Spoilers: Both the prequel and the original trilogy.
Notes: This manifesto deals with the movies and the movies only, as my knowledge of the Expanded Universe is very scarce. I'm also sorry that this is late. I seem to need major practice in timing.
Darth Vader is probably one of the most famous villains of all the time. In the first Star Wars ever filmed, titled also as A New Hope, Vader was the face of ultimate evil in the universe, dark lord threatening the idealistic rebellion and it's hopes of freedom, an archetypal villain among archetypal heroes. Two movies later this starting point gets thoroughly proved wrong, and three movies of background story only cement Vader's position as the most complex character in the Star Wars-saga.
Of course, this is the point when some people start disagreeing with me: While Anakin Skywalker of the prequel trilogy has his fans, but he's all too often seen as lame and unimpressive in comparison to his darker self. Where Vader inspires awe, Anakin makes you itch. Anakin represented by Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen is a whiny, annoying brat while the presence created through David Prowse's body and James Earl Jones's voice is unforgettable. And I have to say that I don't completely disagree. Star Wars was my first fandom, but I moved on soon after The Phantom Menace, feeling disconnected to my favorite character. Attack Of The Clones was a major improvement, but that wasn't enough to pull me back, either. Too much was missing. There was still too much distance between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader.
Then Revenge Of The Sith came out and everything clicked together.
Some fans will never forgive George Lucas for the prequels, and I guess Anakin is never going to be as cool as Vader, but it's okay, because while all points of view are possible, paths of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader have been sewn together in a story of one man. Easy to like and understand? Probably not. Fascinating? Very much so.
QUI-GON : He's a very special boy.
SHMI : Yes, I know.
- - The Phantom Menace
In The Phantom Menace, we meet Anakin for the first time on the remote planet of Tatooine, where he works for a shop keeper named Watto. Only he isn't there by his own will: He and his mother Shmi are both slaves, with very little hope of a bright future, and Anakin's only way to outshine his status is to take part in Podraces, which demands extraordinary talent from humans. This talent barely brings him any recognition until a man named Qui-Gon Jinn and his companions visit Watto's store. Although these people are complete strangers to his world, Anakin is eager to befriend them, inviting them to his home when a sandstorm approaches, and when he discovers that they're unable to get off the planet he offers to help them out, even when it means risking his own life. Qui-Gon quickly noticed that there's something different about this boy, especially as Anakin was quick to discover his secrets, such as the fact that he's a Jedi. This something turned out to be the Force.
Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace isn't exactly the kind of person we'd like to see grow into our favorite villain. Although a slave's life is hardly a kind one, Anakin seems to have lead a relatively good life before his meeting with Qui-Gon. He has a loving mother, some good friends, comfortable home and life beyond his work as a slave, as the protocol droid and a race Pod he constructed himself prove. Of course, he isn't without his own dreams, wishing to see the universe beyond Tatooine, but also wanting to free all the slaves. He doesn't, however, name himself as a savior, but rather asks if Qui-Gon's up for it. When he decides to help his new friends by taking part in Podraces, he doesn't even consider the possibility that he could be helping himself out as well. Young Anakin is kind and selfless, hero material. Of course it's unsettling to know that everything will go wrong for him.
Meeting Qui-Gon Jinn ends up changing his entire life as Qui-Gon discovers some peculiar things about him. Anakin doesn't only possess Jedi traits, such as predicting things before they happen that give him an advantage in Podraces, but that he was born without a father. A blood test confirms a high concentration of midi-chlorians in Anakin, which leads to Qui-Gon suspecting that Anakin might be the one mentioned in a prophecy about the chosen one who would bring the balance in the Force. Certain that this is true, Qui-Gon gambles for Anakin's freedom in order to take him to the Jedi Council, a decision that irritates his Padawan and another remarkable influence in Anakin's life, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan is tense from the very beginning as Obi-Wan sees Qui-Gon's interest in him rather as a distraction than as something that requires their attention, despite his awe over Anakin's high count of midi-chlorians. So it isn't surprising that much closer figure to him at this point is Padmé Naberrie, a beautiful girl who he, in fact, noticed before Qui-Gon. Padmé is servant to Queen Amidala of Naboo, whose planet has fallen under attack of the Trade Federation and whose safety Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan now preserve. Anakin is completely enchanted when he sees her for the first time, and when he befriends Qui-Gon and his group, most of his enthusiasm is directed at her. When they finally leave Tatooine behind, Padmé is the one to comfort him when he misses his mother, and though their ways seem to part when they reach Coruscant, the connection between them remains strong.
Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Padmé form the basics for Anakin's new life, which becomes immediately threatened as the Jedi Council is first unwilling to explore his potential and then denies his entrance to the Jedi. Anakin is too attached to his past life, too scared of his suddenly uncertain future, and though this is only natural, it makes him potentially dangerous in the eyes of the Jedi Council. This drives Qui-Gon to defy the Council, which in turn creates a rift between him and Obi-Wan, who is much readier to accept the Council's point of view. The Council decides to determine Anakin's fate later as Queen Amidala needs the help of the Jedi when she plans to return to Naboo, believing there's a way to fight her oppressors. Naboo becomes a place for some very important events: Discovery that Padmé Naberrie is actually Queen Padmé Amidala, battle against the Trade Federation in which Anakin himself participates by destroying the Federation flagship, as well as death of Qui-Gon in hands of Darth Maul, a Sith Lord.
It's Qui-Gon's death that plants the first seeds of Anakin's downfall. After Anakin let Tatooine, Qui-Gon became the most stable figure in his life, one he trusted to be there no matter what. Though Obi-Wan willingly takes him as his Padawan, sharing now Qui-Gon's beliefs over Anakin, Obi-Wan simply cannot compete with Qui-Gon's impact on Anakin's life. The Phantom Menace ends in cheerful victory celebration, although as the title suggests, more is going on that is seen, and this is same for Anakin as well.
OBI-WAN: But he still has much to learn. And his abilities have made him... well... arrogant.
- - Attack Of The Clones
When Padmé first sees Anakin after ten years, she immediately comments on how much he has grown. However, she's also quick to claim that he's still the little boy from Tatooine as he fawns over her, but this is proved wrong very soon. The little boy Anakin followed Qui-Gon without a question, the older Anakin questions Obi-Wan's authority. Despite their easy camaraderie just before the entrance intro Padmé's apartment, their relationship can hardly be called easy. In one of the deletes scenes of Attack Of The Clones, Obi-Wan admits that Anakin might have been too old for the training after all, that he has grown arrogant over his abilities. While there is obvious affection between them, they have none of the closeness that Qui-Gon and Anakin had.
Instead, it's Padmé who Anakin is devoted to. Attack Of The Clones begins with an attempted assassination against Padmé, and the Jedi Council orders Obi-Wan and Anakin to protect her, and Anakin is willing to go even further by finding out who's behind it. While Padmé didn't instantly recognize him, Anakin has never stopped thinking about her, and when he leaves with her to Naboo after a second attempt on her life, he doesn't bother to hide his feelings for her too long. Of course, physical attraction plays a big part here ("the creep!", screams the fandom), but in one of the more hated scenes of the movie, he claims that he can feel her in his soul, that she haunts him. This is Anakin's most notable weakness: He loves all too intensely, possessively even. He loves too much to let go, and this is what eventually takes him back to Tatooine to search for his mother, agitated by the dreams he's seen about her.
In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon recognized Anakin's ability to predict things before they happen, and in Attack Of The Clones this talent manifests itself as prophetic dreams. He hasn't seen his mother for years, but he has never forgotten her, either, and when he senses that she's in danger, he is quick to ignore the Council's orders in order to help her out. It's actually Padmé who's more concerned about his future as a Jedi as goes with him to keep him from disobeying his orders. Anakin is driven solely by his passion, a trait associated more with the Sith than the Jedi. This trait becomes very evident when Anakin discovers that his mother has been captured by the Tuskens, tracking her down with little care for anything else all the way to the Tusken camp where he finds her just in time to have her die in his arms, an event which triggers his darker side. He kills all Tuskens in the camp, including the women and children.
Senseless blood lust isn't the only thing that Shmi's death draws out of Anakin. He also gets incredibly furious with Obi-Wan, who isn't even there, claiming that his Master is trying to hold him back. This claim doesn't come out of nowhere, as he has criticized Obi-Wan earlier in the movie for demanding too much, for not believing in him enough. Anakin has already felt that he's ahead of his own master, and after losing his mother so cruelly, he vows to become the most powerful Jedi ever, strong enough to stop even death. This is one of Anakin's turning points, where he knows that he can do better, but follows his emotions anyway. Padmé makes the critical error of not criticizing him at all.
