PT How is Anakin's turn rushed?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Padmes_love_slave24, Aug 8, 2011.

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  1. Padmes_love_slave24 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2003
    star 2
    I often hear from some that Anakin's turn to the dark side was rushed? I think it was perfectly handled and I don't think it was rushed whatsoever. You can see from The Phantom Menace that their are glimpses of what he is going to become, his lack of patience and his attachment to his mother is well pointed out by Yoda, this may seem like a minor personality flaw but it is a fatal flaw that will lead to his downfall. If the tusken slaughter in Attack of the Clones didn't convince the audience that he is capable of turning to the dark side than I don't know what would. Even in the hanger duel with Dooku he is not out for justice he is out for blood to avenge the death of his fellow jedi. Obi Wan had no intention of killing him but wanted answers and to bring him to justice and simply end the war which was not Anakin's objective. Throughout revenge of the sith he is portrayed as paranoid dreading that deja vu would happen to him all over again by losing Padme as he lost his mother. He kills Dooku with a small amount of remorse even though he knows it is wrong. He often voices his displeasure with the Jedi council over not being granted the rank of master, he has been given no reason to trust Master Windu or the other jedi so his turn as believable. Throughout the prequels we see Palpatine be far more reassuring to Anakin than any Jedi other than Obi-Wan. I want to know what more some wanted to show his transition from a likable selfless person to a ruthless villain, because to me it was handled fine!
  2. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I agree, this is a common PT criticism that I don't think watching the PT actually supports. Another similar one is "the PT made fear of losing Padme his ONLY reason for turning."

  3. BigBoy29 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2004
    star 3
    The scene itself it rushed ...

    Right after Palps chucks Windu out of the window.

    Anakin is strong, HE JUST SAVED PALP's bacon.

    Then, very suddenly the scene (thus the story) turns into a rushed sequence.

    The homo-erotic pleas from the kneeling position, the "naming" of Darth Vader in like 3 seconds, etc.

    It was rushed.
  4. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Yeah, some of the dialogue should have been less submissive, and the killing of children was a bit much. That should have been handled by the clones. But, he was desperate, after all. Look what happened the last time when he acted too late. And Mace Windu acting the way he did did not help the situation. Actually, the whole strict Jedi code thing is what started this mess in the first place. :mad:
  5. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    And Mace Windu acting the way he did did not help the situation. Actually, the whole strict Jedi code thing is what started this mess in the first place.


    Although Mace's decision to attempt to kill Palpatine was wrong, I still place most of the blame on Anakin for not following the Jedi Master's order to remain at the Jedi Temple.
  6. Eternity85 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    This i agree with; and i believe that this is what most people are referring to when they say that Anakins turn was rushed. Like just a few hours after pledging his allegiance to Sidious and the Sith, he went to kill all the Jedi. It didnt work very well IMO.
  7. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I don't really understand what people mean by this. How exactly would it work better to have Anakin wait a couple of hours or days to kill the Jedi after pledging his himself to Palpatine? Doesn't it make the most sense for him to act immediately, once the threat has been made known and he's damned himself by helping kill Mace Windu? This is also when Anakin is at his most desperate and emotionally vulnerable. Allowing time to pass would give him the opportunity to collect himself and reconsider what his options are. By have the attack on the Jedi follow the turn immediately, however, Palpatine can take advantage of Anakin's more malleable state to essentially trap him within the Dark Side. It becomes a snowball effect -- with Anakin becoming drawn into Palpatine's circle more and more inexorably every minute so that he can no longer extract himself by the time he realizes what he's done. Hence why on Mustafar, he begins to cry -- it's the first time since he's pledged himself that he doesn't have a directive from his Master and can think about his choices and actions...and what he's become as a result.
  8. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 3
    I think the turn works better on subsequent viewings. The first time you are kind of going "what, no way", but when the whole movie has sunk in and you are watching it again it feels much more natural. He essentially sells his soul to Sidious, which is my reasoning behind accepting the seemingly fast change, and premature Jedicide. Also, it should be noted that Anakin has killed other Jedi first, offscreen, before he kills the younglings. You have to keep in mind, Anakin started using the darkside somewhat in AOTC, and of course the more you use it, the further in you go. I don't find it that rushed, he's been slowly sliding the whole movie, then comes a fast change. It works for me.
    black_saber likes this.
  9. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    Yes. Or illustrated another way... if you fall from a high height into the ocean, it may be a long fall on the way down, but there still comes an exact point when you break through the surface of the water and end up on the other side.
  10. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    Exactly.
    The misconception comes because people tend to think about that scene as the "turn scene", but it's not. Anakin doesn't really turn to the Dark Side in that scene, it's a long process. After killing Mace he ACCEPTS and pledges himself to the Dark Side in order to gain power to save Padme, but he still believes he will (somehow) be able to come back -therefore, he's not really turned.
    The turn happens gradually, throughout ROTS: he obeys Palpatine because, after killing Mace (he doesn't really kill Mace anyway, he was just protecting the "weakest" one: Palpatine)he has crossed the line, he has to go to the temple and kill the Jedi, and he cannot stop to think about his actions. Then, he starts to rationalize what he's just done ("the Jedi were trying to kill the Chancellor, they were corrupt...") and ultimately, he is unable to distinguish between right and wrong: the dark side has consumed him (he has turned).
  11. Eternity85 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    Many good arguments, that i also agree with.

