Anakin's profoundly human frailty

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4
  2. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    Dinoforce, about your mention of the saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", I think that is reflected in Anakin's hotheadedness and determination to find Padme's assassin. His intentions are good but he's showing bad character by going against the Council mandate and Obi-Wan's instructions. And it's motivated by his attachment to Padme', both emotional and the physical attraction. Notice how fast he jumped into that bed and sliced those creatures? He was VERY protective of her.
  3. Dinoforce Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 1
    Darth Karma: Thanks and I think GL intends for us to see that even though people may have good intentions, the end does not justify the means (to paraphrase). Anakin could have handled many situations differently but we can see by his choices that he is motivated by emotion/passion, and other non-Jedi traits. I remember the lines spoken by Yoda about "adventure, excitement, etc, a Jedi craves not these things" or something like that. But for Anakin, he does crave attention, adventure (his reckless chase), power and control (I will even learn how to stop people from dying.)

    The Jedi are supposed to be above human frailties and be different. More noble, more idealistic, more caring and forgiving. Anakin is really none of these things. But I think he also recognizes his failings and is trying to improve. ("I am trying Master") The chasm between trying and doing is really wide for him.
  4. Jedi Skysong Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1999
    star 1
    Personally, I think that Anakin's fall and Luke's victory had as much to do with the people around them as themselves.

    In Anakin's case, I believe that the Jedi failed him as a support system. Anakin forms strong attachments and was raised with as close to normal family environment that Shmi could provide. Anakin NEEDED his family and I'm afraid the Jedi simply could not recognize that in their zeal to rise above the normal mortal frailties. You can not transcend this "crude matter" into a "luminous being" without appreciating said "crude matter" and all its weaknesses and needs in the first place. With the loss of his mother, Anakin is looking for a place where he is wanted, a person who wants him for who he is and not because of this Chosen One b.s. Right now, Padme fits the bill. Obviously, events will shift so that Anakin will lose this support system and that Palpatine will show himself to be the support Anakin needs. Palpatine will portray the Jedi to be callous and unfeeling, will manipulate events so that Anakin will lose any visible (and viable) people to fight for, to consider his family. In despair, Anakin will turn to the one guy who seems to be there for him, each and every time - Palpatine. And also in despair, Anakin will sever all emotional attachments - to crave power and strength so that he'll never be hurt again.

    Argh.

    Luke, admittedly, is luckier in that respect. He did not have the Jedi's close-minded precepts to block him off and he had a GREAT support system in Han and Leia. There were a lot of things that could have gone wrong of course - the love triangle (Luke didn't know Leia was his sister in the beginning, remember?), his own burning need for revenge etc. The point was, Luke had something to come back to and he had something to fight for. His friends did NOT fail him. Palpatine could not knock away that support no matter how hard he tried. And when Vader threatened Leia to goad Luke - the results were disastrous for the Dark Side. Luke found the balance between being a Jedi and being a human being - enabling him to save, instead of kill, his long-lost father.

    Of course, the choices Luke and Anakin make are their own, of course. They could have swung either way, despite all the help they could have had. Anakin might have still been able to stand firm. Luke might have fallen darkside in ROTJ. Still, it can't be denied that there is a good reason that the friendship, camarederie and yep, chemistry we loved between our original heroes from the OT is missing from the PT - Anakin had to fall. Luke didn't.
  5. lurk Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    That is an insightful wonderful analysis. So true about the support systems. The Jedi in PT are in a way paving the way for their own distructions with some of their values, practices and blindness.
  6. DarthScully Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2001
    star 4
    A lot of people would laugh if you said STAR WARS was about the human condition, but when you see all six episodes, that's what it will be about. STAR WARS lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.

    exactly. there is a deeper meaning to SW than just eye candy. unfortunatly only fans attuned to the Force get to see it.
  7. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4

    Yes, it's there if people are willing to see it.

