Anakin Skywalker is the most complex character in the Star Wars franchise, straddling the fence between the Light and the Dark. Here are 15 moments that reveal his journey toward the Dark Side.
When Star Wars came out in 1977, audiences were introduced to a character whose name we wouldn’t learn until two episodes later in Return of the Jedi. At the time of Star Wars (later retitled A New Hope), all we knew about this character was that he was once a Jedi Knight who was once “the best star pilot in the galaxy and a cunning warrior.” And he was the father Luke Skywalker never knew because he was murdered by a Jedi who turned to the Dark Side named Darth Vader.
Of course, when it was revealed in The Empire Strikes Back that the man behind the mask of Darth Vader actually was Anakin Skywalker, the revelation was shocking, prompting audiences to want to know more. Who was this man who was once a hero turned a villain? George Lucas knew questions like these were worth exploring, and we were given Anakin Skywalker’s story and journey to the Dark Side in the prequel trilogy.
But Anakin’s story didn’t stop with the prequels; his character has been explored even further in episodes of the animated series The Clone Wars and in comic books published by Marvel. Here are the top 15 Anakin Skywalker moments from the prequels, The Clone Wars, and comics.
1. Anakin almost leaves the Jedi Order
Charles Soule, who has proven to be one of the most prolific Star Wars writers in recent years in novels and comic books, took on the task of exploring Anakin’s early training as a padawan under Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan and Anakin was a five-issue comic miniseries from Marvel Comics that was set just three years after The Phantom Menace, and it’s a story that reveals the closeness Anakin has developed with his master while also alluding to the manipulative relationship that is developing with Chancellor Palpatine.
Anakin and Obi-Wan are called to respond to a mysterious distress call on the planet Carnelion IV. Once they arrive, however, instead of finding who sent the distress call, they find themselves caught up in a war between rival factions on the planet, and the two try to help diffuse the situation and help the warring peoples find a place of compromise.
Throughout the story, we learn that Anakin has been considering leaving the Jedi, and this mission is Obi-Wan’s last chance to show Anakin that his destiny is tied with the Jedi, or else they will both leave the Jedi order. Anakin demonstrates his tenacity as well as his desire to be a force for good, even as he’s taken advantage of for his impressive skills. In the end, the mission and Anakin and Obi-Wan’s role in bringing the conflict to a peaceful resolution help Anakin to see the value and potential for great good in continuing on the Jedi path.