Who is the Hero- Luke or Anakin?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Emperor_Billy_Bob, Feb 9, 2003.

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  1. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    Luke. Without Luke, Vader would have stayed evil.

    Vader is the final hero since in the end he realizes what he's done is wrong, and he doesn't want his son to die, thus he freed the galaxy. But without Luke, Vader would never have come to that cross-section.
  2. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "If you are that desperate to have a hero in your life, then just sit back, eat your popcorn, and enjoy the film."

    Okay, first off, I will apologize for that comment. It was not necessary.

    That being said...

    And you accuse me of simplifying Star Wars?

    For the purposes of this argument, it seemed necssary.

    "Hey, I give Vader all the credit for helping to destroy the Jedi and enslave the galaxy. "

    Further proving my point...."your inability to accomodate the duality of Vader's personality."

    You see nothing positive in Vader, despite the fact that your hero did. How do you account for this disparity?

    "Anakin is a rather pathetic character based on his actions. No bias, no prejudice."

    Ironic. Again, the focus is on his dark deeds. These sentences are at odds with each other.

    "yet you now say that I'm making it "sound like Luke did everything singlehandedly"

    Yes, because you don't mention anyone else involved in the movie. The saga is not just about Luke.

    "On his own, Luke is nothing, and without his father, Luke learns nothing."

    Prove me wrong on this "simplification", and I'll acquiesce.

    Anakin is a greater integral part of the films than Luke.

    "Should Anakin be exempt from the choices he made, is he above morality because he is "the tragic hero"?

    Thank you for rewording. I do appreciate that.

    I never said Vader was a good guy, or a simple hero, or is exempt from anything. You are asking a black-and-white question, when the characters are being described by degrees. This is one of the reasons why I dislike the OT:SE is because in the original OT, the Han Solo who shoots first is "redeemed" by way of help the rebellion and the love of a woman. In the SE's Han is just another "good guy" who gets caught up in the rebellion. The depths of his character are diminished when Lucas gives him a "PC" portrayal.

    If Anakin were truly "pathetic", and "above morality", how do you explain his change of heart towards his son? These one-sided opinions to not take his positive actions into account. He certainly is not the best father one could have, but in the end, he did show the positive side that Luke believed in. These movies are meant to be emotionally heart-rendering. It's tragic that Anakin finally understands that he is loved by his son regardless of his past actions, including acts committed against his son.

    If you are so convinced of Luke's heroism, why is it heroic for Luke to beg his father to risk his own life to save his son? Why does Luke continually refuse to strike down the Emperor, only doing so when the Emperor finally gets his dander up? Why doesn't Luke simply strike down both of the "villains", and save the day before the rebel fleet loses several large ships? Think of how many lives were wasted by his stalling!

    Anakin is not the "perfect" villain, and Luke is not the "perfect" hero, especially when he loses his temper and gives in to the Dark Side, however briefly. Otherwise, Luke would have continued striking Vader and then gone after the Emperor. It's not until Luke sees his father's hatred in himself that he stops to regain his composure! This is why I state as fact that Luke is nothing without his father. The films clearly show that it takes a little bit of good and bad to get the job done. To see Vader's death as his "come-uppance" simply diminishes the hard realizations and choices that he made for his son's life.

    "Flaming is against the TOS by the way."

    I simply answered your question.

    "You only reason you haven't been caught on it is probably because half the mods can't understand you.

    Now you project your lack of understanding on the mods? Who's flaming who? In my experience, the mods have been very quick to stop what you claim to be happening. In fact, they are even more sensitive to it in this forum, due to the very nature of previous arguments concerning the OT vs. PT.

    "Vader is the final hero since in the end he realizes what he's d
  3. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Calm down people. Focus on the arguements, and not the person who is presenting them. :)
  4. Vanthorne_OX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2002
    star 3
    For me, it is fair to call both Anakin and Luke the heroes of the saga. There are other heroes all throughout the saga, but they are the defining heroes, for most other heroes are in some way connected to them. Also, their heroic deeds come to an ultimate climax in ROTJ. Together, they help each other resist the dark side and defeat Palpatine.

    At the end of ESB and in ROTJ, Luke stops seeing Vader as a villain, and more as his father. The idea of Anakin is what propells Luke to surrender in order to get close to Vader, in hopes of bringing his father back. And after Luke flirts with the dark side by beating his father's evil incarnate self down, it is the realization that he is becoming more machine than man, just like his father, Anakin, had. This ephihany is spurred by the idea of Anakin and helps Luke to denounce the dark side and proclaim that he is a Jedi, like my father before me.

    As a result, Luke's suffering gives Vader an epiphany. He is Anakin, and there is time to not only denounce the dark side, but kill his former master as well. He knows that doing so will most likely kill him, but at least it will save Luke.

    So I believe that the ending of ROTJ shows us that together, they realize their importance to each other, and denounce the dark side and defeat Palpatine. I think this is the groundwork for a theme that Lucas took advantage of when he made TPM, since it is the first in the saga. That theme, whose idea was already a part of the saga, was solidified in TPM. It is the idea of symbiosis. And all throughtout the saga it keeps showing back up.

    Here are some examples of symbiosis throughout the saga in relation to characters and groups of characters. There are other types of symbiosis in the SW saga ranging from big to little, such as midichlorians and force users, Anakin's two pod engines, core worlds and outer worlds, the Empire and the Republic, etc. But this list focuses on specific people working toghether or failing to work together throughout the saga. I chose one instance from each movie, there are certainly more:

    • The people of Naboo and the Gungans (only by working together can they resist the Trade Federation)
    • Anakin and Obi-Wan when facing Dooku (they fail to work together, and pay the price)
    • Luke and Han when facing Vader (Han realizes his friendship with Luke, comes back, and as a team, Vader is taken out and the Death Star is history)
    • Luke and Yoda (Luke must learn to work with his little green host if he is to find Yoda and begin his training)
    • Anakin and Luke (explained above)


    I see this idea of symbiosis all throughout the saga. It culminates in the dramatic climax of ROTJ when the two heroes of each trilogy must work together to denounce the dark side and defeat Palpatine. By working together as a team, they become the "bigger and better" hero.

    Edit: clarification
  5. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "I see this idea of symbiosis all throughout the saga."

    Thank you. More evidence that Luke is a product of all of his experiences with other characters, not just a blonde-haired, blue-eyed kid who is good with a joystick and a lightsaber.

    "On his own, Luke is nothing, and without his father, Luke learns nothing."

    (The second part is a definite simplification, but the first part still holds true.)

    To call Luke the "hero" ignores everything that Vader, Obi-wan, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the droids did to assist him in the films. He is not "Mad Max".

    [EDIT] Not to exclude Yoda, and others. I didn't want to overdo the point.

    Luke learned a great deal from his father, even before he met him. Luke even wanted to be just like him. When Luke found out his father wasn't this picture-perfect image, he strove to make Anakin like he was, which, in his son's eyes, was a "hero."
  6. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Okay, lets do this one more time.

    ""Hey, I give Vader all the credit for helping to destroy the Jedi and enslave the galaxy."

    Further proving my point...."your inability to accomodate the duality of Vader's personality."

    Well allow me to disprove your point right here. Anakin does a lot of good things. He saves his son's life. When he was a child he helped the people of Naboo by destroying the Droid control ship. He risked his own life by entering a Tusken camp alone in an attempt to free his mother.

    Hope that buries that one. :)

    You see nothing positive in Vader, despite the fact that your hero did. How do you account for this disparity?

    As the above shows, I do see the positive in Vader/Anakin. There is no disparity, only a misunderstanding of my beliefs on your part.

    "yet you now say that I'm making it "sound like Luke did everything singlehandedly"

    Yes, because you don't mention anyone else involved in the movie. The saga is not just about Luke.

    Yes, but this thread is titled Who is the Hero- Luke or Anakin?, so pardon me if the people I focus on are Luke and Anakin (although I have repeatedly pointed out the part the Rebellion played in ROTJ).

    On his own, Luke is nothing, and without his father, Luke learns nothing.

    Prove me wrong on this "simplification", and I'll acquiesce.

    and

    Anakin is not the "perfect" villain, and Luke is not the "perfect" hero, especially when he loses his temper and gives in to the Dark Side, however briefly. Otherwise, Luke would have continued striking Vader and then gone after the Emperor. It's not until Luke sees his father's hatred in himself that he stops to regain his composure! This is why I state as fact that Luke is nothing without his father.

    If you had said "Luke would not have been able to resist the lure of the dark side in ROTJ without the sight of his father and what the dark side had done to his life" then I could see why you might have a point.

    But you claim that Luke is "nothing" without his father is a gross simplification.

    If Luke is nothing without his father, and you base this argument on an event that took place at the end of ROTJ, what exactly was Luke in ANH and TESB? I'd say that he was a hero, a great man who fought with the rebellion, helped save Princess Leia and blew up the Death Star (with a lot of help from others). But according to the logic of your argument, he was "nothing".

    You also claim that "without his father, Luke learns nothing", which is strange seeing as Luke learned to walk, talk, fly a X-Wing, fight with a lightsabre and use the force all without his father.

    So your claims are simplifications, unless your argument is that Luke is nothing/would learn nothing without his father because, biologically speaking, he wouldn't exist without his father, but I don't think that was the point you were trying to make (as you cite events in ROTJ as evidence for your beliefs).







  7. Lord_Volz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 2
    Luke didn't go to dark side... he is definetely the hero.
  8. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    " But you claim that Luke is "nothing" without his father is a gross simplification. "

    Correct, and prior to your latest post, I clarified that error. Hope you read it.

    Otherwise, a very good post on your part :)
  9. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    " Luke didn't go to dark side"

    He gave in to his fear in ESB, fear of losing his friends. He gave into his anger in ROTJ, almost killing Vader. That leads to the Dark Side. If anything, he certainly got his toes wet.
  10. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    Anakin is the Chosen One and fulfills the prophesy, but no-one other than Luke could've turned him away from the Dark Side when it mattered most.
  11. Anakinisthechosenone Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2003
    star 1
    I think it was Anakin and to loosly qoute GL i think lol "He,through tragedy lost sight of his goodness." Then Luke helped him discover the hero that was still deep inside of him. so its definately anakin b/c it all comes up to anakin.. he could've let paply kill luke but he didn't, he himself could've killed luke but he didn't.... its def a hard thing to grasp.. but i think it's anakin.
  12. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    Not that there's any bias to your opinion, right, Anakinisthechosenone [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
  13. Anakinisthechosenone Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2003
    star 1
  14. The_Anakin_Wannabe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2003
    star 4
    but isnt that what Anakin does in TPM? Giving without any thought of reward. Thats what he did in the race. Quigon says it himself. He also helps his mother in episode 2, and he wanted badly to help Obiwan on GEONOSIS. Also remember that he saves Obiwan from Dooku.

    Valid, but Luke doesn't go around slaughtering Tuskens :)
  15. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "but Luke doesn't go around slaughtering Tuskens"

    Nah, he just targets womp-rats with his T-16.

    Anakin/Luke - "They're animals!" [face_laugh]
  16. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    lol, it all makes sense now! The parallels are there!

    BERU: Luke, what's wrong?
    LUKE: I... I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. Not just the three-metre ones. But the two-metre ones, and the one-metre ones, too! They're like ANIMALS, and I SLAUGHTERED them like animals! I HATE THEM!
    BERU: Calm down, have some blue milk.
    LUKE: It's all Biggs' fault! He's holding me BACK!
  17. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    But isnt that what Anakin does in the PM? Giving without any thought of reward? He wanted badly to help Obiwan on Gonosis, and he helped his mother.

