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 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    VCT: GL has said that the PT deals with the issue of a good man turning evil. If you find that depressing, then you will find life very depressing, because this is what happens all the time in our world. Because of circumstances.
    The OT, on the other hand, shows us the value of finding calmness and paying attention to what´s going on. It also shows that it´s important for us to guide eachother through life, so that the Anakin situation doesn´t occur.

    In the case of Shmi´s death, Anakin was angry with tusken society as a whole. He didn´t have one certain individual to blame, so he killed all the "animals" who thought it perfectly natural to torture an innocent human being and tie her up in a tent until she died.
    At that moment, they were all vicious, mindless monsters, not men, women and children.
  2. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    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.


    No one is saying that luck and/or circumstance is what makes us do bad things and we shouldn't be held accountable. I would say that you seem to hold a hard stance and don't look at any gray, only the black and white, as many do with this one scene in the saga. I bet GL wishes he'd never put it in if it was to be so misunderstood.

    Lucas' message is one of REDEMPTION. This is exactly what happens to Anakin. He CHOSE to lift Palpatine and toss him into the reactor core, to save his son. So there was his conscious choice to CHOOSE right. That is the message (choices - the choice to do bad and the choice to recitify it) of this saga, from everything I read. Of course, this is a movie, I think its a bit exagerated for the story's purpose (the tusken part of the story), but the message is choice (both the good and the bad), redemption and forgiveness.

    In the novelization, it says he lifted one weapon, a boulder, heaved it with the force and it landed on the tent where the rest of the camp was hiding in a tent.

    IMO, you're not giving the character the benefit of the doubt on some things because of your personal "feelings" for him - don't worry, you're not the first.

    I must be one of those "bad" people because I have made mistakes in the heat of the moment and looking back, regretted after calming down - I'm human. That is what George Lucas was telling us...that Darth Vader was not a robot as many thought in the seventies, he was a human, a human who made mistakes, and chose to rectify them before dying. There is a quote on that by the way, if I can find it.
  3. VCT Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    I understand that there is a message of redemption here, and that Anakin was a good person gone bad because he couldn't handle the circumstances that he was dealt, and that he is a tragic character. But I don't think I am the one who has the bleak outlook on life here - I am not the one is insisting that Luke would have become Vader were he in Anakin's shoes, no matter what, that he would have had no choice in the matter. I think he still would have had choices, and made them differently. We are not completely the products of our environment. That is my point.

    Luke is Anakin's son, not Anakin's clone. He is an entirely different person than Anakin, with a different personality and a different soul. Does that not count for anything? Luke was gentler, kinder, and less reactionary by his very nature. He would have reacted at least slightly differently to life, and that can make all the difference. I believe he would have treated Obi-Wan with more respect. He would have stopped himself before killing every last one of the Tuskens. He would have made different choices in the same situations. Would Luke have been tempted by the dark side had he been in Anakin's shoes? Without a doubt. Does Luke have his own faults, his own monster inside? Of course - we all do. But he is not the same person as Anakin.

    Do you think that just anyone growing up under the same circumstances as Adolf Hitler would have become Der Fuhrer? I don't believe so. It took a certain person with a certain personality, as well as just those particular circumstances, to create a monster as evil as Hitler. The wrong person growing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ditto for a monster as evil as Vader. Anakin was that certain person and certain personality - not Luke.

    I can understand all of this and still sympathize with Anakin - even though he was initially a good person, he was the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it turned out horribly for him. I can even understand why he did some of the things he did -- for him, perhaps, it was unavoidable. But to insist that Luke (or you or I) would have done all of the exact same things in his place is, I believe, not taking the person in question into account.


  4. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I am not the one is insisting that Luke would have become Vader were he in Anakin's shoes, no matter what, that he would have had no choice in the matter. I think he still would have had choices, and made them differently. We are not completely the products of our environment. That is my point.

