I’M GONNA CRY ABOUT FEELINGS SOME MORE.
Sometimes it’s easy to fall into thinking that, oh, if only Anakin had had more people telling him that they loved him, he wouldn’t have felt rejected and unwanted! If only Obi-Wan had told him how much Anakin meant to him, Anakin would have still trusted him!
But I don’t think that’s true (setting aside that Obi-Wan very much has shown Anakin emotional support) and this scene illustrates why.
Padme has poured every ounce of love she has into Anakin, she has told him that she loves him, she has never given him reasonable cause to doubt her, she even begs him to run away with her and raise their child in this scene, she tells him that she loves him, she gives him plenty of chances to stop and come back. Padme has done nothing but love him and express that love for him.
But Anakin still doesn’t trust her, he still believes that she betrayed him, still attacks her when she does nothing to threaten him except say that she can’t follow him down this path. No matter how much love she poured into him, it wasn’t enough to save him, to stop his paranoia and mistrust.
No amount of love from anyone was ever going to be enough.
This doesn’t make Anakin a a bad character or tug at my heart strings any less, far from it! It makes me sympathize with him all the more, as someone who has been in the headspace of people who care about me express that care to me and I just cannot believe it. I’ve been in that place where no amount of it was ever enough, no gesture was enough, it always drained right back out of me by the next day. (Though, let’s be fair. Anakin crosses a line here into abusive territory when he chokes her into unconsciousness, I love him but that was wrong.)
When you have trouble with the foundation of your self-image, when you have someone deliberately manipulating you into further mistrusting the people who care about you, or when you simply are just straight up wired that way, it can be impossible to believe and trust in what people are telling you. I love Anakin’s character all the more for falling down that path that I’ve glimpsed in myself so many times, I love him all the more because he didn’t want to see it as a problem and that no amount of expressed love was ever going to be enough.
Padme told him every chance she could and he still turned on her. Obi-Wan specifically told him how proud he was of Anakin, how great he was, but Anakin still turned on him.
No amount of love or affection was ever going to be enough to fix Anakin until he wanted to fix himself. And for all that he felt something was wrong with him, his emotional balance (or imbalance) was never something he seemed to want to admit was a problem. AND THAT MAKES ME CRY FOR ALL OF THEM A LOT.