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PT Was Anakin Skywalker a "bad" Jedi?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Charlie512, May 28, 2013.

  1. Charlie512

    Charlie512 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 17, 2011
    Note: This isn't intended as a hate thread. Rather to make an assessment of whether or not Anakin fit the standards set up by Jedi.

    I notice that Anakin didn't fit many of the Jedi qualities that were considered good at the time. Beside being powerful...

    Anakin was:
    • arrogant
    • too attached
    • Married (a big no in the Jedi Order)
    • easily lost temper (often upset)
    • occasionally tapped into the darkside
    • out for vengeance (against Doku)
    • sometimes a jerk (although it seemed common amongst the Jedi)
    • lusted for power
    • mass murder against a tribe of people*
    These were there during Rots and before so basically they defined his entire Jedi career.

    These are kind of came later on and were special circumstances* but still showed that he had the potential for:
    • mass murderer (of the Jedi)
    • treason (against the Jedi)
    • domestic abuse
    • became an evil Sith Lord
    So was Anakin a bad Jedi by the Jedi standards?

    Edit: I didn't intend to include Anakin's actions after turning as part of the assessment because obviously he is bad after that. So only include his actions before turning for you assessment.
  2. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    I'd say "no" in the grand scheme of things. Of course, eliminating the Jedi Order really sealed his fate as a bad Jedi, but before that, he was by all accounts an outstanding Jedi.

    AOTC and ROTS seem to focus on his flaws as a Jedi, which then told the story of his downfall, but aside from that, he was quickly becoming known in the ever-growing order of the Jedi. All of his accomplishments were only made more impressive by his relatively young age. Of course, the Council never let him get too full of himself.
  3. Placeholder

    Placeholder Jedi Knight star 4

    Jan 30, 2013
    Yes, he was an emotional trainwreck and a dolt. That's a bad combination.
  4. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    He was not an ideal Jedi by any means: and less so the older he got (and was worked on by Palps). As you say, his inability to manage his emotions are not of the scale expected of the Jedi, and certainly some of his actions are not those of a "good" Jedi. To us outside the GFFA he wasn't a very good Jedi, but in-universe he was probably considered a good one with some flaws.
  5. Charlie512

    Charlie512 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 17, 2011
    What accomplishments does he have outside of being an effective soldier though? It's clear he was powerful yes, but that doesn't make a good Jedi.

    Not only are his emotions not of the scale expected for Jedi but not even for normal functioning people in our world.

    After the whole Tatooine fiasco in-universe he was still a Jedi but in our world he would probably have been in prison for a long time.
  6. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    I'd say the answer is a qualified yes. To a certain extent, I believe it was more the product of the Jedi Order of the time - Anakin might have turned out better in another era or if trained by a "maverick" like Qui-Gon - then his own character flaws, but he was still overly-driven by his emotions at the best of times and an unstable, paranoid mess at the worst.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  7. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011

    The short version is that I don't think Anakin had the personality to fit in and grow in the Jedi Order, and yes, I do believe they were oriented towards a certain personality type. I know they took initiates as infants, but that actually helped them determine and shape that personality type. Plus, Anakin had some psychological issues based on his past as a slave, which the Jedi might have liked to help him with, but they had no idea where to begin.

    Addressing your points one by one:

    Arrogant: I think this was a cover for low self-esteem; Anakin knew he didn't quite measure up. In the ROTS novelization, Dooku picks up on this, referring to Anakin's "fragile little ego."
    Too attached: See what I said about his slave past.
    Married: He should have left the Order when he married Padme.
    Easily lost temper/often upset: See what I said about the Jedi being geared towards a certain personality type.
    Occasionally tapped into the Dark Side: You're going to have to be more specific there.
    Out for vengeance: Yes.
    Sometimes a jerk: "Jerk" is relative.
    Lusted for power: Again with the slave past.
    Mass murder against a tribe of people: Oh yeah, they were all innocent and Anakin's mother wasn't beaten to death...oh wait...