    I was struck by how in one scene in AOTC, Anakin is talking about compassion and unconditional love, and a few days later he massacres an entire village. Anger, aggression, revenge, very understandable and human but a long ways from Yoda's teachings of using the force for knowledge or defense, NEVER for attack.
  8. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4

    Anyone else care to share your insights?
  9. ami-padme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 1999
    star 4
    Luke realizes this when he sees the wires coming out of Vaders arm (another parallel). Luke realizes that this is the beginning, but he manages to pull back.

    I think that Luke and Vader are crucial examples to one another in ROTJ. Luke sees Vader just as he's on the cusp of the Dark Side, and realizes where this is leading. And he pulls back. Vader sees Luke at the same point he was all those years ago, but his son has the strength not to fall, and shows his father that the Dark Side and the Empire can be defied. Anakin returns to the Light. They both help each other in that last scene, by illuminating each others choices. (Another thing Anakin didn't have when he fell.)
  10. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    I thought it was interesting at the end of AOTC we never have a chance to see or hear Anakin reacting to the loss of a limb. Dooku slices off the arm, force pushes Anakin and knocks him out and then later he stands up and Padme runs to him. Then we see the mechanical hand at the wedding.

    For most people, the loss of a limb would be a huge turning point in their life and a major trauma to contend with and it would certainly have an impact on their psyche. I'm curious to see if this is addressed in Episode III.

    Considering how fragile his emotions are about everything else, I would think losing an arm would really give him something to rage about.
  11. galen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    I think the loss of his arm is another symbolic reference to his fall to the dark side. He has begun to lose his humanity, he has started down the path.

    I also read somewhere that through the force, the Jedi can supress great pain. The loss of his arm may not be as traumatic as it was to Luke, because Anakin has a greater understanding of the force.
  12. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4

    Galen, I agree with you that it's a symbolic reference, the beginning of the loss of his humanity. I'm also interested in the emotional impact and how that relates to his descent into evil as well.

    I was unaware the force could be used to suppress pain...that's an interesting angle.
    I must meditate on this!

    BTW, loved your pic! ;)
  13. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    Galen, now you've got me wondering, where did you read or hear the force can be used to suppress pain? That's a rather unusual painkiller. Just curious.
  14. Barr Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Darth Karma,
    The painkiller force is actually EU but we see a form of it when Qui Gon "relaxes" Jar Jar in TPM.

    This is a very cool thread and I also remember the interview w/ GL about SW being about human fraility. Anakin is shaping up to be a huge tragic figure. I hate to even think about the next episode and how that is going to make us all feel.

    Also, we see the human fraility in Obi Wan, Padme and the other main characters as they all make choices that have grave consequences for the galaxy. In the ROTJ novelization, OB admits this much to Luke.
    The whole Republic and Jedi Order suffer from "group think" which is what lead to the challenger explosion. They just thought that they were infallible and only realized they were wrong when it was too late.
    Sad, incredibly sad.
  15. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    True, it is sad. And there lies the lesson about groupthink, arrogance, our inability to control our emotions, and our inability to let go of things. I hope when all the episodes are done that some people, especially young people, derive some wisdom from the saga.

    I now realize that one of the major human failings of the Jedi, and certainly Anakin, is arrogance.

    There were two instances in TPM that stood out like a sore thumb, Qui Gon calling the Trade Federation types "cowards" and Obi-Wan referring to "another pathetic life form."
    I knew those had to be there for a reason and Yoda commenting on Jedi arrogance in AOTC confirmed it. Arrogance is a human failing, very much a part of Anakin's makeup. And while I don't know the chapter and verse, I think it's in the Bible where we get the phrase: PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL. The too proud Jedi fall. And so does the arrogant Anakin.
  16. Enigma_X Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2002
    star 2
    I have a lot of sympathy for most of the SW characters. It's sometimes hard to fathom things the PT characters do because we know what will happen by OT time. If you look at what they know and where they're coming from, you can clearly see why they do what they do, even though we know the results will be disasterous.

