sith Lord, and then asks surprised when Mace is about to kill him
  5. SabeForQueen

    SabeForQueen Jedi Youngling

    Oct 2, 2002
    That kid was doomed. If you rewatch TPM & AOTC you'll be able to point out parts to your friends where Anakin is teetering on or even briefly ducking under the black waves of the Dark Side.
    First, backstory: (TPM)
    - Ani is always being bossed around and underappreciated, esp. by Watto & other kids; when Padme identifies him as a slave he angrily says "I'm a person! And my name's Anakin!" The Jedi Council is hostile towards him despite his powers. Yoda suspects him of heading towards the Dark Side. Ani overhears Obi Wan calling him "dangerous", feels unwelcome by Jedi. Yet had to give up his mother and security net to become a Jedi, follow his dreams
    - gets very special isolating affection from his mother; I don't mean this in a bad way, I just mean that he's very close to her, so that they're in thier own little world. his mom has a very high opinion of him to make up for the rest, also sees him as a miracle.
    Second, recent stresses: (AOTC)
    - he knows he's powerful and wants to become a Jedi already; Obi-Wan sees his flaws and constantly criticizes him. Obi also continuously underappreciates Ani's ability in order to deflate him (speeder chase shortcut "Once again you've proved..."). Ani knows he is being undervalued but doesn't understand his weaknesses. Resentment grows.
    - Palp is a "good friend" to Ani. Continously urging on his ambitions, reassuring him of his greatness, disrespecting the Jedi elements which oppress Ani
    - Anakin has nightmares of his mother's pain. Doesn't know what to do about it, hasn't seen her in a long time, is discouraged by Jedi from thinking about her, seeking her, caring for her. Tries to ignore it and his mother and shut out that loving (if hard) time in his life.
    - is obsessed w/friendly & pretty face of Padme, but she's standoffish, older than him and skeptical. when she does reciprocate a little of the attraction, she is harsh about its unrealistic nature, refuses to profess love for him, predicts that his great desire (to marry her) would in fact be harmful, dooming them both. no solace there ;)
    - seeks out his mother on Tatooine, finds out so much has changed (Lars family), how those who loved Shmi tried their best to save her but had not the ability - whereas he had ability but not the love to save her, in self-anger, grief & turmoil he goes out as a dutiful son to save her. spends the night chasing down her location. gets to her too late, she dies in his arms loving him after all these years away (no reproach) while he's in agony of incompetency & remembered attachment. kills captors, massacres all sandpeople: kids, women.
    - Anakin knows he did wrong but he's in so much pain. there was nothing else he had the power to do. it was too late to save her. only revenge. why couldn't he be powerful enough (like in his TPM dream of being a Jedi who came back to free all the slaves) to fix old wrongs rather than drift further away in helplessness. Who was holding him back? ObiWan and the Jedi! Why shouldn't he be more powerful?...then again,why isn't he behaving the proper Jedi way? why isn't it easy?
    - makes a promise to mother's grave to not fail again -> be powerful enough to preserve his loved ones. also, to hold them in better memory, closer to the heart. "I miss you so much" reasserting attachment forbidden by Jedi
    - told not to save Obi Wan when his mentor is in danger. not trusted, not able, helpless & deflated. padme rescues his spirit for awhile by allowing him to try to save Obi on Geonisis. but this issue is later rekindled when Obi Wan stops Ani from helping Padme when she falls-> again, helpless. Jedi duty imposing on duty of the heart. when he attacks Dooku he's angry at everyone, going through the motions, and tries to reach that higher power plane.
    - Padme tells him that she does love him; that maybe it's okay if they're destroyed by it becoz destruction is almost inevitable; appeals to him to enter a little fantasy zone w/her where it's okay, they love. He's a little betrayed & confused (becoz he had taken her warning to heart) but nonetheless, gla
  6. stormcloud8

    stormcloud8 Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2002
    I believe that Anakin's fall happened in the Jedi Council chamber. That's why he was crying. He knew full well that he was going off to defend Palpatine, and most likely have to kill the Jedi. It was all over from that moment.

