[OWLS May Blog Tour] Star Wars: Anakin’s Dark Movement for Justice and Power

May Blog Tour:

Movement

We join movements, organizations, and systems that align with our own personal values and beliefs. Sometimes we join these groups because they believe in doing good and making positive changes in society. However, these movements can turn sour when a dictator arises or behind the good intentions, there’s a hidden agenda of oppression. It is in these groups that individuals start to shape their identities by questioning their values and beliefs or conforming to the system. This month, we will be examining “real and/or fictitious” movements, organizations, or systems in anime and other pop culture mediums, and the positive and negative effects they have on individuals and society.

*Will have spoilers to the prequel films to Star Wars (Episode I: Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith).

One goal in one organization

 

We all know what is a team is. We see it on TV, movies, video games or any other medium. Organizations such as teams or even a movement brings people together with the same idea and aiming for an important goal that everyone agrees. For example, in the Archie comic books of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic and his friends formed a group called the Freedom Fighters and they use their abilities to fight the evil scientist Dr. Eggman. The reason why the Freedom Fighters was created because it was to rebel against someone evil like Eggman and his goal for world domination. the comic books of Sonic the Hedgehog shows a positive movement and teaches readers that being in a group will take on the most adversary obstacle. However, not all organizations are gum drops and ice-cream. A perfect example of a movement is the characters from Marvel comics X-Men and the movie X-Men: First Class. Without giving away the plot, Charles Xavier and his friend Erik Lensharr are mutants work together and bring together a team of mutants in hopes of preventing another World War manipulated by an evil Mutant group. However, still having hate towards the humans for killing his parents in the World War II, Erik displays great hate towards the humans and desires to show his for vengeance. The act of betrayal towards Xavier leads him to leave his only close friend and form his own group where he believes that mutants should rule the world. What started off with an idea of working together ended up being split into two different groups with movements. Good or bad, every person has a motivation and the results based on thier decisions will affect long term friendships.

In this OWLS post on movement, I am going to be talking about a popular movie about a character who wanted to be a hero and ended up being a tragic hero.

Background

What is Star Wars?

Most of us know what is the movie franchise Star Wars, but just in case you don’t know, here is a quick summarization. Star Wars is Sci-Fi film series that was created in May 4th, 19977 (hence the whole trend May the 4th be with you) and it was created by the director George Lucas. The first movie was so good that made other sequels such as The Empire Strikes Back and the final film The Return of the Jedi. However, there was many questions about the origins of the characters and what happened to the previous Jedis and how did the villains almost took over the galaxy. In the timespan starting from 1999 to 2005, George Lucas wrote out the story of the Prequels and even renamed the original trilogy. Originally, the first ever Star Wars movie was itself, but with all these later movies, the special editions changed it to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strike Back and so on. The last movie created by Lucas was Episode III: Revenge of the Jedi and it tells the story about the birth of Darth Vader and the introduction to the original story. As time passed, Disney buys Star Wars and Lucas sells the series to many directors who wants to expand the stories such as The Force Awakens and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.

 

What is the Prequels?

I could go on about Star Wars, but I will talk about the prequels and I am going to assume you already know about the classic films. The prequel trilogy tells the story about how the Jedi existed and they tried to bring peace to the galaxy. The Jedi’s are warriors who uses the power of the force and lightsabers for good and seeks to bring peace to all kind of species. The mortal enemy is the Sith which is identical to the Jedi but they use their powers for evil and their goal is to rule the galaxy under oppression to maintain their own peace. The Sith relies on using droids to control planets and the Jedi uses clones soldiers to fend them off; clone troopers are special kind of genetically altered humans who are used for military power. As viewers watches the everlasting war, we also see the story about a young boy who is supposed to be the key to bring peace to the world, but ends up becoming something he ended creating: his name is Anakin Skywalker.

In this post, I will talk about Anakin’s Jedi movement from someone who became a hero to someone evil and ended up being Darth Vader. The way I am going to explain this is going to be something different. If you seen Star Wars and you want to get to the main point, you can ignore these three main points and jump to the “long story short”. If you wish to read everything, I hope you enjoy everything I wrote.

Here is an important fact about the Jedi to remember so I don’t have to repeat myself:

The difference between a Jedi and Sith is not just the way of the force, but it also how they deal with violence with their lightsabers. The Jedi can use lightsabers for combat, but they can’t just kill anyone. Unless it is really needed, a Jedi will avoid killing and will do anything it takes to disarm the attacker. A Sith is different because since they use the dark side of the force, they are not afraid to kill. A Sith can kill anyone with free will and won’t hesitate kill their prey or attacker.

