PT Did the scene of Anakin killing younglings affect your perception of him?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Emperor Ferus, Feb 16, 2017.

Moderators: heels1785, Seagoat
  1. Emperor Ferus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2016
    star 3
    When I first saw it at nine years old, I didn't think a whole lot about it, just as I hadn't with the Tusken Raiders, but when I considered it later, I realized just how far over the line that was. When I watch the OT, I still sympathize with Vader's inner struggle, but I knew that story before I saw his actions in the Temple. Its a very complicated subject to me, and very mind boggling.
  2. MrMojoRisin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2005
    star 3
    Not really. This is the same guy that participated in the destruction of an entire world. Killing children is a minor detail compared to that. I supposed had I never seen Vader before it might have.
  3. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 5
    I agree, it didn't affect me much, especially because I read the book adaptation first. My Mom was shocked, though.
    Darth Basin likes this.
  4. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    I guess it did.

    But, in a way, it might be fairer to say it affected -- or quietly transformed -- my whole appreciation of the artistic tapestry of Star Wars.

    The reason I put it like that is, well, think about it a second...

    Star Wars has never exactly been all sunshine and rainbows. People, the young protagonist's foster parents, burned down to their bones in the first movie, and Luke ran back home to witness their smouldering corpses. Intense. This is later followed up by a seedy shooting in a bar, as well as a bully threatening the hero in a rather boisterous manner and quickly losing his arm, and then TWO -- count 'em: TWO -- planetary (or spherical) holocausts. Into that same mix is thrown racism, torture, choking, a bit of bludgeoning/battery, and a fair amount of people shooting other people with laser guns when they could be watching porn or tweeting insults at each other instead. Various fighter pilots also die in dramatic explosions. Technically, the protagonist loses his aunt and uncle and his best friend in the same day. The suck is strong with this one.

    Then, on into the first sequel, the story suddenly turns a lot darker and more threatening, rather like a grim bedtime story come to life. There aren't necessarily monsters under the bed; but they're lurking in caves that aren't quite caves. And the ultimate monster, despite his daddy's no-holds-barred sword-clubbing, followed by a swift castration and a dirty revelation, may be the protagonist himself. He's the creature inside the mask. The film aims to frighten and confuse and toy with expectations and it does. Luke also likes suspending himself upside down now. Meanwhile, his other friend, who rescues him from near-death on a harsh snow planet at the beginning, escapes being frozen at that time, only later to be... frozen. Also, the noble Jedi guardians of the protagonist might not be so noble, leaving him pleading to the lonely dark, "Why didn't you tell me?" Luke gets a pretty duff robot hand replacement at the end and wears a questionable his-and-her robe. Miserable.

    Finally, that story wraps up with a third installment that is an odd blend of puppets and patricide. Moreover, there is a seedy, slimy "worm-like" gangster with a bit of an impulse-control problem, a weird sand creature he likes to feed his enemies and double-crossers to, and teddy bears, those cute bedtime companions, beating foot soldiers half to death with sticks and stones. Sticks and stones may break my bones; actually, yes, they'll break your bones or at least incapacitate you, even if you have Death Stars, laser guns, and walking tank turrets to easily overwhelm them in a bright forest environment. Best of all, we see that the protagonist's oppressive daddy is actually enslaved to a sexually-repressed monk person, who sounds like Satan. And now he wants the protagonist to himself, after boasting about having led him and his remaining friends into a trap. The protagonist and his daddy fight. The son is zapped with a lot of blue energy; he flits about in pain. The father is a bit sluggish, but probably has arthritis. Lifting his boss up practically kills him. Oh, wait. It DOES kill him. Well, at least he becomes a ghost. His cool suit is burned. An Ewok sells the leftover wreck to J.J. Abrams and retires to Scandinavia, for reasons unknown, with a small fortune. Han has put some weight on, but we won't talk about that. Leia is Luke's sister, but we won't talk about that, either.

    Sorry. I went a little off track here.