    And I think that scene of the two of them looking to each other across the miles of cityscape is the most elegant scene in all of Star Wars.
  7. CoolHanLuke

    CoolHanLuke Jedi Youngling star 2

    Oct 19, 2004
    If you rewatch TPM & AOTC you'll be able to point out parts to your friends where Anakin is teetering on or even briefly ducking under the black waves of the Dark Side.

    Yeah, I agree that his turn to the darkside had been building ever since Episode I. What cemented it for me was the Tusken slaughter in Episode II.

    The first time I saw Episode III, I did think his "pledge" was too quick. But, now, placing ROTS in the context of TPM and AOTC, his turn doesn't seem so sudden.

    After seeing Episode III six times, I now see the tragedy of Anakin's fall more than ever. :_|
  8. SabeForQueen

    SabeForQueen Jedi Youngling

    Oct 2, 2002
    Sorry to get off topic, but I laugh every time I read your signature. Brilliant! :)

    Back on topic-
    If taken in isolation, ROTS doesn't really build up the dark nature of Anakin. But the whole PT works to establish it, so, I think it's just kind of poignant that the film that best captured Anakin's good side was actually the film in which he falls.
  9. episodenone

    episodenone Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 13, 2001
    agreed - great one-liner coolhand!!

    too fast??

    remember what yoda tells luke "easier, more seductive"

    being seduced by a woman -- well for me, it starts and suddenly you're in waste deep.

    and i have never been seduced by a female sith.

    qui-gon tells young anakin "the path to being a jedi is a very difficult one" or something like that.

    NOT SO when it comes to the dark side.
    "easier, more seductive"

    and on another note - having seen ROTS 6 times myself - i do not think anakin's face looks like he is enjoying himself at all killing the seppy's on mustafar.
    in fact he looks to be in agony.

    at least til obi-wan shows up.

    and again - his fall takes place over a long time during 3 movies - subtle or not - palps just plucks exactly the right strings at the perfect time.
  10. Whizkid

    Whizkid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 2003

    Do you think that Anakin really believed the jedi betrayed the republic or was he using it as an excuse for saving Palpatine?
  11. TomPiltoff

    TomPiltoff Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 7, 2005
    His fall was all about confusion.
    It all started with Mace. Anakin was confused, should he save the Jedi or the Sith Lord that holds the key to saving his wife? When Mace goes for the death blow, Anakin has no choice but to act, and kills him. What can he do now? Tell the Jedi what he's done, and besides being kicked out of the Order, let's his wife die?

    So he tells Palpatine what he wants to hear and pledges allegiance. Palps tells him to wipe out the Jedi Temple, and we see that Anakin hates to do it. But to save his wife and child, he does. Again, what does he do? Tell the Jedi about Mace AND the Temple, and lose his wife?

    Then Palps tells him to slaughter the Separatist leaders. To end the war, Anakin save his wife. Only to find out that his wife brought his best friend to kill him. Everything falls apart.
  12. Garth Maul

    Garth Maul Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 18, 2002
    Brilliantly summarized. [face_clapping]

    When he cuts Mace's hand off, he has gone too far to turn back - but he thinks he'll still be able, not only to save Padme, but to BE WITH her.

    Talk about living a lie....although he did confess to killing the Tuskens. Can you imagine if he told Padme he killed a bunch of defenseless children?

    Poor Anakin - he never wanted anything evil - he just wanted.
  13. CoolHanLuke

    CoolHanLuke Jedi Youngling star 2

    Oct 19, 2004
    Yep, he should have listened to Yoda, "Train yourself to let go all that you stand to lose." and Mace, "...there is a lot of fear that clouds your judgement...if what you have told me is true, then you will have gained my trust...wait in the Jedi Temple until we return." Anakin wanted to be with Padme so much that he was willing to do whatever it took to save her.

    However, after seeing the movie again last night, something he said to Padme on Mustafar caught my attention. Lucas has said that in the relationship of the Sith, the apprentice will eventually try to knock off the master. Then once he's the master, he will recruit an apprentice himself..."Two there more, no less." When Anakin said, "We don't have to run away...I'm more powerful than the Chancellor; I can overthrow him. We could then rule the galaxy together...make things the way we want." Then Padme responds with, "Obi-wan was've changed." I saw at that point that he had fully given himself over to the Sith way of thinking. Since he wasn't made a master by the Jedi, "It's insulting...I'm not the Jedi I should be," he became impatient into thinking that he'll pledge himself to the dark side and then try to take out the Emperor in order to become a master. Too bad that it cost him his life.

