PT Did Hayden do a good job as Anakin?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Rotticus, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    He was Vader for the latter part of ROTS, and he was nothing like the OT Vader. The same corny dialogue.

    I read something a long time ago someone wrote about an exchange between Vader and one of the folks he killed on Mustafar. As soon as Vader entered the room, one guy came up to greet him and said, "Lord Vader, let me be the first to..." And Vader says, "Very well, you will be the first." And then he quickly slices him with his saber and then kills the rest of them. Something like that would have been a lot more Vaderesque, in my opinion. His cold, witty, articulate way of expression is one of his defining features as a character - in the OT, at least.
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  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    That would be the RoTS novel:

    A tall cloaked figure, slim but broad-shouldered, face shadowed by a heavy hood, stood in the doorway.
    San Hill beat the others to the greeting. "Welcome, Lord Vader!" His elongated legs almost tangled with each other in his rush to shake the hand of the Sith Lord. "On behalf of the leadership of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, let me be the first to—"
    "Very well. You will be the first."
    The cloaked figure stepped inside and made a gesture with a black-gloved hand. Blast doors slammed across every exit. The control panel exploded in a shower of sparking wires.
    The cloaked figure threw back its hood.
    San Hill recoiled, hands flapping like panicked birds sewn to his wrists.
    He had time to gasp, "You're—you're Anakin Skywalker!" before a fountain of blue-white plasma burned into his chest, curving through a loop that charred all three of his hearts.
    The Separatist leadership watched in frozen horror as the corpse of the head of the InterGalactic Banking Clan collapsed like a depowered protocol droid.
    "The resemblance," Darth Vader said, "is deceptive."
    ...
    Shu Mai, president and CEO of the Commerce Guild, looked up from her knees, hands clasped before her, tears streaming down her shriveled cheeks. "We were promised a reward,'' she gasped. "A h-h-handsome reward—"
    "I am your reward," the Sith Lord said. "You don't find me handsome?"
    "Please!" she screeched through her sobbing. "Pleee—" The blue-white blade cut into and out from her skull, and her corpse swayed. A negligent flip of the wrist slashed through her column of neck rings. Her brain-burned head tumbled to the floor.
    ...
    Rune Haako, aide and confidential secretary to the viceroy of the Trade Federation, tripped over a chair as he stumbled back. He fell to the floor, shaking like a grub in a frying pan, trying to scrabble beneath the table.
    "Stop!" he cried. "Enough! We surrender, do you understand? You can't just kill us—"
    The Sith Lord smiled. "Can't I?"
    "We're unarmed! We surrender! Please—please, you're a Jedi!"
    "You fought a war to destroy the Jedi." Vader stood above the shivering Neimoidian, smiling down upon him, then fed him half a meter of plasma. "Congratulations on your success."
    The Sith Lord stepped over Haako's corpse to where Wat Tambor clawed uselessly at the transparisteel wall with his armored gauntlets. The head of the Techno Union turned at his approach, cringing, arms lifted to shield his faceplate from the flames in the dragon's eyes. "Please, I'll give you anything. Anything you want!"
    The blade flashed twice; Tambor's arms fell to the floor, followed by his head.
    "Thank you."
    Darth Vader turned to the last living leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
    Nute Gunray, viceroy of the Trade Federation, stood trembling in an alcove, blood-tinged tears streaming down his green-mottled cheeks. "The war...," he whimpered. "The war is over—Lord Sidious promised—he promised we would be left in peace..."
    "His transmission was garbled." The blade came up. "He promised you would be left in pieces.''
    Last edited by Iron_lord, May 19, 2013
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  3. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    That's a lot better scene than the one in the movie and far more like OT Vader.
  4. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    That's Stover for you- even when his Vader is wisecracking- it still feels Vaderish.
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  5. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    Too bad he didn't write the screenplay.
  6. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I'm a bit bummed that that scene wasn't in the movie but was okay with the movie version. The music in that scene sold it to me.
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  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 7
    I missed out a line from Vader in that scene- and have added it.
  8. Darth Chiznuk Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    Honestly I thought it was a terribly written scene in an overall pretty good book. The lines are just awful and cheesy IMO. I'm happy with the scene in the film.
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  9. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    I didn't like the Handsome line and thought the overall dialogue in the novel scene should have been a little shorter, but it would have cool to have included "... you will be the first..." and "the resemblance is deceptive" lines by Vader in the movie. I would have left it at that.
  10. Darth Chiznuk Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    Yeah I thought the handsome line was probably the worst of the bunch. One part I didn't care for in the film version is when Anakin goes in for a kill and for some reason screams out. I cringe when I hear that scream but other than that I like the cold dispassion he shows as he silently murders his enemies.
  11. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I find the Stover book extremely...flawed (to say the least) in its portrayal of Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan. A lot of people like it more than the film, but I don't count myself among their number.