    More seriously...

    Oh, gosh. I can't be particularly serious after that.

    But one of the shocking things about Anakin turning on the younglings; ONE of the shocking things...

    You might argue that the colour blue, in Star Wars, has never quite been put to such evil purposes than in that moment. Even taking into account the prior film's slaughter event. The fact that blue is strongly associated with Padme, the person Anakin is meant to ostensibly be "saving" through these actions, makes it remarkably perverse.

    In addition, one can say that Anakin is essentially slaying his own innocence. And the Maul-ish, assassin quality he has when he stands in the doorway, silent, hesitating, adds to the grim feeling. But a weirder thing to think about than all of the above is...

    The Jedi are the ones "killing" children in the PT. The Jedi are all younglings; they are all enslaved to the same structure. It's like the pain of their choices, their lives, their doings, coming back to them. Anakin's dark deeds are the dark deeds of an entire order -- or disorder -- in microcosm.

    ROTS is a powerful addition to the whole saga. In a way, it practically *is* the whole saga. IMO, anyway.
  5. Mostly Handless Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2017
    star 4
    It shocked me the first time I watched the movie, but in retrospect it is not out of character. You never actually see the slaughter on film (which would have been inappropriate imo) and for Sith Lords killing lots of people, regardless of age seems to be part of the job description.

    Also Rey's forceback in TFA implies that Kylo has committed similar atrocities. You can just about make out bodies surrounding the KoR here.
    [IMG]
    Sith Lord 2015 likes this.
  6. Darthman92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2016
    star 4

    Same. I remember when watching it on home video for the first time that the moment his lightsaber ignited mine freaked out and left the room. And she seems to have had trouble with the movie since. It's a haunting scene no doubt, but I've always just appreciated that Lucas didn't pull his punches in showing a man becoming evil. It's neither cool nor pretty, it is tragic and terrifying.
    Last edited by Darthman92, Feb 17, 2017
  7. darklighter99 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2011
    star 5
    I don't why it would change my perception of him. Is Anakin killing younglings really that worst from anything else he did as Vader?
  8. DARTHLINK Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2005
    star 4
    Considering this is the same man who openly admitted to slaughtering Tusken women and children, and would later stand and watch as an entire world blew up, this was not surprising to me. It WOULD have been surprising if he spared the kids and showed them a secret way out of the Temple with a warning to not cross paths with him again.
  9. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 4
    I loved the scene. Really adds to Vader's character because he is evil and a killer.

    I know others who are digusted by it and hate it because how can someone who did this get into "heaven" in ROTJ?

    Which makes little sense to me as all the other people he killed don't count? All the Jedi and erm... everyone?

    There is no "God" as such in the Force only the light and dark and Anakin went to the dark and became Vader and then went back to the light and was Anakin once again.

    That is the mythology.
  10. Darthman92 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2016
    star 4


    I've seen that debate come up a lot with Anakin and what it seems to come down to is how one personally views the idea of redemption. It really comes down to the debate about whether it's ones actions or being that finally decide how they should be judged. Whether there should be a tit for tat compensation for each individual crime or if it's ones character and intent that matters in the end. Or with the first option more specifically trying to calculate the particular weight of each sins versus each good deed in comparison to each other and trying to practically figure out mathematically whether a person has redeemed themselves, given that a number of people were okay with the idea of Anakin being redeemed the way he was in spite of everything we saw and knew he had done prior in the Original Trilogy that seems to be the idea there. Lucas it would seem, and myself I might add, come down on it being the latter option but would footnote it for myself at least by saying that the true conviction of one's character/being is best expressed through action even if it doesn't quite match those aforementioned "mathematics", which I don't think it ever really did all things considered, and think George might agree. Action like willingly giving up your life in order to save your son's and destroy the dark overlord terrorizing the galaxy who's attacking him, which is exactly what we get here. Sorry for the rambling, I just think it's an interesting topic. I agree that it must be said that we have to look at it through the lens of this story and author's own rules and mythos at the end of the day.
    Last edited by Darthman92, Feb 18, 2017
    Mostly Handless and Qui-Riv-Brid like this.
  11. DBPirate Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2015
    star 3
    It doesn't seem out of character in my opinion. He was just that obsessed with saving Padmé that he followed the Emperor's every order. Eventually, he does realize his mistake.