    His fall makes me reflect on his own words of wisdom which he should have heeded in AOTC, "You're would destroy us."
  14. Ana_Labris

    Ana_Labris Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 31, 2000
    I believe that Anakin's fall happened in the Jedi Council chamber. That's why he was crying. He knew full well that he was going off to defend Palpatine, and most likely have to kill the Jedi. It was all over from that moment.

  15. vikingjedi1

    vikingjedi1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 5, 2001
    The problem with Anakin is that he wanted everything at any cost. His lust for power consumed him.

    His fall began at birth being born into slavery. There had to be some anger towards the Jedi for leaving his mother behind too. Then his mother dies, he kills the Sand people, and later he has to hide his relationship with the person he loves the most - Padme'.

    Every problem besides being a slave can be linked the Jedi. He was living a lie trying to be a Jedi while being with Padme' too when it wasn't allowed.

    I think when he saw that Mace was going to openly break the Jedi code that they all followed (and pushed on him to follow on a daily basis) it triggered something in him and pushed him over the edge because it came across as hypocrisy. I bet he was thinking "Why should I follow the way of the Jedi when they break their own code when they feel like it?". Especially when the person Mace was going to kill was the Emperor whom Anakin trusted the most.

    In a lot of ways Palpatine was the closest thing Anakin had to a father. Obi-wan was more like an older brother.
  16. SixEagle

    SixEagle Jedi Master star 1

    May 30, 2002
    There are two things that have been touched upon that I have a slight problem with, that I was going to start a new thread on, but fit in here.

    1) His "belief" of Palpatine's version of events that the jedi were trying to control the empire and overthrow him.
    2) His vendetta changing from saving Padme to taking control.

    - I have no problems with him having to make a choice to save Palpatine. I think that was excellently done.
    - I have no problem with him pledging allegiance to Palpatine. He had to in order to save Padme.
    - I have no problem with him executing the jedi temple (had to obey palpatine to use him. The younglings show him conflicted, but show his resolve to do what he thinks he must), or the separatists (who the hell really cares if they die anywho?).
    - I even don't have a problem with his initial explanation of the jedi turning on palpatine to Padme. Even if he doesn't believe this, he can't tell her what really happened.

    But when Padme and Obi-Wan arrive on Mustafar, that's where I have issues.

    When Anakin choses to save Palpatine, at no point did it appear Anakin believed Palps' plight that the jedi were corrupt. He was uneasy spying on Palpatine. But when he found out Palps was a sith lord (after Palps played the "they're trying to overthrow me" card), he wanted to kill him. Palpatine could feel it. He then had no hesitation telling Mace. He told Mace with complete and utter conviction that what he was saying was true. To me, this is a clear as day sign that he didn't believe in Palpatine's cause. And when he makes his decision to save Palpatine, you could tell: A) he was conflicted, and B) he was doing it to save Padme, not for the emperor. To me it looked clear that he didn't agree with the emperor, but that he needed him.

    Then on Mustafar, he tries to convince Obi-Wan that the Jedi were in to get Palpatine. To me, there is no benefit to play this card if you don't believe it. And if he believes it, it completely contradicts what he felt just a day before. Telling Obi-Wan that the Jedi were corrupt and that his allegiance is to the emperor/Sidious, he had to know there was no way Obi-Wan would join him. And by not drawing his saber on Obi right away, and trying to explain it to him, I have to believe he wanted Obi-Wan on his side. But if he had simply said that he was going to turn on sidious and end this war, it might, MIGHT have been the only way to save Obi-Wan, save Padme, and get rid of Palpatine (which he clearly wanted to do). So, again, the only reason I can acertain that he would tell Obi that Palpatine was being overthrown was if he believed it, and I don't think that fits.

    Do you think Anakin believed the emperors plight? I'd like to hear other opinions.

    The other part is the changing of his vendetta. When he originally changed to the dark side, he had a clear reason, to save Padme. By the time a few days had gone by, with his discussion with Padme on Mustafar, his fixation was on controlling the Empire, not on saving Padme. Considering his love for Padme, I would have liked to have seen him a little more focused. AFTER she had died, I could see his focus on switching to power and control. Before her death, I thought it was a little forced, and less tragic.

