15. Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker
Depending on how you look at it, the whole series of Star Wars is actually a redemption story about Anakin and his own “dark side,” Darth Vader. Padme may not have been able to bring Anakin back to the light, but the series was never about Anakin fighting those around him. While Anakin doubted Padme and Obi-Wan’s loyalty to him, Anakin’s true demons came from within.
Anakin was unable to love himself and relied only on the security of obtaining more power to keep people with him. He was never able to listen to instructions properly and had a pretty narrow focus during most of his training. That’s why Palpatine found it so easy to manipulate the young Jedi, since his worst enemy was himself.
Anakin wanted to let his past self die because he couldn’t stand to live as the person who let two people he loved die. Darth Vader became an armored persona, meant to keep fear and heartache at bay. But as Luke is shouting for his “father,” unable to fight against Palpatine’s electrical currents, Anakin suddenly sees a reason to live as the person he always was.
After saving Luke, Anakin asks Luke to take off his mask, wanting to see his son “with his own eyes,” acknowledging Vader as being separate from himself. Anakin recognizes Vader was never truly his shield, but the one who caused his loved ones to die. Anakin’s rejection of Vader brings an end to the greatest rivalry of the entire Star Wars saga.