The Painful Movement

Episode I: A slave boy with fear

Before he became Darth Vader, he was just a simple boy. Anakin Skywalker first made his appearance in the Prequel film The Phantom Menace (Episode I). Anakin was born into slavery and works with a junk dealership in the desert planet Tatooine. His slave life changes when he meets the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. In desperate need to repair their ship from the droid attack, Qui-Gon and his friends are in search for ship parts to fix their ship and return to their Jedi planet Coruscant. However, Qui-Gon doesn’t have the credits to buy the parts, but with the help of Anakin, he tells him that they can make fast money if he participates in pod racing and Anakin insists on helping him. With his kindness, Anakin even allows them to stay with him and his mother during a sand storm. Finding the boy very interesting, Qui-Gon takes a sample of Anakin’s blood for midi-chlorians levels (special kind of genetic cells where if the cell levels were high enough, the host could possibly use the force) and it turns out that his levels were very high; Anakin could wield the force. After Anakin wins the pod racing, Qui-Gon not only buys the parts for the ship, he also buys Anakin and sets him free from slavery. With his permission from his mother, Qui-Gon hopes to teach Anakin about the force and train him to become a Jedi. As much as Anakin would love to become a Jedi, he was afriad to leave his mom behind. However, as tough as it is, Anakin says goodbye to his mom and promises to save her from slavery.

After successfully returning to Coruscant, Qui-Gon takes Anakin to the Jedi Council and informs them about his powers. Skeptic the Jedi questioned if he is the one who will end this war. In a test, Yoda uses the force to sense Anakin’s emotions and finds out he has fear inside of him; The fear comes from losing his mother. Yoda gives him an important message about what happens if you let emotions get the best and what leads to the dark side:

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.

Anakin displays the first step of the possibility of becoming a Jedi and this brings concern to the Jedi council.

Episode II: an angry young man who learned to hate

Taking place years after Phantom Menace, Anakin grows up and learns how to use a lightsaber and the force thanks to the Jedi Master Obi-Wan. The villains, Trade Federation, wants to get rid of the newly Senate Padmé Amidala in hopes to bringing down the Republic. Tasked to protecting her, Obi-Wan and Anakin serves as bodyguards to Padmé. In Episode I, Padme is good friends with Obi-Wan and Anakin and trusts them in her safety. After stopping an attempted assassin and encountering a bounty hunter, Obi-Wan decides to get information on them and he entrusts Anakin to take care of Padmé. While protecting her, Anakin displays some romantic feelings for her and they end up getting close. Unfortunately, the romance is cut short when he senses a disturbance about his mother in Tatooine. Anakin and Padmé sets off to Tatooine for answers. While visiting his stepfamily, Anakin meets his mother’s new husband and informs him startling news: his mother was taken captive by Tusken Raiders. Filled with anger, Anakin sets off alone to save his mother. Beaten and tortured, Anakin saves his mother, but in dismay, her body gives up from the abuse and dies in his arms. After witnessing his mother’s death, Anakin used his anger to kill all the Tusken Raiders in the village.. Later on, Anakin tells Padme about what happens and this causes his anger to become hate. He tells her that he is angry that he couldn’t protect his mother and blames his teacher Obi-Wan for not teaching him to get stronger. He displays hate when he revealed to her that he killed every Tusken Raider including the women and children.

With this moment, Anakin steps closer to the dark side and even created murder on the people that caused him hate.

Episode III: a suffering man

Concluding the prequel trilogy, we have the last film Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. After the event of Episode II, the Republic are one step closer to winning the war against the Trade Federation. Anakin grows and matures after everything what happened to him in Episode II. The beginning of the movie actually serves a dark purpose on Anakin’s quest to becoming Darth Vader because the movie starts off with Anakin and his master Obi-Wan on a rescue mission to save the Chancellor Palpatine from the Sith Lord Count Dooku and Droid Commander General Grievous. In a lightsaber duel, Anakin successful disarms Dooku and believes he should stay alive and be taken to custody. Shockingly, Palpatine tells him to kill him instead as a way to get revenge for cutting off his arm in Episode II and as a way to rub salt on wounds, he even reminds him about his late mother.

It later revealed that Anakin secretly married Padmé in the last movie and she is pregnant in this movie. At first it may seem like a happy ending to Star Wars, unfortunately it is not. Anakin gets haunted by a nightmare and sees his wife dying as she gives birth to their child. To make matters worse, Anakin demands that after successfully defeating a Sith and saving the Chancellor, he believes he deserves to be a Jedi Master; however, Jedi Master Mace Windu and the rest of the masters doesn’t give him the title since he had previously displayed some negative emotions in the past. In a nutshell, Anakin had the skills of a master, but his mental ability was not set on the right path and it leaned close to the dark side. It gets worse when  Palpatine instigates the issue when he tells Anakin a story about a Sith Lord who could use the power of the force to save his loved ones, but he couldn’t save himself. He adds on this mysterious power can not be obtained by a Jedi.

Skipping ahead, Mace Windu finds out that the Palpatine is actually a Sith Lord who caused all this war and decides to kill him. Anakin witness the two fighting and Palpatine tells him that the Jedi is actually evil and he could teach him to save his love ones if he saves him. Windu decides to kill Palpatine, but Anakin stops him because he beliefs that this is not the Jedi way to kill and he needs to be taken to trial, alive. Ignoring him, Windu attempts to kill him, but Anakin disarms Windu and thus allowing a weakened Palpatine to give a chance to kill him. After helping killing Windu, Palpatine decides to take Anakin in as an apprentice and names him Darth Vader.

