Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by cxcfffxx, Aug 19, 2017.
That’s good to hear.
He's not as bad as Weinstein, but he’s still bad. Repeatedly going on about how he’s dreamed about her every day for 10 years, despite not-very-subtle indications on her part that this conversation is making her uncomfortable is a form of harassment. And as her bodyguard, he does hold a position of power over her. His job is to protect her and make her feel safe, not make awkward, unwanted advances.
Anakin might not know this, but it’s actually quite easy to talk to woman in a professional, friendly way without making creepy, unwanted advances. Do you really think that Anakin would act the same way around a man whom he was supposed to be protecting? Didn’t think so.
With that said, she’s incredibly naive when it comes to him. She has a frankly disturbing infatuation with him (I refuse to call their relationship love). In fact, I’ll post a YouTube clip of a scene where he acts like a very dangerous, violent, unstable man:
This is actually the ultimate example of the Episode I decision putting a significant story beat in the wrong place. About halfway through Episode II is the perfect place for this scene…assuming that you spent the first film with Anakin Skywalker as an adult. Since we didn’t, it basically seems as if he’s committing mass murder as soon as we meet him. It also necessitated Padmé Amidala being there when it happened and knowing about the massacre. If Episode I has focused on an adult Anakin, and shown him being taken from his mother in flashback, the scene where he gets his first taste of the dark side in Episode II would’ve been so much more haunting and effective. It would’ve shown what a clear divergence this is from Anakin’s normal behavior, rather than the way it is now, where it seems like Anakin does all the time.
And there’s a reason we don’t do that anymore. Even West Side Story was able to make it seem more plausible in a modern, updated context, where the relationship is basically what should’ve been harmless teenage puppy love that unfortunately goes south very quickly because of a gang rivalry rather than a sick, unhealthy obsession, as with Anakin and Padmé.
When he’s threatened with the prospect of having to live without them PERMANENTLY, let’s say. I imagine Anakin wouldn’t react very well if Padmé asked for a divorce. I suspect he’d probably get violent with her. That’s just his character.
In fact, here’s exactly how I see such a scenario playing out:
He always reacts violently at the prospect of losing her. He doesn’t mind being separated from her temporarily, as long as he knows that she’ll be there waiting for him. Here he is reacting with a huge temper tantrum to the prospect of permanently losing her within the film itself:
Obi-Wan is, ironically enough, only able to calm him down by appealing to his attachment. All of Obi-Wan’s appeals to Anakin’s Jedi duty fall on deaf ears.
Go with the standard coming-of-age hero’s journey. It’s a big formulaic, but it’d work. The film ends with Anakin becoming a Jedi Knight and not just a Padawan.
Even as is in the first film, he really doesn’t go through much of an arc, to be honest. His circumstances change, but he really doesn’t. In fact, he doesn’t change much at all throughout the trilogy. He eventually just gives into all of his fears and resentments, and stops pretending to be a good Jedi.
He tries and repeatedly fails because he’s not a hero. He’s a pretty dark antihero, at best, and a straight-up villain protagonist, at worst. You earlier named Han Solo as an antihero. Could you see Han Solo doing this:
I thought not.
Well, then they aren’t very perceptive. Name me one other movie hero who does the kinds of things that Anakin does without turning evil at the end. Just name me one, and I’ll concede your point. And I’m not talking about dark antiheroes like Travis Bickle. Name me a legitimate hero…because I can’t. Not Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Indiana Jones, James Bond, John McClane, Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, Rocky Balboa, Batman, Superman, etc.
Ethan Edwards from The Searchers comes closest, but he’s a dark and morally dubious antihero, not a true hero. I also don’t count heroes from obviously hateful garbage such as Nazi propaganda, The Birth of a Nation, old Westerns that glorify the genocide of indigenous peoples, films that promote such awful historical revisionism as the Lost Cause of the Confederacy (I’m looking at you, Gone with the Wind!), etc.
I don’t think you can. If you can, I’ll concede that I was wrong. Otherwise, I expect you to concede that you’re wrong. Fair is fair.