Anakin is still troubled and confused as he and Padmé discover that Obi-Wan is in trouble on the planet of Geonosis, and they rush to save him. Rescue ends with them ending up captured by the Separatists who are ready to engage in war with the Republic, lead by the mysterious Count Dooku. Anakin, Padmé and Obi-Wan are all sentenced to death, and the probable demise encourages Padmé to finally confess her feelings for Anakin, sealing their doomed love. All three are saved when the Jedi, along with newly acquired clone army arrive to their rescue, and Anakin and Obi-Wan end up fighting Count Dooku before he escapes from Geonosis. Anakin's recklessness demands it's price during this battle as he loses his right arm.
Attack Of The Clones finishes in much darker mood than The Phantom Menace did with the beginning of Clone Wars, and Anakin marries Padmé in secret. His new, artificial hand is the visible symbol of the humanity he's starting to lose, and although his wedding may be seen as a final moment of peace before an exhausting war, it's also signs the permanent rift between Anakin and the Jedi Order.
YODA: Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is . . . Consumed by Darth Vader.
- - Revenge Of The Sith
Both in The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones, the threat beyond the Trade Federation and later the Separatists has been acknowledged as the newly risen Sith, but so far only the apprentices, Darth Maul and Count Dooku, have been seen. Or so the Council thinks, while in fact, the master behind the both men has been working on his evil right under the eyes of the Jedi, pulling the strings behind the collapsing Republic. In Revenge Of The Sith, this man finally steps forward. Darth Sidious is ready to make his final moves, and these include Anakin Skywalker.
In The Phantom Menace, former Senator Palpatine promised to watch over Anakin's career as he became the Chancellor, and in Attack Of The Clones he was the one to show belief in Anakin's abilities while Obi-Wan was "hindering" him, praising his talents while Obi-Wan was "overcritical". In Revenge Of The Sith, we discover that Anakin also confides in him about things Obi-Wan doesn't seem to be aware of, such as the massacre of the Tuskens. Not unlike Padmé, Palpatine ensures Anakin that his anger is only natural after Anakin takes Count Dooku's life after defeating him in the battle. For a captive in need of the rescue, Palpatine is very much in control of the situation, but still fails to convince Anakin to leave hurt Obi-Wan behind. At this point, Anakin is still upset about going against the ways of the Jedi, and he's too loyal to Obi-Wan to leave him behind. This changes much later when Anakin discovers that the Chancellor and Darth Sidious are, in fact, the one and the same person.
But a lot happens before this discovery. War nears it's end with Count Dooku dead and only the feared General Grievous left to finish off, and Anakin has become a hero. His life, however, is about to change as Padmé tells him that she's pregnant, which leaves them both with a secret greater than the fact that they're married. The baby means good news for them both, and Anakin and Padmé allow themselves a moment of peace as they plan their future together, but all is soon ruined on Anakin's behalf as he dreams of Padmé dying in childbirth. Horrified of losing yet another person he loves, Anakin is ready to use extreme measures to save Padmé.
This is when Palpatine steps in. As the Jedi have finally begun to suspect him, Palpatine flatters Anakin by appointing him as his personal representative on the Jedi Council, to which the Jedi react by reluctantly allowing him in, but denying him the rank of the Master. Anakin feels once again that he's being treated unfairly, even more so when Obi-Wan tells him that the Council wants him to spy on Palpatine, to uncover his intentions considering the Republic. Palpatine has predicted this, though, and during their meeting at the opera, he eagerly fuels Anakin's distrust of the Jedi, and offers him another option through a story about Darth Plagueis, whose incredible powers included the ability to keep people he loved from dying (as well as using midi-chlorians to create life, which sounds like a direct reference about Anakin's birth). Anakin is naturally interested in this, and asks if it's possible to learn this power. "Not from the Jedi", replies Palpatine.
Eventually the moment comes when Anakin needs to decide between duty and love, between Jedi and himself. His first instinct is to do his duty, which he does by informing the Council about Palpatine's true nature. However, in the end, his love is too strong. Realizing that following Palpatine is his only chance of saving Padmé, he rescues Palpatine from the Jedi and willingly offers himself to the dark side. Darth Vader rises from the ashes of Anakin Skywalker.
His first instinct as the apprentice of the Sith is to go against his new enemy, the Jedi. He and Palpatine launch the genocide of the Jedi together, and after wiping his former Order out of his way Anakin leaves for Mustafar, where the last of the Separatist-leaders are hiding. Unknown to Anakin, he is soon followed by two last remnants of his past life: Padmé and Obi-Wan.
The relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge Of The Sith is warm compared to the previous movies. Before, they were the master and the apprentice, in Revenge Of The Sith they are equals, brothers. Obi-Wan is more supportive of Anakin than ever, far more supportive than Anakin ever knew. Obi-Wan knew of Padmé's pregnancy, and that Anakin was the father, and he was willing to help. And when Obi-Wan hears of Anakin's turning, he's devastated. He is outright unwilling to kill Anakin, even begging Yoda that he doesn't have to do it, but eventually he travels to Mustafar secretly on Padmé's ship, who still believes in Anakin's innocence, risking her life just to get to him. Padmé and Obi-Wan love Anakin more than any other people in the world, but in Mustafar Anakin turns against them both.
Many have been displeased, to say at least, with the fact that Anakin turned evil because of love, which means that they most likely ignored this: When Padmé approaches Anakin on Mustafar, Anakin tells her that he's powerful enough to overthrow Palpatine, that they can rule the galaxy together. In much ignored discussion on the picnic in Attack Of The Clones, Padmé and Anakin discussed what was wrong with the Republic, and Anakin's answer to this was dictatorship, even if only in joking way. Now he offers this way to bring the order seriously, becoming the very enemy of everything Padmé ever believed in, who now sees what he has become. Anakin, on the other hand, is too far beyond to tolerate any kind of betrayal, and even when it's the woman he loves on the line, he attacks her through Force, and it's only Obi-Wan's intervention that stops him from killing her.
With his hesitation brushed off by Anakin's attack on Padmé, Obi-Wan is finally ready to take his former apprentice out. A hard and bitter battle takes place between the two, with neither man holding back. The battle climaxes ends only when Obi-Wan cuts off all Anakin's limbs, leaving him to slide towards molten lava. As this happens, Obi-Wan shouts at Anakin for betraying the prophecy, for joining the Sith instead of destroying them. Anakin screams in hatred, Obi-Wan whispers in love. Obi-Wan leaves Anakin behind to die.
But Anakin lives as Palpatine rescues him and repairs him, closing him in a pitch black armor that would become the face of the Empire in following years. Though crippled now, the first thing Anakin asks is if Padmé's alright, still looking after her even after his rage for her. Palpatine gleefully tells him that he killed her, and Anakin, trapped in Vader, can only howl in grief.
Anakin's story ends in Vader standing by his Emperor's side, watching the first fruit of their new Empire is built. But beyond his despair, there is still hope for the galaxy. He lost the woman he loved, but he didn't lose his children.
LEIA: Darth Vader! Only you could be so bold.
- - A New Hope
This is how I saw Darth Vader for the first time: A tall, dark figure in a mask and an armour walks into view, fighting in yet another war. He is the villain hated by the Rebel Alliance, of which spirit is embodied within Senator Leia Organa, a Rebel spy and Vader's direct link to finding the hidden rebel base. He's also trying to regain something that belongs to the Empire: Plans of the Empire's most destructive weapon, the Death Star. Unknown to him, his destiny is about to change once more as the plans were trusted in the hands of two remnants of his past, C-3PO and R2-D2, who in turn become property of a young man named Luke Skywalker.
It's Luke who is the hero in A New Hope while Vader is the villain, ruthless and powerful, not beyond torturing nor killing to get what he wants. However, he's still not quite as dark as his armour. While he tortures Leia to get information about the Rebels out of her, he doesn't support Grand Moff Tarkin's decision to destroy her home planet of Alderaan in order to make him speak. He's still a pilot at his heart, joining his troops in the battlefield in a struggle in space at the end of the movie. Aside from the unfortunate rebel who dies in his grip, Vader doesn't kill in vain, merely boasts with the fact that he could do so. He's a monster, but not completely without his limits.
Theft of the Death Star-plans is described as the first victory of Rebel Alliance against the Empire, and protecting these plans becomes the main plot of A New Hope as Luke joins up with Vader's old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, in order to deliver the plans safely to Alderaan. Han Solo and Chewbacca complete the rescue group, even though against their own intentions, and eventually their path meets with Vader's. Vader is astounded to feel Obi-Wan's presence, and plans to take him out once and for all. He claims to be the master now, and Obi-Wan doesn't disagree, just points out that it's evil he masters.
The battle is barely equal, as Vader might be more a machine than a human, Obi-Wan is an old, weakened man, and when he sees that Luke is ready to escape, his twin sister by his side, he is ready to accept his fate. Vader slays him eagerly before Luke's very eyes, who takes out many Imperials before finally making his escape, leaving with Leia to the rebel base in order to join the battle against the Empire. Vader is confident that this battle will bring the end of the Rebellion, a suitable follow-up for the end of Obi-Wan. His Empire will be victorious.
