Why did Anakin 'have to' be a little boy?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Darth_Howell_III, Mar 27, 2005.

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  1. Darth_Howell_III Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
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    I always pictured a young man, perhaps Luke's age or older, that Kenobi encountered and 'took it upon himself' to train as a Jedi.

    This opinion is corroborated by our ROJ glimpse of Sabastian Shaw, along with the force-ghost he produced, depicting a man not a whole lot younger than the geriatric Kenobi.

    So I question why, in TPM, Lucas considered it imperative to slide Anakin's age as far down as possible, at the expense of creating questionable continuity between the trilogies?

    Certainly a twenty-year old Anakin - a far more credible hero to begin with - could have exhibited an adult version of the mother fixation.

    He'd only have to say "She's all I ever had in the universe," and the audience would believe that he'd feel compelled to act in her defense.

    So why? Why create problems for yourself, holding your breath that audiences will believe this tyke is a pilot, etc, when you could fairly easily utilize a young adult in the role?
  2. Master_Gallia Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 2
    I always pictured a young man, perhaps Luke's age or older, that Kenobi encountered and 'took it upon himself' to train as a Jedi.

    For the story to focus on Anakin and what drives him to the dark side, having him as a Teenager would not have the same impact. The concept of the PT would need to change. A teenager who is 'coming of age' is not the same as a boy who is taken from his mother for good reasons.

    This opinion is corroborated by our ROJ glimpse of Sabastian Shaw, along with the force-ghost he produced, depicting a man not a whole lot younger than the geriatric Kenobi.


    Huh?

    So I question why, in TPM, Lucas considered it imperative to slide Anakin's age as far down as possible, at the expense of creating questionable continuity between the trilogies?

    Certainly a twenty-year old Anakin - a far more credible hero to begin with - could have exhibited an adult version of the mother fixation.

    He'd only have to say "She's all I ever had in the universe," and the audience would believe that he'd feel compelled to act in her defense.


    That doesn't make any since. TPM set up how the Jedi identify and train very young children. You're trying to solve a "problem" by creating all new ones. Why would Obiwan take it upon himself to train Anakin? Why would Anakin, having been with his mother for the majority of his teenage years, have a fixation with her? Yes, we all are attached to family emotionally, but in this version we don't even see her. In effect, the story would be short changed. Some things can be left to dialog. Some things NEED to be seen in order to have the context for the dramatic effect.


    So why? Why create problems for yourself, holding your breath that audiences will believe this tyke is a pilot, etc, when you could fairly easily utilize a young adult in the role?


    The whole idea is that Anakin is gifted. Watto knew this, Shmi knew it, Qi-Gon saw it and it was played out on the screen before the discussion was made to train him as a Jedi. The focus of the PT is on Anakin. Anakin as a child ensures that the story remains lighthearted enough for ROTS to give an extreme contrast.


  3. GhostHand Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2005
    star 1
    The pt is to make us re-think what we know, or as Yoda would say, "You must unlearned what you have learned". When we think of Vader we view this black masked terror. The embodiment of evil, that could simply choke someone to death by putting two fingers together.

    What greater juxta position than having an innocent little boy. A boy that dreams of angels and adventures. A boy that is willing to give up everything to help people he barely knows.

    We will revisit this boy in ten years and see how he has grown. How he has handled the pressure of being the chosen one. How though he stills misses his mother very much, he is taught time and again not to be attached to her or anyone else. We will see how this pressures help him fall to the darkside, and become the man in black that attacks and boards the princess' ship at the beginning of star wars.
  4. Obladi_Oblada Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2005
    star 2
    "having him as a Teenager would not have the same impact"

    I disagree. I've always related more to Luke Skywalker than I do with Anakin. If Luke had fallen to the Dark Side, that would have been devastating. I really think we should have been introduced to Anakin at 15 or 16 maybe. If only because the selection of actors would have been better. To be honest, I liked Jake Lloyd in a couple scenes. Getting the pod racer to work was good. As was stargazing with Qui-Gon. But other than that.. casting someone so young and inexperienced as an actor was a mistake, in my opinion. Also, having two different actors for kid Anakin and older Anakin greatly reduces the impact of his fall. To me anyway.
  5. YYZ-2112 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2004
    star 4
    I bet in order for the Emperor's rise to power to play out in the right time frame as well as the decisions made by the Jedi Order to coincide correctly with respect to Anakin, he had to begin at a young age.

    Most likely Lucas built his overall story arc from the end first to the beginning last. Once he saw the basic layout he realised that Anakin needed to be a boy in the first Episode and wrote the script with that in mind.
  6. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    But George didn't want a 20 year old Anakin. He wanted a 10 year old Anakin. It's his story to tell. If you want to paint your house white, then that's fine. If George wants his house green, then that's fine. It's fine for people to like or dislike a green house but in the end, it is George's house to paint.