You’re making the mistake of assuming that Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader are different people. They are, in fact, the exact same person. Vader is simply Anakin stripped of all pretensions about being a good and noble Jedi Knight. Vader is Anakin finally admitting to himself and embracing his true nature. Palpatine knew this, which is why he was so eager to turn him. His only mistake was thinking that Vader’s son, Luke, was the same as his father.
Long story short, Anakin was always Vader and Vader was always Anakin, despite self-serving protestations to the contrary by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader himself.
Now, it is true that Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi also had arguments, but it’s worth noting that the reason George Lucas had Obi-Wan as a Padawan in the first film was to show what a normal Master-Padawan relationship looked like. Thus, we’d be able to contrast the normal relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan with the dysfunctional relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin. That led to its own story problems (primarily sidelining Obi-Wan for much of the firs film), but it does show what Lucas’s intentions were. So no. The hostility between Obi-Wan and Anakin is most definitely supposed to be reflective of an abnormal, dysfunctional Master-Padawan relationship.
His chances of not falling were zero throughout his entire adult life. Anakin strikes me as less of a tragic hero and more of a school shooter. Angry, bitter, resentful, fearful young white man who feels that the whole world is conspiring against him. You see someone like that and you’re just hoping that somebody hospitalizes him or gets him treatment before he hurts anybody. He’s far closer to Travis Bickle, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris than to, say, Michael Corleone or Charles Foster Kane.
With that said, I do think that Anakin becomes both a hero and a Jedi eventually. It just takes him quite some time. Here’s the moment where Anakin finally becomes a Jedi and the man he was supposed to be:
This is where Vader is finally willing to let go of all his anger, all of his resentments, all of his hatred, all of his fear and all of his insecurities in order to prevent his son’s suffering. Earlier, when Luke tried to appeal to the man he once was, it didn’t work because Vader knew that he never was that man. Only by seeing Luke agree to let go of all of his hatred and anger could Vader let go of his. Ironically, Luke had to become a Jedi before Anakin could truly become one.
Back in 1983, we were led to believe that the film ended with Anakin again becoming the man he once was. After 2005, we realized that the story actually ends with Anakin becoming the man he always should’ve been but never was up until that point.
I'm not going to go in-depth into this discussion but whether Anakin is an antihero or a villain protagonist or what have you....The man paid for his sins. I think comparing Anakin in any way to a rapist and pig like Weinstein is disgraceful. Anakin is someone who was emotionally repressed and who has an obsessive personality. Combine those two traits and pair them with the bond he formed with Padme at an early, important age and you have his obsession with her. Is he closer to a school shooter than a hero? Yes. But he's no ogre like Jake LaMotta. He's no pig. He's a good man who is disturbed. A person can be good while also dealing with deep mental issues. Anakin lived in an environment that was neither conductive toward, nor really understanding of his emotional problems. He obviously didn't start out that way; we're presented with a generous, selfless, goodnatured child in TPM; It's not like he was some rotten, disturbed kid from the beginning. I look at Anakin as someone who was failed at every turn, manipulated and ultimately a weak man, a slave to his emotions. I look at it also as a failure of the Jedi Order being the extremists they were.
But coming back to my original point, Anakin paid dearly for every sin. He literally lost everything. He lost his wife. His friends. His limbs. Most of his flesh. He spent the next 20 years in probably daily agony and deep self-hate over his failures and wrongdoing. He redeemed himself, but at the cost of his own life. So, I think Anakin paid his debt in full. He made his own bed, yes, but he also slept in it.
The problem I’ve always had with this explanation is that, by any objective measure, the worst period of his life ends about halfway through Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Child slavery is indisputably worse than anything else he went through before turning to the dark side. Yet as a child slave, he doesn’t seem to be particularly disturbed, even though it would make all the sense in the world (a real lost opportunity on George Lucas’s part). It’s only when he lives in an Ivory Tower, has all his needs provided for, and is trained how to be a super-powered space ninja that we start seeing the emotional problems. The arc really just doesn’t make much sense. This is where a flashback structure for the first film really would’ve been better, because as you’re intercutting between past and present, you could show the lingering trauma child slavery left on him.
