CT That Old Man Anakin

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by WhinyLuke, Sep 22, 2012.

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  1. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    For me, after my primary desire to see it go back to being Shaw because this would maintain the theatrical and therefore original, historically important release of ROTJ between 1983 and 1997, you know, the one that we all thought it was meant to be for years :) Here are my reasons why I think Shaw is the better choice to be the Force ghost as the end of ROTJ:

    1. We just saw him.
    2. This has been Luke's trilogy, I think it is more appropriate to Luke's arch to see his dad and not his dad-as-brother. Also, this is still Anakin so Anakin-as-Anakin connects it to the PT and as an old man connects it to the now.
    3. This incarnation-as-Shaw is neither a direct reminder of nor tainted-as-symbol by his actions in the PT nor the OT. He never existed like this (Anakin with hair and Jedi robes) except in the Force realm and this is important because...
    4. He is now, post "all he has been through" neither his young self again nor Vader...he has disavowed it all in order to sacrifice himself for his son. He is already gaining quite a bit more than the wife he helped murder (and the thousands if not millions he slaughtered or authorized to be slaughtered) by being given immortality, not sure why he should also be able to come back as his rock star younger self! You would think he would not be attached to this version and accept "where he is now". You know, a more Zen thing...
    5. Finally, if any younger incarnation of Anakin would make any better symbolic sense, though it pains me to say it, it should have been Ep I Anakin, back when he was so annoyingly innocent you wanted to kick him when nobody was looking! At least going back to that would be more of a realization that that was the only time that he was, not really by choice or effort though, good.

    I honestly remember as a kid being so stunned by Shaw's appearance at the end because it did immediately suggest an Anakin-who-never-qutie-was, it was sort of a "what he would be now if he hadn't done all the evil". It read as something quite powerful to me then. Now, Hayden just seems like an effort to go back to the "newest and more recognizable Anakin". So I get the motivation, but I think it is a much weaker choice, much more standard in terms of what one might expect from a symbolic move on an author's part.,
  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Not sure why that should be considered "gaining" anything.

    I think you mean accept "where he never was". Because the person depicted in the original version, in your own words, never existed.

    Completely false ( and misses the point of turning to the dark side ).

    It's the difference between "what he would be now if he hadn't done all the evil" and "who he was before he did all the evil". Thus, one of these things is not substantially weaker than the other. One is a picture of a "what if"; one is what he looked like at the point when the path to that "what if" was eliminated.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Oct 17, 2012
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  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I agree. Although I'm taking bets on how quickly the first "He was evil before ROTS [insert something about Tuskens]" argument appears.

    Which goes back to my earlier statement about how some of this comes down to perception of the character, which is why there isn't much point in arguing it as character perceptions are pretty set in stone at this point.
  4. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    All I meant by my last point was that it was more "weird" or "heavy" since it was a depiction of something that was 'impossible" and had never existed. Don't think this is at all what Lucas was going for, just kind of a reaction I had as an older kid. I was milady blown away by the appearance of this healthy looking Anakin Skywalker in adult form, as if the man he was now had been born in that instant. I still think having him be something post-everything that came before makes the most sense. For him to get to go back is like a do-over in the spirit realm (that his wife and those Jedi kids don't get!). And I think it reads as way too "redeemed". I like the idea he can't go back, he hasn't earned that at all and the message is mixed to me when he gets to be young again, especially for what appears to be more or less just a way to slant the saga to the Anakin story (which is GLs thing now I know) and visually link it to the newer material. Its much less deep IMO.
    Last edited by sinkie, Oct 17, 2012
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  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I had a similar reaction when I first saw Shaw's Anakin in 1983; I was 11 at the time. However, at the risk of opening this never-to-be-settled can of worms, where I disagree with so many of the arguments against the Hayden ghost is exactly what you pointed out: I don't think it's possible for anyone to be "too redeemed" as I don't think redemption is "earned." Redemption is not a matter of erasing what happened in the past, as that is impossible to do; it's a matter of acknowledging that one was wrong and wishes that it were possible to erase what happened in the past. And that's all anyone can do, even Jedi.

    The argument that Shaw looks more fatherly to Luke whereas Hayden was Anakin at Luke's age, I understand. The argument I mentioned in the last paragraph, however, you won't get me to buy.
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  6. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    Too redeemed may not be a valid concept, but it can sure feel that way! ;) I think I meant too rewarded for the redemption. It just feels he gets a pretty sweet deal after all the craziness he's caused (minus the whole Chosen One thing because if it was all his destiny and he couldn't avoid it then I'm not sure why I, as a modern and not ancient Greek human, just watched this!)

