Anakin's profoundly human frailty

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

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  1. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    SuperNationJock
    Agreed. ROTJ Vader-Luke scenes have a whole new appeal for me. The road between little Ani of TPM and Vader is at once too short and too long.

    "It is too late for me, son"

    "I must save you."
    "You already have, Luke. Tell your sister you were right about me."

    Those lines are so full of bittersweet regret. He has finally overcome his frailty, much too late for Obi-Wan, for the Jedi, for the countless others, for Padme.
    As Joseph Campbell said in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, "regret is illumination come too late."
  2. Melancholy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    This is truly a great thread. Kudos to Darthkarma. It is definitely one of the best topics here.

    I agree with how great a character Anakin is in all of this. As a guy who minored in English literature, I think I was force-fed every piece of serious literature ever written.

    There probably aren?t any of the so-called classics that I haven't read, continually pored over and analyzed till the cows came home. Having stated that, I can honestly say that I have never come across a fictional character quite like Anakin Skywalker. Certainly, no character has ever been more interesting, more compelling or more complex.

    I think Lucas deserves serious accolades for this. The only characters that I can think of that even could come close are Hamlet and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and even those are a stretch.
  3. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Apologies to all for posting this, but I'm going to bring the mood a bit down with this one. So be forewarned.


    [face_plain]


    Everybody ready?


    Ok. We all know at some point in the next episode that Anakin will be mortally wounded, maybe by a fall into liquid hot magma, or by Obi-Wan's hands; and he will be forced to wear a life-support suit the rest of his life, and he will also take a turn to the Dark Side, for reasons which are much speculated on, but still just beyond our grasp. (point=GL)

    And we also know there is a 20 year gap from Episode III until we see him stroll into the hallway of the Republic cruiser in Episode IV. And we all know that in the next few years and over the course of 3 episodes, he finds his way back to the Light Side of the Force, will the help of his son and daughter, and a little thing called love. Unfortunately he does not get to live past fulfilling his destiny and dies in the arms of his son.

    Now, what I will say next, hopefully will produce some sort of response, because I'm framing a question that is sure to be controversial:



    Is it possible that Anakin Skywalker suffered from "Jacob's Ladder" syndrome at that fateful moment in his life?




    Now for those of you who know what I'm talking about, feel free to speculate, but do so in a vague and/or nebulous manner, for those who don't know what the question means.



    For those you don't know, feel free to PM me or anyone else who knows what this question means.


    Hopefully there are some out there who are clueless, because I think it will be fun to talk about a topic without really talking about it, and also, to educate those who have no idea what we're talking about.


    If that ain't enough to cook your noggin, I don't know what is.


    :confused:


    :D


    [face_laugh]




  4. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    tick...



    tock...



    tick...



    tock...
  5. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
  6. Enigma_X Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2002
    star 2
    I'm interested in any deeper, controversial ideas, but I need clarification. First, at one point do you mean? When whatever happened happened, or when he died in Luke's arms? And I guess I need a definition of Jacob's Ladder Syndrome, 'cause the only thing that pops into my mind is Jacob from the Bible seeing a ladder to heaven. So I guess I'm asking, but I don't know how to PM.
  7. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    EDIT: Um . . . as for vague and nebulous, how about: no, there'd be no point?

    I also don't really see why we need to leave everyone who hasn't seen "Jacob's Ladder" in the dark. If you don't know this film & don't want the end spoiled, you might want to skip this post.

    |


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    |

    \/

    I know the film you're talking about, but I don't see how the idea relates. The "gotcha" of "Jacob's Ladder" is that we don't know how much of anything that happened was real. The writer & director of JL used the semi-fantasy world they created to explore emotional truths, which are often more important than the "real" truth.

    Star Wars is 100% about emotional truths instead of 50%. (My old sig quote was "myth is something that never happened that is happening every day)." GL doesn't need to put in any plot twists to show us we're in psychological reality instead of real reality. We knew that already.

    So what would be the point of saying "Anakin died at the end of Episode III and the whole OT is his end-of-life hallucination?" That idea doesn't take us anywhere deeper or more profound, as it did in "Jacob's Ladder." It would just be another Bobby-Ewing-in-the-shower moment.

    I am now about to ruin the season--what--'84(?) cliffhanger of "Dallas," too--for y'all who weren't born at the time. :p

    Bobby Ewing was a character who'd been killed off, and was brought back in the most pointless "plot twist" of all time. He just suddenly appeared in the shower one day, and his wife said, "Oh, I had this terrible dream that you were dead." Therefore, the last year (two years)? of the show never happened. Dum-dum-DUM!!!!
  8. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Just to clarify some points from yesterday.



