…and it’s a really sad commentary on it that a CGI character is the best actor. Plus, Anakins " fall"? One moment he is ready to lop Papa palpatine’s head right off and the next he is bowing to him and it’s off too the temple and killing padawans?
Forget it, Jake. It’s Coruscant.
The devil made him do it. The Godfather it ain’t.
I’ll tell you the problem with the cinematic power he’s using here: It didn’t require any discipline to attain it. He stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as he could and before he even knew what he had, he’s patented it and packaged it, he’s slapped it on a plastic lunchbox and now he’s selling it.
All good points, the disconnect is most likely due to directing. But the way I reconcile it and keep myself in the story is to think of Anakin as wretchedly confused. He was, by every measure, a good boy, a loving son and a loyal friend–what everyone would consider “good.” His Jedi skills were reputedly formidable and he was an asset to the order. And yet he was drawn to the dark side which totally boggled him. He didn’t want the Dark Side for its own sake, or for the ability to dominate and bend everyone to his will; he wanted the Dark Side so he could prevent the suffering of others and to save the ones he loved. And we all know Jedi skills failed him very personally in that last regard when he watched his mother die. Really, I think everyone’s had a moment when they think, “Goddammit, I’ve followed all the rules to the letter and I still get the shaft. Fuckit, I’m doing things for ME from now on.”
Back to the scene in question: He probably was morally disgusted with Palpatine, only moreso with the lies and duplicity Jedi order. Representatives from both sides say “He is/was too dangerous to let live” further blurring the difference between the two. And the Sith way at least held a promise of something he wanted. So he had to embrace the slaughter of everything he’d hereto thought was right in order to do what he thought was really important. I maintain Anakin would be a difficult character to portray with any director. And to go through all that, and then lose Padme, the last person in the universe he loved–just gut wrenching.
What bugs me about Anakin’s fall is that he didn’t really turn to the dark side of his own free will - he was tricked into it. And then it got to a point where he had gone so far, he felt he couldn’t come back.
I think it would have made Anakin/Vader a stronger character if he had decided himself to join the dark side, knowing exactly what it entailed, and choosing to do so in order to gain power, etc. Before the prequels came out, that had been my impression of the character - he entirely chose his path.
By letting him get tricked and switch loyalties so easily, it makes him a bit wimpy and not that intelligent. In fact, since the prequels seem to show that Palpatine had entirely orchestrated the events of the prequels to get Anakin to turn, apparently working/planning for decades, it makes him little more than a pawn, who really seems to have very little to do with his own story.
According to the book The Secret History of Star Wars, this was done because George Lucas wanted to keep Anakin as something of a good guy, so that the audience would feel that he wasn’t “really” that evil, he was just tricked. God forbid that one of the main characters should do anything bad.
If Anakin had come in and seen Mace Windu attacking Palpatine, fought him off in a huge battle and felt forced to kill him - disillusionment with the Jedi, and feeling the satisfaction of murder - that would’ve been a believable turn. But just watching it happen felt weak.
Still, it’s a pretty film.
Watch The Clone Wars CGI show, it much more believeably shows Anakin’s slow moral descent.
Short story:The clone wars are endless inhumane battles organized by Palpatine, they end up degrading the morality of everyone involved. Anakin additionally actually cares about his clone troopers, who inevitably get slaughtered.
We the audience are shocked when Anakin leaves a man to die AKA Malcom Reynolds with snark, eventually he is killing “bad people” in cold blood to Obiwan’s shock. Anakin gets a lot of practice killing bad people.
Sorry for the fanwank I’m about to do.
In the Extended Universe, there are styles of fighting for the Jedi. The one that Mace Windu learnedis that he calls upon anger, i.e. the Dark Side, in his fighting as an outlet for that anger. It makes him powerful but then he has to reign it in and control it so it doesn’t dominate and control him. So, and you think this would have been easy to do, when Anakin was watching Mace and Palpatine fight, he saw them BOTH surrounded by the Dark Side, which is what led to his confusion about who to trust. I think it’s hinted at in the book, but it’s been a long time since I read the book.
