Star Wars: Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s top 15 moments

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(Photo by Kurt Vinion/Getty Images)

5. Anakin reunites with his mother

Although the Star Wars prequels reveal a great deal about Anakin Skywalker’s backstory, they don’t really touch on his Jedi training. That period in the character’s life is detailed extensively in various ancillary media.

But in the films, he goes from a child in The Phantom Menace to skilled apprentice in Attack of the Clones. However, despite all the skill and poise he displays in Clones, he clearly isn’t prepared for the life of a Jedi. That fact is made clear when he makes a return to his home planet of Tatooine.

To start, Anakin’s decision to abandon his duty and actually bring along the woman he’s supposed to be protecting to hostile territory is a major red flag. Still, his response to getting the Star Wars version of a 3 a.m. call from a hospital is understandable. As is his tearful and heartbreakingly short reunion with his mother Shmi.

Anakin’s 10 years in the Jedi Order should’ve taught him to approach the situation with detachment. He should’ve gotten Shmi free and taken her to get medical care. Instead, he reacts like a child and is paralyzed by seeing his mother slip away.

After Shmi dies, Anakin’s rage overwhelms him and he annihilates the Tusken tribe that held her captive. Once again, a decade’s worth of training and practiced emotional distance fails him. However, his lightsaber does not. In reuniting with his mother, Anakin is forced to deal with the fact that he is not a Jedi. And in doing so, he takes his steps toward becoming Darth Vader