Anakin's profoundly human frailty

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

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  1. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    She died happy that he had become a Jedi. Sorry, I'm crying now. That whole scene is just so sad, it blows me away totally, especially knowing the future. At least Shmi was spared that cruel knowledge.

    I think she probably meant that she was complete because she got to see again, not because he was a jedi. I don't think the jedi were all that to Shmi.
  2. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    rhonderoo,

    In TPM, she certainly seemed to think highly of the Jedi. They helped her son gain his freedom and tried to free her as well, but Wattoo (sp) wouldn't have it and Jedi mind tricks don't work on his species.

    However, she was complete when she saw him again, just before she died.

    Lady S.
  3. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    In TPM, she certainly seemed to think highly of the Jedi. They helped her son gain his freedom and tried to free her as well, but Wattoo (sp) wouldn't have it and Jedi mind tricks don't work on his species.

    However, she was complete when she saw him again, just before she died.


    Perhaps I didn't clarify myself, I don't think Shmi thought OF the Jedi much, just Anakin. What "completed" Shmi before she died was seeing her son, he could have been a "nerfherder" and it still would have completed her in her mind. It was seeing him, plain and simple. In this particular case your giving the Jedi too much credit.

  4. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    Sometimes, I do wish it was Leia in the Death Star throne room. If Luke's similarity to Anakin threw Vader off-balance, what would Leia's similarity to Padme do?

    Great post Butler. I sometimes think Leia (had he known when dealing with her) might have been able to get through to him earlier, but then again, I change my mind because actually Leia seems to be more like Anakin than Luke in most ways. She could have really made an impact though, if he hadc known that she was his daughter, because the resemblance to Padme probably would have caught him off guard and threw his world into even more a tizzy than Luke did. It is amazing to me now to go back and watch the OT with fresh new eyes. Espcially ESB, where you can tell (or in my opinion) is where Anakin starts really returning bit by bit. Then by ROTJ, he is already figuring out how to save Luke, even if it costs him and the Empire. The final bit of ROTJ now really chokes me up because I'm such a sap!!! :)
  5. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    Bumping this up for the youngling users.
  6. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    A quoatation from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.


    "Then they should be made to agree."
  7. Super_Nation_Jock Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 4


    cool thread, deserves a bump, very thoughtful posts
  8. Maverick15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2001
    star 1
    Anakin's fall wasn't the fault of his entry into the order by Qui-Gon. The jedi order did not make a mistake by trying something new, their mistake was to wallow in their conservative ways when dealing with a force of nature. Change is the only constant and it must occur, for better or worse. To try to stop change through religion is to deceive yourself and bring greater peril upon the galaxy. For a community to survive it must be eternally transforming, never staying in the same state, like the jedi order had. They tried to stop chaos and it engulfed them. Anakin and the growing decay of the Republic, is a river that you can only flow with, you cannot stand in it's way. Anakin isn't actually as mentally disturbed as you think, as we have all so eloquently explained, Anakin's actions could be perpetrated by anyone of us, the sanest, or craziest of us. Do not place to much emphasis on choice, people are at times caught in such turbulent times that they are swept up, not even knowing what is gonig on, unable to save themselves. I think this was Anakin's predicament. Deep down in his heart he knew he was doomed.
  9. Obi-Can Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    star 3
    Anakin isn't actually as mentally disturbed as you think, as we have all so eloquently explained, Anakin's actions could be perpetrated by anyone of us, the sanest, or craziest of us. Do not place to much emphasis on choice, people are at times caught in such turbulent times that they are swept up, not even knowing what is gonig on, unable to save themselves. I think this was Anakin's predicament. Deep down in his heart he knew he was doomed.

    I disagree with this statement. What turmoil is Anakin going through that is not of his own making? The only turmoil Anakin goes through, as I see it, is succumbing to his attraction to Padme and listening to Palpatines sinister whisperings. Both of which are examples of his basic character flaws and weaknesses.

    All Jedi are put into harrowing situations and circumstances in the midst of their dangerous and politically sensitive missions. Anakin's are no more difficult than theirs. The death of his mother, is unique only in the fact that she is a close relative. I'm sure that other padawans have dealt with the death of close friends, their masters and teachers. Again this is only extrordinarily difficult because Anakin is unable to overcome his attachment to his mother. His 10 years of Jedi training should have given him the tools he needed to sustain himself in his pain without using his power to lash out at the Tuskens.

    In fact I would say their are people on this board who have lost parents to violence and have not resorted to vengeance and that's without 10 years of Jedi training.

    My point is that though Anakin may not be mentally disturbed, he is also not wholly sane or normal. His actions are those of a person who has unresolved anger issues and violent tendencies with the power to reek havoc.
  10. TheVioletBurns Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    What turmoil is Anakin going through that is not of his own making?