    I mean that although he has done something pretty great, probably saving many lives, including Luke's, it just seems too "nice" that he also gets to be the more vibrant and aesthetically pleasing version of himself after his redemption. As you say, obviously, this comes down to personal feelings on the matter. I'd rather see him settling on the man he is now and "live" in the Force in the full knowledge that he can't go back and make everything right. The Anakin he was then was selfish, mixed up, not the best version of himself, so for me it just reads as 70% visual link to new films/30% symbolic that he goes back to the man he was...but good this time....see I can't make it work, but I think that's what he was going for.
    Last edited by sinkie, Oct 17, 2012
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  7. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    To me Shaw's Anakin DID exist, the time between him rejecting the Dark Side, finally letting go of his anger and hate, and his death.
    So the Shaw ghost shows the Anakin that he was in his final moments and that was a different Anakin that had existed before.
    Before the turn, Haydens Anakin, was not in balance with himself. He was confused, angry, unable to let go.
    Only at an older age did he learn to let go, to simply be. You could say that he finally became enlighted.
    His younger self could not have done what his older self did.
    Shaw, to me, represents the full character arc of Anakin Skywalker, it shows the man that was a good but troubled teenager, who did terrible things and suffered for it. The man that did go to hell but managed to find his way back up again. The proud father, that looked with gratidue at his son, whose love and faith was strong enough to pull him out of his own darkness.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  8. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    You can avoid your destiny. IIRC Lucas even says as much somewhere.

    Why is this to be considered a reward for him? Does he get to pick up ghost chicks?

    This remains true no matter what his ghost looks like.

    Of his attachment to family members?
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Oct 18, 2012
  9. Nexumaster Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 4
    Even though there was nothing wrong with Shaw as Anakin's force ghost at the end, I do like Hayden in the role mostly since it makes sense to the story, with the ghost taking the form of how he looked like before he turned to the dark side (I could go with either version, though).
  10. Admiral Volshe Winner of SWC Best Patron Award

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    I think an older looking Hayden would have been sufficient, or a younger actor than Shaw originally.
    Last edited by Admiral_Volshe, Oct 18, 2012
  11. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    Yes, Shaw was older than Guinness. Shaw was what? 77 or so in 1982 when Jedi was filmed, and Guinness was 68. Guinness, perhaps more than Shaw, would have been closer to the age-range of the ROTJ-era* Anakin (after all, Lucas had established in script meetings during the summer of '81 that Kenobi was about '70' and Anakin about '60').

    *and probably the age range of 'Annikin' from SW-era canon
  12. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    Yeah, that's a whole other angle: I always pictured Vader much older when I was young, because he and "Old Ben" were friends. I guess as a kid, and often as an adult, I assumed friend are close in age. Now why was Luke only like 20 (or so) for the trilogy? I never really questioned it. If I had done the math I guess I would have had to assume Anakin was between 40 or 50 when he had him. Not unheard of at all.

    I can easily picture a different PT where Anakin is like mid 20s in Ep I, mid 30s by Ep II (after many years in a war that involves clones) and by the time he turns to Vader he's greying a bit, 40 something at least. I think it would have been nice to see that kind of "hardening" of character happen on screen a bit rather than have it all lead up to "angry young man". My tastes anyway.
  13. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Yes, because Luke says "I've got to save you" and he responds "You already have." Plus he is calm about dying and leaving Luke or letting go of him if you will. He isn't attached to life anymore, he isn't obsessed about stopping death and he can let go of Luke and Leia as well. He thinks of her but he isn't trying to cling to life so that he can see her. That shows to me that he has let go, he cares about his children but he isn't trying to stop death from happening.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
    Last edited by Samuel Vimes, Oct 19, 2012
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  14. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Why does it make more sense? To me Anakin doesn't go back to the person he used to be, he becomes a better person than he used to be.
    The younger Anakin had either not yet faced his test aginst the Dark Side or he had but failed. Only at an older age did Anakin finally face his own darkness and manage to overcome it. The older Anakin was the one who passed the test.
    So the finale image should be of the whole life of Anakin Skywalker and not just the first part.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  15. Nexumaster Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 4
    At the moment I can't really explain it further than it makes sense thematically (in particular if the saga is viewed in order I to VI) but he might as well have still looked like the aged Anakin (Shaw) and you make a good point about that. As I said, I'm fine with either version and I find them both to make sense.
    Last edited by Nexumaster, Oct 19, 2012
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    If you're about to die, and you don't really have any choice in the matter, letting go is kind of a default.