But A New Hope ends in victory of the Rebel Alliance and Luke, while Vader himself is blasted to space. A New Hope as a title most likely refers to new hope for the rebels, but in deeper sense, it means new hope for Vader, too. With death of Obi-Wan, the Jedi are finally gone, but his new enemy is strong with the Force, someone who needs to be either wiped out of the way.. or persuaded to join him.
YODA: Much anger in him. Like his father.
- - Empire Strikes Back
In A New Hope, Vader was intimidating, but not intimidating enough to be spared from mockery from proud Moffs, and as Leia commented, Grand Moff Tarkin was holding his leash. In Empire Strikes Back, it's Vader who's shown with the supreme power. This Vader doesn't tolerate mistakes, if it means he'll be hindered. He uses his mind, but he is driven by pure emotion. He needs to find Luke Skywalker.
This is the movie where Luke starts his training as a Jedi, with Master Yoda as his teacher. Some people rather associate the immature, inexperienced Luke from A New Hope with Anakin due to whine factor, but I think it's Luke in Empire Strikes Back that resembles Anakin more, the angry, reckless Anakin who wants everything and he wants it right now. And like Anakin, Luke too gets quickly in touch with his dark side, through an imaginary battle where he defeats Vader, only to find himself behind the mask. And just like Anakin, it's a vision that makes Luke forget about his duty when he senses that the people he cares for most in the world are in danger. Firmly in Anakin's footsteps, Luke walks straight into a nightmare.
Battle between Luke and Vader in Bespin is more like a dance than a fight, with Luke as the inexperienced partner challenging Vader at best, but he's mostly at Vader's mercy, managing only tiny victories as the battle ensues. He is beaten in the end, losing his right hand from the wrist as Vader emerges victorious, knowing there's no way to get away. But Vader doesn't want to destroy him.
Before his defeat in Obi-Wan's hands decades earlier, Anakin boasted about leading his own Empire, and in Empire Strikes Back this dream is within his reach once more. Vader hasn't given up on all his ideals, he still wishes to bring the order to the galaxy. And he's still not planning to rule alone. He asks Luke to join him, as only their combined strength is enough to end the conflict ripping the galaxy apart. Luke's reaction is of course an enraged denial, but Vader knows how to change his mind. Luke doesn't know what happened to his father, does he?
"He told me enough!" shouts Luke, backing up. "He told me that you killed him!"
"No", says Vader. "I am your father."
Insert "nooooooooo!!!111!!" from Revenge Of The Sith here.
According to Obi-Wan, a pupil of his named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Luke's father.. from a certain point of view, of course. The truth leaves Luke devastated, and Vader tells him that Luke can destroy the Emperor. And with him gone, the two of them can rule the galaxy as father and son. Vader would have his Empire, and the galaxy would have peace.
Luke gets away, and has a new hand installed on him as he and Leia are left to think of the ways to save Han, who Vader offered to a bounty hunter as he plotted to get Luke into his hands. Luke has a lot to think about as Empire Strikes Back draws to it's end, but it's Vader who has even bigger changes ahead of him. Empire Strikes Back was about celebration of evil, but Luke is back with his friends, back on his path. And he's planning to save his father.
LUKE: I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.
- - Return Of The Jedi
Rebel Alliance prepares for the final battle against the Empire. Luke Skywalker prepares to save Han Solo from Jabba The Hutt. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine prepare to turn him to the dark side for good.
Luke in Return Of The Jedi has had plenty of time to think. While his wardrobe is now dark and his behavior in the palace of Jabba The Hutt may not correlate with the Jedi Way, Luke is firmly on the light side of the Force. He's still shocked by the fact that Darth Vader is his father, but it doesn't bother him anymore. On the contrary, Luke is now able to see beyond the monster, and notices the struggle that even Vader himself isn't aware of. Anakin Skywalker didn't die in Mustafar and he didn't die in the armour. Anakin Skywalker may be forgotten, but somewhere inside Vader, he still exists.
The Emperor is ready to seduce Luke to the dark side just like he once did to his father, and Vader does not object to this. After all, he has his own plans, and he is all too aware of the pull of the dark side, knowing it to be hard to resist. And maybe most importantly, he doesn't want to see Luke destroyed. He wants Luke by his side.
