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. Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    The only reason most of us view AOTC-Anakin as a brat is that we already know that he will become Darth Vader. In reality, there isn´t much difference between him and TESB-Luke. If any at all.
  2. The_Abstract Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    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".

    Considering a lot of the archetypes that Lucas uses were fleshed out by a prominant psychologist Carl Jung, I see nothing wrong with this. The way Anakin turns into Vader is called a split, where the psyche has some sort of trauma or moral dilemma and can't figure out what do do about it. So another personality is created, or overtakes the previous one, to reconcile the split. So if Lucas is using this psychological paradigm, then it makes Anakin's turn all the more real.

    Vader is Anakin's latent personality. It's the little devil on the shoulder manifested into a calculting machine/man.


    The differences between Anakin and Vader are shallow at best. Just give Anakin a black mask with a voice modulator, a black cape, some black leather gear, and the freedom to use his power, and you have yourself one Darth Vader.


    It's amazing what a wardrobe can do to public perception.
  3. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    From Quix -

    avolitional, immorally-complicit Vader

    I like this one better, it presents the fact that he has a definite edge. If he were a one dimensional "bad" guy, then the depth of the character that Vader became in ESB would not of been there. I agree that Lucas has a long way to go, but he made up some ground in AOTC from TPM, IMO. I also agree that you will see a more controlled, mature, maybe even "good" Anakin at the begining of EpIII. I have always viewed the prequel (AOTC)Anakin as walking on the edge, in III we should see him fall of it, literally. For folks who are wanting the black and white of ANH, you'll probably be dissapointed, I'm speculating there will be major gray up until the last thirty minutes of the movie. I also don't expect to see a "black and white" duel, I think there might be many things that happen at the wrong place, at the wrong time...or if you prefer, at the right place at the right time.

    I for one, can see Anakin now in the face of Vader in ROTJ and ESB. To me the character arc starts in AOTC and ESB in each trilogy. By the time Vader had learned of Luke in ESB, he was buying time from Palpatine with "if he could be turned.....". Anakin has already started moving to the front, kind of like the AOTC Anakin. "I'm gonna do what I think is right, but make you think I'm doing what you said to do." I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who has been able to see the transition, and am looking forward to EpIII to show the "how".
  4. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Abstract-

    I like the Jungian approach, but I don't necessarily buy into Jungian analysis (I identify much more readily with Adler's Individual Psychology - teleology and social conflict) - the gradual development of a compensatory personality as a defense mechanism doesn't really jive with the autocratic political philosophy he espouses unless it's an unconscious shift, which I think is less meaningful than a conscious choice of evil. I can appreciate that Lucas has stated that Jungian archetypes have influenced his approach, but it makes it hard to be sympathetic with characters whose fiated motivations are from a competing school of thought. Since I disagree with Jung's thought, I find it hard to believe his personality arc and intrapersonal conflict; as such, I find it hard to identify with and sympathize with the character.

    I like the choice/regret/redemption arc more than the split/reconciliation/redemption arc.
  5. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well, surely we will only know if Anakin's turn to Vader is beliveable, when we have seen Episode III?

    I actually think Anakins Redemption has been helped more than his turn, so far. His promise to his mother, the fact he feels and know what Force Lightning is like, and his wanting to be loved (Remember all his ever wanted is love, from his Mother, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padme, maybe even Palpatine???) and accepted. And because of his flaw not to be able to let go of love, to constantly need affection and love (Which the Jedi are unable to give because of their culture) he can't face letting go of it when he has it, his Mother, Padme. This is what leads him into the darkside, I think.....

    But then it's also this "Flaw" that leads him back to the light, because at a time when he thinks all chance of love has gone, when he is consumed by hatred and bitterness, and pain, and anger and suffering, he encounters the purest, strongest love of all: that of a Parent and Child. And it's that bond that leads him back to the light. Remeber when Luke is being zapped by the Emperor? Vaders head is going back and forth. I'm sure at that momant, Vader is feeling his Sons pain, remembering how he felt when Dooku zapped him, I think he's also thinking of the promise he made to his Mother "I won't fail again" (We don't know of he fails again with Padme, I suspect he does, and she also dies) And because of that promise, as well as his Son's love for him, Anakin is drawn back to the light side. And the line about stopping people from dying, well, he certainly saves his Son, doesn't he?

