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

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Photo courtesy: Penguin Random House

3. Anakin’s confession to Padmé

Although Anakin Skywalker does a lot of heinous things in his life, the audience rarely sees how he feels about doing them. In his guise as Darth Vader, his face is concealed by his armor and his voice rarely reflects anything other than varying degrees of anger.

There’s only one moment in the original saga that really delves into the psychic toll his lifetime of violence and destruction exacts from him. But the audience does gain some insight into his inner thoughts in Attack of the Clones.

After reuniting with his mother and slaughtering the Tusken village, Anakin returns to his stepbrother Owen’s home. Padmé, immediately sensing something is awry, slowly coaxes Anakin into explaining what made him so upset.

In addition to confessing to the massacre, Anakin also unloads all of his pent-up frustrations. Namely, his resentment of Obi-Wan, his frustration at being unable to save his mother and his deep-seated hunger for power. He also confesses to killing the entire small community, women and children included.

What’s disquieting about this moment is that Anakin’s confession does not include a repent. He feels shame in letting his emotions take over, but doesn’t feel bad about what he’s done. If anything, he feels justified and more than a little unsettled in the sense of release that came from fully indulging in his darker emotions.

Tellingly, when Anakin meets up again with Obi-Wan he doesn’t tell him about what happened on Tatooine. He likely believed his mentor would be horrified at his actions. So instead of facing retribution, he keeps the massacre a secret and pushes down his feelings, allowing his guilt and anguish to fester. It’s something that he becomes very good at in the years to follow.