Anakin’s Tragic Star Wars Arc Was Due to Bad Mentors

Anakin Skywalker has always been Star Wars’ chosen one, but his tragedies are more so tied to the results of poor mentorship as a Jedi and Sith.

Anakin Skywalker’s story in Star Wars has always been about his journey to bring balance to the Force, but what he never expected was the immense tragedy that would befall the Jedi turned Sith Lord from the moment he left his mother to his final breath. While it seemed like an unavoidable chain of events, it’s likely his life could have gone much differently had he had a much better mentor. However, the same could also be said for when he was Darth Vader, as his mentor failed him even more so.

Anakin’s life began as an enslaved person on Tatooine, but when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn discovered him, it was clear there was much more to him. Strong with the Force, he was taken to be trained, and after the death of Jinn, Kenobi became his new mentor. Unfortunately, while he was a strong friend and teacher to Anakin, he was more like a brother rather than the father figure that Jinn represented. As a result, Obi-Wan was off to a bad start before his time as a teacher could be fully understood.

Obi-Wan Kenobi spent most of his time as a Jedi Master fighting in the Clone Wars beside Anakin. As a result, they were more like equals than master and apprentice. In fact, the two shared their own secrets, such as Anakin’s marriage and Kenobi’s affection for Satine Kryze.

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Had the two communicated, they could have formed an even stronger bond that would have deterred the young Jedi from joining the Emperor, butly, Obi-Wan believed far more in the sad Order than his own master did, and Kenobi found himself conflicted over doing his duties vs. what was right. Because of this, he and Anakin would butt heads as Obi-Wan wanted him to fall in line with the Order rather than connect with him on a much deeper level, leaving Anakin isolated.

Meanwhile, Emperor Palpatine seduced Anakin to the Dark Side for most of his life, fostering his negative emotions and promising power he could barely comprehend. However, once Anakin joined his side as Darth Vader, the facade was dropped, and Palpatine turned into an abusive teacher. In the comics and the films, the Emperor would constantly mentally and physically abuse Vader, dismembering him and even taunting him with memories of his past.

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Since Anakin felt he deserved this punishment, he took it, but with the reveal that Luke Skywalker was Anakin’s son, he became disillusioned with the Dark Side, in favor of connecting with his family somehow. Had the Emperor been a better teacher rather than a man scared of death, using Vader as a tool, he could have maintained his apprentice’s allegiance, but in the end, Palpatine’s choices came back to haunt him when Vader defected and killed him.

While Anakin never had the best mentors, there was also some blame on his part for his actions. He knew the right choices, and he only became Vader out of fear and love, but even still, he had no issue taking the lives of younglings and hunting down his fellow Jedi. Eventually, he got lost in his ways and committed more horrific acts that made him a tragic villain more than a victim. Interestingly, there’s still the lingering idea that it could have been avoided had his mentors opened up to him more.

The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker is a lesson in communication and trust. Anakin had a chance to remain a hero had Obi-Wan established that the two could talk about anything, as they weren’t so different. On the other hand, had Palpatine not dropped his kinder persona toward Vader, he could’ve maintained a much more loyal apprentice. Anakin was pulled in many directions that ultimately decided his fate, but had one of those directions taken on more responsibility, the Star Wars timeline could have been very different.

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