    So, I would say at this point I understand Anakin's redemption more than his fall. I think I see where George is going with Anakin's fall, and that will be MUCH clearer in Episode III, I think.

    Sorry if I have gone on to long and been boring. :)
  6. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    In reality, there isn´t much difference between him and TESB-Luke. If any at all.

    Sure, Luke was a brat, but he wasn't creepy. Anakin was creepy -- I mean, with the whole obsessing over Padme and killing women and children and all. Yeah, pretty creepy dude.
  7. VCT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    I agree, D-S... I can't picture ESB's Luke going around slaughtering women and children with a hand weapon, no matter what the reason.

  8. Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I can imagine exactly that. The mistake Anakin made in the tusken camp is exactly what Luke made in the cave. It was the same trial and they both failed utterly.
    Just let father and son switch places in the saga and you wouldn´t notice any difference!
  9. anidanami124 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    How best to answer what you asked Qui. Well heres how I will answer it:

    I believe that Palpaitne well lie to him make him believe that what he is doing is right. He will be seduced by the dark side. He will join Palpaitne thinking that he is right in ever thing he does.

    Like what was said some where else in this thread Palpaitne was not able to do that with Luke because Luke saw what it did to his father. Yes Anakin is evil as Vader. But he believes he is doing good. He does not know that Palpaitne was able to pull the hood over his eyes on tell near the end of his life which at that point he saw what Palpaitne had done and what he had helped him do. He also saw of how ease it was for Palpaitne to play him, the Jedi and ever one else for fools. If he jsut ups and joins Palpaitne for no reason then I believe it will ruin his character.

    Good topic to bring up Qui
  10. Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2001
    star 4
    I don't think Anakin would allow himself to be tricked or mislead by anybody, even by Palpatine. Depends on how you define "seduce".
  11. JenX Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    The mistake Anakin made in the tusken camp is exactly what Luke made in the cave.

    I don't believe that for one second. Luke was faced with a vision of Darth Vader, right hand man to the Emperor. Darth Vader, the man who apparently betrayed and murdered Luke's father, killed Obi Wan before Luke's very eyes and the man who is trying to destroy the Rebellion and complete the enslavement of the galaxy.

    Anakin is prsented with the reality of a village full of men, women and children who he decides to slaughter.

    Anakin's failure is of a completely different order to Luke's.

    Yes Anakin is evil as Vader. But he believes he is doing good.

    ??? Vader believes that defending the Death Star is a good thing? What the heck does he think the Death Star does?

    Darth Vader knows full well what he is doing is evil and that he is helping evil to flourish. He knows that the Death Star is a technological terror, he knows that it's being used to blow up entire planets. He knows that the Emperor is enslaving the galaxy...heck, he says that he would like to rule that galaxy himself.
  12. Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    JenX: You´re missing the point with the whole Tatooine sequence in AOTC.
    The reason Anakin killed the tusken raiders was that they killed his mother. He was unable to control his emotions and hate took over.
    That´s exactly what happened to Luke in TESB. He "knew" that Vader had killed his father. Knowing that, he was unable to control his emotions and hate took over.
    They share the same weakness.

    About Darth Vader: Do you think Anakin became a Sithlord because he decided to be evil? I don´t think so. In EpIII, we will surely see him put into a similar situation as Luke was in ROTJ. His emotions will boil over, like they did for Luke when he finally attacked Vader. Anakin won´t have anything to stop him though, as Luke had in Vader´s mechanical hand.
    So why did Luke lash out against Vader? Because Vader threatened to turn his beloved sister to the dark side.
    Anakin will become Darth Vader because of love.
    Now to the evil deeds of Vader: Anakin viewed Palpatine as a good man. I´m sure he thought that what his master did was for the good of the galaxy. Already in AOTC, you could see that Anakin would like to have order, which is something Palpatine brought.
    Vader has been so blinded by the dark side that he sees the destruction of Alderaan as an attempt(if somewhat clumsy) to bring order. The rebels are terrorists in his eyes.
  13. VCT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    I can imagine exactly that. The mistake Anakin made in the tusken camp is exactly what Luke made in the cave. It was the same trial and they both failed utterly. Just let father and son switch places in the saga and you wouldn´t notice any difference!

