Anakin's profoundly human frailty

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Darthkarma, May 25, 2002.

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  1. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4

    So many great posts, so little time!

    The humanization of Vader, which I referred to in my first post when I started this thread, is what excites me most about the PT. As the eagle-eyed Polaris Fett has pointed out, along with many others, HC's done a superb job of incorporating the portrayals of his character from the other movies. It just makes me all the more excited for 2005!

    I love the way Hayden says the word "Mom."
    It's so much "that little boy we knew on Tatooine."
  2. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Sorry for the long post. It is Friday, and I ain't got nothin' to do at work. Ya'll have a nice weekend.

    There was some discussion earlier in this thread or another on how much Anakin does change from AOTC to ANH. We know he undergoes a physical change, but as I keep going back to the OT I see less and less of a personality change. This could be because of the fine work of Hayden Christensen or the characterization by George Lucas, but aside from being "evil", Darth Vader should be acting the way he does. He is a man of tremendous potential who lost a great deal of his humanity through some as-yet-unexplained mishap and who has to deal with the consequences of the road he chose to travel.

    If anything, he is really underplayed as a true villian in Star Wars. The Emperor has replaced him as the true evil in the galaxy, and Vader seems more like a man filled with regret, self-loathing, and self-hate. Anytime he lashes out, he seems like a wrongly-convicted felon doomed to a life sentence. He may have made his own prison, but does he really deserve the fate he was given?

    20 years of pain and loneliness can make any man go insane. i just thing if someone had given him a hug or invited out for a weekend during that time, he might have gotten some help. Instead everyone either fears or mocks him. He is the Frankenstein monster, and everyone else is the angry mob.

    And another thing, it doesn't seem like Anakin can drown his sorrows away. I mean, how does he eat, let alone down a bottle of whiskey to forget his life? And what about sex? He may have been too damaged (both emotionally and physcially to enjoy that. And what happened to podracing? He used to have fun with that. Did the Emperor ban it or forbid him from racing? Seems like he still could have been pretty good.

    Darth Vader is a tyrant, much like Hitler, in that he had no healthy outlet for all the pain and fear he carried inside. I keep switching back and forth on his motivations for choosing the Dark Side, but it seems likely he will lose Padme in some way, and without her, will express his feelings in a destructive and zealous way, much like he did to the Tusken Raiders. Unfortunately, it is the whole galaxy who will suffer from his unquenchable wrath.

    And a sidenote on Palpatine, what's that quote from The Usual Suspects:

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
  3. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    The_Abstract

    Awesome post man. Totally awesome!

    (OK yes I did grow up in California during the 80's- so I'm allowed to say Totally awesome!)
  4. pandawan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2002
    star 1
    Yes, great points Abstract!

    DV can't eat ( I've read that in ESB they actually were going to do a scene where they all sit and others eat, but not DV due to his 'condition'). Doesn't look like sex would be an option for him, either...

    And he so wanted to live, live, live in AOTC.

    What a terrible terrible vision we'll likely be getting in ep3...
  5. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    DV can't eat ( I've read that in ESB they actually were going to do a scene where they all sit and others eat, but not DV due to his 'condition'). Doesn't look like sex would be an option for him, either...

    And he so wanted to live, live, live in AOTC.

    What a terrible terrible vision we'll likely be getting in ep3...


    The loss of these things are symbols and tangible effects of his fall

    Notice that both play a large role in AOTC Naboo scenes. Consider that pear scene with the lovers teasing each other with that fruit, Anakin using the Force to play with Padme. In contrast, in ESB, Vader reveals the trap over the false pretense of a meal to Leia and Han while Vader uses the Force to snatch Han's blaster. All of the life forces have been perverted into death.

    The last time I saw AOTC, I caught myself whispering at Shimi's death, "Don't do it, Anakin, no" The horror of Vader in the OT was the superficial menance. The horror of Anakin is his all too familiar humanity. Like Luke in the Dagobah cave, each of us can become evil.
  6. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    A grown son in tears cradling a dying parent after a long separation.

