PT Did Lucas go too far in Revenge of the Sith?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Garrett Atkins, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Sure it does. When they showed the dead Padawans out in the hall, Obi-Wan says that not even the younglings were spared, and Yoda points out that one of them had been killed by lightsaber.
    Last edited by DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR, Aug 10, 2014
  2. Drewdude91 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2011
    star 2

    OBI-WAN: I have seen a security hologram of him....killing younglings

    Note YOUNGLINGS. Plural.
  3. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Well, it's ambiguous. It could also mean he gave the order to shoot them down like dogs, which makes him just the same as the ones who pulled the trigger.
  4. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9

    Vader and the Clonetroopers killed everyone, regardless of age. He didn't just kill one outside and then those in the chambers. We only see those in the hallway which was probably not far from the main entrance. There was still more Jedi to be had. Official listings had 212 members and there would have been more than one Youngling class.
  5. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Anakin went specifically after the kids because everyone knows that baby meat is the freshest meat.
  6. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Going by the movies alone, are you sure there's more than one class? Unless I'm wrong, but aren't the kids in the hall the same that were in the council chamber?
  7. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9

    Nope. We see a group of Padawans being killed in the same hallway that Obi-wan and Yoda are walking through when they arrive in the Temple. The Younglings are those in the Council chambers. Their deaths are the last ones we see.



    At 4:37 is where Obi-wan and Yoda are when they find the Padawan that was killed.



    The Padawans here are a mix of different ages and none of them are from the Council chambers.
  8. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Oh, my bad. I thought they were the same group of kids, and that Anakin had rounded them up and brought them out into the hall to be executed by the clones.
  9. Team Padme Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I think him killing the younglings showed how he evil he became and how much Palpatine messed with his brain.
  10. Vorax Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2014
    star 4
    Killing the younglings, the murder of innocent children were basically sacrificed to his Dark Master to prove his utter devotion and obedience to the Sith now and there is no going back to his former life. However, it also served as an easy and lazy plot way to make Anakin's fall apparent to the movie audience, oh this guy is evil sorta thing - as Lucas had difficultly telling the story of the prequels and relied a lot on his army of artists and technicians and less on his actors and storyline to drive the movies.
    Last edited by Vorax, Aug 11, 2014
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Uh, it was pretty clear Anakin was choosing to serve Palpatine when he knelt down and pledged himself. That doesn't make it lazy. It just shows that he will do whatever it takes to get the job done and serves as the set up for choking his pregnant wife.
  12. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    How was he supposed to show it? A close-up of Anakin's happy-good face abruptly transitioning into an angry-evil face? An avant-garde, time-lapse photography sequence featuring a park bench slowly being buried under a pile of ash from a nearby factory? A static shot of a post-it note with dark poetry scrawled on it?
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Aug 14, 2014
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  13. Crystalia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2013
    star 4
    well he definitely went to Mustafar

    :p
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  14. Vorax Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2014
    star 4
    Nah, what I am talking about there is his fall to the darkside was never that believable or convincing during the first two movies and by the 3rd movie it was hastily contrived to rush it down the audience's throat. The kids being slaughtered was a quick and easy plot device to push the story forward without much thought and it had the side effect of opening up the door of how could this same man be later "redeemable" by ROTJ and how can there still be good in him. This was back when we had unadulterated OT with Luke talking about the good in him. And Darth Vader himself saying "Obi Wan once thought as you do." I think Lucas should of did something more intelligent, like have Anakin get the younglings to safely, showing there is still something good about this man, something more complex. Maybe Anakin just killed armed Jedi padwans and those that were too young to be armed he sparred, some sorta dynamic that explains Vader we see in the OT. Lucas instead gives Padme the silly line of something like " there is still good in him", yeah where?! This guy just betrayed and murdered his entire congregation and joined another mass murdering devil. So what the heck was she talking about and what did she know, while just minutes before she was still in disbelief that he murdered younglings. Just things like that do not add up.
    Last edited by Vorax, Aug 14, 2014
  15. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    It seems like you have a fundamental issue with the fact that the good man Anakin Skywalker is the same person as the bad man Darth Vader. You can't compromise the goodness or badness of one or the other by introducing mitigating circumstances and tempering his behavior, because then that would defeat the purpose of the narrative--to show how an almost-completely good person become an almost-completely bad person.