    I think you're missing the point of what Lucas is trying to say with both the OT and the PT if you really think that, Lars.

    While they share the same potential and same weakness, Luke ultimately succeeds where his father fails because he is a better man than his father was. Luke doesn't give in to his hate, never for very long, anyway.

    He 'failed' in the cave by striking down what he thought was Vader, his ultimate enemy, but afterwards would he have proceeded to slaughter a bunch of terrified Imperial women and children had they been there along with Vader's apparition? I just don't see it.


  14. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    While they share the same potential and same weakness, Luke ultimately succeeds where his father fails because he is a better man than his father was. Luke doesn't give in to his hate, never for very long, anyway.

    We don't know what will ultimately cause Anakin to cross fully to the darkside, because we haven't seen EpIII.

    Could it be because he sees his wife "slain" before his eyes, could it because he fears for her protection and lusts after the power to keep her safe, or other?

    We don't know yet, therefore it is hard for me to judge whether Luke was "a better man than his father", because I haven't seen all of Anakin's story yet.

    I admit that Anakin is a more emotional person than Luke, but his life was different. Luke could have reacted different if he saw Owen and Beru slaughtered before his eyes, or held them as they were dying, we'll never know.

    We don't know if Anakin would have made better, wiser choices if he were given the freedoms Luke had in his life to make decisions. Not to mention, Luke had Anakin's fate to look to as an example. Anakin had none.

    Who had more obstacles of the two has been debated to death, but I still stand behind my opinion that it was Anakin. I think the transition from Anakin to Vader will be 1000x more potent than when Luke was "tempted" that few seconds in the reactor core. Anakin has seen a more brutal world, therefore his choices will come with more brutal results to himself and the galaxy.
  15. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    And don't ever forget the importance of Qui-Gon's Jinn's death!

    What would have happened to Anakin if Qui-Gon hadn't died? I'm convinced that Anakin would have stayed on the "Right Path" if Qui-Gon had lived. I bet Qui-Gon would have helped Anakin free his mother at some point, and Qui-Gon would have been capable of showing Anakin the "Paternal love" that Anakin needed as a child and teenager. It always amuses me when people talk about Qui-Gon as some sort of dark warrior or traitor. To my mind Qui-Gon is the neerest to a perfect Jedi that we get to in the PT. Obi-Wan takes on the Qui-Gon role (after he realises his mistakes) during the OT.
  16. VCT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    I agree that we haven't seen all of Anakin's story yet, but I stand by my opinion that Luke succeeds because he is a better man than Anakin. I think we've already seen enough to realize that. I saw enough when Anakin slaughtered the entire Tusken camp.

    The Star Wars films are, above all, mythic morality plays - I believe that Lucas' message is that we are who we choose to be in taking the right or wrong paths. If one suffers enough, does that justify one turning to evil and slaughtering innocents? Of course not. Some people go through horrible hardships, worse than what we've seen Anakin go through, and still turn out to be incredibly virtuous.

    Obviously Anakin is a tragic character and we are supposed to sympathize with him and understand why he turned evil. But I don't believe we are supposed to think that he had no choice in the matter, or that Luke would have done the same things in his place. If we are really meant to be convinced that Anakin suffered so much that he had no choice but to become Vader, then Lucas is sending us a very bleak (and I think wrong) message and it contradicts everything I know about GL.

  17. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    If one suffers enough, does that justify one turning to evil and slaughtering innocents?