    Anakin's journey on the Dark Side begins and ends with it.

    Someone on the boards had a great signature quotation (Carl Sagan, I think):

    The doors to Heaven and Hell are adjacent and unmarked. Anakin picked the wrong door.
  7. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    The doors to Heaven and Hell are adjacent and unmarked. Anakin picked the wrong door.

    WAHHHHHHH!!!!! :_|

    Thanks Falls - now I'm heading off for a good cry.
  8. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    P-L-J, I hope you feel better now and I hope that you are sleeping well now, unlike me. Attack of the insomnia, I am suffering now. That is why I am up at this hour.

    ?Give a beggar a horse and he will ride to Hell,? so goes the old proverb.

    Anakin is an example of this proverb. He begins life in the worst sort of poverty: he doesn?t even own himself, and in a certain way, he never does until ROTJ. The condition of his poverty and slavery, the lack of any family beyond his kind, but overindulgent and unprepared mother, set him up with vulnerabilities. Everyone has a vulnerability, a point where one could be tempted to do wrong, even if the origins of the vulnerability are not as dramatic as those of Anakin.

    Suddenly, he takes the generous offer to join the Jedi knights. (Any EU for early Jedi on some sort of horse?) He is lifted up on the figurative high horse of the spaceships, the highest levels of the capital planet.

    Unfortunately, he is ill prepared to handle the power of a Jedi. He refuses to learn the difference between his former servitude and his current service. He is very conscious of power, having so long lived helpless on Tatooine. As he has become a teenager, he is more resentful and fearful. He carries guilt from letting his mother endure slavery alone while he begins his quest to visit every one of the planets. I am sure that it was always his intention upon becoming a full Jedi knight to go to Tatooine and rescue his mother.

    And so, when he hops on to that swoop bike besides the Lars? homestead, he has mounted his horse and is riding to Hell, a Hell largely of his own making. Rather than confront the grief, guilt, and most importantly, his utter powerlessness to protect or revive Shimi, he abuses what power he has: the power to bring on more death. As he ended his Confession, however briefly, he understood that heaping more death upon death was creating something more evil than even Shimi?s suffering. He will not remember this lesson though: he will come to continue to add death upon death until he creates a black hole in his soul and in the galaxy.

    This pattern is familiar, without lightsabers or druids. How many people with early talents crash and burn with drugs? (Yoda?s line, ?once you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny? always made me think of addictions.) How many of those who rise to positions of power and authority succumb to greed and corruption? How often do the persecuted become the vengeful persecutors, only to start a new cycle of persecution?

    Thus, Falls The Shadow.
  9. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    This pattern is familiar, without lightsabers or DROIDS, not druids. Darn Auto Correct on MS Word.
  10. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    :p

    Falls I had the same darned thing happen in my Fanfic. Nothing more embarrassing than having people go "What are Druids doing in your SW Story?"

    (Damned spellcheck!)
  11. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    PLJ, You have Druids in your fanfic? :confused:

    You are totally ruining George Lucas's vision and turning Star Wars into a parody of itself. Where are these Druids from, planet Druidia?!? Now I have to go watch ESB again to sooth my feelings of contempt.


    ;) :D

  12. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    They aren't there any longer- thanks to the eagle eyes of my readers. I don't think I could EVER elevate 3PO to that level! LOL!

    :D
  13. Polaris_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 2
    DarthKarma, thanks. :) Although it's not too difficult to be eagle-eyed around Anakin. He's not exactly too hard on the eyes. ;)

    Great points, The Abstract. I agree, the more I see AOTC and the OT, the more I see the connections between the characterizations of Anakin and Vader. And you make an excellent point. Vader is NOT a villain. If we were so foolish as to think he was (and I think most of us did. I certainly did) we have paid for our lack of vision. Anakin is a tragic hero, and Vader is the shadow of his true self, the one he wears until he finds himself again.