    The kids being slaughtered wasn't some sort of cheap plot device thrown in at the last minute. The foundations for it had already been laid one movie and three years ago. Yes, killing helpless children is one of the most despicable things a person can do, and thus it's an "easy" way to show an audience that someone has truly gone bad. But then again, so is dressing someone up in black armor and a Nazi helmet. So what? What's the deeper point you're making?

    If you're looking for a movie that makes excuses for Anakin and gives him reasonable outs when it comes to his behavior, it's unreasonable to expect that movie to be the one where he becomes Darth Vader. Anakin is completely in the wrong and knowingly doing evil things. He's not being led astray by plausible lies or traveling down a road to hell paved with good intentions. He's been pushed to the edge emotionally and is acting totally selfishly, and that's what the movie reflects.

    If you think that precludes him from having any amount of goodness still within him, then I guess you and the Star Wars saga just plain disagree on some very important things.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Aug 15, 2014
  16. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    That's a very common view though, as is evident from how many times the issue has been beaten to death, directly or periphally. Just off the top of my head, I can think of several discussions in other threads --- besides this thread and the "Anakin should not have been redeemed" thread --- relating to this in the past couple of months, where the view was taken that Anakin should have been more sympathetic, or the transition from heroism to villainy was too jarring, or he shouldn't have been redeemed if he did such bad things, or Luke wouldn't have forgiven him if he knew the extent of his crimes.

    To be fair, I think this partly reflects how subversive Anakin's character arc is, subversive in the sense that it combines different storytelling languages. On one level, it's as cliché as the story of the Gospels. And even that narrative prototype had its forebears in the mythic cycles of the Osirian, Eleusian and Dionysian Mysteries --- the deity's death, descent into hell, and ascension and rebirth. And GL intentionally invokes and mashes together all the old tropes (virginal conception, child of prophecy, miraculous godlike powers, Adonis physique, angelic spouse), so it looks like he's telling a certain sort of story.

    The thing is, in those stories, the hero's descent is always heroic. Darkness may overcome or consume him/her, but not from within. But Anakin's fall, far from heroic, or via being misled while trying to do the right thing, is weak and selfish, as real-life evil usually is. We want to avert our eyes from RotS Anakin because he's a highly stylised but nonetheless very recognisable picture of ourselves at our worst. Not a grandstanding evilness stemming from twisted ideals (like Dooku's) --- which would be admirable or at least sympathisable in a way --- but childish, pathetic neediness and a selfishness which decides to put that neediness ahead of everyone and everything else.

    On that level, Anakin has more in common with "modern" protagonists like Kym from Rachel Getting Married. The combination of mythic-heroic storytelling language/conventions with a "hero" that makes such indefensible choices for such unsympathetic reasons is inevitably jarring. I love the Saga's mythopoeiaic vision and appreciate what George was aiming for, but I recognise that there was probably no way he could have pulled off that clash of storytelling styles smoothly. In fact I think the unevenness is part of the point.

    It's like the painting below, which in its day was hugely controversial and considered obscene. Not because there was an unclothed lady -- there had plenty in previous centuries (even millenia) of Western art (and doubtless will continue to be) --- but because she was given a "real" (as opposed to supernaturally beautiful) woman's face and was pictured with contemporarily-dressed men (as opposed to mythic figures). The clash between the artistic conventions of classical mythological painting and contemporary portraiture meant that she wasn't a female nude, she was a naked woman. And that was unacceptable.