Anakin accepts his new master and tells him that he will do anything to protect Padmé. Palpatine is even willing to teach him the dark side of the force and even corrupts his mind when he tells him that the Jedi has been lying to him all this time and they prevent him from growing and Anakin is actually stronger than them. This corruption later on affects Anakin and pushes him further during Order 66; Order 66 is a secret operation where all the clone troopers who worked with the Jedi must kill them all. Anakin also carries out the plan and even kill children in hopes of eradicating what is described evil.

Throughout the latter half of Episode III, you can clearly see that Anakin Skywalker started off as someone who tried to protect the weak against evil, but then ends up becoming someone who believes power is the only way to bring order. With the last push, after losing to Obi-Wan in a deadly battle and Darth Sidious (Palpatine’s true identity) lying to him that his anger killed his wife, Anakin become the ultimate weapon for the dark side.

Movement: Breaking Apart the Films (Long Story Short)

This portion of the post is the main “meat” of the OWLS topic of movement; the lengthy portion in which talks about Star Wars is what you may call filler or excess information. Assuming you read all this text or you already know about Star Wars, here is where I am going to share with you the purpose of using Star Wars as my topic. Going back to the prompt, we may have had moments in our life or experience a fictional situation where one joins a particular because they have the same idea and wants to see it grow and impact lives. However, some groups may become ugly when we later find out that someone acts upon their desires and then it later poisons the group. This poisonous act can lead to many things such as disbanding a group or becoming hated by society.

In the prequel movies of Star Wars, Anakin became a student of the Jedi so he can learn how to use the force and save planets from people who believe, but thanks to his fears and how Palpatine played his emotions, he lost sight of his dream and changed an order based on his confused justice. Episode I introduced Anakin’s fear after leaving his mother and home planet in order to learn about the Jedi. He was afraid he will never see his mother again and feared he might lose her forever. In Episode II, the fear doubled to anger and hate after witnessing what happened to his mother. Even after becoming a Jedi, he couldn’t protect his mother and save her and this anger led to kill his mother’s captors and the innocent who did nothing wrong. He developed hate is mentors because he felt like he was being held back in teachings. Episode III was the straw that broke the camel’s back. With the combination of the past emotions returning and being told that the dark side had powers that are greater than Jedi, Anakin lost his sense of justice and developed a new rule where he thinks he can protect people by killing anyone getting his way.

What I am trying to say is that if Anakin wasn’t filled with negative emotions and let them go, he would be the key to stopping this war and could possibly even protect lives. Even if he did lose his mother, if he would have moved on and accepted life, he would have still have Padmé alive and probably even left a legacy for future heroes. Instead, he became evil and even almost killed his own children that were against him in the original trilogy.

Conclusion – Why is this important to know?

Before I conclude this post, I do want to leave a final thought for you readers. Even though Star Wars is a fictional piece of work used for entertainment, the characters and emotions can feel realistic. Like all the times I repeated in this post, Anakin started off as someone who was new and wanted to leave impact to for his organization in a positive way. But, with his emotions and having someone behind the curtains pushing his limits, he went from a chosen one for peace to a successor of evil. Do you know anyone who is described as Anakin and is it possible to be tainted in a group? It can be actually and it could happen to either someone you least expect. It can happen to me if I am going through something personal and I start dislike the things in my group. If I became “Anakin” in the OWLS, I might do something like betray my peers and change the system of the group. Fortunately, I am not Anakin and I love my group! I would hate to be someone who turned the opposite become toxic in anime community and using this negativity on a group that is supposed to promote self-respect. I guess the lesson for this post is that don’t let people with troubling emotions try to change your group’s purpose. To add on to that, make sure they are not being manipulated by someone or something that causing them change. Once they get consumed by their own darkness, they forget who they were in the beginning. Their emotions might be different than yours and it can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to possible consequences. Never lose your light

Thank you guys for taking the time to read my post. I hope you liked it.

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8 thoughts on “[OWLS May Blog Tour] Star Wars: Anakin’s Dark Movement for Justice and Power

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  5. Nice work on this post! Starwars was a great pick for the Movement tour. You bring up a lot of strong and interesting points about Anakin’s decline and what happened to lead him down a dark path entirely removed from who he once was. I love how you structured this post, it flowed easily from one point to the next.

    I especially like that in the end, you connect Anakin’s struggles to the real world. You turn it into a warning to people that not only should they keep in mind that they could fall into similar situations as Akakin, but also that people they know could go through a similar situation. I wonder if anyone could have helped Anakin with his fear and grief before he reached that critical turning point?

    • Thank you very much! I thought using Star Wars would be fun topic to choose. I thought using Anakin as an example would be interesting. Anakin wanted to help the galaxy and save people but ended becoming something he swore he would never become. I think he led to this path because he had fear losing the ones he hold dear. I think most people can relate to Anakin.

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