    I've been going through a lot of my SW stuff lately, as I pack up to move, and I came across an old SW magazine. Ok, I came across a lot of them, but this one was especially interesting, for one erroneous fact and one true one. It's interesting because it came out before the OT special editions, so wayyyyy before PM.

    1) It refers to Vader as evil incarnate. Now, I can only speak for myself, but viewing the OT after AOTC? No way. Abstract says no one treats Vader with any consideration, only fear, but if I had been around, I'd have given him that hug. And I'm not even a huggy kind of person! Probably not something I'd have felt inclined to do before putting the face of Anakin Skywalker to Vader. People can mock HC's acting all they want, but not only has he made ANAKIN come alive, he's also done the same for VADER, and given him a much deeper meaning. The scenes Vader has with Luke are now heart-wrenching for me in a way they never were before.

    2) It does note that Vader finds fear to be the greatest motivator for others. It's mentioned in the second line of the article, so it's given some importance there. I just find that so ironic, considering that we now know that Anakin's own greatest motivator, and the inner demon that destroys him, is his own fear. He knows it works. And that little line just made me feel the more pity and sorrow for him.

    Anyway, two interesting little tidbits.

    Of course, that remark about the doors to heaven and hell didn't help any, either! WAAAAH, too! If only someone had pushed him to the right door! If only, if only...

    Well, I'm moving to a new province this week to go back to school, so I'll be offline for at least a couple weeks, probably. May the Force be with me, and help me survive my trial ! And may the Force be with all of you. :) Have a good rest of the summer, all of you!
  14. Palpateen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2000
    star 4


    This is just an awesome thread. One of the best I've seen on these boards.

    I've read a lot of the posts and I've gained more insight about the humanity in Star Wars than I ever thought about.

    Man, there's a lot more there than most people give Lucas credit for. When I see Episode III and watch Anakin's final fall, I'll think about a lot of the comments I read here.
  15. PruneF8ce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2002
    star 4
    Oh my God. This is the deepest topic on Star Wars that i've ever seen. Good stuff, everyone. Makes you think doesn't it? These movies are like a magic eye visual puzzle. Alone, they appear to be just eye candy and nonsense. But pull back and look at the 12 hour movie and its FAR more than that. Since these movies are the last remnants of the "flash gordon" type of fantasy movies, its fitting that Lucas would let it go out with a bang and go to a higher level with it.
  16. PruneF8ce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2002
    star 4
    How often do the persecuted become the vengeful persecutors, only to start a new cycle of persecution?

    As demonstrated by the rebels (sith) becoming the dominant, and the good guys becoming the rebels. What a Paradox.
  17. PruneF8ce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2002
    star 4
  18. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Wow! How did I miss this thread? Now I know why I get teary-eyed every time I think of Anakin!

    One thing about the Tusken Raider slaughter, though. It made me think of a scene from Lawrence of Arabia, actually a series of scenes. Lawrence has just made a very tentative peace between two warring tribes of Arabs who are going to help him take a city away from the Germans or keep the Germans from taking it (WWI). One of the tribesmen steals something from the other tribe and has to be killed. It will break the peace if the tribe he stole from kills him and it will break the peace if he isn't killed. So, Lawrence kills him. This is the first time he has to kill someone.

    Later, when Lawrence is talking to his superior officer, he tells him what happened. The officer says it's war, people get killed. Lawrence says, "I know that. That's not the problem. I LIKED it."