    [IMG]
    Édouard Manet, Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (1863)

    I feel like there's a similar thing going on with the criticisms of Anakin's fall. With the storytelling conventions George employs, people expect a hero, or at least morality (including moral flaws) at that "heroic" level. Instead, we get real human weakness, which is then amplified to a degree where it can't be swept under the carpet of "justified" or "understandable" revenge, or of resorting to bad means for good ends, etc. It might be partly also that it's difficult to accept that something as superlatively monstrous as Darth Vader can come from failings most people can all identify with as having experienced at some point (clinging a little too hard to someone we love, being selfish and childish in a romantic relationship...). People don't want to face the fact that those very real, everyday character flaws can potentially lead them to do things as horrific as what Anakin did.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 15, 2014
  17. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Except Lucas did think it out, because after all the death and destruction, we see Anakin crying on Mustafar.

    [IMG]

    "There's always this good in you. And the good part is saying 'what am I doing?'. Then the bad part kicks in and says 'I'm doing this for Padme, I'm doing this for the galaxy and so we can have a better life'. But the good part is always saying 'WHAT AM I DOING?!"

    --George Lucas to Hayden Christensen, Hyperspace webdoc.

    "This is the first time he actually has a chance to think about what it is that’s happened by himself and the tear here shows that he knows what he’s done, but he’s now committed himself a path that he may not agree with but he is going to go along anyway.

    It’s the one moment that says he’s self aware. He rationalizing all his behavior. He’s doing terrible things. But in the end he really knows the truth. He knows that he’s evil now and there’s nothing he can do about it and that’s the moment where the pathos of him being stuck in that suit is real because if he had to do it over he probably wouldn’t do it, but he can't stop it now."

    --George Lucas, ROTS DVD Commentary.


    Obi-wan once believed that Anakin was a good person, which is what he's referring to on Endor. All those years they spent together, fighting the good fight. But he no longer believes that because of all the things that he has done. That he cannot simply walk away from the dark side because it's pull is too powerful to do just that. And Padme believes that there is good in him because she still loves him. She does not believe that it just suddenly upped and disappeared, because Obi-wan said so. She believes that deep down, he was not a lost cause. That is the power of compassion. Of unconditional love. We even see a look of regret on his face after choking her and letting go. A person can still be good because they feel guilt. Because there is a part of them that feels conflicted about what they did. The good was still there regardless of killing children, because Vader killed people way before we saw it. He betrayed and murdered his friends. We knew that there was good in him when Luke said that there was good in him and we saw it when he saved his son at the expense of his own life.

    So long as there is some semblance of good within, then you are never beyond hope. You can turn it around and become something better than you are now. Palpatine was pure evil because he was raised to be evil. He has no true concept of what good, love, compassion is all about. That is why he is a shadow. The darkness. Evil on two legs.

    Edit.

    Which then ties into this...

    "What drove me to make these movies is that this is a really interesting story about how people go bad. In this particular case, the premise is: Nobody thinks they're bad. They simply have different points of view. This is about a kid that's really wonderful. He has some flaws - and those flaws ultimately do him in."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of ROTS; Page 53.
    Last edited by darth-sinister, Aug 15, 2014
  18. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    We don't actually know how Palpatine was raised - the movies don't say, and I'm not sure if Lucas does either. Sure - he could have been raised by a Sith from infancy. He could also have come to the Sith as an adolescent or even an adult.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Aug 15, 2014
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  19. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    A very interesting take. I agree with you to an extent, but I think the issues which some people have with Anakin generally, and with his fall in particular, are a bit more varied than just the squirm factor of seeing a bit too much of themselves in his demise.

    Personally, the main problem I have with his whole arc is that I just never liked him ... at all. So even when he was supposed to be a 'good' character, I struggled to relate to, or sympathise with him. That's not a criticism of either Lucas or Christensen, it's just one of those things. If I came across someone like Anakin in real life, I'd loathe him! The flow on effect of this was that when he fell, I never had that sense of 'tradegy' which was supposed to be being conveyed. A good man falling is a tragedy. A bit of a drop kick getting his comeuppance really isn't.

