We must move quickly. The Jedi are relentless. If they are not all destroyed, it will be civil war without end. First I want you to go to the Jedi temple. We will catch them off-balance. Do what must be done, Lord Vader. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy.
Something that I really appreciate about The Clone Wars is that they make Anakin a likable, loving, genuinely good person while reaffirming and enhancing his more negative qualities. For example the show makes it clear that Anakin is a good person, but a selfish one.
In the arc where Ahsoka get’s kidnapped and hunted by lizard people we see this very subtle selfish quality of Anakin’s. When Ahsoka comes home from her traumatizing ordeal what is the very first thing that Anakin does? He makes things about himself. He makes things about his failure to protect her, his concern, his worry, his fear for her, his own shortcomings. He is obviously coming from a place of genuine love and concern for Ahsoka, but it’s still about him. There’s nothing evil about that kind of selfishness, seeing a situation from your own point of view doesn’t mean you don’t care, anyone who says that they don’t make things about themselves is almost definitely a liar but you can’t deny it. In that moment Ahsoka had to comfort Anakin. That moment is beautiful and poignant regarding their bond and their friendship, but it’s also very telling if you look at it through a slightly more cynical lens.
It reminds me of in AOTC when Anakin kneeled at his mother’s grave and talked about himself and his feelings of inadequacy rather than his mother herself. Or in ROTS when Anakin was concerned for Padme’s life and committed to saving it in a way he knew that she wouldn’t approve of. When he pledges himself to Palpatine he doesn’t say he wants to save her life because she deserves to love or anything that has to do with her. It’s because he couldn’t live without her, he needs her, he loves her, she can’t leave him because he couldn’t take that. It’s about him.
Anakin’s feelings of selfishness don’t mean that he doesn’t actually love or care about these people, his possessive nature and selfishness actually come from his love for these people. He just can’t separate the way he feels about these people from the individuals themselves. He always makes it about himself and his needs and desires, not theirs. It’s possible that the first person that Anakin really loved in a nonselfish way was Luke by the end of ROTJ.
I don’t know that I’m making sense here but this topic fascinates me.
He doesn’t show up often around here, but mostly because he’s going around, doing old-people stuff. But I was recently interested in wanting to draw out what his young life was like as a pirate; Fighting monsters, collecting treasure, building a famous reputation, working as a peace negotiator, a spy, a detective, a vigilante, and even an undercover burlesque dancer at one point.
He’s had quite a life full of thrills, lessons learnt, love lived and lost, hilarious hijinks and competitive rivalry.