    Now, Anakin shows remorse and grief and guilt, so obviously he did NOT like what he had done. Not DV yet, not even close.
  19. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    It refers to Vader as evil incarnate. Now, I can only speak for myself, but viewing the OT after AOTC? No way. Abstract says no one treats Vader with any consideration, only fear, but if I had been around, I'd have given him that hug. And I'm not even a huggy kind of person! Probably not something I'd have felt inclined to do before putting the face of Anakin Skywalker to Vader. People can mock HC's acting all they want, but not only has he made ANAKIN come alive, he's also done the same for VADER, and given him a much deeper meaning. The scenes Vader has with Luke are now heart-wrenching for me in a way they never were before

    I agree Polaris Fett, I had never been a Vader fan until AOTC. The characterh of Anakin came alive for me, and now when watching the OT,its so sad, epscially in ROTJ. I used to like the Han/Leia storyline and suffer through the whole Luke/Jedi/Skywalker heritage thing, but this movie has made me watch the Skywalker saga with new eyes.
  20. pandawan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2002
    star 1
    Oh my Falls_the_shadow...your 8/1 post was the most amazing summary....
    wow wow wow...

    hope your move goes well, and can't wait til you get time to post more!

    can I say wow once more?!

  21. pandawan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2002
    star 1
    oops...meant your 8/16 post...sorry...

  22. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    Pandawan, thanks for the compliment on my 8/16 post. I am glad something good came out that bout of insomnia. Give a beggar a horse and he will ride to Hell,? was a favorite proverb of my grandmother, God rest her.
    Polaris Fett is moving, not I. (We have the same icon.) Nevertheless, I will be posting less because of new work duties.

    Ami-padme posted on this thread 5/26/2002:
    Yes, like most mythic heroes, Anakin's story is set in a fantastic, far off place, and he has adventures most of us couldn't imagine, and is blessed with power/skills that no one has...yet when it comes down to it, he still has to face the same problems and answer the questions that you and I have to answer in trying to get through life. And Anakin's powers and adventures only take on their full meaning when he overcomes his normal, human frailties, and rises above them, as his son manages to.

    "The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change."

    The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

    Episode II: Getting in touch with your Inner Vader. Good job, GL.
  23. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4
    "The scenes Vader has with Luke are now heart-wrenching for me in a way they never were before." I strongly agree!

    The last hour of ROTJ resonates and moves me as never before now that I've seen Anakin's childhood (a slave separated from his mother) and as a teen (tortured by his love for Padme', having his mother die in his arms, feeling guilty for it, getting a taste of bloodlust in the massacre, losing a limb, and forced to live a lie in his marriage to Padme. Vader is a man with past.

    To watch the process of redemption in ROTJ is exciting and fulfilling. The scene on the walkway has such powerful lines.

    "I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father."

    "THAT NAME no longer has any meaning for me!!!"

    "It is too late for me son."

    "Obi-Wan once thought as you do."

    Watching his son being electrocuted by the Emperor, but having watched Shmi die in his arms, we know what ANAKIN/VADER MUST redeem himself and that he couldn't live with himself if he didn't do something.

    Especially after having just watched his son stand up to the Emperor and proudly proclaim, "I am a Jedi like my father before me."

    ATTACK OF THE CLONES dramatically affected the way I watch the old movies, especially ROTJ.

    :)
  24. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    Awesome thread, what can I say? Great stuff folks. :)

    And its amazing how much, after seeing TPM & AOTC, the ROTJ scenes have elevated in terms of the emotion involved. After seeing the 2 prequels so far, its imperative that Vader be redeemed. I watch ROTJ just the other day, weirdly I've watched it so manytimes yet not once did i do what i did the other day, I started verbally urging Vader to kill the Emperor or do something. I havent done it before and i knew the outcome but since i felt more for the character i willed him on.

    Hmmmm I wondr what EP3 will have in store for us about Anakin, one thing is for certain the moment he is confronted by the Emperor killing his son, i'll still will him on because like Luke I know he has some good till in him.
  25. Palpateen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2000
    star 4


    the more I see of Anakin in the prequels, especially AOTC, the more human Darth Vader becomes and the more compassion I have for him. I would have never dreamed when I was a kid that big, mean, BAD Darth Vader would ever seem like a damaged, sympathetic character, despite his evil.
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