    On top of that, many people felt that Anakin's fall made him look like a bit of a fool. Some were expecting more of a near impossible choice to be faced. What actually happened is viewed by some as Anakin choosing to follow the dark path even when it was clear for all to see that he'd been duped.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Aug 15, 2014
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  20. Vorax Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2014
    star 4
    No, I'm looking for a better and more well written movies and characters to have some accountability. Which is something the prequels were not and were universally acknowledged as poorly written and poorly acted movies which often failed to align with the OT and continue the same level of narrative and have often even rewrote what we knew. The Prequel movies could not make up their mind whether Anakin was to be a whinny brat and bully( in one cut scene Anakin is viscously beating up one of his child friends in TPM) that wants everything and wants it his way , that was prone to fits of uncontrolled anger or an individual facing discrimination by his own peers within his own order. And so had lots of doubts and inner conflict where it was almost justifiable for Anakin to betray the Jedi since they had alienated this boy and young man. Lucas' villains characters are irrevocably evil or cowards. So this is Vader now, once he knelt down before Sidious in his office or earlier once he stroke Windu's arm off. So his cycle just began.

    Lucas had difficultly getting his narrative together and appears to have settled for a compromise, where Anakin would be both this angry child and a boy the Jedi held at arms length out of fear, jealousy, contempt and misunderstanding and all that kinda thing cause he was "The Chosen" and prophesied Jedi Messiah whom they casted doubt and suspicion upon. Anakin falls in love but instead of leaving the order he stays and continues to live a bogus lifestyle. He already betrayed his oath once he got married, so here Lucas is trying to draw sympathy from the audience and sending another mixed message, Anakin goes breaking canon law and this tradition cause he's in love so its excusable. The sand people brutally raped and beat his mother, he did what probably anybody would do besides the Sandpeople by all accounts are viscous even when they're young and would grow up to continue their lifestyle of brutality and violence or follow his tracks back to the Lars shack and do what do best. So this again is not a convincing fall plot, yet this a convenient way for Lucas to show how "bad Anakin is" and make some sorta connection to later with the killing of the Younglings. Am sorry but Sand People are not the same as Jedi, their young children do not hold the same weight to the audience as regular people would or Jedi Younglings. If Yoda sensed what Anakin did there which supposedly he was witnessing all this through the force, then once Anakin got back there should've been a trial. But the storyline is Anakin is a Jedi and basically already above the law and he's never punished not even by Obi Wan. Back in Episode I Kenobi already had judged Jar Jar as an inferior creature based on his intelligence and look, so its apparent that the Jedi are chauvinistic towards lower lifeforms and lifeforms they deem inferior to themselves . You even got Quin Gon who was trying to use Jedi mind tricks to brainwash Watto into doing his bidding and later rigged the dice game, he cheated to win. SO whats with the "will of the force" stuff he always talks about. So what messages are these sending out to the audience, how convincing are the Jedi as these pillars of light and Anakin's great fall into villainy, this tragedy he was the culprit of by ridding the Galaxy of the Jedi. Its a confused and erratic and basically bi-polar manner of storytelling.

    ROTS ended with Anakin like he started off, and angry child. His line simply to Windu was , "I need him." That was his turn, he needed Palpatine to save Padme, he helped assassinate Windu , and this led him to submit his free will and to pledging himself to a Sith Lord(who was a mass murdering madman and who had unsucessfuly tried to kill Padme since the beginning) whose next order was to wipe out every single man, woman and child at the Jedi Temple. And for what, so he could stop Padme from dying during child birth. Am sorry its a retarded storyline and not convincing enough of a fall, meanwhile Anakin had just informed the Jedi about Palpatine. Lucas only succeeds in creating a very confused character and a very confused storyline.

    Dumb question though, as Lucas used the "Sith eyes" as a visual effect to attempt to showcase this along with close ups, so yeah Lucas did do that. In fact Lucas constantly always tried showing shadings that this boy was Darth Vader since TPM, with his shadow cast upon the hut bore the resemblance of the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. If such a thing was visual to the audience, it would have only been there to show this boy was born evil not that he "fell" to the darkside. The shroud of the darkside was present enough for the audience but not these Jedi who themselves come off as questionable. Its also as if Lucas wanted the Jedi to deserve to be destroyed, but every thing else including merchandising is the constant Jedi are good stuff.

