PT Anakin Skywalker MEGAthread - Don't talk to him about sand, it makes him uncomfortable

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Tonyg, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Tonyg

    Tonyg Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 16, 2016
    I start this topic because enough people in another thread liked the idea.
    The topic is very popular, but is still object of many discussions and the main question in those discussions is always something like: It is impossible for this whiny brat to become the remarkable badass villain of the OT. Here I'll throw down the gauntlet and I will say that Vader is not badass at all, he is just a shadow of the man he was in his youth, all that he possess during the OT is his anger, his lightsaber and his Sith power. That's why he chokes people so easily, but this not heroism, anybody can do it if this anybody forget that he had conscience once. So Vader is not only half human physically, but also emotionally, well, not completely, because in OT we see that Anakin there in the suit is still alive, he just needed real love to be waked up.
    That is because Anakin was emotionally strong. Yes, he is not whiny brat, he is strong (I throw down the gauntlet for the second time ;) ) but he just was too YOUNG and too socially and emotionally inexperienced in those dark times. ( I mean, during the falling of the Republic). But he was strong enough to resist (many times) to the lust of the Sith power. In the end he fails because of his fears and bad choices, but he resisted. Some say that his transformation is rushed, no, it is not, he just resisted to the evil much more that we see at first sight.
    But despite this, Anakin has enough flaws. His bad temper, his fear to loose the people he loves, his obsession to be too good (too good Jedi, too powerful fighter, to become master too fast) push him to make some really bad choices. He is the tragic hero of SW (with museinwoodenshoes already discussed the nature of the heroes ;) ) , complex character, that fall in the darkness but received the opportunity to redeem himself and with that to back to his tru self: the good-hearted hero full of emotions, vulnerable without being weak.
    So, what do you think?
    I would ask Sepra Antpocalypse Evening Star , and everybody, of course, to participate.
  2. {Quantum/MIDI}

    {Quantum/MIDI} Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2015
    Something that I have been wantingto talk about for a long time. I shall not join this discussion yet as I am quite busy at the moment but I will have a semi wall of text soon regarding the interesting, yet heated topic.
    Darth Basin and Tonyg like this.
  3. DavidSword79

    DavidSword79 Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 27, 2015
    If you will imagine Darth Vader's lines in the OT as being delivered in the same narcissistic, complain-y tone that Anakin has in AOTC and ROTS, it becomes clearer that these are in fact very much the same person.

    Darth Vader in the OT is also whiny, self-centered, and destroys people when he doesn't get his way. This is all stuff that Anakin does, too. The difference is that Vader is wearing black cybernetic armor and speaks with a deep, terrifying voice, so he seems very scary and his underlings jump to obey his commands.

    So my answer to the question is: Yes. He's a whiny brat, a total badass and the most complex character in the Saga.
  4. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 26, 2013
    Most complex character in CINEMA
  5. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016
    Thanks for the tag Tonyg and for starting this thread!

    First off, I wouldn't say that Vader wasn't a badass in his own right. He's definitely not as energetic or agile as young Anakin, but we all know why that happened. He is definitely more focused and carries himself reservedly, while being quite regal on his own and servile to Sidious at the same time. He was resigned to his fate much before ANH and so we see a closed, emotionally cut off, un-feeling dictator type of villain, who has a certain flair that was definitely cool for its time. Of course, seeing the real human underneath all that show is what makes him the most important character in Star Wars, since we finally get to know the Anakin Skywalker that was and how that explains the thing he became.

