Are Darth Vader and Anakin really the same person?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Caliban, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Darth Majestic

    Darth Majestic Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 18, 2020
    Short answer - YES
  2. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2013
    I do think it's a split personality situation, with Anakin buried extremely deep. The last time Vader is okay being referred to as Anakin is right before he chokes Padme.
    Vader has stated many times that he killed Anakin Skywalker.
    Darth Caliban likes this.
  3. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    You do understand the difference between persona and personality?

    "[Hayden in ROTJ] was added because it was a way of finishing off the series. The idea was that [Anakin's] inner person would go back to where we left off when it turned to the dark side -- when [Anakin] got burned up and everything, but before [he] got burned up. So when [he] comes back to the good side of the Force, that it's [his] FORMER PERSONA that survives NOT the DARTH VADER PERSONA."

    --George Lucas AOL interview, 2005.

    Think of it like Superman. He has two identities, but they're personas. He sees himself as Clark Kent, but Superman is his way of using his powers and expressing his values publicly. He's not like Two-Face, who is two personalities.
    Lady_Skywalker87 likes this.
  4. Darth Caliban

    Darth Caliban Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 17, 2015
    It must be a deeper issue. Just taking on another name wouldn't change how you feel and think about yourself and your past.

    If Clark did some bad things as Superman, to stay with your example, and abandoned his persona as Superman and possibly called himself something else, because of that, it wouldn't change how he thinks about himself and his past.

    But on the other side, there's the dichotomy between Bruce Wayne and Batman or Spiderman repressing his core identity as Peter Parker to become "The Spider" at the beginning of the Clone Saga, before he met Ben Reilly for the first time again after years...
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
  5. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    Peter Parker was still Peter Parker. He was trying to distance himself from himself, because he was having a nervous breakdown. This is similar to Anakin being Vader, though it isn't a nervous breakdown. It's about distancing themselves from themselves. Trying to pretend to be someone else. That's why Luke says that Anakin Skywalker is his true self, he's just trying to forget who he used to be. Trying to deny that part of himself in order to be Darth Vader.
  6. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    Yeah the whole message of SW just being “Oops don’t do bad **** or you’ll end up with a split personality” is not how I would ever wanna view Anakin’s story.

    How good people do terrible things, and how their ideals become corrupted and twisted, through experiences is a simply more interesting story.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2022
  7. TaradosGon

    TaradosGon Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 28, 2003

    At no point in ROTS did Anakin show any inclination towards embracing his Vader identity or rejecting his Anakin name. He goes by Anakin right up until he’s in the suit. Then he goes by Vader after that because that’s the name Palpatine gave him and because everyone that cared about him and who knew him as Anakin was either dead or had become his enemy, not because he chose it. And had Anakin defeated Obi-Wan, he possibly would have always gone by Anakin as a public name, just as Dooku went by Dooku in the overwhelming majority of his interactions.

    It is Anakin’s defeat at Obi-Wan’s hand that was the death of the Anakin name. And it was a tragedy of choices made by Anakin that he knew were wrong to achieve a goal that he inadvertently destroyed himself that led him to that confrontation.

    ROTS ended in emotional and physical pain and destruction for Anakin. To see him smile and say he chose it with pride, when it ended up with him in a suit, the death of his wife and unborn child (as far as he knows), and once again Obi-Wan has proven that the Dark Side is not superior, that was just a stupid moment for me.

    “You turned her against me!” (Puts blame on Obi-Wan)
    “You have done that yourself!” (Rejects responsibility)
    “You will not take her from me!”
    “Your anger and lust for power have already done that.” (Throws responsibility back at Anakin’s feet)

    But then in OWK Obi-Wan needs to hear Vader absolve him of his guilt? Vader? When is that ever a Vader thing?

    “Don’t make me kill you.” (Vader, ROTS)

    “Don’t make me destroy you.” (Vader, ESB)

    “Give yourself to the Dark Side, it is the only way to save your friends. Yes, your feelings for them are strong […] So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her too.” (Vader, ROTJ)

    Everything is someone else’s fault. And if this was truly a moment when Obi-Wan is learning to let go of his guilt and embrace his faith again, then shouldn’t the scene be Vader blaming Obi-Wan for everything and Obi-Wan finally being the one to say “no, I didn’t do this?”

    Yes, the scene was really cool. Visually great. I got goosebumps. But really unearned and really out of character IMO.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Riv_Shiel, oierem and Watcherwithin like this.
  8. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

    May 4, 2003
    Excuse you two. Disney earned it by paying $2 billion dollars for the right to make dumb interquel TV series where the climax is a character reciting phoned in dialogue that retroactively fills in weird plot holes that already have older retcons to explain them.