    To be honest, ROTS Anakin/Vader (to me) most closely resembles ROTJ Vader. Which is as it should be, in my opinion, as this is the point in the story where Anakin begins to resurface. Nonetheless, I do see many attributes of Hayden's performance as pulling from Vader. In particular, when he discusses politics with Padmé, there's a great moment where I can perfectly see him as Vader without the suit: "I don't believe that, and you're sounding like a Separatist!"

    There's a coldness in the way he looks at her and his voice. It's compounded really well by his gestures and the line "Don't ask me to do that!"

    Moments where he's condescending towards here are also very well done -- the "have faith my love" and the little smirk he gives her when Padmé brings up Obi-Wan.

    But Anakin's still plenty passionate in ROTS -- he hasn't yet become emotionally deadened to the same degree as he is in ANH.

    I don't much like Stover's version though -- his Anakin just strikes me as too much of a crowd pleaser. He's too cool and put together, whereas I find the Anakin of the films (as played by Hayden) does a much better job of showing both the conflict in the character and the sense that he's being torn in two directions while gradually tipping towards the Dark Side until he falls off that cliff entirely. Just my opinion, though.
  12. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    I haven't read anything of the novelization other than what was posted above, so I can't comment on anything else. But I do like that particular scene better in the novel than the film.
  13. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    To each his or her own. For me, it would jar far too greatly with the tone established in the film. It seems more tragic and desperate the way it's portrayed in the movie. In the book, I just found it to be rather juvenile -- it seemed as though Stover was pandering to the "badass Vader" crowd through one-liners. Anakin also seemed far too...pleased. He seemed to relish the killing, whereas that was never the case in the films, as far as I could see. It's just down to preference, though.
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  14. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    I see your point, but I would still prefer it. And it would fit better with the tone if Anakin were not so naïve and juvenile up to that point.

    I don't think there's any real tragedy to it because Anakin made a conscious choice to storm the Jedi Temple and kill who knows how many innocent people (including young kids) for the possibility of saving Padme. Hypothetically speaking, how many people in here would walk into a kindergarten classroom and gun down everyone in it for the chance to flip a coin on whether or not your spouse is going survive some event? Probably none. I certainly hope not. You would have to be insane or a sociopath to think that's a good idea.

    That's why I would have preferred to see Anakin and Windu duel in Palpatine's office and see Anakin lose control and the Dark Side overtake and consume him in a visible way that indicates he's no longer himself. The red/orange eyes we see on Mustafar are what we should have seen in Palpatine's office. But we don't. All he does is cut off Windu's hand, which leads to Palpatine knocking him out of the building with force lightening. Anakin then goes from saying "What have I done?" to killing everyone he's known the last ten years ten minutes later. It makes no sense at all.


    That's the Vader that made the Star Wars saga.

    I don't know if he relished it or not, but he didn't mind sarcasm when intimidating and killing his subordinates in the OT.
    Last edited by Rachel_In_Red, May 19, 2013
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  15. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    And while this is slightly off topic, how does someone in the SW universe die in child birth anyway? You have the technology to build sentient droids and mechanical limbs that are as good as new, but someone is going to die from a routine biological function that has existed since the beginning of life? And how does a woman (much less one with Padme's spirit) lose the will to live after giving birth to twins just because the father is a deadbeat? And even if you do lose the will to live, how does that kill you without the aid of a gun, a rope, a pill, a high perch, etc.?
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  16. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    They lose the will to live 8-}
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  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Personally, I found it fit well with the Vader we saw in the OT. In his own way, OT Vader is naive and juvenile. It's incredibly juvenile, for instance, to choke someone simply for insulting you or kill someone for making a mistake. Likewise, Vader was incredibly naive to believe that Luke would rule with him as father and son and that they could bring peace to the Empire.

