Anakin…exists relative to the state of the galaxy. He is not Luke, he is not the youth of western literature on a journey; that is Luke’s role. Anakin’s role is that of the demi-god of Greek and Roman origin. When Anakin rises, the galaxy rises with him, when Anakin is in turmoil, the galaxy is in turmoil, when Anakin falls, so falls the galaxy. Anakin is intrinsic to the galaxy because Anakin, like so many other mythological demi-gods, is an avatar for the gods or, in the case of Star Wars, the Force. Regardless of any one person’s views on the Force (which are extremely disparate and widely varied, so we won’t broach that subject here), this fact is indisputable. Anakin, as the Chosen One who will “bring balance to the Force”, is its avatar. When Anakin is claimed by the Dark, the Jedi Order’s zenith is reached, the Balance is tipped, and the Order descends into darkness with Anakin, just as his return also signals theirs.-- ‘STAR WARS: The Creation of a Modern Myth: Cultural Influence, Fan Response and the Impact of Literary Archetypes on Saga Perception’
The title ‘Return of the Jedi’ doesn’t just reference Luke becoming a Jedi, but Anakin’s return to the Light, and with it, the ability for the Jedi Order to once more flourish. In this he is much like Beowulf, when the Geatish hero sacrifices himself to defeat the dragon at the end of the epic poem. Failure would spell ultimate destruction for Beowulf’s people and country, just as, had Anakin failed to destroy the Emperor, the Jedi and the galaxy would truly have been wiped out. Anakin himself has to die, however, because he is what tips the scales. Once he dies and becomes one with the Force, only then is balance restored."
This right here is absolutely fundamental to understanding the entire purpose of the Skywalker saga, as Lucas so painstakingly told it. The destruction of the old Jedi Order that had ‘lost its way’ and forgotten its true role in the galaxy, and the founding of the New, heralded by Anakin’s return to the Light, and Luke’s essential role in reminding him—and us all—of what it means to be a True Jedi.
"She still held to the faith of her father, in that she believed there was a heaven waiting beyond this life, and yet she would not let her belief lead her unthinking into oblivion. I won’t surrender, she thought with a vehemence that startled her. I will walk this path to whatever end may await. I will not fade away into nothingness. I’d rather burn.
No, if the God of her father still ruled this world, then surely His reign was not in scripture scrawled threateningly across a wall, nor in the mind of a single, demented leader. Nor was it in the depths of that dark water, but rather in the light that filtered through the trees at dawn, in the flight of the pale doves in the morning, in the graceful, folding wings of a pair of mated swans, in the footsteps of a great stag upon the frosted earth, in the distant stars at night, the flames of the evening sky.
And in those few, small fires that yet flickered within the hearts of men."
The most astounding thing about the music that accompanies Anakin’s fall is how sorrowful it is. Even as his ‘dark deeds’ unfold, Williams’ score is more mournful than ever. We are meant to weep for Anakin and for those who love him. For the Jedi and for the Republic. Because what is happening to this beautiful young man is the manifestation of what has happened—of what Sidious, and through him, the Dark Side, has done—to the galaxy itself.
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for @jedifest'16 Top Picks challenge
The s2 finale of Star Wars: Rebels was *the* Star Wars event of the year for me, the catalyst that sent me hurtling back into a fandom that I had distanced myself from for a long time. This episode single-handedly rekindled my love for Star Wars at a very dark time when I’d thought I had lost it forever.
Nothing can ever capture the tumult of emotion and the intensity of feeling I experienced while watching the now-iconic confrontation between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader. My heart exploded; my soul ascended. The moment Ahsoka slices open Vader’s mask is etched upon my memory forevermore: Vader, brought to his knees, and the voice of Anakin Skywalker, calling out the name of his beloved former apprentice.
Nothing can replicate it, and nothing can ever compare to it. But these five incredible fanworks sure come close.
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for @jedifest‘16 Top 5 Picks
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is one of my favourite fictional characters of all time, and thus it's no surprise that attempting to choose only five pieces for this list proved a rather...difficult challenge. In the end, I decided to try a more liminal approach. While both of his dual identities are fascinating in their own right (Vader, his tormented prison; Anakin, his True Self, and the identity that we all long for him to reclaim), when it comes to artistic depictions, I find that this character is often at his most visually compelling when the two intertwine.
The following are five pieces that I feel capture the intermingling of and/or inner conflict between Anakin and Vader. (These are but a taste of the many beautiful works of art I’ve encountered this year; for more, see the tag on my blog here.)
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