    But then ANH saying that Vader was a young Jedi when he turned would give us Luke being born years after Anakin's turn, which is problematic.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Oct 19, 2012
  17. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    I prefer Hayden Christensen's anakin ghost. In my opinion, they should remove all of Shaw's dialogue and even his face and replace it with Hayden's. The reason is, when padme was pregnant, anakin had no idea they were twins, and, when he met them later on in life, he was a cyborg, not a normal looking human being. From an in-universe perspective, the darth vader in the original movies had an older, scarred, white-skinned, face of Hayden Christensen underneath that helmet. It makes sense to hear Hayden's voice talk to Luke, and for Luke to see that face. I know many people would interpert that as disrespecting an actor by removing him (shaw) from the films, but, it makes a lot of sense for the story.

    Also, Sebastian shaw filmed the unmasked anakin skywalker/vader in his late 70s. He was an old man. When anakin died, he was late fourties. Middle aged. So, the explanation/excuse that fans many fans say that Shaw looked Anakin's age when he died is false.

    Also, seeing old man anakin is wierd because the audience only knows anakin as either 9-24 yr old anakin in prequels, 24-48 yr old Vader in originals, or unmasked Anakin/Vader, with the bald, burned, pale, face. The last 2 options are out. We can't have a vader ghost in suit, and he has to look normal and healthy as a ghost. Having a young man Anakin is best, because, anakin finds out that padme was going to have kids, but, he became a cyborg space dictator and met them later on in life, through a mask and helmet. He saw Luke with his own eyes as a middle aged disfigured man.

    It reminds us that darth vader was the same person as the long-haired, young adult, anakin skywalker, luke and leia's father and jedi, from the prequels.

    If anakin never became darth vader, he would look normal and non-cyborg, and he and padme would raise luke and leia happily ever after. And anakin, looking like hayden christensen, would raise baby luke and leia. Having anakin's ghost look the way it did before Luke and leia were born makes him seem more fatherly.

    Luke seeing old anakin's ghost isn't as exciting as him seeing young anakin's ghost and young anakin's ghost seeing luke, leia, han solo, and lando, is awesome.
  18. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    [
    Wrong, people can panic, scream that they don't want to die and generally freak out. Beg that someone save their lives and stop death. Which was Anakins desire in the PT. Anakin did none of this and given his earlier desire to stop death, hisacceptance here shows how he has changed. He even asked Luke to remove his helmet sp that he could see him with his own eyes. It is not directly said but it could be that removing the helmet caused Anakin to die more quickly.
    Also don't forget, Anakin picked op Palpatine and threw him down the shaft, knowing that this would most likely kill him.
    So he accepted death and that he might save Luke's life but he would still be parted from him.

    [/QUOTE]

    That depends on what the average age of a Jedi is. If the average age of a Jedi is around 60-70 years old then a 45 year old Jedi could be considered "young" in relation to the others. For ex the median age of Presidents of the USA is around 55 years, so a President that is around 42-43 might be called "the young President..."

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  19. JimRaynor55 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 3
    I support this change because Shaw just doesn't make sense in light of all we were shown in the prequels. Arguably, he doesn't even make sense given what we know from the OT.

    As others pointed out, Shaw was a few years from eighty when ROTJ came out. I never paid much attention to him when watching the movie, so it didn't bug me. Looking at him though and just going by his looks, I would estimate his age to be at least in his sixties.

    As the original poster in this thread pointed out, Anakin never, ever grew into adulthood looking like this. So Shaw's appearance becomes an inexplicable mystery, forcing any inquisitive audience member to assume that Anakin's ghost must have guessed at an elderly appearance he never had. It's neater to just show Anakin reverting to what he was before his flaw.

    Now, getting back to OT-only information, we know that Anakin is younger than Obi-Wan. He was Obi-Wan's student, and during their duel in ANH he insults his former master as an "old man." That would be a pretty weak insult, if in fact they were around the same age. I always interpreted Vader as someone in his forties.
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  20. Sistros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010
    star 6
    there are two threads on this now?

    well ok then:

    Shaw for me:

    - Looks proud looking at Luke with fathers eyes

    - is recognised by Luke (he took his helmet off not hours earlier)

    - looks better with Alec

    - isn't reverted back to an unhappier time for himself
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  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Who's he going to beg? Who's around that could stop his death? Surely not Luke. Plagueis and Sidious are gone.

