Daily Archives: May 19, 2005

The Theory on Anakin (Revenge of the Sith review Part II)

19 May 2005

So, one more post to fill in the missing week, and I’ll get there if it kills me, dammit!
Thar be spoilers here!
So here’s my theory on Anakin Skywalker, as given by evidence in the films. Let it be known that this is not the story that I would have had told from the original trilogy, but was the best that I could put together from the story I was told. This interpretation of the six-film saga is most consistent in my mind.
My thesis is — Palpatine created Anakin.
What we know:
We know that according to Schmi Skywalker (Episode I), Anakin was immaculately conceived. Qui-Gon calls Anakin a ‘Vergence’, and tells us he was born of the midichlorians. We know that Anakin has the highest count of midichlorians ever measured, including master Yoda. Therefore (through correlation or causation), he is the strongest in the force yet known.
We know that there was once a Sith master named ‘Darth Plagus’, who had the power to cause midichlorians to create life itself. We are also given to read into the subtext that Darth Sidious (Palpatine) was the apprentice to Darth Plagus, that Darth Plagus taught him everything he knows, and ultimately Sidious betrayed and killed Plagus. Therefore it stands that Sidious would also know the secret of causing the midichlorians to create life itself. Sounds a lot like a vergence to me.
So, here is some theoretical postulation around why Anakin would be created, and why he is on Tatoine, and why certain events unfold as they do:
If I were a Sith Master who discovered the secret of creating life (i.e. causing a conception) through the midichlorians, I would probably make it my goal to create for myself the perfect apprentice. I might create a bunch of experiments until I got them right, but in all cases — especially in the era of the Jedi council, I’d want these experiments to be tucked away in the outer rim, where no one would notice them and scoop them up to take them to be identified and trained. I’d probably want to farm them out into the lowest levels of society, as not to be noticed, and making them part of the slave class would definitely help me in the long run, getting my apprentice used to subservience to a master. So, the son of a slave (and a slave himself), on a backwater desert planet is a good candidate.
Other good qualities in a Sith would be high levels of passion, and a lack of control of these passions. Anakin fits the bill there as well. I wouldn’t want him trained in the Jedi ways too early, but if they did accidently get picked up at a later age, I probably could turn this to my advantage later. In any case, I’d keep a close eye on my experiments and send my current apprentice to protect them if need be.
Being born without a father, Anakin forms an expecially strong attachment to his only parent, his mother, and doesn’t have a male rolemodel in his life other that Watto. Hungering for some sort of father figure, Anakin takes to Watto, but also takes to any strong male rolemodel well (Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Senator Palpatine).
It’s really the power of the light side of the Force that brings Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to Tatooine to rescue Anakin and to give him the foundations necessary to carry out his ultimate prophecised destiny — to bring balance to the force.
So, Palpatine creates Anakin, gives him strong emotions and strong attachments (his mother) which he can later manipulate to his advantage when the time became apparent. Schmi, Anakin’s mother, is strangely kidnapped by the Tuskin raiders for no apparent reason, and is then tortured to the brink of death. It seems wildly out of the MO of the raiders to do this — they are scavengers, not kidnappers, and are more interested in mugging and stealing than torture. However, this tactic of torture has been used by the Dark Side later in the story — by Anakin himself, actually — to generate enough disturbance in the force to bring Anakin back to Tatooine. Of course, when he appears and his mother dies in his arms from her wounds, he loses his strongest attachment and goes ballistic — giving in to the Dark Side for the first time, and bringing him closer to Palpatine. What better way to get a proto-Sith to release his anger than to kill his mother?
The second attachment that Palpatine augments and tries to take advantage of, is Padme. While it is questionable whether or not he could have influence Padme’s first visit to Tatooine, he definitely saw the potential for attachment between Anakin and Padme, and promoted Anakin’s contact with her. He then uses Anakin’s attachment to Padme to mirror his loss of his mother, and sends him visions of her dying in childbirth. He then reacts to his attachment with passion, and is driven even further towards Palpatine, with the promise of being able to save his beloved.
Really, Anakin has little choice in these matters. He’s been created by evil for this role that he’s playing, and it’s only through the emergent quality of the Force itself that he is given any goodness within him. The greater story of Anakin Skywalker’s victory is not of a man over his own passions, but of the Force over a passionate man. Even when Darth Vader throws the Emporer over the side into the reactor in Jedi, he’s making the same decision he’s always made — when the chips are down, and faced with the threat of authority or protecting his attachments, Vader is selfish and acts on his own self benefit.
The difference of course with Luke is, Vader had to sacrifice himself in body to save his progeny. Maybe that selfless act is his true transformation, but it is not a return to goodness in my opinion, but a final arrival.
So — Tragic hero, Anakin is not. He is, instead, a failed Sith experiment, showing that no matter how hard the Dark Side tries to stack the cards in its favor, the Light Side always prevails. Vader finally brings balance to the force.