    Forget not that he was taken from family at age 9. Not only did he enter training late, but most Jedi grew up without ever having known a father or a mother, their only concept of "family" was the Jedi - Anakin not only had family, he had an exceptionally strong bond with his mother, and being torn from that I'm sure caused much turmoil, no matter how hard he may have tried to put it out of mind. To top it off, by Episode II he's having nightmares about her... this is all certainly not by Anakin's own doing.

    My point is that though Anakin may not be mentally disturbed, he is also not wholly sane or normal.

    Definitely not normal - he is, after all, the Chosen One, conceived fully by the Force... insane? Well, if he is, then I am, and anyone else who finds they can relate to him is... but I'm okay with that. ;)

    His actions are those of a person who has unresolved anger issues and violent tendencies with the power to reek havoc.

    No, I think it's just

    a) he is too passionate about everything - he clings to things and won't let go, because
    b) he desires control in his life, which is ironically what he also lacks most.

    But not some inherent violent tendancy. Again, we're meant to relate to Anakin's humanity.
  11. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    If we are meant to relate to Anakin's humanity then one can't say "Well he's the Chosen One of course he's not normal" as an excuse for his actions. According to Lucas being the Chosen One makes him somewhat more powerful than those around him, which means if he doesn't make the right choices the damage he causes around him is greater but it, it doesn't somehow mean he's exempt or above or below or somehow not tied to the same sort of human rules the rest of us are.

    Anakin left his mother at nine through the choice of both of them. No one "tore" him away from her. And it was with the known possibility that they would never see each other again. They very well might but there certainly were no assurances of that at the time. Everyone is subject to things they cannot control, Anakin is no different. But the thing everyone has the most potential to control is themselves. So yes, Anakin is normal and he is sane--thus he could control himself if he chose to. He didn't because he chose not to.

    Do not place to much emphasis on choice, people are at times caught in such turbulent times that they are swept up, not even knowing what is gonig on, unable to save themselves. I think this was Anakin's predicament. Deep down in his heart he knew he was doomed.


    Choice is a central theme of the Star Wars saga actually, so I don't know how we cannot place emphasis on choice. Anakin WAS NOT doomed. Anakin doomed himself. His focus determined his reality, so to speak. He blinded himself to his choices by his narrow focus.
  12. SlowLearner Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 3
    TheVioletBurns

    But not some inherent violent tendancy. Again, we're meant to relate to Anakin's humanity.

    I agree. His frailty and weaknesses are all too human and all too recognizable. I have no problem relating to him. He's a flesh and blood human being who makes mistakes; he's not some perfect, unfeeling automaton who always makes the right choices.

    When he cradled his mother's dead body in his arms, the pain and anger he felt - wow! When he confessed to Padme about killing the Tuskens, the pain and remorse he felt then - double wow! Such intensity there.

    When he loves, he loves so deeply, and when he hurts, he hurts so deeply. I love the character because he has so much humanity in him.
  13. TheVioletBurns Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    If we are meant to relate to Anakin's humanity then one can't say "Well he's the Chosen One of course he's not normal" as an excuse for his actions.

    No indeed, and I didn't bring that up to excuse his actions - sorry if I implied so. Merely to point out that he is a different kid - he's pretty much Force incarnate and his choices have a profund direct effect on the universe around him... but that's getting onto another topic...

    Anakin left his mother at nine through the choice of both of them. No one "tore" him away from her. And it was with the known possibility that they would never see each other again. They very well might but there certainly were no assurances of that at the time.

    Quite true. However, leaving his mother still had an effect on him - it was his choice, but that choice's consequences still prevail. (..."I sense much fear in you.")

    Choice is a central theme of the Star Wars saga actually, so I don't know how we cannot place emphasis on choice. Anakin WAS NOT doomed. Anakin doomed himself. His focus determined his reality, so to speak. He blinded himself to his choices by his narrow focus.

    Well put. I agree. :)
  14. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    No indeed, and I didn't bring that up to excuse his actions - sorry if I implied so.

    Oopps, my turn to be sorry then, because obviously I misinterpreted what you said then. :) My mistake, I really did not mean to do so.

    However, leaving his mother still had an effect on him - it was his choice, but that choice's consequences still prevail. (..."I sense much fear in you.")

    This is true. I just meant that while it did have an effect on him, it was not something he was forced into or in which he had no say. He wasn't ripped kicking and screaming from his mother's arms.
  15. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Here is the entire article "To Be a Jedi, Part 3" from Suite101.


    I think it fits in perfectly with the discussion going on right now, and since I don't have time to jump in with my thoughts, I figured this would be much better.



