The Shift from Anakin to Vader

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Quixotic-Sith, Feb 4, 2003.

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  1. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
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    The saga is nearly complete - five movies are done with one to go. The most recent explanation we've been given for the saga is that it is the tale of the tragic hero Anakin Skywalker, his rise, fall, and redemption.

    We have been given his childhood, adolesence and middle-age/late maturity. Is there, in your opinion, enough material given to support the transition from Anakin to Vader? If so, why? If not, what is missing?
  2. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]well, we've already seen some of the hatred in Anakin. But I think the switch from the light to the darkside will be quick. It seems to me that's how Palpatine works. He tried to get Luke to rely on the Darkside to defeat vader, and expected him to switch right then. I suspect that Palpy will do something quite similar for Anakin.

    EDIT: If you wanna hear how the switch affected Anakin, click Here ;)[/color]
  3. Kyle Katarn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 6
    I'd say we've seen enough about Anakin so that what he does (and his reasons for it) won't seem too far out of character for him.
  4. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yes, I do think there's been enough evidence for Anakin's dark side given. He first shows himself as Vader in AotC during the Tusken slaughter, which is the most despicable thing he personally has done in any of the films to date. The slaughter was presented more sympathetically than Vader's Force choking lackeys left and right or torturing Han and Leia, but those things were at least aimed a purpose of some sort. The Tusken slaughter was a completely pointless expression of rage.

    If the scene with Anakin picking a fight hadn't been cut from TPM, it would have been foreshadowed even from his childhood.
  5. Ternian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2000
    star 4
    I don't really care about Anakin. I haven't really felt anything for his character at all during the PT.
  6. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

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    Apr 24, 2001
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    I was at Toys R Us yesterday, and noticed an Anakin action figure (E2) and a Vader action figure sitting next to each other. I stared at them, and as I did so I couldn't draw a connection between the two. Yes, I knew they were the same person, but looking at the side by side, it occured to me that I've seen nothing to show that transition as of yet. Sure, I've seen Anakin display an over-use of anger in AOTC, and seen that he's friendly with Palpatine. It's not as issue of 'could this guy turn into a sith', I can see that, it's that the AOTC Anakin's personality is so very different than Vader's. Anakin is brash, passionate, wreckless and disobedient. Vader is calm, cold, calcuated and obedient. Even as he plots Palp's overthrow, he dares not disobey him. Anakin couldn't follow OB1's orders if he wanted to. So, in E3, one of two things will happen, there will be another jump in persona (like there was between E1 and E2), or the Vader we get from this movie will have a whole different personality than the CT Vader.
  7. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]I think by seeing Anakin in the PT is going to make us think of Vader as more human. He won't be as intimidating. It's seeming more and more to me that he's just a guy who's really mad at the Galaxy and is basically just doing his master's will. It's like he is totally controlled by Palpatine and any "evil" we see in Vader is just an extension of Palpatine's evil. [/color]
  8. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    But is that necessarily a good thing? Is the story stronger with an avolitional, immorally-complicit Vader or a willful, consciously amoral/immoral Vader?
  9. Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2001
    star 4
    What's wrong with an intimidating Vader? That's what we had before, and that was part of his strength and appeal (if you find darkness appealing) as a villain. Making him simply an extension of Palpatine's evil also strips away Vader's own personification of evil. Each of them represents two different shades of evil, if you will. Each has his own personality and ways of dealing with the obstacles thrown at them. One may serve the other, but they are still partners in this business of the Dark Side.
  10. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Apr 1, 2000
    star 5
    Very well said, Daughter of the Force.

    I questioned the need to show Anakin as a child in TPM at first, but then I realized that if they had not, thus introducing Anakin as the brooding, angst-filled teen he was in AOTC, then his redemption would've been that much less meaningful in ROTJ. Without that connection to the innocent little boy, then all you see is a rebirth of a spoiled, sniveling man-child.