    So now onto Anakin. To put it simply, I feel what we saw in the PT was perfect. He had two main drivers to the negative aspect of his character, love and ego, but both were reactive to external stimuli and not something inherently wrong with him. I'll explain in the movie-wise breakdown of his character as follows:

    TPM: He was a simple, good and normal child like everyone is at a young age. People aren't born evil and the world had only just begun to twist him into a darker soul. Only thing of note was his extreme force sensitivity or his being a 'vergence in the force' and his ability to use that at a young age to be a mechanical whizkid and a gifted pod racer. He loved his mother, the only living person he was related to and lived with and who cared for him. He enjoyed the company of his friends like any child of 9. He was a boy who was smitten by a pretty girl, even if she was a few years older than him, which matters to no 9 year old boy. All these things are very normal and are pretty indicative that Lucas wanted to make Anakin a simple, normal kid who kids could relate to and adults could see was a realistic character.

    One thing to note is that his one great achievement at that young age could serve to not only be an indicator of him being the chosen one but something that in his later years would remind him that he WAS the chosen one and reinforce that belief which was already made strong by the Jedi Council repeating it over and over to him. Imagine someone told you, when you were a child, that you were going to be the 'Chosen One' and the saviour of the universe. Wouldn't you believe them? Wouldn't you feel like your destiny was special and that you were special? Wouldn't that give you great expectations from your future?

    AOTC: Here we see an Anakin whose life was changed drastically. He was taken away from his mother and as George has said before, that's what the story is really about. Lost innocence or lost childhood, however you like to see it. He still holds onto his first and seemingly only attraction/infatuation/love towards Padme since it's the only thing from his past life and childhood that he hopes can be a reality again someday. His childhood was lost and cannot be regained, motherly love through his formative years was lost and that cannot be undone. So what he does to cope with that is not an abnormal reaction at all, I'd say it's extremely human. To hold onto the last thing that feeds our inner child and makes us happy in a world that is harsh and doesn't seem to be ideal, is something I feel almost everyone does. (For example: OT fans who dislike the PT since they feel it ruined their childhood.) Everyone has an escape from reality and his unrequited love for Padme may have been his.

    In this case his love towards Padme reminded him of earlier times as well as filled the need to project the love inside him which he couldn't give to anyone, onto someone. Mark of a sensitive young man, not afraid to embrace his emotions but also not wise or experienced enough to know how to control them and not let them overwhelm him, something we see throughout the movie with his loss of control with the Tusken Raiders and the time he spends with Padme.

    We see Anakin lose himself to emotions since too many things happen in too short a span of time for any one to cope with : Padme's re-entry in his life, his force visions and the death of Shmi, romance with Padme, capture of Obi-Wan(his father/brother figure), the Clone Wars, almost losing Padme (so soon after losing his mother), dismemberment at the hands of Dooku etc. Even the strongest of characters would lose control and their calm temperament in such testing times. There is nothing whiny or immature about that.

    Anakin was only human at the end of the day. His force sensitivity or future as a powerful dark lord of the Sith meant nothing at that point and did not control his basic human emotions. What I mean is that anyone's expectation of him being a badass in all situations and at all times due to those other factors from his past and future, is unreal and unfair.

    He was also told again and again that he was the one to bring balance to the force, something which apparently inflated his ego and increased his disappointment and anger, since he was never allowed to utilise the full extent of his capabilities with the Force, making him feel he was living life counter-intuitively to what he had grown up to believe it should be like.

    ROTS: A more refined and mature Anakin, closer to the refined and royal Vader we see later on but still with the baggage of his past dragging him down and breaking him at the worst of times. He looks to Palpatine for counsel, although deferring to Yoda at first. He WANTS to do the right thing but his emotions cloud his judgement, something that the Jedi were taught to move beyond. Something he couldn't do due to the personal losses he had suffered and since he wasn't able to completely cope with those losses.

    I personally agree with the Jedi code and philosophy and currently am even implementing the 'logic, not emotion' tenet in my life, but I can easily see how someone who'd lost so much and had so much more to lose (Padme, Jedi Knightship, his potential destiny) would easily defer to his emotions over better judgement and detached though processes. Despite all this, he STILL showed a 50/50 logic to emotion ratio, since his first response to Palpatine revealing himself as Sidious and telling him he can save Padme, was to report him to the council. Even as he cut down Mace, that was a logical decision driven by the Jedi code and his regret for killing Dooku, while also being tainted by the emotional aspect of saving Padme.