    >>>>>True, but Luke didnt go around slaughtering a bunch of Tuskan Raiders<<<<

    Ahhh, but Luke DID make the same mistake in TESB when he chopped the head off of that image of Vader in the cave on Dagobah. That's why "he failed". Yoda was testing him, and he failed b/c he did the same thing his father did on Tatooine. I never understood that scene until I saw AOTC. Watch the scene in slow motion, and you will see a very psychotic look on Luke's face. Ofcourse, the effect was not the same, b/c for Luke it was just a test. Again, if it were not for Yoda, Luke would also have gone to the Darkside.
  18. darthstega Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 1
    Anakin and Luke are BOTH heroes.

    Luke's heroic virtues have been well outlined previously. He led the Alliance in rescuing the Princess, destroying the DS I, and the Battle of Hoth. He twice confronted Darth Vader, the embodiment of evil in the galaxy, and despite the shock of learning his paternity, did not give in to fear. He stood up against the Emperor without yielding to the dark side. His efforts not only saved his life, the rebellion and thus the galaxy, but also was essential in redeeming his father, thus fulfiling both their destinies. He is indeed A true hero.

    But, that was Luke's destiny. What about Anakin's destiny? What would you do if you learned that in order to save the world you must first be do the most unspeakably evil things and kill and destroy all that you know and love? Are we, ordinary people willing to accept this fate if faced with it? I don't think so. But Anakin faced up to his destiny as the chosen one, suffered and in the end saved the galaxy. He didn't ask for this role, but none the less lived it. It IS heroic to sacrifice yourself for the good of others. This is the sacrifice that soldiers all over the world right now, in the past and in the future make each time they step out on the battlefield. They must kill in order to achieve what they feel is right and what is ultimately the best for mankind. (That's a whole other discussion!!!)

    Now, what Anakin/ Vader did was necessary for the greater good of the galaxy. The Republic had become too bureaucratic and corrupt and from all indications, undemocratic. The Jedi order was too stagnant to be truly tuned to the living force. On top of this, the evil of the Sith had now emerged from the shadows of exile. The galaxy was heading for self-destruction. It could not have been fixed by any other route that tearing down the old structures and rebuilding and in the process, destroying the Sith. Anakin facilitated this tearing down by being Darth Vader and made way for rebuilding by destroying the Emperor. No one, not even Luke could have destroyed the Emperor. His life was tragic, but his tragedy was necessary in order to ultimately save the galaxy and as such is ultimately heroic.

  19. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "The parallels are there! "

    Nice touch, DamonD :)

    " Ahhh, but Luke DID make the same mistake in TESB when he chopped the head off of that image of Vader in the cave on Dagobah. That's why "he failed"."

    Good catch, rpeugh. Thanks for the assist!

    "He didn't ask for this role, but none the less lived it. It IS heroic to sacrifice yourself for the good of others. This is the sacrifice that soldiers all over the world right now, in the past and in the future make each time they step out on the battlefield. They must kill in order to achieve what they feel is right and what is ultimately the best for mankind."

    Exactly, Anakin was created by the Midichloridians! He was made by the Force, he served a purpose for the Force, and at the end, became one with the Force. The problem with interpreting his actions, is that we, and apparently Yoda as well, do not fully understand the implications of the Prophecy. Anakin was brought into existence for a reason (and, presumably, Luke and Leia as well), and for better or worse, did what he had to do. To disagree with his actions is fine, but the saga is about his actions, and how others are affected by them (or, in the Emperor's case, how he affected Anakin's actions.) In Luke's case, he is both affected by, and later on effective to, Anakin's actions.
  20. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    They both are - it depends on if you like your characters complex or Mary Sue...

    Okay, that wasn't fair, anyway..

