Saga The Obi Wan & Anakin Trilogy...what went wrong?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by CoolyFett, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    I think there are a few factors you can look at. The easiest ones to look at are Anakin and Obi-Wan’s faults. Obi-Wan did not train Anakin well, a fact he admits in ROTJ, and Anakin was selfish. Obi-Wan was very hard on Anakin, to the point where it seemed absurd (to me, at least) while watching AOTC.

    That said, I think there's a more important factor. It's not spelled out in the films, and it's more philosophical, but it speaks to the ultimate catalyst for why Anakin fell to the dark side: Padme. Not that she herself was to blame. That’s not what I mean at all. When I say Padme, I mean his love for Padme and his loyalty to the Jedi Order. Palpatine played on the fact that Anakin had to keep his marriage a secret. The only guidance Anakin could seek was from Yoda, where he got vague guidance because he told Yoda a vague problem, and from Palpatine. Anakin’s central conflict, therefore, was between love and duty. I’m of the opinion that Anakin did not need to have that conflict.

    So what is at fault? The Jedi Code.

    The Jedi Code speaks to the idea that a Jedi shall not know love. It forbids love, and it forbids romance, quite unnecessarily in my opinion. In the words of Jolee Bindo from Knights of the Old Republic, “Love doesn't lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled... but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love... that's what they should teach you to beware. But love itself will save you... not condemn you.”

    That was a fact lost on the Jedi Order. According to Anakin, the Jedi forbid attachment and possession and only allowed compassion, which left no room for romance. Only romance, as Jolee rightly said, won’t destroy you. What Anakin needed to be taught was how to control his passion in his romance and how to control his fears about his dreams (dreams that became a self-fulfilling prophecy). Only he couldn’t seek out that guidance. If he had, he would’ve had to admit his romance and marriage to Padme. If he had, he would’ve been expelled from the Jedi Order. He had nowhere to turn to but Palpatine, because Palpatine was the one who gave Anakin the sense of "I understand."

    Because of that, once Palpatine hooked him, Anakin was in a position to believe that the Jedi stood opposed to him. That's where the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin finally broke down. Obi-Wan represented the Jedi, and, to Anakin, the Jedi were the ones ruining his life. In a way, he wasn't wrong.
  2. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    And ROTS as well!
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  3. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Yeah, though ROTJ has always held more meaning. Obi-Wan says "I have failed you" in ROTS, but his "I thought I could train him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong." was much more powerful to me. It admits a specific mistake.
  4. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Oh, boy - I certainly agree Obi-Wan made some mistakes with Anakin. Let's face it, all parents and all teachers do. It's human.

    But Obi-Wan accepted the responsibility for a lot more than his own mistakes. "Admitting" he is at fault =/= he was at fault. By that reasoning, we can throw out the code, Anakin's "entitlement" (regardless of where that came from), Sids manipulations, Padme - no, everything must have been Obi-Wan's fault because he "admitted" it was.

    Wrong!

    He accepted his role in Anakin's fault which is admirable. He as well accepts the blame that belongs to others.

    Had we not had a master Sith manipulating Anakin's emotions (I'm the good parent who'll give you everything you want or think you need) I don't think Anakin would have fallen. He probably would have left the Order after the war (assuming there had been one without Sids and all that). Anakin fell because all the factors that could interplay in his fall were played by a master conductor.
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  5. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Just to be clear, Valairy, was that in reply to me? If so, I wasn't suggesting it was all Obi-Wan's fault.
  6. Zer0 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Obi-Wan tried his best and did what he could, Anakin was at fault for giving in to Palpatine, even when he knew what he was getting himself into.
  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Well, only in part which is why I didn't attribute my post as a response (what fooled me in your post was: Obi-Wan did not train Anakin well, a fact he admits in ROTJ) but that was a pretty mild comment compared to a lot I've seen that have been far more explicit in taking Obi-Wan's words as "proof positive" of his total failure and thus the one to properly blame for Anakin's fall.

    So I was also "heading off at the pass" any potential comments to follow that "yeah, he admitted it was his fault; poor Anakin for having Obi-Wan for his teacher."