    As I write this, articulating my perception and thoughts on the character, it amazes me how complex Anakin really was, wow.

    Later on we see the dark side take over and his inflated ego and thirst for freedom and power take control. Now he was finally free to take that destiny he always wanted to fulfill and actually fulfill it, instead of it being a looming shadow or a knife hanging over his head, which always felt like it was about to fall but never did. He held the knife now, he could do with it as he wished for the first time in his life. I strongly feel it is at that point, where Anakin becomes Vader is where he truly loses his focus and lets his suppressed thirst for power surpass his main goal of saving Padme at any cost. It was definitely a symbiotic relationship, his need for power and his need to save Padme and avoid losing another loved woman from his life. But when the symbiote becomes a parasite, it's a fine line that can be crossed in the blink of an eye and still feel like it's the same thing.

    Anakin went power mad and still thought he was doing it for Padme, without even realising what he was doing. It became so bad, he ended up choking her, the ONE person he could never lose and the ONE person he did all of that for. When Sidious said, "You killed her in your anger", it's like a shot of cold water on his face, a wake up call for him. He snaps back to reality and realises the extent of and egregiousness of his errors. He is in denial for the rest of his life, which is why we see Darth Vader is a more straightforward and reserved individual who gets to the point and uses his work as Sidious' enforcer to fill the void in his life that he himself created.

    Even so, he is not totally at fault for his destiny. It was the combined load of all the personal loss, the controlling Jedi, Palpatine's manipulation and fear of future loss that broke the camel's back and did the trick. Anakin's ego and thirst for power were just a natural reaction to all those things and a direct result of them.

    Maybe Yoda was right, Anakin WAS too old for training. Maybe if Anakin was younger when he became a Jedi, he might have been able to cope with all those things in his life. Maybe they wouldn't even have happened the way they did.

    But all's well that ends well, right? Anakin did bring balance to the Force twice, once as a Sith and once as a redeemed Jedi. Whether that balance was a good thing all depends on your point of view. ;)

    So to conclude, yes, I strongly feel Anakin is a deeply complex and realistic character. For me a story is only as good as it's protagonist and in this case, we have the best protagonist in the best story ever made.

    Afterthought: Darth Vader from the OT is pretty consistent with Anakin from the PT. His sudden spurts of silent anger and killing his ranking officers mercilessly are indicative of his pent up anger at his past. His servility to Sidious is indicative of his denial and escape from the reality that he inadvertently killed Padme, while also filling his need for more and more power, which he felt was his natural destiny. The conflict in him when he faces Luke shows how badly he wanted to correct his error and have a semblance of his happy past with Padme return, if even for a moment and in the form of his son, who would surely bring some happiness to him, since he is her legacy.

    Lucas really made a perfectly cohesive character who in each and every movie is consistent and has a well mapped and thought out journey. Thus, if Anakin was anything BUT what he was in the PT, he couldn't have been the Darth Vader we saw in the OT.
  6. Evening Star

    Evening Star Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 18, 2015
    I'll have to rewatch the PT soon and focus on Anakin more (as if I usually don't do that). I've had some thoughts on this topic lately and I'd be glad to share them.
    Ezon Pin likes this.
  7. {Quantum/MIDI}

    {Quantum/MIDI} Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2015
    Anakin. Is he whiny? Is he Badass? I would say latter, he's vulnerable. In TPM, we see such a young boy being taken from his mother. He was distraught for a while, but the emotions did diminished a bit due to him being a Jedi and focusing on his studies. Now let us look at AOTC Anakin. He complains at times, he's emotionally torn by his dreams of his mother and quite frankly, has a but of a cocky attitude. But pull all that Jedi mask aside, and again, he's a young boy who's conflicted. Emotionally attached to someone he loved for more than a decade.

