Anakin’s Fall, part 2
Through these scenes, you will witness Anakin’s fall into darkness. Each step is going to drive him to a situation that he will not be able to avoid.
Places and Forms of Power
- Through the video extracts, we can see Anakin being attracted more and more by the idea of getting more power. Just like the ring, power is here something that Anakin wants and it seems he can’t stop wanting more and more.
- « Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely ». Here, it means that Anakin is asking for a power so strong that it might just destroy him.
- Chancellor Palpatine obtains the ultimate power by receiving emergency powers. It means he can do anything he wants. It’s like a dictator. The only difference being that the republic gave him his special powers. We can compare this to the rise of chancellor Hitler in 1930’s Germany.
- « All who gain power are afraid to lose it » Through the story of Darth Plagueis, we understand the moral of the story which is that nobody can keep a power forever because others will be wanting it. Power triggers jealousy, envy in other people’s mind.
- Darth Plagueis has found the way to cheat death. So, he obtained the ultimate power of Gods. Anakin is interested in this and he will be capable of sacrificing everything in order to obtain it.
- When Chancellor Palpatine is arrested, he reveals his real personality. When he kills Mace Windu, he tells only 2 words that reveal his true desire: « Power, unlimited power » So, we understand that he plotted everything form the beginning in order to obtain the ultimate and absolute powers.
- Anakin finally saves the chancellor knowing that this is the wrong choice because he’s being blinded by his desire to get the power to cheat death. Only this desire will finally fail him.
- Finally, fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi, he overestimates his powers and ends up punished by becoming a monster. He is consumed both on the inside and the outside, revealing then all his desires for more power.
- Just like Sméagol becoming Gollum after owning the ring of power, Palpatine becomes a monster on the outside since it reveals his inner desires for power. His physical aspect transpires his monstrosity. The same thing happens for Anakin. After saving the chancellor, he turns to the dark side and pushes forward his change. He seize to be Anakin to become Darth Vader and his physical aspect is forever changed into a mechanical monster, revealing then his dehumanization.
- Ironically, Padmé dies because after seeing Anakin changing into a monster, she had no will to live. She will then die in childbirth, fulfilling Anakin’s premonition. The irony comes form the fact that Anakin’s need for more power to save Pamé was the origin of her death. Had he stayed a Jedi and not given in to his pulsions and desires, she would have been saved. It shows that power is never the answer to a problem.
Space and Exchange
- Manipulation is shown here through Palpatine’s behavior. It is a form of exchange since you need people to interact with to manipulate them. Throughout the scenes, we witness the chancellor being granted everything he wants without asking for it. It’s all about manipulation and deception.
- The chancellor is able to manipulate everybody because he is extremely eloquent and has a strong charisma. It helps imposing his ideas without using the force. We could use a parallel with many politicians using the same skills to be elected. Even dictators sometimes gain their power by manipulating a whole population.
- Hell. Anakin ends up in Mustafar, a planet that is a vision of Hell. Fire, erupting volcanoes, darkness. Anakin has been sent there by Palpatine and he is suffering. It shows once again the importance of setting the action in the right space to tell a story.
- The intergalactic Senate is represented many times throughout the scenes. It is where all important decisions are being made. It is also in that space that the republic will die to be replaced by an empire. Once again, the symbolic of spaces is necessary to spread the message and warn about the fragility of our own democratic system.
- Just like when he lost his mother, it when Anakin thinks he has lost Padmé that he finally reveals his darkest intentions. He pronounces the sentence: « If you’re not with me, then you are my enemy ». He creates an artificial Manichaean world in which there is no place for compromise. It can be compared to the sentence pronounced by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks: « You’re either with us, or with the terrorists ».
Myths and Heroes
- Anakin becomes the anti hero. He has become the opposite of what he wanted to be.
- Anakin sees himself as the ultimate hero since he has reached the situation that will allow him to defeat death. He thinks he has reached his goal but he is not aware that he will be fooled. He has reached a point where there is no way back.
- It’s the myth of Lucifer. By accepting to betray his friends and Jedi fellows, Anakin damns himself after selling his soul to the evil chancellor. Just like Faust, he can damn his soul in the quest for more power.
- Obi Wan Kenobi represents the true hero. He is affected by the bad choices of Anakin but still wants to save him by doing the right thing. He is the one who defeats Anakin in the end.
- The Chancellor is the one representing the myth of the fountain of youth since he tells Anakin he can manipulate life. He becomes the representation of this myth and a hero for Anakin. In a way, he replaces Qui Gon in Anakin’s vision of heroism.