    Are we okay? [face_peace]
  8. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Yup! Just making sure. Yeah, I wouldn't blame all of it on Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan had his faults and his mistakes, but you can't remove responsibility from Anakin. If none of it was Anakin's fault, then his redemption carries less meaning. As I said in the bulk of my post too, I attribute most of the blame to Jedi dogma. The Revenge of the Sith novel alludes to this better. In it, Yoda regrets that while the galaxy changed, he would not let the Jedi Order change with it.
    Last edited by jedimasterbac, Oct 10, 2012
  9. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    =D= =D= =D=

    Exactly. The Jedi did not need to ban love and romance in order to teach their members emotional control and the importance of putting the good of the galaxy first. Emotional control is good for everyone to learn, and if passion, love and romance led to the Dark Side every time, we'd all be Sith Lords.

    As far as Obi-Wan, he did the best he could with what he had, and I don't think he really had the tools he needed to help Anakin, not the way Anakin needed to be helped. I don't think there was any "failure" on his part at all.
  10. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    =D= I so agree. I have always thought that the over-strict dogma of the republic-era Jedi Order was strongly at fault! This rule being especially glaring. It wasn't even just Anakin who had issues with it, they wouldn't even let Qui-Gon on the council because he realized (and was outspoken about) the things that were wrong.
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  11. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    In response to the original poster's questions, I think it's pretty clear that Anakin intended to face and kill Obi-Wan aboard the Death Star. Likewise, I think Obi-Wan knew that Anakin had cybernetic limbs and was still "alive" (although I think he'd also ceased to think of Vader as Anakin by that point). The twins were hidden from both the Sith, too, in my opinion.

    In terms of who's fault it is, well, that's a both a simple and a complicated question. Everyone is responsible for their own actions -- Anakin for Anakin's and Obi-Wan for Obi-Wan's. So from that standpoint, it's pretty clear-cut. However, I do think the reasons why they made the choices they did are rather complex and have a lot to do with their backgrounds, how they were raised, and the individuals they were exposed to. I'm certain, for example, that Anakin never would have fallen to the Dark Side had Palpatine not been in his life.

    The situation, for me, is best summarized this way: I think the average person, had they been born as Anakin Skywalker, would probably have made the same choices he did and the same is true for Obi-Wan Kenobi. I think most people would have ended up making the same mistakes they made had they been placed in the set of life circumstances, but, regardless, that doesn't take away their personal responsibility.
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  12. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    The only thing I disagree with you on, PiettsHat, is personality does affect choices so its entirely possible that some "average person" in Anakin's life situations would make different choices. Or perhaps not. It is not a given that every person reacts the same to the same set of circumstances.

    @Jarren_Lee-Saber: While it's not a 100% certainty, Qui-Gon was not refused a seat on the Council because he was a maverick. There were plenty of other Jedi Masters who also weren't on the Council. It is clear that his padawan thought Qui-Gon deserved a seat; I daresay there were a lot of other padawans who believed their master also belonged there. And quite possibly some of them had "earned" it - but there were only 12 positions after all and a lot of deserving masters never made it.

    For all we know, Qui-Gon may not have wanted a seat - he liked to be out and about doing missions.
  13. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    In regards to Qui-Gon, I think the way Obi-Wan's line was written can distinguish it from other Padawans believing their masters should be on the Council. He didn't say "you should be there" or "you deserve to be there," but rather he said "If you would just follow the Code, you would be on the Council." He gave a specific reason as to why Qui-Gon was not a Councilor, which I think we can take as a point of fact given that it was important enough to George Lucas that it be said on screen.

    That said, I think it's probably true that Qui-Gon wouldn't have wanted to be there. The structure of the Jedi Order at the time would put restrictions on what he could do, say, teach, etc. Being a maverick generally means bucking the leadership.
  14. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot

    Oh, it's certainly possible that an average person would make a different choice. I was speaking more in terms of the fact that I think many people would make the choice that Anakin did had they been placed in his life circumstances. Also, regardless of personality, whoever is in Anakin's situation would have to contend with Palpatine's machinations. And considering Palpatine was Anakin's friend and mentor for 13 years, I think he was very familiar with his weaknesses. So while one individual might not have been swayed with the threat against a loved one, Palpatine could very well try to play on their sense guilt or idealism to try to turn them. In essence, he would tailor his attack strategy to that individual's personality so I don't know that personality would have made an enormous difference in the end.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Oct 11, 2012
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  15. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Well, I still say that is Obi-Wan's belief - but who really knows? Even if Qui-Gon was everything Obi-Wan believed him to be AND didn't "buck" the Council, he still might not have made the cut. Qualified for =/= actually chosen for the Council.
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  16. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Anakin really seem annoyed with Obi Wan in AOTC. Why was ObiWan such a jerk then? Anakin admited he had feelings for Padme, Anakin told him about the dreams of his mother, instead of Obi Wan doing what Palpatine did & show understanding, he put the Jedi first as if his relationship with Anakin was only business. The way Obiwan embarrassed Anakin at Padmes apartment was also uncalled for, him being older I feel Obii Wan should have let that argument go. Did Anakin tell Obiwan about his slaughter of the sandpeole?? Probably not...because he. Didn't trust Obi Wan anymore like he did Padme & Palatine.
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  17. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Anakin really seem annoyed with Obi Wan in AOTC. Why was ObiWan such a jerk then? Anakin admited he had feelings for Padme, Anakin told him about the dreams of his mother, instead of Obi Wan doing what Palpatine did & show understanding, he put the Jedi first as if his relationship with Anakin was only business. The way Obiwan embarrassed Anakin at Padmes apartment was also uncalled for, him being older I feel Obii Wan should have let that argument go. Did Anakin tell Obiwan about his slaughter of the sandpeole?? Probably not...because he. Didn't trust Obi Wan anymore like he did Padme & Palatine.
  18. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    So what was ObiWans intentions on Mustfah & The Deathstar? Both times he went where Anakin already was. So he was the hunter & Anakin was being hunted. Qui Gon Jinn would have nver pushed Anakin away the way Obiwan did. Yoda is also a punk fot keeping Lukes bloodline a secret. Luke should have known who his father was way before his father set him up. Did Vader ever actily seek Obi Wan between ROTS & ANH?
  19. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    [face_rofl]

    Obi-Wan and Anakin were at Padme's ON BUSINESS to PROTECT her. It wasn't a tea party!!

    And Obi-Wan embarrassed Anakin?[face_rofl] I'd say the other way around, although I do agree that Obi-Wan could have taken Anakin aside before responding before Padme, et al (although I'm sure he's been thru this enough times - Anakin's questioning Obi-Wan in front of others - that neither was too surprised how this came out) - and I don't care if Anakin was only trying to score points with Padme. He had no business, no matter how human, doing so at that time and place.

    Neither was blameless, but Anakin "started it" by contradicting the "team leader" as it were.

    I'd also say Obi-Wan showed a degree of sympathy with Anakin's dreams and attempted, however poorly, to remind him that dreams are not reality. We'll never know for sure, but I don't think Anakin ever told Obi-Wan how long he had been dreaming of his mother and how the dreams were getting worse and he thought they were visions.

    If Anakin didn't trust Obi-Wan (did he earn it?) I'm sure a lot of that is due to the whispering in his ear (Palps).
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Oct 11, 2012
  20. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    In regards to Mustafar, I think it's pretty clear there that, however much it pained him, Obi-Wan realized that Anakin had to be taken down before he became an overwhelming threat. On the Death Star, though, I think he had accepted that he couldn't kill him and thus chose to confront him in order to distract Anakin and keep his focus away from Luke. I don't necessarily think he was "hunting" Anakin aboard the Death Star either -- it's clear that he had other things to do (such as deactivating the tractor beam) and Anakin was out looking for him anyway (don't forget the -- "escape is not his plan; I must face him alone" line).

    In regards to Qui-Gon, I think it's a bit unfair to compare how he treats 9-year old Anakin to how Obi-Wan treats 19/20 and 23-year old Anakin. Plus, you have to consider that Qui-Gon is quite a bit older and more experienced than Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan became a Master at 25 right after losing Qui-Gon. It would have been an extremely difficult time for him.

    In regards to Luke, I agree that it was wrong for his heritage to be kept secret from him. At the same time, though, I can understand why Yoda and Obi-Wan chose to do so.
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  21. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    The Mustafar scene is also a big issue for me in terms of how Obi-Wan treated Anakin, mainly because he’s portrayed inconsistently with things that were said in the original trilogy. In Return of the Jedi, there were two key lines that, to me, are central to what should have been the story between Obi-Wan in Anakin.

