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Anakin Skywalker's turn to the darkside; your alternatives?

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This is a purely subjective thread for those who wish to speculate on alternate reasons for Anakin’s fall to the dark side ,in contrast to how it played out in the established prequel trilogy . I am especially interested to hear from people who saw the original unaltered trilogy at the time of their releases in the late 70s and early 80s .

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I thought it was Obi Wan’s pride and hubris as said in the novelization of Return of the Jedi.

He thought he could teach Anakin just as well as Yoda had taught him.

Then we get to the prequels and Obi Wan’s Master isn’t even Yoda it is Qui Gon.

I also thought it was a slow seduction to evil. Not a turn on a dime. Not murder younglings or lose Padme.

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I had always wondered if Anakin’s fall should have been more ideologically driven rather than simply being born out of fear of loss. When Vader makes his offer to Luke in ESB, he says his line about how “With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” That made me think of how Anakin, through his desire for order and control, would have been drawn to an authoritarian figure like Palpatine. Maybe you could have Anakin feel like he and his mother were deserted by the Republic and its unwillingness to assert greater authority over the outlying systems. The galaxy is a wild place with many lawless corners. You could have Anakin becoming frustrated with the Jedi and their more passive approach to galactic affairs. Maybe he wants them to exert control, to save the people of the galaxy from themselves and end the chaos around them. Which would be why he’d turn towards Palpatine as a mentor figure and political ally. He grows to see the Republic as a failing system that ought to be replaced with something that can better control its people for their own wellbeing.

This is something that’s sort of implied in certain scenes in AotC and RotS (i.e. “I don’t think the system works.”), but not nearly enough, in my opinion. I thought there was a lot of potential in that.

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Luke and Anakin’s journeys should have paralleled a lot closer than they do in the PT we got. More than just a few visual references. Their arcs should be more or less the same, up until Luke sees he’s going down the same path as Vader and rejects it in RotJ.

Both Anakin and Luke would start their path becoming Jedi for the wrong reasons: Seeking out adventure, and becoming more powerful to help fight in a cause. They’ll both get their asses kicked by the villain of the story, but Anakin doesn’t get the revelation of the path his father went down. Anakin will start to seek out the dark side, which will leave him better equipped to fight in a war than the Jedi’s pacifist teachings. He’d defeat the enemy in a reversal of the RotJ throne room. Without his “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” moment, he kills the villain and ends up at Palpatine’s side.

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SparkySywer said:

Luke and Anakin’s journeys should have paralleled a lot closer than they do in the PT we got. More than just a few visual references. Their arcs should be more or less the same, up until Luke sees he’s going down the same path as Vader and rejects it in RotJ.

Both Anakin and Luke would start their path becoming Jedi for the wrong reasons: Seeking out adventure, and becoming more powerful to help fight in a cause. They’ll both get their asses kicked by the villain of the story, but Anakin doesn’t get the revelation of the path his father went down. Anakin will start to seek out the dark side, which will leave him better equipped to fight in a war than the Jedi’s pacifist teachings. He’d defeat the enemy in a reversal of the RotJ throne room. Without his “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” moment, he kills the villain and ends up at Palpatine’s side.

I definitely think that the Clone Wars should have played a much larger, more visible role in Anakin’s development. Instead of seeming like a bad apple even before the War began, he should have experienced a loss of innocence as he grew up in a wartime environment. The Jedi who came of age during the War would have been of a more warlike sort, with Anakin never being trained or taught by Yoda like Luke was, leaving him as more of a warrior than a monk. This more martial personality would lead to Anakin becoming popular among the masses during the War, being seen as a champion of the Republic, while also leaving him much more vulnerable to the pursuit of more aggressive forms of power.

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The Pre-Prequel Anakin Skywalker i (still) have in my mind after all these years is a noble & likeable man with extraordinary pilot skills. And he has enthusiastic ideals about peace, right and order.

He gets recruited by Obi-Wan Kenobi und becomes a Jedi Knight. Both fight in the Clone Wars. Due to the republic’s imminent downfall and his idealistic ideals Anakin is pressured to gain faster and more effective ways of the force to end the war. Eventually - with the help of Palpatine - Anakins uses dark side powers to end the Clone War. Due to the the seducing powers of the dark side Anakins once noble ideals about peace and order become more and more corrupted.

Anakin Skywalker is CONVINCED that the dark side of the force is the only way to keep peace and order in the galaxy:

“If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.”