    I'm not insisting Luke would have become Vader either, he never experienced what Anakin did. That is my point. It's very easy in hindsight to look at someone and say they wouldn't have done the same thing. I have no idea. Luke never was a slave, how am I to know what he would have done? I'm not comparing Luke and Anakin here, you are. I'm reacting to the rather harsh comments of Anakin.



  5. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    Right--it's not a Luke vs. Anakin issue. Luke is capable of turning dark, but I think that his personality is more similar to Padme's, and his route to the dark side would have been more similar as well. (This is where Palps and Vader both made a mistake. They tried to make him lose his temper and go into a killing rage, forcing him into his father's place... they might have done better to appeal to his sense of fairness and justice, his impatience to get things done, and his willingness to believe the best of people. Then, when he'd gone deep, there wouldn't be much of a way out. But that's the nature of their blind spot--he's not like either one of them.)
  6. RoseBlue Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2003
    While I don't think Anakin and Luke are the same, there are certain things people have in common. People do lose their temper and say things they don't mean to do or say. Now Anakin killing the Tuskens is a very extreme example. But I have read in pyschology books of people doing the exact same thing. Also to be honost, in his position, I think I would have done the same thing and I am not a bloodthirsty person. But in that case, could I have controlled myself. I don't think so. Give somebody enough of a reason to kill somebody and they will do it.

  7. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    VCT: Let´s see if I got this right. According to you, Anakin was born with flaws. He wasn´t pure at birth, he had the flaws right from start. This would mean that no matter what, Anakin would slaughter the tuskens and later transform into Vader. Since he had those flaws with him all the time, he couldn´t take responsibility for his own actions. What happened to him was unavoidable because of the flaws he carried with him from birth.
    Do you see where I´m going with this? Your argument is implying that Anakin didn´t have a choice, which I know is the exact opposite of your point.

    What I´m saying is this: If Luke had lived the life of Anakin, he would´ve had the exact same experiences as his father and they would´ve formed him into the man Anakin was.
    Noone is born with experiences. Experiences make us what we are. But that doesn´t mean we have no choice. Anakin could have chosen not to slaughter the tusken tribe, but because of his experiences, he didn´t know that he could.
    He, unlike Luke, had never cared to learn the difference between the good and the bad side of the Force, because he wasn´t scared of the dark side. Luke, though, demanded this knowledge, because his father had been murdered by a darksider. He had all reasons in the world to fear the dark side.
    It´s quite ironic that fear would ultimately prevent Luke from turning....
  8. RoseBlue Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Anakin does have flaws. So does everybody, just because you have flaws doesn't mean you are evil. Yes, you are right, people do have a choice in their behavior. Bu would most people exercise that control? Let me use an example. You are late for the plane trip. You are running in the terminal. Now you can stop running and start chatting with somebody. Is it likely though? That is what I am saying. Yes, Anakin could have chosen not to do what he did. But I think it would be near impossible for him to do.

    The person's genes, and personality plays a role in behavior not just enviroment. Two people with different genes will respond differently to the same event.
  9. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I think GL has made it perfectly clear that Luke is sharing Anakin´s traits.
    You can´t put all the blame on one person if he makes a mistake. Everyone/thing around him is more or less responsible. I´m not saying that Obi-Wan, Padmé and the Jedi council meant for Anakin to turn evil, but they unknowingly added to his downfall. Noone could see it coming(except Palpatine), though Yoda had his suspicions.
  10. VCT Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 3
    Lars, you have made a number of good points, and I agree with most of them. The main disagreement I have is with your uncompromising statement that had Luke been in Anakin's shoes he would have become Vader no matter what. I just don't think you can make that statement with any certainty, for the simple reason that if you plug a different number into the same equation you are going to get a different result.

    It is true that we are who we are in a large part because of our experiences. But this is far from the only reason we are different. Why do you think that brothers and sisters, or even identical twins, can exhibit very different personalities even at a very early age, even if they were raised under nearly the same circumstances? They very quickly show that they react to things very differently, are introverted or extroverted, passive or aggressive, have very different likes and dislikes, etc. It happens all the time - in fact, it would be far stranger for this NOT to happen, no matter how similar their upbringing was.