When father and son meet on Endor, the conflict that Luke sensed is visible. His denial to the name Anakin is vehement, and his reaction to Luke's claims of the goodness within him is very subdued. He notes the connection between Luke and Obi-Wan, how they both try to save him, but while he rejected Obi-Wan's attempts to reach out for him in Revenge Of The Sith, he simply notes that it's too late for him when Luke tries the same. Luke says that his father must be truly dead, then, and Vader stands in silence long after Luke's taken away.
Anakin was coaxed to the dark side through manipulation and sweet promises, but none of that it present when Luke faces the Emperor. Palpatine knows about his attachment to his friends and his devotion to the rebel, and soon after meeting Luke he responds to his wishes to turn his father away from the dark side by claiming that it isn't possible. Palpatine strikes all these weaknesses one by one: He crushes the Rebellion by revealing that the Rebels ran straight into his trap. Same goes for his friends in the forest moon of Endor, who will die in the hands of his best troops. And finally, when it seems like all is lost, he sends son against the father, sure of his victory.
But Luke's attention is on Vader. Although attacking his father first, Luke soon lowers his weapon and brings up the conflict within Vader again, to which Vader responds with his lightsabre. But Vader quickly figures out a better way, picking out Luke's emotions. Such as his feelings for his friends. For his sister.
Anakin never knew that Padmé was carrying twins, and neither did Luke until Yoda told him on his deathbed that there's still another Skywalker. Leia, to whom Luke has been always devoted to, turns out to be his sister, one raised in secrecy and without her true name. Leia is the only person who he confides to about his plans to save Vader, Leia he trusts the fate of the galaxy to in case he fails himself. When Vader threatens to turn her, it's just too much for Luke, who finally snaps.
After the battle it's Darth Vader who's defeated, losing his right arm once again. The sight of his arm, that was already artificial, as well as Emperor's final request of his turning, push Luke away from a potentially destructive path. He throws away his lightsabre and succeeds where his father failed. He finally becomes a Jedi. Emperor's price for this is death. He attacks, using his lightning to kill Luke, while Vader watches on, just listening as Luke pleas for help. He looks from his master to his son, and everything changes again.
Love doomed Vader, but it's also love that saves him, and it's the nature of love that counts here. In Revenge Of The Sith, Anakin confided to the Jedi only once after his dreams about Padmé's death, and Yoda adviced him to train himself to let go. While it sounds like an insensitive thing to say - which it was - there was also truth to Yoda's words. Anakin's love for Padmé was deep, intense and possessive, obsessive to the point where Anakin tried to control her fate for her. But now, as his master attacks his son, Vader can see that Luke won't be possessed, Luke will rather die than be owned.
He lets go.
Anakin grabs the Emperor from behind and throws him to his death, ending up fatally wounded himself. He holds on to life long enough to ask Luke take his mask off, wanting to see his son with his own eyes. Luke complies, and Anakin can enjoy his final moments without the prison that Palpatine constructed on him. Luke is still desperate to save him, now that he finally has his father back, but Anakin is ready to go. Knowing that someone believes in him, Anakin dies peacefully in Luke's arms.
The Circle Is Now Complete - What Draws Me In
I've always been a little wary of redemption stories, and in most fandoms I've been involved with redemption is seen as something that very easy, and the character's bad points tend to be overlooked in order to justify the redemption. George Lucas may not be the most talented storyteller out there, but from my point of view, he succeeded in something that many others have failed in. He made me believe that a man can fall hard, but also return.
Anakin is both brave and scared, strong and weak, admirable and despicable, heroic and villainous. He loves deeply and dangerously and he hates the same way, but in the end he's grown enough to let go of both, and make peace with himself. He fell to darkness for a very long time, and it took someone else's faith for him to draw out of that darkness, but in the end it was his own strength that counted. He played a huge role in pushing the universe into chaos, but he was also able to bring back the order he had always fought for. Darth Vader makes a fantastic villain, but Anakin Skywalker makes a damn good hero.
Darth Vader was the first fictional character who really caught my attention and who also managed to keep it, and though it's been years since I first saw Star Wars, he's still one of my most favorite characters ever. I resisted the prequel trilogy for a long time, and while I still don't think it matches the original trilogy, I like it more than most fans do, and Anakin is definitely the biggest reason for this. Anakin Skywalker's story is finished now, but as long as there are fans to appreciate and enjoy his rise and fall, the character will never die.
The Anakin Skywalker Home Page
The Darth Side *adult content*
Bast Castle (home of The Darth Vader Estrogen Brigade) *adult content*
Unlimitede Power (Anakin/Palpatine)
Moons Of Iego (Anakin/Padmé, on hiatus.)