    Simply put there is nothing redeemable about Anakin, no good in this man-child, and even the Jedi Knights come across as sociopaths during the PT. So it also makes Old Ben and Yoda and even Luke come across as liars and idiots.
    Last edited by Vorax, Aug 15, 2014
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4
    You may want to look up the definition of the word "universally", because it doesn't actually apply here. Many people had many different opinions about all aspects of the prequels, and it would be a fools' errand to even attempt to chase them all down in an attempt to bolster one's argument on a fan forum. I'm guilty of doing so myself sometimes, so I swear it's not at all a knock on you--but really, the only relevant opinions here are yours, mine, and those of anyone else here who cares to chime in.

    I take objection to your characterization of Anakin's actions in that TPM cut scene as being that of a "bully". He simply got in a scuffle with a child who accused him of cheating. That's not good behavior, but it certainly doesn't fall under the umbrella of bullying. The other child was being a bully, if anything. But it's not even odd behavior. Kids sometimes get in fights. I imagine that's why Lucas didn't feel a compelling need to include it in the movie; it established the seeds of Anakin's darkness, but only to the extent that those seeds of darkness exist in any child. It's a valid scene, and even a thought-provoking one, but not a necessary one to establish why Anakin, in particular, was destined to become evil. That was accomplished perfectly well by the scenes showing that he retained an unhealthy (from the Jedi's view) attachment to his mother, which created great fear and anger inside of him.

    I admit I'm not quite sure of the point (or points) you're getting at later on in this paragraph, but it seems you're objecting to the simple fact that Anakin possessed many flaws as a human being. All I can say is, there's nothing inconsistent about that. People are complicated.

    I don't understand why you think all these aspects of the story are mutually exclusive. Yes, it takes a village to build a Darth. There are many contributing factors, and contributing actors, to Anakin's fall. Someone like Vader doesn't spring forth fully formed form the womb. Not even as a result of a virgin birth.

    I find it very heartening that you (correctly) recognize Anakin as being very confused. It means you may be on the path to accepting his character arc.

    Well, I have to admit you got me there. Lucas did show Anakin having "Sith eyes" as a visually striking way of showing how far he had fallen. Luckily, that's not all that Lucas did to show it, and it certainly wasn't the main way. If it was, it would have been a relevant point to bring up.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Aug 16, 2014
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  22. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Not one of his friends - he does have a Rodian friend called Wald - but this was a different Rodian, who accused Anakin of cheating during the race. I'm told that guy was intended to be a young Greedo, before he was cut.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Aug 16, 2014
  23. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2006
    star 2
    Oh, absolutely. The point about "that's me there and it isn't pretty" was a secondary one. The main thrust of my post was the jarring contrast between the different storytelling/characterisation styles George employs with respect to Anakin.

    I can't really disagree with that. Since AotC, I've mostly rather disliked Anakin. So I completely empathise with the view that that might be problematic for his character arc due to our disinclination to sympathise with him. And yeah...I admit feeling some schadenfreude during the immolation scene --- it made me feel terrible for Obi-Wan (and still does), but at least the first time I saw it, I also felt some very sithly satisfaction (which I'm not proud of) that Anakin was getting what was coming to him.

    I guess where we differ is that I think an unlikeable main character can still make for an emotionally compelling story -- which is why I offered the example of Anne Hathaway's character Kym from Rachel Getting Married in my previous post. A lot of contemporary drama features main characters who aren't just flawed, they're in some ways pretty despicable. Yet their stories can still draw you in if they are genuinely human. Which Anakin is, profoundly and all too much so.

    But if it was an objectively impossible choice (I assume you mean where one option was the Dark Side and the other option was so terrible that the audience would feel like it's not even an option) which led him to the Dark Side, it wouldn't have been truly evil (ie morally defective and showing weakness of character) of him to make that choice. The whole point is that what Anakin did is indefensible, insupportable, to anyone with a minimal sense of objective moral fibre.