    First, when Obi-Wan’s ghost is talking to Luke, he says that he took it upon himself to train Anakin as a Jedi. That’s not really true if you go by Episode I. Throughout the entire film, Obi-Wan is completely distrustful of Anakin, going so far as to call him a pathetic life form, and they have absolutely no interaction in which we could reasonably say that Obi-Wan has changed his mind about that. The only reason he chose to train Anakin was because he promised Qui-Gon. That’s not the same thing as “took it upon myself.” That’s fulfilling an obligation. Obi-Wan immediately began his 13 year so-called friendship with Anakin (something the films barely showed as an actual friendship) from the standpoint that he was wasting his time and only doing this because his dead master wanted him to.

    The second was an even more important line, because the previous one I can overlook well enough but not the second one. The second is when Luke is talking about redeeming Vader and Vader tells him, “Obi-Wan once thought as you do.” No he didn’t. Not according to Episode III. Why is Vader saying that about the Jedi Master who basically went to Mustafar as an assassin? Never, not once, did Obi-Wan say anything about saving Anakin. After he finds out that Anakin has become the Emperor’s apprentice, the first thing, the FIRST THING, he says to Yoda is, “Send me to kill the Emperor. I will not kill Anakin.” This is someone we're supposed to believe is his friend, basically his brother, and even though he doesn’t want to kill him he makes no attempt at suggesting an alternative solution. He IMMEDIATELY jumps to "kill him, but don't make me do it because : (" Later when Obi-Wan talks to Padme and she says “You’re going to kill him aren’t you?” he makes a defeated, guilty face, because she has discovered that, yes, he does plan to murder his so-called best friend.

    When Obi-Wan finally arrives at Mustafar, not once does he try to redeem Anakin. Not once. He immediately greets him with condemnation, not compassion. He doesn’t even try. It completely goes against the original trilogy and makes Obi-Wan look like someone who really doesn’t give a gosh darn about Anakin all that much, especially when you combine that with what I said about Episode I and how all he did was criticize Anakin in Episode II. Best friends my butt.

    So it's an interesting question, then, where Vader gets the idea to say "Obi-Wan once thought as you do," because, according to the prequels, he clearly didn't.

    That's not to say it's all Obi-Wan's fault. Not at all. More like it wasn't portrayed well and it's George Lucas' fault. :p
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  22. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    This might be splitting hairs, but I do think that Obi-Wan's statement still holds true even with how things played out in TPM. Taking something upon oneself can refer to undertaking a project or accepting responsibility for doing something. With these definitions in mind, I think that TPM makes it clear that Obi-Wan accepted Anakin as a student in order to fulfill his Master's dying wish, but that he, regardless, accepted responsibility for it. He may have disagreed initially, but with his Master's faith firmly in mind, he resolved to complete Qui-Gon's request. And, not only that, but he did so against Yoda's advice -- I think this is where Obi-Wan sees himself as taking up Anakin's training.

    I also never got the impression that Obi-Wan thought he was wasting his time. He was understandably frustrated at some points, but I think he did see the value in mentoring Anakin and came to cherish their friendship, particularly in ROTS when their relationship wasn't so strained by the Master-Padawan dynamic. Anakin had more independence by then which I think contributed to easing tensions.

    This might be a stretch, but I do think that ROTS shows that Obi-Wan did try to knock some sense into Anakin, such as when he entreated him to see that Chancellor Palpatine was evil and that Anakin had become the very thing he swore to destroy. But I also think that this issue is partially due to a lack of internal coherence in the OT -- Yoda makes it clear that the Jedi believe that once one starts down the dark path, forever will it dominate one's destiny. And Obi-Wan himself says Anakin has become "more machine now than man." It does give the impression that the Jedi don't believe that one can turn back to the light and so I think Lucas had to balance that out.

    There's also the fact, of course, that Anakin is so far gone in ROTS that I think it would have been difficult to properly portray Obi-Wan attempting to pull him back. He'd killed Obi-Wan's entire family, after all, and when Obi-Wan next sees him, Anakin chokes Padmé.