    I don't think it was too fast. By the end of the movie, with the events that had transpired, the Vader character of the Original Trilogy was completely believable to me. But the change in Vader, in conjunction with the ORDER (not timeframe) the events occured in I thought were a little off.
  17. Whizkid

    Whizkid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 11, 2003

    I think when Anakin saw Obi-Wan standing on the ramp on the ship, he completely lost all sane thought. He believed Padme betrayed him to Obi-Wan, and this finally cements his turn.
  18. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    SixEagle: When you watch the scene where Anakin leaves Padmé to head for Mustafar, it's clear that he is justifying his own actions by telling Padmé what Palpatine told him. He probably doesn't believe in it right then, but over time, as he continues to justify his actions in order to make them seem right, I believe that his mind gets twisted around and eventually, he sees that he might be able to overthrow Palpatine and turn the galaxy into a place where he can do anything he wants, including keeping the people that he is attached to alive.
    Then, when Obi-Wan arrives and starts questioning Anakin's motives, Anakin starts to believe that Palpatine was right after all. If his best friend won't admit that what Anakin says is true, then he must be a traitor. Furthermore, Obi-Wan has turned Padmé against him(or so Anakin believes). That can't look too good in his eyes.

    How about that?

    The more you watch, the more you understand
  19. LordIsurus

    LordIsurus Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 24, 1999
    This is the only complaint I've heard of this movie. Ok, sure, some may also mention the "You're beautiful because I love you.." or other dialogue, but that's nothing really. I actually liked the dialogue 'cause somehow it felt right. But the turn could have taken more time. I would not be surprised if there are a few scenes that were deleted that do contain more of Anakin turning. If there aren't, George should shoot a few :) The main ghist of the complaints I have heard is that the turn is much too fast and the movie is far tooo short. That just says people wanted to see more more more. I agree with them!

    [edit] I haven't read the book yet but I think there is a bit of confusion with Anakins feelings. At the Temple, he takes a moment before offing the younglings. At that point, he'd be thinking of Padme but moreso he's obeying the order given by Sidious since that's the path to saving Padme. But the tear on Mustafar. I dont think he's feeling confusion or struggling to kill the Separatist leaders. I think the tear is due to him imagining Padme dieing. He has just killed many beings, but the thought of her dieing, brings him to tears. All other life is insignificant if it means saving hers. Nothing else matters. When he sees her ship land, he lowers his hood and he runs to her. [/edit]

    Isurus the White

    p.s. I notice that Techno Union boss Wat Tambor was last Separatist leader to be dealt with by Lord Vader. Thats my icon. Nice!
  20. stormcloud8

    stormcloud8 Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2002
    First people complained that I and II were too slow, now people are complaining that III moves too fast. You just can't win.
  21. SixEagle

    SixEagle Jedi Master star 1

    May 30, 2002
    I really have no problem with the pacing. I just think the order, and keep in mind this is just my opinion, I'm not saying it's definitively wrong, could be done a little differently.

    Lars: On the one hand, I don't doubt that he believes what he's doing is right. That's not what I'm questioning. Nor do I doubt that when he sees Obi, he goes into a rage.

    But, during the movie it didn't appear that he believed the emperor in the slightest. And he still talks about destroying the emperor up until his last discussion with Padme. I just think him changing his stance on the emperors explanation, I don't know.

    Anyway, back to the original question:
    Do you think Anakin initially believed the emperor that the Jedi were trying to take control of the republic?

    IMO no way, and I think if he did believe Palpatine, it lessens the impact of his turning to save Padme.
  22. youngvader

    youngvader Jedi Knight star 5

    Jun 21, 1999
    It is way too fast. Just a few poisonous words by Palpy, teling Anakin he can't go back now, that the Jedi will kill him and Padme will cry herself to death, etc, and that joining him is his ONLY hope now, would have been enough.

    - cutting Mace hands
    - Palpy kills Mac
    - Anakin "What have I done"
    - Anakin pledging himself to Palpy

    ... is way too fast.
  23. DamonD

    DamonD Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 22, 2002
    What I like is how the build-up has been very gradual, with increasing incidents in TPM and especially AOTC, but also it comes right down to a single choice made very much in the heat of the moment - who do you side with, Anakin? How much is Padme's life worth to you?