“With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”

Rogue One is redundant. Just play the first mission of DARK FORCES.
Being surrounded by yes men: the hallmark of a corrupt leader.
‘The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.’ - V.E.S.
‘Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.’ - SilverWook

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What about George’s concept that Anakin was the son of Palpatine. He even had a reveal scene like Empire where Palpatine reveals it to Anakin, it was in an earlier script draft of Revenge of the Sith.

I’m not sure if that was the original path to corruption in the script, Palpatine’s appeal to Anakin about the power of the dark side. The dark side is so powerful it allowed Palpatine to create a vergence with midichlorians, the chosen one to destroy the Jedi. Then in the film it became saving Padme from death and the fear of loss.

Honestly i never liked the idea that Palpatine is Luke’s grandfather and created the Skywalker line.

I guess it is still sort of in Revenge of the Sith but implied with the scene at the opera. It doesn’t really come out and make it explicit.

I have no idea what the original concept for the Jedi Knights in the Clone Wars was or what George originally had in the story for the Emperor and Anakin. Because it changed through the years, Palpatine wasn’t even a Sith in the original film or even seen. He was more a corrupt politician, A Nixonian Wizard of OZ. And Vader wasn’t Anakin Skywalker until 1979. So any idea about the old republic and Ben and Anakin was probably very vague or done while writing return of the jedi. And i’m sure the prequels were completely different in 1983 whatever he had down on paper or in his head for the story. Lucas is a genius, but some stuff just came out of nowhere when he resumed working on them in 1994, like Jar Jar or Qui Gon, and yeah midichlorians.

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Servii said:

SparkySywer said:

Luke and Anakin’s journeys should have paralleled a lot closer than they do in the PT we got. More than just a few visual references. Their arcs should be more or less the same, up until Luke sees he’s going down the same path as Vader and rejects it in RotJ.

Both Anakin and Luke would start their path becoming Jedi for the wrong reasons: Seeking out adventure, and becoming more powerful to help fight in a cause. They’ll both get their asses kicked by the villain of the story, but Anakin doesn’t get the revelation of the path his father went down. Anakin will start to seek out the dark side, which will leave him better equipped to fight in a war than the Jedi’s pacifist teachings. He’d defeat the enemy in a reversal of the RotJ throne room. Without his “I am a Jedi, like my father before me” moment, he kills the villain and ends up at Palpatine’s side.

I definitely think that the Clone Wars should have played a much larger, more visible role in Anakin’s development. Instead of seeming like a bad apple even before the War began, he should have experienced a loss of innocence as he grew up in a wartime environment. The Jedi who came of age during the War would have been of a more warlike sort, with Anakin never being trained or taught by Yoda like Luke was, leaving him as more of a warrior than a monk. This more martial personality would lead to Anakin becoming popular among the masses during the War, being seen as a champion of the Republic, while also leaving him much more vulnerable to the pursuit of more aggressive forms of power.

I like it.

JadedSkywalker said:

What about George’s concept that Anakin was the son of Palpatine. He even had a reveal scene like Empire where Palpatine reveals it to Anakin, it was in an earlier script draft of Revenge of the Sith.

There’s a prequel rewrite on youtube where a central plot point is how Anakin is a clone of Palpatine. Anakin turns to the dark side because he’s convinced he has no free will, echoing things he says in RotJ (I must obey my master). In RotJ when he finally overthrows Palpatine, it becomes the ultimate expression of freedom as the triumph of free will. Interesting concept.

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I like the ideas of Anakin being both a martial-focused character (due to his upbringing) and Anakin being a Palpatine child/clone.

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From what’s actually shown in the movies I always assumed Anakin enjoyed being aggressive to win battles. He would have naturally grown impatient with the Jedi teachers and taken the easier path. It’s a far more human response to their doctrine. Instead of all that “I need the secret to preventing death” nonsense. The only part that makes any real sense is his anger against the Tusken Raiders. But it falls down because we don’t ever see how that anger gives him more strength, and there are no repercussions. Where is the fallout or his anger towards Obi-wan and the council for letting this happen, or letting the slave trade continue? What does he learn from the experience, did he enjoy killing or see how rage is a powerful ally? It’s basically forgotten instead of being a genuine part of his character development.