    That's my point, I haven't seen enough to convince me that Luke "suffered" as much as his father. I have seen all of Luke's suffering, I haven't seen all of Anakin's. Until I see that scene in EpIII that tells me "see there you go, Luke went through that same thing and DIDN'T go to the darkside", I won't be convinced. I fully understand that GL meant for the OT to be more black and white in terms of good and evil, he did not mean for the prequels to come across as simple. Or if he did, I haven't gotten it. He has stated that we will "feel sorry" for Anakin, that may dissapoint some, but prepare for that to be a real possibility, that he had much more that he felt he needed revenge, power, vengence etc. for, than Luke did for the Emperor to tempt him. We don't know what made him finally snap. You can bet one thing, if his mother dying in his arms wasn't enough to do it fully, it must have been pretty darn bad. And it'll be much worse than coming home and seeing Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru burning in smoldering pieces at the homestead. This movie ain't gonna be about Jar Jar's big adventure...
  18. VCT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    Anakin hunting down and slaughtering the entire Tusken camp, women and children included, wasn't enough to convince you that he's a bit more flawed than your average cookie? What will it take then? You really think that you, or I, or Luke would have done the same thing in the same situation, that once we've suffered that much it's already out of our control? I think that Luke would have stopped as soon as he saw the first little Tusken girl holding her stuffed toy and crying in a corner of her tent -- if not long before. Not Anakin though, he kept right on plugging away. Think about it.

    Let's assume for a minute that you are right: Luke is a no better man than his father whatsoever -- he's just lucky not to have had as much "bad stuff" happen to him. If he had, he would have made the exact same choices Anakin did and become every bit as evil.

    What then are these movies trying to say? Where is the morality? It renders all of Yoda's, Obi-Wan's, the Jedi's teachings, meaningless. Instead of saying that you have a choice in how you deal with your suffering, it is saying that you'd just better hope that you're lucky enough to avoid too much suffering or you're going to turn evil. Period. There's no choice in the matter.

    I don't believe that for a minute. No matter how much we suffer, we have a choice in how we deal with it. Anakin makes the wrong choices. He's very flawed -- more flawed than Luke, starting with how he dealt with his mother's death.



  19. Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    The main point with this saga is to show how easy it is to become something you don´t want to be, how easy it is to fall for dark emotions and do something very inappropriate if you don´t pay attention to what´s happening.
    Luke is following in his father´s footsteps even though he´s fighting so hard not to. That´s what most of us do, in one way or another.
    In the end though, he finally realizes where he´s going, because he realizes that Anakin went through the same suffering that he did.

    The point is not that Luke is a better man than Anakin, it´s that Luke learned the value of being at peace, calm and passive. That´s something he learned from Yoda, who never got the chance to instruct Anakin. Anakin was instead encouraged by his dear wife to give in to his emotions.

    I stand by my opinion: Had Luke been in Anakin´s position, he would have become Vader.
  20. anidanami124 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    I stand by my opinion: Had Luke been in Anakin´s position, he would have become Vader.

    This may very well be true. For someone like Palpaitne he plays of peoples emtions. He plays of there feelings. What ever Palpaitne does to Anakin in Ep3 it is enough to bring him over to the Dark Side.

    And it won't be like this:

    Palpatine: Hey Anakin I'm the master of the Dark Side join me.

    Anakin: Ok

    Something will have to happen to Padme. Or Palpaitne will use Anakin's feelings for Padme to draw him to the Dark Side. That's where they whole SEDUCED part comes in. Palpaitne is able to contorl him for what 20 years of Anakin's life. He is able to came Anakin think that The way they are taking is the right way. It's not tell Luke comes in to his life and does he start to change. By the tiem ROTJ comes around he is fight the dark side. Then when Palpaitne is killing Luke he at long last sees just what Palpaitne and the Dark Side are and kills Palpaitne. At the end of his life he sees his son as Jedi. He is happy to see Luke as a Jedi because that's what he wanted to be. He wanted to be the man that his son is but lost that. He was just glad he got to see Luke as that man before he dead.

    Woudl Luke have done that same thing. Maybe maybe not. He may have been able to handle it better we don't really know.
  21. TheVioletBurns Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    I for one don't see that radical of a difference between the PT and OT character. For a more eloquent tangent on this issue than I could provide, please take a look at FernWithy's excellent essay, Is Anakin Skywalker a Consistent Character?