    I understand that people think that how Anakin weighed up his fears and desires against the horrors Palpatine was telling him to do, and arrived at the decision he made, was unreasonable and not at all understandable in view of the improbability of Padmé dying in childbirth, the fact the Palpatine was obviously a deceitful manipulator, etc etc. That his willingness to grind his duty into dust for merely a chance to have the power he desired to prevent his improbable fear of loss coming true was too unreasonable to attract any understanding from the audience.

    But the unreasonableness is kinda the point isn't it? If a decent, reasonable person with any sort of genuine commitment to their duty would or even may have made the same choices Anakin did, in his position, that would be a mitigating factor. Not necessarily an excuse, certainly not a justification, but a mitigating factor nonetheless. As I see it, there were already mitigating factors in Anakin's history: the fact that he had been a slave, that he grew up in fear of being sold separately from his mother, with constant awareness of his powerlessness, and consequently had hang-ups about power, control, holding on to objects of his desires, etc. But at the point he chooses between desire and duty, there aren't any mitigating factors. Nor should there be, IMO. The fact that it was completely weak and wrong and utterly indefensible of him to choose as he did, and that any way you look at it he should have chosen differently, isn't a weakness of the storytelling for me. It laid the moral dimensions of his choice totally naked. There was no reasonable justification to clothe the wrongness of it.

    And I don't think he was duped, at least not in the sense of being tricked by Palpatine when he made his choice. He was fully aware of the nature of the choice he was making (hence the tears in the Council chamber and on Mustafar). He just decided that his needs were more important than anything else. If anyone was duping Anakin, it was himself, with his ex post facto attempts at rationalising what he's done when Padmé shows up. But self-delusion and self-serving justifications aren't a sign of stupidity, they're a symptom of immaturity, which had been a well-established element of Anakin's character since AotC.

    Takes a village to raise a Darth, and a Darth to raze a village...
    ...yeah, I'll let myself out :p
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 16, 2014
  24. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9

    "After Darth Sidious' first apprentice is killed, he has to come up with a new apprentice, and rather than coming up with some baby that he trains from birth, which is what he should have done--well, he shouldn't have gotten himself in a position of getting his apprentice killed anyways--he's decided to make his move, so he needs somebody that was already trained. The point is to set up that he turned this one Jedi, so that he could turn another Jedi. It has to be set up that way."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.


    Given that Lucas says that Palpatine should have found another child and start over again, it seems to pretty obvious that Palpatine was handled the same way that Maul was.

    Uh, Anakin beats up Greedo because the elder Rodian accused him of cheating. Not to mention Greedo was not Anakin's friend. Wald was. Anakin was being a bully in that scene, he was doing what typical boys do in situations like that. Resort to violence. I got in a fight when I was thirteen, one that I started due to being teased. Does that make me a bully? No. That just made me someone who couldn't control his anger. As to Anakin acting like a brat, you have to remember that Lucas is combining two stories here. Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight who was Obi-Wan Kenobi's friend and Luke's father with Darth Vader, the fallen Jedi Knight who became a Sith Lord. So Anakin's whole arc is going to be two-faced as Lucas had to balance between the good and the bad in one man. In AOTC, he's whiny because he's acting like a lot of nineteen year olds who want it all, but don't understand their shortcomings. But he is also Obi-wan's friend, which is the contrast in the scenes where they aren't fighting.

    As to the Council alienating him, that wasn't the case so much as he was simply greedy.

    "When you get down to where we are right now in the story, you basically get somebody who’s going to make a pact with the Devil, and it’s going to be a pact with the Devil that says, 'I want the power to save somebody from death. I want to be able to stop them from going to the river Styx, and I need to go to a god for that, but the gods won’t do it, so I’m going to go down to Hades and get the Dark Lord to allow me to have this power that will allow me to save the very person I want to hang on to.' You know, it’s Faust. So Anakin wants that power, and that is basically a bad thing. If you’re going to sell your soul to save somebody you love, that’s not a good thing. That’s as we say in the film, unnatural. You have to accept that natural course of life. Of all things. Death is obviously the biggest of them all. Not only death for yourself but death for the things you care about."