  11. Shara_82 Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 5
    I acutally like the idea of a more 'human' Vader. To me it makes his shift back to Anakin in RotJ that much more plausible. As it stands, he seems to have one run in with his son that just magically changes everything, whereas having seen Anakin as a child, I can now see that those two sides have really been existing and fighting with each other for a lot longer.
  12. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]And it would show the real power of the darkside. It was no longer Anakin but Vader and Anakin had no say in what Vader did. Vader was under the complete control of Palpatine. It wasn't until Anakin stood up to Vader that either of them (Vader and Palpatine) could be defeated.[/color]
  13. Shara_82 Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2001
    star 5
    Yeah, that's true too. To know there was a human side left to Vader the whole time, not only at the end, does help to show the power of the dark side.

    But perhaps that's what Vader was all along - someone Anakin created to try and take the guilt of his actions off his own shoulders. So that somewhere inside him he could justify it by saying 'It's OK...it's Vader, not me, doing this'.
  14. Darth_Dagsy Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    I'll echo what Stryphe said.

    All we've seen up until now, are Sith Lords that either were never good guy, or had become bad off-screen.

    We dont yet know what it takes to make a good person turn into a Sith. And despite what Anakin does to the Tuskens in AotC, he is still a good person in AotC.

    We have been given enough to see that there is another side to Anakin, but thats surely very different to having Anakin giving up any goodness within, and just being all-out Sith.

    Its a huge jump that will need to be made, and Ep3 is going to have to do very well to demonstrate it adequately.
  15. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

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    Apr 24, 2001
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    We have been given enough to see that there is another side to Anakin, but thats surely very different to having Anakin giving up any goodness within, and just being all-out Sith.

    Right, and since Lucas wants us to feel that Vader is human, we're not going to see that in E3. So, future generations will simply be left with another huge leap in persona (from E3 to E4), without any explaination.
  16. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    But is it really Vader's persona that changes, or just the amount of sympathy with which his character is portrayed?

    I think that's precisely what Lucas wants to get viewers thinking about. The morality the OT presumes is black-and-white, presented without proof. The PT is meant to blur the distinctions between good and evil to gray. For example, consider the fact that it's probably the Separatists who will eventually morph into the Rebels. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys now?
  17. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    No, there really are distinct personality difference between Vader and Anakin, as I noted above. You could attribute it to the passage of time between trilogies (as people can change with time), but in either event, since it happens off screen, it sure makes Vader feel like an entirely different person.
  18. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    The "changes" in his personality aren't nearly as radical as you imply. Vader is at least as disobedient in the OT as he was as Anakin, if not more so; the only difference is instead of talking about how disobedient he's going to be, he learns to keep his mouth shut and think his actions out first. He's not much more calm as Vader than he was as Anakin, either. Strangling senior military officers for a single mistake is about as capricious as it gets. ;) He's grown up a bit since he was a Jedi padawan and learned to keep his emotions concealed somewhat better, but the same basic traits are still there.
  19. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    How is he disobiedant? Conspiring an overthrow isn't disobiedance, it's treason. Ignoring your bosses orders is disobiedance. Also, another big change in Anakin/Vader is his passion. Vader has no visible passion, Anakin is all emotion. Vader seems more evil because he is emotionally dead. Anakin is full of emition.
  20. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I don't think that the PT and OT characters are all that similar, and my concern is that GL is turning a character who is consciously evil as a means to an end into an "Axis II: Personality Disorder NOS". The character seems to be, IMHO, weaker as the story is fleshed out - Anakin isn't responsible for Vader because his mother was killed. Anakin isn't responsible for Vader because of marital problems. Anakin isn't responsible for Vader because of a lack of a father figure in his formative years. Anakin isn't responsible for Vader because of poor impulse control. Yada yada yada - I hear this all the time from my patients who actively look to duck responsibility for their actions, and I think it makes for a weaker persona.