    He decides that it's worth more than the Jedi.

    It's a single choice in the end, but it's all the build-up over the years that affected that choice.

    "One you start down that dark path..." and all that. Could we look at Luke and also point to a few instances of dangerous behaviour en-route to his choice whether to kill Vader or not?

    It's not quite that far-gone for Luke at that point. But it's still interesting.
  24. menttality

    menttality Jedi Master

    May 26, 2002
    In almost all tragic stories in history there are issues, events, and feelings that lead up to a single choice having to be made under severe duress.

    This is exactly what happened in the PT. Anakin was on the slippery slope to the darkside for years and a split second decision was what cemented his turn. He came to Palpatine's office knowing that he had to stop the death of the Chancellor. I do not believe that he would have attacked if Mace was planning on arresting the Chancellor. But having to make that decision to save Palpatine in order to save his wife was the choice he HAD to make under such horrible circumstances.

    As everyone has noted before: there is no turning back for Anakin once he has participated in the death of a Jedi by helping a Sith Lord. He NEEDED Palpatine's teachings to save Padme. That is why he pledges himself to the Emperor's teachings and NOT to Palpatine himself.

    EDIT: Exactly right DamonD
  25. RebelScum77

    RebelScum77 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 3, 2003
    You know, the first time I saw the movie, it did feel a bit rushed, but I think that's just because I was so overwhelmed. It felt like I had just sat in my seat, and then the movie was over.

    Upon waiting it a few more times, I don't think it's too fast at all. As many others have been saying, his fall has been gradually happening over the other 2 movies, as well as all the EU (if you're into that). But in ROTS itself George does go out of his way to put Anakin in bad situation after bad situation. 1. He has a nightmare about Padme, actually tells Yoda about it, and Yoda (who later isn't surprised he turned) tells him to just "let go". What kind of advice is that? They know Anakin, they should know that kind of stuff doesn't work on him. 2. They ask him to spy on Palaptine. A guy who already very loosely follows the code, and obviously values friendship above all else. I guess it was only Obi-Wan who realized what a bad idea this was, but they all should have known better. The Jedi not following the code #1. 3. Mace doesn't trust him, to the point of borderline hostility. He doesn't let Anakin go confront Palpatine with him, if he had just let him go, maybe that little bit of extra time, where Palpy is arrested, would have kept Anakin on the right path. 4. Mace wants to kill Sidious. Yes it's aganist the code (#2), and Anakin totally panicks. But he did the same thing to Dooku, and I'm sure that's on his mind, The hypocrisy of it all. The hypocrisy of the Jedi and of himself.

    After all these things have happened in such a short amount of time, as well as the thought that his pregnant wife will die, he makes a decision. But he thinks about it for a long time- in the Council Chamber and even while Mace and Sidious fight. He absolutely hesistates. He's making the decision in his mind, and you can only see it on his face. The tears in the Chamber, the panic as he cuts off Mace's hand, his "what have I done?", he drops his lightsaber and collapses head down, knowing that he has to say it now- has to give allegiance to Palpatine. There's no other alternative. And he obviously doesn't know what that really means, even as he's ordered to kill the Jedi. I don't think he really knows what it means until he's put in the suit.

    After the pledge he goes about his murderous business not with evil glee, but grim determination. It's them or Padme. He has made it that black and white. He doesn't ever take pleasure in it like Sidious, even when killing the Seperatists. And again Lucas goes out of his way to show tears on Mustafar. I don't think they're just about fear for Padme. He knows what he's done, what in his mind he had no choice but to do. I think there's a bit of a moment of clarity there, before the unthinkable happens- Padme "abandons" him, then he completely loses all sanity, and he falls into the crutch of the 'Empire-this, Empire-that, I need more power to control these things that are spinning wildly away, even Padme, if I have more power she'll come around...' business. All the BS that Palpatine has been feeding him, he reverts back to. He wants to believe it's true, because he has to hold onto something. Of course the irony is he's completely lost everything.

    Woah, this is getting out of control. Long story short, I don't think it's too fast, it all makes perfect sense. ;)
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