I’ve come up with a great analogy for why Anakin’s turn doesn’t work.
Imagine you have a romantic partner and they get into a terrible car accident. You’ve been in the hospital for 3 days and there’s a possibility she may die. You’re worried sick and have barely slept. Satan himself (for the record, I’m an atheist, but this is hypothetical) appears to you and says, “I’ll save her if you kill all of your neighbors, coworkers and their families, every friend you’ve ever had and their families, your entire extended family, and your partner’s entire extended family. This includes any of the children or babies.”
Who would do that?
Like, pact with the devil stories exist, but that’s just way too far. If he just showed up and said, “I’m gonna save your partner in exchange for your soul”, then sure, I can see someone doing that, even if it’s still not smart. But murdering everyone that you know for a deal that you don’t even know for certain whether they can or will actually do it, someone you know is evil and a liar? It’s just beyond stupid.
The only way it works is if Anakin has tangible evidence that there is a dark side power to cheat death and the knowledge exists to learn. Anakin should become evil, but not be stupid to agree to a bargain when he has nothing to go on except a story.
Yeah. There needed to be some reason for Anakin to actually hate the Jedi - not just be moderately pissed that they bitched about his seat on the Council. And Anakin needed to be shown experimenting with Dark Side powers himself, even without Palpatine’s prompting - and we need to see how the Dark Side is actually more powerful or useful in some way (at least in Anakin’s mind). We need to see Anakin actually realize the “power of the Dark Side” somehow.
Palpatine’s role should be to encourage and cultivate Anakin’s worst instincts, not just “trick” Anakin into spontaneously mass-murdering everyone he’s ever known with a vague promise.
There needed to be some major ideological disagreement between Anakin and the Jedi, along with some disaster that seems to prove Anakin right, at least in his own mind. (Maybe Anakin thinks the Jedi are too obsessed with their moral code, making them less effective than they should be against a wartime enemy that has zero moral qualms. Maybe Padme dies during a massive attack on Coruscant, and Anakin blames the Jedi for failing to prevent it.)