    -I'm talking about the specific point in Episode III, after the Obi-Wan/Anakin duel.



    -No, I would never, ever want this to happen in Episode III. It works in "Jacob's Ladder" (the movie) because of the issues it deals with and the freakiness of the story. I'm not looking to throw out the OT.


    I was trying to keep people in the dark about "Jacob's Ladder" because I think it's an excellent movie that everyone should see. But I'll post later today about it's relevance to Anakin Skywalker and Star Wars in general.
  9. Darth_Ugabuga Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2002
    star 1
    WOOT i read the whole damn thread LOL!

    So after doing that i will give it the BUMP it needs!

    Btw everyone great posts with vast and intelligent comments!

    No doubt that now Vader is not the ULTIMATE baddie in sw more like the greatest pawn of them all.
  10. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    The_Abstract...
    I read your idea about the "Jacob's Ladder" idea and the first thing thatcame to mind was "That would be SOOOO *Fudged* (think "Christmas Story") up"... and work VERY well...


    Then
    *chillsssssssssssssssssss*


    Then, sad to say it won't happen... it's too deep for too many people... they would have a severe case of WTF? But I like your way of tinking there...

  11. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Oh, wow, someone responded. [face_shocked]

    Thanks DB.

    I wasn't sure if anyone would follow since it is an obscure film. I am working on a comparison, but I don't think it will be done until Sunday. Nothing to crazy, I hope. :D

  12. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    This thread needs to be upped!!!
  13. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Another take on "Jacob's Ladder"


    Spoiler Alert:























    AS I recall it, the character is dying and what we see in the movie is one big long "Life is passing before one's eyes" which, If applied to SW would be what DV/Anakin is experiancing as what we see as e-1 through the end of Jedi....

    *Whooooooooooooo*
    I see serious dead people....

    ;)
  14. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    This post is related to my previous reference to "Jacob's Ladder", but here I include a passage from "The Death of Ivan Illych" by Leo Tolstoy.


    From that moment the screaming began that continued for three days, and was so terrible that one could not hear it through two closed doors without horror. At the moment he answered his wife he realized that he was lost, that there was no return, that the end had come, the very end, and his doubts were still unsolved and remained doubts.

    "Oh! Oh! Oh!" he cried in various intonations. He had begun by screaming "I won't!" and continued screaming on the letter "O".

    For three whole days, during which time did not exist for him, he struggled in that black sack into which he was being thrust by an invisible, resistless force. He struggled as a man condemned to death struggles in the hands of the executioner, knowing that he cannot save himself. And every moment he felt that despite all his efforts he was drawing nearer and nearer to what terrified him. He felt that his agony was due to his being thrust into that black hole and still more to his not being able to get right into it. He was hindered from getting into it by his conviction that his life had been a good one. That very justification of his life held him fast and prevented his moving forward, and it caused him most torment of all.

    Suddenly some force struck him in the chest and side, making it still harder to breathe, and he fell through the hole and there at the bottom was a light. What had happened to him was like the sensation one sometimes experiences in a railway carriage when one thinks one is going backwards while one is really going forwards and suddenly becomes aware of the real direction.

    "Yes, it was not the right thing," he said to himself, "but that's no matter. It can be done. But what is the right thing? he asked himself, and suddenly grew quiet.

    This occurred at the end of the third day, two hours before his death. Just then his schoolboy son had crept softly in and gone up to the bedside. The dying man was still screaming desperately and waving his arms. His hand fell on the boy's head, and the boy caught it, pressed it to his lips, and began to cry.

    At that very moment Ivan Ilych fell through and caught sight of the light, and it was revealed to him that though his life had not been what it should have been, this could still be rectified. He asked himself, "What is the right thing?" and grew still, listening. Then he felt that someone was kissing his hand. He opened his eyes, looked at his son, and felt sorry for him. His wife came up to him and he glanced at her. She was gazing at him open-mouthed, with undried tears on her nose and cheek and a despairing look on her face. He felt sorry for her too.

    "Yes, I am making them wretched," he thought. "They are sorry, but it will be better for them when I die." He wished to say this but had not the strength to utter it. "Besides, why speak? I must act," he thought. with a look at his wife he indicated his son and said: "Take him away...sorry for him...sorry for you too...." He tried to add, "Forgive me," but said "Forego" and waved his hand, knowing that He whose understanding mattered would understand.