    If you want to get technical, at this point no one has helped Palpatine's rise so much as Amidala has. And she had nothing but good intentions- she wanted to save her people. Jar Jar is the one who helps him further, again with nothing but good intentions. Most of what Anakin does can be explained, and he too has good intentions.

    Borrowing a post I made on another board:
    As for the whole thing with Luke rejecting the Emperor's offer vs. Anakin's falling for it. Frankly, I don't believe for a second that Anakin would have done so if he'd been presented the Emperor and the Dark Side in the same manner Luke was. Sure, Anakin's impatient and proud and reckless. But he isn't stupid, and he has all those good intentions. If he'd known what he came to know, would he have done it? I don't think so. Would Luke have done it if he'd been in Anakin's situation so many years before, not knowing what would happen? If Luke had been presented with Palpatine the army-building savior and his vision of an "Empire for the glory of the people" sweeping away the corrupt remnants of an impotent, dying Republic- instead of Palpatine the walking-corpse villain and the 20-year record of his total disregard for anything but his own power- what would he have done? Indeed- what would most people have done?

    This is, I think, an important point. Just as the Jedis' arrogance leads to their downfall, so too does Palpatine's lead to his. I mean, he lets the Rebels get the Death Star II plans, *sits on the freakin' thing* during an assault on it, then fries Vader's kid with lightening with Vader right beside him. I know people who claim that Palpatine must have been behind the whole Anakin angle- that he was responsible for the midiclorians conceiving him, that he orchestrated the whole thing. I have the tendency to think that's giving Palpatine too much credit. If he was so freaking powerful, why didn't he know Vader was about to chunk him down the hole? He believes the Dark Side has too firm a grip on Vader. That's arrogance. He believes that his DS is "quite safe" from the Rebels- a "pitiful little band". That's arrogance. If he'd been more subtle, Luke might well have been his.

    Star Wars certainly is a great demonstration of the dangers of excessive pride.
  17. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    Yes, EnigmaX, it sure does.

    If only David Prowse could learn that lesson about pride. ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist.
    Bless his heart, I wish he'd give it up.

    Back to the topic, I hope the lessons and guidance within the trilogies sink in to today's youth. It's like a compendium of human weaknesses and tragic flaws.
  18. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    I kinda dig this thread.
    Any more contributions
    from the intelligentsia
    out there? :)
  19. ami-padme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 1999
    star 4
    I thought it was interesting at the end of AOTC we never have a chance to see or hear Anakin reacting to the loss of a limb.

    Considering how fragile his emotions are about everything else, I would think losing an arm would really give him something to rage about.


    I agree with this. Besides just the trauma of losing a limb, there's also the assumption that Anakin will look at this as another failure. He failed to save his mother, he failed to save Obi-Wan, and failed to defeat Dooku. All in a very short time-span. For someone who was already frustrated at being held back, and feeling as though he hadn't yet experienced the full breadth of his powers, the events of AOTC have certainly set him up as someone who will crave strength and power -- not necessarily for its own ends, per se, but because he's desparate not to have these failures repeat themselves (as he says at his mother's grave, though he really only fulfills that promise in ROTJ). Lucas once referred to Luke losing his hand in TESB as a "castration," and I think we're supposed to believe it humliating and shaming as well as just plain horrifying to Anakin.
  20. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    True, a guy can only take so much.
    And compressed into such a short
    period of time, it would traumatize
    anyone.
  21. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Darthkarma,

    An interesting choice for a name! Do you think this applies to Anakin's position when he falls to the darkside? His karma is either in need of being exercised or is just plain bad? It couldn't be entirely bad karma or he wouldn't be The Chosen One who would bring balance to the force, Luke wouldn't have saved him, and he wouldn't have saved Luke.
  22. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    Wow! You've surprised me. I have NEVER thought of my screen name relating to the karma of a Dark Lord of the Sith, let alone specifically Anakin. Gee, lol, do people in that galaxy far, far away even have karma?