I’ve always felt the child slavery subplot should’ve been portrayed in a much more disturbing manner than it was, more akin to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (I wonder if the blowback that film received was responsible for Lucas softening SW99 a bit re: child slavery) or some of the darker scenes in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio (particularly the donkey stuff). Frankly, it’s kind of easy to forget that Anakin was a child slave in the first movie, whereas that Pleasure Island stuff really sticks with you, even if you haven’t seen Pinocchio for decades. I think it would’ve been best had they actually shown a scene with one of the slaves where the transmitter actually does go off. Show the explosion in a shadowy silhouette against the wall. Cut to reaction shot of Anakin sobbing, as his mother cradles him. More of this:
Less of this:
He’s made others suffer. It’s only right that he should suffer proper.
You say he has all his needs provided for with the Jedi, but does he? He traded one form of servitude (physical) for another in the Jedi (emotional), and then again for another with the Sith (physical and emotional), is how I see it. The Jedi as portrayed in the prequels are a sterile, emotionless, strict extremist cult that brainwash kids from a very young age. Not exactly a great environment. Anakin had Jedi propaganda programmed into him from the age of 9. It was another form of servitude, not really freedom. I mean, in a literal way, prisoners have all their needs provided for - but I wouldn't call a prisoner's life ideal. The Jedi, and then the Sith, are just other forms of servitude. He literally traded one master (Watto) for another in Obi-Wan. Could his slavery have been portrayed darker? Sure, but I don't know that it would be that fitting for the series. There's enough subtext there to show how it damaged him for me. Also, a flashback structure would be very jarring and not feel like Star Wars at all.
I also think The Phantom Menace is better than Attack of the Clones.
And I think they are both better than ANH, ROTJ, R1, TFA, and TLJ.
Man, am I tired of all this "stalker", "creepy", "pathetic" etc. crap. After years of discussing this it's even more BORING than at the beginning These "arguments" are definitely putting me to sleep. This discussion is absolutely going NOWHERE . All you hobby psychoanalysts, do yourselves and us a favor and not watch Star Wars, PLEASE!
Btw, I'm with NaTaLie on this 100%. She is spot on in every sentence analyzing this relationship! Good to see someone here with some sense! Good job NaTaLie!!!!
@Kuro since you're seriously comparing Anakin before the fall to Weinstein and school shooters I think we'd better stop arguing before I say something the moderators won't approve of. Clearly I'm not going to convince you nor you me so it's just a waste of time. Cheers.
Well I'm a woman and find Anakin more "adorkable" than creepy In fact, I'm more suspicious of Han's behavior in TESB. I don't think it would fly today.
Where are the reams of creepy stalker for Han?
Labeling this in Anakin is bizarre in the extreme and is all about taking things in the movie out of context and saying this is "creepy" and "stalker-like".
Actually watch the film, the context and what Anakin actually says and does and think of his lead-in to this.
A friend of mine said compared to Han Anakin is a timid cosplayer at a fan convention
They're two young people from repressed environments who don't have enough experience and have to rely on tropes of a "knight" and a "lady" (hence the medieval forbidden love element). Anakin has loved Padme for a long time but she's becoming more attracted to him and wants to spend more time with him alone until he confesses his feeling. Which forces her to recognize the danger and convince him to stay friends. If she felt harassed she could've replaced him at any point or have some chaperons with them. After the fireplace scene, she's the one who initiates everything. They both want a long term relationship so comparing Anakin to a well known sex offender is ridiculous. Might as well accuse Padme of being a pedophile.
You’re right. Anakin’s behavior is not creepy in the slightest. It’s so not-creepy that I decided to behave the same way towards a co-worker. I told her that I’ve been dreaming about her every single day for the past several years and that it would absolutely tear me apart inside if I couldn’t have her. She told me that I was making her uncomfortabke, but like Anakin, I persisted because I knew that she secretly had the hots for me.
I was so shocked when I got called down to HR and they told me that I was being fired for sexual harassment. I told them that my behavior wasn’t creepy because I was just emulating Anakin’s behavior in Attack of the Clones and that if they thought that behavior was inappropriate or creepy, they were just an irrational hater. I was so shocked when they told me to “**** off and get outta here!” If only the HR department could see the poetic brilliance of the prequel trilogy, I’d still have a job. Damn haters!
Anakin doesn't persist after Padme says she doesn't want a relationship.
She declines, he agrees, and doesn't act towards her till she once again consents.
I'm going to bring it up:
Han repeatedly corners Leia in tight, isolated spaces, getting into her personal space. He continues to hold her when she asks to be let go, and she's visibly uncomfortable at first.
If Anakin is creepy then Han is liable for full-blown sexual assault.
She makes it pretty damn clear more than once, and he persists until she blatantly tells him to cut it out. Women often try to let men down softly, especially violent, unstable men like Anakin, because they’re afraid that the man might lash out and hurt her if he feels his ego has been bruised.
Let’s first examine the apartment scene.
The scene ends with her telling Anakin that the way he looks at her makes her uncomfortable. When a woman says this to you, it means that she’s not interested and you should back off.
Yet he continues trying to push her boundaries:
Once a woman has already said that you’re making her feel uncomfortable, it’s kinda creepy to then tell her, “You’re exactly the way I remember you in my dreams.” She already told you to back off, now do it. You’re her bodyguard, and maybe a personal friend. Nothing more.
The first kiss isn’t too bad, but the fireplace scene is really bad. She already told him that she doesn’t wanna pursue it any further than the kiss, and that even that was a mistake, yet in the next scene, he’s basically trying to emotionally blackmail her into reciprocating his feelings. He tells her that he’s been obsessing over her for a decade, which frankly would’ve been pretty creepy even if she hadn’t shot him down twice already. She’s clearly squirming around uncomfortably and he just inches closer and closer despite her clear indications that she is not interested. It doesn’t help that some of his dialogue seems right out of the “Hellfire” song. He might as well have said, “Then tell me, O Padmé, why I see you dancing there, why your smoldering eyes still scorch my soul? I feel you, I see you, the sun caught in your raven hair is blazing in me out of all control. Like fire! Hellfire! Dark fire in my skin! This burning desire is turning me to sin!” She eventually has to back off and yell at him before he finally backs off.
It should not have gotten to that point. Unless Anakin is autistic and doesn’t know how to read social cues, he should’ve picked up her clear and repeatedly stated lack of interest and not constantly try to test her boundaries.
Yes, this qualifies as harassment. I’ve seen people get fired for far less.
Also, I should just point out that it’s generally a very bad idea to tell a woman that her very presence is agonizing to you, that your lust for her is some kind of dark fire burning in your skin, that you’ve been obsessing over her for 10 years, etc. That on its own is just plain creepy, regardless of any interest she had before.
I will make no such concessions until you make similar concessions regarding Anakin’s behavior.
It also helps Han Solo’s case that we actually had already seen Princess Leia repeatedly following him and refusing to leave him alone, despite his clear desire to leave.
Pay attention. Han says, “Don’t get all mushy on me. So long, Princess,” and then leaves. Leia follows him.
When she says that they need him, he asks her whether they need him or she needs him. When she refuses to answer, he leaves again. She continues following. Han then basically decides to press the issue and when she refuses to answer yet again, he leaves and she finally stops following.
Compare her reaction to that of General Rieekan. “You’re a good fighter, Solo. We hate to lose you.” He says goodbye to Han and lets him leave. Leia persistently follows him. Han, at least, has good reason to believe that Leia has feelings for him.
Does he act on that suspicion in an appropriate, PC way? No. But he at least has some reason for his suspicions. The difference between Han and Anakin is the difference between harassing a co-worker who has never expressed any interest in you (Anakin) and being persistent with a woman who constantly texts you, asks what you’re doing, and tries to get you to go out with her but doesn’t want to admit that she might actually be interested in you (Han).
Also, Han later displays a willingness to put Leia’s needs above his own.