  7. grievious Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 3
    He needs to be young to start the je jedi training, according to Yoda...
  8. Obladi_Oblada Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2005
    star 2
    I'm sorry, Strilo, but what does that add to this thread? George made it this way, end of discussion? I think most of us are aware who wrote Star Wars. The question here is whether we, the fans, think he made the best storytelling decision in this particular case. Obviously there are differing opinions.
  9. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I never said end of discussion. I merely stated my opinion. Anakin had to be a little boy because Lucas wanted it that way in order to tell the story he wanted to tell.

  10. Obladi_Oblada Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2005
    star 2
    There have been actual reasons given, like how having him begin as a child makes his fall have more of an impact. Lucas himself said it was because the separation from his mother is made more heart-wrenching. I'm just saying, simply stating that it's the way it is because that's the way it was written is kind of a given and adds nothing to the discussion.
  11. Old_Republic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2005
    star 1
    True that. I'd always assumed that Anakin and Obi-wan were of similar age when I was growing up in the 80's. Since the release of AotC I've come to beleive that TPM Anakin should have been of similar age to Padme so as to help the love story. They could have developed a crush on each other as 14 year olds and just rekindled it in Ep2. That would have helped Padme's character fall in love and Anakin would still have been young enough to still have strong attachments to his mom.
  12. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I always pictured a young man, perhaps Luke's age or older, that Kenobi encountered and 'took it upon himself' to train as a Jedi.

    This opinion is corroborated by our ROJ glimpse of Sabastian Shaw, along with the force-ghost he produced, depicting a man not a whole lot younger than the geriatric Kenobi.


    Not really. He could've been anywhere from ten to twenty years younger than Kenobi.

    So I question why, in TPM, Lucas considered it imperative to slide Anakin's age as far down as possible, at the expense of creating questionable continuity between the trilogies?

    Certainly a twenty-year old Anakin - a far more credible hero to begin with


    Why is a twenty-year-old Anakin a far more credible hero?

    - could have exhibited an adult version of the mother fixation.

    Which would've been far less believable and more than a little creepy. A twenty-year-old loves his mother, to be sure, but he's emotionally separated from her, able to leave her without trauma. I'd hope so, anyway.

    He'd only have to say "She's all I ever had in the universe," and the audience would believe that he'd feel compelled to act in her defense.

    I assume you're referring to Anakin's slaughter of the Tuskens.

    But Anakin feeling compelled to act in Shmi's defense was not the only factor. Anakin was separated from his mother before he was ready to be. (Jedi took children as infants for a reason: their attachments to their parents, primarily their mothers, had yet to be solidified.) Anakin, being nine, was still attached to his mother and had not yet begun to separate from her emotionally -- a process that usually begins at puberty. Part of the reason Anakin is so susceptible to temptation and to the dark side is because of emotional scars of being separated from his mother. He's emotionally immature.

    So why? Why create problems for yourself, holding your breath that audiences will believe this tyke is a pilot, etc

    Why wouldn't they believe he's a pilot? He demonstrates skills as a pilot in the movie, first in the podrace and then in the space battle.

    when you could fairly easily utilize a young adult in the role?

    Not in the story Lucas wanted to tell.

    They could have developed a crush on each other as 14 year olds and just rekindled it in Ep2. That would have helped Padme's character fall in love and Anakin would still have been young enough to still have strong attachments to his mom.

    Not as strong as when he was 9. At 14 he would've started to separate from her already. And anyway, the romance between Anakin and Padmé isn't normal by any means. It's the act of two emotionally stunted people who plunge headlong into an ill-advised relationship that can't end any way but tragically.
  13. Old_Republic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2005
    star 1
    I'll give you that Shelley, but who really is to say that Anakin at 14 would be any less attached to Shmi? A 12 to 14 year old could have portrayed an innocent yet edgy kid. We have remember that growing up on Tatooine as a slave with no real knowledge to what's going on in the bigger galaxy will, as you say, emotionally stunt a person.
  14. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I'll give you that Shelley, but who really is to say that Anakin at 14 would be any less attached to Shmi?

    Just about anyone who's seen boys at that age. They still have some attachment to their mothers, but they're already well on their way to separating from them.

    A 12 to 14 year old could have portrayed an innocent yet edgy kid.

    But Lucas didn't want an innocent yet edgy kid.

    We have remember that growing up on Tatooine as a slave with no real knowledge to what's going on in the bigger galaxy will, as you say, emotionally stunt a person.

    It didn't emotionally stunt Luke.
  15. Obladi_Oblada Jedi Knight

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    Mar 18, 2005
    star 2
    Luke wasn't a slave. And by the time of the OT, Tatooine is more connected to the rest of the galaxy.
  16. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Luke wasn't a slave.

    He might as well have been one.

    And by the time of the OT, Tatooine is more connected to the rest of the galaxy.