    I assume however that everyone is aware of the fact that Anakins fall was a long process. What i still didnt like, was the actual moment of his turn and that it wasnt intense enough. Imagine if Anakin had to battle Mace and then tap so deeply into the darkside that he lost himself in the moment; kind of like Luke in ROTJ, only that Anakin would take it three steps further. Anakin is still "aware" when he is in Palpatines office. I always imagined Anakin had been pushed over the edge fully before he started his Jedi-raid. But it was not really until he was burnt that he was truly "gone".

    The way Anakin broke the surface was by a mistake, an impulse. If he had been truly angry and had felt the hate for the Jedi and Mace; truly convinced that this was right. Then it would have made the transition from Unstable Jedi to Jedi-killer a lot easier to explain. But it was no real intensity; no real hate or anger. Only resignation. I just feel like it was to big of a leap to go from that to kill the Jedi in the Temple.
  12. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    I do agree with all of you guys. It was a long process that envitably made him turn. It didn't happen all in one movie, and although he betrayed the Jedi Knights on the promise of more power, I understood why he would do it for Padme`. It didn't matter that he sided with the Sith so easily because, he was going to betray Sidious after he got what he wanted from him, anyway. This was all emphasized in the movie, but some choose not to see it.

    The only gripe I had was the dialogue seemed a little awkward, and the killing of younglings made him seem like he was some stupid brainwashed extremist. I can see the clone troopers doing this. They were programmed to be shallow soldiers, anyway. But a hero like Anakin Skywalker? I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone would go to that extreme, not even someone as desperate as Anakin.8-}

    I had always wondered this before. Did Anakin kill all the younglings himself, or did he have the clones execute them? They didn't seem like they were found dead in the Council Chamber. And Yoda said that one of them had been run through by lightsaber, but he didn't say if they all died that way.
  13. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I think this sums up my view - he started slipping a long time ago - when he gave in to his darker emotional impulses.

    But his acceptance of the dark and subsequent on-screen almost-on-screen killing of the younglings was too abrupt for a man who knew he had pledged himself to the devil. Even a few seconds of him battling for the rage to sustain his horrible choice would have sufficed. (IMHO if I must specifically so state.)

    It was too much like:

    Sids: Kill your family - you'll save your wife.

    Anakin: HOrrible choice - okay. For Padme. I have nothing left but her.

    There needs some anger OR him battling against his better instincts. Not necessarily muttering, "For Padme, for Padme" but some conflict.

    Though he is in a certain state of numbness - there needs to be just a smidgen of transition to cold-blooded slayer.

    Wish I could explain this better.
  14. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Was there a deleted between Anakin's turn and the temple raid that shows that he was fighting with himself?
  15. MasterDillon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2010
    star 2
    I think that the quality of the PT itself was rushed, and could have been better, but Anakin's fall was most certainly not rushed. They had all kinds of stuff Anakin did leading up to the eventual downfall.
  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Valairy_Scot: On the younglings scene: To me, even that brief scene was way, way, way over the top. It took me a few years to get over being disgusted with Lucas for that scene and the Padme choke scene, which I also thought was way over the top. Again, to me--seeing him march on the Temple with the clones, with the transition to the view of the Temple being on fire, was a gracious plenty. We know what happened in the Temple, we know from the OT and from Order 66 that the Jedi were wiped out and Anakin helped. We know that he turned to the Dark Side, and we know he betrayed the Jedi. I have no idea why Lucas thought that it was necessary to show him about to murder children, and show him attacking his pregnant wife, to make him "dark enough." He was plenty dark enough without that.

    That being said, I did see resignation, or maybe desperation is a better word. He looked a bit drunk on power when he marched into the Temple with the clones, but in the Council chambers with those kids, I saw something different--he was not angry at them; what I saw was more along the lines of "Damn, I really don't want to do this, but the alternative is letting Padme die, and that's an alternative I can't take." I saw a similar conflict right before he killed Dooku--he knew he was facing an unarmed prisoner, but he believed Palpatine when Palpatine told him that Dooku was too dangerous to be left alive, and he hated Dooku for taking his arm. I read a lot into Anakin's eyes and facial expressions, which is one reason I enjoyed Hayden Christensen's acting so much, because he knows how to be expressive without using so many words.