    The shift from Anakin to Vader is not a persona-change, like some are stating here. The traits that make up Vader have always existed inside of Anakin. They are his worst side, prominent in Vader, having overwhelmed the rest of his self. Anakin is the picture of humanity: passionate to his destruction, loving and hating to such extremes. But when he gets angry, he gets a sort of cold rage: best witnessed in the Tusken slaughter and the end of the confession scene in AOTC. This is Vader, and this is the beautiful irony of the character. That he can be so cold, intimidating, and dominant (Vader), but at the same time, he holds a capacity for ardent, human passion (Anakin).

    We must also remember that Anakin, having been conceived by the Force, being the Chosen One, is a sort of Force Incarnate. This explains why his life and decisions have such a profound direct effect on the galaxy around him, and why such polar opposites are contained within his persona. Light and Dark. Humanity and the lack thereof.

    I feel like I'm hardly scratching the surface, but I have to cut this off for now - more later.
  22. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
  23. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Anakin hunting down and slaughtering the entire Tusken camp, women and children included, wasn't enough to convince you that he's a bit more flawed than your average cookie?

    I think that you're missing one rather important point: he didn't hunt them down to kill them. He hunted them down to find his mother. When she died he went into a rage and killed them.

    The difference between the two is immense. No one is arguing Anakin's sainthood, only his human frailty. He lost control of his temper and a vast power, and that was morally wrong. But he did not do it after taking his mother home, having a period of time in which he might have cooled off, and doing enough planning to "hunt them down" out of revenge. There was one white hot moment of rage. It caused him to do something that obviously shames him deeply. Had there been that break in between, had he decided to take his mother home, then there would have been no Tusken massacre.

    he gets a sort of cold rage

    I wouldn't call it cold rage at all, Violet. It seemed very hot and out of control. As Vader, he sometimes uses cold rage, but most of the time we see his anger, it's a sudden lash-out of the sort we see with the Rebel officer at the beginning of ANH, or with Ozzel, who might have cost him his son.

    And I definitely wouldn't say that Anakin in AotC was "creepy," nor was he "obsessed" with Padme. He was in love with her, and he was nineteen and intense. He seemed like a lot of guys I know, particularly of the "writing-tortured-poetry-backstage" sort.

    On the question of which is the better Vader? I don't really see a change in Vader--Anakin is pretty much as I expected him to be after RotJ. From ESB on, he wasn't a pure villain (heck, I'd argue that in ANH, he wasn't entirely pure; we just thought he was). Palps and Vader are the flip sides of evil--one is evil for its own sake, wants power for the sake of power. The other is someone who is doing evil things and is aware they are evil things, but believes he is doing them for a greater good. Frankly, the latter frightens me more, because it's a tendency of all people--the "means justify the ends" fallacy that I think most of us are susceptible to from time to time. Anakin/Vader is Everyman, and his strengths and failures are the strengths and failures of mankind.
  24. VCT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    I think that you're missing one rather important point: he didn't hunt them down to kill them. He hunted them down to find his mother. When she died he went into a rage and killed them. The difference between the two is immense.

    I think you misinterpreted what I said... AFTER Anakin went into a rage and the alarm went up, the Tusken men would have rallied to defend the camp, and Anakin would have dealt with them first. The women and children, if they had any sense whatsoever, would have attempted to either hide or flee. But we know that he killed them all -- so he consciously would have had to hunt the women and children down one by one in order to do so. That is what I meant. He had no weapon of mass destruction to drop on the camp, he didn't even have a firearm! He used his lightsaber -- a hand weapon. To find and kill them all would have taken a while, even with his considerable abilities.

    So, no matter how people try to gloss it over, that is the most likely scenario that took place. Perhaps if Padme had stopped to think of it that way just once, she would have thought twice about marrying him. It is one of the huge problems I have with the film.


    I stand by my opinion: Had Luke been in Anakin´s position, he would have become Vader.

    Well, since I seem to be the only dissenting voice here, perhaps you are right and I am wrong. Luke is merely luckier than Anakin. Circumstance -- not strength of human character -- is omnipotent. If enough bad things happen to good people, they also become bad, guaranteed.

    I never thought that this was a message that Lucas was trying to get across with the Star Wars films, but if it is: How depressing.






  25. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    To find and kill them all would have taken a while, even with his considerable abilities.

    The novelization, which was working from the script, had him using the Force to drop boulders on tents, and do things like that.
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