    As you pointed out, Luke and Anakin share some of the same traits. But not all, and not to the same degree. Their fundamental natures are still different. Because of this, even the people around them will react to them differently. How can you know for sure that Luke wouldn't have gotten along a lot better with Obi-Wan? That he still would have been just as arrogant and belligerent as Anakin after nearly ten years of Jedi training? And what about Padme - the person that everyone, yourself included, has said is a key factor in Anakin's fall? How can you say with any certainty that she would even have been Luke's type? Or for that matter, that Luke would have been Padme's type? There are countless reasons why things would not have happened the exact same way. To flat-out claim that it would is not taking into account the unique nature of the person who actually became Vader to begin with.


    I'm not saying that Luke isn't capable of becoming "an agent of evil" (to use Yoda's words) under the wrong circumstances. We all are and I believe Lucas is trying to tell us this. But they would have to be different circumstances than the ones Anakin was under, since they are different people. We are not born as automatons, designed to react the same way to any given situation no matter what. It is what makes us unique.

  11. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    It´s quite ironic that fear would ultimately prevent Luke from turning....

    Very eloquent point Lars, and ironic indeed. Fear prevented Luke from turning and caused Anakin to turn. We are ALL products of our environment to some extent or another. Again, not black and white, but the majority. Why do think there is more crime below the poverty level? Why do more college students come from stabel, lovign environments? I'm not saying ALL, but statistically that's so. There are always people who break the mold and achieve good or bad things despite their environment.

    However, Anakin and Luke were not those people. I say Anakin had a pretty crappy life early on(or thought he did), and Luke was brought in a loving home, pretty protected. I am NOT validating every bad a thing a person does with a negative childhood and the like. I'm saying Luke had experiences that taught him to stay way away from the darkside, using even his father's example. Bringing this away from an Anakin vs. Luke thing (I do so loathe those debates), I think while it may not be in every case, and may not happen all the time...we are products of our environment.
  12. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I agree, rhonderoo.

    VCT: Good points. I´ll have to agree then. Perhaps Luke would´ve become Vader, perhaps not.
    I do still think, however, that the point with Luke´s life mirroring Anakin´s is to show that different upbringings affect people differently.
  13. DarthAttorney Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2000
    star 6
    One of the best descriptions I've heard yet from another member here (can't remember your name but hats off to you! :D ) for Anakin's gradual shift to Vader is that he unwittingly follows Yoda's proverb from TPM:

    "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

    He was afraid in TPM because his entire world was changing.
    He was angry in AotC because his mother was murdered.
    Something in Ep3 is going to build on that anger and trigger a hatred as hot as the pits of hell ;)

    His hatred leads to his physical/mental/emotional suffering, and the suffering of the Galaxy, through the OT.
  14. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I could see that. I recall both strilo and I mentioning that in the TPMDF thread.
  15. byrdnest Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2001
    star 1
    does anakin ever have the chance to be a man? or is he still a boy. i think that is the problem. he has no models except the one he is stuck with, like son to father, and he rebels like every other son. only he has power that is used against him.
  16. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Luke never really had a father either. He didn´t even have a mother! The thing that saved him, though, was(as I pointed out earlier in this thread) the knowledge that his father had been murdered by a darksider. He feared the dark side and did everything he could to avoid it.
    Anakin, on the other hand, only saw possibilities in the dark side, because he didn´t have any bad experiences from it and he felt that the light side was only making things worse for him. THAT was his downfall!
    Anakin did become a real man in ROTJ, though. He realized what was actually happening and took responsibility for his own actions.
  17. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
  18. DiMiT Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 3
    both those vader's mask link essays are super great thnax for posting them...

  19. Skywalker_1138 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 1
    Luke had a father figure and a mother figure though. Both of these people definatly cared about him even if Owen didn't seem to show it.

    Anakin didn't really have a father figure except Obi-Wan. He never had both a father figure and a mother figure at the same time. He had them at seperate instances.

    I do wish they showed Anakin as Obi-Wan described him though
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