    And suddenly it grew clear to him that what had been oppressing him and would not leave him was all dropping away at once from two sides, from ten sides, and from all sides. He was sorry for them, he must act so as not to hurt them: release them and free himself from these sufferings. "How good and how simple!" he thought. "And the pain?" he asked himself. "What has become of it? Where are you, pain?"

    He turned his attention to it.

    "Yes, here it is. Well, what of it? Let the pain be."

    "And death...where is it?"

    He sought his former accustomed fear of death and did not find it. "Where is it? What death?" There was no fear because there was no death.

    In place of death there was light.

    "So that's what it is!" he suddenly exclaimed aloud. "What joy!"

    To him all this happened in a single instant, and the meaning
  15. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Whoaaaaaaaaaa... Incredible post AS.... After banging my head against the wall that is that unmentionable thread it is good to see some nice, dark thoughtful stuff...
  16. lori71 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Beautiful writting. Ya just gotta love Tolstoy!

    I'm looking forward to the next puzzle piece.

    Lori
  17. Melancholy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    I am not sure where you are going with this, but I must admit that I am intrigued.
  18. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Here is yet another puzzle piece for everybody. My summary post should be coming by the end of the night, before too long. This one's a classic, taken from a very reliable source:




    Vader motioned Luke closer to him. "Luke, help me take this mask off."

    Luke shook his head. "You'll die."

    The Dark Lord's voice was weary. "Nothing can stop that now. Just once let me face you without it. Let me look on you with my own eyes."

    Luke was afraid. Afraid to see his father as he really was. Afraid to see what person could have become so dark- the same person who'd fathered Luke, and Leia. Afraid to know the Anakin Skywalker who lived inside Darth Vader.

    Vader, too, was afraid- to let his son see him, to remove this armored mask that had been between them so long. The black, armored mask that had been his only means of existing for over twenty years. It had been his voice, and his breath, and his invisibility- his shield against all human contact. But now he would remove it; for he would see his son before he died.

    Together they lifted the heavy helmet from Vader's head- inside the mask portion, a complicated breathing apparatus had to be disentangled, a speaking modulator and view-screen detached from the power unit in back. But when the mask was finally off and set aside, Luke gazed on his father's face.

    It was the sad, benign face of an old man. Bald, beardless, with a mighty scar running from the top of his head to the back of the scalp, he had unfocused, deepset, dark eyes, and his skin was pasty white, for it had not seen the sun in two decades. The old man smiled weakly; tears glazed his eyes, now. For a moment, he looked not too Ben.

    It was a face full of meanings, that Luke would forever recall. Regret, he saw most plainly. And shame. Memories could be seen flashing across it...memories of rich times. And horrors. And love, too.

    It was a face that hadn't touched the world in a lifetime. In Luke's lifetime. He saw the wizened notrils twitch, as they tested a first, tentative smell. He saw the head tilt imperceptibly to listen- for the first time without electronic auditory amplification. Luke felt a pang of remorse that the only sounds now to be heard were those of explosions, the only smells, the pungent sting of electrical fires. Still it was a touch. Palpatable, unfiltered.

    He saw the old eyes focus on him. Tears burned Luke's cheeks, fell on his father's lips. His father smiled at the taste.

    It was a face that had not seen itself in twenty years.

    Vader saw his son crying, and knew it must have been at the horror of the face the boy beheld.

    It intensified, momentarily, Vader's own sense of anguish--to his crimes now, he added guilt at the imagined repugnance of his appearance. But then this brought him to mind of the way he used to look--striking, and grand, with a wry tilt to his brow that hinted of invincibility and took in all of life with a wink. Yes, that was how he'd looked once.

    And this memory brought a wave of other memories with it. Memories of brotherhood, and home. His dear wife. The freedom of space. Obi-Wan.

    Obi-Wan, his friend...and how that friendship had turned. Turned, he knew not how--but got injected, nonetheless, with some uncaring virulence that festered, until...hold. These were memories he wanted none of, not now. Memories of molten lava, crawling up his back...no.

    This boy had pulled him from that pit--here, now, with this act. This boy was good.

    The boy was good, and the boy had come from *him*--so there must have been good in *him*, too. He smiled up again at his son, and for the first time, loved him. And for the first time in many long years, loved himself again, as well.