    "The fundamental issue that has been discussed thus far is basically how one is to maintain a relationship with unbounded infinity while moving in the field of limited space. This part comes down to how this specifically relates to being human, as well as all the dreams and conflicts that inevitably go with it.
    Part of the answer comes in going to a battlefield, although not one from the Clone Wars. The one I'm thinking of is the battlefield of Kuru, where the action of the great Indian epic the Bhagavad Gita takes place. It involves a dialogue between the young prince Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna. The noble is about to go and make war against a ritual clan of his own family, but he finds himself unable to do so. Krishna guides him through his crisis and eventually reveals that he is an incarnation of the Self, the one reality underlying all phenomena. The philosophy set forth is that the only thing that one can do in this illusionary world of multiplicity is not to refuse to act, but rather to play their fictitious role as an individual being to the hilt.

    This work of literature came about during a crisis point in Indian society, and it counteracted the growing retreats into monasticism and meditation by allowing one to live in the world with all their might while still doing their spiritual duty. There was also a strong emphasis on detachment from results, for after all, life was but a performance, no matter how skillfully acted. Of course, it is important to recall that the role played would be the one dictated by the four classes of the perpetually rigid caste system. Yet as Joseph Campbell asked about why couldn't the medieval church in the West marry two people who came together of their own passion, one could likewise ask why couldn't this mentality of performing a role while holding to the center be a role that the individual chose for their own.

    In keeping with this, we turn to the Jedi Order in the last days of the Old Republic. Not only does it appear mired in a kind of bureaucracy similar to that of the Senate, it also apparently resents those Jedi like Qui-Gon Jinn who follow their own paths. The Jedi master concept is clearly based on Asian ideas of a master, and in most traditions they are not to be questioned. Campbell inquired again and again of whether this approach was viable for a modern Western person, and George Lucas is apparently playing with this in the prequels.

    The sort of uncritical acceptance of authority is loosely represented by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who tells his padawan learner over and over that "We will do exactly as the Council has instructed." This obviously changes when the Empire comes to power, but when he is the master in Attack of the Clones, he is adamant about Anakin Skywalker learning his place and following his lead. For his part, Anakin questions his mentor all the time and rebels against his constant lecturing. It is quite apparent Obi-Wan deeply cares for his protege, however, worrying about him when they're not together, and acting very much like an over-anxious father fretting over how to handle his rebellious teenage son.

    The tension between authority and the individual really comes down to what it means to be a human being. Period. The conflict is really between the real, natural person, and the ideal abstractions they often seek to live up to. In the Analects, Confucius gets right to the heart of the matter: "It is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great." Translated into the context of Star Wars, is it being a Jedi that makes a human great, or being human that makes a Jedi great?

    In continuing to filter this through Eastern sensibilities, we can reflect on the two principal religious-philosophies that have informed so much of Chinese ci
  16. Palpateen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2000
    star 4


    The extended version of the Confession scene on the DVD has Anakin saying, "I'm a Jedi. I know I'm better than this."

    If that is not recognition by Anakin himself of his own frailty, and his failure to live up to Jedi standards, I don't know what would be. To me, it makes his sobbing all the more poignant. He knows he's failed himself, and the Jedi.
  17. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Yes, at first I didn't know what to think of this addition, but it turns out to be really nice for people who need ANVILS dropped on their heads when it comes to emotion. Yes, Anakin is sorry he failed, sorry he went to the Dark Side, sorry he killed all those people. He knows what he did is wrong. Does it mean he learned his lesson? Well, obviously not. But at that point he was able to come back to the light after slipping to the Dark Side. I shudder with anticipation at what may come in Episode III.
  18. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    At long last I have something to add to this thread, though some of you may question its relevance this is more for the "Human" side of Anakin.

    I find Chineses astrology facinating, and in my quest to find out more about its symbolism in my own life I found some remarkable paralles with my favorite bad boy:

    HORSE


    People born during the Year of the Horse have a pleasant, amiable, easy going disposition which guarantees popularity and a large following of friends. Blessed with good humor and geniality, they are extremely comfortable to get along with for they have the knack of instantly putting people at their ease.
    Charming and cheerful, the Horse is an extremely likable character. Hard working, self-possessed and sharp, the Horse skillfully acquires power, wealth and respect. However, the Horse's sometime-appreciated frankness can be tactless. The Horse's impatient pursuit of success may become selfish and predatory. Horses can be obstinate. In truth, they are more cunning than intelligent, and they know it. This is why, despite that air of assurance, the Horse lacks confidence in himself.
    Above all, the Horse is cut out to be in politics, a career which could bring great personal satisfaction with the opportunity to grind his own axe. He could be a winner here, for he has the facility to sway the crowd.
    He is very quick-witted and he is right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you were saying; he's on to the thought in your mind even before you've expressed it. This permits the Horse to forestall any arguments that anyone can dream up.
    With the Horse, movement is everything. Freedom and independence are as essential to Horse-born people as the air they breathe.
    A low boredom threshold, both in terms of interests and friendships, is characteristic of those belonging to this sign, and adds a whimsical quality to the otherwise level headedness of these folk. Consequently, they tend to act on impulse, and this means there is an element of unpredictability about them. Sometimes they change their minds before completing a project, giving others the impression of irresponsibility. This behavioral pattern of stopping before completion may result from being born halfway through the twelve-sign cycle.
    Like the symbol by which they are represented, Horse-born people are high-spirited and lively. Their vivacity and enthusiasm make them very popular. With a deft sense of humor, Horses are masters of repartee. They love to take center stage and delight audiences everywhere. Sometimes rash and willful, they can be prone to rapid changes of mood and, although seldom really explosive of temper, when they do see red, it is not a pretty sight. Those who have suffered a Horse's rage will never feel quite the same about him again, for his fits of temper are inevitably a bit childish. If he wants to succeed, he has to master them. Rebelliousness is another difficult Horse trait. Because of his carefree nature, the Horse needs plenty of room for self-expression or he can become bitter and exhibit destructive behavior. Also, the Horse can become overtly jealous and offensive if he senses that someone else is valued more or treated better. He reacts by competing and promoting himself in order to win favor.
    Resourceful, self-confident and mentally alert, Horses are quick to catch on and efficient in all their undertakings. Because of this ability, this dexterous and incisive mind of theirs, they can make accurate judgments and sound decisions instaneously. They are particularly skilled at handling money, very often in business dealings following their hunches. When it comes to intuition they have a sixth sense that is quite uncanny. Unfortunately, as the Horse is a creature of changing moods he's liable to lose interest suddenly in things he's taken up, whether it's a love affair, a single deal in business, or a whole career. He'll start again with the same determination, and he'll enjoy an equal success. He can mak
  19. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    DB

    You just made my day!

    This is some cool stuff to look at.


    Chinese Astrology! Woo-hoo!
  20. Gregatron Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 3
    Upon further viewing, I think Hayden does a great job converying the "mutiple personalities" of Anakin, which Vader also has. He's very confused. Sometimes he acts like an adult, sometimes a child.

    There's:

    1. Bratty Anakin.

    2. Noble Anakin.

    3. Warrior Anakin.

    4. Lover Anakin.

    5. Confused Anakin.

    6. Evil Anakin.


    "It's not your job to be as CONFUSED as Nigel, is it?" - David St. Hubbins, This Is Spinal Tap
  21. Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 3
    Fitting that these interviews of Joseph Campbell took place at the Skywalker ranch. Even with just the OT (Campbell died before the PT), he drew a good portrait of AOTC Anakin and his profoundly human fraility:


    Campbell: You see, consciousness thinks it's running the shop, but it's a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body. When it does put itself in control, you get a man like Darth Vader in Star Wars, the man who goes over to the consciously intentional side.
    Moyers: The dark figure.
    Campbell: ''Yes, that's the figure that in Goethe's 'Faust' is represented by Mephistopheles.
    Moyers: But I can hear someone saying, "Well, that's all well and good for the imagination of a George Lucas or for the scholarship of a Joseph Campbell, but that isn't what happens in my life.
    Campbell: You bet it is - and if he doesn't recognize it, it may turn him into Darth Vader. If the person insists on a certain program, and doesn't listen to the demands of his own heart, he's going to risk a schizophrenic crackup. Such a person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a program for life, and it's not the one the body?s interested in at all. The world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves or have listened only to their neighbors to learn what they ought to do, how they ought to behave, and what the values are that they should be living for.

  22. Batgirl Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2003
    You know, it's a shame, I bet Campbell would have absoulutely loved the prequels.
  23. GirlJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 3
    I'm so glad Lucas showed us Anakin acting very normal, human. He was nervous, smiling, happy, sad, angry, conflicted, in pain, yet also he was a Jedi. It seemed he had paid attention to what Obi Wan was teaching him, though maybe like many of us, lessons we are taught when we are young may be appreciated til years later.

    He confides in Obi Wan and yet also hides stuff from him. He follows his lead yet defies him at other times.

    He's a very complex character, just as we are all complex human beings.
  24. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    I have said this before and will say it again and again no matter how many times the thought is battered by Ani-bashers who will cling to the tusken raider massacure as the sole testiment to Anakin's Character till the end of time....

    Anakin is an intense, powerful young man... he is often overwhelmed by this (wow.. as anyone would be)... In this ficticious character many of us see dark reflections of ourselves no matter how much we would like to disavow this fact... Not everyone can be as 'perfect' as Obi-wan...
  25. TheVioletBurns Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    Intense is a good word, Breezy. I was picturing Anakin in Episode III earlier - bigger, stronger, darker and having lost that 'boyish quality' as George said he would - boy will he be imposing.
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