    Once he meets Padme again, he psychologically uses her as an emotional outlet in the replace of his thoughts about his mother. In ROTS, he is much more mature and thought provoking. He doesn't go just on his feelings, or rash behavior(Before turning). When he encountered Palpitine, he didn't kill him or strike him. He merely put up his guard and told Mace about the situation. But once the crucial decision came to saving his wife or defeating Sidious, he acted on rash behavior. It seems like when he's under a lot of stress such as this, he is unable to think properly and makes judgement on his feelings but not logic.

    Anakin isn't a badass or Vader(Ignoring the EU and TCW) Vader/Anakin is a vulnerable entity. In the OT, he is a pet of the Emperor. He is a pawn only to be used but he doesn't see it.

    I think I went a bit too far from the original question but I think I gave some insight on the matter mostly.
    Tonyg and Antpocalypse like this.
  8. CaptainSuchandSuch

    CaptainSuchandSuch Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 8, 2015
  9. jaex

    jaex Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 31, 2015
    He’s an extremely complex, fascinating character in my opinion, and it bothers me when people dismiss him as nothing but a whiny brat. Sure, being a whiny brat can be part of who he is, but it’s not all he is, and it’s frustrating when some people don’t see all the depth and complexity that’s there.

    This is really interesting topic for conversation but I don’t have time to contribute much right now. Thank you for making this thread though - I look forward to reading people’s interpretations here!
    Mostly Handless and Tonyg like this.
  10. MoonFyre

    MoonFyre Jedi Master star 2

    Jan 19, 2016
    Why not all three? They're not mutually exclusive.
  11. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2015
    My (personal) problem is Anakin's portrayal in The Clone Wars because my four year old son has apparently fallen in love with Anakin who is apparently a good guy.

    Other than that I stick to my personal theory that he was rotten to the core and a selfish character that just pretended to be "Mr. Nice Guy" (because other than that I'd remain at a loss how to explain his sudden transfer to the dark side and the murder of the Jedi children).

    In TPM we learn that one of Anakin's dreams / premonitions was to return to Tatooine and free all the slaves.

    Well, he did return but he did not free all the slaves. That part was obviously wishful thinking.

    Fast forward to RotS and he has that dream of Padme dying. While it's part premonition, what about the other part?

    Did he confuse love with lust? Hadn't Padme and her "do-gooder" attitude become an increasing source for irritation?

    Seriously, all this dancing around with Palpatine in his office could be just as well be interpreted as Anakin still pretending to be a good guy but increasingly becoming aware (with the help of Palpatine) that he is not and slowly but surely comes to terms with his true nature.
  12. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    Problem with that, is that it undermines the OT:

    "When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed"

    "I feel the good in you, the conflict"

    "Tell your sister - you were right"

    And of course the final Force Ghost scene.

    "Good man turned bad" works better than "Evil All Along".

    Heck, even TPM hammers home Anakin's altruism.
  13. jaex

    jaex Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 31, 2015
    I’m really happy Lucas didn’t go with the idea that Anakin was always bad, just fooling people into thinking he was a good guy. An evil guy becoming evil isn’t much of a story.
  14. PHIERY

    PHIERY Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 7, 2009
    I have go with Anakin being a whiny brat.
  15. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016
    Addressing anyone reading this: What is 'whiny' really? What does it mean to you? Like any other word in any language, the perception of its meaning comes from your own personal notions, understanding and experiences.

    For me it's a throwaway word. Its an attempt to encapsulate the complex behaviour of any human being and make it seem simple and petty. That word can at most be used to describe the behaviour of an infant, where it makes some sense.

    For a 20 year old who has seen a lot of things in life and has lived an abnormal life, it's basically derogatory to just say he's 'whiny' and be done with it. The kind of life Anakin lived and the kind of person he became were directly linked to each other. There were deep reasons for everything. To dismiss all that and state he was 'whiny' and dislike the character based on that, only shows that you do not care to explore the real depth of the character and like to judge the book by its cover.

