“You were the Chosen One! You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them. You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness,” yelled heartbreakingly Obi-Wan Kenobi at Anakin on the Mustafar System after defeating Anakin. Inside each one of us there is the battle between our inner evil (a monster) and good. The story of Darth Vader is relatable on a spiritual level as well as great comparison of the struggle as human for good vs. evil. Let us take a look at how Anakin became the Darth Vader, and the path he came down to be a monster. When we first had met Anakin at the age of 9 years old, no one thought that he would become the villain that he did. According to Lucas, Young Anakin was a slave but also a highly skilled pilot and a brilliant engineer; we know he himself had built C-3PO out of pieces of junk he brought home. Throughout the Trilogy and the Prequels, Lucas goes on to say in TIME Magazine, “With Star Wars, I consciously set about to re-create myths and the classic mythological motifs. I wanted to use those motifs to deal with issues that exist today. The more research I did, the more I realized that the issues are the same ones that existed 3,000 years ago. That we haven’t come very far emotionally.” It’s hard looking at such a young, hopeful boy and imagine him turning into the frightening person that most of us have grown up with: Vader. The path he goes down is full of fear, anger, and greed which ultimately lead him to the dark side. One could even go on to say that he can, in a way, remind us of Lucifer.
The Bible passage found in Isaiah 14:12-14 it talks about why Lucifer fell from Heaven. We first meet a young Anakin working in the junk shop in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. We can see that he’s good, he is not arrogant. He wants to become a Jedi to do good and help people. We see that as a teenager in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, he already seems to have this darkness growing about him with the nightmares of his mother that grow stronger and more frequent. With that, the fear comes and grows into his heart. We all know his dreams of his mother Shmi Skywalker, end in her death. Anakin after having her die in his arms expresses his anger and hate on the Tusken Raiders to Padme, “I… I killed them. I killed them all. They’re dead… every single one of them. And not just the men. But the women… and the children, too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I HATE THEM!” (IMDb).Isaiah 14:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV), “How you are fallen from heaven, O [a]Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”. After Anakin letting out and expressing his hate for the Tusken Raiders, began his fall from being a Jedi, he wanted to have it all marriage, being a Jedi Master. You could say he wanted all the cake and eat it too. So like Lucifer, began his fall from Heaven with anger and hate.
Here the hate and anger that is overtaking Anakin towards the Tusken Raiders is extremely clear. Anakin also breaks the rule about a Jedi never getting married (or forbidden for a Jedi love), according to Wookieepedia, “Under the original order, Jedi were forbidden to marry because they considered attachment to be dangerous, as it was believed to lead an individual to the dark side…”. Jedi’s knew that if one was to fall in love, just like any of us that fall in love we worry about the safety and well being of our partners and kids. With Anakin seeing the death of Padme in his dreams, it would ultimately drive him down the dark side because there was no way of saving her from death and the fear of loosing her was to great. Which as we all know fear and anger lead to the path of the dark side.
Which now brings us to Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, which ties The Prequels and The Trilogy together. At the begin of this episode we can already see how Anakin is arrogant, self-centered, and he believes he deserves to be a Jedi Master with a seat on the council. In believing so he begins to let his fear, hate and anger take hold on him. We begin to see the monster start to grow from within. Anakin is easily lead down the path of darkness by his own ambition, while being stimulated by Chancellor Palpatine whispering in his ear. Once again like Lucifer, who was a promising angel in Heaven, he also fell because anger and greed over took his heart. The passage above states that Lucifer wanted to exalt his throne above God’s and be like God. In doing so he fell from heaven, no longer being one of God’s chosen angels, and his name was changed to Satan. Unlike Satan, we know that Anakin’s name was changed to Darth Vader once he let his fear take hold and turned his back on the Jedi Order. Throughout the movies even though we know Anakin is destined to become Darth Vader we still seem to find ourselves wishing the best for him and getting frustrated by the choices he makes. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen who wrote Monster Culture (Seven Theses,) using Thesis VI: Fear of the Monster is Really a Kind of Desire, we humans are like Anakin; most people desire power, maybe not to have people necessarily fear us as a monster, but to be able to have control and power to get people to do things the way we want to have them done. And if they don’t listen, we are unhappy when things don’t go the way we want them. Why else would we sometimes as kids, teens, and nerdy adults pretend we can use the Force as Darth Vader has (other then it would be cool).
