Anakin Skywalker and his passage to the dark side – LIBET in narratives

Anakin Skywalker and his passage to the dark side – LIBET in narratives

What are the processes that will bring Anakin Skywalker to a breaking point? What contributes to the symptomatic manifestation of this character, characterized by the transition to the dark side?

LIBET in the narratives – (Nr. 14) Anakin Skywalker

Advertising message The character of Anakin Skywalker will be analyzed below from an evolutionary point of view from a LIBET perspective. In particular, referring to the first trilogy of the STAR WARS film (episode I: The phantom menace; episode II: The attack of the clones; episode III: The revenge of the Sith), they will deepen: the learning processes, the painful theme, the semi-active plan, the metacontrol processes and the invalidation processes, which bring the protagonist Anakin Skywalker to a breaking point, that is to the symptomatic manifestation characterized by the passage to the dark side.

In the first film of the trilogy (Episode I) the childhood of the protagonist is told.

Anakin is a nine year old boy who lives on the planet of Totooine in a condition of slavery, constantly treated as inferior and unworthy by his master Watto. The film provides important information about the most intimate and emotional dimension of the character: Anakin grew up without a father, only with his mother, who totally “depends” on him (both concretely, through work, and emotionally as the only man of home and source of affection and love for women). It is clear that the character cannot afford to think of himself, let alone abandon his mother. At some point Anakin is “sold” to the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, following a lost bet between the Jedi and Watto. Qui-Gon Jinn formally “frees” Anakin from slavery, leading him to take a new path, that of Jedi, expression of new and great possibilities; this choice is also validated and endorsed by the mother, however Anakin experiences a strong sense of guilt.

It seems quite understandable how these experiences during the developmental age contributed to the construction of the painful theme of unworthiness: I am unworthy, I am wrong, but above all I am guilty.

The new Jedi world, however different from Tatooine’s slavery, does nothing but confirm and reinforce the painful theme: Anakin is endowed with great strength, however as an apprentice he must submit to the teachings and position of the master (Qui-Gon Jinn dies and the master of Anakin becomes Obi One Kenobi). The apprentice shows obvious signs of resentment and frustration and is once again in an inferior condition. Also, feelings of attachment and love are not allowed in the Jedi world, as emotions such as fear, envy and hatred arise from these, leading to the dark side. Anakin has always nourished nostalgia and love for his mother, these emotions have a double consequence: a sense of guilt towards the Jedi, because they have trusted him and he feels he is betraying them;

Once again the painful theme is strengthened: I guilty.

For the protagonist this theme is unbearable, painful and intolerable, since he was a child. In fact, as a child, in order not to feel unworthy, wrong and guilty, he tried to “get distracted” in different ways: he idealizes the Jedi world and daydreams about being able to enter and be part of it, one day. He builds the C-3PO droid, droid with high potential that will become his companion in adventures. Finally, despite his mother’s ban, he takes part in the paddle races, speed races in which Anakin challenges life, coming out on top.

As a young adult, always in order not to feel such, he engages in Jedi art, promising to become the strongest Jedi of all. The goal is to become the most powerful Jedi, to be “higher than all” so that you can be superior to others and to death; he also wishes to become the only one able to decide on the life and death of others.

However, at some point even this is not enough, indeed the Jedi world is perceived as limiting and critical, therefore Anakin decides to go to the dark side, considered the only way to avoid death and therefore not to get in touch with the painful theme .

In order not to get in touch with the painful subject, intolerable for him, Anakin implements semi-adaptive strategies that can be traced back to an immunizing plan. In order not to bring out the theme “unworthy”, he promises, as already said, to become the strongest Jedi, but in achieving this goal he puts out angry emotions towards anyone who is in a “social” position superior to his ( the Jedi Council, the master Obi One Kenobi). Furthermore, in order not to get in touch with the theme “guilty” he pours all the anger and guilt on others, blaming his master and the Jedi advice for the death of his mother and the fact that they do not give space to the development of his strength, considered a means of salvation.

So, on the whole, Anakin manifests an aggressive and angry behavior, characterized by an attack on others, typical of an immunizing plan. This leads him to attack others verbally and physically, up to the symptomatic passage to the dark side.

The invalidation processes are manifold.

The first episode is about falling in love with Padme, banned by Jedi art, as specified above. Falling in love with Padme, Anakin comes into contact with the sense of guilt and the fear of losing her (I guilty, not worthy).

The second and most important episode concerns the death of the mother. Anakin dreams of the mother in difficulty and decides to go and look for her in order to save her. However, when he reaches her, it is too late and the woman dies in his arms. In this circumstance Anakin comes into full contact with the sense of guilt, and therefore with the painful theme “guilty I”, and in the grip of anger makes a massacre of Tusken (population who captured and killed his mother).

From here there is a real symptomatic onset, already evident with prodromal symptoms, represented in the films with the approach to the dark side, to end in a real pathological suffering that becomes evident with the definitive passage to the dark side and the creation of the character of Darth Vader.