    However...that is also why I get so much more out of the novelizations. When a story has a character as conflicted and complex as Anakin was, it is much easier to get inside that character's head in a book; there is only so much that can be shown on film.
  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    To be honest, anakinfansince1983, Anakin's murder of the younglings isn't that shocking (upon reflection) from a story-telling perspective because it was inevitable. As soon as we saw the younglings in AOTC, along with Yoda's words in ROTJ that Luke is the last Jedi, their fate was sealed -- they had to die. Lucas could have chosen not to make Anakin directly kill them I suppose, but either way, Anakin would have knowingly joined a regime that killed children, ordered his men to kill them, or have had to kill them himself. Delegating the task to others doesn't, in my view, reduce his responsibility. In fact, it is in some ways worse, because you are asking someone (who has no choice in the matter) to do something you are unwilling to do yourself. Is any dictator less guilty than the men under his command simply because he is not the one to pull the trigger? I certainly don't think so. I thought it was brave of Lucas to include the scene, showing us exactly what Anakin is doing and not white-washing it over with a veneer of "coolness."

    The attack on Padme, in my view, has always been to establish that the Dark Side is not something that can coexist with love. Had Anakin not attacked her, then I think it would be too easy to accuse Padme of being the "reason" Anakin fell and to delegate blame to her. Without the choke, it would make it seem that Anakin's love for her was the cause of his fall when, in fact, it is love that saved him. Attachment, selfishness, greed, and fear of loss caused Anakin to turn, but not love for his wife -- love would have told him she wouldn't want others to die for her sake. The choke makes it clear that this is the case and I think it's an important distinction.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Oh, I know. And that's part of what is frustrating about ROTS, that Anakin doesn't consider for a second whether Padme would want him to go to those lengths to save her life. And he actually seemed shocked (and infuriated) that, after he had sacrificed his soul for her, she rejected him. It just seems that there would be a way to convey that without the choke.

    As far as the younglings, yes, Anakin was guilty regardless, and we knew that he helped wipe out all the Jedi, including the youngest ones. As far as delegating, I would have been fine with him having the clones do the dirty work (and off screen), but it would not absolve him of the guilt if he gave the order instead of carrying it out himself.

    Honestly I gave very little thought to the youngling scene in AOTC beyond the idea that sometimes the vision of children is clearer than that of adults, making some insights more obvious to them. And I liked the way Yoda used Obi-Wan's question as a teachable moment--as a teacher, I found that to be an awesome moment of pedagogy. Yoda should be running some university education classes. :p

    I found the "in your face" method to be over the top, not the fact that Anakin did it--the fact that Lucas decided to use the "Look at this! He killed kids!" method instead of leaving it implied. It was bold of him to show that evil isn't cool, but it is really sad that he felt he had to be bold to show that evil isn't cool. "Evil isn't cool" should really be an obvious fact.

    Same with the Padme choke scene: we knew that she was rejecting him, we knew they would be going their separate ways, and we knew, based on Anakin's dream, that Padme would die in childbirth. To me the choke wasn't necessary, just have Obi-Wan get off the ship and start the fight.
  19. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I can't agree that it's over the top. Probably because I've always found the march on the Jedi Temple to be more of a "badass" scene than a scene that invokes disgust with evil. Anakin marching calmly at the head of a column of soldiers makes him look in command and control -- it's a classic Vader moment, but not one which produces the kind of visceral reaction that the younglings scene does. One of the issues that Lucas always had with Vader, from what I've read, is that he was perceived as "cool" despite Lucas's attempts to make him more tragic and pathetic in ROTJ (by showing him as an old, decayed man). Without the younglings scene, you're basically left with a striking military commander leading an assault. Having his targets be children, though, makes the entire situation disquieting and reinforces the notion of Anakin's treachery. He's turning his back on those who look to him for protection.

    See, I've always felt the scene was necessary to elucidate Anakin's motives, not Padme's. She forgives him regardless (and is likely more upset about his murder of children than his attack on herself). The choke is necessary to establish how far Anakin has veered from his original goals -- it demonstrates that while the threat to Padme's life was the tipping point for Anakin, it was never the only reason he sought the Dark Side. His issues with control, power, and respect go a long way in steering him down that path. It also cements Anakin's betrayal of himself -- of his rejection of a future as "Anakin Skywalker" and instead reshaping himelf into "Darth Vader" who doesn't feel or love with anywhere near the same intensity. It is the act that, above all else, Anakin can't forgive himself for, so he trapped in the Dark Side.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I get what you're saying, and I think part of my disengagement is that I never once, even for a few nanoseconds, saw Vader as "cool" or "badass"--the concept is so far from my line of thinking that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. Vader disgusted me in ANH and most of ESB, and in ROTJ I saw him as sad and pathetic; I felt sorry for him and then wanted to know what happened to him to get him to that point. And I say that as someone who grew up on the OT, I was 27 years old when TPM premiered, so I may be unique to my generation, I don't know.

    So I understand what Lucas was trying to do, and most of my dislike has to do with the way that I am wired as opposed to any criticism of his storytelling technique. As I said, I just find it sad that he felt he had to go that far in order to prove that there was nothing "cool" or "badass" about Vader.
  21. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    It did show that tapping the energies of the dark side does corrupt the mind quickly. Yoda always said that.
  22. Eternity85 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2008
    star 3
    I always assumed Anakin chased the younglings out of hiding and into the hall; then the CT took care of them. Except for maybe a few of the more resilient ones who he had to put dowm with his lightsaber. Remember that the Jedi killed with a lightsaber in the hall was a Padawan, as Yoda mentioned to Obi Wan. But i doubt he actually had the stomach to cut the younglings directly down himself. I do not believe that was his intention when he went into the temple. But the young ones were in hiding, and only Anakin could sense where they were.

    But as someone else posted, Anakin was responsible for the horror either way! This is just the way i interpreted the scene.
  23. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    This is an interesting observation, and the distinction between youngling and padawan is significant. Maybe the scene could have been more clear (if it was indeed intended to show what you describe) if Anakin had not ignited his lightsaber in front of the younglings; this would surely have bothered fewer viewers too. We know why he is there, so we don't necessarily need to see the lightsaber turn on... and so it makes sense that he could have led / chased the younglings out of there to let the clone troopers take care of them. But as you and others have said, that is not really any less horrific.

    Either way, the whole scene was surely difficult to find the right balance on. Keep in mind we've got other posters here who wanted to actually see him kill younglings, and to see him kill more Jedi (like Jocasta Nu for some reason). But if he wasn't actually intended to be the one who did kill the younglings, and instead he just killed some padawans, that does throw a wrench into that view.
  24. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    This is of course just opinion and I respect yours, but that scene was implied. We never saw Anakin kill any Jedi on-screen. None. No adults, no younglings.

    I'm not sure how I would have shot that scene had I been GL, but it probably would have been similar - maybe a close up of Anakin's face or eyes.

    In order:

    1. I didn't see anything in his march into the Temple and I don't recall seeing anything like that with the younglings.

    2. I did see that in his eyes with Dooku, you're right - he was all but begging for direction and he got it from Palpatine.

    3. I am a huge fan of underacting or however one might wish to describe the subtleties in gesture and looks. Which is one reason, fun as it was, I found Sids over-the-top in a couple of scenes while in others - oh, that opera scene - shivers. That is one reason ROTS made me a Ewan McGregor fan (though the beard stroke in "He killed younglings" to Padme is so bad I cringe). Hayden - while I appreciate some aspects of his performance and grew to appreciate it more with additional viewings - he never quite connected with me as a well rounded person. He was wonderful as the angsty/angry young Jedi but did not get to showcase (direction? acting choices?) the lighter side of Hayden as we saw in behind the scenes footage. His portrayal tipped to far to foreshadowing his impulses (which is why I prefer TCW Anakin to film Anakin).

    Reading a good book before seeing a movie spoils most movies for me - the film becomes richer when filled in with the complexity that a good book provides.
  25. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Even I prefer TCW Anakin to film Anakin. Very much so in fact.

    I like Hayden and I think he's a decent actor, but he seems to have difficulty varying from his "specialty" role, that of the angsty emo teenager. And from what I've seen in interviews, he isn't at all like that in real life, so I find it interesting that that's the role he always plays. His Anakin is similar to his Scott Barringer (Higher Ground) and a little more understated than his Sam Monroe (Life as a House).

    I'm glad Matt Lanter's Anakin is around to show us the more fun side that we got in the speeder chase scene and the first part of ROTS.

    I should probably put a "for the sake of full disclosure" here: I literally cannot watch that scene, I get nauseated. So...I've only seen it once, six years ago in the theater. I've watched ROTS on DVD many times since then but I always fast forward over that part, and several other parts. So it is possible that my recollection of it is a bit off. I just did not see Anakin taking any pleasure in what he did.

    I've watched the Dooku scene several times though, although it also makes me a little sick.

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