    But like @MrMojoRisin said, he didn't have any second thoughts about forcing Leia to watch a planet with her family and presumably more than a million others get destroyed.
  12. oncafar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2017
    star 4
    it's been so long... i will try to remember my immediate reaction and feelings afterwards rather than my later rationalizations. emotionally it made me dislike him more and see him as pathetic and cowardly. this is mainly because of my own judgments about killing children: the helpless and innocent. but all of this was overridden by my expectations about a story in which darth vader hunts down and kills adult jedi. watching the storm troopers kill the adult jedi and anakin kill helpless children really got my goat tbh. i liked my expectations for the story from the mouth of mr. certain-point-of-view himself in anh better. i know that vader could hunt down any survivors of order 66 (i squawked at calling it that... *cringes*) later... but it would be way more dramatic if vader who was like insanely more powerful than the other jedi hunted them all down, losing his limbs along the way. i just was far too attached to that story and found rots so watered down in comparison.

    in my later rationalizations i saw that really there was no need to react more strongly to him killing the kids in rots than him killing that entire village of sand people in aotc. he's already a child killer, and now he reprises his role. it was also fitting since he's trying to save padme who is pregnant. and it's his son luke who later redeems him. vader as a "child killer" and everything that means, has grown on me. i think that from the OT i wanted to see vader as a bit less terrible than he was, and appreciated seeing that no, he's as terrible as you get basically. so even though the vader story has been watered down, the extent of his evil has not.

    eta: i suppose my only other issue is that we're supposed to see anakin as a "good man" if i am to believe obi-wan... and from aotc to rots, it's difficult to see him as a good person. i see him as a person with good *in* him, but i can't call someone who slaughters an entire village a good person. obi-wan however didn't know about that.
    Last edited by oncafar, Feb 18, 2017
  13. Snax Rebo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2017
    star 4
    Nah. I always saw Vader as "evil", so it worked for me. That being said, it's a stupid scene.
  14. L110 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2014
    star 3
    Well, yes, that is the purpose of the scene.
  15. Emperor Ferus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2016
    star 3
    The atrocity of that scene is very understated and under appreciated. I've always found it odd that Alderaan rarely comes up in these conversations about Vader's misdeeds.

    Still, we don't see Alderaan's people as the planet explodes, and Vader cuts up the younglings very intimately. Remember what the Joker said in the Dark Knight; "Do you know why I prefer to use a knife? Guns are to quick. They don't let us savor the little emotions."
    Last edited by Emperor Ferus, Feb 19, 2017
    Darth Basin and Mostly Handless like this.
  16. oncafar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2017
    star 4
    i imagined vader killed all the kids "efficiently." i didn't see him as like the joker... the emperor is more like the joker. regarding alderaan, vader is complicit. i don't know his actual thoughts though. on the one hand he doesn't seem too fond of the death star. i don't have all the written accounts of what he was or might have been thinking. i know he was fine with using the death star on the moon the rebel base was on.

    i think one difference is personal vs. impersonal.

    but i don't really want to write off any of vader's evil either.
  17. Snax Rebo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2017
    star 4
    Vader isn't one to torture little kids. He kills quickly and aggressively.
  18. Mostly Handless Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2017
    star 4
    I believe GL has said that using the Dark side is much like going into a darkened room, and the longer you spend in it the harder it is to return to the light (outside the room). This makes sense if you consider Vader's known atrocities (in the movies)...

