Saw a nice substantial character reading of everyone’s favorite psychologically shattered murderer on my dash today, with a very well-stated and insightful contribution from catie-does-things, who I recognized as a Anakin Needs Help follower! Small fandom world!
In comic news, part 2 of the Zillo Beast saga should be up in a few days.
Rewatching AotC, I don’t find myself minding the romantic scenes between Anakin and Padme — because I think it’s an accurate portrayal of two people who have very little romantic experience, and who aren’t really used to dealing with regular social situations. I don’t see Anakin…
#the question stands is this intentional or is it putting meaning onto bad acting and directing lol
It’s fair enough to question whether or not it was intentional, but does that really matter?
If the text supports the reading and the reading is good, is the text badly written just because it didn’t support that reading on purpose?
In my opinion, it’s not “putting meaning onto bad acting and directing”, it’s just putting aside expectations of what the characters should be like and interpreting what’s there in the movies.
And all question of authorial intent aside, what’s in the movies is consistent. If Anakin Skywalker came from a stable background and a childhood free of trauma and we were given every indication that he was a well-adjusted individual in good emotional health, then his awkwardness might seem out of place, and the smooth-talking, confident Han Solo clone people seem to have expected Anakin Skywalker to be (likely thanks to the idolization of the Vader persona, as if it weren’t a perverted mask that Anakin hid behind) might actually be a reasonable expectation. But that’s not the Anakin Skywalker we were shown in TPM, so it stands to reason we wouldn’t see him in AotC or RotS either.
And really, the roots of this characterization go even deeper, because even just from watching the Original Trilogy, we already know that Anakin Skywalker embraced the path of the dark side - the path of violence and anger, but also of fear - and willingly sacrificed his entire identity to serve a cruel master, betraying his friend and mentor and losing his family in the process. None of that indicates an individual with great emotional stability or healthy interpersonal relationships, so we should hardly expect Anakin to have those things in the Prequels.
And if that is what we expected, we should really ask ourselves why, and re-examine our own response to the ideals represented by Vader - an attractive fantasy of power which appeals to the ego but which is also shown to be a sick distortion of true humanity and, ultimately, a mask which hides the true self and traps it in darkness. Why do we admire this persona? Why are we so disappointed to find a whiny, immature, awkward man hiding behind it? Why does the banality of evil upset us so much?
The portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in the Prequel Trilogy raises all these questions through its subversion of our expectations, and that is one of my favorite things about both the character and the movies. I happen to find these questions much more interesting and far more relevant than the question of whether Hayden Christensen is a good actor, or whether George Lucas can write a good love scene. But if that’s what you’d rather focus on, I suppose I can’t really stop you.