    If you meant in universe then yeah there was no reason for this character to ever say that in his whole life.
    TaradosGon and Watcherwithin like this.
  9. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Mar 10, 2005
    They aren't talking about names in that scene; they're talking about what the name Anakin represents. He says what he says to show Obi-Wan that he is not the broken, weak, pathetic thing Obi-Wan seems to see. It's about saving his face (figuratively) and retaining a sense of dignity. He wants Obi-Wan to know that he chose the dark side, stands by it and will fight to the death to destroy him. He wants him to see Darth Vader and nothing but Darth Vader; to fear and hate him.
    And to me, it makes perfect sense.

    Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work as intended. Instead of giving in to emotion and finishing the fight, Obi-Wan does the opposite. Which leaves Vader even more wounded and pathetic than before. He baited Obi-Wan for nothing.
    Sky_alma likes this.
  10. Alexrd

    Alexrd Chosen One star 6

    Jul 7, 2009
    He probably didn't since there's no indication of that whatsoever. You don't get rid of the dark side. You refuse to give into it.

    No, they failed because they were betrayed. Not because of anyone's arrogance or lack thereof.

    Again, it illustrates the point he's making. He says it's not part of him in the sense that he doesn't give into it (which is true), yet it's part of him because he doesn't give into it (also true). He wasn't wrong. The whole scene is a clarification for the audience, not for Yoda who by definition already knows all that stuff.
  11. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    They failed before they were betrayed. The Jedi were arrogant as Yoda pointed out. They did not change to face what was coming.
  12. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

    May 4, 2003
    This doesn't really make any sense. He is still weak, broken and pathetic by merit of having just lost the fight, regardless of how he wants to frame getting to that point. Saying whether he chose the Dark Side or it was a result of Obi-wan's failure doesn't affect that.
    TaradosGon likes this.
  13. Erkan12

    Erkan12 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    Indication is that Yoda clearly says he didn't have any dark side counterpart while facing dark Yoda, then he understood that he was wrong after he was losing to dark Yoda and he later accepted that the dark Yoda was still a part of him. Yoda himself later admitted the dark creature was strong because of Yoda's ''hubris'', and he needed to conquer his own hubris to beat the dark Yoda.

    darth-sinister posted it:

    They were betrayed because they were arrogant. They failed to see the things clearly even with the Force, because they allowed the senate to use the Jedi as a political and military tool. More than once, they clearly said Jedi are not soldiers, they are peace keepers. They broke their own code because of their arrogance, their arrogance led them to believe they can be more than just peace keepers.

    Mace even said their ability to use the Force was diminished in Episode II after learning the existence of the Clone army. Mace didn't just say ''oh well, its not because of our fault, we just got betrayed''.

    YODA: "And yet clear I thought I was."

    SERENITY: "The beast is you, and you are the beast. To deny it simply gives it power."

    YODA: "Now I see. Simple the answer was."

    Yoda clearly says ''now'' I see, he learned that he was arrogant. And before that he thought he was ''clear'', but he wasn't.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2022
    Force Nexus and Iron_lord like this.
  14. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Mar 10, 2005
    You're putting what I said in a different context. Again, I'm talking about what they're actually discussing, namely the fall of Anakin. By apologizing for everything, Ben makes it seem like Vader was wronged; like he is a victim. Vader obviously resents that because it makes him look weak, as though he had no agency in the matter.
    Yes, he is physically weak, but that's beside the point. The point is that he doesn't want Obi-Wan's pity. He doesn't want to be looked down upon in any way. He wants Obi-Wan to view him as the monster he chooses to be; to fear him, hate him and fight him until one of them dies or they both do.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
    Sky_alma likes this.
  15. TaradosGon

    TaradosGon Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 28, 2003
    “In some ways... a lot of ways, I’m really ahead of him. I’m ready for the trials, but he feels that I’m too unpredictable. He won’t let me move on.”

    “It’s all Obi-Wan’s fault! He’s holding me back!”

    “I know there are things about the Force they’re not telling me.”

    “Your asking me to do something against the Jedi Code. Against the Republic. Against a friend and a mentor!”

    “You brought him here to kill me!”

    “You turned her against me!”

    “Don’t make me kill you.”

    “I should have known the Jedi were plotting to take over!”

    “From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”

    “I am what you made me.”

    “Don’t make me destroy you.”

    “Your feelings have now betrayed her too.”

    Everything is somebody else’s fault. Always. The idea that Vader wants to take ownership of “killing” Anakin is weird to me, because in Anakin’s mind, he was the loyal one. Everyone else failed him. Obi-Wan apologizes and Vader says that he chose this? He chose a path that killed Padme and his child and left him crippled in a suit?

    Especially when it’s clear that this is causing Obi-Wan emotional distress, why clear his conscience for him? Why not twist the knife?