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Mocata said:

From what’s actually shown in the movies I always assumed Anakin enjoyed being aggressive to win battles. He would have naturally grown impatient with the Jedi teachers and taken the easier path. It’s a far more human response to their doctrine. Instead of all that “I need the secret to preventing death” nonsense. The only part that makes any real sense is his anger against the Tusken Raiders. But it falls down because we don’t ever see how that anger gives him more strength, and there are no repercussions. Where is the fallout or his anger towards Obi-wan and the council for letting this happen, or letting the slave trade continue? What does he learn from the experience, did he enjoy killing or see how rage is a powerful ally? It’s basically forgotten instead of being a genuine part of his character development.

^ good points ! Letting the slave trade continue on the part of the Jedi and Anakin’s anger over it could have been great character development ,especially if he expressed his feelings to them towards it beforehand and they dismissed him out of hand and he felt gas lighted as result . What happened subsequently with his Mother and the Tuskens would have made his fall to the dark side, the perfect impetuous for it . He would have been more easily taken in by Dooku’s views , more sympathetic to Qui Gon’s defiance of the council , and Palpatine would have had the perfect route to manipulate Anakin’s conflicted emotions for his own gain and cement the process . I think this is the best reply to my post so far and would make for a great prequel re write .

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screams in the void said:

Mocata said:

From what’s actually shown in the movies I always assumed Anakin enjoyed being aggressive to win battles. He would have naturally grown impatient with the Jedi teachers and taken the easier path. It’s a far more human response to their doctrine. Instead of all that “I need the secret to preventing death” nonsense. The only part that makes any real sense is his anger against the Tusken Raiders. But it falls down because we don’t ever see how that anger gives him more strength, and there are no repercussions. Where is the fallout or his anger towards Obi-wan and the council for letting this happen, or letting the slave trade continue? What does he learn from the experience, did he enjoy killing or see how rage is a powerful ally? It’s basically forgotten instead of being a genuine part of his character development.

^ good points ! Letting the slave trade continue on the part of the Jedi and Anakin’s anger over it could have been great character development ,especially if he expressed his feelings to them towards it beforehand and they dismissed him out of hand and he felt gas lighted as result . What happened subsequently with his Mother and the Tuskens would have made his fall to the dark side, the perfect impetuous for it . He would have been more easily taken in by Dooku’s views , more sympathetic to Qui Gon’s defiance of the council , and Palpatine would have had the perfect route to manipulate Anakin’s conflicted emotions for his own gain and cement the process . I think this is the best reply to my post so far and would make for a great prequel re write .

Geez. The ideas in these two posts could’ve possibly saved the prequels for me. There’s a LOT of problems with the prequels, but Anakin’s turn to the dark side (basically the whole point of making the trilogy) was so poorly handled and unconvincing that it really eliminated any chance of me liking the films.

But your guys’ ideas here are just great. All the seeds are already there in the films. They just needed to expand on them and we could’ve had a MUCH more convincing and interesting backstory for the best movie villain ever. Such a shame it didn’t happen that way.

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I can envision some of Anakin’s dialogue in this scenario …" How can we call ourselves the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy , when we turn a blind eye to some of those injustices ?"

Of course , when I initially made this thread , I was thinking in terms as if it were before the prequels came out , but If one has to fit them in , I think this is a good way to approach it .

I was looking through the young adult " Legends " novel called The Rise And Fall of Darth Vader by Ryder Windham a while ago and on page 67 , there is this passage …Anakin -( his thoughts ) " Why won’t they help me free my mother ? It’s not fair ! It’s not right !

Countless times Obi-Wan explained that every Jedi had to obey the directives of the Jedi council , and could never use the Force for selfish purposes. He argued Anakin to consider how freeing one slave on Tatooine might lead to the deaths of others , as some slavers might prefer to destroy their " property " than release them from bondage . The Jedi also had to answer to the Galactic Senate , and for the time being , the Senate had little interest in anything that happened on Tatooine ’

Why do the Jedi have to answer to anybody ? Anakin wondered

I think that would have made a perfect jumping off point for Anakin to argue the matter further .Obi-Wan’s rebuttal in that passage doesn’t acknowledge Anakin’s childhood statement to Qui-Gon , (of which Obi -Wan was not there for )" I had a dream I was a Jedi , I came back here and freed ALL the slaves "

One question I have in all this is , beyond Obi-Wan’s statement , what would be the Jedi Council’s initial dismissal/answer to Anakin’s concern ? Perhaps the Clone Wars erupt during this scenario and take priority over it ?

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