    Suddenly he smelled something--flared his nostrils, sniffed once more. Wildflowers, that was what it was. Just blooming; it must be spring.

    And there was thunder--he cocked his head, strained his ears. Yes, spring thunder, for a spring rain. top make the flowers bloom.

    Yes, there...he felt a raindrop on his lips. He licked the delicate droplet...but
  19. TheVioletBurns Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    I do. :(

    That scene was hard for me to watch without the prequels... I love it all the same. With that quiet, gentle version of the ImpMarch in the background...I just break!
  20. Master_Grover Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2002
    star 2
    That scene will mean so much more when EP3 completes the saga. Heck, it means more even NOW!

    Pure masterpiece George! I seriously doubt it has dawned on critics (and some bashers) exactly what hes doing with this entity.
  21. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    :(
    Kleenex? I need some...

    I havent read that before, it makes that scene even more sadder (along with the prequels and the scene itself anyway).

    Episode 3 will add to that scene, ad give it even more tragic resonance.

    I agree George has created a masterpiece (as if we didnt know it) and its amazing how brilliantly done this story of Anakin is.

  22. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    Turn on AOTC Meadow Picnic Soundtrack starting at 1:27 into the track and then read this:

    And there was thunder--he cocked his head, strained his ears.

    [image=http://64.227.26.45/Grilled-Sarlacc/s/i/3058.jpg]

    Yes, spring thunder, for a spring rain. to make the flowers bloom.

    [image=http://64.227.26.45/Grilled-Sarlacc/s/i/rolling.jpg]

    Yes, there...he felt a raindrop on his lips. He licked the delicate droplet...but wait, it wasn't sweetwater, it was salty, it was...a teardrop.

    He focused on Luke once again, and saw his son was crying.


    [image=http://deathstar-database.org/images/vader005.jpg]
    [As Padme runs towards the fallen Anakin, the soundtrack on film and CD, from 1:52 to 2:00, there's an echo soundclip of the evacuation alarms that will ring in the background as he looks at Luke with his own eyes in ROTJ.]

    "Luke, you were right...and you were right about me...Tell your sister...you were right."
    [image=http://64.227.26.45/Grilled-Sarlacc/s/i/anakin_bg.jpg]

    With that he closed his eyes, and Darth Vader- Anakin Skywalker- died
  23. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    The last three references I?ve posted have one thing in common- that perfect moment of death- where the threshold to the afterlife is crossed and destinies are fulfilled. It is a microcosm of our life?s journey. It holds the key to everything we believe in, and those times when we doubt those same beliefs. So it is appropriate that our heroes? reflect back on their own lives, as the Scales balance their virtues and sins. And it should also be noted that each person must overcome their fears before they are able to move on into sweet, blissful eternity.

    Jacob is preoccupied with his involvement in the Vietnam War, and his son, who had passed away before he left for the war. I believe he seeks the answer as to whether he deserves to see his son again. This all plays out in a very lucid, narrative dream, but, by the end of the film, we see that the story only occupies that last few moments of Jacob?s life.

    Ivan Ilych grieves over the missed opportunities to spend with his family and he questions the career path he had chosen to pursue. He believes he has done more harm than good, and pities his family for suffering him for so long. His physical and mental anguish spans months. When it comes time to reconcile, he struggles to vocalize his true feelings. But his intentions are clear- to ease the suffering of his family and himself. Suddenly death has no power over him. The gates of Heaven open and he sees the light in his end.

    Darth Vader accomplishes something few ever even attempt. He is powerful enough to stave off death, even though he suffers from grievous and mortal wounds. The wonders of technology and the power of the Force extend his life for 20 more years. But it comes with a price. He, in fact, turns away from his former self, Anakin Skywalker, and embraces a new mission of terror and madness. We can only speculate at this point, the very nature of his fall, but we know what brings him back: those three glorious beacons- faith, hope, and love- embodied in his son Luke.

    At his moment of death, having completed his true destiny, Anakin laments the terrible choices he has made but also takes solace from the heroism of his son. His guilt and shame imprisoned his heart for so long, that neither terror nor joy could penetrate his soul. Once freed again, with the wisdom that only true suffering delivers, Anakin finally overcomes his fear and becomes one with the Force from whence he came.


  24. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Hmm . . . I will meditate upon this.
  25. Obi-Can Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    star 3
    Wow, Abstract. You made me a believer again. That is fantastic. I think I will rethink my thoughts on Anakin's redemption in ROTJ.

    Thanks
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