    It came out of left field for me.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 9

    Oct 4, 1998
    Yeah, I got that feeling too. Best explanation I've come up with is, in a moment of honesty with himself when his life was truly endangered, he sensed the power that comes with honest self-assessment. But when the intense danger was past, he fell back into his usual habits.
  17. oierem

    oierem Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    That could be the case.. except for the smile.
    I can see Anakin/Vader saying "I killed Anakin" in a sad way, in a moment of weakness, realizing what he has done (like when he's in Mustafar, after killing the separatists).
    I can't see Anakin/Vader saying "I killed Anakin" while smiling, being proud of having killed his "weaker self".
    For me, Anakin and Vader are two sides of the same person, but only in a metaphorical way. I don't believe Anakin ever developed a split-personality case. You never see that in the films.
  18. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Wacky Wednesday Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 2, 2012
    Legends books occasionally had Vader talking about having killed Anakin - usually in a hateful, gloating fashion:

    Coruscant Nights trilogy - Typho accusing Vader of murdering Padme:

    "You killed her, Vader. You! I know it!"
    "You know nothing. You're not worthy of uttering her name."
    "And you're responsible ... for the death of the Jedi ... Anakin Skywalker as well!"
    "Yes. Yes, I killed Anakin Skywalker. I watched him die. He was weak, was Skywalker. In the end he could not rule himself, could not control his contemptible human emotions. Most of all, he did not understand or appreciate the true strength of the dark side. And so - he died. The galaxy is better off without him."
  19. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Mar 10, 2005
    Indeed. As Vader, that is how he views Anakin; how he forces himself to view him. He distances himself from that person by viewing him as someone else entirely - a weakling, a fool - because he can't bear the pain of Anakin's loss. So he buries that persona and decides to be Vader and nothing but Vader. Darth Vader becomes his pride; the persona he has fashioned for himself and devotes his entire existence to.

    In light of that, I can't see him NOT taking credit for killing Anakin Skywalker. He won't blame someone else for it, because that would imply that losing that life pains him - that he still is that person to some degree. He refuses to see it that way, because he won't go anywhere near feeling the pain that Anakin felt. He killed and buried Anakin to become a different, stronger and better person and he is proud of it. From his point of view, it's a cause for celebration, not regret.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
    Sky_alma and Iron_lord like this.
  20. Sky_alma

    Sky_alma Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 27, 2022
    Exactly, that's the way I see it too. What's more, I think that he is also lying to himself, and that this is his way of coping with all the things that he's done without letting the guilt get to him. If he saw himself -think of himself- as Anakin, then he would have to deal with such an amount of issues that would destroy any person that's done good things at some point in their lives. But by adopting the persona of Vader, as some of you said, he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions. So it's a coping mechanism, really. And I doubt that deep down Vader managed to completely fool himself throughout all these years. Think about it, imagine you have messed things up, and you knew you had messed things up. Isn't it true that there would be times when it would be easier to continue down that spiral of self-hatred and self-destruction, no matter how miserable that could ultimately make you, because it still would be easier than facing the alternative - that is, admitting you were wrong and that you betrayed everything you once stood for (in Anakin's case) for nothing?

    Which makes me think (and that's just my personal take on it) that some part of Vader wanted to die in that duel, wanted Obi-Wan to finish him off once and for all, hence his angry cries for Obi-Wan to come back when his former Master had beaten him and there was no way for Vader to win that duel in his current state . Instead, Obi-Wan leaves him yet again, forcing him to continue living this pitiful existence, enslaved to the emperor, imprisoned in his suit. It's really sad when you think about it this way: Anakin was never really free. Which is why he's such a compelling villain in my opinion and you can't help but feel sorry for him. That scene in the Kenobi series was a masterpiece for me.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  21. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001


    I always come back to this story. It perfectly encapsulates Vader's loathing and self-hatred.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
    Sky_alma likes this.
  22. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 27, 2016
    They are the same person that Anakin wants to believe is another person is different
  23. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2015
    Regarding that, I will also add this quote from the Novelization of Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover, emphasizing what Anakin felt the first time he wore the Darth Vader suit, at the end of the book:

    "And within your furnace heart, you burn in your own flame." This quote really emphasizes the self-hatred and guilt Anakin felt ever since he became Darth Vader. It certainly is one of the most haunting part of the book. Listening to the audiobook gives even more chills:

  24. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Saga / WNU Manager -Noghri Supporter star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
    Time to pull out the DSM VI to lookup up split-personality disorder.
  25. Vasco_Rojo

    Vasco_Rojo Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 21, 2016
    Exactly this. For me Anakin/Vader has Dissociative identity disorder, like McAvoy in the movie Split and Glass.

    Diagnosed by Obi Wan and Yoda themselves : )

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk