Before the release of the prequel trilogy, the main question fans wanted the new films to explore was: why and how did Anakin turn into Darth Vader? And, while the prequels and later The Clone Wars, provide valuable insights into this question, the answer is not provided directly, unambiguously to fans on a single disc. For better or worse, and to the chagrin of many fans, the answer to this question requires more inference and extrapolation. On the surface, and as many Star Wars fans have argued, Anakin’s turn to the dark side could be weakly written that previous installments, especially Revenge of the Sith, weren’t really demonstrated how a seemingly good-natured young Jedi quickly became a child murderer and remained allied with Darth Sidious, despite much failure to keep Padme alive. This is why we thought it would be an interesting topic to explore in this week’s blog post.Reason #1: Palpatine manipulated Anakin to turn to the dark side.This is probably the clearest explanation for why Anakin went dark and evolved into Darth Vader. As demonstrated in calculated plans, his extremely detailed orientation to inciting the Clone Wars as a means of ultimately gaining more power and calculated long-term planning is similar. In his attempt to manipulate Ben Solo into becoming Kylo Ren, Palpatine is clearly extremely intelligent and meticulously planned everything out. If and to what extent Palpatine was involved in Anakin’s birth remains a mystery, but, from his concluding line in The Phantom Menace, in which he tells young Anakin, “We will follow your cause with great interest”, Palpatine clearly shows an early interest in the prophesied Chosen One. Palpatine capitalized on Anakin’s insecurity over the loss of his wife Padme, when he lost his mother Shmi, and, given the now infamous opera scene, planted the seed in Anakin’s mind that the dark side of the force was home to some ability that “some consider unnatural.” Anakin’s attachment and weakness to his fear of losing Padme was the main driving force behind his eventual fall into the dark side. He knew that the atrocities he committed. We’ll have to take, including killing Mace and the kids and possibly even Obi-Wan, as necessary steps to delve deeper into the dark side, align ourselves closer to Palpatine, and learn the this ability from Palpatine to save Padme. problem with the fact that Anakin is still Darth Vader and therefore still evil after killing Padme.In other words, it might make sense for him to go evil to turn his learned ability to save Pa’s life. dme, but why would he continue to be cruel if it was this pursuit that led to her death? That is why other reasons appear…Reason 2: Anakin’s impulsive, unstable, aggressive personality.There are fragments of anger that shine through in Anakin’s personality throughout the prequel. From his outbursts of Obi-Wan to his speaking out against the Jedi’s views on attachment to his massacre of the Tusken Raiders to his brutal interactions with Clovis, Anakin often respond to situations with aggression. And, like his son Luke, also reacts to situations impulsively, failing to take a measured approach to calculating the benefits and pitfalls of actions. All of this is important to understanding Anakin’s fall to the dark side as it was not only these personality traits that led to him transforming into Vader and betraying the Jedi order, but instead, These personality traits make Anakin vulnerable to Palpatine’s traps and react poorly to negative events in his life. Without the hidden weaknesses in his personality, perhaps Anakin would have been able to see through Palpatine’s lies and deal with his dismay over Jedi values and fear. fear of losing Padme more effectively. This is the core difference between Anakin and Ahsoka. In theory, Ahsoka has every right to turn to the dark side, or at least fight the Jedi, as they quickly cast her aside without regard for her views on things and attempt to make amends. relationship when it is too late. Unlike Anakin, Ahsoka did not react to the Jedi’s ways with aggression, but rather, remained on the side of the light, just not affiliated with the Jedi. The fact is that she doesn’t have these latent personality traits so she doesn’t respond to the Jedi’s actions with violence and aggression, like Anakin did. So, on the whole, Anakin’s aggressive and impulsive personality plays a fundamental, important role in his path to the dark side.Reason 3: Wishing for a more just worldAlong with these potential personality flaws are core events in Anakin’s life to which he reacts in negative ways, none more apparent than his mother’s enslavement and death. Anakin tells Padme in Attack of the Clones that he disagrees with the constant deliberations of a democracy, that someone smart should be able to unilaterally make the right decisions on behalf of the galaxy to bring justice quickly and fully. When Padme says this is like a dictatorship, Anakin disagrees, almost seeing that control as necessary to bring justice to an unjust galaxy. A galaxy of injustice that led to his beloved mother’s enslavement and ultimately a tortured death. In particular, Palpatine also shares these values, but for different reasons. This is the core ingredient of their alliance – the belief that a “just” or “good” world can only be achieved through one’s unilateral control.Reason 4: Jedi distrust and conflicting valuesWith Palpatine pulling the strings, hidden personality traits, and a distorted view of how to bring justice to the galaxy, Anakin’s transformation still doesn’t quite make sense. That’s why his awareness of the ways the Jedi order treats him is a crucial final step for him to transform into Vader and why he continues to be the villain so long after. they are destroyed. First, there are conflicting values between Anakin and order. Anakin values attachment, to Shmi as a mother, to Obi-Wan as a brother and father-like person, to Palpatine as a mentor and father-like person, and above all to Padme as a future wife and mother of his child. However, as he said in Attack of the Clones, binding is forbidden by the Jedi because they believe it will lead to fear, anger, frustration, and suffering associated with the Sith and the dark side. And while, in Anakin’s case, this is true, future Jedi information from Luke in The Last Jedi, Rey in The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine in the Darth Vader comics, and other conventional sources suggest that, perhaps, the Jedi were wrong in that they denied the attachment so bluntly and unequivocally. Perhaps, there is a healthy middle ground for the Jedi to experience attachment without being consumed by it. But Anakin has to endure this disparity between his values and the Jedi. He desperately wants to be a Jedi and progress in order, but at the same time wants to be with and take care of his future wife and family. Ultimately, this became a choice for Anakin and a choice that ultimately led him to the dark side. And, while well-intentioned, the Jedi remain arrogant – claiming that they have all the right answers, that their rules are perfectly formulated and therefore need not be contested, and, in their arrogance, claiming that they have a right to everything to do with the Force. This is key to Anakin’s journey as he feels as though they are hiding secrets related to the Force and potential ways to save Padme from “some death”, as he tells it. Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. These things about the Force that they didn’t tell him were one of the core reasons why Anakin turned to the dark side. If Anakin is relentlessly devoted to saving Padme, the Jedi is clearly stripping him of any way to save Padme, and Palpatine is unequivocally offering him to save Padme, then it makes sense why Anakin would turn to him. the dark side, sacrificing their loyalty to the Jedi and doing the evil necessary to turn to the dark side and learn the abilities to save Padme. told him how to save her initially, rendering his loyalty to Palpatine meaningless. Had they revealed his secret, he could have saved Padme, prevented her death, and it would never have led to the destruction of the Jedi order. However, Anakin believes that the Jedi do not trust him. Mace often acts in opposition to Anakin, Yoda and the others question his Chosen One status, and Anakin is displeased with some of Obi-Wan’s overly mentoring styles. Their growing distrust of Anakin and his relationship with Palpatine once again put Anakin at odds with himself internally, stuck in the balance of his loyalty. his loyalty to the Jedi and his loyalty to Palpatine, like he was caught between his dedication to saving Padme and his dedication to the Jedi Order. These conflicting values and sentiments towards Anakin from the Jedi further emphasize how he turns to the dark side.InferenceOverall, Anakin’s entry into the dark side is a layered process that requires a lot of reasoning and interpretation. While the prequels could have done a better job of building on Anakin’s reasoning, fan interpretations and plenty of typical material since the prequel, including The Clone Wars, added up. significantly into his character and make his transformation more logical and rational. Ultimately, Palpatine identified Anakin from an early age as a boy with powers in the Force and someone he could manipulate to be his apprentice when he eventually took over the galaxy. Palpatine preyed on Anakin’s deepest vulnerability, his fear of loss, and this, along with his inherent aggression and impulsivity, set the stage for his transformation. On the other hand, Anakin’s loyalty to the Jedi is dwindling as he thinks they’ve stood in his way from saving Padme and has been wrong in their beliefs about attachment, alongside obvious mistrust and suspicion. theirs to Anakin. This culminates in Anakin siding with Palpatine in a desperate attempt to save his wife, sacrificing many Jedi in the process to ensure Padme’s safety. When she died, Anakin’s personality traits and affections for the Jedi remained intact. He was still scared, angry, impulsive and he still hated the Jedi for forbidding his relationship, never really trusting him, not interfering with Shmi and preventing him from learning the abilities that saved Padme. This eventually culminates when Anakin transforms into Vader. Anakin’s bow is at the heart of the Skywalker saga and one that’s really fun to explore and explain. This is just an interpretation of his journey. There are many other things that could shed light on arguably the most interesting character in Star Wars. Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you![All images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm]
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