    And 'brat'? Why even consider such a word? Anakin wasn't a spoiled prince. He wasn't smothered and pampered by some parents that loved him his entire life. He never even had a childhood or a family. He grew up among the Jedi and only they were there for him, guiding him, mentoring him and controlling him during his formative years.
  16. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 8, 2015
    Iron_lord wrote

    Problem with that, is that it undermines the OT:

    "When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed" ...

    Heck, even TPM hammers home Anakin's altruism.

    I'm not suggesting that he was bad from birth, at some point during his adolescence he just turned selfish (no need to invoke the dark side for that) and then ended up being an evil character.

    Simply put: Anakin having just pretended to be a good guy making his transfer to the dark side as seen in RotS strikes me as multiple times more realistic and believable than assuming he'd really been a good guy who somewhat was ready to abandon everything he believed in, just because there seemed to be a possibility to save his wife which up to this point had been in no immediate danger.
  17. La Calavera

    La Calavera Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2015
    If we’re going with the realistic narrative (which is not what Star Wars is about), then I’d say a good guy turning bad is far more believable and commonplace than a sociopath sacrificing his life to save a son he barely knew.
  18. Tonyg

    Tonyg Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 16, 2016
    Well, I'm glad that I made the thread, I see that it is interesting not only for me.
    Now, I want to explain more some things I wrote.
    I was wondering about the name of thread and I intentionally decided to take 2 popular clichés about Anakin/Vader: clichés that I don't "support" at all, for me only the last part of the thread title is true and I'll explain why.
    As Antpocalypse said 'whiny' doesn’t fit in the Anakin's character. I don't think at all that Anakin is whiny. Whiny character for me is a person who just express how bad is the life (metaphorically speaking) and that is; he/she do nothing to change that. Anakin is all the opposite, he always try to change the things even things that cannot be controlled and this one of the main reasons that he fell, after all. Is he expressing his discontent or unhappiness of something: yes, but he is emotional and spontaneous. He always says what he thinks and this is his ultimate charm, I would say one of the main reasons for Padme to fall in love with him. Also, he has no social skills at all (and of course, that's why he stay spontaneous); he go straight to the point no matter if this could be socially inappropriate ( I wouldn't say good or bad, Anakin know what is good and what is bad, but socially inappropriate is another thing). Do you remember the conversation in the Padme's apartment in the first minutes of AOTC? Anakin directly explains what he thinks, because in his opinion, this is the right thing to do, not to think about some stupid social manners. ;) Is not that he is rude (he is gentle with Padme), he is just not refined, and that’s all. But as an ex-slave turned warrior, it is expected to be that way. And also, many people forget that he is young. Young people are often too impatient or at least the young people with Anakin's temper. To be mature and calm as Padme is a rare thing on that age.
    Many people called him brat mostly because of his attitude towards Padme. Maybe I’m too old but I would say that this could be an opinion of someone who doesn't know the women at all. It always makes me cringe when people complain how he was staring at her and he was creepy. This is ridiculous. Yes, Anakin is desperately in love with Padme but he doesn't know how to express that, because he is not the womanizer Han Solo. But he is not creepy, he is gentle and kind with Padme. When she said (in the sand scene) “I shouldn't do this”, what was his answer: “I'm sorry…”. Well, if this is creepy, I don't even dare to think what a not-creepy thing would be.
    Anyway, to the main point: to express some discontent doesn't make the person bad. Anakin is a good-hearted and selfless, he risks his life to save the others, he even go too far to try to save the others, he struggle to be a good Jedi, but we know that he made very bad choices and fatal mistakes and he paid for them, after all. That makes him real, that makes him complex.
  19. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016

    Sorry I didn't say this earlier but I totally loved and agreed with your first post and I love and agree with this one too! =D= [:D]

    To elaborate on your point: Padme was the daughter of kings, she grew up to be a senator and so all her life she was taught how to be 'proper' and behave like a lady with good social mannerisms. In stark contrast stands Anakin, a commoner, a slave and then someone who was brought up among elders in front of whom he had to maintain silence and respect. So obviously when he got the chance he was going to burst out with talk and let loose his chained emotions. It was only natural.

