Star Wars character No. 1: Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be the biggest and best character in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. It was his origin story, and basically the first six films are about his fall to the Dark Side and eventual redemption. While he was featured heavily in all of the films of the prequel trilogy, his portrayal and the way he was written was extremely disappointing.
We first see him as a 10-year-old boy. He’s kind of whiny, a bit cocky, and poorly acted by Jake Lloyd, who speaks like he’s reading his lines right off the page. In the last two episodes of the prequels, Anakin is played by Hayden Christensen. His acting isn’t much better than Lloyd’s, but the problem is more of the way the character is written.
Anakin is an arrogant, verbally abusive, whiny, and a little creepy character. He disobeys his master, he hits on Padme in a very uncomfortable fashion and is overly confident in his own skills. He speaks in a monotone voice and comes off as not very relatable. He also is constantly butting heads with Obi-Wan and instead of a true friendship they have more of a parent who is trying to control his bratty teenager dynamic. This sucks because it takes away from the emotional impact of Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side.
Thank God for The Clone Wars. Somehow Dave Filoni did what was basically the impossible and made Anakin a likable character. He did have more time to work with the character than Lucas did, but giving Anakin a Padawan may have been the best move. It allowed Anakin to take on a teaching role, and that allowed him to show a soft and patient side. Ahsoka and Anakin’s relationship was much more natural than his and Obi-Wan’s. They had the sort of friendship many figured Obi-Wan and Anakin did when old Ben first told the story of the Clone Wars to Luke in A New Hope.
After seven seasons of The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker became a much more likable character. He wasn’t as arrogant, definitely not as creepy, and had moments that showed a lot of heart. It’s too bad this wasn’t the Anakin we saw in the films. His battle with Obi-Wan would’ve carried a lot more weight, and his fall would’ve been even harder to swallow.