    I think, though, that this portrayal is more honest -- evil is, at its core, very childish in that it's based in selfishness (especially in Anakin/Vader's case).

    On the contrary, it makes a heck of a lot of sense the way Anakin is looking at it. And not just the way he's looking at it but, more importantly, the way he wants to look at it from.

    Give Anakin the emotional incentive -- Padmé and his unborn children. Give him the traumatic, mentally unhinging event -- his mother's death. Then give him the rationalization -- ending the war. It's not so difficult then. Because when you've been fighting in a war for as long as he has, you learn that certain "sacrifices" have to be made. Just as when Anakin wanted to go back to help Oddball and the other clones but was unable to because he and Obi-Wan had to prioritize the mission to save the Chancellor.

    See, the film stresses, again and again, how Anakin believes that what he is doing is, overall, good for the galaxy. It's the same as in ESB -- he believes, even after all this time, that he can bring peace and order to the galaxy by ruling an Empire. Just listen to Anakin's dialogue in ROTS:

    "I'm going there to end this war."
    "Things will be different, I promise"
    "I have brought peace to the Republic"
    "Together you and I can rule the galaxy, make things the way we want them to be"
    "I have brought peace, justice, freedom, and security..."

    It's easy to do terrible things when you tell yourself that it's for the greater good. In this case, Anakin is telling himself that he's not only ending a galaxy-wide war, but creating a peaceful Empire. With one fell swoop, he can deactivate the Trade Federation armies and bring the war to a screeching halt. What's a few thousand Jedi lives in the face of that? Hundreds of thousands (at least) must die in a war of this scale every day. That's why the turn is so dangerous -- because it reflects the lies we tell ourselves (or, in this case, the lies Anakin is telling himself).

    There aren't many people who would be able to kill so many solely to save their loved ones, but give them a framework in which they can be a hero, in which they can believe themselves to be saving more lives than they are taking, and you'll find that many people will be eager to drink that Kool-Aid, given the powerful emotional incentive that Anakin is given.

    Anakin tried to make the right choice, but when it came down to it, he wasn't emotionally capable of letting Padmé die -- which meant he couldn't let Mace kill Palpatine. He himself, though, never intended to allow Palpatine to rule and thus wanted him taken out. When the Jedi couldn't do so, he decided to do so himself ("I can overthrow him [i.e. the Emperor]").

    The way I see it, Anakin's turn works perfectly the way it's portrayed in the film and Christensen does a remarkable job bringing it to life. Some of that is lost in the novelization, in my opinion.

    Again, just a difference of opinion, but not for me. ROTJ demonstrated rather remarkably that all of Vader's "power" in ANH and ESB was hollow and contained his only true act of strength in the OT -- him saving Luke.

    I saw it more as bitterness and callousness, personally. He seems to have emotionally deadened himself to anything but rage. However, he doesn't seem like a particularly happy person in the OT, which I always felt the ROTS novel scene contradicted in that Vader seemed to relish his killings. Admiral Ozzel's death had more of a cold rage vibe to it to me, but your mileage may vary.
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  18. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 3
    You and I are just going to have to disagree, my friend. I thought Anakin's turn was poorly done. From drawing his saber on Palpatine and turning him over for being a Sith, to immediately regretting disarming Windu (which led to his death), to one minute later deciding it's a good idea to go kill all of his fellow Jedi that he has known for a decade, to a little while later physically and emotionally hurting both Obi-Wan and Padme. That is just a little too much for me.

    Again, I think it would have been better for Anakin to have fought Windu to protect Palpatine and then have the dark side consume him as he loses control of his emotional state in trying to hold off a powerful Jedi Master. And I would like to have seen (during this duel) his eyes begin to flare up (like on Mustafar) as his anger and hostility have taken over and he slays Windu. At this point he looks back at Palpatine and you can just tell that he's not the same person. I do not get that from what actually happened in the movie. Anakin's emotional state after disarming Windu is regret, not anger. I wanted anger, like Luke when he cut off Vader's hand. But then Luke took a deep breath and let it go. Here, Anakin fails where Luke succeeds. And an intense duel would have been a great catalyst for bringing out anger and aggressiveness and beating Windu also would have been another feather in Vader/Anakin's cap as far showing off his power.

