william shakespeare&039;s star wars

Oh another good bit from William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge (Act IV, scene iii):

YOUNGLING 1
Good Master Skywalker, we are afeard,
There are too many foes abroad tonight
What shall we do, my Master? Prithee, speak!

VADER
Have you said all your orisons this night?

YOUNGLING 1
Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

VADER
I would not kill your unpreparèd spirits;
No, heav’n forfend! I would not kill your souls.

YOUNGLING 1
Talk you of killing?

VADER
-Aye, I do. And shall!

So yeah, that’s a reference to the scene where Othello kills Desdemona (Othello, Act V, scene ii), which might have been more expected in scene where Anakin strangles Padmé. But Padmé’s death can’t be premeditated, so it wouldn’t have worked there, really. But I like the implication here, that Anakin is willing to kill the younglings to fulfill Palpatine’s orders, but he doesn’t actually have any malice against them. In fact, he even shows concern for their souls. This is no crime of passion, but an even more detached, depraved action - and yet not without a glimmer of compassion, in a twisted way.

(In Act V, Anakin will get a soliloquy as he burns in which he will decide he did the younglings a favor by killing them, thus sparing them from the torments life would have undoubtedly met them with.)

Because a warped, perverted sense of compassion - a false compassion, which in truth is nothing but selfishness - is what Anakin’s fall is all about.

For me the sand hath never been a balm-
On Tatooine we are encumber’d by
Too much of its course and unkind touch
It is an ever present irritant,
Not like the peaceful sands of thy Naboo
Here all is soft, like cheeks upon a babe,
And smooth as sculpted alabaster too

-Anakin Skywalker, Space Nerd
(Ian Doescher’s The Clone Army Attacketh)