    But then, I do think that Anakin and Obi-Wan were friends, it's simply that their relationship often gets so caught up in all the other roles they play that it can be more difficult to discern. They certainly don't have the simple camaraderie of Luke and Han because Obi-Wan isn't just Anakin's friend, but also his teacher, guardian, superior, mentor, boss, parent, etc. all rolled into one. And so I think it's only natural that they would butt heads far more frequently and with far greater intensity than Luke and Han did. That, and the fact that (I believe) Anakin comes to perceive Obi-Wan as representing the Jedi Order, in many ways, which puts a strain on their friendship.
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  23. FARK2005 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    By this time Anakin’s ego is rather big (thanks to Palpatine and Anakin’s confidence in his own skills). In Anakin’s mind, he was ready for the Trials, and thought Obi-Wan was holding him back out of jealousy of Anakin’s abilities.

    But as Padmé rightly points out: “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like.”

    Obi-Wan wasn’t a jerk, he was a Master to an overconfident and arrogant student, which is not an easy thing.

    Anakin told Obi-Wan that he was having dreams about his mother. Perhaps if he had told Obi-Wan exactly what they were about and that he believed them to be visions rather than dreams, Obi-Wan would have had a chance to respond accordingly.

    I would say they embarrassed each other, but as @Valairy Scot pointed out Obi-Wan could hardly let the argument go. Also, at that point there would be no investigation, and Obi-Wan could not allow Anakin to give Padmé false hopes by making promises he couldn’t keep. That their mandate was later extended to include an investigation is another story.

    I don’t think he told him, because Anakin knew how Obi-Wan would react and he didn’t believe (wrongly I think) that Obi-Wan wouldn’t understand why he killed them. Anakin knew what he had done was wrong, and though he hated the sandpeople for what they had done to his mother, he did feel guilty; like most people, though, he didn’t want to face that guilt or his own failings and instead preferred to have them smothered over. He knew Palpatine and to a lesser extend Padmé would tell him what he wanted to hear: words that “legitimized” his action and lessened his guilt.

    Obi-Wan, on the other hand, was Anakin’s Master, and not only would he likely be furious, but he would also make Anakin face his guilt and his personal failings, which is an extremely difficult thing for anyone to do.

    So in my opinion it’s not a question about trust, but about knowing that if he told Obi-Wan there would be consequences for his action, which he was not willing to face.

    I agree it’s somewhat inconsistent, and when I first saw RotS I did miss Obi-Wan saying something along the lines of: “it’s not too late for you”, but the way the script turned out I think it would be a bit redundant because we had just seen Padmé try (and fail) to reason with Anakin, and she had the best chance to get through to him. Actually, the fact that Obi-Wan gives Padmé the opportunity to talk with Anakin before revealing himself I see as Obi-Wan giving Anakin a chance to turn back. I really think he hoped Padmé could break through to Anakin, because I very much doubt he would have allowed Padmé to leave the ship, endangering herself and her unborn child(ren), if he truly believed Anakin was completely lost.

    Then once he decided to intervene, after the conversation between Padmé and Anakin began going down hill, he witnessed Anakin choke the love of his life, who was heavily pregnant, and that’s when I think he lost the last thread of hope that Anakin could be saved.
    Last edited by FARK2005, Oct 12, 2012
  24. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    @jedimasterbac: Please review that scene. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN.

    Qui-Gon announced he was returning to town and Obi-Wan asked (with a bit of a twinkle in his eye) if it was for another "pathetic life form." Only then did Qui-Gon inform him that he was returning for the "the boy."

    Point: Obi-Wan did not know to whom or what Qui-Gon was referring, and therefore never called Anakin a "pathetic life form."

    Now, as to the remark itself, I understand many consider it dismissive and contemptuous even if undirected at any one individual. I, and many others, see it as an ongoing "dig" between the two. Much like sarcastic humor is detested by many for being mean and appreciated by others as a specific type of humor that is not demeaning when the subject participates in the sarcastic banter.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Oct 12, 2012
  25. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    That's a stretch. Obi-Wan was sensing something about whatever Qui-Gon was going back for. Without further explanation and any nuance in or for that scene, it should be taken for what it is. Any assumption of a dig is just that -- a dig. It's one of the biggest problems of the prequels, namely that in order to make them work, the audience has to make assumptions and fill in the blanks. These are things that should have been portrayed, but weren't.

    It also wasn't undirected at any one individual. Whether or not you make the argument as to whether it had something to do with Anakin, he said "another" pathetic life form. That's still a very un-Jedi-like judgement about Jar Jar Binks (audience agreements not withstanding).
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