Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by WhinyLuke, Sep 22, 2012.
No, I'm an Elf.
Ah! Sorry about that.
Some of us are elves
A new argument, please. That one is about 10 years old, and if I had a dollar for every time I've heard it over that time frame, I could buy an even newer system on which to play my PT and Indy Blu-Rays.
I'm not making an argument. I like PT Anakin fine, I just don't see the logic in illustrating Darth Vader's redemption by having him appear in the form of another mass murderer.
I won't even get into the lack of logic in describing a character that you claim to like, the way you described Anakin above, because it's not worth it.
However, I'm not sure why you are assuming that the Anakin ghost who appeared in place of Shaw, was the Anakin from Mustafar--who had already pledged himself to the Dark Side, taken the name of Vader and therefore was not "at his best" as the PP described. The only incarnation of Anakin who had committed all the deeds you described, was the one who appeared on Mustafar. And he was Vader. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intention of using the Hayden image; without being inside Lucas' head, I'm assuming that he was showing the Anakin from the opening scene of ROTS, only without the flight helmet.
Perhaps you should take your own advice.
He's already a mass murderer by the opening scene of ROTS, though, via the Tusken massacre. And then even before he officially turns to the dark side he executes an unarmed prisoner of war and cuts off Samuel L. Jackson's hand. Anakin always had some pretty serious issues, even before he started killing children and betraying everyone who cared about him. Using the image of that deeply troubled young person to represent an old man's redemption makes no sense to me. Lucas should have just replaced Old Anakin with Jake Lloyd.
DE: Killer argument, man
_Catherine_: Alright, if you do like Anakin in the PT, then maybe you'll accept/understand this reasoning: Regardless of what he looks like in ROTJ, he has still committed those crimes. Nothing can make them undone. He is guilty as charged.
The point, though (and I know that you already know this), is that he repents. He has gone past Vader and learned from his mistakes.
Now, you might argue that the old-looking ghost is a better illustration of that and I won't say that you're wrong. As I said earlier, I like both versions. My take on the Hayden ghost, though, is that it's supposed to remind us of the good man that Anakin was before his mind got twisted around. It's an illustration of the fact that he is once again Anakin Skywalker, whom we first got to know in the PT.
Everyone may not agree that he ever was a good man and everyone may not be inclined to "forgive" him, but that's beside the point. The film never tells us to forgive him. It doesn't even say that Luke forgives him - or that he ever would if he knew what he did to Padmé. That doesn't change the fact, though, that Anakin did stop the horror. He went from being the devil's apprentice to finally doing the right thing. He is forever flawed, but he certainly went out on a high note.
Whether his ghost reminds you of his flaws or his good qualities is entirely up to you. I, personally, see a man who has learned from his mistakes and is painfully aware of his past deeds.
Anakin - he remembers
Agreed. For people who look at Anakin above the age of 10 and only see his flaws or negative deeds, I'm not sure why the ghost image even matters. The point is not, and never was, that he erased what happened in the past. That's impossible, even for a Jedi. And the "Anakin was redeemed vs 'No he wasn't!'" argument is another dead bantha that we need to not resurrect and beat again, because it's been repeated ad nauseum with little to no consensus or mutual understanding.
But as you said, he did stop the horror. He could have allowed Palpatine to kill Luke and the Empire to continue. He chose not to do so, and to me that was more powerful than his choices in ROTS. As I said, I'm fine with the Shaw ghost, I even like it, but to me the Hayden ghost can also represent the idea that he would like the chance to go back in time and never pledge himself to Palpatine in the first place--even though that would be impossible.
During the course of the OT, Vader went from someone who was a "young Jedi" when he turned to someone who was too old for that.
The Truth - it hurts.
Ghosty Gramps is a mass murderer as well no matter how many Werther's he eats in the Jedi spirit world.
The above is also known as the "OT VADER DID IT TOO!!!" excuse.
Excuse for what? In IV-VI alone dear old dad tortured his daughter, cut off his son's hand, and oh yeah, murdered an entire planet. Having a change of heart at the end was nice, but doesn't change the fact that Gramps had some severe issues throughout his life.
Excuse for his PT actions, both as Anakin and as "Vader". ( Though we're often told that his actions as (still) Anakin - Tusken massacre, executing Dooku - somehow "don't count")
And, since ROTJ, we've been told that the "change of heart at the end" was all that mattered. So, if Vader's OT actions were such a 'stumbling block' to some of the audience* vis-a-vis his later 'salvation', there was a solution for that: DON'T MAKE ANAKIN FORCE-GHOST AT ALL...PERIOD.
Having said that...if you're going to Force-ghost Anakin, have him:
1. look like the same guy who finally made things right in the end, instead of looking like the guy who fouled them up in the first place.
2. actually look like he can easily be Luke's dad, instead of looking like he could be Luke's younger brother.
*and it was for some, back when ROTJ first came out.
Or don't see ghosting as salvation. Which is how I prefer to see it, given that young or old ghost I see the entirety of Anakin's life there, not just a sentimental parting snapshot.
Logically then, the "Old Man"/"Ghosty Gramps" guy/Shaw ghost shows the 'entirety' of Anakin's life there, if you will (or the 'arc' thereof), while the "Younger brother"/Hayden ghost is more the "sentimental parting snapshot".
As for "just don't see ghosting as salvation"...remember, it was the pro-Hayden ghost side that came up with the justification that Anakin reverts back to the younger version, because unlike Obi-Wan and Yoda, he had turned to the dark side, which "disqualifies" him from looking how Obi-Wan and Yoda do. Unfortunately, this view seems to forget that under the same rubric, having "turned to the dark side as a younger man" should also "disqualify" him from Force-ghosting in the first place . Having the younger, PT version of Anakin as a Force ghost is just trying to have one's cake and eat it too, much as ROTJ's "certain point of view" is (i.e. Lucas' un-subtle way of having "Vader-is-Luke's-father" and "Vader-killed-Luke's-father" both be 'true' simultaneously, because he likes both ideas equally).
Younger ghost brings to my mind a man who was troubled in some ways, heroic in others. In terms of pure physical recognition, older ghost gives me an idealized version of an older Anakin that never existed, and thus rings a bit false to the essence of the character. I'll take the former and its note of melancholic dissonance if I have to choose one. Although, like I said, either way I ultimately see his whole life, not just the end, so the arc is not dependent on a strict sense of traditional continuity i.e. we meet Anakin as a happy younger boy, leave him has a smiling, kindly old gentleman.
I am not a member of any camp, so I won't speak for interpretations that are not my own.
It should be possible to have this discussion without getting into judgmental ism, philosophical discussions about redemption, or general "but this character suuuuxxxx!" posting. If it's not possible, we're all wasting our time because there can be little to no consensus on those topics.
"Lack of consensus" shouldn't be a hindrance for having these discussions.
"A waste of time" (rhetorically speaking), on the other hand, would be trying to explain to someone that the Shaw ghost - the "old man" - was meant to be Luke's father, when that someone didn't apprehend this the first time around.
Not a hindrance to beginning them, but at some point I think it's necessary to acknowledge that the discussion isn't going anywhere (except maybe downhill or in circles) and there is therefore no reason to continue it; agree to disagree and move along.
I'm pretty sure anyone who has been paying attention in ROTJ understands that the ghost is Luke's father, so I'm not sure what your point is there.
Read post #3 in this thread, by Adrian the Cool.
Now that I think about it I vaguely recall thinking "who the heck is this?" way back when I first came across the original Anakin Skywalker action figure. Wouldn't have come close to forgetting about the Ewoks or bounty hunters, though.
Since that idea is simply wrong, being obviously contradicted by any version of ROTJ, nothing is being forgotten.
Is 32 years outside the spoiler period? Better safe than sorry...
They are the same person.