    It's an interesting question. Certainly after that massacre, Anakin had built up some bad karma. He only corrects his karmic debt for all the bad he's done when he saves Luke at the very end of ROTJ.
  23. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4


    The more I think about it, if Anakin and the Jedi were in our world, someone would have said GET THAT KID INTO THERAPY! This is one angry, confused, violent, conflicted, obsessive kid. Can you imagine if he wasn't a Jedi? It would be very easy to see someone with his personality join the STAR WARS equivalent of a street gang, just to have a sense of belonging...he's got no Dad, he's got Mom problems, woman problems, and too much power to control...yet he wants MORE. What a mess!
  24. Darthkarma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2000
    star 4
  25. Sometimey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 1
    Great thread. I'm glad the point about Anakin's support system has been made. I'm not an Obi-Wan basher, but he is so the WRONG teacher for Anakin. As a human being, I empathize with Anakin's frustration and confusion and I understand how it could lead one on a wrong path. I wanted to say some more about the lack of support Anakin receives.

    One of the things I really value about TPM is how it shows us the person Anakin was as a child and his background. This kid was not selfish or cruel or vengeful. He was also pretty satisfied with his life. He found ways to have adventures and challenge himself and he really, really loved his mother. He is the kind of idealist child who gives without expecting anything in return. He genuinely wants to help Qui-Gon and without a thought offers to win a race (and tons of money) for this stranger. And that is just one example. Why is Anakin this way even though he is a slave and couldn't be faulted for hating his life? Because he has a great mother who is extremely supportive and has taught her son well.

    But then we come to Anakin in his late teens in AOTC. Again, the characterization by George Lucas is EXCELLENT and I'm thrilled so many other people appreciate it. My heart ached for Anakin after seeing AOTC. Again, the point about his lack of support. How can a member of the Jedi order have such a lack of support? It is because Obi-Wan is supposed to be his main support and he is not the right guy to deal with Anakin. I think Obi-Wan might have been a great teacher of someone else (though I'm glad Luke was mostly trained by Yoda).

    Obi-Wan is the quintessential Jedi knight. He is everything the Jedi order stands for and he is the model of a Jedi. This is wrong for Anakin because Anakin will never be a typical Jedi. Anakin is a guy with "good intentions" which is great for a Jedi but he needs extra direction when it comes to accepting authority and dealing with his emotions. He needs a compassionate FATHER FIGURE like say...Palpatine. This to "replace" the mother that he cannot keep ties with as a Jedi. But Obi-Wan is too much like an OLDER BROTHER or TUTOR. Obi-Wan can't understand Anakin's level of emotional attachment to things besides the Jedi order and so Obi-Wan is often dismissive or ignores them.

    Anakin's nightmares should have been of immediate concern to the Jedi council, but who is to say Obi-Wan ever discussed them with anyone? He must have thought he was handling the situation correctly. And Anakin's feelings about Padme were not even HIDDEN, although to his credit Obi-Wan did discourage the assignment in his discussion with the council.

    Speaking of the Jedi council, I'm sorry but they really dropped the ball with Anakin, even more so than Obi-Wan. Yoda, Yoda, Yoda. He made it clear to Anakin from the start that he didn't feel the boy belonged, and as someone brought out earlier, it isn't because of anything Anakin did. How would you feel as a child if someone was so critical of you, someone you didn't even know? And the two people who really believed in Anakin died, first Qui-Gon then Shmi.

    All he has left is Padme and he works double-time to get her to love him.

    Back to the council, why weren't they watching him closely? Why did they do NOTHING to address his uniqueness, not as the chosen one, but as a NINE YEAR OLD joining the Jedi order from a strong family background? I think they failed Anakin more than Obi-Wan, but then again, how could they know what to do? Such a one as Anakin had never been encountered before, so you have to go by instinct. And Yoda was uneasy about it, he made it clear to the others. But it isn't like they could ignore the existence of the "Chosen One".

    I also don't get the feeling that Anakin has any friends besides Obi-Wan in the Jedi order. So no mother, no friends who understand him, and not much love coming from the authority figures. AND he is an immature teenage boy with unprecedented powers.

    In walks Palpatine.



Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.