    (FWIW I have no problem with the statement that Anakin did not follow the Jedi Code in the Tusken camp, or the statement that he went too far, but I am really, really over the idea that none of the Tuskens did anything wrong, or that their horrific deed needs to be brushed under the rug because Anakin was capable of getting revenge.)

    I think he could have overcome all of these issues if Palpatine had not been in the way and if the Jedi had had any idea how to help him. And arguably we all have "the potential for" terrible deeds. (Case in point, if someone did to one of my children what the Tuskens did to Shmi, and I had the right weapon, I would make Anakin's deed in that camp look like "urban revitalization". That is all.)

    (Were you Charlie on the temp boards by any chance?)
  8. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    Yes, overall.

    But I would qualify that by saying that Anakin did adhere to one Jedi tenant to a large extent (and the most important one, in my opinion) -- the Jedi are selfless; they only care about others.

    In part, I would say this drove him to stay away from his mother for ten years when he was sent on missions with Obi-Wan. Adherence to this rule also meant that he accepted it when Padmé told him during the fireplace scene that they couldn't be together. When he went off to fight in the Clone Wars, instead of staying with her, I think he was trying to live up to that too.

    Overall, though, Anakin wasn't an ideal Jedi by any stretch of the imagination. At heart, I would say most (if not all) of his problems can be traced back to emotional instability. Arrogance was a common problem among the Jedi (as Yoda notes) so I'm not surprised that Anakin, with his boundless potential and Palpatine feeding his ego, would have had this flaw crop up.

    Anakin failed primarily because he couldn't live up to the selflessness required of him -- he couldn't do nothing when his mother was killed, he couldn't allow Padmé to die, and he also lusted too greatly for power (primarily the power to control his own life, I think) at the expense of others.

    Just to clarify, though, I consider the events at the Tusken camp to be voluntary manslaughter (if anything).
  9. Aaronaman

    Aaronaman Jedi Knight star 4

    Mar 12, 2013
    Anakin didn't fail as a Jedi...I feel he was let down by the more experienced Jedi around him who didn't sense his inner struggle.

    Right up until the very end he could have been saved.
  10. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Laying the blame on others is - problematic, in my view. Anakin didn't fail because of others (though yes, they did contribute). It is far more complex than shifting blame onto any other group of folks in its entirety (unless you didn't mean it was all the Jedi's fault and none of Anakin's?).
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  11. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 2003
    The Jedi failed the moment they rejected that boy after his testing... I don't think Anakin ever let go of that, so he failed himself. He was a compassionate boy who found none of that in their Council chamber and as a young adult, Skywalker seemed to be at odds with their teachings when explaining love and compassion to Padme. The signs were there for us to see, so I wonder just how much petulance Kenobi chose to ignore?

    "Someday.... I will be the most powerful Jedi, ever!" --Losing Shmi was just the tipping point, his cup was full of venom long before he raised his weapon against the Sand People.
    xx_Anakin_xx likes this.
  12. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Ultimately, yes, of course, although even when he crosses into morally ambiguous territory for a Jedi there are still aspects of heroism that shine through. One of my favorite small moments of which occurs in the ROTS space battle when Anakin yearns to aid the clones, and Obi-Wan somewhat coldly dismisses this notion by insisting that they are doing their job (ironically, they're "doing their job in regards to Order 66 as well).

    Likewise, good Jedi can sometimes exhibit some less than savory attributes, such as Yoda and Obi-Wan's seeming belief that the only way to clean up the mess they helped create is for Luke to kill his father.
  13. Ahsoka_Tano_11

    Ahsoka_Tano_11 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 30, 2013
    No, he was not 'bad'. He was like that kid in your class who likes to yell out, break a few rules, but in the end is an ok kid and a good friend.
    El Jedi Colombiano likes this.
  14. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2013
    He was definitely a bad Jedi
    • Mass murder of Sand People (most of which were defenseless)
    • Marriage
    • Extreme arrogance
    • Extreme anger issues
    • Disrespect to nearly everyone
    • Violence was almost always his first idea to deal with a conflict
    • Cold-blooded murder of Count Dooku
    • Constant disobedience
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  15. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Most of those points have been addressed in other posts.

