LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT WHY THIS MOMENT IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME.
What Anakin’s saying here and the connections that are hinted at here–he’s feeling lost. “What do you mean?” Padme asks. Obi-Wan and the Council don’t trust him is his first response. Let’s set aside that Anakin isn’t a reliable narrator in the best of times (because we have explicit confirmation that Anakin is wrong about this–Obi-Wan tells Mace and Yoda that Anakin won’t let him down, he never has, it’s obvious that Obi-Wan absolutely does trust him) because that’s not the point, but that he’s feeling lost and his first response to the question of why is to talk about Obi-Wan. And the Jedi. And how he wants more than what the Jedi are. And that he knows he shouldn’t.
(Of course this is about how he wants more with Padme, he wants to be publicly married, he wants to have a public family, he wants to still be a Jedi, etc. But this is also tied up with his feelings about Obi-Wan.)
I realize that i’m a shipper and so I’m not the most objective person about this. But, setting aside that it would never happen in canon, that for all that you can find some really eyebrow-raising moments re: evidence for Obikin, I know it’s not actually narratively intended. SETTING THAT ASIDE, I kind of really do believe that Obi-Wan sleeping with Anakin would have saved him. (Well, not just the act of sex itself, but the relationship that would have come with it.)
It would have opened up communication between them, it would have opened Anakin up and told Obi-Wan about all the secrets he was keeping and he would have understood that Obi-Wan loved him and wouldn’t turn him in and that Obi-Wan trusted him and, honestly, I think Obi-Wan would have seen that Anakin needed to find a new path in life, that the structure the Jedi Order provided that worked for so many didn’t really work for Anakin. And Anakin wouldn’t have turned to Palpatine in desperation because he wanted a magic wand to fix everything and instead Obi-Wan could have sat him down and forced him not to panic.
It would have been complicated, because it then brings up the question of what Obi-Wan himself would do. During the war, I think he could have bent his principles enough to have a relationship while still being a Jedi, because the war was grinding them down, there were no perfect choices, just difficult situations you made the best of. But once the war was over… he would have had a choice in front of him. Devoting his life to the Jedi Order or devoting his life to Anakin.
If Anakin were more stable and independent, I think Obi-Wan would stay a Jedi. He is very much, through, and through, a Jedi at heart. But the Anakin we saw in ROTS? Who was floundering and Padme was crumbling under the weight of everything that was going wrong, with the Republic and with Anakin? But the Anakin who desperately needed Obi-Wan to rein him back in? The Anakin who was emotionally unstable and Obi-Wan understood how badly off he was? Who so desperately loved Obi-Wan, loved him as much as he loved Padme, who benefited from being around him, who was so much happier when Obi-Wan was with him?
THAT Anakin, Obi-Wan would leave for, in a heartbeat. If Anakin needed him, Obi-Wan would be there.
Because I really think that Obi-Wan tried to help Anakin be independent. To be the Jedi Knight who stood on his own. Obi-Wan, I think, tried to see too much of himself in Anakin. Obi-Wan, who is much better suited to being the emotionally stable, independent, reserved one. Obi-Wan who loves very much, but is, well, the more stable of their dynamic, for all that he can be incredibly reckless so very often.
And that’s what I think he was trying to train Anakin to, that same sense of being able to be the one others lean on. And we see how well that went, with Anakin during ROTS. He’s just really not made to be the emotional leader, despite that he feels he should be “that Jedi”.
He tries so hard to be that for Padme (who asks him, “Hold me, like you did on Naboo.”) and it tears him apart, his anxieties and fears consume him, his desperate push to try to be what he thinks he should be (the rock that she can lean on, the one who will save her, etc.) fails miserably because it’s just not in him, not like that.
This isn’t the same as being a leader in a war, because that he’s really good at! But emotionally he wants someone to follow, someone to make things okay FOR him. That’s why he follows Palpatine, because he wants that someone to fix things for him so very badly. And I think if Obi-Wan knew that was a bone deep part of Anakin, something that could not be trained out of him, then he would fill that role. If he knew how lost Anakin felt while pushing himself to be the Jedi he thought he was supposed to be, that he was floundering while trying to be the one who fixed things, then it would have changed everything.
So that line of “I’m not the Jedi I’m supposed to be.” always stands out to me.
Anakin very much is selfish and cannot let go, he’s obsessive about this love that he’s idealized in his mind. He doesn’t given any consideration at all to what Padme would want (as it that she would NOT want him to go down this path to save her). Which is very, very selfish! It’s absolutely about that just as much as anything else.
But I think it’s also his desperate attempt to be the strong one, to save the day and be who he thinks he’s supposed to be. The Jedi he’s supposed to be, the husband he’s supposed to be, the friend he’s supposed to be.
All of which just goes down in rather literal flames, because that’s not who Anakin Skywalker is at his core.