    --George Lucas, quoted in J. Windolf, “Star Wars: The Last Battle,” Vanity Fair, 2005


    So what he does isn't because of alienation, but because of desperation and greed. He doesn't want anyone to die, but most of all, he doesn't want his wife to die. So when Mace dies because of him, he realizes that he has gone too far, but he cannot do anything but go forward.

    You miss the point of those scenes.

    "This is obviously a very pivotal scene for Anakin because this is reuniting with his mother and his youth and at the same time dealing with his inability to let go of his emotions and allow himself to accept the inevitable. The fact that everything must change and that things come and go through his life and that he can't hold onto things which is a basic Jedi philosophy that he isn't willing to accept emotionally and the reason that is because he was raised by his mother rather than the Jedi. If he'd have been taken in his first year and started to study to be a Jedi, he wouldn't have this particular connection as strong as it is and he'd have been trained to love people but not to become attached to them. But he has become attached to his mother and he will become attached to Padme and these things are, for a Jedi, who needs to have a clear mind and not be influenced by threats to their attachments, a dangerous situation. And it feeds into fear of losing things, which feeds into greed, wanting to keep things, wanting to keep his possessions and things that he should be letting go of. His fear of losing her turns to anger at losing her, which ultimately turns to revenge in wiping out the village. The scene with the Tusken Raiders is the first scene that ultimately takes him on the road to the dark side. I mean he's been prepping for this, but that's the one where he's sort of doing something that is completely inappropriate."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.

    "The scene in the garage here, we begin to see that what he's really upset about is the fact that he's not powerful enough. That if he had more power, he could've kept his mother. He could've saved her and she could've been in his life. That relationship could've stayed there if he'd have been just powerful enough. He's greedy in that he wants to keep his mother around, he's greedy in that he wants to become more powerful in order to control things in order to keep the things around that he wants. There's a lot of connections here with the beginning of him sliding into the dark side. And it also shows his jealousy and anger at Obi-Wan and blaming everyone else for his inability to be as powerful as he wants to be, which he hears that he will be, so here he sort of lays out his ambition and you'll see later on his ambition and his dialogue here is the same as Dooku's. He says "I will become more powerful than every Jedi." And you'll hear later on Dooku will say "I have become more powerful than any Jedi." So you're going start to see everybody saying the same thing. And Dooku is kind of the fallen Jedi who was converted to the dark side because the other Sith Lord didn't have time to start from scratch, and so we can see that that's where this is going to lead which is that it is possible for a Jedi to be converted. It is possible for a Jedi to want to become more powerful, and control things. Because of that, and because he was unwilling to let go of his mother, because he was so attached to her, he committed this terrible revenge on the Tusken Raiders."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.



    "He didn't realize Palpatine was going to kill him (Mace). So up to that point he was trying to do the right thing but now he realizing that with Mace dead he’s crossed over the line and he sorta succumbs and says yes, I’ll do anything you ask so you can allow me to keep my wife alive. Then he (Sidious) says ok I’ll do that but now you have to go and kill all the Jedi. Leave none alive or they will come back and get us - even the kids."

    --George Lucas, ROTS DVD Commentary.

    "The thing with the kids is necessary to establish how far down the road he’d (Anakin) come to do something that, this brutal and barbaric and it had to be in there but I definitely didn’t want to show it. It was really in the editorial process that the idea of inter-cutting her (Padme) with him when he’s at his very worst with her worrying about him. That juxtaposition works quite well cause it reflects as much on the slaughter of the children as it does on her concerns about him even though she doesn’t know the children have been slaughtered. There is a strong emotional connection when those sequences are pushed up against each other."

    --George Lucas, ROTS DVD Commentary.


