Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader, has been one of the most misunderstood villains ever created. Why did he turn to the dark side? How did the dark Forces seduce Anakin?
If he was a bad guy, why did Vader sacrifice his life to save his son Luke? If he was a good guy, how could Anakin have killed Jedi younglings and nearly choked the love of his life, Padme?
But that is the genius of Star Wars creator George Lucas who made Anakin, and not Luke, the Chosen One. It was Anakin who was destined to strike a balance between the light and dark sides of the Force.
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In a way, Anakin was destined to turn to the dark side so he could eventually restore balance. Anakin’s love for Padme remained forbidden per Jedi rules, so he had no choice but to turn to the dark side for help when her life was under threat.
The Jedi saw it as Anakin’s weakness and many fans too think that he got seduced by the dark side of the Force.
In fact, Palpatine had even promised to “save Padme from death” if Anakin would join the Sith. But things were slightly more complicated than that because even after Padme died, Anakin went ahead with his conversion to the dark side. Why did he do that?
1. Why Was Padme & Anakin’s Love Forbidden?
As per the Jedi Order rules, forming any attachment to another human being was forbidden. Children were taken away from their families not long after their birth for the same reason. Jedi Knights were sworn to celibacy and could not get married. Jedis were born for just one purpose – serve the Republic by brokering peace.
Now while all of that no-attachment shindig is great, it failed in case of exceptions. For instance, in Anakin’s case, things turned out very differently. He was discovered as a Force-sensitive kid only after he turned nine years of age.
By that time, he was already pretty attached to his mother. Living as slaves on a desert planet with a constant threat to their lives did not help his need to cling to his mother for protection either.
Padme | Source: Official Website
In a fit of rage after being falsely convinced that Padme was trying to kill him, Anakin tries to choke her to death. Padme manages to survive even as Obi-Wan chops off all of Anakin’s remaining limbs and leaves him to burn to death.
But Padme lives only as long as she delivers her twins, and Anakin is revived by the Sith Lord who gives him a new mechanical body.
Anakin does try to choke Padme, believing she was trying to kill him. But she does not die at that moment.
However, her eventual death may have been caused by the shock of seeing Anakin in a condition where he tries to kill her.
On the other hand, when Anakin wakes up after the hours-long surgery that gives him a new body, the first thing he asks is, “Where is Padme?”.
Palpatine once again manipulates Anakin into believing he killed her in his fit of rage. But Palpatine wants Anakin at his most vulnerable before he can be turned into Sith. Anakin has now lost everyone he ever loved, hates himself entirely for it, and has only Palpatine for family. (It was Palpatine who had ordered for the creation of Anakin in Shmi’s womb.)
4. How Did Anakin Defeat The Dark Side?
Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One for a reason. He helped establish the Star Wars saga’s premise that there was no absolute black nor white but merely shades of grey. Anakin could not find a home among warriors of the light side of the Force – the Jedi Order. But when his son Luke enters the scene, there is new hope for Anakin, who had only been acting in the name of love all along.
Anakin Skywalker | Source: Fandom
In Luke, Anakin finally finds someone to love enough to die for and does the same. He sacrifices his own life while trying to save Luke. Anakin also kills his master Darth Sidious, thus becoming a Sith Lord at the same time he dies. In some twisted way, Anakin manages to strike a balance between the light and dark sides.
Anakin had chosen to walk on the dark path only because he believed doing so would save Padme’s life. He didn’t care for the Jedi. When he later sees that Palpatine was willing to kill his and Padme’s son Luke because the latter had joined the Jedi, he destroyed the Sith. All he ever seemed to care for was love, his love.
In the end, Anakin was only looking to find a place for the intense love he felt in his heart. It forced him down some messed up and dark paths but also pulled him out to towering heights as well. All in the name of love, and only love, always. One of the most misunderstood villains I’d say.
5. About Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
The Star Wars prequel trilogy is the second trilogy of the leading Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas.
The prequel series traces Darth Vader’s origins, aka Anakin Skywalker, from before the Galactic Empire era.
It all starts in 31 BBY when 9-year-old Anakin is discovered by Jedi masters Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan on a remote planet of Tatooine. The boy displays a powerful raw Force and is a racing champ.
Born without a father, Anakin is raised by his mother alone. Qui-Gon is sure that Anakin is the Chosen One, who could restore the Force’s balance in the Galaxy.