“To step outside this official geography is to risk attack by some monstrous border patrol or (worse) to become monstrous oneself.” (Cohen, 12). With the fear and anger growing in Anakin we see his personal boundaries getting pushed, Chancellor Palpatine knew how to get Anakin to join him. After Chancellor Palaptine reveals that he, himself is the Sith Lord. He turned it on back on to Anakin, by saying he wants to show him how to save Padme from dying, he has the power to save her. We all have times that we wished we had the power to save the ones we loves from hurt or death. How would each one of use handle that sort of power, given the opportunity? This is one of the major stepping stones Anakin takes in coming even closer to monster, when he goes back to the Chancellors chambers and finds Master Mace Windu putting the Chancellor under arrest. The Chancellor makes a plea to Anakin to choose to save Palaptine because he has the power to help him learn how to save the ones he loves. “…He must live, I need him.” pleads Anakin to Master Mace Windu before cutting off Windu’s hand which lead to Palaptine killing Mace Windu. Then Chancellor Palaptine stands and tells Anakin he’s now his apprentice and will show him how to use the dark side of The Force. Anakin makes a plea for him to learn how to just save Padme from dying. Anakin then goes to say “I can’t live without her.” The fear of living without the one(s) you love is why the Jedi are forbidden to love. Anakin pledges himself to the Sith Lord and is renamed from Anakin to Darth Vader. This embodies a couple different thoughts from Cohen you could say, “The monsters’s body quite literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety and fantasy (ataractic or incendiary) giving them life and an uncanny independence” (4) was it just fear, desire and anger or did “culture give birth to a monster before our eyes…”(9)
Yet he is not quite the complete monster, there is still one more battle for good and evil to be had. Going down this path Darth Vader now acts in ways he wouldn’t have imagined. Killing the younglings in the Jedi temple, turning his back on Obi-Wan, the way of the Jedi, and not realizing it’s driving a wedge between the only one he loves, Padme. As this is happening we see that the Order 66 is also put to order and Darth Vader is off to the Mustafar System.
On Mustafar which is a volcanic planet we see the final battle of once Anakin now Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. Right before the fight Padme pleads with Anakin not Vader, that it’s not to late for him to turn from being a monster. Realizing that Anakin is no longer Anakin, but Darth Vader, Obi-Wan confronts Vader. We can use the analogy that the last battle like good vs. evil we each have within us when making decisions. We can see it in the eyes of once a young hopefully Anakin not becoming Darth Vader, quite literally from when they change from a blue to the eyes of a monster to a fiery read and yellow. They say you can tell a lot through someones eyes, we see it all in Anakin’s eyes. In episode II Attack of The Clones, when his mother dyes we get a flash of anger, fear, and hate in his eyes. In episode III Revenge of The Sith we get to see more of the eyes changing from good to evil, as Anakin gets filled with more anger, fear, and eventually hate. When Padme confronts Anakin for the last tie is the last time we see his eyes the boy Anakin, before Darth Vader takes over.
With this fight Darth Vader loses so much more than he ever wanted, with not just Padme, unborn children, his longest friend and mentor Obi-Wan, himself, Anakin, the good, caring boy that just wanted to be a Jedi to help others. We see anger, hate, arrogance in the eyes of Darth Vader once the fight is over after loosing the high ground with Obi-Wan. There lays a chard, legless, almost skeleton of a man once named Anakin, “You were the Chosen One! You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them. You were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.” yells a sad, broken hearted Obi-Wan. A minute later we see Chancellor Palpatine standing beside a table with Darth Vader being put back with mechanical parts like ode to Frankenstein and his monster. Darth Vader is no longer a human not a cyborg. He can no longer live on his own, Vader is forever dependent on the life support of machines and mechanical. According to Cohen Thesis III: The Monster Is the Harbinger of Category Crisis, monsters refuse to be in just one category which helps to make them more scary (6). With Vader no longer able to be a human, he is confined to wearing his helmet or to the hyperbolic chamber, otherwise he will die.
In an interview TIME Magazine did with George Lucas, Moyer the interviewer states, “I think it’s going to be very hard for the audience to accept that this innocent boy, Anakin Skywalker, can ever be capable of the things that we know happen later on. I think about Hitler and wonder what he looked like at nine years old.”. Lucas’ reply was simply, “There are a lot of people like that. And that’s what I wonder. What is it in the human brain that gives us the capacity to be as evil as human beings have been in the past and are right now?”. Even with being the Chosen One, who could have know that young Anakin had to become a monster, that the galaxy would fear in order to bring balance back to the force. The best part is that like us human that can be saved when asking for forgiveness. Anakin was able to bring balance back to the Force and was able to redeem the monster he became.
Chosen One. Wookieepedia The Star Wars Wiki. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Chosen_One/Legends. Accessed 25 Jul. 2018
Cohen, Jeffery Jerome. Monster Culture (Seven Theses). University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Accessed Jul. 2018
The Holy Bible, King James Version. Cambridge Edition: 1769; King James Bible Online, 2018. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org.
Kenobi, Obi-Wan. Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. Quotes. Accessed 24 Jul. 2018.
Marriage. Wookieepedia The Star Wars Wiki .http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Marriage/Legends. Accessed 25 Jul. 2018
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Dir George Lucas. Perf. Hayden Christensen, Natalie Protman, Ewan McGregor. Lucas Films, 2002. DVD. Accessed 24 Jul. 2018
Skywalker, Anakin. Quotes. IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0121765/quotes. Accessed 26 Jul. 2018.