    Anakin killed the Tuskens because he gave into the dark side and wanted revenge, which is not the Jedi way. So even though you can sorta empathize with him, you also see that he's losing his way because he isn't acting as a Jedi should.

    ANAKIN: "No, I'm a Jedi. I know that I'm better than this."

    But with the Younglings, we see that if he's willing to uses the dark side to inflict suffering on those who hurt him, then he will do so again because he did it once before. Whether it's kids or not, he's going to use the dark side to his advantage.

    Jedi use the mind trick often. Obi-wan used it against Stormtroopers and a drug pusher, and Luke used it against Bib and tried it on Jabba. Qui-gon used it on Boss Nass as well. When he uses it on Watto, it is no different from when Luke and Obi-wan did it. As to the chance cube, it was rigged to begin with. Watto is a gambler and a cheat. Qui-gon knew it and changed the outcome in his favor. As to Jar Jar, it is an indictment of Jedi arrogance that creeps up in AOTC, but also that Obi-wan had more to learn.

    "The Force itself breaks into two sides: the living Force and a greater, cosmic Force. The living Force makes you sensitive to other living things, makes you intuitive, and allows you to read other people's minds, etc. But the greater Force has to do with destiny. In working with the Force, you can find your destiny and you can choose to either follow it or not."

    --George Lucas, quoted in L. Bouzereau, Star Wars: The Making of Episode I, 1999


    QUI-GON: "He's headstrong.... and he has much to learn about the living Force, but he is capable."
    By AOTC, he's much more civil towards Jar Jar and we see that he's made friends with Dex. He's grown and matured over the ten years since he made his snarky remarks about Jar Jar and Anakin.
    Clinging on to your loved ones is far from what you said. It is the human frailty. Did Luke not want to kill his own father in cold blood, because he didn't want his friends to die? Did he not want to keep his sister safe from their father? Greed is the bane of existence. Anakin sides with Palpatine because he has no choice. He betrayed Mace and there's no going back. The Jedi will either lock him up in the Citadel or worse, execute him. And Palpatine, he's been the only one to offer him something that the Jedi could not...hope. Hope that Padme could live and that he could have the life that he wants. He only told Mace about Palpatine because he was still confused. He wants to do the right thing, but he also wants what he wants. He wants his cake and eat it too.
    "You almost come a second too late. You're rushing over to make sure that nothing happens-but your anticipation is that they're going to hurt each other. When the lightning starts things are going from bad to worse from your point of view. And when Mace is going to kill him, you have to act.

    Try and increase how uncomfortable you feel as the shot goes on. Try to think back on the Darth Plagueis story-run that through your head. Take it one step further: you realize that by telling the Jedi about Palpatine being a Sith that Padme is going to die. Basically, you just killed her."

    --George Lucas To Hayden Christensen, The Making Of ROTS.

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  25. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    I don't disagree with you that flawed, even evil, main characters can be compelling. Most of my favourite film characters are profoundly flawed, and I can think of few more compelling characters than the evil OT Vader. All I'm really saying is that for me, the character of Anakin Skywalker introduced in the OT was a character I wanted to like and the one introduced in the PT is one I didn't. Because of this, may appreciation of the saga as a unified whole was impacted upon. I agree that it's not a weakness in the storytelling. It's just a matter of my earlier personal interpretation of that character not quite matching up with how he was later ultimately portrayed.

    Regarding the impossible choice. I think i said near impossible and I stand by that. I envisaged a decision so difficult that it would require immense strength to make the right choice -strength that Anakin just couldn't quite muster. As it is, I feel that a character of even moderate strength and a modicum of intelligence would've chosen the alternate path. Maybe that's the point Lucas is going for. If it is, fair enough. It's his movie.

    I'd be interested to know if any other posters have the same experience that I do with this character. When I watch the PT, it's obviously the Anakin portrayed by Lloyd / Christensen that I'm experiencing. However when I watch the OT, it isn't. The Anakin mentioned in ANH and who emerges from the mask in ROTJ is a character who really only exists in my own imagination.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Aug 17, 2014
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