Having said that, yes! Yes! YES! The fall of Anakin just wasn’t there. Red Letter Media’s reviews are correct, if you can get past his monotone and humor. We are told things instead of shown things. And some of these things would have been so easy to show us. What we did see, though, seemed like a spoiled boy wanting to do things his way because he never agreed with the other Jedi. No different than any other teenager. It also detracts from RotJ when he makes his choice to save his son more to be an “eh, I’m over the goth/emo phase” now. It doesn’t seem as powerful when viewed via the prequels.
I need to get into this and see this. I have heard it’s good and I liked the few episodes I saw but I kept wanting more or an overarching story, so first season didn’t pull me into it.
The first two seasons aren’t in chronological order, so it gets a bit confusing. I don’t think they’ve rearranged them into their proper order anywhere, but if you can watch them that way the story might feel a little more cohesive.
Having said that, it really is good any way you watch it.
My big problem with the whole thing is that we’re to believe that Anakin falls because he wants to save the people he loves (most specifically, Padme). He’s so irrationally afraid of her death that he turns. So what’s the first thing he does when he finds out that he’s been totally exploited and played like a fiddle by the big bad guy? When Palpatine tells him, “You know, I can’t actually bring anyone back from the dead. But you and me together, we can find out how,” in perhaps the biggest betrayal we’ve seen Anakin faced with? The first thing he does isn’t cut Palpy’s damn head off (like I woulda done), but say, “Bum deal, man. Oh well.”
Are you kidding?
If Palpatine had told me that, after I’d just given up everything in my life for him in return for one bit of knowledge he led me to believe that he has, I’da lost my damn mind. True, he’d probably be able to kill me anyway, but my first reaction would be, “Oh, hell no!” Not, “Oh. OK then.”
Hahah. That was pretty cool.
My remark “that the devil made him do it” wan’t entirely facetious. Anakin’s fall is consistent with Luke’s rejection of the dark side in RotJ. It seems that force sensitives do go off the deep end once they give in to anger and become ruled by their emotions. They almost become puppets.
None of which makes Anakin’s descent very satisfying, as it’s poorly executed and unconvincing.
It is sloppy because Lucas does not know how to direct actors but I will stand by my liking this movie.
It has good battle scenes, the best pacing since Empire, risky story telling (let’s not forget that we see Anakin slaughter Children) and the Order 66 montage is one of the best moments of the entire Saga.
Flawed? Yes. But easily the third best movie of the six.
This could’ve been much more poignant. At the moment of the betrayal, have Anakin go completely mad with rage and attack Palpatine. Palpatine easily subdues him, and leaves him to think about what he’s done. Anakin is so consumed with rage that all he can think about now is revenge. He takes it out on Obi-Wan, gets chopped up. Palpatine comes and saves him and rubs his weakness in his face some more. Anakin agrees to submit to Palpatine, but they both know that Anakin’s only doing it to wait for the right moment to strike back. It would give a whole new perspective on the character of Vader in the original trilogy, which is what a good prequel should do, instead of merely telling a story we already know.
“Father – my example inspired you to turn away from the darkness? My wounded cries moved you to reconsider?”
“Naw, it’s just that he was finally distracted, is all. I knew somebody would eventually make a nuisance of himself right in front of us; could’a been anyone, really.”
Looking back, they had the idea right, but the execution failed. If I had been in charge, I would have left the ending a little open ended. Padme still alive with Leia on Alderaan, remaining Jedi unsure whether or not Darth Vader is actually little orphan Annie. This could be done easily, have the Anakin still be Anakin at Mustafar, with the fight against Obi Wan being Jedi v Jedi, perhaps after a Jedi rebellion.
One of the few things I liked in AotC was Anakin wanting to end suffering by becoming a dictator, Episode 3 could have built on this, and let him walk the good-intention-paved road to hell by seeking power to cut through the bickering and thus fix the republic’s problems. Resurrecting Padme was a stupid reason by itself. Sure, there were other reasons he sided with Palps but still.
I agree that Clone Wars makes Anakin’s slow descent into evil more compelling and believable.
About your references in the last paragraph: I know the second is to the Duchess of Mandalore arc; what is the first?