    How so?
  17. Obladi_Oblada Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2005
    star 2
    The Empire has enough of a presence on Tatooine for Luke to hate it, whereas in TPM Shmi says the Republic doesn't exist there. His best friend even went to the Imperial Academy and defected over to the Rebels, so Tatooine clearly isn't as out of the loop as it was in the PT. And come on. He wasn't anywhere close to being a slave. He lived on a moisture farm with his Aunt and Uncle. They were protective, made him do chores, that kind of thing. But they weren't slave drivers, they were parents to him. No one was going to blow him up or use him to gamble on races.
  18. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    The Empire has enough of a presence on Tatooine for Luke to hate it,

    The Empire was only a presence on Tatooine when it served its purposes. Luke was aware of the Empire but had only the most academic idea of what it was.

    whereas in TPM Shmi says the Republic doesn't exist there. His best friend even went to the Imperial Academy and defected over to the Rebels, so Tatooine clearly isn't as out of the loop as it was in the PT.

    Anakin listened to traders and space pilots who came through Mos Espa to know something of the galaxy beyond. He knew about angels on the moons of Iego, he knew about Jedi, he knew about lightsabers (only he called them "laserswords").

    Tatooine wasn't really so very "out of the loop" in the PT. I'd say that Luke and Anakin were exposed to roughly equivalent amounts of galactic info.

    And come on. He wasn't anywhere close to being a slave. He lived on a moisture farm with his Aunt and Uncle. They were protective, made him do chores, that kind of thing. But they weren't slave drivers, they were parents to him. No one was going to blow him up or use him to gamble on races.

    I didn't say they were. I was saying that he might as well have been in the same position Anakin was in, because he never did leave Tatooine, and barely left the farm, until he met Obi Wan. His uncle kept him on the farm as long as possible.
  19. Old_Republic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2005
    star 1
    LOL, it's funny, we SW fans forget that GL is doing what he wants and not what fans want. I don't disagree with you Shelley(much), I'm just trying to justify in my own mind(my personal SW beliefs) how, in light of Ep's 2 & 3, could TPM be changed to cover some of what I thought when I was growing up.

    Luke was emotionally stunted, we know that Fixer and Cammie and even Biggs, to a certain extent, treat him like the weird kid down the block.
  20. colivo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2004
    star 3
    In 1999, when TPM came out, I questioned having Anakin as a 10 year old, because you definitely could have made a better movie with Anakin as 18-20 years old. But now that the prequels are almost over, I now know Lucas made the right decision. Watching just one movie, after the TPM came out, you always want more, but now I like knowing about Anakin as a kid, all the way to his death. His character is fully developed, and definitely makes you think, "This is just a cute little boy like you would see everyday on the street, and he turns out to be Darth Vader! That could happen to anybody!" I think that was what Lucas wanted us to understand the whole time.
  21. BauconBatista Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2004
    star 4
    Why did Anakin 'have to' be a little boy?

    Because GL wanted us to know that Vader was actually a innocent person once upon a time.

    There, happy? :p
  22. Old_Republic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2005
    star 1
    We all know why. Yes, GL wanted us to see Anakin as a little boy and that makes his fall all that more tragic and it works. Please everyone, this topic/question is opinion based so why do we have to have so many literal replies. Comparing opinion with fact is like comparing apples and oranges. Where's the fun in that?
  23. Palps Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 2003
    star 1
    I think it worked well for Anakin to be a kid in The Phantom Menace. It's the story of how a very good person becomes a very evil person.
  24. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    The big problem with having him as a child at first is it's too big a leap from TPM and AOTC. Anakin has already changed a lot, and none of that character development is shown. This hurts the tragedy of his fall just as much as showing him young and innocent helps it.
  25. JohnMilner Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Having Anakin as a yound adult in TPM would not have enabled us to see any more character development between the two films. In fact, it would have given us less. The jump from a child to a teen in TPM/AOTC gives us a distinct line of change in Anakin. Shifting from 18 to say 20 years of age does nothing to develop the character. What we got was a good glimpse of just how much Anakin has grown up and managed to pick up some serious emotional baggage from when we see him in TPM. The time difference between the two movies has a psuedo-development effect to it without actually showing any of it.

    I think Lucas was dead on deciding on a young Anakin. First of all, we get to see how innocent and wide-eyed he was at the start. Then we see his teenage years where his emotional problems are starting to surface and his anger get the better of him. Then, I assume, in EP3 we will see him as a Jedi Knight on the brink of greatness or tragedy, the razor's edge he is walking will eventually lead to his fall.

    Also, having him as a younger Padawan to Obi Wan's Knight creates a type of father/son relationship that is stronger than if it were just two guys of the same age. The father/son relationship can present more emotional issues/problems between the two friends that can accelerate Anakin's fall to the Dark Side should they get the better of Anakin....

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