    And as they say, opposites attract and so it happened between them.

    I also totally agree that he was very sensitive and a hopeless romantic. It's clear he wasn't lusting after Padme for her body, rather he always loved her for her heart.

    Truly great and complex character who was destined to be Aristotle's tragic hero.
    Thomas Jay, Sepra and Tonyg like this.
  20. Tonyg

    Tonyg Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 16, 2016

    I agree, just to put a little detail here: the Naboo's queens are elected, it is specific public service, not title, but anyway she was from a high class family and the most important, she was from a very civilized planet. It is a miracle that after living on such coarse, rude, cruel planet (the sand metaphor was very appropriate) Anakin is so gentle, selfless and loving person. Yes, he has exceptional mother and that why her tragedy plays a crucial role in his life.
    I don’t want to go in detail of their love, because I already discussed that here in a very large post, ( ) but I agree with you. Padme is intelligent and sensitive young woman and she see what Anakin really is: good person with some hesitations, with bad temper but with pure hearth. That’s why when he looses her, he also dies, and I mean his emotions die; his soul falls in coma, and only the anger and the desperation stay alive but he is only a ruin of a man that he used to be. He is redeemed trough Padme, also, the wonderful son that she left him (not literally to him, of course) know the same thing as his mother: there is still good in Anakin.

    P.S. I see him more as Thorin-type, because he had the chnce to be redeemed in the last moemnts of his life.
  21. Antpocalypse

    Antpocalypse Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 26, 2016

    Beautifully said! :) Thanks for the correction too. I knew I was saying it wrong when I said 'kings' but I was too lazy too look up the right info. :p

    And yeah, just as Anakin died when he lost her, she died when she lost him. It's truly heart and gut wrenching to watch Anakin choke her. I cri evryteim. :_|

    (Well ok, I don't, but I cry on the inside for sure)
    Tonyg likes this.
  22. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    In response to the title, I ask you this

    Why can a complex character not be a bit whiny?
    minnishe likes this.
  23. ObiWanKnowsMe

    ObiWanKnowsMe Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2015
    He is easily the most complex and troubled character in cinema
  24. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    I think it's a bit more than Ani being a good person who turned bad. He was a good person who turned bad, but still thought he was good. Even when he was fully drunk on the Dark Side on the Mustafar landing platform, he thought was doing good. He was saving his wife and child (well, children, actually), defeating the bad guys, and planning on taking over the galaxy and making it a better place. It was only when he was confronted with how wrong his actions were that he lost control and went over the edge, because it threatened his (false) view of reality.

    By the time of the OT, he's basically become a cold-hearted tyrant, who only feels anything when someone stands in the way of his goals and obsessions. His true emotions really start to surface when Luke enters the story, and Ani/Vader finally finds something to care about. First, as a way to gain more power for himself, then as a way to reinforce his view that he actually chose the right path, then as a son who actually loved him in spite of his failings.

    And yet people still dismiss the PT as simplistic. Go figure...
  25. corinthia

    corinthia Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 16, 2016

    I completely agree with this! I always feel like so many people overlook the notion that "bad guys" often are under the false impression that they're doing the "right thing"-- which is exactly what Anakin fell victim to. He was frightened that he was going to lose Padme, panicked, made several bad and misinformed decisions, and badly suffered the consequences. When you're in a state of fear or are stressing out over some kind of impending terrible event, good judgement is one of the first things to fly out the window...

    (btw, I am completely new to these forums! please excuse me if I don't know what I'm doing...)