    They both are - it's the symbiosis thing. They needed each other to complete their purpose in life.
  21. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    It's simply not a question of heroes and villians. It's people doing what they need to do to, whether it's helping others, taking over a government, or ridding the universe of tyranny.

    I doubt many people would have called Han Solo a "hero" if they had seen his character prior to ANH. The rebellion made him a "hero", just as Luke made Anakin a "hero". (Yes, I know, simplistic terms.)
  22. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    (Yes, I know, simplistic terms.)

    From what I've seen most protractors of Anakin seem to view it simplistcally, which is not a bad thing, to me the OT was simplistic, as it was supposed to be.

    I guess it just depends on how you like your "heroes". I for one like mine a little complicated. But heck I thought Vader the most wonderful character to come along in a long time by the time ESB and ROTJ were made. There were a million one Lukes running around, but only one as complex as Vader and later Anakin in ROTJ.
  23. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "From what I've seen most protractors of Anakin seem to view it simplistcally."

    If by "protractors", you mean proponents, I've usually seen the opposite case with regards to viewpoints. Interesting.

    "I for one like mine a little complicated."

    You and me both.

    "There were a million one Lukes running around, but only one as complex as Vader and later Anakin in ROTJ."

    Ain't that the truth? (though I would have put Luke in quotes. Otherwise, people around here might think they were clones :D )

    I like your style, rhonderoo :)
  24. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    From what I've seen most protractors [do you mean detractors?] of Anakin seem to view it simplistcally, which is not a bad thing, to me the OT was simplistic, as it was supposed to be.

    I guess it just depends on how you like your "heroes". I for one like mine a little complicated.


    Picking Luke as a hero over Anakin has nothing to do with choosing a simplistic character, although I can understand how someone who views the OT as simplistic might make that mistake.

    Ahhh, but Luke DID make the same mistake in TESB when he chopped the head off of that image of Vader in the cave on Dagobah. That's why "he failed". Yoda was testing him, and he failed b/c he did the same thing his father did on Tatooine.


    I don't think it's fair to equate Luke's "failure" in chopping off the head of the Emperor's right hand man with Anakin's "failure" to stop himself from slaughtering a village full of men, women and children. Luke was presented with the image of a single evil. That he went into the cave with his weapons (and the fear and aggression they represent) was his true failure.

    Anakin "fails" because he decides to kill lots of men, women and children.


    What would you do if you learned that in order to save the world you must first be do the most unspeakably evil things and kill and destroy all that you know and love? Are we, ordinary people willing to accept this fate if faced with it? I don't think so. But Anakin faced up to his destiny as the chosen one, suffered and in the end saved the galaxy.

    What evidence do you have that the prophecy could only be fulfilled by Anakin falling to the dark side? Why does Anakin have to do unspeakable evils and destroy what he loves? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only information we have on the fate of the chosen one is that he will bring balance to the force. As far as I'm aware it didn't lay out one (and only one) path by which this objective could be achieved.

    Furthermore should we give Anakin credit for falling to the dark side? You talk about "learning that in order to save the world you must first be do the most unspeakably evil things and kill and destroy all that you know and love" as if Anakin chose to become DV simply to fulfill the prophecy. As I've pointed out, the prophecy doesn't mention any of that, and there is ZERO evidence to support the idea that Anakin decides to to evil so that he can eventually save the galaxy, whereas there is mountains of evidence to show that Anakin did what he did to ensure the galaxy remained under the total control of a single dictator (hoping that one day that dictator might be him).



  25. Sophita Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    star 4
    Wow, lots of interesting posts on this thread. I'd like to reply more indepth but unfortunatly I have to go so this is just a quick one from me-

    I think it depends on how you like your heroes. Luke is more of the clean cut, never fail, always good guy where as Anakin is a much more human character who messes up at times and has more drawbacks to his character.

    Personally, I think it's Anakin. He is the one who comes through in the end-without him, Luke and the rebellion would be dead. He sacrificed his life for his child...That's quite heroic, IMO.
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