    1. Tusken Raiders: Anakin admits to slaughtering an entire village, including children then breaks-down in remorse. In this case the murders committed were an act of psychotic rage, due to the death of his mother in which (at least some) Tusken's had been complicit.
    2. Jedi Kids: This is an act of cold blood. Unlike the Tusken camp, this time Anakin/Vader is fully aware of what he is doing. While he does show some remorse later on Mustafar, his earlier holocaust has clearly made his second easier. He has killed children once and can now do it again.
    3. Alderaan: Vader shows no remorse, he is now entirely given over to the 'Dark Side' (within the darkened room).
    Sith Lord 2015, theraphos and oncafar like this.
  19. Emperor Ferus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2016
    star 3
    There are many sources that say this, but Anakin, at least at that time, felt no remorse for killing the Tusken Raiders. He cried because he had failed to save his mother. He held prejudice for Tuskens long afterwards too (example: A Sharad Hett).


    "I HATE THEM!!!"
  20. Mostly Handless Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2017
    star 4
    Fair point about the remorse stuff. I believe the first issue of the New-Cannon Vader comic implied that Vader destroyed a Tusken camp while visiting Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. So clearly he never forgave them for Shmi's death.

    That said I still feel his massacre in AOTC made his ROTS massacre in the Jedi temple easier, since he'd already crossed that line once before.
    Last edited by Mostly Handless, Feb 19, 2017
    Darth Basin and Sith Lord 2015 like this.
  21. oncafar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2017
    star 4
    i thought he felt remorse in aotc. but his hatred was stronger than his remorse, and i think part of his pain was that he knew that. he knew that not only had he done something terrible, but something terrible and altering had occurred within him. the remorse is in the background.
  22. DanielUK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 6
    It made the redemption difficult to accept in RoTJ.
    Darth Basin likes this.
  23. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4
    It was incredibly shocking to watch unfold on-screen for the first time, even though logically I (and everyone else, for that matter) should have realized that of course Darth Vader must have done many things of such a nature on his path to the absolute lowest depths of evil.


    Yeah, him staring at his hands in horror as he quaveringly admits to killing them all is pretty clear evidence that he's experiencing strong feelings of remorse over what he's done. It's only as he goes on that he starts feeling the need to justify his actions, and that his hate for the Tuskens overwhelms his remorse, only to subside once more at the end as he collapses to the floor crying that he should be better than this.

    He's incredibly conflicted in that scene. He's a good person who's feeling remorse over his sins, but all the while he can feel his dark side within him rising up and threatening to take over.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Feb 19, 2017
  24. Strongbow Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2014
    star 4
    Well, yes and no. We already knew he was a murderous psychopath from AOTC. One of the biggest problems I had with AOTC is how Padme accepted that so easily, and how none of the other Jedi sensed the Dark around Anakin. So we knew he had that in him. However, it DID bother how willingly he took on this task, so quickly after becoming Sidious's apprentice. It took me out of the film just a tad, but it emphasizes the depths of the Darkness in his soul. It made me think of Darth Vader as more despicable than terrifying though. I was of the opinion he should have ordered the Clone Troopers to do it. Since then, I've tried to place it into a larger context of his fall.
  25. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    I felt it was sort of abrupt the first time watching it, too, I admit. But of course, whatever you happen to think of it, Lucas's intention was that it be a very abrupt, surprising thing (a "hard right turn" is how I think he describes it). And I think it probably had to be that way; if it was a more gradual and sort of piecemeal process, it wouldn't come across as nearly so shocking when it happens.

    The way it works is that it all comes across as very abrupt on the surface, but if you pay attention to things on a more subtle level you can figure out that Anakin's psychology has been eroding at a pretty steady pace for a long while, and he's just been hiding it because on a personal subjective level he wants to be good instead of bad, even though on a more objective philosophical level he's not really so sure that there is such a thing as good or bad anymore. This is basically the takeaway I get from the way Hayden himself has described Anakin's mindset going into ROTS.

    But of course this either works for you or it doesn't. It obviously doesn't work for everybody.
Moderators: heels1785, Seagoat