    I'll reply to some of it though.

    Where are you getting the idea that "most" of the Sandpeople were defenseless? Evidence from any scene involving Sandpeople in the films, demonstrates that the men certainly were not, and the ratios in the camp are anyone's guess. The only thing we can say definitively is that some of them were defenseless, and I'm pretty sure no one has argued that Anakin killing the defenseless ones was acceptable.

    Marriage, arrogance, anger, disrespect--already discussed.

    Not sure that violence is "always" his first response to conflict. Where are you getting that from?

    "Constant disobedience"--OK, but Ahsoka Tano does the same in TCW and is often praised for it.

    Count Dooku, I agree about, but so did Anakin, based on his dialogue with Palpatine afterwards.
  16. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Uum, the vast majority of those kids don't mass murder/slaughter others in the name of "love." I don't think that's an apt comparison, myself.

    Long response short: absolutely nothing wrong with Anakin wanting to help the clones - oh, except one thing - it may have imperiled their mission to save the Chancellor. They "had a job to do" just as did the Clones - and much as we hate it, soldiers die in war. Obi-Wan was right that time.
  17. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    It depends on your point of view. ;)

    Mostly it would come down to definition in this stead. Yes he was a "bad" Jedi for some things, but "misguided" or "arrogant" might fit some of the smaller offenses.
  18. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Nah, if you anoint a Chosen One, dude should have the leeway to follow his instincts and tackle two missions. And regardless, Obi-Wan can be "right" in terms of by the book orders while still coming across as cold-hearted.
  19. Skelter

    Skelter Jedi Padawan star 1

    Oct 31, 2012
    Anakin failed because he was stupid as hell.. Anakin, the only way to save your wife is by murdering children...No wait, I need your help to discover the power, so go kill kids in the meantime, because by murdering children, we MIGHT discover the power... Anakin, you get the award for being the dumbest moron to ever be shown on a movie...Anakin had the potential to be such a badass villain. But no, he is just a moron...Lol..what a tool..
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  20. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    AS to your first assertion, *I* find myself waffling on whether the Jedi should have cheered "atta boy" whenever Anakin rushed in/forward (i.e. were all actions guided by the Force) or not (how attuned was he to the Force when he rushed forward without a thought).

    As to the second: you are of course welcome to see Obi-Wan's attitude there as cold. I don't; I see it as focused and necessary at that moment.
    zompusbite likes this.
  21. thesevegetables

    thesevegetables Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 11, 2012
    Granted, the Jedi code is really strict, so it wouldn't be hard to be a "bad" Jedi by their definition. Anakin broke a ton of rules.
  22. Charlie512

    Charlie512 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 17, 2011
    Still he didn't really face any direct consequences as far as discipline goes from the Jedi for his behavior. A little slaps in the wrist by Obi-wan here and there but that's about it. So you can't say the Jedi's code was that strict.

    In our world, he would have probably been in prison way before RotS for mass murder.
  23. Charlie512

    Charlie512 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 17, 2011
    The Jedi were being cautious and justifiably so. But really though? Anakin committed the atrocities he did because something that happened 10+ years ago which was later reversed? Doesn't seem reasonable to me.

    At the end of the day though, actions are actions and the person who commits them is responsible. Others may have influenced but he/she is responsible.
    zompusbite likes this.
  24. Aaronaman

    Aaronaman Jedi Knight star 4

    Mar 12, 2013
    There's no way Anakin isn't to blame for the path he choose....I was just meaning he was the inexperienced one and his journey into becoming a Jedi could have been handled better by the council.

    Mace Windu was weary of Anakin yet did nothing?!
  25. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Ah - glad to clarify that. It's so easy to misunderstand on the internet unless one asks a follow-up question.