I think that if Anakin suspected that Padmé had feelings for Obi-Wan Kenobi, he wouldn’t have handled that half as well as Han did. He probably would’ve reacted in a violent jealous rage. In fact, he did:
And I guarantee that you’d agree with me if Anakin looked like this:
instead of like this:
Your arguement is not only juvenile but shows me how incredibly weak you present them whenever resorting to your insignificant and pointless real life comparisons. Frankly, it would be a little bit odd to try and iminitate a 1:1 characteristics from films such as Star Wars in general because no one acts or talks like that in real life.
It’s almost as if no one is advocating for Anakin’s behavior to be taken from, rather just having an understand the character and evaluating him.
Understand what? That the rules don’t apply to him? That he’s some sort of unique snowflake who has to be given all sorts of special consideration that nobody would ever get? The hell with that!
So you helped save her planet that she was Queen of when you were 9, became a Jedi, etc etc as in AOTC?
You did explain to them how you saved the planet she was Queen and all that context?
Maybe you should have tried the Han approach and tell her that you know she loves you and wants to kiss you etc etc. Because that approach is apparently not creepy and stalky.
Anakin did not persist...
I don't know....AOTC has mullet Obi-Wan, Yoda fighting with a saber for the first time, first appearance of clone troopers, Count Dooku's debut, Jedi fighting droids in the arena, Obi-Wan vs. Jango on Kamino. Other than the cringey Anakin-Padme scenes, I still prefer AOTC over TPM.
I agree. Once you’ve saved a woman’s planet and become a Jedi, it is her job to give you consent. She is yours to take and she must give in. That’s why I always hated Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Gaston is the greatest hunter in the whole world, and look how she treats him:
The nerve of her! He’s a great hunter. He’s entitled to her, dammit! How dare she reject him!
Putting aside the sarcasm for a second, Anakin is not entitled to her, under any circumstances, period. It doesn’t matter whether Anakin has saved her planet, whether he’s a Jedi or whatnot. She has every right to reject him. In fact, as a Jedi, he shouldn’t even be pursuing romantic relationships in the first place.
Well, using your logic, Han’s equally entitled to Leia, seeing as he gave Luke the necessary cover to make that shot to destroy the Death Star. And besides, Han actually has reason to believe that Leia’s interested in him. Anakin just keeps testing Padmé’s limits despite her repeated insistence that it’s making her uncomfortable. As I said, it’s “the difference between harassing a co-worker who has never expressed any interest in you (Anakin) and being persistent with a woman who constantly texts you, asks what you’re doing, and tries to get you to go out with her but doesn’t want to admit that she might actually be interested in you (Han).”
Or we could just assume that neither Anakin nor Han are entitled to anybody.
Also, remember Newton’s third law of motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You’ll never admit that Anakin acted inappropriately around Padmé; therefore, I will never admit that Han acted inappropriately around Leia. If you’re gonna dig your heels in, so will I.
Han & Leia had been in close contact for 3 years. Presumably flirting & playing those games during all or most of that time. Anakin went into creep mode from the get-go.
Ah, so it's about entitlement? A bit of the old "I saved your planet baby. Time to put out". Okay
And that's without them discovering the cameras you'd set up in her bedroom. In the name of "security" of course.
The security cameras were Padme's idea. As soon as Padme said that Anakin was making her uncomfortable, he stopped with his advances. Han ignored Leia's protests and went in for the kiss anyway. Never in a million years will anyone convince me that Anakin's behavior was somehow more abhorrent in this regard.
Well, he stopped until they were on the gun ship. “Stop” means “stop”. It doesn’t mean “Wait for a day or two and then try again.” Sexual harassment is “the persistent unwelcome directing of sexual remarks and looks, and unnecessary physical contact at a person, usually a woman, esp in the workplace”. Anakin is her bodyguard, thus, it’s a professional relationship. She repeatedly shoots down his advances, yet he persists anyway. The fact that he stops momentarily is irrelevant. It should’ve stopped period.
And until I get an acknowledgment of this, you’ll never get a similar acknowledgment from me regarding Han Solo. You wanna defend your trilogy beyond the point of logic and reason? That’s your right. Just don’t get mad at me for doing the same.