    This seems doubtful.
  22. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Reason for this?
    We don't see ALL the jedi that existed around the time of the PT. Of those that we do see, we have Yoda, who is VERY old so he'll raise the average.
    Qui-Gon and Mace both look well in their 40's maybe 50's.The non-human jedi are impossible to give an age for, they could be around 40-50 or several hundered years old, we don't know.
    Bottmline, Vader age was given in reference to other Jedi. So until we have some idea what age a "young Jedi" would be, we can't say for sure that it means Vader was in his 40's in ANH.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  23. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    Shaw made sense for over 20 years until Hayden was inserted. The people that had problems with Shaw objected to him even being a ghost in the first place. That one good deed was not enough.
    Also Shaw was older than Alec yes but to me he didn't look it. He could pass for 60 or even late 50's. I had no idea how old he was until I looked it up on Imdb. Lastly "too old" Shaw is still in the movie so the problem isn't really solved is it?
    Before you had a "too old" Anakin in both scenes so if Shaws age is a problem, at least the movie is consistent with itself and the other films.
    Now we still have "too old" Shaw and "too young" Hayden, so instead of one problem, we now have two. The age problem remains and now the film isn't consistent with itself or the other films. How is this better?

    Shaw is in the unmasking scene and the Force then heals his wounds and lets his hair grow back, but the apperance is that of an older Anakin Skywalker that we just saw.

    As for Vaders age, yes he should be younger than Obi-Wan. When ANH was made Obi-Wan age was stated to be around 70 if I recall correctly.
    So say that Vader is around 55 in ANH. That would make him nearly 60 in RotJ and Shaw can pass for that. And it is also plausible that someone in his 50's could mock a man in his 70's as "old man". But if we are to look at inconsistencies. Vader is said both by Obi-Wam and by himself, to just have been a student/pupi when he left Obi-Wan. Implying that his training was not complete. However RotS shows an Anakin that is a full Jedi Knight and he even gets a place on the council. If EU is invoked then Anakin even has a student. This doesn't make him a student/pupil at the time of his fall.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  24. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    We haven't seen this character sketched as someone who does pointless or useless things.

    How Anakin was created is still not entirely clear. It wasn't clear to viewers of the films. We certainly wouldn't expect it to be clear to Anakin.

    In the case of aliens you would have to go proportionally to their presumed natural lifespan. In other words, Luke's father should be considered "young" by human standards, not by comparison to someone like Yoda. Everyone is "young" when compared to Yoda.

    The "too old" unmasked Shaw can be explained by the ravages of the dark side. The "healed" Shaw ghost doesn't have this excuse.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Oct 21, 2012
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  25. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Your mileage will definitely vary on that point. I thought Shaw looked older than Guinness and that isn't surprising give that he's almost a decade older. I wouldn't peg Shaw for anything younger than 70 to be perfectly honest. So this is clearly a very subjective point. As to Shaw still being in the movie during the unmasking scene, that's not at all an issue because of Anakin's horrific injuries -- there's definitely going to be premature aging and health complications, so it's not issue. The man burned alive and was trapped in suit for twenty years -- that's going to have some extreme effects on his appearance. But the Force ghost, showing Anakin "healed" and with hair is another story.

    Hayden is only "too young" if you believe that Force ghosts must represent the actual physical age when the person died, but there's no such rule in Star Wars. Even Shaw as a ghost doesn't look exactly like he did when he died, so there's clearly always been some level of interpretation in a Force ghost's appearance. So I personally don't see how Hayden creates any additional problems.

    I definitely don't agree that Shaw can pass for 60 in ROTJ. Sorry, but that's a difference of 17 years and while Shaw certainly has aged gracefully, he hasn't aged that gracefully. He still clearly looks older than Guinness to me. Plus, in terms of ANH and ROTS, note that Anakin was never made a master -- "when I left you I was but the learner, now I am the Master." Anakin was still ranked below Obi-Wan and thus treated him with the deference due to a teacher which fits in line with what is said. Plus, Anakin was Obi-Wan's student and I imagine it was difficult for Obi-Wan to stop thinking of him as such even after he was knighted and especially since Anakin never achieved equal rank.
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