7. Anakin kills Tal Merrik
In the season 2 episode of The Clone Wars, “Voyage of Temptation,” Anakin and Obi-Wan expose a Mandalorian traitor named Tal Merrik. Merrik, who is a member of the rogue Mandalorian faction Death Watch, kidnaps Duchess Satine, and Obi-Wan, who has always secretly loved Satine and would have left the Jedi to be with her if she’d asked, is desperate to save her. Satine manages to get away from Merrik and aims a blaster at him while Obi-Wan holds his lightsaber.
Merrik finds the situation amusing, taunting each of them to kill him. If Satine kills him, she’ll be violating her pacifist views, and if Obi-Wan kills him, he’ll lose the respect of the woman he loves. In a shocking move, Anakin removes the choice from both of them by running his lightsaber through Merrik’s back, killing him instantly. Anakin feels no remorse over the action. If you listen carefully during this moment, you’ll hear the Imperial March in the background.
This moment reveals the cold detachment Anakin will develop with the act of killing others. Even if Merrik deserved to die, Anakin clearly didn’t struggle with the moral complexity of the situation as Obi-Wan and Satine did. This demonstrates a clear contrast with the moments of compassion we see in Anakin in earlier moments in his life, which means that the ugliness of war is corrupting his good heart, slowly making him into a cold-blooded killer.