    I'm less inclined to view Vader as a strong and authoritarian person and more inclined to view him like an attack dog. I think his character is weakened as his backstory is explored, and I'm very concerned when I hear rumors that we're "supposed to feel sorry for him when we see him in ANH" - the character is scuttled if he isn't menacing. He isn't evil, he's simply misguided - the unfortunate victim of circumstance, the little boy who never grew beyond his Oedipal Complex. That is not a strong villain - the good villains are those who know right from wrong and willfully choose evil. IMHO.

    I don't want to feel sorry for Vader; I want to loathe him, identify with the Rebels, and rejoice in their victory and his redemption - I find that experience means less the more I get to know him, and that isn't good.
  21. dArTh_wenley Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2001
    star 5

    It is very hard for me to believe that the cold, hard and thoroughly evil man who chokes Imperial Officers at a whim behind the Vader suit is Anakin Skywalker.

    The only exception to this comment is towards the end of Return of the Jedi when the Emperor is electrocuting Luke.

    We see Vader looking at Luke, then turning to the Emperor, then looking back at Luke. You can imagine Anakin's life rushing past his eyes. All the mistakes he made, all the hurt he caused and knowing by destroying the Emperor right there and then, he could begin to be forgiven by people in some small capacity for everything that he has done.

    That is truely an Anakin moment.

    Other than that, good old George will have to go to some length to realistically convince audiences that Anakin could turn into Vader.
  22. Valkor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with Ternian, there is a LOT missing. TPM did nothing for me and really showed nothing about Anakin's shift at all. I really think Episode I should have been AOTC. Episode III has the burden of showing the complete transition of Anakin from young adult into full grown sith lord, which will be a very difficult task. Let's hope GL does it right.
    .v.
  23. vladimir_imp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    I think it's entirely possible to show a natural character progression through Episode III though. Think about Luke. He was naive in ANH, through ESB he was more 'knowledgeable' about the force, but was still impatient - frustration on Dagobah, rushing to Bespin etc.

    Then in ROTJ, Luke was an altogether calmer character. His entrance into Jabba's palace. The contrast between Han's plea to Jabba and Luke's. Luke's mature explanation to Leia of their past. Luke's approach with Vader and the Emperor.

    Anakin whined like a teenager in AOTC, but the three years to episode III will see him mature like Luke, into a more Vader like 'controlled' person. Then it only becomes a question of dark side or light side as to when Anakin becomes Vader.
  24. Captain_Archer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    The thing you need to realize is that Lucas is not yet done telling Anakin's story, and has one more episode to fully bridge the gap between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. He's already made small connections and drawn parallels. Also, even if Lucas does not fully connect the bridge between Anakin and Vader, it only lends credence to Obi-Wan's 'certain point of view' that Anakin Skywalker, the man he knew as friend and Padawan, is truly dead.
  25. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    I just feel that some of the more important phases in Anakin's life which would have shown me the shift in his personality have been skipped.

    In TPM Anakin is a polite child who seems to deal with his lot in life remarkably well. He is kind, helpful, respectful...joyful.

    Cut to AOTC and Anakin is arrogant, brash, whining, sulky...that transformation is incredible. the "shift" in Anakin's character has taken place entirely off screen.

    So I don't think there has really been a "shift" in Anakin's character, just a series of jumps.


    Thus the big question for me isn't "How did Anakin become Darth Vader?" the big question is "How did TPM Anakin become AOTC Anakin?" Which is a question that I don't feel can be (or will be) answered in Episode III.


    And where is the "good man" that Obi Wan spoke of in the OT? In TPM Anakin was nine years old, and in AOTC Anakin is an arrogant boderline sociopath who slaughters a whole village of men, women and children. Now, I know everything Obi Wan says has to be taken with a pinch of "certain point of view" but the sad fact is that, after seeing the Anakin presented in the PT thus far, I prefer Obi Wan's story of Anakin. I'd much rather have seen the story of a good man being seduced by the Dark Side of the force, rather then this story of a brattish child murderer who falls to Dark Side because of all the bad things that happened in his life.





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