    That's just what I would have liked to have seen.
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  19. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    At least in the ROTS game we see Anakin and Mace Windu duel. Ended the way it did in the movie though.
  20. MRCynical Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 7, 2008
    star 1
    At times he was actually good. He got a lot of stick for AOTC, but I thought the way he played Anakin was exactly what the character was supposed to be like at that point. The much-derided fireplace scene was, for me, perfect: he's a slave-turned-monk from a backwater planet, trying (and failing) to sound sophisticated to impress the older aristocratic girl he likes. As for ROTS, the less said about that the better. "You turned her against meeeeee!", "You will nottakeherfromme!", all said in the tone of an eight-year old whose cat is being put to sleep.
    Last edited by MRCynical, May 19, 2013
  21. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Right. Vader wasn't supposed to be anything like the fun-loving romance character in the meadow with Padme in AOTC.

    He devolved even from the guy that slaughtered children with a lightsaber and force-choked the love of his life into unconsciousness later in ROTS. He was still a young man with some passion even at the end of ROTS; he had moved further along the slope of cold self-loathing and internal bitterness by the time the OT came along. I think becoming more cold and calculating later on as he grew into an older Sith made sense.
    Last edited by Lee_, May 20, 2013
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  22. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    True enough. I would also add that there is the supernatural aspect of the Dark Side twisting his mind- the changes Anakin went through were not supposed to be looked at entirely from the point of view of rationalization from a normal state of mind.

    I think it made it more real that Anakin goes back and forth, there is conflict within him for a long period of time until he finally crosses the line. He had ruminated for a long time about these things; there are a lot of clues along the way where he is slipping to the other side. It would have been a lesser story if he had a sudden point where he went from good to bad; the story was more lifelike the way it happened.
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  23. Sistros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010
    star 6
    I think it's gotten better after each viewing,

    at first I must confess I thought his potrayal was completely awful,

    BUT, one has to look at the director if a performance sucks I'm afraid, especially an Auteur like Lucas,

    I heard that in one scene Hayden wanted to play a scene with emotion but Lucas told him no, play it stoic, I believe in the end Lucas tried it Hayden's way and it worked better

    so in other words:

    heres looking at you..Lucas
  24. HevyDevy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    I'm not sure if I agree with you on one point. To me, when Vader hears that Padme has died, that is when he becomes the Vader we see in ANH. While I wholeheartedly agree that Vader is not Anakin by the time of the OT, and there is definitely a gradual slide there, I think Anakin is truely gone by the time we see him on the Star Destroyer bridge at the very end of ROTS. It's an interesting point that you make on him being more cold and calculating after his experience between trilogies, and while I'm sure that is true to an extent, I think he is already his unforgiving and totally evil self by the end of Ep3.

    The way I see his turns (to the dark in the prequels and to the light in the OT) there is a first spark of Vader in Anakin in AOTC, and a first spark of Anakin in Vader in ESB. Anakin's loss of his mother is the first catalyst for his fall, and here is the first time he really craves the power that could have helped him prevent this. This then carries over to Padme in the next film, and while his intentions are actually more noble at first, he ends up left with only the power, and nothing else. It becomes power for power's sake as we see him in the OT. By the time of ANH, Anakin is dead, but interestingly in ESB with the discovery of Luke there is an opposite spark than in AOTC. While Luke is first just a tool for more power, there is a hint of a re-emergance of Anakin in Vader, and he partially starts to want Luke alive for reasons other than taking over the galaxy. This is probably obvious to any Star Wars fan, but the inversion of the two trilogies in this sense makes Anakin's return so much more poignant.
    Last edited by HevyDevy, May 20, 2013
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  25. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Yes, he was totally evil by the end of ROTS. I wasn't saying he necessarily became more evil by the time of ANH; I was saying that the natural progression of his life would alter his personality to some degree, thus explaining some of the differences in his demeanor in the OT.
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